What is the best way to discipline a 5-year-old with behavioral issues?

my 5 year old step son does not listen to me at all. ive tried everything from spanking, time outs, sending him to a corner, putting his nose on the fridge, taking his toys away, talking to figure why, sending him to his room. he listens for about 5 minutes or so then goes right back to what he was doing that got him in trouble in the first place. he continiues to do this all throughout the day. i came in to his life a year and a half ago, so i do realize that it could be that hes not used to someone discipling him. but you would think that after a year and a half he would be used to it. before his father got custody of him and his 4 year old sister they were neglected by there mother. they didnt learn to start speaking until a couple months after i came into their life and they are a little slower with understanding because of it. any advice on how to deal with a 5 year old with behaviour problems?

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silentbreeze86

Asked by silentbreeze86 at 12:41 AM on Apr. 7, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (11)
  • Your not going to like my answer.. but all the things you have done already are perfect.. you just have to stick with it... if he doesn't listen after 5 minutes.. like if he comes out of his room or out of the corner.. then put him back in .. until you know he's done and understood he needs to listen to you... just let him scream and cry as much as he likes as long as you don't stop putting him back
    Jan0609momma

    Answer by Jan0609momma at 12:50 AM on Apr. 7, 2009

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  • I have to agree with Jan... what are your expectations, make them clean and simple. Post rules, and clear easy consiquences... the consiquences need to be immediate and you cant waver. If you choose times outs, then its time otus, if you choose spankings, then stick with it. And it will take a while for you to see an improvement.. and it will get worse, much worse before it will get better.
    daughteroftruth

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 1:50 AM on Apr. 7, 2009

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  • Your situation sounds very similar to mine. I understand the frustration and we've tried everything also. It has been a little over two years for us. You do need to pick one punishment and stick with it. What works best for us is to make her stand in the corner. If she gets out of the corner and does the same thing, she just goes right back to the corner. I feel alot less stress and since we have stuck to the one punishment it seems to be sinking in with my sd. Good luck!
    lalli_lalli

    Answer by lalli_lalli at 10:27 AM on Apr. 7, 2009

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  • consistancy is your best bet. as other mom's have said. I have a son with behavior issues and that is the best bet. what your step son is doing is testing. it is typically found in 2 yr olds but you said they were delayed. you just have to pick something and make sure it is the same every time. it will not happen over night . it is going to be tough. but he will eventually realize hey if i do this i am gonna get put in the corner or i am gonna get spanked. but with you trying this and tahat of course it is not gonna work. in his mind he is thinking well lets do it again and see what they do next. it is a game to him. just use the same punishment over and over again and you will notice a change.
    Disneymom1218

    Answer by Disneymom1218 at 11:43 AM on Apr. 7, 2009

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  •  I agree with the above answers too. I would just like to add that my son has ADHD/ODD. We got the diagnosis in Sept. The Psy. explained to me that his brain comprehends differently the cause and effect of punishment. He suggested using much more rewards for good behavior! We started a treasure box full of dollar store toys and even card with special things like "you choice dinner tonight" or "one ice cream cone from McDonald's". I used craft popsicle sticks as the points. He got one for good behavior and lost one for bad. At the end of the day if he had enough he picks from the box.(I started with at the end of the week, but he seemed to need a closer cause and effect) I gave out points very freely in the beginning to get him interested. W have a much happier home now. Instead of always correcting his behavior I give possitive comments. He seems to be happpier which causes him at act better.Good Luck, he's lucky to have U
    Skyler11978

    Answer by Skyler11978 at 11:49 AM on Apr. 7, 2009

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  • i agree - you need to be consistant. I am also a stepmom and my stepson came to live with us almost 2 years ago. He's 6. Before that he lived with his mom, technically, although she constantly left him with her parents, her grandparents, her sister, etc... so he had NO consistancy in his life whatsoever. Different rules at different houses, and almost no rules at his mom's.... He was so confused that he didn't even refer to his house as his house - he called it "Mom's house"...he didn't even know where home was.
    You need to decide on a method and stick with it. You can't keep changing your techniques. I know it's tempting to do when it doesn't feel like it's working, but it does more harm than good. There are so many great parenting books out there - find one that pertains to your situation and get some ideas and then just stick with it. It might take a long time, you need to be patient. Good luck!
    stepmom929

    Answer by stepmom929 at 11:54 AM on Apr. 7, 2009

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  • Make rules simple and clear. And i mean that -- no general rules like be good.  What is good? What does it look like?  What do I do to be "good" in this situation?  TEACH THE RULES.... Kids are not born knowing what is right and if there was no rules b/f  don't expect them to know them now. 

    MamiJaAyla

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 1:00 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

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  • Yes they've been with you 11/2 years -- um does a 11/2 old know how to behave all the time-- NO. It takes a LONG time plus even kids w/o issues or traumatic experiences mess up and have impulse control issues etc.

    Post them and the consequences (you can even talk toghether about the rules and reasons and the consequences etc.). So that he has a chance to develop a true understanding as to the whys and hows.


    Have positive and neg. consequences. -- PRAISE and Reward good behaviour too (something that we often forget.


    BE CONSISTANT. and have patience -- its going to take a LOOOOONG time and NO KID gets it right ALL the time or even most of the time. And these have a lot of baggage to go through too.


    GOod luck mom.

    MamiJaAyla

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 1:00 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

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  • oh I forgot to add that after you decide on one and are consistent about it and stick to it (this means for at least a month or more at a time) the beh often gets worse b/f it gets better, so sometimes and up in behaviour actuallly means its working.
    Just to make it even more difficult and frustrating (sorry)
    MamiJaAyla

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 1:02 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

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  • Consistency is the key. Pick ONE form of discipline and keep it up for at least three full months before deciding it doesn't work. Also, have you tried a reward/behavior chart?
    jennijune_21

    Answer by jennijune_21 at 3:34 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

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