Is he just being defiant?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2003
Is he just being defiant?
Thu, 06-12-2003 - 3:06pm
I'm so sad . . . but I don't know if I should be! I just attended my 4.5 y-o's preschool "graduation" (although he'll be attending pre-k in September) and the kids in the class had to sit in a circle and sing us songs and do several little routines (sit down, stand up, clap, bang sticks together, etc). My little ds sat through the whole thing, staring at me at times with a smirk on his face. All the other kids participated -- it made me sooooooo sad that he wouldn't join in! I stifled the urge to encourage him and his teacher didn't either (she was busy singing and directing anyway). I asked the teacher afterwards if he's always this way in class and she said it's "hit or miss" -- sometimes he participates and sometimes not. I just can't get over the feeling that he was doing it just to make me upset and that it's just another version of "he's not listening to me" or "he's harassing his little sister and making her scream" or "he's peeing his pants rather than get up and go to the bathroom". Is this just little boys or am I doing something wrong? How do I discipline him? Is there such a thing as a "parenting coach" who you can call when you just don't know what to do?????!!!!!!!


Annie, Kirby (4.5) and Lindsay (3)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 06-13-2003 - 9:05am
Hi Annie,

I don't know your situation enough to tell if it his way of being defiant, but I don't think so. It sounds like normal behavior for his age. A while ago I signed my DD up for gymnastics, she loves to run around do flips etc etc at home. Well somedays she would participate, others she just wouldn't do anything and just sat the entire class. I know she could do everything they did, she just didn't want to, and it wasn't to upset me (even though it did) She just didn't want to.

Kris, Shelby(2/99), Taylor (3/02)

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-2003
Sat, 06-14-2003 - 12:48pm
Maybe your son has a little fear of performing in front of other people. My 4 yr old dd took dance classes last year (she quit because she decided it was getting "too hard and not fun") and there was one adorable little girl in another class, around 6 yrs old, who I saw dancing wonderfully at class, but then at the rehearsal for their recital she just kind of walked around the edge of the stage, and looked down, and when the teacher tried to coax her into dancing she became upset and ran out to her mom. Of course her mother was crushed. But it turned out the little girl was terrified, even though the only people at the rehearsal were the girls' parents, I guess it frightened her. Maybe your son had the same problem. Just a thought!!! Gretchen
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 06-14-2003 - 5:47pm
Hi, well I think he sounds like a lot of 4/5 year olds. One thing at this age they do what they want as far as participating in things. Sometimes they just don't get the whole idea that they are Supposed to participate even if they don't feel like it at that moment. Ecspecially if the teacher makes it seem more like an optional thing. My ds was having problems with this because his preschool teachers who were wonderful sometimes made it seem too much like if he didn't feel in the mood it was up to him. For instance his preschool teacher asked me if he knew how to pedal a bike. I was shocked. He had been doing that for years. When I ased my ds about it later he said "i just didn't want a turn" he thought it was more of a fun option, not a required thing. I explained to him about needing to do what the teacher ask even if he isn't in the mood and all that and he seemed to cooperate a lot more.

The whole peeing in the pants thing, UGH, doesn't that drive you nuts, did me. I don't think that is necessarily being defiant. Could just be another case of well I didn't feel like it at the time. The harrasing his sister. Well I have no idea, but my 10 year old still harrases his 8 year old sister and 5 year old brother to the point sometimes I cringe when the 3 of them are going to be together long.

If you do think that in your case he is just being defiant, then one thing you have to do is not let him see it upsets you and also DON'T GIVE IN.



I'll hold my head high
I'll never let this define
The light in my eyes
Love myself, give it Hell
I'll take on t

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 9:24am
Thanks for your input. I believe he is being a little shy. We just took the kids to my sister's house to swim yesterday and it took quite a while before he would get in her new pool -- yet he goes to swimming lessons twice a week and is a little fish! He was uncomfortable with the people he didn't know well watching him, I think. We just let him sit and watch and eventually he couldn't stand it anymore and jumped right in! I guess I expect too much of him at his young age -- I'll be stepping back and letting him get comfortable a little more often, I think!


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 06-21-2003 - 8:49am
Oh,, mommy. ALthough he didn't participate in the way that you may have liked him to, he DID stay up there with his group, right? AND he smiled once in a while? He did GREAT! It must have been so special to see your baby up there with his friends, in front of all of those people, sitting with a group....even though it would have been much more comfortable to sit with his mommy who was not so far away. How proud you must be!!! Give him a HUGE hug from me, because he was very brave! *wink*


Janet =)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 06-21-2003 - 9:31am
I know this is a little late, but my ds who just turned 6 had a similar experience at his end of K program. I actually had to quit looking at him because I knew if I didn't he would run to me, break down and cry. My ds Hates being in front of people, with any kind of spotlight on him. My niece on the other hand, even though she is a bit of a ham, will do that quirky smile thing that your ds did. I don't think it has anything to do with defiance, just a reaction to being the center of attention.