Why is my 5 year old so defiant and we cannot get along??

Aleshia - posted on 06/12/2010 ( 78 moms have responded )

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I have been struggling with my oldest son (5years old) for about 2.5 years now. Each year has progressively become worse. He is now very defiant against anything we need or tell him to do, abusive to his 2 year old brother, he lies and steals, manipulates--at least he gets away with it from his brother, but only tries it with us...and many other bad behaviors.



He acts like he cannot do any of the things we demand of him, but his pre-k teacher says he is not a problem at school and other people who have cared for him have no issues. It seems it is something between me and him.



One thing I do notice is that other people always give him what he wants and I rarely give him anything. I have taken all his toys away and it never phased him. I have attempted to get him toys when his nana would send money but he breaks anything he gets almost immediately, taking it apart to use as a weapon or something creative. I refuse to buy him anything anymore or let anybody we know buy him anything. The only thing he has left to do is use his imagination or watch a little television which is limited to a certain amount of time a day and he is only allowed to watch the noggin station or a few cartoons on disney in the mornings, or color/draw.



I have been alone this entire time to deal with his problems, but I do have a new boyfriend that has lived with me since January. He takes responsibility and helps discipline him, but my son thinks he is a joke and is very disrespectful of him. I have also talked with the doctors about his behavior over these couple years and they do not seem to worry, but it worries me that they are not considering my mental and emotional tension that has been building and getting worse.



I am afraid of hurting him now. I have never felt this much anger towards a child, but his behavior would make anyone lash out no matter the age of the person acting it out. I have been very patient with him up till about a year ago and I would give him so many chances...I feel this has backfired and now it seems there is nothing we can do to restrain his behavior and make him understand the consequences--which he does not seem too bothered by, and no help to fix it. He is very whiney when he does not get his way or screams out blood curdling screams, which anger me more at times and others i try to ignore depending on the situation and location.



I could probably keep going with my frustrations here, but I will stop and see if anyone has any suggestions. I have an appointment on June 24th to talk with a psycologist or something of that nature. I am not sure what to expect from this appointment so I wanted to ask parents that might have ideas for help.

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Marion - posted on 05/11/2013

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A few years have passed since this original post, so I hope things have improved. I am going through this exact same thing with my 5 year old son right now and it breaks my heart. It's not just that he knows how to push my buttons, I work on a psych unit and I am use to dealing with it. It's that nothing works, I am consistent, I have tried so many different techniques it makes me exhausted just thinking about them. It's like he hates me half the time and then is crying about ever losing me the other half. When he is calm, I ask him what he thinks the problem is and he says "I just don't like this family and don't want to be a part of it". Almost everything is a fight all the time, but his teacher and other kids parents think he is a delight. I am not a bad parent, I love him so much and try so hard. After several issues today, I told my husband I am taking him to a psychiatrist, I've done all I can and this is not normal behaviour or reactions. My two younger children are not like this, they don't always listen but it's possible to correct their behaviour. The only difference between home and school that really sticks out for me is that at school they are on routines, where every minute is organized. After at least 3 years of this, I am just getting worn out. Glad to know I am not the only one. Unless you have one of these children you can never understand how frustrating and heartbreakimg it is. I have been reading all the comments and will be trying many of the things suggested. I know a wonderful boy is there, I just have to figure out how to get him to show that at home too.

Amber - posted on 07/17/2013

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God bless all of you for sharing your stories. I have been slowly reaching a point where I now feel as though I am hanging by a thread. There are a ton of pressures in my very complicated life as a single mother. I believe my daughter, who is 6 in early October, while it is now July, is picking up on all the struggles that she and I face. She acts out, is wild, and incredibly defiant. It is heartbreaking and exhausting and overwhelming. These are the few things that hold me together: prayer, praying with her, Christian or quiet music sometimes, trying to keep a routine, realizing that sometimes I have to reach out for help and a break more than I feel I should need to, being kinder to my self, slowing down the pace of everything in life, making bath time and book reading time and meal times slower paced and as calm as possible to try and get in touch with calm and peace, holding hands, telling her I love her, when she is upset, telling her it is okay for her to be upset, and to cry, and reassuring her that I will be here, and that I am here for her to talk to when she is ready, and acknowledging to her that our life is hard in ways, that we are not alone in this struggle, there are many like us, but that we are a team, and sometimes, to not bottle it up, and to let her see me cry when I just can't take anymore, because I am a human, and I have to be able to release to. It's not healthy to hold it all in. Take joy and peace from simple things: birds, trees, books, coloring, play dough, and if by the grace of God I find her playing quietly, I absolutely do not interrupt. I go let down and try to rest or read or nap. God bless us all.

Nicole - posted on 09/02/2013

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Wow, so went to dr visit a week ago and dr changed his ADHD mess for the 7 th time but what I told them he needed a mood stabilizer but they don't. My life has just gotten worse. He's spitting on his 3 yr old brother, climbing Oon windows, dressers, in the middle if night he gets up and pulls his brothers hair. Takes anyone's stuff and breaks it. I literally stay in my room and cry while people look down on me, he doesn't have issues at school though which is good bc that means he doesn't have to be home schooled, I cwouldnt know what to do then. I put up hot wheel wall tracks last yesterday thinking their stuck to the wall and would give him something good since he loves cars and while putting them up he was jumping on top of his little brother, spiriting on his older sister while she helped and throwing toys at whomever, so I turned to him and said since your not being nice that I will stop for the night and continue in the morning if ur behavior has changed, of course he screamed but then fell asleep and when this morning came, I went in his room to talk to him he had already pulled it down right along with the paint. I didn't say a word, I just picked it all up while he laughed at me. Another thing is that I don't know if his younger brother acts like him bc that's what he sees or they are just emotionally disturbed. I am still hurt, scared, numbed !

