The Norman Transcript

Features

May 16, 2014

Tips for defiant 4-year-old son

NORMAN — Q: For the past few months, our usually compliant 4-year-old son has been having problems with defiant behavior at school. He often refuses to do what he is told by the teacher.

What concerns us even more, however, is that he has recently had two episodes of aggressive behavior toward other children, both very well-behaved girls, and both during snack time.

In the first incident, he stabbed a girl with a plastic fork when she told him something he didn’t like. The second incident occurred when he pushed a girl over some minor territorial dispute.

When confronted by the teacher or us, he is very aware that these behaviors are not OK. We’re at a loss as to why they have occurred in the first place and are not clear on how to handle them.

 

A: Asking why a child is misbehaving in a certain way can be very distracting, if not downright confusing. In most cases, any answer is going to be speculative. Furthermore, 10 psychologists are going to come up with at least six different speculations, five of which are going to be plausible.

That being said, I will speculate.

First, boys by nature are more aggressive than girls.

Second, boys by nature are impulsive.

Third, boys are more likely to respond physically rather than verbally to conflict. Girls talk; boys fight.

Add those together and you get a boy who stabs a girl who says something he perceives as provocative and aggressively defends his territory (or what he thinks is his territory) when it is “violated.”

Problems in preschool, when there are no such problems elsewhere, can indicate a mismatch between the child and the program.

Defiance may be a child’s reaction to an impatient teacher or an overly structured classroom (the rather ubiquitous result of over-regulation). If that’s the case, behavior problems may miraculously disappear with a new school year.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Board welcomes new member

    In its June meeting, the members of the Mary Abbott Children’s House board of directors elected Barbara Henderson to serve the remaining term of Anne Ederington, who resigned from the board in May due to moving from Norman. Henderson and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Pancake breakfast set

    The Police Explorer youth organization will host an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Norman Masonic Lodge, 1700 N. Porter Ave. All-you-can-eat pancakes, sausage, milk, orange juice and coffee costs $5. ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Center will be more than a building

    Many volunteers who assist veterans and surviving spouses have driven more than an hour to be at the Goldsby Community Center by 7 a.m. each Thursday. The volunteer of the week is from Harrah and has made that drive for the last three ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Senior organizations that appeal to conservatives

    Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend any advocacy organizations for seniors other than AARP? I cut up my AARP card a few years back when they supported Obamacare and am now looking for another organization that better represents me....

    July 29, 2014

  • Seniors adjust to different sleep patterns

    According to the National Institutes of Health, older adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night. However, sleep patterns change with age; this is often evident in the nursing home population. Frequent causes of interrupted sleep ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Ceremony marks opening of community center

    A July 23 ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the addition of another feature to the Chickasaw Nation Carter service campus in Ardmore....

    July 27, 2014

  • Chickasaw Cultural Center a terrific place to visit

    SULPHUR — The Chickasaw Cultural Center is a magnificent tribute to a proud people and their storied heritage. Located an easy hour’s drive south from Norman, it’s among the finest travel destinations in Oklahoma. Set on 109 scenic acres, ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisoner re-entry planning for offenders with mental illness

    People leaving incarceration face a variety of challenges even without a diagnosis of mental illness. But for those who face mental health issues, re-entry into society can be troublesome. That is the topic in the first of the 2014 Fall ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Exhibit takes families on food expedition

    If your palate enjoys culinary diversity or if you’re interested in introducing new flavors to your family, join the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in tasting international delights and create your own treat during Family ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Resident makes art in new home

    There’s an old saying about a picture being “worth a thousand words,” which took on a literal meaning recently....

    July 27, 2014