6 Year Old Daughter Out of Control

Updated on January 01, 2013
R.P. asks from Pasadena, CA
12 answers

Hi, I have a 6 year old daughter whom I love so much, but sometimes I just don't want to be around her. She can get very nasty she is rude, mean and doesn't care about anything. when I ask her to do something she would say "No, you do it" I would tell her, if you don't do it you are going to time out. and she would say "I don't care I'll go to time out, watch me" and she will go to time out and sit like it doesn't affect her at all. she tells me things like " I'm going to sock you in your face or I'm going to hit you" If I raise my voice or take her to time out myself she tells me that shes going to call the police. I see no reason for her to act this way everyone in my family loves her so much this girl has everything a girl would want love, affection, attention, everything. I try my best to make her happy. I talk to her nicely. when she does something wrong I ask her to stop nicely about 3 time then I raise my voice. And it seems like when I treat her bad she likes it. She wines for everything and cries for everything. My dad says that she needs to be spanked. But I don't believe in spanking or hitting a child. I never have done that but sometimes I do feel like doing so and just by thinkin about it makes me feel like i'm a bad mom. I really don't know what to do anymore. Thank you everyone for your answers :)

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answers from Washington DC on

it is not loving, nor does it make children happy when they are allowed to be rude, horrid and disrespectful. it is not loving make yourself use a 'nice' voice and allow her to whine and cry.
children need boundaries and their behavior shows that they seek them. they need and want to know how far they can push behaviors, and as they explore the world they're uncertain as to how to handle teachers vs mommy vs strangers vs siblings.
refusing to set boundaries keeps them uncertain, afraid and angry.
give this child boundaries.
do it today.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I would get some professional help to get some support with parenting a strong willed child. Here are some good books: The Strong Willed Child, Have a New Kid by Friday. I would really get to the bottom of this the sooner the better. The older she gets the harder it will be to establish your authority. Blessings

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Professional help and support as another mom said. Divorce is very hard on kids. It's very hard on you as well. She needs confident consistent start parenting, and also a place to be angry in an appropriate place, because the situation isn't a happy one for her. Check out love and logic for parenting, and talk to the school or pediatrician for a recommendation for family counseling. You'll both benefit.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

You have to find something she does care about. What would make her angry or upset if you took it away? What activity does she do or friends that she plays with does she really love? Since time outs do not work you need to find what will work. For my son taking away mine craft (the video game), or all video games works. Also, taking away playtime with his friends works. Does your daughter love TV? A certain show? Her dance class? You have to figure out what it is you can take away that she would really really hate. Then do it. You should sit her down and tell her these are the new rules...and list them off. (No talking back, no talking in a rude voice, no saying things like I am going to hit you.) If she breaks the rule she immediately gets a consequence AND sent to her room. Take all toys and books out of her room so there is nothing to do in there. Treat it like she is in boot camp and you need to retrain her.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

She needs counseling, first off. Counseling by those very people she threatened you with. Possibly a boot camp therapy, as she is sooooo fond of threatening you with Police action.
You may wish to call the Police ahead of time(or go there during school hours) and talk to them, asking them to scare her. Threats cease to become threats if they know that everyone is going to call her bluff.

Second, I'd tell her go ahead, call the Police, and hand her the phone with the non-emergency number programmed in and pre-dialed. If you hate it here so much, enjoy foster life.

You will get none of your things(the courts and Police don't care about things, just your safety, so you will get dragged out of here in just what you are wearing).
You will live with complete strangers, will not be able to see your friends and those family members you do like. You will not have a choice.
You will not get to call them either, as that is part of your dangerous old life, and you will be taken far away from anyone that is part of that life.

Old friend of mine had that done to her(the boot camp therapy)when she was 13, because she called the Police on her parents weekly(yes, I said weekly). The Police and CPS were fairly aware of what was going on, and they all to a one recommended it to the parents when it was clear she was just going to keep on doing it. When she called for like the 20th time, they all came and got her, and took her "away".
Three months later, she was a very different person, and her parents finally had their good respectable daughter back.

They all to a one said it was the hardest thing they ever had to do/go through, but all in all, it was for the best. This is for the most extreme of cases, so research things.

Take care Mama, and may the new year grant you many blessings.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

First off I agree with you about the spanking, that isn't going to solve the problem.

Secondly, and I know this will sound much easier than it is, I know that when you're in the throws of it, it's hard to deal with a sassy kid, but I think you need to be more consistent. A lot of people have told you that time out isn't working...well the thing is, you aren't really being consistent with it to know if it's working or not.

I do think 6 is a bit old to so defiantly put herself in time out, but the thing is, you are giving her 3-4 or more chances to do the right thing. She's 6, she needs to do the right thing or go to time out...no more warnings, etc. Now if it's a behavior that she doesn't display very often or something out of the norm, then that's fine, give her a warning, but if she's going to talk sassy to you there needs to be a swift and immediate consequence. That can either be time out or taking away whatever she was asking for or whatever the situation calls for but she needs to understand that speaking like that to you is unacceptable.

She also probably needs some coping strategies. Talk about ways she can calm down or ask for help. Practice, have her draw pictures, etc. It may sound cheesy but you can make it fun and you can do it too with examples from your own life.

I highly recommend doing some reading about Love and Logic. It is a great approach and can be very helpful but you absolutely must be consistent. Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

As my moms says, the most loving word in the English language is "No."

If you don't respect yourself, this child will never respect you either. Sometimes, "everything a girl would want" tells the child that SHE rules the roost. My dad used to remind us we lived in a benevolent dictatorship. It was benevolent as long as we behaved and were respectful -- but it was still a dictatorship and he & my mom were in charge.

