C.O. asks from Salem, NH on March 30, 2009
My 5 year old has been acting up alot lately. She is constantly hitting her little sister and at times me. I've tried time outs and losing privliges as punishment as well as talking to her but nothing works. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated....
R.K. answers from Springfield on March 30, 2009
mabye someone is bullying her at school if she goes kids are mean younger and younger. Just keep putting her in a time out up in her room and make bedtime 10 minutes earlier everytime she does it. In my house hitting is an automatic time out NO Counting! I suggest the books the successful child by Dr. sears, the discipline book by dr. sears, and also 1-2-3 magic.
C.D. answers from Hartford on March 31, 2009
Her behavior may be indicating that she feels "off" or "not right". Has there been any big changes in her life like a move or schedule change? Are you busier than usual or away from her more than you were before? Obviously her behavior needs to be addressed and she needs to understand that it is not OK but try to take a step back and see where it is stemming from. Maybe just spending more time with her or listening to her more will help to get through this phase faster.
M.C. answers from Boston on March 31, 2009
I went thru this with my son. We did all the things you are doing. My experience is that it is a phase and it will eventually pass.
M.W. answers from Boston on March 31, 2009
We use a marble reward system. Acts good get a marble for her cup, does something without asking, gets a marble or 2 depending on teh situation ect.. When she is not acting the way she is suppose to we do the 3 count and takeout marbles depend on the crime. THe important part of this, is it is her cup. She has ownership of it. SHe decorated it. She puts the marbles in or out. I keep a bowl of marbles out of reach. We let our daughter use the marbles for sleepovers (10 marbles), special little shopping trips ($5 toy-10 marbles). You set teh value.
To use it in this situation, I would have her decorate a paper cup. Let her put it some place "special" so her sister can't get to it. Tell her how it works. With the hitting say something like, if you can go from now until lunch time you earn a marble. Then at lunch time say if you can go frm now until snack time, you earn another marble, ect... BUT if you hit you loose 2 marbles. No counting with this situation. If it is a lesser crime, we count. Remind her during the day and let her know you are watching her and how good of a job she is doing. THe next day make the time longer, but say something like "you've done sucha good job yesterday, lets try from breakfast till snack, you get 2 marbles, but 3 taken out if there is hitting" then in a few days you'll be reviewing the day she gets a few marbles and then the hitting will be gone.
I hope it works for you . Let us know how you make out!
J.S. answers from Boston on March 31, 2009
My son has had lots of troubles with these kinds of behaviors. My friends always recommended increasing my limit setting, time-outs, etc. Nothing worked. I am an LICSW and I took all parenting courses to keep my license active. I found a book that really changed my parenting life. It is called "Treating Explosive Kids: The Collaborative Problem Solving Approach" by by PhD Ross W. Greene PhD and PhD J. Stuart Ablon Phd. They are located in Needham. There is also a program connected with Mass General called www.thinkkids.org. I feel like I finally have a paradigm to fall on when I don't know what to do with my child's behavior. I have really found it to help my child and it also helps me.
D.K. answers from Boston on March 31, 2009
I agree with the automatic time-out. I have a zero-tolerance policy with acts of aggression... partly because they make ME so mad, I need a time-out too! Just BE CONSISTENT. It may not seem like it's working at the time, but it will - give it time.
Make sure you praise any good behaviors too. I like the cup of marbles idea... we actually have 2 separate systems, we do time-outs or put special possessions in time-out for bad behaviors, and sticker charts for good behaviors. (A full chart earns a trip to the store & a small new toy.) I don't know which is better - to have one system, or two separate ones - but as long as you're visibly acknowledging ALL of her good & bad behaviors, I think eventually you'll see results. Good luck!
G.V. answers from New London on March 31, 2009
Five is too big to be hitting. She knows exactly what she is doing. You have to enforce the time outs more. Watch Super Nanny on Friday nights. You will get a lot of hints.