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I am having trouble with my five year old and touching the other kids inappropriately. what can I do to get him to stop? its really bothering me. Also out of my three boy he is the one who tries to push me to my limits about cusing and putting his middle finger up at the other kids What can I do?


Christine Hierlmaier Nelson Replied: I might need more information about this to answer your question best, but I assume that your child has learned that this behavior gets the biggest reaction from you. Children learn to get attention either through "good" behavior or "bad" behavior. Show your son that he'll get more attention for good behavior. When the boys are at each other, ask them calmly to stop and come to you. Tell all of them that you expect better behavior, to apologize to each other and say "I love you." When they do that, smile and tell them you love them very much and feel so good when they get along. This action does not single out the bad behavior of one boy, but emphasizes the importance of getting along as a group. It may be necessary to repeat this several times or to change it up by saying, hey, I want each of you to say something nice about your brothers. Then say something nice about yourself. Then you, as mom, also say something you like about each of them. It gives the boys the attention they crave from you in a healthy, positive way. As for the cursing and hand gestures, they should lessen as you emphasize the positive behavior and teamwork. In the meantime, have a quiet talk with your son about how it makes you feel when he does those things. How it makes you sad and makes his brothers sad. Tell him that he is better than that because he is your son. Talk about respect and what that means...saying please and thank you. Staying in your own personal space. Make a game of it by showing examples of what is personal space...standing too close vs. giving someone room. Above all, maintain your calm. You are the adult in the room, the example they are all watching. If you need to count to 10 or breathe before you approach the problem, do so. It is important that you speak calmly about your expectations or the only thing your sons will hear is more noise. Try this for a week and tell me if it helps!
Posted On 2009-01-19 07:48:56
Janet Price Replied: It is such a challenge for us as parents when our children act inappropriateley. This is especially true when the inappropriate behaviors push at people's personal boundaries or moral values, as the examples you have shared. My sense from your question is that your 5-year-old reacts impulsively when frustrated and therefore is unable to take a moment to choose more acceptable ways to communciate what he wants, even if he knows what those ways might be. Unlike your other boys he has probably not picked up on and been able to incorporate into his lexicon of behaviors appropriate responses in these situations. So, it is going to be very helpful for both of you if you work at teaching him more acceptable behaviors to get the results he is looking for. Even if you feel that you have taught him, it is apparent that they are not in the forefront of his thinking when he is frustrated. Punishing him for not exhibing skills he might not even have yet, is not helpful. Instead, remind him that kids do not like that kind of touching. Let him know when, where, and with whom, it is alright to hug, kiss, or whetever he is doing. Also praise him whenever he does exhibit appropriate touch, so he starts to understand what is expected of him. When he cusses, state calmly that he sounds angry and then give him more acceptable words to use at that moment. The goal is to help him replace the strategies that he has become used to with more acceptable behaviors that can accomplish the same goals. Remember that learning new skills takes time. Try to praise him for any little steps he takes towards competence in these arenas. I wish you the best in this challenging situation. I truly believe that you and your son can turn this around to a more positive experience.
Posted On 2008-07-28 12:05:28
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