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Can anyone help give suggestions on how to discipline a defiant 5-year old??

I am at my absolute end with my 5-year old's behavior. He is defiant, tells me what HE'S going to do, kicks and hits at me when he doesn't get his way, drops to the ground and refuses to walk if he doesn't feel like it (in like grocery stores) so that I will carry him, and has the worst mouth ever. Tells me he hates me, that I'm fat, and other things that are COMPLETELY inappropriate. I've tried spanking, time-outs, taking away toys, etc., and when he's determined to act that way, none of them work. I re-direct as much as possible, as that is the only thing that even sometimes works at this point. It's extremely embarrassing, and I desperately need help!! BTW, he doesn't do ANY of that in school, he's well-behaved and the teacher's rave about how bright he is. Any suggestions??? Approval for counseling through our insurance is already being processed.

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Asked by Valerinajs at 4:29 PM on Aug. 28, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 2 (5 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • When he says no or tells you he hates you what do you do? Also you said you tried spanking, time out and taking away toys. I'd like to know how you went about each? Did you spank with your hand, how many swats, Did you talk with him first about what he did was wrong? How many toys did you take away and for how long? How long in time out and what was in the room with him?

    Answer by SalemWitchChild at 4:34 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • Maybe you need to reward him for good behavior so he will be willing to work with you better. It doesn't have to be anything expensive to get the ball rolling. If he is a bright student, he is trying to outsmart you. You need to outsmart his behavior. You don't want him to embarrass you in the stores but to cooperate. Well, if you make a suggestion to him that he needs to do, such and such, that's where you fill in what you want him to do while you are in a given place, and he fulfills it, you will reward him with some small thing he wants but only if he follows through with what is expected from him. Sooner or later with this pattern of thinking he will see that you arent' asking the impossible and he might have more to gain by doing what's right.

    Answer by CafeMochaMom1 at 4:37 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • First, I think you really need to look PAST the "surface" behavior, and ask yourself what is your son REALLY trying to express? Children ARE pretty transparent at purely REACTIVE at this age--but sometimes you have to play detective!

    The defiance, the insults, the hitting, IMO are indicative of real anger issues! WHAT could possibly make a FIVE year old child so angry...assuming he doesn't have a developmental delay or chemical imbalance?!

    I would suggest counseling and the establishment of a positive behavior modification plan--where you specify/post REASONABLE, age appropriate expectations, and chart good behaviors, and after so many good behaviors, he receives a reward from among a few options that YOU decide.

    Answer by LoriKeet at 4:44 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • I tell him that's fine if he hates me, but he still has to (whatever it is I asked him to do), and I tell him I love him and I'm sad he hates me. I used a wooden spoon and spanked him about three good swats on his butt (through his pants). I tell him what he's doing wrong, and why it's not okay, as well as praise him when he's doing good and following directions. I take toys away overnight. Supsend video games for 1-2 days. Time outs last 5 minutes WHEN I can actually get him to stay in the room. In public I don't even know what to do except leave.

    Comment by Valerinajs (original poster) at 5:11 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • i wouldnt do both spanking and time outs, pick one and stick too it, also lorikeet is right, i think you need to talk to his doctor about what could be going on with him. when my children tried acting up in a store i have left without buying anything. they learned soon after a few times of that that i would leave. time outs work with my daughter but it never worked with my son. the only thing that works with him is spanking. i have pulled the car over and spanked him for acting up while i was driving. it didnt him long to learn im not playing around. i also reward them when they are good. i give lots of hugs and kisses. i spend alot of time with kids, playing, reading and being silly. but they know when i say to do something i mean business and i mean do it now.

    Answer by jamiethornton26 at 5:15 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • when i put my kids into time out ( cuz i dont always spank my son, if he hasnt been too bad i will use time out) if they get up or wont sit, like if they lay down instead of sitting, i start the time over again. they had to sit, facing the wall with their hands on the wall, which they hate!

    Answer by jamiethornton26 at 5:21 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • I'm definitely going to try to get outside help, He is from a split household, and where my home has structure and schedules his dad's is the complete opposite. I love him so much, I hate seeing him act like this, and I hate being frustrated even more. Thank you for concurring on the counseling, I thought perhaps I was overreacting. I like the way you (jamiethornton26) do time outs, I'm going to try that. And I do time outs for smaller stuff and spankings for bigger stuff also, which is why I do both. I also do not hesitate to put a dab of soap in his mouth and make it sit there for a full 60 seconds if his mouth is exceptionally bad, though I only had to do that twice. Now if I mention that's where it's headed he stops in time to avoid it.

    Comment by Valerinajs (original poster) at 5:26 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • That is the problem then. He's angry over the split household, and there is no consistent discipline between the who homes. Both parents need to work together.

    Answer by SalemWitchChild at 5:48 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • btw, my DD use to tell me she hated me all the time. She thought it was funny. So I started crying in front of her. I didn't have to fake it cuz I was a bit hormonal at the time. But she never said it again.

    Answer by SalemWitchChild at 5:49 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

  • He does it with you because he knows how you push your buttons. He knows how to get away with it and he knows that you will eventually give in. Regardless of the diciplin you have tried, he knows that he is going to get around it sooner or later. - When he drops to the ground at a store and refuses to walk or throws a tantrum you leave the store. (Yes, with him) At home when he hits or kicks you, you grab him by both arms firmly (but not to hurt him) and in a forceful voice tell him that he is not to hit. Remember, spanking a child to teach them not to hit is the wrong way to diciplin. It sends a mixed message and isn't effective. Then when you've told him he is not to hit you send him to his room. Shut the door to his room and walk away. If you have a guest room or something that you'd prefer to use then that's okay. The point is, is to shut him off and let him work out his anger on his own. (contin)

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 8:27 PM on Aug. 28, 2010

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