I hate using the word "defiant" to describe Sabrina's behavior, but some of it I do think is willful, and other bits I just can't figure out how to summarize for the title of a post.
I'm looking for some advice.
First, the therapist suggested that I very consistently give Sabrina a time out every time she hits, bites, or pulls my hair. We talked about it a little bit in the car today and she definitely had that "I'm embarrassed that I do this" tone of voice. Not that it helped when she started hitting me this evening!
Other friends of mine have said "of course no kid is willingly going to go to time out. I have to physically move my child to his time out chair." Well, I can't physically move Sabrina. One thing that I was thinking about doing is printing out a picture of a sad face and having one in each room; when she hits, she has to sit on the paper. I haven't done that yet, though, so do any of you brilliant and more experienced parents have any advice?
On a related note, this evening's hitting came after she was supposed to be in bed. She came out to the living room and I don't even remember why she started hitting me. If I had the sad face paper, should I have given her the time out in the living room, where she was, or made her go to her bedroom because it was an hour after her bedtime?
Also related, what should I do when she starts hitting or the like and we are late to school?
Done with the time out questions.
When Sabrina doesn't want to do what I'm asking her to do (put on her pajamas, or brush her teeth before putting on her pajamas, or wipe after using the toilet), she won't look at me. As in, I ask her to repeat what I asked her to do, she completely ignores me, I ask her to look at me and she keeps her head down or will actively turn her head away from me. Is this usual four year old behavior? Do you have any techniques for me to get her to listen to me? (I feel I should add that while some of this is a little bit "selfish" in the sense that I want her to get out of bed in the morning in less than 45 minutes because I want to get to work on time, but there are some real safety issues, too, like when we took the subway--at rush hour!--and she wouldn't hold my hand and wouldn't move away from the edge of the platform.)
Thanks for any advice you can share!
1 day ago