5 Year Old Boy Behavior

Updated on May 06, 2010
B.C. asks from Gilbert, AZ
12 answers

I sometimes have a hard time knowing what is bad behavior and what is just boy stuff. My son is five and not yet in kindergarten, so he is home with me and his 4 year old sister. We do keep busy going to the gym, errands and hanging out with friends at least once a week. His general behavior is really loud. He walks around making high pitched screaming noises a lot, makes monster noises almost constantly and yells a lot. He is also into talking back lately. I have heard this is common with five year olds, but he talks back whenver he doesn't want to do something. For example, every morning I give them workbook pages to do while I make breakfast. This morning he said he couldn't write a "2" or a "3" and started to whine and cry and say that he hates this house. Hating this house is a new one in the last couple of weeks and he uses it quite often. Also, he cries and whines way too much for a five year old in my opinion. When I ask him to do something he doesn't like, the drama begins. He also acts very strangley in some social situations. Last week their uncle stopped by for lunch. He never once talked to his uncle, just ran around screaming, making noises and pretty much acted like a nut. He also did this when his grandparents came for a visit from another state. He spent the first hour or two running around screamingmaking weird noises. We were at the pool last week and he saw a couple of other boys swimming and apparentely wanted to play with them. So he walked up to them, threw his hands in the air and said "ROAR". I did use it as an opportunity to explain the right way to ask them to play. Advice on how to handle this and is it normal stuff? Thanks ladies for your advice and wisdom.

2 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?

Thank you ladies for all of your input. We had considered autism early on because of speech delay and a few other characteristics, but the Dr.s had quickly ruled it out. He is very social and is very friendly, although often approaches it the wrong way. I do think it is partly his age, partly his gender and partly his behavior. He is all boy and while some of his behavior needs to be corrected, I think I also need to accept some of it as his personality. It is nice to hear from so many of you that you are in similar situations. I think sometimes that is all we need as moms . . . .just a little reaaurance that we are doing OK. I will take some of the parenting advice and work on some of his behavior and I have also checked out the websites that were suggested and found a lot of useful information. Thanks again for the advice and encouragement.

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answers from Tucson on

This behavior may be normal some of the time, but not all of the time. I would talk to his pediatrician about it as well as the school system. I have a son who has Asperger's Syndrome along with Sensory Integration Disorder and he had a lot of those traits at 5 years of age. He is now 9 years old and he still has meltdowns every once in a while. I get the response "I hate you!" only once every 2 to 3 weeks now thank goodness.

I would also agree with those who told you to redirect and not tell him to just stop the behavior. He needs to know how you want him to act. Just telling him not to do it will just frustrate him because he won't know what he can do instead. Another thing is to get him into a good Martial Arts program. This has helped my son greatly with his behavior as well. I started him in this at 5 years old and the therapists have said it is a wonderful thing for him.

Well, that is all I have for now!!
D. P.

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answers from Phoenix on

It sounds like my house LOL! My 5yo son starts Kindergarten this fall too. He is in preschool and the socialization has been great for him. He behaves perfectly at school but all bets are off at home. He loves to roar, it's all about the reaction. They want to see how far they can push their limits. Often times kids this age want to "show off" for visitors. It seems inappropriate at times but it's how they express their newly discovered skills and get reactions/attention. Back talk is the same thing-reaction and limit pushing. He also melt downs and crying fits over the littlest things at times and others nothing bothers him. It's atough age for them as they try to learn social rules and deal with their emotions. He also acts as if he doesn't know how to do anything I ask (like draw, read, etc), is better for his dad, and the work he brings home from school shows otherwise. I wouldn't really worry, boys are noisy creatures, I have 2 and my house is only quiet when they are sleeping.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Flagstaff on

I don't have boys so I don't really know about them in particular. However, some of the social behaviors you speak of sound a little like my daughter who is 7 years old and has Autism. She does sometimes makes strange noises and "roars" at people when it is not appropriate. She also has other issues though too. I don't know if your son has other issues that are a little different than most kids or if what you mention in your question is all that he is doing differently. I would ask your pediatrician about it to see if they think it is an issue and if there is anything they suggest or if they can suggest an early intervention type program you can get your son into.



answers from Phoenix on

It all sounds normal to me. My 5-year old daughter gets super excited also when friends or family come over and does the running around, screaming weird noises thing. We've been talking about how we know she is excited about seeing our friends/family, but that there is a more appropriate way to express our excitement. Like giving them a hug, sitting down with them and talking to them, playing a game with them. We still get the initial crazy girl, but after a reminder, she calms down and she's back to normal.



answers from Minneapolis on

If you look at questions about four year olds and five year olds, 90% of them will be about this type of thing. It is very developmental. A two year old is experimenting with his world and what his actions do. A four/five year old is experimenting with what his words will do. He will go over the top. He will want the world to bow at his feet. <grin>

Each time he speaks inappropriately, rephrase it in words that are appropriate to use. Or volume level that is appropriate. Give him friendly do-overs. He will learn by example and by practicing the better ways to interact and will pick this up more and more.

