"To be an effective disciplinarian, you must be a model of self-discipline. "

Hitting plus tantrums

Question

HI there,
we've been intensively working with our now 4.5 year old boy who had many, many behavioural problems. He is now much more cooperative after sessions with a good parent coach.
However, he has one target behaviour we have never been able to solve properly - that's hitting/being rough with mum (and sister), plus tantrums. I'd put it down to his fiery temper. He's still throwing tantrums on a regular basis. The trigger? When mum tells him (calmly) to go to his room to settle down when he's raising his voice, is getting upset or is a bit rowdy and isnt listening, He'll then try his utmost to drag mum into the boxing ring to argue and ask questions. "Am I staying there all day? I don't want to!!" (Amps up to loud screaming and sometimes hitting mum when mum doesnt argue back but insists on the instruction being followed) ANother trigger? When he's told no. Same thing...tries to argue, and doesnt get an answer, then he screams/cries and hits.
He's been hitting me on and off since he was 2. I don't get why he doesnt dare to do it to dad. I've been as authoritative as I can be, but I'm mostly home with him every day. Whatever the reason is, we have to stop this.

We've recently enforced that he is to go to his room for the rest of the day and go to bed early if he throws a tantrum or hits. He gets 1 sticker a day for no tantrums/hitting and has to accummulate 14 in order to get his priviledges back (we have banned TV). It's clearly not working?? He's amped up.

Now, we've decided perhaps its time to do the garden kick, and 14 stickers in a row is not enough - we'd like to do 30. So how do I implement this? clear out his room of toys..what else? What about books, paper and colour pencils? No TV or playdates (he is to stay in the room during TV time, and if there are kids over to play), no playground, no parties. We've done this before when he was 3, and it didn't work!!

Now do we keep him in the room except for toilet and meals, till he gets 30 stickers in a row (believe me I will do this if it is advised - I am that determined to stop this! :) or is he allowed out of the room to play on the days he does not hit or tantrum?
Please get back to me soon - I'd like to implement this plan ASAP.

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