Carla - posted on 03/23/2013

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And that's one of the great reasons these types of forums are so encouraging, Bernadette. We may NEVER have the answers, but sometimes just knowing you are not alone helps. The GOOD news is that they don't stay 5 forever--but honestly, honey, there will come a time when you will miss all this. Maybe not real soon, but those of us who have quiet homes, at least for me, I sometimes miss the zoo-like noise and activity of having a bunch of rowdy teenagers.

We all have seasons in our lives, which pass. As I watch my daughter struggling to juggle work, home, school, husbands, I remember longing for just FIVE minutes of peace and quiet. Now I have hours of quiet, and I miss the old days. If we can, let's enjoy each season for what it is. Once they are grown, you enter into a different season, one of friendship and counseling for them, and it's not the same as them depending on you for EVERYTHING, but it's a nice season. Then come GRANDKIDS, which is a joyous time.

Pray for your children. Pray for protection, knowledge and wisdom, and a Christian spirit. Teach your children the ways of the Lord, from the time they are infants. As the world gets worse, you may be the only Jesus they will see.

God bless, all

[deleted account]

They always want to start with the charts! No, they will not work for your son. My son is the same - he is almost 12 now. He saves his outbursts for Mom and Dad. Very rarely does he lose it with anyone else. He has been diagnosed with ADHD/ODD and meds for the ADHD make the ODD worse as well as give him anxiety attacks.

Check out this website: http://www.drjeffonline.com/

This is the doc that wrote the book "10 Days to a Less Defiant Child". I cried when I read his intro because it hit home. He talked about how, as parents of these children, we feel like such faillures because we HAVE tried everything and it doesn't work! People who have never parented a child like our sons do not know the stress that we deal with every day.
Dr. Jeff's book goes over ways for you to help control your anger when dealing with a difficult child. He explains how defiant children feed off of your anger. He also addresses how you can go about situations in a non-confrontational manner and gives you examples of what you may normally say and what you should say. Kind of like going at it from a different angle. I hope this helps!

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Marcia - posted on 04/02/2014

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Needing some help feeling so helpless and sad for my 5 year old son he's been very whiney mean to his 3 year old sister talk bad over reacting to small things talking back today I asked him what was bothering him what was his heart feeling he said sad because he always gets in trouble and his sister doesn't and what broke my heart and has me worried he said that I his mother would be happy if he was dead I asked him were he hered that he did he didn't know I told him to never say that again that my heart would he broken for ever if he was not here that he is my world that we love him so much I huged him so Tight and reminded him to never say that ever that I would go crazy with out him he said mom I love you and never want to be without you I need to underdtsnd what's going on with him I don't know if karate is to much stress for him if he thinks we expect him to be perfect at it I need help on understanding a 5 year old if any one has been through this similar situation please help me on what has worked for you

Nicole - posted on 03/05/2014

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I'm at my wits end and it's literally tearing my family apart. I really was beginning to think it was me- but after reading this story and comments is both relieving and heartbreaking to know that I'm not alone. My now 6 year old son has been displaying behaviors before he was 2.... Each year getting worse, but every year he would always have periods of progress and significant regression. He got the diagnosis of ADHD, he "received" early intervention, he has seen the school counselor, psychologists and psychiatrists. As of now no one wants to medicate him because he's so tiny and doesn't put on weight! (Probably because he burns it off faster than he can put it in his mouth.). He's always been problematic at daycare, school and home. He breaks things all the time, purposefully! He ruins our daily routines on a consistent basis. The simplest thing as running to the store can't get accomplished because he won't put on pants! Homework takes hours and he's only in first grade. My poor 4 year old daughter gets zero attention because I essentially have to stay on too of him. It sounds ridiculous but it's really not fair at all to her. There has been a rift between my husband and I over his issues. My husband has been in denial when our 2 year old broke his door, when he was 3 and would bang his head into the wall during hour long tantrums, when he was 4 and started having issues with pants, it wasn't until recently when my husband has had to spend more time with the kids and take on the morning school responsibilities and drop off that he's admitted that our son is "off". There are redeeming qualities to my son. But unfortunately his behaviors often overshadow the good. I have schedules during no school time, we even have "centers" at home for added structure, but all that and loving him is not enough. It has taken a long time to admit this but I think I'm depressed over this issue and years of dealing with his problems alone- because the "help" we have received was never helpful enough....I feel so helpless and like a failure. We have also changed his diet , give tons of praise, have clear rewards/consequences. Any suggestions? Tips?

Minet - posted on 12/30/2013

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First, start with a behavior specialist, just like supernanny. They will make evaluations and develop a behavior plan. The key to any behavior plan is consistency on the caregivers' part. If after a few months the behavior still is not controlled then he may have a bigger issue. When you see the psycholgist ask about behavior therapy. Psychologists tend to throw medication at a problem before considering alternative methods. Good luck.

