Why is my 5 year old so defiant and hard to get along with?
Many of us cannot wait for our children to be school aged and more independent. For me this is coming with added behavioral problems. What are some good parenting strategies for my 5 year old?
My 5 year old is going through somewhat of the same thing. She defies me (never her father!) and we butt heads a lot. I contribute this fact to that she is JUST like me. I see so much of myself in her, at times it's scary. I remember feeling the frustrations she feels and how angry I would get (like when my socks weren't on properly or my sleeves bunched up in my coat). Staying calm is the best thing I've found that works for me. When she chooses to be defiant, I calmly give her 2 choices. Last night it was she wanted to play in the sand at the volleyball court after I had given her countless opportunities to do so. When she chose not to when she had the choice, it was time to go home. She didn't want to get in the vehicle so she had a choice to either get in the vehicle herself or I would place her in the vehicle. She chose to get in herself but she was very angry with me. She does the same old same old "you're always mean to me and you never let me play." same old her life is so tough thing. I simply remind her what a wonderful day of playing with her friend that she had and that I allowed her to do that. I remind her that she had the opportunity to continue playing with her friend but she chose not to. I always try (within reason) to give her choices. When she feels like arguing with me I don't argue back. I try (as hard as it is) to keep my voice calm and tell her I'm not up for arguing with her about it. I understand she's upset and when she's ready to calm down and speak to me in the same tone I'm speaking to her, then we'll talk about it. When she feels she has some control of her life, things run smoother. You also need to realize that your child is learning a lot of behavioral things at school as well. I try to encourage her to play with children who make "smart choices". We have a neighbor girl who constantly bashes her mother and when she does it in front of my kids, that's not ok with me because it all falls back on me. When my child gets angry with me, she uses the same words against me as our neighbor girl does about her mom. It's all learned. Every child is different, you just need to find what works best for you. The same strategies don't always work with my 3 year old that did with my oldest when she was 3. Different kids, different temperments. Best of luck to you! Know that it will get better and that your child is most likely acting out because he/she knows that no matter what Mommy will always love him/her. That doesn't make it any easier though.
I went though that with my daughters each time they started school. (I have three) The back talking and throwing things started happening, The good thing is that it will get better in time until they become teenagers and again you will have to deal with unpleasant things . I will tell you that at 18 years more rough times. At 21 they get it . The only advice I can tell you is to do whatever you need to point them in the right way and love them no matter what.
Plenty of sleep, an early bedtime is key for mine. Reduced screen time works wonders. My little boy is exhausted every single day after school and could probably go to bed successfully at 7:30pm! Steady routine, maybe not much running around after school (errands, games and such) might help.
Maybe your child is aware that you're anxious for them to be in school. If they perceive that you don't want them around, that'll instantly produce anxiety and defiance, which is often how a young one will handle feelings that they don't understand. NEVER IGNORE IT!!! I see parents all the time that ignore the child's bad behavior & it never works. It only succeeds in annoying everyone else around you. This is extra important if it's a first child (or an oldest child of one gender - i.e. four boys, then a girl is born). You address the behavior immediately and explain that there are consequences for actions (good & bad). Tell them what will happen if the behavior doesn't change and then FOLLOW THROUGH. Teach them too about recognizing the negative behavior, asking for forgiveness, and then love them through the consequences. Keep in mind that your kid may just be bored and searching for an outlet. Be part of that outlet with them (Cheer at soccer games, frame their "finest" artwork, take them out for a "girls night" with just the two of you). We have seven kids (4 boys and 3 girls). I can speak from experience. My five year old daughter is #6 of the 7 & not a discipline problem at all.
even a 5 yr old needs winedown time.. school adds stress to their little lives as more or more as to ours... independence isn't always a good thing & every child handles it differently. Most bad/defyant behavor should be ignored.. if its not harmful let it but & don't give into the negative attention
I hear your pain! My not quite 5 year old daughter is tough going most days! I dont think there is an answer you just have to ride it out. We use the naughty step a fair amount and it does seem to have an effect. Go with your gut feelings as the best way to deal with your child.
