Why is my five year old fighting me on everything. How do I stop this?

Lena - posted on 01/19/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My five year old is in kindergarten, and is having trouble focusing on his school work, at home he is fighting me on doing his homework, which the teacher has sent home because he is not doing it in class. He is very slow at getting ready to go, and taking off his outdoor clothes when he comes in. He argues, screams, cries, about everything. Don't get me wrong there are good days, today is just one of the really bad ones. But he is throwing tantrums about what is for dinner, about doing homework, about getting up in the morning, about getting ready to go, about carrying his own back pack, about going to bed, about everything. Is this a phase? really?. What can I do to put an end to this? Has anyone else had this problem, a five year old who doesn't want to do what he is supposed to and will fight to the end?

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JuLeah - posted on 01/19/2011

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Tough situation. Kids will do avoidence behaviors (all mentioned above) to get out of what they don't want to do. Duh, right? Well, there is a reason he doesn't wanna do what is asked.
I can't say from here what it is, but I know from experiance there is a reason.
Start with the basics: Is he getting enough sleep (10 or 11 hours) Is he eating well blanced meals (not eating tons of sugar and processed junk) Does he get to run around and get his wiggles out? (hour a day at least)
Can he do the work? Is it too hard for him?
Has there been some big transition in his life other then school, new baby, divorce?
What does he like about his day? What does he look forward to each day? What is excited about, eagar to get out of bed for?
Talk with him about the tantrums; he is old enough for that. Tell him you want him to use his words. He can go scream in his room, but you won't listen to it.
Make a sticker chart (reward chart) that lists things he is working on (not more then five at a time) and you can change the tasks as he masters them.
So, carrying his backpack, ready to do homework within five minutes, getting out of bed when called ....
He can earn (whatever is a reward for him) by doing the tasks he needs to do. If he finsihes his homework at school for example he gets to .....
And, really, five is very young for a boy. Maybe he is just not ready for school?
Good luck

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Lena - posted on 03/15/2011

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Well I wanted to update everyone. We have been using the sticker chart for about 4 weeks now and there have been amazing results. Way less fighting, because he knows he is getting a reward. It was easier than I thought to design, and come up with rewards and now we are changing some of the things he has to work on because he is already good at the stuff we started out with. It is awesome!. Thank you JuLeah, Jess, and Hannah

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The previous ladies gave GREAT! advice!
I am only going ot pass on my favorite parenting resource,
Love and Logic - www.loveandlogic.com
very practical, very easy, and works wonders on my little monster.

Lena - posted on 01/21/2011

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Thank you both, I have looked at some of those things, but not all, I am sure I will see a difference. I am going to try the sticker chart, this is something I haven't tried as of yet, but have been hearing alot about. These suggestions I am sure are going to be helpful. Thank you I will update, on how things go. 8)

Jess - posted on 01/19/2011

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I have the same problem with my five year old. Im not sure if it is a phase or not. My little boy likes everything to go according to a strict schedule. If things do not go this way then everything goes down hill. We have even had issues with violent behavior. The Doctor is sending us to a behavioral specialist to make sure that there is nothing deeper going on. You might want to try setting a schedule and sticking to it everyday and see how he handles it. We started on a reward chart too which has seemed to help with the fighting. We have a list of things that he is expected to do everyday and if he does them everyday and the end of the week he gets a reward of some sort(we do $5). There is also a list of donts and every time he does a dont we take part of his reward away ( 10 cents). He understands what is expected and what we expect him not to do and things have gone great the past few weeks.
Hope this is helpful to you and good luck!

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