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I need help with my 5 year old!

Posted by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 3:12 PM
  • 10 Replies

My Ds, Karder, just turned 5 and he as always been my more "difficult" child. He doesn't like to listen, those tantrums when he doesn't get his way, hits, bites, talks back and calls his sister names. I have gotten alot better at standing my ground and not giving in and enforcing his punishments but nothing seems to affect him. It is kind of starting to strain my marriage with my Dh, who is Karder's stepdad, and I am running out of options. His punishments include; time away, extra chores and loss of toys/special treats, but nothing seems to phase him. My, well Our, main problem is that my ex and I have SHARED custody, so I have him and his sister for 8 days and their dad gets them for 6 days... so he doesn't have constant consistency and I know that is what he needs. His dad is a softy (to the kids anyway) and wants to be the "fun" parent, so he gets away with more there than he does here. I have thought about taking my ex back to court for a change in custody where they would be with me every week and see their dad on wednesdays and every other weekend but my ex "hasn't done anything wrong" so more than likely the judge wouldn't change it.  Also, DH was raised very strict (so him and Karder butt heads ALOT and I am trying to get DH to relax a little bit more but I am not quite there yet), so was I, but I don't want to be has strict as my parents were, but I want my kids to be respectful and know the rules and have responsibilities. Any Ideas??

*Wife to Joel since 10-2-10*
*Mother of Addyson, Karder & Everett *
*Angel Babies 1/19/11 & 4/23/11*

by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 3:12 PM
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Replies (1-10):
emmy526
by Gold Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 3:15 PM

your husband has NO business with disciplining your son unless it's a life and death situation and you're not around...he HAS a father.  I suggest some family counseling for all of you, esp that dh of yours.  

iamcafemom83
by Mariah on Jul. 31, 2013 at 3:24 PM
5 is still a tough age. Everyone said oh wait til they are 5....it gets better. It is a little better but not much lol

All I cn think to do is to hold firm and keep your rules and expectations firm for when he is with you. I'm sure the first day or 2 back from dad's is tough. Also be sure you are getting one on one time with him when you can. I swear that helps when I am having a tough time with my 5 yo. Even if it's jist her and I reading together, away from everyone else, it seems to improve things.
spizzarks1978
by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 3:36 PM

I used a reward system that worked wonders!!  I would buy tiny toys like squinkies and open the package and put them in a bag.  It was the 'green bag'.  If my DD went a whole day without going into time out she was allowed to pick something out of the green bag.  We mad it a game.  She would close her eyes and reach in and get a surprise.  On the days she did go into time out there was no green bag.  The disappointment was enough for her to be a good girl so she could get that prize.  In the beginning it was every day (mostly because it wasn't every day that she was behaving) then once that started to work I switched it to 3 times a week and so forth.  We don't do the green bag anymore, but now that I'm thinking bout it I think it's still on top of the fridge with smurfs in it haha.

oahoah
by Bronze Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 3:38 PM

I've been reading a lot of Charlotte Mason stuff for homeschooling my boys and a lot of what I've read has been useful in parenting as well. I have a difficult 6 y/o middle child and the advice was to spend as much time with that child, nourishing and teaching him to replace those bad habits. Mine is super hyper too so a lot lot of my energy is spent on him, never mind his older & younger brothers. But I find that he just tends to need more positive attention from me and it makes such a world of difference.

It's hard to say if your son is just at a difficult age or if the custody schedule is bothering him. I disagree with previous poster about your current DH and discipline with your son, yes your son has a dad but during the time that he lives in your house with you and your husband, you need to form a united front and not just have step-dad be an observer of how you parent.  I do think you need to come to an agreement together before it gets worse & affects your marriage worse and before your son's issues grow out of a manageable stage. My brother is having these same issues with his wife who had kids before they married, this has damaged their relationship so much because they are "her boys" and even though she complains about their behavior to her husband (my brother), she doesn't want him to do anything about it.

I personally would try to change the custody agreement to something more suitable for the kids, they are still so young and moving around so much has got to be hard on them, I'm surprised that this agreement works for anyone but I guess it depends on your state laws. I just thought a standard arrangement was every other weekend and sometimes a day or two in the middle and a couple weeks in the summer and winter breaks. It sounds similar to the custody situation my sister had with her ex but those kids were back & forth every 2-3 days, it was a mess.  Good luck and I hope you are able to find a situation that works out for all of you.

strictmomhere
by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 3:55 PM
This is a hard one i would let your hubby correct him when hes home he is a parent as well:) seems like you may have to be more strict maybe punishing him for a few days at a time. We spank that works for us. Hope he calms down soon
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AbbyWalsh
by Bronze Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 4:09 PM

I agree, your custody agreement is a mess, and clearly not working for your son.  BUT kids are smart and resilient.  Your son will figure out how to behave to get the most attention, even if it's negative.  One thing that works is to ignore the bad behavior (unless someone is actually being hurt or endangered).  If you take away your son's power (the power to get your attention through bad behavior) you can replace it with the power to get your attention with good behavior.  I'm not talking about being mean and giving your son the silent treatment.  I'm saying, make believe you don't see or hear 75% of what he does that you don't like.  It will lose its appeal.

