Why do children act the way they do? Use [discipline] for questions about enforcing your rules.

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83
votes
13answers
26k views

How can I prevent my 8-year-old from spending time with his bad friend?

Backstory: My 8 yr old son is a bright, gentle, etc, kid who attends public school. My wife and I have no TV, we disallow violent games (simulated killing is not allowed), we don't have video games, ...
59
votes
16answers
4k views

Is bribing children with cash incentives a good idea?

I pay my 5.5yo $1 if she sleeps in her own bed and take $1 in rent when she sleeps in our bed. I've also taken to offering her $1 to pick up her 2.5 year old brother's Lego messes. Good or bad? ...
53
votes
4answers
13k views

My 4-year-old refers to himself as me

Literally. Sometimes he will ascribe himself properties I have, and make me the child--he'll say "I'm a grown-up", "You can't sit in the front seat [in our car], it's not safe, I have to sit in the ...
42
votes
14answers
12k views

How should I inform parents if their children are bothering me?

Today, on the bus, I was seated a row behind a mother and her young daughter (I guess about 5-6 years old), and the child just couldn't stay quiet: she was singing constantly, saying "byebye, please ...
37
votes
11answers
9k views

Is it possible to spoil a child, but still teach them not to behave spoiled?

My 9-year-old stepson has terrible tantrums. I was abused as a child and used to act out as a result. Teachers and other adults were very hostile to me and failed to recognize my cries for help. So ...
37
votes
3answers
6k views

Should I let my child play with gun toys?

I've noticed a great many parents do everything within their power to prevent their children playing with toy guns and weapons. As a 30-something, I grew up with toy swords, bows and guns, action men ...
36
votes
11answers
6k views

Should I really be insisting that my daughter finish eating her meal?

Like many young children, my 4.5 year old daughter will often stop eating her supper (6 PMish - she has breakfast and lunch at daycare) and say she's not hungry. My instinctive initial response is to ...
36
votes
6answers
10k views

3 year-old boy wants constant attention, hits and deliberately poops in underpants when he doesn't get it

I have a nearly 3-year-old boy whose energy has become near-limitless, coupled with new neediness, aggression, and defiance. He wants to run around and be played with for the entire day. He is unable ...
34
votes
5answers
7k views

Do most 2-3-year-old toddlers deliberately disobey?

We have two daughters, 2 and 3 years old, 13 months apart. Our oldest has over the past several months taken to the "I'd rather do precisely the opposite of what you just asked me to do" mindset. ...
33
votes
20answers
28k views

Why does my daughter smile and start to laugh at me when I am noticeably really angry at her?

My daughter is 11 years old and has been diagnosed with high functioning austism along with sensory processing disorder. I am a single father and have raised her alone since she was two years old. We ...
33
votes
11answers
13k views

My 2-year-old son supervises me after asking me to do something for him, does this suggest lack of trust?

Since his birth I've done my best to make my son trust me completely as I see it the only way for him to let me make decisions on his behalf and tell him what's right and wrong. However he supervises ...
33
votes
8answers
3k views

What are some suggestions for punishing a child?

My daughters are clearly pushing the boundaries lately. They are trying to find out what is possible. I am really looking into ways to setting the boundaries. A friend recently suggested creating a ...
30
votes
5answers
72k views

My son is 5 years old and sexually active

I am a 20 year old female student and I have a 5 year old son who is really sexually active. For instance, he kisses girls by force, he forces them to lick his penis, he "fingers" them, he speaks ...
30
votes
8answers
183k views

How can we discipline a strong-willed, misbehaving 5 year-old?

My 5 year old son receives and fears punishment but repeatedly exhibits the same unacceptable behaviors. He's always been strong-willed, and is usually the kind to view a statement like "Don't do ...
30
votes
3answers
8k views

How do you handle poor behavior by other people's children?

I believe that interacting with a variety of other children at social functions is an important part of childhood development. However, there seem to be a lot of children who are... how shall I ...
29
votes
8answers
4k views

How can 7-year old defend himself when toddler is hitting?