I think its just an age thing... its gets better, & worse too unfortunately. Before school My oldest boy was (usually) quite nice mannered & polite, although very outgoing little boy.... then he started school and all hell broke loose!! I keep asking, what the heck happened?? Eventually He did simmer down a tad, and probably it was more that I got used to having a 'school kid' too. Some days his ears still seem to be blocked entirely because talking to him is like talking to a brick wall! (that might just be a male thing too!!!) But he's still my little baby boy, and I think the biggest problem we have is really that they're not babies anymore. They WANT to be big kids and do their own thing, which usually means complete opposite to what mum or dad want!
That's bc somewhere along the line he/she got it into their head tha they were in charge. A time out. Followed by a stern talk (no yelling or negitive comments), I love you, and a hug should begin to turn things around. children want rules boundries and guidlines even when little. Its all a matter of staying consistant, they can't be in trouble today and get away with it tomorrow, that sends mixed messages and will create a bigger problem. Also let all care provders aware or wat u expect from ur little one and advise them of your repercussions so that way it does stay consitant everywhere they go. Also naps go along way too, its suprisng how tired children can be without showing any signs except for being mouthy or unruly
This is a really tough age for kids! They're leaving "baby/todderhood", yet, aren't quite "kids". They're trying to expand their territory & world and are still afraid. They want their parents to be there for them, but, they don't want to seem too "needy". Stand by and lend support WHEN needed. Encourage their forays, but, set limits. Don't be too stringent nor too lax. This is my fourth child and we've always managed a (somewhat) peaceful transition thru this stage. You'll enjoy your child more if you actually join in on their adventures! Camp out in the back yard with them! Color that bear purple if you want! It's YOUR bear! Try eating your waffles with your fingers and discover for yourself why that's not a good idea! That's what your child is doing at this stage!
I suggest...http://www.enjoyparenting.com/dailygroove and http://www.screamfree.com/ My son was always so laid back but my daughter was the one I had to "pick my battles." These two sites/book have changed my views on "picking battles" and how I deal with my children. I no longer spend all my time screaming but actually talking to my now 6 1/2 year old daughter. Good luck!
I am having the same problem with my 5 year old daughter,she is very defiant and argues with me constantly!! She always has to be right and have the last word,if i tell her off im the worst mum in the world and aparently i in her word's 'dont like her' I've tried everything from letting her have her own way to clearing her room of every toy she owns,just hope she grow's out of it soon
Be patient, kind, loving, and understanding. Try not to lose your temper. Ensure that they are well fed (eating healthy snacks regularly), well rested (naps and/early enough bedtime), that they have some downtime (to do as they please for 1/2 to 1 hr per day - watch tv, play games, read, color, create, dance, ride bikes), and that they are able to make choices (pick out their own clothes, help plan meal menus). Allow them to help with chores around the house (setting the table, folding laundry, dusting, making their bed) so they can feel important/part of the team. Praise them often. Ignore minor infractions. Encourage them to make the right choices, stand firm when it comes to issues of safety, explain why you have imposed certain rules so that they don't think you are a dictator and they realize you have their best interest in mind. Hold them accountable when they don't make the right choices. I teach preschool, have a 3 1/2 year old and almost 6 year old and know that it is tough... My older boy is very reward motivated - he can be bribed for toys, candy, money, playdates, etc. But, when he is hungry or tired he can be downright mean. Keeping calm and positive works best for us. Best of luck.
My daughter also just started Kindergarten this year. She has been in daycare since she was 1 year old and I did not expect to have as many behavioral issues when starting Kindergarten as I have been since I assumed she was used to being in an environment with other children and would have worked out most of those issues previously.
However, I have recently received calls about my daughter poking other kids, attempting to pick fights with older children and she even slapped another child becuase he was looking at a book she was reading and poking at her. After the last call I decided I needed to do something a little more drastic than the usualy time out, talk or taking away toys. I actually grounded her for an ENTIRE evening to her room, I sat her down explained why she was getting grounded and how her actions have affected everyone. She was only allowed to eat dinner and have a bath. I did not yell at her or even get mad in any way. I explained to her that what she was doing was wrong and that if she kept it up then she can continue to stay in her room. It only took the one night and after that she has been an angel for the past week and a half (of course other than the normal 5 year old issues that creep up).
