At my witt's end with my 6 yr old's behavior

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2007
At my witt's end with my 6 yr old's behavior
Sat, 09-29-2012 - 10:49pm

My husband and I are at a loss with our 6 yr old's behavior. He's always been a very nice, helpful boy; however has had a sneaky side to him and is quick to try to "negotiate" his way to get what he wants. I'd say we're pretty strict with him when it comes to our expectations and consequences for him, so it's not like he is used to getting his way or getting away with things.  For the past few months his behavior has seemed to take a spiral and we can't figure out why or what to do to get him back on track.

A few examples:

1.I thought my 2 yr old had a biting issue becuase the 6 yr old kept coming to us saying his brother bit him and would show us the bite mark. We would put the 2 yr old in time out and talk to him about biting. After 2 months of biting, I coulnd't believe it when I caught my 6 yr old biting himself and telling on his brother. It had been him all along.

2. Stole $20 out of my husband's wallet (not sure what he thought he was going to spend it on!)

3. If left alone with his brother will take a toy away from him or push him over.


It seems like as soon as he earns something back (i.e. no having friends over as a consequence or not getting to play with legos for a week) he will do something again and go right back to a stupid choice.

Help...I don't know what to do with him!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2003

I have a defiant 6 year old nephew but its been a problem for a LONG time and there are other issues. In his case now his twin is acting up and blaming him but its 50/50 that he is to blame. Again there are other issues, my sister has issues, she is divorced constantly fighting with ex they never had a stable up bringing and he was failure to thrieve and has been babied and will act out for attention. We know the why behind but its still a battle to fax (especially with my sisters issues she isn't always consistant with him)

Were there any significant changes around the time the behavior started? Part of the solution maybe to address the cause of the behavior. It could be attention, especially where a lot of it seems to center around his little brother maybe there is some sibling issues. I'm learning they can creep in even if they never exsisted. I have 5 years between my 2 and they always got alomg great but lately big brother is getting annoyed with little brother. Big brother wants to do his own thing, little brother is always at his feet. Also I notice my youngest will act out when I'm working with oldest on homework. They both crave our attention but we can't give them both 100% at the same time. Maybe instead of focusing on taking away things maybe reward with just mom and me or dad and me time. Sounds like he maybe wanting some attention and when he is getting in trouble he is still getting that attention but if he can get that attention as postive reinforcment he may not need to act out to get it.

Good luck its never fun. I am currently deprograming my 2 because they spent too much time the last month or so with there terror cousin and picked up some new tricks!!