I am a mother to a 7 year old boy and I have a friend who has a 2 years toddler. Both my friend and I try our best to use the Conscious and Peaceful Parenting Approach. Her little daughter is lovely ...
27
votes
10answers
94k views

Why does my baby grind her face into my shoulder?

During episodes of fussiness, my 6-week-old daughter has started grinding her face into my chest or shoulder. She shakes vigorously from side to side like she's trying to burrow out the other side. ...
25
votes
4answers
4k views

How do you handle grandparents who spoil your children?

Our parents suddenly don't apply their rules in our upbringing to our children. On the contrary. How should we deal with this? Do we just let it be, or should we discuss the matter. I understand ...
25
votes
5answers
3k views

How do you handle unsupervised, poorly behaved children in public play areas?

This is closely related to this question. However, that primarily deals with interactions at relatively controlled, private functions. This question is more focused on the feeding-frenzy style chaos ...
23
votes
9answers
5k views

Why do kids pick up on violence in cartoons/movies?

Why is it that children seem to pick up and mimic even the tiniest examples violence on TV? It's like a golden beacon of what not to do and they seem to be just magnetized towards it. Let me try to ...
23
votes
6answers
2k views

How do you stop a child from talking back without discouraging them from asserting themselves?

Our 3.5 yo is starting to talk back to us in the typical futile yes/no/yes/no pattern of opposites. The other day it was hooking his straps on his car seat; I asked him to put his arms in (like we ...
23
votes
7answers
12k views

What are some ways to teach a child how to spit (after brushing their teeth)?

Typically, this is something you don't want out of a child. My 4 1/2 yr old has been brushing his own teeth for about a year. The problem is that I can't convey to him to spit out the toothpaste. I ...
21
votes
14answers
3k views

How do you feed a picky eater?

Dinner with my 5-year-old is an ordeal. I do not want to cook separate meals. How do I stop the fighting at dinner and get them to eat?
21
votes
7answers
2k views

Why are parents so concerned about profanity around their children?

I've spent some time around parents of children in the 2months to 6 years range. And both were quite diligent about having me watch what I said, in particular around profanity. Why the concern? For ...
20
votes
10answers
89k views

My 5 year- old daughter is constantly defiant!

My 5-year old daughter is very defiant. It started getting bad about 6 months ago. She doesn't do what she is told, and any time she hears the word "no" she throws terrible, dramatic fits, screaming ...
19
votes
11answers
919 views

What is a good strategy for getting our 5 year old to finish dinner before expecting dessert?

More and more lately, I'm finding that our 5-year old daughter starts asking for dessert before she's finished her dinner. Obviously, I'd like to find a way to manage this without it ending in a ...
19
votes
7answers
10k views

How much should I interact with my newborn?

I have a 2 month old baby. My wife and I take care of him collectively. As he is growing, his sleep time is reducing. Sometimes, due to our schedules, we want him to sleep, but the baby is still ...
18
votes
8answers
5k views

Why should children be rewarded for good behaviour?

I have been reading about star charts and other reward systems for children, and wonder whether rewarding what I would call normal behaviour (e.g. do your chores, don't hit your little brother, etc) ...
18
votes
8answers
5k views

How to deal with a teenager who wants his parents to buy him everything his friends have?

How do I teach my son the value of money and to differentiate between a need and a want? The problem I am facing is that he is 19 years old, not 5 years old. He is my youngest son and to be honest I ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does my son behave better when he's alone with one parent than with both?

Whenever I'm alone with my son, we play, have fun, and he even plays alone with his toys for a long time; this also happens when my wife is alone with him. However, when we are both present, he ...
17
votes
4answers
8k views

How can I reach out to my 16-year-old son who has voiced he's depressed every day and doesn't love himself?

