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My 6 yr old is so difficult and can be very mean, i dont know what to do :(

I have 4 boys and my 6yr old is in the middle. He is our most difficult. I know its normal to argue with siblings but i feel he is out of control. He is the only one of my 4 boys that pysically and verbally hurtful. Yesterday I got after him for hitting his 4 yr old brother and he told me Im a horrible parent. I want to be the best mom i can be, but I feel nothing I do helps him. We have tried spending extra one on one time with him, weve tried taking toys away, weve even tried spanking (does no good at all). I worry that we yell at him more than the other boys, but it seems he is the one that gives the most trouble. I just want him to be happy and feel loved. We hug and kiss our kids everyday and tell them we love them. We do everything we can, but i feel with him its not good enough :( Am I being too hard on him? he says Im always mean to him and i hate that he feels this way,what can i do?I want him to be happy

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Asked by modelmomof4 at 9:53 AM on Aug. 6, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 3 (14 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • You say that you tried to spend extra time with just him? You should never stop doing that. It should be daily that you spend one on one time with him. As for yelling at him, stop. It's not going to help to raise your voice. Simply do timeouts in his room for bad behavior. Let him know what you deem bad behavior is. Set rules (no hitting, no horseplaying at the table etc) He could be acting out of boredom, what's your schedule like? Listen to your tone when you speak with him. If it's getting harsh, take a break. Good luck.

    Answer by MomtoElliett at 10:03 AM on Aug. 6, 2010

  • I have no advise. I just wanna say I feel your pain, mine is the same way. Good luck. I bumped you.

    Answer by hot-mama86 at 10:03 AM on Aug. 6, 2010

  • We try to make sure every one of the boys gets special time with both their dad and me. The other boys seem content but with my 6yo it just doesnt seem like enough. I hate yelling, i never used to yell and I always said when i had kids i wouldnt be a mom that screams at her kids all the time. And mostly i dont, but with him...he starts yelling and then i get yelling and its chaos. And I feel ridiculous having a shouting match/argument with a 6 yr old. When we do the time out...he will sit in his spot and yell things like..i hate you, youre the worst mom ever, i wish i had a nicer family. He will continue to try and torment his brothers by calling them names, even as hes sitting in time out!! And it really breaks my heart that he feels this way because i want him to feel loved and happy, ya know?
    Thank you so much for the advice so far. Im considering getting him some counseling to see where his anger is coming from.

    Comment by modelmomof4 (original poster) at 10:12 AM on Aug. 6, 2010

  • I think a lot of boys go through phases where they have anger issues they don't quite know how to deal with. I think the key is being consistent with consequences, choose ONE (time out, grounding, etc) and stick with it, so that he knows what to expect for certain behaviors. Once his punishment is done, go back to regularly scheduled programming, don't make him feel like anyone is holding a "grudge" and move on... Talk to him about acceptable ways to take out his aggression; hitting a pillow or even a small punching bag, screaming into a pillow, running around the yard 10 times, etc. I have found more than anything that reasoning with a child and giving them acceptable alternatives for certain behaviors works very well. Good luck to you.

    Answer by KTMOM at 10:33 AM on Aug. 6, 2010

  • I'm sorry to hear of your challenging child! Although I've not had to deal with that type of issue, I have a copy of the Dr. Sears The Discipline Book and we have learned so much from it. Maybe it would give you some ideas. And as silly as it may sound, Super Nanny has also dealt with some kids like this on her show, maybe check the archives? Good luck!

    Answer by klickitykat at 11:35 AM on Aug. 6, 2010

  • Must be that age. My son is getting like that. Last night he said "I hate you and I wish you would die." I was told not to react, if I do then he knows that works. I just said ok and walked away. I was also told "If your kids says they hate you, then you know you are being a good parent." I just took away his toy for beating up on his big sister. I am sure you are a very good mom, he is looking for a reaction.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:56 PM on Aug. 6, 2010

  • Although it is prevalent in North America, it is not 'normal' to argue a lot with siblings, we're just used to the idea.

    I suspect the problem isn't actually your parenting, or your boy, but a conflict of appropriateness between the two. For a girl, the issue would look very different, but boys in our culture have a unique challenge when they're highly sensitive. To me, this reads like a misunderstood, highly sensitive boy who frequently gets his feelings hurt and sees that no one gets into any trouble for that. Frankly, 90% of the time, the rest of the house is probably oblivious to it happening... but this is a child in pain.

    Teasing, to this children, is the equivalent of stabbing them randomly in their sleep. That's how much it hurts, and that's how much of a surprise it is to them. Teasing is also 'normal' according to Westerners. Teasing is cruel --and we used to know that. We forgot?


    Answer by LindaClement at 3:13 PM on Aug. 6, 2010

  • ...continued...

    This tender-hearted young man needs protection.

    One-on-one time may be contributing to your problem. For some kids, the 'necessity' of being segregated from others in order to be 'loved for himself' is painful --he feels his brothers are shut out, disregarded and left alone to be lonely and suffer, because that is how he experiences being left out of his brothers' lives when he is shunned or rejected. He may also feel that in order to love him at all, first the rest of the people you love have to cease to exist, because that's the only way you can find the tiny increment of love for him that is his. That this doesn't make sense to you just indicates that you're an adult used to the way our culture 'thinks' --and he is not either an adult NOR used to the way our culture thinks.

    He needs to be supervised with an eye to ensuring that others are actually treating him well, and so he is not overwhelmed by them.

    Answer by LindaClement at 3:17 PM on Aug. 6, 2010

  • Ah, there always seems to be one..... I get the "I hate you, your the worse mom ever", too! Wait until your son starts telling you he wishes he was dead, or wants to die, or will run away! I've heard that, too!!! I have all girls, and for me, it's my oldest (she's 12) that is the mean and hurtful one. I know it's due to jealousy of her sisters, and her frustration of her ADHD, but that's still no excuse, I tell her. Have you had your son tested yet for ADHD?? It started showing in my daughter right at your son's age, 6. I bet you anything that it's something like that. On another note, my nephew has been like this since he was even younger, and got diagnosed with dyslexia. I'm just wondering if it could be neurological, like in my family. Good luck!!!

    Answer by cfh72 at 11:28 PM on Aug. 9, 2010

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