9 Year old with serious negative attitude how do I discipline?

Natalie - posted on 03/08/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )




I have 3 boys 13.9.and 3 The 9 year old is acting like a 16 year old. He is testing my strenth and power daily. He does everything and anything to get to me. I dont know any more how to handle his will. He has me in tears daily. Please I need some advice on how to handle a very strong willed child. Pray for me Pleae


Angela - posted on 03/08/2012




Do you mean he's disrespectful, disobedient, non-compliant? Or just "negative" as in happy to make others feel miserable with his observations, doing quite a bit of sneering, scoffing & scorning? Not being interested in anything suggested as a family activity, feels he's too old, wise & worldly to take pleasure in the stuff others enjoy?

If it's merely a case of negativity, I'm afraid there isn't much you can do. Adults are very fond of reminding children the importance of telling the truth and the negative child whose behaviour is not appreciated by others will protest "But I was only telling the truth!" Which they actually were! The truth from their own point of view - but the truth nevertheless!

If it's disobedience and disrespect, you can explain why this behaviour is unacceptable and take appropriate action to discipline him. Deprivation of treats (or withholding pocket money allowance) is a popular & effective method. Avoid physical punishment (striking him) - he sounds like the sort of kid to "report" you for mistreatment and you could end up in more trouble than him. Do you really want to give him that satisfaction?

Also try a bit of discussion with him. Ask why he's being like this, what is his grievance etc ....

And start to keep a diary logging the behaviour of ALL your boys. Start giving out rewards for decent and helpful behaviour and see how long it takes him to change his ways. Trust me, children are not bothered about receiving the actual rewards but the element of competition will make them want to be more successful than their siblings.

I cleaned my parents' house from top to bottom to ensure my sister didn't "win" the set of fancy hair combs on offer! Did I want the hair combs? No! Did I want my parents' house to be clean and sparking? No, I didn't care! I won those combs and I think I even threw them away, LOL!!

Carla - posted on 03/10/2012




I will also say, Lorraine, that we, as mothers, feel that natural need to protect our children, and it's usually the boys, from the father's 'being really hard on them'. I was guilty of that, as well. But God put us together, husband and wife, and we are now one flesh. We are, together, to use our separate skills and knowledge to raise our children in unison. I felt my husband was being wayyy too hard on our son, and I would even go behind his back and rescind punishment (God forgive me!). So, now helping raise our grandchildren, I bow to my husband's stronger forms of discipline. This does NOT mean physically punishing him (we have one young grandson, the rest girls), but there's something in a man's bellow that a woman simply doesn't have.

Each child is different. With Grant, as with his mother, if he feels you are displeased with him, he will even OFFER to go into the naughty chair, and the other day he offered me the money in his piggy bank to atone for his misdeed ;)

Remember also that girls/women are multi-taskers, men/boys are not. This goes for listening as well as tasks. When I want Grant to do something, I have to go stand in front of the TV, or turn it off, to get his attention. I also make him look me in the face, so I can 'see' that he is listening to me and comprehends what I want. I also explain things to my grandkids a LOT more than I did with my kids. I expected them to just do it. Now I am explaining WHY I want or don't want them doing a thing. Not always, sometimes it HAS to be 'because I said so'. I don't want to have a 5 minute discussion about why I don't want him in the street while we are standing in the street. We had a real scare with him last year, we went into McDonald's, and he ran across the parking lot before I could get my hands on him. A car was coming, and thank God they saw him. So now, every time we cross a parking lot or get out of the car, I take his hand and say 'why do we stop and look both ways?' And he remembers the scare of the car coming at him. So I'm constantly reenforcing what they already know. I want it thoroughly ingrained in his little brain.

God bless, all, you WILL get through this!

Carla - posted on 03/09/2012




Boy, this sounds like our oldest. She pushed buttons and tested us until we were crazy!

I have heard people say 'pick your battles', but I don't buy that one. If you let them slip on one thing you don't think is important, they think they've found the chink in your armor and will continue to come at you there. Consistency, consistency, consistency is the key. I use the naughty spot for the little ones, but I think a form of this could be useful for your son as well. Tell him to (or not to) do something, tell him 'this is your warning, if you do it again (or don't do it), you will sit here on the kitchen chair (or wherever you want) for half an hour. Half an hour is an eternity to a 9 y/o! No gameboy, no i-Pod, no phone, no book, no nothing. My pseudo-daughter went through this with her son, and it was a constant battle of wills. Angie finally won, and Jake is doing good in school again, helps around the house and his attitude has changed remarkedly. She took away (one at a time), his computer, his PS2, his bed, his bedroom door, his clothes (she left him one set of clothes, and it was his responsibility to make sure he was clean for school in the morning). It was an extremely stressful time for her, but Jake eventually got it.

I pray for ALL mothers these days, honey, and I will add you to the list. Parenting is the most difficult job you will EVER have, but trust me when I tell you, it is the most rewarding.

God bless, sweetheart

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Rebekah - posted on 03/11/2012




I truly believe you need to seek God for the answer to this. Take your request to God, ask Him for the wisdom. He knows your child better than anyone and He knows what your son needs. Ask Him to reveal it and how to deal with the power struggle. My mom did this with me and sure enough God showed her how to handle it.

Natalie - posted on 03/11/2012




I am so grateful that there are other people that can give me such encouragement. Everything you ladies are saying is exactly what I am going through. I am trying to let him look me in the eyes when I speak to him, explaining to him why the action he is doing is disrespectful. Some days it feels like it is working but then the next day it feels as though we are back to square one. The point you made about the questions and giving a truthful answer really hit home Angela.

I will be including your son in my prayers Lorraine. and all the other children that are having a tough time getting to know themselves and their boundries.

Thank you so much for all the helpful advice. I really do appreciate it.

It is really nice to know that there are Christian mommies that I can speak to if I need some advice.

God Bless each of you and your families.

Lorraine - posted on 03/10/2012




I am in the same situation just my son is 8 he thinks (as my Mother puts it) he has 1 more trick than a monkey. He has a general bad attitude towards dicipline and its even worse when it come to his school work. Some people say leave him he will settle down its because he is a boy, but i know boys are different but i do not think his attitude have to do with being a boy.

Lately my husband is really hard on him because he was placed in detention for throwing some huge rocks in school and normally i feel sorry for him and try to get him out of his punishment.

I think my problem is what Carla is talking about i am not consistent i get tired and give up. I am going to try being consistent with dicipline and see what happens.


I remeber his attitude was really bad about a year ago and i would annoint him at night when he was sleeping and pray for him and his attitude had gotten much better so Natalie maybe you can try that.

Will be praying for your son and mines i know when we put both thing together prays and consitency in dicipline we will have respectable young boys soon.

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