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Old 10-13-2003, 06:19 PM   #1
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Question My 6 year old is acting out

HELP... I dont know what to do at this point my 6 year old son has began acting out. He will break stuff around the house and he yells at me at the top of his lungs. And when I try to tell him what he is doing is wrong he smiles at me. And grounding doesnt help and neither does taking away toys. Ive tried the reward system and that doesnt seem to do much either. My husband tells me I have a problem with follow through. But it bothers me to not give him what he wants.
I dont know if this problem is due to the fact we have recently had alot of changes in our life. A year ago I lost my job due to a plant closing then 3 months after that we had a new daughter. He seemed to ajust to that fine not really any problems their. He started kindigarden in Sept.
About the first part of Aug. my husband started working longer hours to make ends meet. And I started college night classes. And I didnt know if all of these changes could be affecting my childs behavior. I guess I dont know what to do because all of the changes that have been made are necessary. And I have explained this to him. Kelcy

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Old 10-13-2003, 08:28 PM   #2
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Hi Kelcy!
Why does it bother you to not give him something he wants? The best thing you can do for him is follow through and have consistent consequences.

I work with a behavior specialist, and he is very insistent on follow through. That will be the key to doing what you need to do. Be careful what you tell him you are going to do....like make him sit in the front yard for an hour. Cause are you really going to do that? So make his consequences something YOU can live with!

Try to work on positive reinforcement and redirection.
Catch him being good and reward him for it. You may have to start with INSTANT GRATIFICATION. Meaning you reward him INSTANTLY for good behavior. Then as he gets going...start rewarding him for a good morning, then a good day, then a good week. So on and so on.

You will still have to do the discipline, but try to redirect him BEFORE he gets into trouble. Whatever he is doing...try to take his mind off of it by giving him something else to do, BEFORE he gets out of hand.

Hope this helps! Let me know how it goes!

Lindy

 
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Old 10-14-2003, 12:20 AM   #3
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Hi Kelcy, We are havig a similar prob with my wife's two dd's from her 1st marriage who live with us. We do the reward system and if they've been good, we take them to the dollar store for some goodies. You have to set boundaries and have a family contract with rules and consequences that everyone has helped to write. Catching him being good and telling him so will help too. He has lost his "place"in the famly by not being the baby anymore and having to not only share Mommy but also to have to go to school everyday. Children thrive on limits and will ultimately thank you for it someday. He remembers everything he does right now and if you don't follow through...he will think you are a pushover and are just trying to shut him up and the demands or tantrums he has are only going to multiply cause he is craving your attention. Try to get him involved in some fun activity, make time to be with just him (you and your hubby should have individual time with him each day), read booksd together about having a baby sister, let him learn the appropriate way to share these feelings and validate them by repeating what he shares with you and maybe also tell him how you might feel if you were in his shoes. The consequence has to fit the crime and you must follow through or he will end up thinking he has to freak out to get your attention and you don't follow through so you mustn't care. You can always talk to your child's doc, teacher or social worker at school for help as well as your clergymen too. Good luck and take care
chris
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Old 10-14-2003, 06:56 AM   #4
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you should read my post about my daughter! sweetie, you are not alone. i understand how hard it can be raising a child who seems to "just not get it" when it comes to discipline. It's hard for me to follow through because I work a lot, too. And I can imagine on your end with a new baby, going to school, etc. You must feel like you're stretched pretty thin... I don't have much advice, as I am having trouble with my OWN child, but I wanted to let you know that my http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif is with you and I'm wishing you lots of luck.

 
Old 10-14-2003, 11:32 AM   #5
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Thank you for your advice. Some of it is easier said then done. When my child misbehaves I have the problem with follow through. He may get in toruble and I tell him he is grounded from toys for 1 day but the punishment may not last 10 minutes. An its sad to say but I think my son has already realized at the age of 6 that mom isnt going to follow through on what she says. My son will be being punished for breaking a toy and I tell him he isnt getting any more but the next day we go to the store and I let him get something. Am I just showing him its okay to act out. But I feel guility when I have to go to school or I have to study. We have talked to him about whats going on and he says he understands but i dont think he really does. We spend as much time together as a family as we can but sometimes its hard. And we do manage nightly to have dinner together as a family. Could his behavior problems be more of a attention getter.
Kelcy