Another thing that really helps her continue with good behavior is a sticker chart we created. I lined out a piece of paper and reward her for good behavior; helping around the house when asked, listening good to teachers, etc. For ever good thing she gets a sticker on the line. Once she gets enough stickers to fill the line (keep in mind I use smaller stickers, lol) I take her out to do something fun. Be it going to the park, getting a new movie, going on a play date, baking cookies together, etc. I find this really helps her keep focused on doing good things.
My son will soon be four, and he is really testing me. It could be because he/she is trying to be more independent, and test the waters of how far they can go and get away with things.
Stand your ground, be consistent with discipline, give him or her options when it comes to...
-Breakfast (2 options)
-clothing worn for the day
-bath or teeth brushing first
These type of things will make the child feel in control of somethings, in a healthy way. If my son acts to defiant he is sent to his room for one minute per age, and then I start assigning him chores. They do not have to be done perfectly as long as he tried. Make your bed, clean up your toys, help me make dinner. Make sure they are kept busy busy with plenty of rest and quiet time.
wait; I'm not the only one with this problem? We figure it's that age where our children start trying to spread their wings and they need to learn that they can't treat mom and dad in bad ways. There are good days and bad. The more tired our son is, the worse he acts. We still have quite time for him each day.
My guy will insist that black is white if I let him. I feel my blood pressure rise often during the day. My fear is that his resistance and arguing will end in a horrible accident. We've lost a number of things because he won't listen and breaks things. I've seen him run into walls just to resist me. I'm hoping common sense will kick in.
I'm right there. My 5 year old is having a very tough time transitioning from a very individualized private preschool to public kindergarten and having to stay still, stay in line, don't talk too much, etc. He has become extremely defiant and rude. One minute he's helpful and polite the next he is kicking punching hitting biting scratching and screaming that he hates me, that I want him dead(!?), that he hates everything and that no one likes him. He is also picking up play behaviors that I don't like from his new school friends. Stuff like shooting and attacking and chopping. I keep telling him I don't want that type of play and that his brothers, 3 and 1, cannot play like that. I have been overreactive, underreactive, calm and loving, everything in response and nothing seems to get through. If I take away privileges, take away favorite toys, restrict things... Nothing is helping. I'm at my wits end. He used to be so sweet and easy, I don't know what happened :-( I will just keep trying to get through I guess.
Nicci, im laughing my head off here because my 5 year old daughter is exactly the same. Its just a mirror image of myself and her and you and your daughter!!
My little boy has gone completely into a you and me zone and dislikes when im hanging out with friends. He keeps telling me that he needs a 'Mommy and Me' Day (everyday). I've realized that its important to keep him well fed at all times, its unusual how much energy he burns at school. Put him for a nap in the afternoon and have some quiet time before going to bed. It always help to set up a routine (which is difficult for me as I am a single working mom and need to run chores after work) but i try to do most of them before i pick him up from day care.
I agree with Nicci. I have two girls 5 turning 6 on 31 October and a nine year old. I find that givig her choices and letting her know that she cant get everything she wants. But it is true too that it is an age thing-attention and competition with her older sister, and i try to be fair in how I deal with both of them. And we have rules about "difficult days or time" and tantrums.hey its not always easy but i argue that we are the grown ups and if we are calm and keep the rules things turn to be easier AND yes children come in all shapes and sizes too!
My girl is 4 and this scenario happens at least 3 times a week. I remember arguing with my mom as a teenager and just don't want that to happen (not that it can be avoided, since I believe it's a rite of passage) - when she starts acting up and telling me that she does not love me anymore, only daddy - I let her know that we both love her and that she can be upset if she wants to, but she needs to be upset somewhere else (her room or the steps). She usually makes it half-way up the steps then comes back down. It's not fun to be angry mommy when you have permission to do so.
My 4 year old has changed alot lately,She wont wear clothes or eat food that is not picked out by her.And no amount of making deals works on her.I have given up on most strategies except for this one.Try acting her age and pretend to be her friend and she will slowly open up once she makes sure you are on her side and her new BFF...and the rest is like not so complicated anymore.She even likes wearing clothes picked out by her new BFF..
