5 best ways to handle a rigid 4 year old

5 best ways to handle a rigid 4 year old

You may have noticed that your 4-year-old isn’t exactly the most flexible person in the world. His little brain is trying to understand how the world works, and once he gets a concept down, he expects it to stay that way. Having things happen the same way every time reassures your preschooler and gives him a confidence boost (“I knew that would happen!”). That’s why he likes to sit in a certain chair or goes bananas when his cracker breaks in two.

Rigid behavior in toddlers is a concept that needs to be broken so that the child can understand that he needs to change that behavior so as to live a better life. it is a sign that your child has some lagging skills or behavior problems.

Again! Again!” The Teletubbies have this mantra for a reason: A hallmark of this age is repetition. Your little one may want to eat the same things again and again, wear the same clothes day after day, or do things in the exact same order. Remember that he’s trying to make sense of the world, and keeping certain things unvarying is his way of exercising a little control in all the hubbub of life. Rituals provide comfort.


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That said, rigidity can get a little hard to live with. Indulge such behaviors when it’s really not a big deal. But if your preschooler’s demand is unreasonable or inappropriate (wanting to watch TV during dinner, ordering a guest to get out of “Daddy’s chair”), refuse calmly but firmly. You might trigger a tantrum, but ultimately you’re the boss.


  • Bend the rules once in a while because a rigid child is always reminded of the rules and he would like to stick to it always.
  • Teach them how to self-talk to themselves because taking a few deep breaths and stating the problem in clear terms will help give them another perspective to the issue
  • Add humor by getting a joke book
  • Change the routine sometimes because this is what helped in building the rigid child in the first place
  • Read some funny story books together


This book is a good resource, The sensory child Gets organized. This would exp[lain rigidity in children from the perspective of a professional

the sensory child

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