Tanya - posted on 12/27/2013

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Not quite sure Margaret has real "helpful advice". Seems l;like she can pinpoint the problem, yet not come up with solutions. Go bash your own mother, or something.... this is a place for advice and help, not your own mindset of discipline for the parent. I have an unbearably disgruntled 7 yr old and we work it out. He is disciplined accordingly, and I am his "mother" not his friend. I don't care if he yells about "not liking me." GOOD. I'm not here for that. I am a mother. Not a buddy or friend. NOT MY JOB. There is a HUGE difference between right and wrong, it is my job to make sure he knows the difference. If he does not like that. TOO BAD. This is my house and I have VERY good morals. If he chooses not to respond effectively to choices, he gets consequences. Bash ME now. Please.
The point of the rant is to say that each and every person is conditioned differently and NO-ONE has the right to make a mother feel the way Margaret has. She makes me sick to my stomach by pointing her "anointed" finger where she has no room. Are you the judge? Do you go to church ma'am? MOST LIKELY. There is one judge. GOD. Not you miss high and mighty. Keep your blaming ways to yourself and actually treat a human like a human and offer ADVICE. No one asked you go through life reading posts about mothers and bashing them. Grow up. Have some kids, make sure YOU do all the right things. Then when things don't go according to your plan, look back on your post to this poor woman and read it to yourself in the mirror. How do you feel? As good as I'd expect. Find something better to do miss.

User - posted on 12/21/2013

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You have a 'new' boyfriend living w/you? How many others have come in and gone out of his life? And w/how much screaming, yelling and drama?

You say the new boyfriend is 'helping to discipline' your 5 year old child? That should Not be happening. Nevertheless, what constitutes 'discipline'? Does he physically punish your child or scream at him?

You relay mainly on punitive measures w/your child - as if you're in competition w/him instead of being his parent. You say other caregivers claim he's 'a pleasure'. If this is true, then it's clear that his problem lies w/you - he's trying to tell you he's extremely unhappy and you're punishing instead of parenting. Try being a mother (instead of a girlfriend) for the next 15 years, get some help for Yourself (this would be the best help for your child) and stick w/it. You can turn this around if you're willing to grow up.

Carla - posted on 12/06/2013

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@Robbin--Have you ever seen Supernanny? She is a British nanny, and her programs teach parents how to discipline without yelling, screaming or spanking. She also has had segments on autistic children, so I am assuming a lot of her methods will help you as well. Either check out your local cable/satellite programming or go on YouTube or Google her name 'Supernanny'.

I commend you for taking your daughter. So many fathers, when they divorce their wife, divorce their children as well. This is devastating and confusing for little ones. Give her extra love, and give her a sense of security. Mother left, will Dad leave, too? She need to know you will always be there.

God bless, hon

Charlotte - posted on 11/29/2013

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My daughter had many of the same problems and I took her to a psychologist after she was kicked out of preschool. He diagnosed her with ODD. He taught me behavior modification techniques and how to correctly discipline her. She is not 100% better, but about 80% better. She is 8. I would have him see a psychologist , if you can. It can make a world of difference. He is not happy, either. This intervention can help you both.

Madison - posted on 11/26/2013

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I RESEARCHED OPPOSITIONAL DEFIANT DISORDER. I have spoken to my own councelor to document his behavior and how it has affected me. since our incident two nights ago (donkey kicking me in the stomach while i am 5 months pregnant)i have been informed that there is no law against soft restraints in a combative child in my state. i have also been told that if i call 911 an officer and ambulance will come,talk to him,or try,then sedate him and take him on a mandatory psych eval/hold. i told my husband that as much as i love both of them i feel as if i have no choice. my stepson sat here and said nobody can take him without his parents permission. his dad then replied that he agreed with my decission to send him to "a doctor for help". about an hour ago he became semi hostile...i sat there calmy and held him in a bear hug,restricting his heavy breathing so he had no choice but to calm down...it helped. i said that i would sit and love him as lomg as i had to until he calmed down. after about ten minutes he was fine. we alao found that giving him time intervals,as in at 8:00 its time to a bath...and then let him count down the minutes helps
he feels more in control and we are still overall controlling the situation.

Robbin - posted on 11/26/2013

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I have alot of the same problems as most post i am a single father and my daughter is 8 years old,she did not have a vary good start in life,bad past but now she lives with me i have had her for 2 years now and every day is hard, she has learning problems too and finds work really hard she is having good days at school but not at home.I hope and may get some tips off people of ways that may have only worked alittle so i can try as im out of ideas

Madison - posted on 11/24/2013

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my 6 yr old stepson attacks me weekly. i am 5 months pregnant. he kicks me in the stomach,punches screams and cries. when i put him in his room alone he screams no stoo dont hurt me etc...and he is in there alone. i am terified and have demanded myhsband and his ex wife take him to a doctor. he attacked his mom seceral times as well as his dad. his cousin have pulled him off me. his dad same. we take everything away
we tried running sprints, standing in corner,spanking,reasoning,listing begaviors and consequencea. made a calendar with happy and sad faces each day...i am exhausted. stressed and scared. he liea to people about things that never happened. he forgets he has these fits. he refuses to shower or use the bathroom and pees anywhere he wants. HELP?!

