Help! Discipline Ideas for 9 Year Old Son Needed!

Updated on July 27, 2009
J.C. asks from Arlington, TX
8 answers

I have tried everything from taking away video games, playdates, t.v. He is still very sassy and I'm at my wits end. He'll respect his dad, but when it comes to me it's an on-going headache. Other than spanking, does anyone have any effective discipline tactics?

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answers from Dallas on

Lots of Mom's have suggested it in previous questions about discipline. I've used it and it works if you read the book and follow......Love and Logic by Jim Fay and Foster Cline

Also, remember that puberty begins at about age 9. Sassy, although not acceptable, is normal. Consistent discipline is the key.

Best of Luck,

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answers from Dallas on

I think it would help you tremendously if your husband had a heart to heart and man to man conversation with your son that his disrespect of "his wife" will not be tolerated....Would your husband stand by in a public setting and let some twerp kid mouth off and be smart to you? Probably not, neither should he let his own son (not that your kid is a twerp! LOL) Your husband is teaching his son to be a man and part of that is making him show respect to you and all women...

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answers from Dallas on

I am not an advocate of spanking. I grew up in a household where it was used (belt on naked behind) and the only way it impacted me was to build very deep resentment toward my parents. To this day, I have no relationship with my parents. To me....we teach children no violence and not to hit...then the parent hits....

Just my opinion on that, I expect to get slammed for voicing it here.

The main thing that works for us is taking away the laptop, iphone, ipod or planned parties, etc. Be consistant and communicate.

Good luck with your strategies. Go AAir...we fly them all the time!!

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answers from Dallas on

We used the Smart Discipline plan. We went to a seminar at my son's school, which was years ago, but this program worked well. Seems like kids are always good for dad and not for mom, that's very common! Here is the website, you can either order the tools you'll need or attend a seminar.

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answers from Lubbock on

Hi J.,

Discipline is hard, especially the older they get. But don't give up. When he speaks to you in a manner that is unacceptable start charging him money. If he has no money of his own make him do push ups, run sprints. Be creative. Also be sure to point out and praise him when he reacts to you in an acceptable way so HE starts to notice the difference.

Are you the only one he is sassy with? Point out...Do you talk to your teacher this way? Causes him to stop and think. I also agree that Dad needs to have a conversation with him. Is Dad around when it happens? If so make sure Dad is the one to correct too.

Hope you find the answer you are looking for. Just know you are not alone in the discipline battle.

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answers from Dallas on

A 9 year old is old enough to understand that discipline is for the purpose of changing behavior to make him a better person. (you will need to explain it, but he should understand)

Talk to your son about why it's important for him to treat women with respect. Do this in a way that he expresses his desire to treat women with respect. Then tell him that when he's sassing you, it's not respectful. Ask him if he would like to change his disrespectful behavior. When you get a "yes" from him, then ask him what would be a good reminder for him, that will help him learn this valuable life skill? Give him some ideas - then consistently do that thing when he is sassy to you. Perhaps for you to look him in the eye and remind him to speak kindly to you? (then make him speak kindly). has some cool "obedience sprays" that are a great reminder to kids who are trying to change a certain behavior.

I found that when my kids wanted to change a behavior and helped me to plan how they would learn, that they had a vested interest in changing their behavior.

One thing I always required was for my children to "say it the right way." I'm sure they heard me say this so many times. Never let him get away with his last words being the sassy ones.

In other words, don't simply punish without requiring the right behavior. Otherwise he learns that he just has to withstand the punishment, and there is no life discipline learned. Always require that he "say it the right way." You may even need to say the words you want him to say, in a calm way and have him repeat them.

Remember that when he is sassing you, it is a great opportunity for you to help him learn to be respectful. Try not to take it personally, or it becomes a battle, but rather see it just like anything else you teach him.

I hope that helps.

T. "Ta-Dah Mom" Camp

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answers from Dallas on

tell your husband to back you up with telling him "You don't get to talk to your Mama that way!" or for you to tell him that and a little swat on the mouth. Worked wonders for my 9yr old. Startled him so bad that I swatted his mouth he couldn't say anything else. I also tell him frequently "don't talk to me that way". Also grabbing him by the top of the ear for an old fashioned attitude adjustment right then also helps the child put things in perspective.
Seems you may need to be a little more proactive and stop letting him roll over you and be disrespectful. How he acts now is how he will learn to act on into his teenage years. You don't want that.
Good luck,
L., Mother to 3 boys.

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answers from Dallas on

Hard labor was always a life-learning punishment at our house when my children were young. My children would pull weeds, wipe baseboards, doggy duty, etc. The punishment was so effective my children would beg for a spanking instead. Even if we were out and about and they acted up, I counted, you owe me 5-10-15 minutes of hard labor when we get home. At one point they both went through a mouthy period at the same time and I had to make up more hard labor chores; I even made them scrub the tile grout with old toothbrushes. It made an impact, in their teens if they would start with the mouth, I would tell them "You say yes ma'am, and do as your told", in response I would get a very grudging "yes, ma'am", but they obeyed most of the time. Another one of my favorite phrases was to ask them, "do you want a long, good life?" - The Bible says children obey your parents and you will have a long good life. I wait in anticipation knowing my children will say these much despised phrases to their own children.

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