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Question
Posted by: Lin | 2010/07/12

6yr old

Our 6yr old has a few behaivour concerns. She tends to do things even though I have asked her not to. When I confront her about something she sometimes screams at me and always starts a crying/screaming fit (no tears). We use the naughty corner for punishment which seems to work but she will still do things that she knows is wrong. Last night she asked my husband something and after he answered her she walked away and said " you liar" . She often hides things away. She gets lots of attention, hugs and kisses and is doing brilliantly at school. Has a wonderful appetite and sleeps well. Her behaivour just does not seem right for age. Please can you advise?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Kids are little imperialists in a way - they have a recurrent need to explore and establish boundaries, between what is approved of, what they can get away with, and what is forbidden.
Maria is right that this can occur at various ages, and needs to be managed as usual by clear rules about important things, with clear and proportionate consequences for breaking the rules. I would make it clear that the screaming tantrums are unpleasant but will never be allowed to bring her any rewards, and will be generally ignored. Consistency is vital, because if it seems anything is worth chancing as the results are unpredictable, then chances will be taken.

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5
Our users say:
Posted by: Happiness | 2010/07/13

Ladies you''re getting me worried when you''re saying what I find extreme is normal. I wonder if boys behave differently from girls. My son is 5 and I hope nothing changes when he''s 6, he''s such a sweet boy who listens to all our instructions without any protests!

Reply to Happiness
Posted by: Purple | 2010/07/12

Sounds pretty normal behaviour for her age. I think you''re handling it well and I like the others ideas as well. I find taking toys away for up to a week depending on severity of what my 6 year old has done makes a big difference. I also always warn once first.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Lin | 2010/07/12

Not me :-) This seems to be a new user. Would still like to be able to register a username :D

To the other Lin:
As Maria says, she''s testing you. Keep the rules the same. Don''t change it from day to day. If she gets punished for something today, she''s going to get punished for it if she does it again.
Try punishing her by taking away privelages to things she loves best. Warn her once and tell her that your going to stop her t.v. privelages tonight. Then don''t give in! No matter what. Let her scream.

Reply to Lin
Posted by: Maria | 2010/07/12

The behaviour is not that unusual, she is pushing the boundaries and that''s what kids do. My daughter went through a similar stage at that age. It stopped after we clamped down hard. For stealing we ended up putting her in " jail"  - emptied out a bathroom of everything she could play with and put her in there with a pillow and a blanket. The first time we did that she stayed in for an hour and came out all -|- y. The second time I left her for more than two hours and that was the last time she took money. For telling lies we took away priveleges. I told her if you use your mouth for telling lies to me, I''m not reading you a bedtime story. Sometimes stories were cancelled for several days. I also cancelled activities - if you tell lies you lose the privilege of going to Brownies and I call your Brownie leader and tell her why you won''t be there. Rudeness isn''t tolerated. Make sure you tell her that in our family we don''t tell lies / take things that don''t belong to us / speak to each other that way. And be consistent. Never threaten to do something and then not do it. This is our job as parents and it''s not always pleasant to do but we are trying to raise decent adults who will know right from wrong and be useful citizens. Good luck!

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/07/12

Kids are little imperialists in a way - they have a recurrent need to explore and establish boundaries, between what is approved of, what they can get away with, and what is forbidden.
Maria is right that this can occur at various ages, and needs to be managed as usual by clear rules about important things, with clear and proportionate consequences for breaking the rules. I would make it clear that the screaming tantrums are unpleasant but will never be allowed to bring her any rewards, and will be generally ignored. Consistency is vital, because if it seems anything is worth chancing as the results are unpredictable, then chances will be taken.

Reply to cybershrink

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