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Can someone give me discipline advice for a 5 year old???

I am at my witts end with my 5 yr old son. We are having problems with a few issues. The biggest being his sarcasm or "smart mouth." I know this is typical of a 5 yr old, but he does it like he is grown. Another issue is fighting authority. Not just us, his parents, but his teacher. He tells her "No." or "I don't have to."
Today, out of nowhere he POKED (not stabbed) another child in the neck with a pencil (lead end). I take things from him, give him "time-out" (which i personally think is a complete joke) and, of course, the famous "Your dad will handle this when he gets home." but NOTHING works.


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Asked by johnsangel at 11:48 PM on Jan. 21, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (14)
  • have u tried spankings? do it once and threaten w/ it later it normally works

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:50 PM on Jan. 21, 2009

  • i agree, i only had one real spanking in my life and it was enough, all my mom had to say was "do u need a spanking" and i straitened out real quick

    Answer by mandei1509 at 11:53 PM on Jan. 21, 2009

  • I tell my boys to "drop and give me five!" They do and that is that. Push ups, sit ups, or run down and up the driveway 5 times. Don't know why it works for us, but it does. God help me when they get stronger then me. The school thing doesn't work that way. I had the teacher give me daily updates with my 2nd child. He was a defiant one! If he kept all his cards (the reward system in his kinder class) all week, then he got to go to after care on friday (an after school program). This got us through kindergarten and now they have no problems with him. Good luck!

    Answer by Caoimhe_Oona at 12:02 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • Well, honestly for a kid that is poking others with pencils and defiant, I dont think spankings are the answers. Its like "come here so I can spank/hit you, so you will learn not hit" doesnt make a lot of sense to me. It sounds like he may have some issues with emotions and anger management. I would get him some counseling and do it now. Don't wait until the school is demanding it or he gets in trouble with the law. Counseling is great. It also helps you with ways to help him. Best of luck. And remember.........counseling isnt a cop out, it doesnt mean you failed as a parent. When you know that there is a problem and you sit by and do nothing........that is a cop out, that makes you a failed parent.

    Answer by mistynights234 at 12:13 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • I completely agree with mistynights234. Hitting to stop hitting makes no sense whatsoever. I learned it the hard way. my 4 year old dd hit me back, hard. She is now in consulting for anger issues. It has worked wonders.  Give it a try.


    Answer by Anonymous at 7:18 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • when my daughter was at that age, we made her hold books... arms straight out to the sides with one of her beloved Harry potter books on each side till she cried, all the while asking her if she was going to remember who was in charge..... after a while (maybe a hard month) all we had to do is ask her if she forgot who was the boss and who was not... ( we would say "who is the boss? and her answer was you and mommy or You and daddy" and who is not the boss and her answer was "ME")

    but it's never good to use the "wait till daddy gets home" if you can help it, since so much time passes between crime and punishment, I feel that it loses meaning. (my mom did that to us)

    make him scrub floors, wash his mouth out with soap... use all the "old dirty tricks" don't be afraid to experiment.

    I hope some of my rambling helps.

    Answer by stillfatmama at 7:42 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • He certainly needs to be shown who is in charge. I am wondering if the behavior issues are new since he started school or has it been going on for a long time before that? If it is new he may still be having trouble adjusting to school or fitting in socially. IF that is the case then I agree with the counseling idea. But if it's been going on for a while then I would say he just needs some good old fashioned discipline. Sometimes moms just yell or use empty threats, after a while a child sees right through that and your left with an exasperated and frustrated mom and a child who still does what ever he wants to. I don't think hitting him is the answer, but you do need to think of a way to put a little bit of fear in him. Just a dash of though, kind of a "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry" kind of thing.

    Answer by beckcorc at 8:10 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • I know you said time-out doesn't work for you but it works quite well on my 5 year old and 2 year old. I make them find a corner and stand facing it. I've had people tell me it is mean but I don't think sitting in a time out chair and being able to watch everything that is going on works well... atleast not for my kids. They don't like haveing their nose in the corner and it really does work for us. Have you tried sitting him down calmly and explaining why it isn't nice to do something? I know it seems like a given but sometimes if you put reason behind why the action is wrong, they will understand and stop doing it. Both of those work well with my kids. I would stop yelling and discipline calmly. It really does work!

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:33 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • You can try spanking but I have had better luck w/ clamly taking everything he likes away, and he he brings it to you, even better. Like toys he likes, etc. Oh and I like the running, pushup ones too but if he is defiant, that may not work.

    Answer by KARRIEMARIE at 8:45 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • Wear his butt out and tell him that kind of behavior will not be tolerated in your home. Children have to be taught that they are not in charge, that their parents are in charge, and there is no quicker, more effective way to do it than spanking his rear end. And yes, make it sting. You will hurt his pride and that's a good thing. It needs to be broken.

    Answer by NannyB. at 9:01 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

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