Rachel - posted on 11/16/2013

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I have a 4 year old who can not behave at school and as recently at daycare. She kicks her friends, runs out of the class room all over the school. She runs away from me here at home and has a real hard time listening. And is not very respectful verbally. Im at a loss and not sure what to do.

Crystal - posted on 11/14/2013

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I am having problems with both my 6 year and 5 year old children. Because of their behavior I do not go any where but to work bible study and then home. I have tried every type of discipline and nothing is working. I want to walk away from them. I have never felt this way about any child. They have all these laws about child abuse. There is never anything for parents that are being abused by or killed by their children. What do you do when children are being taught in school to call the police on their parents when they are abusing their parents and every one else just tell you that you are crazy because their children are so out of control?

Tatiana - posted on 08/17/2013

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Ok... reading some of the cases here I realize that my situation is not so bad, but it has been really hard for years, so I would love to share a couple of books with you and maybe that could help some of you?! Last couple of months I have seen Dr Sandford Newmark (from the Osher Center here in San Francisco) because I didn't want to treat my son with medication for ADHD so I decided to see Dr Newmark who has written a book called ADHD Without Drugs - it is a great book and I do recommend it to everyone. Things have got much better since we started a food elimination diet (one of the hardest things I had to do!) but hey, things were not easy at all before anyway! He also mentioned on his book about the NURTURED HEART APPROACH and I tried and IT WORKED AMAZINGLY with my son but I had many questions on how to keep that approach as things were happening so he told me about this book called TRANSFORMING THE DIFFICULT CHILD (An Interactive Guide to The Nurtured Heart Approach) by Howard Glasser. I think it's worthy to try and see what happens. I know it's necessary for some of this kids to be medicated but I believe it has much more that we can do to be able to have a good interaction with them.... I also wish you all the luck and strength on this journey!

Nicole - posted on 08/11/2013

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Wow, this is my life as well! My son started when he was 1 by literally scoul dragging his sister who was 5 at the time. He is very good in school but at home with me, his older sister which is 11 and younger brother who is 3. I've had enough. He has been going to the dr since he was 3 NYC I thought he had autism but they diagnosed him with ADHD, he is a different child even when we are there. I made a chalkboard out of my old baby bed to put in there room thinking it might help but instead it made things worse. I give rewards but he hasn't changed. He is very defient and will do anything to get what he wants. I have also had to put key locks on my door bc he will go in and do what's on his mind no matter if its drawing on my walls, braking his sisters toys or eating whenever he wants and does not care of consequences. He laughs and does it repeatedly. I am so lost, hurt, confused and scared!

Kelly - posted on 07/27/2013

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im not sure if this helps but my son is exactly the same! i literally thought i was reading about him, what has happened with the psychologist? were they any help?

Amber - posted on 07/17/2013

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God bless all of you for sharing your stories. I have been slowly reaching a point where I now feel as though I am hanging by a thread. There are a ton of pressures in my very complicated life as a single mother. I believe my daughter, who is 6 in early October, while it is now July, is picking up on all the struggles that she and I face. She acts out, is wild, and incredibly defiant. It is heartbreaking and exhausting and overwhelming. These are the few things that hold me together: prayer, praying with her, Christian or quiet music sometimes, trying to keep a routine, realizing that sometimes I have to reach out for help and a break more than I feel I should need to, being kinder to my self, slowing down the pace of everything in life, making bath time and book reading time and meal times slower paced and as calm as possible to try and get in touch with calm and peace, holding hands, telling her I love her, when she is upset, telling her it is okay for her to be upset, and to cry, and reassuring her that I will be here, and that I am here for her to talk to when she is ready, and acknowledging to her that our life is hard in ways, that we are not alone in this struggle, there are many like us, but that we are a team, and sometimes, to not bottle it up, and to let her see me cry when I just can't take anymore, because I am a human, and I have to be able to release to. It's not healthy to hold it all in. Take joy and peace from simple things: birds, trees, books, coloring, play dough, and if by the grace of God I find her playing quietly, I absolutely do not interrupt. I go let down and try to rest or read or nap. God bless us all.

Carla - posted on 07/15/2013

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Your daughters sound like mine, ladies. She resented her siblings, manipulated and generally made life miserable. She outgrew it (I thought) after the teenage years, only to have it rear it's ugly head later. She has divorced herself from the family, and I haven't seen her or my grandchildren since 2000. They live 17 miles away. I don't know what makes one child sweet and compliant, while the other one holds the entire family hostage to their will. All were raised with love--one of our children is studying for the ministry, the other quit her good job to homeschool her children so they can learn Truth.

Pray for her, pray for yourself. Life isn't easy, handle with prayer.

