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I need help with my out of control 6 year old..

Hi. I'm Megan and I am losing control of my 6 year old...she's sassy, rude, doesn't listen and back talks to me. I need help on a super real basis. I know that I slack on the discipline but I just don't want our whole relationship to be her getting in trouble all of time... she does get in trouble and then seems unaffected - it doesn't make a difference to her it seems. I have a hard time choosing punishments to fit the crime. She's also super emotional - cries and TV shows and movies and gets her feelings hurt fairly easily by her friends. Are there any online support groups or something for other desperate mom's like me (LOL!!)? Any books? Anyone to give me a rude awakening?Not sure what I need really, but I am kind of desperate for some good advice?.

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Re: I need help with my out of control 6 year old..

  • I'm a lurker but I thought I would comment. I suggest reading the book The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman. Great book.

     Also, discipline needs to be consistent and fair. You may want to consider having the same punishment, no matter the crime because of her age. She's young so punishment needs to be immediate. I would also try some positive reinforcement. Acknowledge the good things she does. Hope that helps!

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  • I would suggest trying to find a Positive Discipline group.  Or if you aren't near one, then definitely buy the book, Positive Discipline for Parents.  I have a friend who teaches these workshops and parents rave about them.
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  • I promise I'm not being snarky, but have you tried watching 'SuperNanny'? I don't always agree with her methods, yet she seems to validate that part of parents that might be afraid to discipline their children. Good luck.
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  • Inconsistent discipline is a great way to raise sassy, defiant children.  They know that they don't always get punished for something, so they push, and push, and push to see how far they can go.

    You say she seems unaffected by punishment--what are you doing?  I guarantee you that there's SOMETHING that will affect her; are you afraid to use it because of her reaction?

    One way I found that can quickly nip rude behavior in the bud is to ignore her when she acts poorly.  When she gets mouthy, tell her that you don't like that kind of behavior and you won't acknowledge her until she acts appropriately.  Kids want attention, and you turning your back on her and not giving in to her request when she's trying to engage is very effective.

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  • image dirtyred:

    Inconsistent discipline is a great way to raise sassy, defiant children.  They know that they don't always get punished for something, so they push, and push, and push to see how far they can go.

    You say she seems unaffected by punishment--what are you doing?  I guarantee you that there's SOMETHING that will affect her; are you afraid to use it because of her reaction?

    One way I found that can quickly nip rude behavior in the bud is to ignore her when she acts poorly.  When she gets mouthy, tell her that you don't like that kind of behavior and you won't acknowledge her until she acts appropriately.  Kids want attention, and you turning your back on her and not giving in to her request when she's trying to engage is very effective.

    Excellent advice.

  • image dirtyred:

    Inconsistent discipline is a great way to raise sassy, defiant children.  They know that they don't always get punished for something, so they push, and push, and push to see how far they can go.

    You say she seems unaffected by punishment--what are you doing?  I guarantee you that there's SOMETHING that will affect her; are you afraid to use it because of her reaction?

    One way I found that can quickly nip rude behavior in the bud is to ignore her when she acts poorly.  When she gets mouthy, tell her that you don't like that kind of behavior and you won't acknowledge her until she acts appropriately.  Kids want attention, and you turning your back on her and not giving in to her request when she's trying to engage is very effective.

    I agree with this. My stepdaughter was this way at her moms. Her mom spanks as a punishment. We don't spank, turns out writing sentences is worse to her than spanking (she told us this). One night she was REALLY out of line and we sent her to bed early, that was the worst thing ever for her and she did lash out and tell DH that he doesn't love her etc etc but he stuck to it and she NEVER did that crime again. I know you don't want to spend all your time disciplining your kid but this is how they learn what behaviors are unacceptable. If you don't, you are going to end up with a rude sassy adult, and that won't help her in the long run.
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  • meo34meo34 member
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    Hi There

     I am a lurker too but thought I could offer some advice.  My son is six and many of my friend have six years old.  Many went through a phase of being rude lately and the key with those who got them though it without it becoming a habit was consistency and calling them out on it.  With my son if he was not polite I would not respond to his request.  And trust me it can be painful because six year olds are stubborn.  I mean who would really pout about and not say please for a hour rather than not get help with getting a glass of milk! But you have to hold out, short term pain for long term gain.  And we never gave in with him.  Myself and my husband always call for it a reset when he starts in with the lastest phase and we have to stick out until it resolves (whether it be not sleeping at night, tandrums, or rude behaviour depending on the age).  Another thing is that I would tell him his tone/words/behaviour were not appropriate and why. And very firmly too. I would call him out on it and sometimes he would cry because he would feel bad about himself (catholic guilt is a beautiful thing LOL).  I feel kind of bad about it but you know really if you are rude and inconsiderate to others you should feel bad.  Also I speak respectfully to him and myself and my husband speak respectfully to each other and people we interact with.  Children learn by example.

    It was temporary and we worked though it.  He is a very well behaved little boy and I recently took a trip by myself with him and I recieved compliments from two strangers in airports about how well behaved he was. 

     I don't expect kids to be perfect.  Their job is to test boundaries but it is our job to be firm and set them and challenge them when they try and cross those boundaries.

    meo

  • It is manifestly unfair to be inconsistent with a child.  How frustrated would you be if  you went to work and some days it was ok for you to not work at all; other days you'd be punished for llooking up from your work even once; if the only 'rule' was whether or not your supervisor felt like enforcing rules or felt guilty for making others do their jobs. You'd HATE it. You'd bitcch daily about the unfairness of it all, and worse, you'd have no idea what to do to make good on things from day to day, and it would affect your mood and your behavior. So it's time to stop  this nonsense of "I hate to discipline her all the time". It's YOUR JOB, and no one else's  (you'd be furious if someone else even tried), and she needs it to feel secure and happy.

    Next you need to look to her diet. If you're giving her lots of cereals and breads, time to stop giving her lots of processed foods, and start giving her lots of protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. Kids behave much,much better all day with 20 grams of protein in the mornings (two eggs and some milk) and twenty at lunch (peanut butter bread, greek yogurt, cheese, milk, than with sugary cereals, poptarts, and other crap. Don't do this every once in a while, do it every day.

    Next, look to her sleep patterns. If she's not sleeping well, she's not going to behave well, any more than she'd behave well if she were eating crap. The kid needs to be in bed asleep for 9-11 hours every night.  if she has a TV in her room, take it out for good, it's the biggest sleep destructor for kids ever. Her bedtime should be consistent and reasonable. If bedtime is 8 one night and 9 the next, of course she's going to whine and kvetch if you make her go to bed earlier than she knows you'll let her stay up.

    Can you see how your inconsistency generates poor behavior?

    And seemingly perversely, there should be fewer rules, and easy to remember rules. "Bedtime is at 830" is easy to remember. "Bedtime is at 830 but sometimes it's 9 but only if Mommy's tired and doesn't feel like getting your pajamas from the dryer and only if Daddy hasn't worked late and wants you to stay up to see him but OTHERWISE, it's always eight thirty!!!!!" is misery in the making. "Breakfast is eaten at the table with the family at X time each morning and we all eat the same thing" is easier for everyone than "Breakfast is at 7 today, but 9 tomorrow, and you can eat whatever you want sometimes in front of the tv alone and you can refuse it other days but you MUST sit at the table when we tell you you must because we're feeling bad we don't eat together all the time" is nothing but bullshiit.

    When you simplify the rules and enforce them consistently, you make it possible for her to do well. And then, when she does behave poorly (and she will) you should promptly withdraw all privileges. Not a few, all. My kids' worlds came crashing to a halt when they did somethign wrong, and discipline comes fast and sure. Not spankings, or yellings. No trips to the store, no special treats, no going to friends' houses to play, removal of whatever she enjoys most. Just no fun till she corrects her own behavior. Every.Single.Time. And don't accept a promise of better behavior as reason to let up on the discipline;  'I'm so glad you want to stop acting like that. When I see you can do xyz and not hit  your brother, we'll start back up with taking you along to the store you like to go to" or whatever. SEE the better behavior first. And note it with pride. "I see how you did xyz, that is SO nice". Point out good behavior ten times more often than you point out bad behavior. Your child wants you to love her, and wants your approval, and if you're careful to note good things she does and tell her you see her doing well, you'll reinforce that good behavior.

    And no it's not fun. It's a  lot of work to discipline a child. Make it easier on yourself and the kid.

     

     

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  • I work with young children in an inpatient psychiatric setting

     The biggest issues I see you as having from your very brief post are inconsistency in your relationship. You dont want it to be all about her getting in trouble and you being the disciplinarian is what Im reading. But in reality it needs to be all about you being the parent and her being the child.

    Have consistent disciplining

    Have consistent rules/boundaries and enforce them

    When she cries and pitches a fit, ignore her, continue with the deemed consequence to her action, and continue it until she completes it appropriately ala the naughty mat on Supernanny.

    It wont be easy but you just have to be up to the task and not give in. Give in and you will end up with bigger problems as she ages.

    chiualover
  • This is exactly what I needed...Thanks ladies for keeping it real! & also for the book recommendations.

    I honestly do have her on a wacky routine, well - there isn't a routine...so her schedule is pretty much non existent. Also, she's just came back from a vacation at Grandma's and I think that has also played a role in her behavior because Grandma doesn?t really make her listen.

    Her diet isn't the best either...

    As far as disciplining goes, I have tried spanking - but I really don't like it. Time out, writing, running (she doesn't like this, and it was working for a while but she's recently made a joke of it) taking things and privileges away and chores. If you are using timeout how long is appropriate for a 6 year old? I feel like her standing there for 6 minutes is not long enough.

    I also wanted to add that she does listen and acts pretty well for my husband, it's just her and I who are in a mess....this is because I'm a mat??

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  • She does it with you because (a) her primary relationship is with you and (b) you tolerate it.

     

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  • We were having behavior problems with my son who is 8. His teacher was having small problems with him. We had him tested and found out he has ADD. We changed his diet and play a lot of board games that challange him. Being consistant with punishment has helped a great deal also. I refuse to medicate him.
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  • image Sue_sue:

    She does it with you because (a) her primary relationship is with you and (b) you tolerate it.

     

    This. I have one friend whose kids really aren't the best behaved and they really dont' listen to their parents.  Because their parents either dont' follow through or aren't consistent.  But I can guarentee you that they listen to me!  Because when they are in my home, I don't let them get away w/ certain behaviors.  And I've seen them time and time again listen to other adults too.  Because most of my other friends draw a firm line too.

    It sucks, though.  Being a firm and consistent disciplinarian is hard work!  There are times I would LOVE to just say "screw it - I'm not going to be tough".  But I know that by doing it NOW, while they are young, you are setting yourself up for an easier go of it down the road.

    THe more lax you are now, the harder it will be as she gets older. 

    There IS a trade-off. 

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  • I didn't read all of the responses, but one fairly basic thing is to catch her being good as well as ignoring her when she misbehaves.  Be sure to tell her things like,"I'm so glad you said please when you asked if you could have a snack."
  • image julie324:
    I didn't read all of the responses, but one fairly basic thing is to catch her being good as well as ignoring her when she misbehaves.  Be sure to tell her things like,"I'm so glad you said please when you asked if you could have a snack."
  • image julie324:
    I didn't read all of the responses, but one fairly basic thing is to catch her being good as well as ignoring her when she misbehaves.  Be sure to tell her things like,"I'm so glad you said please when you asked if you could have a snack."

    Yes

  • i dont have (or want) kids but have some insight. you adn your DD's relationship is much like one of my best friends and her daughter's. her dicipline was always all over the place, dani's had a tv in her room since she was about 4, she was very very very similar to what you describe as your daughter when she was that age. she's now 17 and a disaster because of it. you can't really blame dani-she wasn't brought up properly. she's not a bad kid but my friend has NO idea how to dicipline her now when it's much harder. without going into what would be 13 years of history of dani i'll just tell you that my friend has tried everything under the sun-taking things away, grounding, yelling, time outs etc... and nothing bothers dani. nothing. she can sit in her room for hours on end if she gets in trouble and then gets right back up and does the same thing.

    you chose to be a parent-be one, not a friend-be a mother. so she gets upset? so what! it's not the end of the world. good luck to you-maybe take some pointers from DH as he seems to have a good grip on how to deal with her.

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  • image JessiMay1369:
    We were having behavior problems with my son who is 8. His teacher was having small problems with him. We had him tested and found out he has ADD. We changed his diet and play a lot of board games that challange him. Being consistant with punishment has helped a great deal also. I refuse to medicate him.

    Thank you for not using medication to treat your child even though he has a "treatable condition with meds".

    My niece was diagnosed with ADD and my SIL followed the Doctors orders and gave him Medication and yes it has helped. Once I started dating H me and SIL became like Best friends I showed her that there are other ways to treat ADD, she went back to her child's doc and he said yes there are other ways to treat her but the easiest is the meds.

    My niece has been off all her meds for about 2 years now and to any one who didn't know her 2 years ago would never be able to tell that she has ADD.

     

     

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  • Two really good books are 1-2-3 Magic and Parenting With Love And Logic.  If you don't have time to read them, I know 1-2-3 Magic has a video and/or a CD.  Of these, Love and Logic is my favorite, though. 

    Also, please note that my kids are nearly 7 and 11.  From age 1 to about 7, I'd say at least 50% of my interaction with them was some form of discipline.  But when I say "discipline" I don't always mean "yelling" and I don't even always mean "punishment."  In fact, I just had a pretty typical "discipline" conversation with my son as I was typing this.  It went like this:

    DS:  I need new batteries for my Wii controller.

    Me:  You mean "I need new batteries, Mom, please," right?  

    DS:  I need new batteries for my controller please.

    Me:  Actually, you've had your turn on the Wii for today, and it's time to turn it off until tomorrow afternoon. 

    DS: Aww! Do I have to?

    Me: Yes.  Find a toy or a book.

    DS:  Aww, Mom!

    Me: Do you want to turn it off, or do you need me to turn it off for you and have no turn on the Wii tomorrow?  Your choice.

    DS:  [grumpily]  Okay, I'll do it.

    Right now, he's in his room playing with some other toy.  When I gave him the choice to turn the game off himself or have me do it, he chose to do it himself because there have literally been dozens upon dozens of times in the past, starting from about the age of 19 months, that he has -- through his actions or words -- forced me to follow through with a stated consequence.  He knows with 100% certainty that if he doesn't turn the Wii off, I'll walk right over there and do it, and that he'll get ZERO Wii time tomorrow.  There was no yelling in this conversation and no tears.  In fact, I continued to type up my reply to you as we worked this little matter out.

    Once you get into the groove, it's SO much easier to be consistent than to do what you're doing, which is parenting through guilt and fear.

    Also, check out the School-Aged Children board on The Bump!  It's a pretty slow board, but people post this kind of thing pretty frequently! 

  • Everyone has been giving awesome advice.  I wanted to put in another vote to remain consistent.  I'm an elementary teacher and so many times throughout the years I've had parents come to me and say, "I don't know why Johnny is so well-behaved in your class but he won't listen to me at home!"  I usually joke around and say they're scared of me but the reality is that I'm probably one of the very few people in their lives that not only has high expectations and rules for them but I stick to them.  If you are inconsistent as a teacher that's 20 kids that will go crazy.  The rules are very clear and the consequences are even clearer.  Kids thrive on predictability and stability even when it involves disciplining.  That's what makes them feel safe.
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  • suesue's answer was very well thought out.  It's worth a second read.

     

    image Sue_sue:

    It is manifestly unfair to be inconsistent with a child.  How frustrated would you be if  you went to work and some days it was ok for you to not work at all; other days you'd be punished for llooking up from your work even once; if the only 'rule' was whether or not your supervisor felt like enforcing rules or felt guilty for making others do their jobs. You'd HATE it. You'd bitcch daily about the unfairness of it all, and worse, you'd have no idea what to do to make good on things from day to day, and it would affect your mood and your behavior. So it's time to stop  this nonsense of "I hate to discipline her all the time". It's YOUR JOB, and no one else's  (you'd be furious if someone else even tried), and she needs it to feel secure and happy.

    Next you need to look to her diet. If you're giving her lots of cereals and breads, time to stop giving her lots of processed foods, and start giving her lots of protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. Kids behave much,much better all day with 20 grams of protein in the mornings (two eggs and some milk) and twenty at lunch (peanut butter bread, greek yogurt, cheese, milk, than with sugary cereals, poptarts, and other crap. Don't do this every once in a while, do it every day.

    Next, look to her sleep patterns. If she's not sleeping well, she's not going to behave well, any more than she'd behave well if she were eating crap. The kid needs to be in bed asleep for 9-11 hours every night.  if she has a TV in her room, take it out for good, it's the biggest sleep destructor for kids ever. Her bedtime should be consistent and reasonable. If bedtime is 8 one night and 9 the next, of course she's going to whine and kvetch if you make her go to bed earlier than she knows you'll let her stay up.

    Can you see how your inconsistency generates poor behavior?

    And seemingly perversely, there should be fewer rules, and easy to remember rules. "Bedtime is at 830" is easy to remember. "Bedtime is at 830 but sometimes it's 9 but only if Mommy's tired and doesn't feel like getting your pajamas from the dryer and only if Daddy hasn't worked late and wants you to stay up to see him but OTHERWISE, it's always eight thirty!!!!!" is misery in the making. "Breakfast is eaten at the table with the family at X time each morning and we all eat the same thing" is easier for everyone than "Breakfast is at 7 today, but 9 tomorrow, and you can eat whatever you want sometimes in front of the tv alone and you can refuse it other days but you MUST sit at the table when we tell you you must because we're feeling bad we don't eat together all the time" is nothing but bullshiit.

    When you simplify the rules and enforce them consistently, you make it possible for her to do well. And then, when she does behave poorly (and she will) you should promptly withdraw all privileges. Not a few, all. My kids' worlds came crashing to a halt when they did somethign wrong, and discipline comes fast and sure. Not spankings, or yellings. No trips to the store, no special treats, no going to friends' houses to play, removal of whatever she enjoys most. Just no fun till she corrects her own behavior. Every.Single.Time. And don't accept a promise of better behavior as reason to let up on the discipline;  'I'm so glad you want to stop acting like that. When I see you can do xyz and not hit  your brother, we'll start back up with taking you along to the store you like to go to" or whatever. SEE the better behavior first. And note it with pride. "I see how you did xyz, that is SO nice". Point out good behavior ten times more often than you point out bad behavior. Your child wants you to love her, and wants your approval, and if you're careful to note good things she does and tell her you see her doing well, you'll reinforce that good behavior.

    And no it's not fun. It's a  lot of work to discipline a child. Make it easier on yourself and the kid.

     

     

  • I agree with dragon...I too am an elementary school teacher and consistency is the key. You can't be wishy washy with your expectations/consquences because those smart cookies will call you out on it! In my classroom, I use a lot of positive reinforcement and rewards systems. Just be sure that boundaries are clear and she knows what is and is not acceptable. Good luck! :)
  • tamarawedlaketamarawedlake member
    First Comment First Anniversary
    edited January 2014
    so i can blame you for all the parents in wal mart whose kids are running around and acting like lunitics while they do nothing but ignore it??
  • I have an almost six year old. While he is a pretty good kid, he definitely has his moments. I've had a lot of success with redirecting sassy moments or bad behavior by saying, "nope, try again." It's simple, but it works for us. It makes him stop and think about what he's doing and how to correct it before he gets himself in trouble.
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  • I love the suggestions from MommaMia. While doing that, maybe keep a journal of her daily schedule, eating habits and sleep schedule. That might help you to track things like, when she gets less then x number hours of sleep, she is a terror the next day. Some foods may trigger bad behavior. I had this probably even as an adult, if I had too much caffine & not enough sleep, I was a total emotional mess. No reason kids couldn't suffer the same type of issues with different foods. Good luck, stay tough. Figure out a punishment system with your husband so that way you are on the same page and backing each other up and stick to it. As she gets older you may have to update it for things that apply better for her age.
  • edited March 2014
    LOL This could have been me a few years ago. Six is a hard age for girls especially if there's any inconsistency in her life (ie: moving, changing schools, changing friends, etc..).

    You have to give her boundaries. When she doesn't do as she is supposed to do there has to be a punishment. My husband and I have three rules in our home that EVERYONE is to follow:
    1. Respect for others and yourself
    2. Honesty to others and to yourself
    3. Responsibility for actions

    We have this listed on a bulletin board with 3 safety pins for each person. At the bottom of the board are three different colors: green, red, and yellow. Green is good, Yellow is a level 1 punishment (lecture, a few minutes taken away from tv or game time, etc..), and Red is a level 2 punishment ( timeout, losing privileges, losing a favorite toy, going to bed early, no electronics, etc..). We keep track of how everyone is doing on a chart and at the end of the week discuss how good / bad the behavior has been for the week. After a good month of all greens we'd usually treat her to an afternoon at the park or getting ice cream at Brusters, something small that she doesn't get to do everyday. This helps reinforce the good behavior. (FYI we got the idea from her school as this is the same system they'd use to keep the kids behavior in check. Maybe try checking with her school to find out what kind of system they use and use it at home as well so its familiar to her.)

    At first, my daughter was VERY defiant and got on red several days in a row, but eventually after keeping both my husband and I consistent with the punishment she had more green days than red days. 

    As far as the crying at the drop of a hat: 
    Some kids are very sensitive. I sat my daughter down and made her look at herself when she's crying. I asked her if she saw a little girl crying over everything at school if she'd want to play with her. She said 'no'. Then I told her she needed to look inside and try to find out why she needed to cry over everything. That's when the discussion about being sad about moving came out. There may be an underlying reason for the crying that she's not telling you. I hope this helps. If you have any other questions or want follow up you can PM me. :)
  • This thread died OVER A YEAR AGO.
  • VORVOR member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    This thread died OVER A YEAR AGO.
    Yeah.  July 2011.  How does this stuff pop up again??
  • The Nest admins have to bump old posts to make it look like there are new threads on the boards. Otherwise people would notice how absolutely dead this place is.
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