Mary - posted on 05/25/2009 ( 1 mom has responded )
My 5 year old has always been "the little dictator". When he plays with his friends, he is always the leader. He makes up the rules, assigns the roles and ALWAYS has to win. Recently this trend has reached over into his dealings with adults. At recess when his teacher told him it was time to come in, he refused and had to be carried to the office kicking and screaming. Dinner battles are waged on a nearly nightly basis as he insists that he WILL NOT eat whatever food he has decided he doesn't like on that particular night (even if he ate it without a problem the night before). Bed-time almost every night ends with him screaming from his bedroom "I WON'T go to sleep. You can't make me!" until he falls asleep from screaming.
Generally, I don't believe in spankings. I gave him one once when he ran out in front of a moving car, but that was 3 years ago and I've tried to reserve spankings for major life and death lessons. I've tried removing privledges ("No bed-time story if you don't finish your dinner...") and offering incentives ("You can have kool-aide instead of water for your mid-night drink if you goes to bed without fighting"). I've tried rationalizing with him ("Treat people like you want to be treated. You don't like it when I yell at you so why would you think it's okay to yell at me?") and I've tried ignoring him. So far ignoring has been the most effective tactic, but even then it can take 2 hours for him to finish his tantrum.
Is this normal for kids his age to be this defiant? I feel like it's something I really need to nip in the bud before it becomes a major issue but I don't know how. My mom said I went through it at his age and a spanking cured it, but I really don't want to go to that point. Does anyone have any ideas?