God bless, all

Nichole - posted on 07/13/2013

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you and i have similar girls...shes a sweetheart but lately just doesnt liten to me and argue backtalk and yelling too im trying to be a good parent but disrespesting me is not an option

Nichole - posted on 07/13/2013

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the meds dont phase her behavior iam bipolar adhd and so is my 12 yr old he does well on meds just for school she is overly hyper and behavior is of a child who needs some kind of guidence 5 is young for testin

Nichole - posted on 07/13/2013

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is it worse with girls cuz mine is terribly bossy dramatic slams doors screams amd treats me like crap my 2 som
ns 12 and 17 are not even close to this issue help me be the parent who deserves respest

Carmen - posted on 06/11/2013

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Hello, I have a 7 yr old daughter. she takes meds. diagnosed with adhd, odd, depression, anxiety, separation anxiety, and emotional disturbance disability. she sees 2 therapists. she is out of control in n out of school. she lies, manipulates, spiteful, abusive, seeks negative and positive attention. recently she picked on her little brother and he hit her with a toy out of anger and blacked her eye (he's 2). she went to school the next day and told her teacher that I did it. she has also told the school that I leave her in the house all day by herself with nothing to eat while I go to work. thing is I DONT HAVE A JOB. she has told random people, family friends etc that I tell her I hate her, I starve her, I lock her in the room.. all kinds of stuff. when she does something wrong she blames it on other people and says people are lying on her. I've tried EVERYTHING. time out, punishment, taking things away, sending my 2 yr old away on weekends n spending undivided time with her, even went as far as pretending to call the cops. nothing phases her. she does what she wants where n why she wants. she has no respect for me, her brother, belongings, authority, nothing. I feel like im dealing with an out of control defiant and disrespectful teenager. n its getting worse as she gets older. shes been this way since she was 3. I feel like my only option is to send her away but I will feel guilty and feel as though I have given up on her. she knows the good and bad consequences of her behavior but she chooses to do it anyway.

Jessica - posted on 04/23/2013

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Hello Aleshia, I found this post while desperately searching for some answers with my 5 year old daughter, the only difference is she is acting out in school also, not just home. I have tried everything I can think of, but, as you have said of your son, she does not fear or care about any consequences at all! She wants to do what she wants when she wants and it anyone tells her otherwise it's an all out temper tantrum or whining or screaming. You just never know. I have cut out all artificial color because it makes it much worse but, now even without that in her diet she is acting out. I am like you and I really have to use a-lot of walking away and biting my tongue while dealing with her. I too have been thinking of making an appointment with a psychologists, I have two other kids and she screams and yells at them constantly and it keeps our family in a state of chaos. I hope you find answers with your son. I wanted to share with you because I know exactly how you feel and wanted you to know you are not alone.

Debbie - posted on 03/23/2013

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I have found that children know what buttons to push at home. We are with them everyday until they find the chinks in our supermom armour we didn't know we had until we have lost control of the whole situation and given command over to the little ones. We are held hostage in our own homes and begin foxhole parenting! While at school there are certain rules for behavior that have to be followed and the teacher consistently follows them lest there be total chaos in the class. There is the rub! Our consistency factor grows lax or we assume the golden rule should work like we think, because we take the kids to their favorite place, they should reciprocate by sharing with each other and clean up after themselves without fuss from us. Only in our dreams, I used to think. But then I found a remarkable little parenting application that worked like a dream! I actually found myself getting happy first-time obedience from my children as they scurried around trying to find ways to make my day better. It was so simple, I couldn't believe it. It seemed to have a built-in conisistency factor that gave me ability to mean what I said and DO IT without the fear of temper tantrums and disrespect. It taught the children self-reliance and how to think of ways to serve one another and build happy family attitudes. I believe it was heavensent. We used the happy face token system in our family for many years and the children talk about this program as a hightlight in their youth. There is a good website that talks about strong-willed children at http://strongwilledchildren.com as well as http://happyfacetokens.com that describes the program. The happy face token system is guaranteed to work within 30 days or your money back. I don't know of too many parenting programs that are guaranteed. It was worth checking into. Good luck.

Bernadette - posted on 03/23/2013

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I have read some great ideas I will try with mine......and all I can say is THANK GOD IT'S NOT JUST ME!!!!! LOL.....thanks ladies.....:)

Carla - posted on 10/12/2012

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Sounds like, off the top of my head, Crystal, that it's emotional. You say he's your step-son--so I am taking it he went through the divorce. Divorce is terribly hard on children, I don't care WHAT the experts say. Talk to your husband about a therapist. Kids often think the divorce is their fault and have terrible feelings of guilt. They also want their mom and dad, no matter how bad it was, back together again. If he's good at school, I would think it's what's at home that's bothering him. He needs security, love and patience.



God bless, hon, let us know how it goes.

Crystal - posted on 10/12/2012

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I have a 6 year old step son he is exactly the same as to what you have described, he hits me and himself, he breaks everything, he refuses to do anything that is asked of him or anything he is required to do, actually right now at this time he has a black eye, and rug burn from doing these things. Again teachers have zero problems and other care givers also do not have any problems. I have a total of 4 children and he scares my other 3. He screams for long periods of time, I have tried multiple forms of discipline such as spanking, time outs, added chores, writing the I will not do it again, talking to him, taking things away, grounding him to his room, and the latest is the 1-2-3 Magic, and that also does not work. He has even gone as far as cutting off his 6 yr old sisters hair while she was asleep. I am scared for myself, and my other children, as well as for him. What is to become of him as an adult if he does not learn now? Also I have had him tested for ADHD, and Autism, they say he has nothing. Do you have any suggestions???

Shelly - posted on 07/02/2010

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Yes, Love and Logic is a book. And Rhonnie- there are so many different forms of ADHD some don't have focus and some are Hyper. My son was impulsive. Where some of the destruction came into play.