Right now, it sounds like SHE's in charge -- and that needs to change. I don't agree that she needs to be spanked, but she does need firm, loving discipline -- not just unconditional love. We all love our children, but we need to remember that sometimes a child needs boundaries and limits which are consistently, firmly enforced.

Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I think it's time to stop acting so nice and sweet to her, and to start coming up with some consequences that mean something - obviously time outs do not and she has no respect or fear of your authority whatsoever. I am not advocating spanking, but no way would I ever put up with such rude behavior either. If she thinks it's ok for her to talk to you this way, how is she going to be with her teachers, her friends parents, and other adults/authority figures in her life?

Kids need love and affection, but that is not enough. They also need their parents to be parents, and that means you don't "ask" to do anything - you tell her, politely and firmly. She doesn't listen or she talks back, she spends the rest of the day in her room, she gets TV taken away the rest of the day, whatever has meaning to her. Stop worrying about being "mean" - you are her mother, and I am sure if you talked to your parents at 6 years old the way she is talking to you now, there is no way your parents would have tolerated it. She will get mad, she will throw tantrums, she will tell you she hates you - fine, so what? She says she is going to call the police? Really? How? Stop "trying to make her happy" - she's trying to run the show and she's miserable doing it. Set some rules and boundaries in place and let her know when she's crossed the line. You will end up with a happier kid in the long run when she has a mommy that she knows will stop her from being out of control, and cares enough to expect better behavior from her.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I don't think that spanking would work with this kid anyway, because she would just dig her heels in and treat you worse. I do think that time outs don't work because she truly doesn't care.

Kids who don't get positive attention seek out negative attention, so it sounds like that is what she is doing. I am not saying that you don't pay attention to your child. I do think that you need to capitalize on what she does well and try to cultivate that with her, and pay attention to that.

What is her "currency"? In other words, what does she enjoy doing, playing with, having? THAT'S what you need to go after when she talks terribly to you. Does she have a room full of toys? When she tells you NO when you tell her to do something, tell her "That's strike one." Don't say anything else except to tell her again to do it - turn on the timer and tell her that when the timer goes off, she needs to do it (give her 5 minutes on the timer, walk away, and give her time to think about what will happen if she doesn't comply.) When the timer goes off and she doesn't budge, tell her "That's strike two." Ditto until she gets strike 3. Then go in her room, without a word, and remove what she likes the best. You need a box that gets put up where she cannot reach and doesn't know the location of that's where you keep all her favorite things. She may not realize for a few days that her stuff is disappearing. When she says "Where is my doll?" tell her that her doll is in time out because she had 3 strikes. If she says she's going to call the police, laugh at her.

Depending on where you live, I would possibly consider going down to the precinct nearby and talk to one of the neighborhood policemen there. See if you can bring her in and let them talk some tough turkey to her about her behavior and how the police expect her to obey her mother and that she can get in big trouble threatening to hurt ANYONE, including her mom. Maybe that would help.

Right now she has you over a barrel because your discipline doesn't work on her. If she ends up losing (over time) every single belonging she has except the mattress on her floor, (including her bedroom door), I think that she will straighten up. I would do this gradually without much discussion and not let her get you sucked into an argument or screaming match. If you just tell her that "x" is in timeout because she got to strike three, and refuse to say anything else, she will finally think TWICE before she says awful stuff to you or says no when you tell her to do something.

You MUST work on this now and not wait, or you will have a teen that end up doing drugs and getting pregnant and flunking out of school. It's this important.

Btw, you are not a bad mom for thinking negative things about your child. And plenty of people successfully manage their children by including spanking in their discipline. Not everyone does, but I don't believe that it would work for you. I do believe that what I am saying here about removing her belongings in descending order of importance to her, and then the big things in her room, is what WILL work. Once you get to bare bones and she has finally started to improve, only then should you start to allow her to EARN back things a LITTLE at a time. (Starting with her LEAST favorite possession.)

Sending you strength~

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

time out is not working try something else. it might be to take away a favorite toy. turn the tv off for the day, no ipod etc. I don't know what her favorites are. My kids it was always the video game. or an early bedtime. it has to be something she cares about. And while I am not a big believer in hitting I don't think a sharp crack on the behind is out of line sometimes. Or course a time out that she is making for herself doesn't bother her. and that is not really a time out. a time out is something that you set up.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

OMG, I read this and I saw my own daughter. She has ODD which is Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Her pediatrician diagnosed her about a year ago and we have her seeing the school therapist. I would love to say that it helps but recently she has become very problematic. I found a book that is helping me, "10 days to a Less Dedfiant Child" by Jeffrey Bernstein. I have to admit that reading it in 10 days is hard but I love the ideas behind it. It had been NOT been easy and some days are worse than others. I was in tear yesterday because it was her day to just whine about everything and no tactic was working at first. Finally I got her to behave and say shes sorry. BIG deal for someone with ODD. My daughter showed signs of this at age 4 and it took me until she was 7 to get a diagnosis. She is now 9. Get the book and talk to your school. Get her as much help as possible. BUT mostly love her daily.



answers from Los Angeles on

Depending on how long this has been going on, you might want to address it medically - she may have a chemical imbalance. Or, it might be a mental health issue. Our son was diagnosed with ODD when he was 5 and then again when he was 6. Google 'oppositional defiance disorder', Hopefully it isn't but it is one more thing to check out, along with her getting enough sleep and correct diet.
Good luck!

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