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What's your most effective threat to get a 5yo to behave?

Do you have anything that you use as a threat when you really need cooperation from your 5yo? Short of picking him up and carrying him home, my son just doesn't care about time outs, loosing favorite toys, or going home when we're out and about someplace. Anybody have any "tricks" up their sleeves to get strong willed 4yo's to cooperate?

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:25 PM on Feb. 1, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (12)
  • I wouldn't use threats- I would use logical consequences and stick to them. When he knows you're serious it will be more effective. Take away tv, toys, computer, outside time- whatever he loves the most.

    Answer by skittles1108 at 1:27 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Forget the toys. Does he have a computer, tv in his room, playstation or something along those lines? Unhook them and take them until he can earn them back.

    Answer by 2BlondeBabies at 1:27 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • "Threat"? I never used them, still don't with my grandchildren. How about some consequences, perhaps painful ones? My husband and I spanked our children for disobedience and disrespect of our authority. The result of that was that we had children we could take anywhere, any time without fear that they would not always obey and respect not only us, but others with whom they came in contact. The other result of that is that we have 3 grown children who still love, respect and listen to what we have to say and appreciate the way in which they were brought up.

    Answer by NannyB. at 1:33 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • I don't make threats. I have punishments for bad behavior and I follow though with them when he doesn't listen. My son is very strong willed to and has spent a whole evening in his room for time out. It's very frustrating but you gotta stick to your guns. If you give in they'll know if they act up enough you'll give in. Consistancy is key.

    Answer by worriedmommy600 at 1:39 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Ill be honest, every mother has her moments of pure and honest exasperation and all you want is cooperation, if one of my nephews is at this point (my son is two, lol it doesnt work for him yet), and my nephews love sharks and the ocean movies and stuff, if they act up and i need a quick fix i say real casual, hmmm, well i guess two little boys i know dont want to watch sharks and ocean movies, oh well, i guess that means i need to take back that movie! That gets their attention, get your sons absolute favorite thing and just casually say that you had it but its only for good little boys and he will probably listen if your trying to get out of the store or something...i dont do it all the time, but its great for meltdowns in the middle of like a grocery store when my cart is half full and i cant just leave to remove them lol or something to that extent.

    Answer by Bobbysgurl at 2:35 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • During my moments of pure exasperation I usually say that there will be no computer time. He is a little tech like me. so that always gets him back in my good graces.

    Answer by Avitar at 3:28 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • I don't make threats, I make promises. If I say that they are going to lose something, they lose it. After the first time they realized I wasn't messing around and it was always something that was painful to lose....favorite toy, computer privileges, TV.

    Answer by slw123 at 9:32 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • other mothers have posted, I don't like to threaten. But I find what works for my son is giving him choices. Would you like me to carry you to the car or would you like to walk? Do you want to bring your stuffed elephantto bed or your bear? Going to bed is not an choice - that is an expectation. But he is too busy thinking about which animal to bring instead of wondering if he should go to bed or try and get us to let him stay up. As much as humanly possible I will offer choices he finds appealing and ones I can live with but accomplish my goal. Do you want bubbles in your bath or bubble free?  Sometimes I whisper directions, very secretively, in his ear.  He finds it entertaining and more likely to cooperate.  I use transitions - always!  Before stopping one activity I prepare him for the next.  "In five mintues" (I always do five mintues)


    Answer by frogdawg at 11:45 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • you will go and have your bath. Or in five minutes it will be time to leave and get in the car. Then I do the count down. Four minutes, three, two, one, and then zero minutes. The five minute count down can be really just one minute or as long as twenty. He has no clue. He just has a count down. If possible and it is needed, I let him bring something from one activity to the next. At bath - he can bring the hotwheel he had been playing with. Leaving McDonald's - I make it a point for him to play with the toy in the car. It helps ease transitions.  But threats I don't do.  Redirect, get silly, and creative is my method.  Time out is rarely needed in our home. 


    Answer by frogdawg at 11:49 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • At our house, rewarding good behavior has always been much more effective than punishment

    Answer by rkoloms at 12:33 AM on Feb. 2, 2011

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