Marcie - posted on 06/27/2010

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You should have him seen by a child psychologist. I have a 5 year old who is defiant and sound similar to yours but not as bad as your describing. I admit not being consistent with him at an earlier age, & my husband has been constant & he has no problems w/ him - I'm now being consistent & he is behaving better. I worried about ODD or oppositional defiant disorder - & yes it exists w/ therapy they say 80& of kids can be turned around in ~ 3 yrs, or my child may have early signs of ADHA. So I'm in a similar boat - if he has ODD_ please seek help as this would be a very tough teenager to live with & handle.

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I think it would be helpful to see a therapist that specializes in issues with children and parents. This person can get a detailed history and watch the two of you interact. A therapist can also give you some behavioral things to try to get things under control. My recommendation is to be calm and consistent in every situation. It is always a good idea to ask for help.

Alba - posted on 06/26/2010

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I have the same issue with my oldest (7) and he is getting better with Attachment Parenting principles. I HIGHLY RECOMMED it. Some books to read are "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline" and "The Continuum Concept" Also check out this website... http://www.attachmentparenting.org/

Rhonnie - posted on 06/26/2010

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I wish people would stop putting the blame on ADHD. My oldest child had it and bad and violent behavior was not one of them. It is the lack of focus. Please, look deeper into this. This poor child could have some kind of psych. problem. It just won't go away with a pill. Please take him and have him evalu. by a professional. Don't take no for an answer! Fight! Moms are the kids best REPS.!

Lynne - posted on 06/26/2010

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Just want to say I completely feel your pain as I have a 6 year old son who is very defiant. It is the most frustrating and anger inducing thing in the world when just about EVERY day is a battle. My son has adhd with oppositional defiance disorder. I'm in no way saying that is the case for your son as I am not a doctor and would have no way of knowing that. But your best bet is to have him evaluated by a psychologist to see what exactly you may be dealing with. Hopefully the psych can also point you in the right direction to some parenting techniques that best help children who are defiant. The standard discipline does not work with these children. For example, with my son you can't spank him. If you do, it does nothing to stop him from the negative behavior. He just keeps doing the same thing (screaming at you, throwing things etc). So, what's next? Spank him harder? Tried that. Still nothing. And then? Can't beat the tar out of him, and certainly don't want to. Also can't let him get his way all of the time because that also sends the wrong message. I have found with my son he so enjoys pushing our buttons and the powerful feeling of control he gets when he gets us infuriated with him. Most of it is about control. With us, when we remain calm (much easier said than done) and don't let him have that control he tends to calm down faster. And if he consistently sees that his usual techniques have failed to work that particular behavior will extinguish. We also take away valuable things and implement time outs (which does tend to help all of us to calm down). Finding something valuable tends to be a challenge for us too as he tends to either lose or destroy things shortly after he gets them. Not much seems to be that important to him. Thankfully, as he's getting older though he's starting take interest in certain movie characters which helps us with those kinds of consequences.

About remaining calm when he's defiant, I have found that remaining calm myself and talking to him in a calm tone works far better for getting him to comply than yelling or screaming at him. The more you yell, the more defiant he may become. The more defiant he becomes the more you yell. Anger feeds anger and I'm sure you are well aware spirals out of control very quickly and easily.

But above all, definitely get him to the psychologist for both of your sake. Make sure you tell the psych how you are feeling as well and how this is impacting your life.

I hope this helps even a little bit. It really is so difficult to deal with. Good luck at getting to the bottom of the behavior with the Psych eval. Hopefully you get some useful information.

Lynne

Julie - posted on 06/25/2010

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It seems he enjoys getting you riled up. When he gets you angry, he wins. Its a game. I work with children with some really tough home lives, many from families of gangs, the stress of their lives is too much for them to handle, and their behavior reflects it. (I'm not saying that is where your son is at, but the behaviors reflect what I see.) The fact that he's only doing it for you is actually a good sign, their is still time to fix it. I use "Love and Logic" in my classroom. It focuses on logical consequences. Taking things away no longer phases him, he just feels with you that is the way it is. Think of a specific behavior that particularly makes you angry. Rehearse the situation and your reaction, giving a consequence that directly matches the crime. Rehearsing it, and waiting for it to happen allows you to keep your cool, because you already knew it was coming, and you've already planned out your response and how he will react, and how you will deal with that reaction. "This toy is causing fights, so this toy will have to sit on top of the fridge." Use one liners like, "I love you too much to argue," when he tries to engage you an argument or "It seems to be so" when he throws its not fair at you. Get a a relaxed tone, and repeat the same line over and over until he choose to speak in a respectful tone or back down. Realize people function in 2 modes, frontal lobe (clear rational thinking), and brain stem mode (fight or flight). You know you are feeling yourself slipping into fight or flight, and can not work with him at that time, he also can not be rational when he's in fight or flight, you have to both be calm. Look into "Love and Logic." The amount of change it has made in my kindergarten classroom and in my home is amazing!

Aleshia - posted on 06/25/2010

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Yes, I did go talk to the psychologist yesterday. She said to start him off on this reward chart( I do not feel confident in this because I have tried this before and I told her rewards do not work for him). I am going to do it again just because she told me to, but guess we will see how this works for him this time.

