How can I get my 5 year old son to stop his bad behavior?

My son just turned five and he is always messing something up. For example this week alone he has...

* Tore apart a plant of my grandmothers that her grandmother gave her.

* Colored on his wall with pen after I cleaned all his walls, then stabbed his wall with the pen several times.

* Poured soda into the jug of change my grandparents have in their room.

* Put toothpaste in the toilet, tub, on counter, on the hairbrush, curling iron, wall.

* Sprayed his Capri Sun drink all over the kitchen, the walls, the ADT system, counters, floor, dining room floor.

Two weeks ago I discovered he has been peeing in his room, I didnt know it till there was a smell, he also peed in his lego box.

He puts food and pours drinks in his toy box's, When he gets mad at my daughter, his sister he will hit her, throw something at her, bite her, or hit her with something then five minutes later they say they are best friends.

I have tried time out in a chair with a timer set for 5 minutes one minute for each year is is old and every time he gets up or playes with something I start it over, he does well in time out but it doesnt stop his behavior.

I have a sticker chart to work on different things he has issues with for example he gets a sticker for not hitting his sister, or for helping clean up after himself, I even wrote up a little promise note for him and read it to him and he agreed and "signed" his name and it is up with his sticker chart, they get to go to the Dollar Store if they earn all their stickets or go to Dairy Queen or alone time with me "Mother and Daughter time" or "Mommy and Cameron time".

When I found out about him peeing in his room I took everything away from him. I moved every book, toy, toy box, everything out of his room his room was empty except his furniture. He was only allowed to play ooutside on the swing set (he needs to kill the energy).

He has not seen his father in two years and we live with my grandparents they help out so much since I am a single mother, I am working on moving out but my son is just tearing up the house.

What else can I do to change his behavior? He is not bad all the time he has days where he will play with his sister all day, no fighting, and they will watch movies, and wont fight at all. I dont want to have to put him on medicine I want to try behavior modification if I can. Please help. Some days it is so bad Im in tears!!!

He thinks a lot of it is funny, he will throw a toy or something into the creek and laugh about it.


I would like to add in responce to some answers yes I have tried even a light spanking and I dont leave him alone, he is watched but when you tell him no he does it and laughes. He does get punished and he is always attended. Most of the time he see's that myself or my grandparents are cleaning, doing the dishes, or something where we are not stairing at him 24/7. You cant look at your child 100% of the day every day or else your wouldnt be able to get anything done. I have a daughter that needs help with homework and needs attention too. I have talked to a psychiatrist and she said he needs medication but Im not one of those parents that say oh my being a mom is too hard im going to drug my kids. If he needs it as a last resort fine, but Im looking for advice on things to try not to say your a bad parent. Other parents should support eachother not make their job harder!

19 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    If your school district has early intervention, get him tested for ADHD, Oppositional-defiant, etc.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    I think what your husband did was right I also have 5 yr old in kindergarten with the same problems. He is a very active kid and has problems at school so his punishment when being bad is no toys, no TV, and no playing outside with his friend and he has to help mommy clean. If he is good at the end of the week he gets to pick between a toy (a cheap one) or his fav. candy (which he can't have during the week he is already full of energy doesn't need any extra sugar). By taking away something he enjoys doing it is showing him that his bad behavior has a punishment. I understand your problem being he has so much energy and that a good way to release it but there is other things he can do which is why my son helps me clean gets out the energy and shows him bad behavior won't be tolerated.

  • 1 decade ago

    My son was doing the same thing. Bad behavior gets attention. At 5 they dont fully understand that they will get just as much attention for good behavior. We as adults know that good behavior reeps good benefits , children dotn fully understand that. My son is now 7 and that behavior has changed. Instead of time out I started doing 10 minutes earlier in bedtime. everytime he acted out or was disrespectful , I marked down on the chart . After the first time he went to bed at 6pm when his normal bedtime is 8-9 the behavior issues started to stop. I still keep this into effect, I still use time outs on occasion where they are needed, when bad behvior needs to be stopped right that second. Taking everything away from him , didnt work with my son it just pushed more bad behavior. I also found that taking my son to the YMCA to get his wiggles out helped curb bad bevahior. Boredom also leads to mischevious behavior. Know that your child isnt a bad child , your isnt the only one who does this..good luck and dont listen to those who say your child has mental issues or a demon , obviously they do not have children and dont fully understand the trouble and issues children can have.

