My 6 year old just wont behave

Rachel - posted on 12/05/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )




My 6 year old son is progressively getting into more and more trouble. I dont understand why, and I am in need of some serious creative discipline advice.

Since he has started 1st grade he does not behave in class at all.
he will/has
-talk when he is not supposed to
-play with stuff
-draw on desk
-push kids
-throw food
-fights with students
-argues with teacher

at home
-wont listen to anything; if I ask him to clean his room he wont do it until i sit there and force him to. he will try to say hes tired, his foot hurts, whatever he can to try to get out of it...and he never does
-does things right after i tell him not to
-argues constantly
-calls everyone liars and calls them names - eventhough he gets in trouble everytime
-whines constantly when asked to do something

We have tried time outs, taking toys, taking away soda, taking away candy (at halloween) taking away events we had planed, taking away anything and everything he loves... I even made him stand in the corner.

I am out of ideas. I dont know what to do.


View replies by

Rachel - posted on 12/06/2013




Yes I have asked him. He simply states "i dont know. I wanted to".
After talking with his teacher, school specialist, and doctor we are moving forward to get him evaluated for ADD/ADHD. Hopefully we will be able to put a name to whats going on and help him out.

Rebekah - posted on 12/05/2013




There are various tools out there for disciplinary techniques... look around and see what suits your style. We like Thomas Phelan's 1-2-3 Magic. There is also Parenting with Love and Logic.

While these are helpful, it sure would be even better to try to find out what is driving his behavior. Were any of these behaviors present in kindergarten? Are there any other life events going on around him that he might be reacting to (family conflicts, loss, bullying, etc)? Have you had a frank conversation with him about his behaviors, asking him why he is arguing and fighting, or why he seems to deliberately disobey you? I'm curious what his answer would be.

Some of the behaviors--playing with things, drawing on the desk, talking when he isn't supposed to, make excuses instead of doing chores--can be within normal for boys his age. Some of those behaviors are about impulsivity, and frankly many 6 year olds can be impulsive. They don't think ahead or consider consequences. Its also hard for some boys to sit still and focus, and most first grades have a lot more desk time than play time that he would have had in kindergarten. Do the teachers think those behaviors are within typical, or is it more than average? I guess I'm trying to help sort out if he's having a long adjustment to first grade (as one possible contributor) or if its something more pervasive (not to rush to the labels, but any chance his behaviors look like ADHD?). I wonder that because of the impulsivity plus the removal of favorite items doesn't seem to change behavior... can he simply not help himself? A professional could help you sort through that.

I would be inclined to have him observed in class/at recess by the school counselor to see what he/she could tell me about what is triggering him at school, and see if those same patterns are happening at home. I'm also wondering if he could use some practical techniques from the counselor about managing anger. His anger seems to be coming out in all directions.

And apart from that, whatever discipline style you use, be consistent every time. There should be consequences for arguing or fighting or deliberate disobedience. There should also be support if he is going through some emotional adjustment and needs some help with that. Also, try to catch him being good and make note of the days when he's had a successful day at school. Perhaps the praise will motivate him to keep trying to have better days. Good luck.

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