 
Old 10-14-2003, 01:29 PM   #6
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Kelcy, from your second post, it sounds like the problem is lack of consistency and follow-through from you. It's very hard to tell your child NO, but you have to sometimes. It's your JOB as a parent to provide what your child needs, even if it's unpleasant discipline and punishment. I hate to have to be "mean" to my child too, but all children need limits and discipline. If you tell your child he is grounded for the day, then you better make sure he is grounded for the day!! If you don't show him who's the boss NOW, by the time he's a teenager he is REALLY going to be walking all over you. You may be the "popular" parent now, but you will end up being the doormat eventually.

 
Old 10-14-2003, 03:55 PM   #7
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Although changes have been necessary, they have taken a tole on your son and he is acting out to get more attention. Children "will" get attention even if it is via negative behaviour.

Try to include your son in more things so he feels he is getting attention. Get him to be a helper in many different ways and praise him for a good job well done.

You must learn to carry thru with discipline. You need to choose discipline according to the problem. Be reasonable and realistic but when you tell him something, stick with it.

 
Old 10-14-2003, 04:22 PM   #8
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First of all, you HAVE to quit feeling so guilty!!! It is not going to hurt him to say no to him once in a while. And make the consequence something you can live with.
I go to school full time, I work and I have 3 kids. We do soccer, swim lessons, sports, PTSO. They understand that life is busy around here, and they learn to adjust. They KNOW that I am busy right now, but this weekend, or tonight, they will have me all to themselves. Let him know how busy you are, show him how he can help when you are busy, and let him TRUST in the fact that as soon as you can, you will do something with him.

It will help him and you both in the long run, if you set some limits and stick to them. And quit feeling guilty! There is nothing you can do about your situation right now, and he needs to know that.
I KNOW it is easier said then done, but I have a Sis-in-law, that was ALWAYS in trouble. Up until she was almost 25 years old! You know what she told me one day??? Her mother NEVER told her no, and let her do what she wanted. She came to a point where she just wanted her mom to set some boundries and say no. And as much trouble as she got into, her mother never did. And she still has a hard time dealing with that.

So please, listen to the great advice that you have gotten from some of the great people here, and try it!
His teacher might be able to give you some great advice on how to handle this too!
Good luck!


 
Old 10-15-2003, 04:28 AM   #9
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Kelcy, please don't use "toys" as punishment. For one you don't follow thru and two it really isn't a punishment for most kids these days.

Go and buy the book 123 Magic. It is simple and gets the point across. Heck it even works on older kids.
Basically you count to 3 and then they go to their room, car, for a time out. If you make this the standard punishment while you are under this stress it will help everyone in the long run. It is the same every time. It works.

I have a 12yo and believe what you are dealing with is NOTHING compared to what is coming. You MUST get the upper hand, (done with love of course). Children NEED you to be in charge. It makes them feel secure, safe & happy. It also calms them. NOW he won't like the changes imposed on him. It might take months before things go smoothly. You have to stick to your guns and find a method that works for your family.
There are other methods out there. I suggested the 123 Magic because it is simple & effective.
Good Luck
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Old 10-15-2003, 06:28 PM   #10
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I totally agree with that last poster!
I realized a long time ago (through some trial and error) that I AM THE ADULT here. So, I got to a point that i just pointed and said, I am not going to talk to you right now...go to your room and when you are ready to deal with this, you come out and tell me. It took a few times for them to know I was serious and I didn't want to hear another word, but now that they are older, they KNOW when I have had enough, and they just go.
If you choose NOT to get into an argument with a child, then you won't. It is as simple as that. Get the upper hand, let him know that you are NOT going to put up with it, and send him away. Don't play into his hand.
I would also let him know that he has hurt your feelings and instead of going to his room to play, he might want to think about how he is treating you and what he is going to do about it. Make it his responsibility to change things!
I had to think long and hard about sending them to their room at first. Cause they can just go in there and play, but if you give them something to think about...it might change. Let him be the one feeling guilty for a while!
I am sure he is a great kid, and you must be an awesome mom, since you realize there is a problem and you are working to fix it! But sometimes tough love is all you need to get things back into perspective!

Lindy

 
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