At the same time, your son will learn that there's one set or rules at your house, and another set or rules at his father's house.  (Just like there's another set of rules at school, and another set of rules visiting grandparents or whatever).  Don't make it a big issue - especially to your son.

Remember that you're smarter than a 5 year old!  Just have the courage to set up your household structure the way you want, and eventually your son will find out how to fit in.  

Spending time alone with him will be great too.  See if you can spend a whole day just with him doing something he loves to do, and spend a whole day with your daughter doing something she loves to do.  Your other child can spend the whole day with your husband at the same time, doing something special.  It will build very strong bonds.  I did this with my kids when they were a little older, and we would go away for one night "just the 2 of us" and leave my husband (their step-dad) home with the other one.  My parents did this too....I still remember going away with my dad once without my mom when I was about 10, and I felt so special!

addykarder19
by Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 5:20 PM
He is also the middle child, and my Dh will be involved with parenting because my son is expected to respect all adults and dh is a big part of his life, so I won't take the other posts advice. My ex and I agree on major choices for our children but also with the input from our spouses. I agree, I need to try to spend more one on one time with him.

Quoting oahoah:

I've been reading a lot of Charlotte Mason stuff for homeschooling my boys and a lot of what I've read has been useful in parenting as well. I have a difficult 6 y/o middle child and the advice was to spend as much time with that child, nourishing and teaching him to replace those bad habits. Mine is super hyper too so a lot lot of my energy is spent on him, never mind his older & younger brothers. But I find that he just tends to need more positive attention from me and it makes such a world of difference.


It's hard to say if your son is just at a difficult age or if the custody schedule is bothering him. I disagree with previous poster about your current DH and discipline with your son, yes your son has a dad but during the time that he lives in your house with you and your husband, you need to form a united front and not just have step-dad be an observer of how you parent.  I do think you need to come to an agreement together before it gets worse & affects your marriage worse and before your son's issues grow out of a manageable stage. My brother is having these same issues with his wife who had kids before they married, this has damaged their relationship so much because they are "her boys" and even though she complains about their behavior to her husband (my brother), she doesn't want him to do anything about it.


I personally would try to change the custody agreement to something more suitable for the kids, they are still so young and moving around so much has got to be hard on them, I'm surprised that this agreement works for anyone but I guess it depends on your state laws. I just thought a standard arrangement was every other weekend and sometimes a day or two in the middle and a couple weeks in the summer and winter breaks. It sounds similar to the custody situation my sister had with her ex but those kids were back & forth every 2-3 days, it was a mess.  Good luck and I hope you are able to find a situation that works out for all of you.

addykarder19
by Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 5:23 PM
I've been trying the positive reinforcements, and even acknowledging his sisters good behavior when he is acting out and it kind of helps. The agreement is okay since my ex literally lives 3 blocks up the road and their outside of the home routine is the same but the older he gets the harder time I think he is having with it, although it doesn't seem to bother my 6 year old as much

Quoting AbbyWalsh:

I agree, your custody agreement is a mess, and clearly not working for your son.  BUT kids are smart and resilient.  Your son will figure out how to behave to get the most attention, even if it's negative.  One thing that works is to ignore the bad behavior (unless someone is actually being hurt or endangered).  If you take away your son's power (the power to get your attention through bad behavior) you can replace it with the power to get your attention with good behavior.  I'm not talking about being mean and giving your son the silent treatment.  I'm saying, make believe you don't see or hear 75% of what he does that you don't like.  It will lose its appeal.

At the same time, your son will learn that there's one set or rules at your house, and another set or rules at his father's house.  (Just like there's another set of rules at school, and another set of rules visiting grandparents or whatever).  Don't make it a big issue - especially to your son.

Remember that you're smarter than a 5 year old!  Just have the courage to set up your household structure the way you want, and eventually your son will find out how to fit in.  

Spending time alone with him will be great too.  See if you can spend a whole day just with him doing something he loves to do, and spend a whole day with your daughter doing something she loves to do.  Your other child can spend the whole day with your husband at the same time, doing something special.  It will build very strong bonds.  I did this with my kids when they were a little older, and we would go away for one night "just the 2 of us" and leave my husband (their step-dad) home with the other one.  My parents did this too....I still remember going away with my dad once without my mom when I was about 10, and I felt so special!

countrygirlkat
by Kathleen on Jul. 31, 2013 at 5:27 PM
There is a great book called Love and Logic by Jim and Charles Fay which is very good. It has more natural consequences and works well. I would definitely take some time to sit down with your ex though and work out a parenting plan you both can agree on. Good luck.
AbbyWalsh
by Bronze Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 7:08 PM

It's good that at least your ex is in the same neighborhood so the kids have the same friends and neighbors around all the time.  It seems like you and your ex get along well enough that maybe you can arrange for each kid to have some alone time at your house, and some alone time at his house (maybe a rotation like that once every 1-2 months).  Do you think that would help?  (alone with parents, to ALL alone!)

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