7 answers

Advice for 8 Year Old Son Developing a Bad Attitude

Our sweet little boy is growing up too fast! The once sweet, innocent boy we have is turning into a brat with a bad attitude! His attitude has changed so much over the past year and we are not sure how to handle it. He whines if he doesn't get his own way, he cries when he is told no about something, he has yelled at us, he gets angry with us when he is told to do a chore. There are some factors that I know are most of the reason for this change 1) he was diagnosed by his ped. with ADD and has been trying out dif meds for that. 2) he has an 18 month old brother and a brand new sister.
Does anyone have any advice for us on how to handle his attitude?

What can I do next?

More Answers

Read: Dare to Discipline by Dr. James Dobson
How to have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Lehman

Be prepared to be the parent! The Lehman book is fantastic. Straight forward, humorous, but full of practical advice that WORKS!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi A.,

My aunt-in-law who is a child psychologist gave me some great advice on how to handle such behaviors. First, if he's throwing a fit about something tell him to leave the room until he's through with his temper-tauntrum. You have to name it and place the action on them so they become accountable for their actions. If they are being rude by demanding something, taking something for granted, or told no, then he needs to write a letter of apology after spending time in time out. Get a timer, place it near a time out spot and set it for the amount of minutes that equal his age. Oh, and the biggy...do NOT explain yourself or your decisions. He needs to respect whatever you say.
This worked wonders with my 6 year old. I'm grateful we were able to receive the advice. Hope this works just as well for you!
Happy New Year!

2 moms found this helpful


You've gotten two great pieces of advice I would have said as well, having gone through the 8 year old boy phase 4 times myself. It does sound like he's looking to get whatever attention he can. Note if he's worse when the attention is mostly on other people or situations. Also, telling him to go to his room until he's settled down is a WONDERFUL thing. I've used this with all 4 of my boys and with the 16 and 10 year old, sometimes still do. They understand what's acceptable as far as their attitude and words, and that it won't be tolerated. At times kids act out just to see how far they can push their parents and letting the behavior go unchecked, tells them it's okay to keep doing it, so they do.

The one thing I would suggest that wasn't already said, is to talk to your son's doctor about the possible side effects of the medication he's taking. My 16 year has been on medication for an anxiety disorder since he was 12 and when first taking the meds, got downright mean. I spoke to his psychiatrist who recognized this as being a dosage issue and when the dosage was the correct amount, that attitude left. Sometimes side effects can also be from the medication being the wrong one too. Medications are so hard to judge when dealing with disorders like ADD because the physiological makeup of the individual person has a lot to do with how the medication reacts. It's not like treating a bacterial illness. So it might do some good to let your son's doctor know about his changing attitude as well.

Congratulations on your new baby girl!! Yes, life with little ones can be very hectic, but there's so much joy in it too.

Good luck to you,

1 mom found this helpful

First con grats on the new baby! Wow lots of changes for an 8 yr to handle. He is frustrated with all that is going on and reaching out for more attention any kind. I would try catching him being good and give little rewards like an extra hug, stay up later to watch a movie with you getting to pick what is for dinner these go a long way.

Is seeing any type of counselor? I have taken care of a young lady who was on differ meds for ADD and what helped with her was combo of getting caught being good and the ability to tell another trusted adult what was going on with her. I hope this helps and good luck..

1 mom found this helpful

Check out this video. It is the medication. It will only get worse if you don't do something.


1 mom found this helpful

we found with Tara (now 9 1/2) that the majority of her behavior issues were directly related to the amount of sleep she got. So, our solution was to make her bedtime earlier each misbehavior. On good days her bedtime is 8. This means asleep out cold by 8, not starting it at that time. We start bedtime at 7:15 cause her younger sister's bedtime is 7:30. Most days Tara's is that early too. They both sleep till about 7, give or take 10 minutes.

I know most sleep books say they only need 10 hours of sleep at age 5-11, but I believe that it's really closer to 12 hours needed. There have been other families I have advised to do the earlier bedtime and they were amazed that in only a week their out of control kids were behaving great, so it's an easy and quick fix usually.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A....I have a 9 year old that has ADHD. I know what it is like to have a sweet child just change like that. BUT and I say but like that because no matter, if they are upping his meds our trying to get the right meds for him, he should still not be defying you. I had to buy the book 123 time out! I dont remember who the Author is but it did work for me and I have 3 boys ages 14,9 and an almost 7 year old and all of them like to tell us NO time to time. He is just trying to push your button. And far as your sons meds, be your sons voice and tell the DR that it is time to get the meds straightened out because changeing meds all the time is not good for his body. Good Luck to you and Happy New Year!

1 mom found this helpful

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