How do I deal with a six year old that won't listen to a thing I say?

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User - posted on 11/11/2008

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was having a similar problem with my five year old son. He had a tough time listening. I created a "prize box" (a shoe box decorated with wrapping paper). I put small prizes in it (like stickers, small toys, yo-yo, parachute guys, etc.). Whenever my son listens (the first time) and do what he was asked, he earns pennies. The pennies are put into a bowl. If he doesn't listen or doesn't do what he is told, pennies are taken away. At the end of the week (on Sunday night), he can buy something out of the prize box. Each item has a price. If he doesn't have enough, he can't buy that particular item. This has worked really well with him. It also helps him understand money and helps with counting. He doesn't get pennies for expected behavior (like saying please & thank you). Hope this helps. Good luck!

Kathy - posted on 11/11/2008

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Hi - I'm the mother of four children - all now grown and either in college or out of the house. I would suggest that when dealing with your child that you make sure that what you say to your child is what you really mean. By that I mean don't threaten a punishent or consequence that you can't or won't follow through on. If you want your child to believe what you say and to learn to listen to you, you need to give the warning and explain what the consequence will be. If the child then decides to go against the rule you set, then you MUST follow through with the consequence - otherwise the child learns that you are just giving empty threats and they know that they can get away with anything they wish to do and that you will not impose the punishment. Choose punishments or consequences that fit the situation and that you can and will follow through with. (Sometimes imposing the punishment is harder on the parent than on the child - but remember that one of your primary jobs as the parent is to teach your child and guide them.) This will, after a few instances where you do follow through, let the child know that you mean business. Also - make sure to choose your battles carefully. Some things can be "overlooked" while other things are of the utmost importance in teaching a child how to behave. Remember to be firm, but gentle. Good luck!

Danielle - posted on 11/11/2008

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You are not alone. I have a six year old son that does the same thing to me. He acts like he doesn't hear what I said. When I give him instructions I make sure we have eye contact and he repeats what I want him to do. If he still doesn't listen, I take toys or privledges away. So far it's working but it is an everyday struggle. I am happy to see so many people have responded to you...it makes me feel better that I am not the only one.

Shelby - posted on 11/11/2008

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My daughter started the same behavior around 6 as well. In fact she once said "Look Woman!" I think that it had something to do with starting school, being around other kids that had different family structures and just testing boundries. I told her that she was not allowed to talk to me that way because it was disrespectful. Also, I am not a spanker, wasn't spanked as a kid and I think I've spanked her once.....she ran the puppy over with her bike.....however, she really likes to watch certain shows on TV and go to certain websites on the computer. When she does not listen or talks back, she loses privledges and to her that is so much worse than anything I could do. I also make sure to explain why she is being punished and what behavior needs to change to prevent it from happening again. Repeat behavior leads to more severe punishment. I have never had to take her TV away as that is the big finale at our house : ) If it were my child, I would explain why the behavior is unacceptable and what the consequences will be. The hard part.....is to stick to the punishment you determine is best for your child. I am guessing from your photo that you have a significant other, make sure that you are both on the same page so the child does not try to play both sides of the fence. My hubby and I have stuck to that idea and when my daughter trys to get one of us, we always tell her that we have to discuss it together and we will let her know. "Mom said, Dad said" doesn't work at our house, consistency pays off. Good luck!

Nicole - posted on 11/11/2008

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Hi. I deal with this daily. The most effective approach is to speak quietly, even though you may have a passionate urge to scream at the top of your lungs. And remember to speak at their eye level. I find giving more attention helps a little. Maybe a cuddle on the couch. Avoid candy as bribery. Good Luck! Nicole

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Onica Zenifa - posted on 04/07/2013

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how to get my 6 year old son to stop playing with a child that is ill mannered and a bad example for my son. The child lives next door in the same yard .

Christina - posted on 11/11/2008

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with any child of any age, you need to be down to their level, kids are more responsive this way. and eye contact maters more than you think. And as always consequences can be taken away as fast as they are given. sugar free all the way. follow through with everything you tell her you will say or do. otherwise she/he wont take you serious ever.

Melanie - posted on 11/11/2008

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This age is frustrating as a childcare provider I understand what you are going through. Quiet voice and not yelling is the best way. When she doesn't listen have a consequence (sp) for it. reward the good behavior not the bad. Charts work well but make it something she can feel good about not food or a toy cuz she will start expecting it. the sticker on the chart is good but make sure it is followed by a hug or cuddle then you can drop the stickers later.

Lucy - posted on 11/11/2008

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my 5yr old step daughter is the same. i give her 3 chances and if she doesnt listen by the 3rd i put her on the naughty spot for 5mins. (1min per year). they don't always take to it straight away but keep with it and every time they leave the naughty spot the time starts again. it works really well and i hardly ever have to use it now. make sure before you let them leave the spot they understand what they have been put there for and also make sure they apologise and give them a hug. you might have seen it on super nanny as she uses this technique. it's fab. good luck. lucy

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