Being a Good Dad to 4- and 5-Year-Olds

Are children master manipulators, or just trying to get their way? Is it okay to have night-time snacks? What’s a dad to do when his child disobeys, turning on the TV after bedtime? Join us this week with J Fotsch and Dr. Jennifer Baker as we cover common questions for dads of four- and five-year-olds, including bedtimes, sugary snacks, discipline, pretend-crying and more.

  • (2:14) I try to tell (my daughter) when I know she’s fake-crying, or fake-whining. She does that very, very good. I tell her, I say, “Do you know something? I know when you’re not really crying—that you’re fake crying—and I also know when you’re pouting and you’re trying to get something. So let’s not do that.”
  • (3:38) Many times adults make the mistake of thinking a child thinks the way they do. And they don’t! A child (who’s) maybe 4 or 5 has very concrete thinking.
  • (6:08) Let’s say that you want a cookie … There’s no reason you shouldn’t get that cookie. And you’re gonna try to figure out any way that you can to get that cookie. And if something works—and has worked—like crying or whining or begging or whatever, then you’re going to do it as long as you can to see if it works.
  • (7:26) If you reward the behavior that you don’t want to see, by giving in, giving the cookie … then you’re likely to see more of that behavior because it worked.
  • (10:15) When you smile, children know really they’ve lost the battle. It’s like, when we (parents) get angry … it’s like throwing a pebble in a puddle. You got a reaction there. Alright, let’s see if I can throw a bigger pebble. Ok, now I really got you going! Look at you, your face is all red.
  • (13:41) You can’t tell a child to sleep. Have you ever tried that? It doesn’t work.
  • (18:42) Most parents could make their lives much easier if they have a routine and they stick to that routine. Kids love routine. They feel safe in routine.