Carla - posted on 06/25/2010

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I can hear your frustrations, Aleshia, loud and clear. Having been through my own and now grandchildren, I am not shocked by your statement that you're afraid you'll hurt him. Anyone that is honest will admit (after having raised them to adulthood) that the thought hasn't crossed their minds from time to time. So, first, I would like to say, don't feel guilty or that you're a bad parent.

My daughter called me one day, her little one was about 20months at the time. She said 'I need you to take her'. We were on our way out at the time, and I told her so. She said 'no, Mom, you don't understand, I NEED you to take her!' I got it. We went immediately and took her to brunch with us.
If you have friends or family around when you feel like that, please arrange with them to take him for an hour or so. Both her children are strong-willed, but with Grammy they know there is no nonsense. I think it's a mom-kid-thing.

I will mention my old stand-by, Supernanny. I have seen her take the most violent child and using the Naughty Chair system, turns them into compliant children. It takes a while, and a lot of patience, but it works. I put the naughty chair in the corner, either facing the trash can (make sure it's clean ;)) or the dryer, so there's no distractions. First tell them what to do, or what not to do. Give them a warning, and let them know it's 'the warning'. If they don't comply, put them in, 1 min for each year, so in your case, 5 minutes. My grandbabies HATE the naughty chair, so they don't even want 'the warning'. Put him on the chair. Set the timer. If he gets off, turn the timer off, and don't set it again until he seems like he's going to stay there. This takes time and patience, but if you start doing this, and get the point across that if he misbehaves, this will be the consequence, it will help. After he sits his 5 minutes, go to him, explain again why he was put on the chair, or make him tell you why he was on the naughty chair, then make him apologize and then hugs and kisses. This sounds easy, but it's not, he will try to get off, but don't say anything to him, just go get him and put him back on.

Your anger comes from not being in control of the situation, and his anger is coming from not being able to be in control! But you are the parent, he is the child, and you have to make him understand that your will is what is obeyed, not his.

If he breaks toys, give him a rubber ball to play with, I don't think he can break that. Children in this generation seem so much more destructive; I think it comes, partly, from knowing that if they break something, you will replace it with another or something better.

I see you were to talk with the psychologist yesterday, I hope he/she had some good advice.

God bless, honey.

Susan - posted on 06/22/2010

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i went through that with my son and i had to send him to a group home for 45 days to get evaluated and he is severe adhd and also bipolar and yes he does take meds for it since then he has had outburst but they have been very mild sometimes his outburst would last anywhere from 12hrs to 24hrs each time but now they only last maybe 10 min

as far as counciling yes he went to thats also and thats where they recommened i send him to the group home

he outburst started at age 21/2 yrs and he is now 71/2 yrs old he got kicked out of 3 daycares, headstart, and what we have is called the ymca all between ages of 3 to 5 yrs old

at one point i almost lost him to the department of child serves because of his out burst

Sandra - posted on 06/22/2010

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Keep firm and strong with him. Remember to make a big deal out of any good and desirable behavior and don't over react to undesired behavior. It seems so counter intuitive to do it that way. Just remember he is five, and there is nothing in this world that a five year old could do to you that would require you to "hurt" him. I am not against spanking, but it needs to be done appropriately. The punishment must fit the crime, so to speak. I work in a special ed coop and there is not much in the form of behaviors I have not seen (I have the scars to prove it). It can be handled. You need to breathe and stay clam. Do NOT by any means act when you are not clam. He is watching to see how you handle things and KNOWs your triggers and just how far to push you. Keep your head up and don't do anything that would cause harm. You can do this.

Laura - posted on 06/21/2010

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We have a Golden Ticket rule. He gets 5 at the beginning of each day, if he makes a bad choice automatically take away a ticket. If he loses all tickets by the end of the day-he loses all priveledges. Some may say that this is giving chances, but it works for us. He also earns a quarter for each ticket he has at the end of the day to save up for something he likes-so it is positive and negative rewards. Heard it on the radio from a Christian author once on behavior issues. Try it and see. Hint-let him make his own tickets and make it fun. I would write down on the calendar at the end of the day how many he had left. PS this is the only thing that works with my strong willed son. I think it gives him some empowerment.

Kelsey - posted on 06/21/2010

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Well I am not sure if I have any suggestions for you b/c my daughter has been having some behavioral problems with me. When she gets mad at something or when she can't do something, she bangs her head. Our Dr. tells us it's just a phase but it's lasted forever.
My daughter and I butt heads a lot and I get seriously frustrated at her more than I think I should. So if you find out anything, let me know.

Aleshia - posted on 06/19/2010

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Thanks everyone for the inputs, long or short. Some I agree with, others I do not. I am only judging based on how I know he will react to these suggestions because I have already tried just about everything yall have mentioned. The reward thing...stars, sweets, treats, toys,.....NO, NO, NO...I do not know why, but he becomes very demanding of his rewards and expects them every single day. He will try to be a little con artist and make up reasons why he deserves his rewards, and NEVER KNOWS WHEN TO STOP. He will complain the rest of the day about why he NEEDS his reward. I just choose not do do rewards anymore

Lisa - posted on 06/19/2010

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first, no more chances. when you discipline, make it stick. second, get the CDs Total Transformations. It will teach you how to deal with an abusive child. your son needs some serious help--starting with you changing your parenting skills.
the second thing is he needs an outlet for his energy. taking away everything because he destroys them is totally understandable, but also let him earn them back. Make a chart and when he is obedient he gets a star and when he screams, or does something you don't like (make sure it's written down) he gets a minus.

