The other thread about spanking a 6 yo got me thinking. I am not that PP. But I, too, have a 6 yo boy and her story sounds all too familiar.
My 6 yo darts into the street, plays in parking lots, often takes pencils, markers, toys, etc to furniture to see if it will scratch things. He will refuse to eat food, fill up on water and then complain he's hungry 10 minutes later. He will dump his drink as the PPs son did, although in our house no eating in bedrooms. He will chase our cats, fiddle with my stuff, often try to break his siblings toys. He will babble nonstop for hours on end. He will jump into a conversation and try to talk over the adults. He will whine "I'm sorrrrrry!" If put in time-out and he will take himself out of timeout by walking out of it because it is boring.
He thinks these behaviors are funny. He has nearly been hit by cars more times than I can count. Normal discipline in our house in ascending order is time out, sit in the corner in another room, go to your room, lose toys/privileges, lose an experience (like ice cream for everyone but him) and as a last resort spanking, through clothes, open palm, 1-3 swats.
We have tried endless behavior charts, stickers, etc. we have tried positive reinforcement only, that's what we'd prefer but it DOES NOT work with him. We cannot have one child running wild or our others will see and declare life a free for all. We are at a bit of a loss.
Yesterday, after telling his dad that we needed to all go outside NOW and dad could not sit for five minutes (dad said to him, we'll go out in five minutes, I need to sit for that time because I'm very tired --and kid said NO I WANNA GO NOW!!!), after that, he was sent to his room by me, because dad needed a break. Kid refused to go. Argued with me, when I tried to lead him to his room, he kicked me, scratched me, tried to sit in the hallway. I picked him up and gently took him to his room, put him in and told him he needed to stay there for a bit. He said "no I don't!!" And tried to walk out. I put him back. This went on for a bit (still calm). Eventually I told him he needed a nap and he screamed NO! I don't!!!! (He did). Still kept him in the room, had to hold the door closed at first. He threw things at the walls/furniture, and cracked an armoire that is in his room, a vertical crack about six inches long. Meanwhile he was screaming constantly that he wanted to go out. I walked back in and told him, again, that I thought he was making bad choices and that damaging furniture on purpose meant he needed to stay in his room longer and if he came out again without permission, there would be no going out. Big surprise he came out again. He again told me he didn't have to do what I said. I explained that I'm the mom and he did have to. This went in for a while. Eventually I took his brother to the store and when we came back, DH informed me that 6 yo was nagging constantly to come out. I reminded 6 yo that he was going to stay in the room until dinner then bed. Due to extenuating circumstances, our dinner was ruined, and DH wanted to go out for burgers. I said okay with hesitation. At the burger place, 6 yo licked the ketchup bottle. And acted out. Everyone se got milkshakes for putting up with him all day.
At home he admitted that he wanted to see how much trouble he can cause and he thinks it's funny.
I've taken away ALL of his toys. All of his clothes. His art supplies. His fun experiences. I've instituted a buyback system that required cleaning and scrubbing. ive sent him to bed early. none of it works. And we are still here in this horrible place. I am worried he will never understand that rules count for something.
So, without harsher methods than a gentle spanking, what else works to make a strong willed child pay attention?
Our son was adopted and his foster mom set no boundaries at all. He could watch endless tv, whenever he woke up. She sang to him for hours at bedtime. He fought us for a year about having a bedtime different from his older brother. Foster mom sat with him for hours until he went to sleep, she let him out of any consequences if he said sorry, so that's where our "sorry" nightmare comes from-- he thinks anything is okay with a glib "sorry!"
He has deliberately caused dog fights between our dogs, and laughs about it. I do not want to lose my dogs because of his bratty behavior.
He has a twin; she does not act like this and learned that she had to pay attention to us.
UPDATE: He carved drawings into an antique bookcase yesterday because I made him stay in his room in the afternoon. He did it 100% deliberately, they are sad faces and letters. He did it with a screw that was nearby for a project.
His dad put him into time out in the evening and he threw a screaming fit for two hour because he didn't want to sit in our time out chair. As dad pointed out, if he'd just sat there for 10 minutes quietly, all would have been well, but NOOOO, we all had to be terrorized for hours. The cats/dogs hid, the kids all moved to one bedroom and put their blankets over their heads. He acted like we were torturing him (no one was anywhere near him, we were upstairs, he was in the hallway downstairs) and you'd think we were beating him. Lest anyone think for a second he was genuinely overwrought, DH pulled out the video camera, and guess what? The fit stopped instantly.
I agree, this child needs help. We need help. I don't even know how to describe the particular hell we're going through to the doctor. But that's what it is -- hell.