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What do you do when consistency doesn't work?

My 6 year old son has always been a very, VERY difficult child. He's very strong-willed and bull-headed. I do my very best to stay consistent with him and follow through with everything, and he just KEEPS pushing my buttons. WHAT DO YOU DO?! I am at the end of my rope with him!! I have two other children who may not always listen, but after a little discipline, they behave.


Asked by Anonymous at 2:05 PM on Apr. 14, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • You and him are going to be fine. You care and love him ... Most important start. If my child's behaviors, choices, and emotions were difficult to assist him in managing then I would consider an evaluation by a highly qualified piediatric therapist. I would want the therapist to rule out some medical causes and go from there. But you hit the nail on the head in your original post - consistancy. Does not always work. We think it does but it truly doesn't for every child. In fact I often advice some foster care parents not to be consistant and mix it up - to stay on their toes and keep tge kid on their ties too. When some kids can predict tge outcome they are twenty steps ahead of you or they are okay with what comes next. Typicaly most parents think to just keep trying until you find what hurts as a consquence. Honestly, some kids never seem to hit rock bottom. This is

    Answer by frogdawg at 9:51 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • Continue to BE consistent and see the pediatrician for an evaluation. My son's "discipline" issues turned out to be Asperger's Syndrome.

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:07 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • Keep trying!

    Answer by zoejains_momma at 2:07 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • It takes weeks and weeks of being consistent for it to work and for the child to get the idea YOUR NOT budging on your rules. Keep trying.

    Answer by vbruno at 2:09 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • Continue being consistent, he is full aware he is pushing your buttons, do not let on of this, hide it the best way you know how, it not only takes consistency but patience.

    Answer by older at 2:10 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • Ugh, I just want to cry. I am so frustrated :(

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:12 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • I agree that consistency is important - perhaps, though, you need to re-evaluate what you're using as discipline techniques. He may not respond to what you're doing today no matter how consistent it is, but he could be more receptive to a different method or set of consequences.

    At some point when he's behaving well ask him for his input. "What do I need to do in order to help you make better choices about your behavior? what can we do to help you better respect our family rules?" Sometimes kids need to feel more in control over their world and giving them the sense that they have at least some say can go a long way. If he's offering reasonable suggestions, go with it. Make sure you praise his good efforts. Compromise when you can. Stay strong when you can't.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 2:19 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • keep on trying , till it does work....

    Answer by momofmonsters27 at 2:57 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • I would seek some help with parenting - new atypical skills to creatively and sanely address the the reasons why and how to reach and teach new coping skills for him and you as a parent. Parenting is not a one shoe fits all. Advice others give you may work in their home with their children but may not work well in your home with this specific person. When at the end of the line you have some choices: stay where you are and change nothing or switch gears and move try a new track. What ever option you lean towards - I vote counseling when the frustration and concerns are overwhelming.

    Answer by frogdawg at 9:57 PM on Apr. 14, 2011

  • Sorry, mama. You just have to keep trying.

    Answer by liz.1986 at 11:12 PM on Apr. 14, 2011