I need help !!

Stacy - posted on 09/11/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )




I am a single mom of a five year old son. When he is sweet he is very sweet. But when he is in a bad mood, he is bossy, whiny, disrespectful and downright mean ! When I tell him I am going to spank him, he tells me that he's going to spank me. When I do spank him, he comes right back at me swinging away ! I made a mistake and didn't get respect early on. I was too soft and now my child is running over me. Is there anything I can do ? He hits me all the time and tells me he is going to put me in time out.......Also his Dad isn't in his life. But he does have my Dad who loves him very much and spends time with him. I think this is probably all my fault ! But I was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions about getting the respect back and making my child obey me.


Rebekah - posted on 09/11/2012




What about him losing priveleges or a toy/game that enjoys as punishment instead of spanking? I don't use spanking, but I respect that other parents have a right to choose that. Though in your scenario, it sounds like it escalates to something physical between you, so I'd consider switching approaches to see what that does.

You could try doing a cost-response type of behavior modification system where he can both earn and lose (stickers or pennies, or whatever the token) based on his behavior. He could start the day with 5 tokens. I don't know how often the behavior occurs, but if he has a good morning, he keeps his tokens. If he is disrespectful with you or hits you, he loses a token. Meanwhile, he is trying to accumulate(or keep) tokens to earn a greater reward, whether its a little extra TV time, or a special game with you, or whatever motivates him. Just don't make the rewards too far out (like having to earn 100 or something) so that he can experience the rewards and be motivated to continue. The reward could be something at the end of the day, and then start fresh the next day. Just a suggestion.

Consistency with your approach helps to build respect. When he knows that whatever mom says, mom will follow through with, that will help to build respect for your word. His behavior seems to be telling you that he's looking for limits and in his own way WANTS you to set the boundary with him that you are the parent, not he. It would be far too scary to a 5 year old to think he might have the power to spank or put mom in time out.

I might also want to explore the bad mood stuff...can you help him articulate his feelings about what's going on inside before it becomes a disciplinary situation? Can you teach him other things to do when he's feeling grumpy instead of taking it out on you? If using the token system, he could also earn tokens for making good choices when he's angry.

Finally, don't beat yourself up over what you think you might have done differently. All kids test their limits at one point or another. There is still time for you to instill structure and respect. You are working on it now, so give yourself credit for that and work on the job at hand. Hang in there!

1 Comment

View replies by

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms