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How do you discipline your 5-6 year old?

We need discipline ideas for our 5 (almost 6) year old when she disobeys, doesn't listen. Time out does not work for her AT ALL and never has. We have taken toys/privleges away and have seen some improvement, but we need a back-up in case it stops working.


Asked by NikkiMomof2grls at 4:31 PM on Jul. 17, 2008 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (7)
  • Is your child in school? do they use the green/yellow/orange/red system? we transferred that to home with our 7 year old dd when she was 6. We have a set of house rules. She starts a green each day. If she breaks one she has color cards and flips to yellow. Yellow is a 7 minute time out for her age. If she breaks a different rule she goes to orange which means no sweets or dessert for the day and no tv/movies for day. If she breaks another she goes to red. Red is a written apology explaining what she did wrong, why it is wrong and what to do differently, plus she loses friends coming over or going out to play for 2 days. These are our consequences but you have to find what works with your child. We have had to adjust when she doesn't care about one anymore. :) It has worked wonderful for us! We were having sooooo many problems

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:50 PM on Jul. 18, 2008

  • I know lots of people don't but our family believes in spanking. Spanking if done correctly is not abuse. I don't care what anyone says. I have the most well-behaved four year old I have ever seen. He's not abused...he's happy and healthy...but he does get spanked on his butt, with my hand. Works for us. It's totally a personal decision on the spanking.
    If you aren't sure about it - try it...see how it works out. I bet it will get her attention.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:00 PM on Jul. 17, 2008

  • I spanked my kids too. I never beat them, but a swat on the behind when they were misbehaving was not unheard of. My boys, ages 8, 9 and 11, are very well adjusted, well behaved boys. I think the last time we actually had to spank any of them was the 8 yr old when he was 7, last summer for stealing.

    Answer by drowninginboys at 5:25 PM on Jul. 17, 2008

  • a little swat on the butt or mouth or hand (mouth for spitting, biting, screaming, or talking back and hand for putting her hand somewhere they dont belong, hitting, or throwing) does miracles....also, when gicing a punishment, explain why the behavior is bad and what she needs to do next time instead

    Answer by LoriaAnn at 7:07 PM on Jul. 17, 2008

  • First thing I do is try to see if there's a pattern for the acting up. Are there certain things that trigger her, certain times of day, certain foods that she has eaten that day..... Consistency is important and time outs don't always work for my daughter (who is almost 7) because she is sometimes just sensory overloaded. I still need a break from her though. We've learned that we need to have structure for certain things, spank/swat on the butt for things that put her or her sister in danger, and always tell her that I'm not happy either (when she's freaking) but maybe next time she'll make a better choice. The sensory things I've found are a tight hug, using humor to switch her mood, talking to the air ("Hmm, I know I just told Nicki to _--- and I know that she's pretty smart and would do it if she was told....hmm, wonder what I need to do different, 'cause I know she wouldn't want to go to time out or lose her reading time") and then re-ask her.

    Answer by ldtchr at 10:07 PM on Jul. 17, 2008

  • Find out her love language. How does she show love (there are physical affection, words of affirmation, gifts, doing for others, time spent together).

    This might help you see where she needs to be filled up (her "LOVE" tank like a gas tank needs to be full all of the time) and where not to discipling (if she loves being touched, and has not had many cuddles, a spanking would upset her bunches).

    The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman

    Answer by TXdanielly at 11:31 PM on Jul. 17, 2008

  • We talk to our 7 yr old. In his 7 yrs he has had maybe a total of 5 swats on the butt... most often he will be spoken to and or grounded... he is well behaved, well mannered and well spoken and we are commended often. There is nothing wrong with a swat on the bottom every so often, but we are firm believers in talking and pointing out what the wrong was...

    Answer by gmasboy at 1:12 PM on Jul. 18, 2008