View Full Version : Constant Defiance
02-21-2008, 11:08 PM
My 5 (almost 6) year old son has started to argue with me about EVERYTHING. The smallest request or question is met with either a straight out NO or a pouty face and a grunt. He has, up to this point, been the happiest little boy. I have tried to find out if there is something that could be causing this, but again I just get a grunt. I am angry all the time because I am constantly having to justify why he needs to do something or why I did something. It is beginning to feel like his sole purpose for getting up in the morning is to tell me no.
Does anyone have any advice? I am tired of being angry all the time and want my happy boy back.
02-22-2008, 10:37 PM
Welcome to the age of defiance. This is the age and it will pass! It feels like all they do is defy, sass, question...it's the pre preteen thing. My oldest is just six, and this started around 5 or so. All of us sit around talking about this development. It's normal to push the boundaries, normal to want to separate, normal to look around and see what they can test us on. I think the key is really just to be consistent and not get angry. If you can recognize that it's a normal part of child development and that it WILL pass, it's easier to deal with. If he's just had a transition or a huge change, new school, move, new sibling, whatever, then that is probably the cause. If not, he's just a normal kid.
But just because it's "normal" and typical doesn't mean we have to sit by and accept it. If he questions you, give an answer ONCE and then follow through with whatever your rules are for defiance or disobedience. I have one daughter who just needs a reason. "You have to clean up your toys so that you can find them tomorrow and so that I can walk through the house without tripping." I personally have no problem saying "because I told you to do it" from time to time. And I never ASK them to do things I want done, because that implies that they have a choice. I say, "It's time to..." or "You need to..." or even "I need you to..."
Another thing that works for me is sympathizing with my kids. "I know, I don't like doing my chores before I play either, but it's just the way we do things here. I would MUCH rather play Candyland than scrub toilets, but hey, sometimes we have to do things we don't like."
Sometimes they just like the reaction, so don't react. Just calmly tell him what is expected of him, what will happen if he doesn't comply, and then always always always follow through. "You need to clean up your toys because I asked you to and because we are having company tonight. If you clean them up in the next ten minutes, there will be time for a story. If you don't, then you won't have time for a story before dinner. If I clean them up, then they will stay in my closet for the next five days. I am setting the timer for ten minutes." END OF DISCUSSION! My kids each lost a huge bag of toys the DAY after Christmas - but I haven't found anything left out since then.
Without making assumptions about anyone else's situation, I find that we are so tired and trying to get so much done that we bark orders without hearing ourselves and then wonder why they don't want to stop playing to clean up on OUR time frames.
If all else fails, use the crazy wacky voice you would rather hear than the yelling, and help him follow through. Humor almost always works.
03-12-2008, 08:36 PM
i agree with everything KelEMcE said- I too have a five year old and have this problem. I use a lot of those tactics to correct my son also. The only thing that I would add is that when my son comes to me with defiance, even rudeness, I will also stop him and say "Is that the way you are supposed to ask for something?" or "Is that how you are supposed to talk to me?" Then I ask him to rephrase his question or demand into an acceptable form, like "Can I have some juice?" rather than "I want juice, now!". Sometimes, it is hard for him to slow down and ask properly. When this happens, I tell him to go sit down for a minute and think about the right way to talk to people.
Hi jade, I just read a book that might help with your discipline issues.... it's called Great Kids: Helping Your Baby and Child Develop the 10 Essential Qualities for a Healthy Happy Life. By Stanley I. Greenspan
You can check it out on amazon or any other book site. It starts at the roots of developing traits like internal discipline, emotional range, and empathy.
I hope this helps
04-10-2008, 12:45 PM
My daughter is the same way. I am so glad I came across this post, I am glad I am not alone. She is in Kindergarten and has started no listeninga nd not doing her work, throwing temper tanrums and nothing seems to work!Unfortunately she is also bored at school which only makes it worse. The advice from the teacher, "Quit working with her at home so that she won't be bored." No matter how many times I tell her that she has to do the work even if she already knows it, she fights it. I sympathize with her though, going over the same thing over and over for a week that she picked up the first time.
The only question I have is, " Do I continue to make an effort at home to improve behavior when the teacher doesn't?"
04-10-2008, 01:45 PM
My daughter went through the same thing, I sat her down ahead of time and told her I was going to ignore any rudeness, whining or backtalk. So now (with alot of patience and a few headaches), if she slips and backtalks all I have to say is "I can't understand what you're saying, would you like to try that again?" and then I ignore her until she does. Some people say I should be giving her at least time-outs for those behaviours but, hey, our method works with her, and her teacher uses it to. Her Behaviour and Respect scores on her report card were "needs improvement", Now they're excellent. So give it a try.
04-14-2008, 04:57 PM
Great replies. Defiant behavior needs to be stopped as quickly as possible. If you don't stop it when the child is five, you are in for worse times when the child becomes a teenager.
04-14-2008, 06:15 PM
There are a LOT of good suggestions here. Definitely don't get caught in that web of justifications--yikes, that's exhausting. Two books that I've found helpful:
Don't Make Me Count to Three (by Ginger Plowman)
Happiest Toddler on the Block (by Harvey Karp(?); I know he's not a toddler, but Dr. Karp addresses defiance and conflict)
Good luck to you!
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.4 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.