So, instead of saying stop all the time, (telling him what you don't want to be happening) keep tellilng him what you want him to be doing.



answers from Los Angeles on

Does your 5 year old go to preschool? I would think that would help a lot with helping him learn to socialize. Like Tracy, I have a child with Asperger's and some of your son's traits sound a bit like that too. If you think something is up with him, you should have the school district assess him since he'll be starting kindergarten soon.



answers from Dallas on

My boys are really loud too! but we try and encourage quiet time and inside voices. Oh the whining gets annoying, my sons does the same thing when I try and get him to write numbers or letters. he responds much better to his father than to me.

I strongly recommend this book, it is worth it's weight in gold and it can help you out in so many ways, it's helped us a lot.


In the meantime, here are some of his articles that can be helpful:



answers from Albuquerque on

I have a 5 year old little boy and he does the same things. He runs around and is loud (especially with his little brother). I think it sounds more to be just the age then anything else. We put a stop to the "hate" word, so he does not use that. I do however hear how he doesn't like it here or the newest one is "you're the worst mommy ever" this one stings a bit. My older sister has a little girl and she was like this for a while also but has calmed down quite a bit in the last few months. I am sure it will get better. Keep your head up and just keep remembering that the good always outweighs the bad!



answers from Austin on

This may be normal behavior for a 5-year-old boy, but if you are worried, you can get the school system to give you some advice. They should help, because it will become their problem if he gets to kindergarten and is still acting this way.
My 8-year-old son, who has ADHD/Aspergers, acts this way all the time. He went to pre-k, which helped him prepare for kindergarten, but even in 2nd grade still needs extra help when he gets out of control. The school has a behavior plan so when he gets too loud he can help deliver papers in the office or shelve library books, anything to get him out of the classroom and get moving.
At home, I am able to ignore much of the constant humming, buzzing, screeching, singing, loud talking, roaring, etc. They way I look at it, at least I don't have to wonder what he's up to. My feeling is that my son physically can't control this behavior yet- because it almost completely disappears when he takes ADHD meds. I still do let him know that he's doing it, and remind him that it's not polite.
My son attends an after school social skills class, where they actually practice things that most people take for granted, such as giving a compliment, taking turns, etc. It's a great idea to talk about ahead of time how to ask a friend to play. Here's a link to a list of stories (created for kids with autism but could probably help anyone). One of the choices is "Asking Someone To Play"

One book that helped me was "Quirky Kids- Understanding and Helping Your Child Who Doesn't Fit In- When to Worry and When Not to Worry" by Perri Klass and Eileen Costello



answers from Anchorage on

I have a 4 and a 6 year old, both boys, both just like what you described, so yes I think it is very normal. With the noise and such I ask them to tone it down or go to another room. With the back talk or any disrespect, it is time out.



answers from Indianapolis on

im in the same situation my son turns 5 in august and acts the same way he cries obnoxiously and doesnt do anything i ask him to do i beleive it is normal. most kids act that way and we all know we want our children to be in our own opinions perfect.but we honestly either hav to go to the experts or try to learn from our own experiences.when my son gets in a fight with his older brother over a toy they have two of (they have 2 of everything just for that reason but they always fight no matter what) iv noticed lately alot of violence like hitting and smacking so i take snack time away or coloring away and sometimes limit play time. it works to an extent but he always finds a way to outsmart me so i always try to find something new for them to get interested in.


answers from Dallas on

I have quiet boys, but I think much of it is just personality. I also think some of it is because we use Love and Logic (www.loveandlogic.com). My oldest (12) has always been very relaxed, and my youngest (6) is much more high-strung. Usually both boys get along and are pleasant to be around, but my six year old is sometimes a whiner/crier.

When he whines/cries over simple daily things like a drawing not turning out the way he wants, we tell him to go cry in his room and come out when he's calm. We remind him we don't cry over pictures in our house. I know he is simply learning to deal with frustration, however we don't all want to listen to it. He is getting very good at calming down quickly and rejoining the family. We've gone over deep breathing techniques with him and tried to give him ideas about how to deal with frustration. He is a perfectionist. Interestingly he behaves perfectly at school.

Love and Logic gives great ideas about how to offer children choices (Do you want to cry in your room, or stop crying and help me cook dinner?), and it has worked extremely well for us. I think consistency is the key for anything to work.

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