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I need some advice about my 5 year old. I'm at a loss.

Within the last couple of weeks my son has changed. He is constantly giving me an attitude. He tells me what to do, told me to shut up once, tells me what he's doing instead of asking. It's like he's completely different. I reason with him. Telling him that I make the rules and I'm the adult and he's the kid. I spanked him once and have given him time outs a few times. If he doesn't get what he wants he throws a tantrum, whines, gives me dirty looks. I don't know what to do? I feel like I'm constantly yelling at him. It's exhausting. He's usually such a good boy. I ask him if he does this to his dad he says no only to me. He says I don't listen to him. Which I do. But I don't let him do what ever he wants. I doubt his dad does either. Why does he do this to me and not his dad? What's the difference? Does anyone else go through this?

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Asked by aidansmom111804 at 10:56 PM on Jul. 8, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 2 (7 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • Has he made any new friends lately? Maybe he's seen someone else act this way?

    Answer by renea20 at 11:00 PM on Jul. 8, 2010

  • I go thru this. My very affectionate and loveable son is almost 6 and has gone thru stages of this lately. I stand firm, am very strict as always but it gets tiring being consistent. I make sure to hug on him after. I try to remember to praise his good actions and stuff. But it is hard, I feel like I'm telling him twice a day, DAILY! to do certain things.

    Answer by txdaniella at 11:00 PM on Jul. 8, 2010

  • Yes, don't worry, I understand you completely. I'm always being told "Daddy wouldn't make me do this - I wouldn't have to yell at Daddy like this" constantly. The only advice I can give you is to be firm with him, don't let him see that he's making you angry so just cut out the yelling if it's possible, I understand how frustrating it can be, once he realises his tantrums are having no effect on you he may stop. Carry on with the time-outs if possible, but don't shout just calmly place him in time-out and repeat... He'll soon get the message. Good luck!

    Answer by leah_rai at 11:01 PM on Jul. 8, 2010

  • You need to learn some new parenting and communication skills now that your son is getting older. You have been using an authoritarian parenting style (punishment), psychologists know that authoritarian parenting is most effective. You can read more about parenting styles by searching on google.

    A good first book for toddlers is Love & Limits by Elizabeth Crary. A good book for school age kids is How to Talk So Kids Will Listen. You son is kind of between the two books. You might want to look at both. I was a single, disabled mom of 3 sons. I had to parent from a wheelchair. The info I am giving you can change your life.


    Answer by Gailll at 11:05 PM on Jul. 8, 2010

  • ok thank you so much. it helps to know i'm not the only one going through this.

    Comment by aidansmom111804 (original poster) at 11:05 PM on Jul. 8, 2010

  • I agree with the other people who have answered so far, but ... are there any changes at all in the family schedule, including his? Does he have any new people in his life? Is he healthy? He is probably just fine, but I would find out what is going on that is bothering him to make him act this way. Maybe he does need more interaction with you, one on one, not just telling him what to do (as he may see it), etc. Having fun, etc. Sometimes if something inappropriate is going on with a child, a child can act out in this way. They don't know what they should do or who they can go to, or have been threatened, etc. Not saying any of that is going on here, but it has been known to happen. Also, the tone of voice and volume speaks way more than the words, so he may be getting a signal from you that you don't mean to send.

    Answer by joysings at 11:08 PM on Jul. 8, 2010

  • My daughter is 4 and hasn't reached this stage yet. And to be honest, I'm not looking forward to it. Your disciplining must be constant. Consistency is the key. Your child subconsciously wants to be told what to do. They want direction. They're young, and scared and want you to take the reigns in their life. So, when he does something bad... it's Time Out. Every single time he does it. It will seem rough at first. You will be putting him in time out a LOT but he will break and you will redeem power. Eventually he will get back to listening to you.

    Answer by HCBallek at 11:10 PM on Jul. 8, 2010

  • In my experience with children Ive found that when kids act out towards the one person that they know will love them unconditionally.......they are insecure about things in there life. This could be with his father and he is lashing out at you, school, friends or himself. Sit down and talk to your son. Dont put him on the spot. Just talk to him.

    Answer by mistynights234 at 12:44 AM on Jul. 9, 2010

  • My son is almost 6 and some days he is a little jerk..I do not say this to him of course..I always praise the good and well i would spank him for the attitude but his dad is against it so when our son acts up I tell my husband to deal with it....I have 3 girls from a previous marriage and they just cannot believe what their brother gets away with

    Answer by togo90210 at 3:03 AM on Jul. 9, 2010

  • This is a phase, and it will pass (and come and go often)

    First, always be consistent with rewards and punishments. Second, remember that a child who is the most unlovable needs love the most; often an obnoxious child just needs a hug.

    I can't recommend strongly enough Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort. You can learn more at


    Answer by rkoloms at 7:22 AM on Jul. 9, 2010

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