14 answers

5 Year Old Girl with a Serious Attitude!!

So since my 5 year old started kindergarten, she has developed a serious attitude! She is always testing the limits and acts up very frequently- when we ask her if she realizes that what she's doing is bad/not nice/inconsiderate, etc., she says "yes". She's very smart and very mature for her age. But she's getting really mouthy and sassy and can be just plain mean when she wants to be. Is this normal for a 5 year old to be testing the limits like this? My biggest fear is that her younger siblings are watching her behavior and will start mimicking it.

I should probably add that she is GREAT in school. Through preschool and even this beginning of kindergarten, her teachers have always praised her. In fact, I've even been told that they "wish every child were more like her". The problem seems to be at home... maybe because she's comfortable with us?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

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My stepson started to get "mouthy" when he started school too. I think it has to do with them trying to become more independent. He is almost 8 now, and still has his moments, but has improved. Time outs helped A LOT!!! One minute for each year of age. If he was being disrespectful he would sit in time out for 5 minutes. At my house this was in the kitchen, because the kitchen is b oring and has no toys. He would sit at kitchen table and I would set timer on microwave. When it beeped I would ask him why he had time out and he would tell me and we would talk about why it was wrong and then he would go play again. Just set limits and enforce them and she will grow out of it...kind of.

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All i can say is,"it has already been said"....go suzie!!!!!
Also...love the book....."How to discipline without yelling or spanking"....wonderful Book.

1 mom found this helpful

Wow, I've been dealing with this too, so maybe it's an age thing, but it occured to me while reading your post, maybe she needs some time after being good in school all day, all week. I don't know if quiet time to unwind would be best or active time to get energy out. I'm going to try it myself and see what happens.

I've got the same EXACT worries/problem here, mine is 7 and has been like this since kindergarten and it IS rubbing off on my 3 yr old. I've tried telling her that I am calling the principal and she will go there if she's bad and that really almost worked to a point. I'm starting to tell her she will get soap in her mouth and although I'm not sure I could go thru with it she is AFRAID of getting it. Good luck to you.

Hi B.!
I could have literally written the same exact post you did! My five year old daughter's behavior has gotten horrible! She doesn't listen at all, she's mean to her little brother (he's almost 3), she's rude, she's selfish, etc. I KNOW she knows she's being "bad". It just seems like she doesn't care and it's so frustrating! She's really smart and can be so sweet and giving. I really don't have any advice, just support! I'm in the same exact boat you are! Let's hope our daughters get over this "phase" soon!

My 4 year old just recently started displaying the same behavior, mostly with just myself and my husband. But today he was disrespectful at the doctor's office. I admit it was a lengthy appt, but he often has long appts and I guess he has had enough. I had toys and snacks to keep him occupied but he was not interested. We've been using timeouts, reviewing proper rules of behavior, setting up expectations for behavior and modeling behavior. We've used behavior charts for various issues in the past and they have worked well for us. I think I will start using it for this disrespectful behavior. I think a good place for you to start would be to set up clear rules and consequences, use praise for cooperating, and be consistent. Hopefully that will work for her and also set an example for the younger girls.

It always seems like the kids are angels at school - but not at home. I have figured out that it is more important how my son's behavior is at school, and with respecting authority and otehrs besides those of us he feels most comfortable around (us). At home we just try as much as we can to keep him in line...

It is normal for her to test her limits and act this way. She is learning and seeing a lot from all those other children. It is up to you to start pulling the reins in a bit when she gets home. You need to show her that this behavior is NOT ok and there will be consequences. You need to start now because she is going to continue to see negative things in school over the next 12 years. Unfortunately we don't have any control on the way the other parents discipline their children (or lack of discipline).
Do what you normally do, timeouts, etc. My daughter is 9 now and she will lose privledges, get sent to her room, and if the talking back/attitude is REAL bad then she gets a small dab of Tabasco sauce on her toungue. I'll tell you what, it works real quick.

Hi B.,

It is never appropriate for a child to be disrespectful
to anyone.

What kind of consequences is your child receiving for
her disrespectful behavior?

By the way, trying to reason with a child, teen, or adult is going to be a disaster.

Trying using feeling statements:

When you................(describe the behavior)

I felt......................(describe the feeling that was generated.)

In the future...............(describe what behaviors you expect and what the consequence will be)

Always keep your word. Don't give a consequence that you can't enforce.

Good luck. D.

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