January 25, 2008,
R.S. asks from Riverside, CA on January 18, 2008
6-Year Old Son Disrespectful to Mom and Sister
My six-year old son has been so disrespectful in the way he talks to me and his nine-year old sister. He uses such a sarcastic tone to his voice and is very short-tempered. He blames me for every little thing that goes wrong in his life. He really tries to push my buttons. I almost feel he that he LIKES to argue with me! On the other hand, he is an extremely sensitive boy who does well in school and his teachers tell me he is very kind to others and helps them in the classroom. But when it comes to his sister and I he can often times be smart-mouthed and argumentative. I know he is trying to find his independence but I feel this can be accomlished in a more productive manner. We have tried taking away priveleges, etc. and rewarding him for good behavior which only results in temporary changes. I don't know what to do to make this a permanent change. I find myself resorting to yelling sometimes and I KNOW that is a waste of energy and ineffective, plus I feel like a lousy parent. Any suggestions would be so helpful. I feel so sad over this because it really hurts my daughter and myself. I would like to have a better balance in our house. My husband has tried talking to our son also but he has a sarcastic, joking personality and sometimes I feel my son tries to emulate him. However, a six-year old does not know when it is and is not appropriate. Please help! Thanks so much!
2 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
I just want to thank all of you who wrote for your great ideas and advice. We used a little bit of discipline and lowering of voices when he was being disrespectful and it's working quite well. We try very hard to keep our patience and not raise our voices and we give him smiley faces for respectful, cooperative behavior. I also don't take the bait when he tries to argue with me and i either tune him out and ignore him or simply tell him i am no longer talking to him until he changes his tone, stops arguing, or whatever the case may be at the moment. After all. He can't argue with himself. Or i guess, he can if he really wants, too, as long as it's not with my daughter or myself!!anyway, things have been much better and i really appreciate all of you. I hope i can help you someday!
J.B. answers from San Diego on January 22, 2008
Wow you cannot let this continue, I have to agree with Deborah's advice. I also have a six year old son that is wonderful in school, an angel right BUT recently he has tried to get the best of me by being smart and rude when talking to me. Funny thing he does not do this with his father. At first I too began to scream and get frustrated but I told myself whom am I arguing with? A 6-year-old child? This should not be happening, we are the parents and we need to respect and expect the same back even if they are 6 years old. I baby my son a lot and I have found that the moment I change my tone, not scream just change my tone and facial expression when talking to him, I notice a difference in him. I have noticed that talking to him and explaining to him in a serious way what he is doing is wrong really works! I have to make sure to keep the seriousness for a bit until I noticed his behavior has changed for a period of time, so he understands that its not an acceptable behavior.
1 mom found this helpful
S.S. answers from Los Angeles on January 20, 2008
He sounds like my 7 year old a couple of months ago. The biggest change came when I stopped yelling back. Each time he yelled at me or someone else I pulled him on my lap and talked to him. I calmly and lovingly asked him how it makes him feel when I yell and to imagine how it makes us feel. I told him that it makes me unhappy and frustrated to yell at him and I would much rather be nice and kind to him. It took a while-several weeks-of sitting down with him each time before it stopped completely, but there were little improvements and as he stopped his bad behavior I made an extra effort to still take that time to sit with him and reward him for being good.
Getting your husband to realize his son models his actions would be an amazing help too.
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J.M. answers from Los Angeles on January 21, 2008
I am a teacher of young children and I have seen these issues a lot. It sounds like he's a great kid who is unfortunately not responding to the help you guys are trying to give. There's a book called "1-2-3 magic" which is really good. It uses positive discipline and gives suggestions/scenarios similiar to yours. It's a very easy read and they have it on video too. I have a parent friend of mine who tried this with her two boys and it worked GREAT after about two weeks. She still uses it today and really doesn't even need to because they are so much more respectful to her and to each other.
1 mom found this helpful
K.T. answers from Los Angeles on January 18, 2008
I've gone through this with my now 8 year old son. It's not as bad right now but it comes and goes. My mother-in-law said my husband was like this too. I don't know if it was the best thing, but when he gets like this I say, "Oh, I guess you need more attention" and start to kiss and hug him. Then we all start to laugh. Some things are definitely "boy things" and us girls have a hard time relating to it!
D.B. answers from Los Angeles on January 25, 2008
I have recently been having my grandchildren write sentences. I write out what I want them to write like, I will not be mean to grandma and they have to write it 50 times. Some times they kick and scream but they have to set there until they do it. I number 10 pages and make them write 5 sentences on each page. It seems to work better than anything for me. I just make up the sentence for whatever their doing. They hate it.
K.A. answers from Los Angeles on January 24, 2008
I have a six year old son that sounds as if he has the same temperament, yet does the same thing. My husband and I tell him that his negative behavior hurt our feelings and remove things that he likes also, We recently enrolled him in martial arts (which seemed like a reward) and that has seemed to help because they teach discipline in all aspects!!!We notice he doesn't talk to his instructor like that. He does know the difference because I'll talk to him snappy or sarcastic later on that day and remind him of his comment, and he'll cross his arms and leave the room. Also take into consideration that you and your husband are not the only influences on his behavior and evaluate the kids he plays and schools with, they probably are taught or do a lot worse ask him where he learned that from and be consistant. He'll get tired of you asking him a lot of questions or just say duh or I don't have to tell you, I believe it's temporary don't let him get a reaction from you that's animated because he will continue!
D.L. answers from Los Angeles on January 19, 2008
Interesting that he is disrespectful to women. look into that a bit moe closely. why? where is he learning that from? What i do when my 6 year old speaks to me in a manner that is not ok I look at him straight in the eye and use a vey low tone voice and say who are you speaking to? you cannot be speaking to your mom. I will not respond to you until you use a polite tone and are respectful. I hold firm on that and do not speak one word to him until he changes. He cannot speak to me that way and neither can your son. Punishing him is not necessarily the answer. Maybe you can talk to your husband about his own personality and ask hime to change it a bit around your son. Your husband needs to model respectful behavior towards women at all times for your son to learn that. It is so important. Our kids are like little sponges and they absorb everything....good and bad.