  • 1 decade ago

    I feel your pain sister, really I do. I have an overly active 6 year old. He does things that he KNOWS he shouldn't be doing. We've tried every form of discipline known to man and he doesn't seem to care. He is finally of an age that we've involved him in sports, that seemed to help. If you work and your grandparents are the ones taking care of him, maybe he isn't getting the physical activity he needs. I don't have any advice for you honey but just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone. I'm sorry I can't help. I am willing to lend a shoulder should you ever need it, post an edit if you're interested and I'll get my contact info to you. :)

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  • 1 decade ago

    First - no eating or drinking ANYWHERE except while sitting at the kitchen table.

    Second - make sure the kid gets plenty of exercise - at least an hour a day of hard exercise.

    Third - someone should be watching him more carefully.

    And skip the time outs. Spank the child when he misbehaves. And make sure he knows why - and that it will happen again if he breaks the rules.

  • 1 decade ago

    well i would suggest taking your son to your pediatrician and getting a referral to a children psychiatrist. you dont have to put him on medication if you dont want him to be on it. they wont force you. but they can help teach you how to control him and his energy level and how to really figure out what is going on with him. clearly he has a problem and he is acting out by way of peeing and the food thing and the destruction. i have a younger brother and when he was a kid he would do the hitting thing and would have so much energy and would destroy things like crazy. well my parents found out that he had ADD and thats why he was always destroying things and hitting and was acting out. its a child's way of getting your attention and saying there is something wrong. we also learned that he had a learning disability and was very frustrated at school and would take his frustration out at home. there is a reason why your son is doing all this. you might even want to sit down with him before bed when hopefully is calmed down and just ask him if there is anything he wants to talk about, if he wants to talk about anything thing that might be bothering him. he may talk to you he may not but you definitely need to talk to your doctor this is not normal for a child to act out like that and there is no way a school would allow it. they would not want other children being hurt or have their learning environment disrupted like that. good luck.

  • 1 decade ago

    Normally I would not answer this, but it seems your child doesn't understand the concept of consequences(And neither do you). It is up to you as to how to teach him this, however, since you have obviously failed up until now, I will make a suggestion. (BEAT HIS ***) No, but really, if he pisses in his room leave him to sleep in a piss smelling room. If he pours a drink all over something. pour a drink all over him.(Don't use a hot drink, lol) Whatever the case may be, he must be told, and shown consequences. This is your job as a parent. God help any teachers, babysitters, etc. he has/will have, because of your failings.

  • 1 decade ago

    awww lol not trying be mean...but that's what kids do you should have him do some type of learning games take him outside a lot so he can burn his energy out!!! kids like to do a lot so you should have a list of things for him to do so he wont be messing things up in the house and check on him a lot for the peeing part p.s and i tried i'm not a parent i just have nieces and nephews doe :)

  • 1 decade ago

    He sounds a little like my nephew. He would push stands over with flowers on them ,pull on the plants, stand on the tv when you were watching it, and even crashed my brothers computer! what we did was every time he did something bad was put him in timeout with nothing in the room but a chair. if he gets out of that chair than he gets more time. one time he was in there all day. then he learned his lesson and only got 5 minutes the next day. hope that helps:)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    when i misbehaved as a kid my parents threatened me with belts (my dad) or wooden spoons (mom) they never actually used them but we were scared of them.

    and my dad put me in the garage one night and locked the door and my sister had to beg him to let me in, i was mad at him but i learned my lesson.

    they took our toys away from us, the important things and they didnt give in. we had to earn it back.

    if we didnt eat what was on our plate they would make us sit at the table until we were done.

    i dont really know how that worked cause we never actually ate what we didnt like.

    the 1, 2, 3 thing worked well.

    they sent us to our room, to do nothing. sent us to bed early.

    allowance for doing different things.

    helping with the dishes, dinner, cleaning up ect.

    a lot of things work.

    you just have to tough with him, and dont be afraid of him getting mad at you.

    my dad was the only one to discipline my sister and i and we got mad, but we also got over it, and we grew up well.

    best of luck!

  • Jeff N
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Heck with the light spankings. Make them count. Bare his little butt if you have to. He needs to learn to stay in the corner, too. The way you discipline is making it a game for him. It's time to get serious.

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