It can work to ask her if there is something upsetting her, then helping her to think of a solution (or compromise) herself that she is satisfied with. Try not to shout back or she'll only shout more often -stay as calm as you can.
Not sure if you have time to read, but my four year old was going through behavior changes. After I read Positive Discipline by Jane Nelson, it helped me understand the behavior and all her suggestions worked. I really like her style and views on parenting. Just a suggestion :)
i have the same prob with ma daughter.. i have two n im alone.. so maybe she wants more attention but i cant give her all the time the time she wants .. but other then she think she is grown n knows everything better.. but ya.. it goes a way sooner then later
We battled that and still do with our 4 yo boy. We have taken away things, he has to earn them back. We have a sticker chart, he gets to put on a sticker in the morning if he had a good day before. We also had to step back and see where his "behavior and language" was coming from and realized it was partly from the shows he was watching. So, in a nut a shell, we have been called every name in the book except mom and dad. We have ignored it, did not react to it, but that didn't help. All need to be on the same page with the consequences as we all know that for every action there is a reaction and consequences. Try not to get frustrated as this is fuel to the fire....
Hi my little girl is 5 years old but she still behaves like a baby when she was 2 or 3 years old when she becomes angry banging her head on the walls screaming bows she 5 when I pic her up from school she is doing the sme thing banging her head on me continsloy crying if I say to her to plz clam down every one is looking at u she tries to bite me but the strange thing is that in class she is very good never done such thing.i talked about the teacher about her but she said that she is very good at class
Above and beyond all else, be constitant with your child. Reward him or her for good behaviors as much as possible even if you think these behaviors should be expected, like playing well with friends. Say, "I like the way you did. . ." whatever you can see to be praised. Your child will feel that you are more fair if you point out their good qualities as well as things you want them to work on.
Next, try to talk ot out, ask your child why they did what they did. Make sure to sound reasonable and not angry when you do this and then try to problem solve with them and help them see how they could have made a better choice. If you can make this work, and it will take some effort, say, "i bet you can do a better job next time, what do you think?" Let them know that you have faith in them and that even though it might take practice, you know they will get it right.
Important hints: don't make threats, if you feel that punishment is warranted make sure it fits the situation and that the child understands why it is being given, don't punish in anger (say "I need to think about it"), and never berate your child publicly.
I have started a chore bag for my two daughters 5 and 6 years old. If you talk back, have an attitude, call someone a name or tattle you grab a chore out of the bag. At first they would cry and whine, but now they just grab it a go. My husband and I also have them doing chores around the house too. Every once and awhile my 6yr old will have her moment and throw things. It's very hard to deal with a child that acts out and is angry. Now that she is in 1st grade I thought things might get better but she has gotten worse in some ways. She gets mad at kids for calling her names and when the teacher speaks to the other kid it comes out that they called her a name because she hit them. I don't know how to get her to understand another childs feelings. Any help for that?
My son is 5 1/2 and doesn't like the word no. He will keep asking for something or to do something and each time I say no he starts throwing things or stomping around the house. He doesn't seem to know when to stop for his own good and keeps pushing me until eventually I start shouting at him, then he covers his ears and tells me he's not listening.
I've started taking toys etc away from him each time he has a major strop but it doesn't seem to work because then he has a tantrum because I've taken it away.
Any Ideas because I'm slowly losing my mind.
My now 6 yr old is still defiant, I try to be patient, but it does run thin sometimes. I have to keep her busy, I print out papers for her to work on, I have her help in the kitchen with cooking, dishes, anything to keep her busy. She's much better behaved that way.
i feel the same way with my 5yo son!! He is so defiant, I have to constantly remind him who the boss is. We went through a screaming fase last year (his first year of school) but this year I have a new approach! He doesn't want choices, I have to have them at daycare by 6:30am, I have no fights if I just give him breakfast and dress him. Totally different from mornings where he gets his rest. After school is food food food!! Then just play time where he tells me all his stories (real or not) and an early bedtime :) When I have weekends off, we plan a special outing at some point. With that promise I can get house work and other tasks done then he wears himself out at the park or whatever and evenings aren't too bad. Its just been a big change with school, a big change to everyone's routine and everyone's expectations. Good Luck!
