5 Year Olds Behavior??

Updated on December 14, 2011
M.H. asks from Lima, OH
10 answers

I know my 5 year old sons behavior can not be normal. From the time he wakes up until he goes to bed he is CONSTANTLY crying or whining about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. I really don't know what to do anymore. He calls me a "meany mom" ALL THE TIME and says that I just don't ever want to be nice and stuff like that it does hurt my feelings but I try to remember he is only 5. I told my husband I just feel like he is ALWAYS so angry but our 4 year old son is not like this AT ALL. He is so mellow & happy all the time and we have our other child who is just the complete opposite. Day to day its a struggle getting through the day because you really have to have ALOT of patience with my son. I don't know what to do but any advice would be so appreciated

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answers from Spokane on

I have to agree with Jane K., first thing you need to do is rule out any physical problems. Is he in any sort of pain? Ear infection? Getting his six year molars soon? Digestive problems?
Maybe he has sensory processing problems and the world is overwhelming to him, maybe he has a food allergy (wheat, dairy, food dyes) that is causing behaviors that he really can't control.
If you are clear about the severe difference in behaviors between your two kids who are close in age and being raised in the same environment, then your pediatrician should be able to help, or at least give you a referral to someone who can dig to the bottom of this! Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Talk to your Pediatrician.
Have him evaluated.

My daughter, had a classmate like that.
And this was 2nd grade.
Just like your son.
It really caused a disruption to daily class, to the Teachers and to other kids. This boy was like this, all the time, anytime.
But because his issues are private and not privy due to privacy, well, I don't know what he is diagnosed as. But, he does have issues. And I know the M. has a hard time, because she has intimated as such. To me and that her son sees a Therapist.

Really, you need to talk to your Pediatrician and have him evaluated.
A layperson, can only do so much or try so many 'methods.'
But to me, you'd want a concrete... answer or how you can help your son, professionally.

You NEED a PROFESSIONAL... to guide you on this.
Otherwise, it is all just guesswork.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I would speak with your doctor about this. Sometimes when kids are different like that, there could be something going on with them that you cannot see with your eyes. Your doctor can help you get to the bottom of this. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I have a 5 y/o daughter who cries about EVERYTHING, she doesn't get angry but she does cry. t first i used to follow her to her room where she'd put herself, and try and talk to her about it, but now I've found that ignoring her outbursts has worked out better, now i just tell her whenever you're ready to talk come on out of your room, and usually by then she's calmed herself down and doesn't even need to talk about it. Funny thing is, her teacher told me that she only cried 2 times at school last year, so she's only doing it at homr. have you aked his teachers if he's the same way at school? im not much help but just thought I'd share that i also have a very emotional 5 y/o.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

if this is the only thing that is out of norm for your son i have to suggest looking into whether he is getting enough sleep. my now 7 year old daughter was in a 'tear-mode' constantly for years. i knew she didn't sleep well, she woke up over everything, and took her time to fall asleep i just didn't know that was causing her to be so sad, crying all the time, whiney etc. when i brought it up with her pediatrician he said she isn't getting enough sleep. now she gets melatonin a few nights a week and she is a completely different child. has not had 1 meltdown or crying for no reason even once. look into it. by the way, according to our pediatrician our 7 year old should be getting between 10 and 12 hrs sleep. she definitely wasn't getting that much. now she is and she has changed completely.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

In case you have not disciplined him firmly for this (just going by your saying you've had patience, and you don't mention disciplining him) This book is great; Back to Basics Discipline by Janet Campbell Matson.

My son who is almost 4 went through a pretty vicious whining stage when he was almost three, but we were able to stop it by being calm, FIRM, CONSISTENT, and systematic about not letting him act that way. Simply saying "I can't hear you when you talk like that" had no effect at all. We tried that route before cracking down on it. He just whined louder. Now he's a very sweet non whiny almost 4, and you'd never know he was such a whiner. Now my 2 1/2 year old is trying it, so the first time she lets out an anguished whine or fuss for no good reason, we give her a "Hup!" (like drill seargent style) to remind her immediately to stop the whine before she continues. It took enforcement at first, but now she gets it and stops the whine in it's tracks before speaking. No other option. Now we say, "Hup!, OK?" and she says "ok" and we say "ok?" and she starts to smile, and we say "All done?" and she says, "all done" and then I say, "What's wrong pooby, woooby" and she has long forgotten. OR, we can empathize with her tragedy AFTER she ceases the whine. By which time she usually forgets she had a tragedy. We can laugh about it now, but it did take firm discipline initially, as in firm consequence after "hup" if she still screamed or whined and we knew it wasn't a real problem. She was also taught to control tantrums, so this step is easier than it could have been, since she's used to the warning and stopping of the fit. She was a born rager too. Whatever you do, NEVER ignore it.