Jennifer - posted on 06/19/2010

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maybe he's bored. I know thats sounds too simple but if he doesnt act this way in school were he gets constant interactions with others and has a veriety of things to do then the answer may be just that. Or he could be jelous. Take time, a couple hours a week and take a walk with him alone, go on a hike and have him take a journal and write or draw what you two see and talk to him about it. If he lashes out to only you maybe he just feels like you betrayed him in bringing a new kid in the house and now a new man. Don't back down or feel guilty just make him understand that you still love him even though there are other people in your life. And if you don;t do this already read him a bedtime story everynight (either you or your boyfriend) even if he acts up during the day. My son doesn't act up in the same way, but he is sensative and thinks that we don't like him anymore if he doesn't get a story each night becuase he misbehaved during the day.

Lorraine Alicia - posted on 06/19/2010

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I have a six year old son who can be very unruly and somtimes he drives me up a wall. I have made the same mistake with giving him many chances now he only have one chance.



I know somtimes not dealing with them is easier on us but i promise you if you stick with it he will come in line. When he changes his mode you change stay on top do not allow him to think he has won because you will have start all over again.



People who do not have children like this will not understand. They will not understand how a little child like that could cause so much trouble but trust me i know. I can give you stories upon stories of the things my son have done but that will not help.



You need to remain in charge sorry to say but he has to know you are the adult and he is the child and you want the best for him. You have to correct him with love and not anger because that can lead to a place you do not want to go.



When my son acts up and i get extremely angry i give time out trust me its not just for him its for me so i can regroup collect my taught and deal with the situation at hand in the best manner possible.



One of the most important thing i do is i also pray for him and myself ask god to give me wisdom in dealing with him and show me ways to get through to him.

Amanda - posted on 06/19/2010

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i have the very same problem with my 9 yr old son u are not alone i braught him to speilaists were i was told it was my fault i needed to do a parenting course were i had done 2 years marti mao therephy with him nunerous parenting course and with 3 smaller children thet he was hurtin i had to send him to my mothers for a while as i was going to loose my other children over bruises he had left on them it was only then that the doctors took me serious and he has been diagnosied with adhd just 3 weeks ago and we are all lookin forward to him comin back home with the help of the doctors dont give up yr hope and strenght u are doing everything u can just keep takin deep breaths and try to ignore his behavior hopefully u will get the best help for ye soon through this physcoligist its a long road but if you need to blow of steem at any time email me at mandie@live.ie i understand everything that you are going through and dont let them fog you of with u doing a parenting course although they help they arent the answer you need it took 4 yrs of going to different doctors to get my sons behaviour sorted out just a small bit i wish you the best of luck its a long road but u will get there

mandie

Aimee - posted on 06/18/2010

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When you go in to talk to a psycologist...ask them about ODD...(oppositional defiance disorder)...it sounds like there could be a possiblity of this....research it and see if any of the sxs match your sons behavior. GOOD luck...and remember others have been in the same boat as you and its not easy but it can be worked on and things can get better.

Jenna - posted on 06/18/2010

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I don't know you situation, however, I do know that if your child doesn't have anything to do, his behavior will get worse. Try buying him something ya'll can do together, and only let him play with it when you have time to devote to him. I can't stress enough how important that you spend every moment you can with him...doing fun, constructive things. He is lashing out for a reason. The more time you can spend with him, the more you will learn. I'm sure you have a busy life, where you don't know where your next minute will come from, let a lone your next couple hours, but you need to. Also, I'm not sure how long you've been dating your boyfriend, or how long you were together before he moved in, but that may be an issue as well. Especially when it comes to disapline. I know it takes a lot, not to haul off and smack them sometimes, but believe me, it only makes matters worse. As a matter of fact, there was an article in Time magazine (2 months ago) about spanking...it will make your child more aggressive. You can turn him around, it will take a LOT of time and energy. When he acts out; rather than yell at him from across the room, try going to him, bending down to talk face to face and tell him exactly what it is you expect from him. If he replys, great! If not, tell him he is only getting 1 warning, and ask him to do it again. If he still does not reply, make him sit facing a corner for 1 minute for each year (6 yr old= 6 minutes). Do not talk, argue, or even look at him until his time is up. After his time is up, go back to him (at eye level) and tell him again why he was in time out and ask him to do what you had asked. If you he replys, great! If not, repeat the above steps, no matter how many times it takes. But the main idea here is to let him know that he does not call the shots. It is also very important to ALWAYS use a calm, cool and collected voice. He will learn from what he sees. Hope this helps!

Marcie - posted on 06/27/2010

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You should have him seen by a child psychologist. I have a 5 year old who is defiant and sound similar to yours but not as bad as your describing. I admit not being consistent with him at an earlier age, & my husband has been constant & he has no problems w/ him - I'm now being consistent & he is behaving better. I worried about ODD or oppositional defiant disorder - & yes it exists w/ therapy they say 80& of kids can be turned around in ~ 3 yrs, or my child may have early signs of ADHA. So I'm in a similar boat - if he has ODD_ please seek help as this would be a very tough teenager to live with & handle.

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