It amazes me to see the number of moms using bribes (reward is just a euphamism for that) to get their non compliant children to obey them. I am a 60 year old grandmother who has raised two wonderful children and am raising my precious 9 year old granddaughter. In my house, what I say goes. Period. Mom/Grandma is the supreme ruler. You do not get choices unless I grant them. Good behavior means relative freedom, bad behavior means immediate loss of all freedoms. For as long as I feel like removing them. We had a bad chair that faced a wall when my children were little. My daughter (the eldest) spent a lot of time in that chair contemplating her defiance. My son spent no time in it. Ever. I think he just learned not to be rude to mom when he saw the results of his sister's disobedience. My granddaughter has been much easier. I think establishing a program of zero tolerance for rudeness from the very earliest moment creates an atmosphere where the child can express themselves without being rude or defiant. And having them learn early that sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do, helps them just accept the inevitable. When its time to go home from the playground because MommyGrandma says so, just accept it and get over it. If you cause a ruckus, Mommy/Grandma will just not bring you here ever again. Its an early way of learning the difference between a PRIVILEGE and an ENTITLEMENT. Being fed nourishing food is more of an entitlement. Watching TV or going to the park is a privilege. Be a parent and just assert your authority.
my little girl has just turned 6. If I say no she says yes and vice versa. she shouts and hits I stay or at least try not to shout and stay as calm as humanly possible. My biggest thing at the moment is that she will not do anything. her room is a complete disaster zone. I packed all her toys into a box and told her she had to earn them back. she could have cared less. She has started with I wish I could die and this is the worst day of my life. I keep asking her why and she says stuff like she is board, she has to clean her room, etc. I think she knows that it upsets me when she says staff like that. the punishing as in take away toys did not work and the reward system worked even less. any suggestions please
I am so glad (not that I really thought I was the only one) that has the same problem. My 5 yr old daughter does the same with me but not so much with her dad. However, daddy is starting to take a really hard notice at what is going on and is helping me with the parenting alot more which is helping. I do remember being this way with my Mother as well and it did however continue until I was 18 and out of the house...lol I loved her, she loved me but we butted heads all the time. Dad was my savior and so it goes its kind of the same here in our household. Great topic and thanks for all the advice from everyone....good luck all!
I wish there was an easy answer, then I wouldn't have to ask the same question. I have 2 5 year olds and its like someone flipped a switch on the day they started kindergarten. They attended preschool last year and never had this problem, but THIS year its everything. Constant arguing, crying , whining, fighting with each other ( which they normally never did) mouthy!. One of my girls is always telling me shes going to hit me when shes angry. Now, we are not spankers so for her to say stuff like that is frustrating to say the least. And before someone tells me to start spanking, we initially tried that, and all she did was laugh at me. So, no go. I just want my sweet babies back! :)
I have a 5 year old son and an 8 year old son & we all butt heads. My 5 year old throws things and talks back. Sometimes I leave the room and let him calm down. Other times I try to to talk to him calmly. He doesnt like that. But it does work. You have to try and stay calm
I have a 3 and half year old daughter that hates me, her words, which makes me cry myself to sleep sometimes, She doesn't sleep and is very disruptive. We do the naughty step which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. I feel like a bad mother sometimes because at points i want to run away and hide. I love my daughter dearly but hate the way her behaviour makes me feel. We are currently waiting to see a sleep therapist. I am hopeing that something eventually works. Her behaviour at school is very good so thats good but as soon as she comes out from school the bad behaviour starts .....help :(
I am missing out alot on my 5 year old growing. The price of traveling out to work etc. I pray that next year I can be with her.
I cant even say she is defiant coz am not there to see it! sob sob sob!
I only have 1 son, and he's two and a half, but I'm reading a book right now called "the no-cry discipline solution" that talks a lot about distraction and how to discover the root of the problem. It has helped me a lot with my son. The solutions don't work every time, but I'm already having a lot of success with them.