He needs to have consequences for constantly whining and crying and speaking disrespectfully or he won't stop. Saying mean things to M.? Hurting you feelings? NO WAY. Do not let him do that, it will make his life harder if he does not understand that respect is mandatory. My friend has a son like this, and holy cow, it's unreal! She lets him do it though. Sometimes she gets fed up and screams at him, but other than that, he has no real consequences for the action of whining all day. If you have been tough on him consistently already, I say, don't give up! But scan the book for some helpful ideas just in case. And obviously, make sure he has no medical issues. If whines more around his parents than other people, you can be pretty assured it's a discipline thing he can turn on and off.

If he's healthy and just difficult, you must persevere more than him. Don't let him outlast you and force you to allow it. 5 is pretty urgent as far as having any control over guiding his character, his habits on how to perceive life will be set soon. It's normal for some kids to act this way with siblings who don't. There's rarely a whole family full of severe whiners :) Phew. Good luck!



answers from Sacramento on

I would watch what your feeding him. No sugary things. Well balance diet. I agree sleep. Force him to take a nap during those behavior after school. I would inforce time out. Or be sent to his room when he talk to you disrespectful. I boought a program call magic 1-2-3 my son has disablities . his doctor suggested it. It works. when kids are whinny. have them to go the room until they can talk to the correct way. Take things away. My son also has ODD. Defiant disorder. I no longer have issue. only when he play video games. I have limited that. he can only watch e games . there are other things you can do. ( I also do a naught bucket) put chores in there that age approaite. when he acts up have him pull out the chore. he will stop in about 3 day.



answers from New York on

It could just be his temperment but maybe a counselor could help you sort out if it might be something more than that and how to help him (and you) deal with this behavior. I can't tell if he is outside the normal range or not but obviously the behavior is getting to you (it would get to me too).

I also have a 5 year old--he complains a fair amount (not constantly but more than I'd like) and will have tantrums if tired. Usually he can be redirected if he starts going down the tantrum path but that is after years of practice (I started with the redirecting when he was 2 and it still isn't always effective). I get called mean mommy too.



answers from Portland on

Some children come into the world more intense than others. Your son could just be one of those lucky ones. There is a book that is recommended (haven't read it myself) for parents of such kids: Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic by Mary Kurcinka. I've heard glowing reports from a number of moms who have gotten a lot of help from this book.

Another thing you might consider is that your son might be feeling emotionally 'off' because of sensitivities or allergies. I have multiple chemical sensitivities, and even a fairly small exposure to perfume or many household cleaning aids can really do a number on me emotionally.

I used to participate in group testing for sensitivities, and week after week I'd watch kids come in calm, then become angry or miserably unhappy just minutes after some very dilute chemical agent was squirted under their tongues. It might be worthwhile reducing the chemical load in your home and see if that helps. You may need a few weeks with 'no scented anything' to see a change. Food colors and preservatives can also cause emotional changes in children.


answers from New York on

Your son has gotten into a bad habit and habits are hard to break! Get ready to say 900 times a day " I can't understand you when you talk in a whiny voice. I have NO IDEA what you are trying to say." Keep busy doing what you are doing, give him NO attention unless he is bleeding and ONLY respond to him when he talks normally. No neagative attention, ignore him! Do NOT interact with him over crying or whining. You will feel bad because you obviously do not want to withhold all attention from him but it will be temporary. If he complains about something in a normal voice with five year old words (not crying) give him attention and echo his concerns no matter how small, "what your favorite show isnt on! YOu must be disappointed!" "OH no you dropped your cookie, I bet that made you feel so bad!" Dont tell him these problems are tiny and unimportant they are important to him! So complaining is OK but whiniung and crying is not. Remember -You can not understand him when he cries and whines! You never have any idea what he is talking about if his voice is whiny! If he goes to school ask his teacher how he is there, if he is not so whiny with them it proves he doesn't have to be that way, that you and him have gotten into a habit and this is how you interact. IF he is not in school, think about putting him in a program for the rest of the year, a change of pace would really help him start some new habits. and being around his peers who are not crying and whining all day would be great for him.

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