Last night my husband and I addressed a few things we discovered in my son's room being a concern. We are pretty strict parents and believe in corporal punishment especially since my son doesn't have ...
17
votes
8answers
3k views

Ways to convince a teenager to quit smoking

I'm 23 years old and I have a sister that is very soon turning 17. She lives with my parents and I live abroad for a couple of years now. My mother noticed that my sister started smoking around 1 ...
17
votes
8answers
6k views

When should a child stop using a pacifier, and how can I help with this transition?

I am curious how a child can be helped to move on from his/her pacifier, and what age is a good age to do this?
16
votes
4answers
546 views

How to handle post traumatic stress with my 6yr old daughter?

4 weeks ago some weirdo shot at my balcony (probably for fun) with a gun used for practice. Anyway, the glass of my balcony door broke. At the same time my daughter of 6 was sitting just next to it, ...
16
votes
8answers
20k views

How can I get my child to stop biting others?

How do I get my 5-year-old to stop biting his brother and classmates?
16
votes
9answers
12k views

How can I get my son to stay in bed at bedtime?

Lately my 4.5 year old son has started getting back up after bed time. Frequently we will go through the entire bedtime ritual, including a bath, pajamas, brushing teeth, books, and then being tucked ...
16
votes
6answers
1k views

How to effectively balance respect for authority with independence and self-determination

We just had our second parent-teacher conference with our almost-four year old's preschool teacher (he's in a Montessori school, that follows the technique well, mostly), and among other things, ...
15
votes
9answers
17k views

How to handle a 11y/o son who act like a girl?

I have an 11 y/o son who is showing a tendency towards becoming gay. People have seen him walking like a girl but I haven't. I'm thinking that they are just judgmental. On his computer games he ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I negotiate with a toddler successfully?

Recently our 2.5 daughter started being really annoying about doing simple daily things, like brushing her teeth, dressing, undressing, putting on shoes to go out, etc. Often we need to negotiate up ...
15
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the most appropriate way to address contrarianism in a 4-year-old?

My 4-year-old son tends to default to saying no changes in activity (even if he is clearly no longer interested in the current activity). Overall he is helpful, considerate, and will do things we ask ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Have studies shown whether toys that feature guns or other weapons prominently promote violent behavior?

Note: I am looking for referenced answers only! Answers citing one or more peer reviewed studies, or, better yet, a meta analysis of several such studies, would be ideal. Answers that reference ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

How do you address hoarding behavior in a primary-schooler?

Our 9 year old girl has a rather annoying habit. She tends to hoard things of emotional significance to her. Note that the wrapper from an ice-cream she has just had for the first time is considered ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

How to restrain my 13-year-old pubescent sister?

Just to understand my position: I, as her older brother (she is without father, 13 and I'm 24), have to sometimes act like her parent, because mom just can't restrain her, when she starts yelling or ...
14
votes
7answers
33k views

How can I motivate my child who doesn't care about rewards?

My son is 8 and has always been argumentative and basically lazy with doing ANYTHING since he could talk. If he has homework that takes ten minutes, he will take two hours due to just leaving the ...
14
votes
5answers
7k views

At what age is it no longer appropriate for your child to be naked in public (e.g. on the beach)?

My 3½ year old son loves to be naked. He spends a lot of time running around naked in our garden on hot days. We went to the beach during the Summer, and- since we forgot to bring any swimming ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

Toddler has a strong preference for one parent

Our almost 2 year old toddler has developed a strong preference for me. In mild doses, this was acceptable but it is getting pretty out of hand. She cries when my husband, her father, tries to hug ...
14
votes
2answers
633 views

Should imaginary friends be accepted or discouraged?

As a professional working with families, I am often asked about imaginary friends. I never experienced this behavior with my own son so I have little personal information to share. One child ...
13
votes
5answers
4k views

Why are parents so concerned about not letting the babies sleep with them?

This site is flooded with the questions about parents concerned about their children who try to sleep with them. I wish to know why exactly are western country people so obsessed about not letting ...
13
votes
7answers
48k views

Why does my child eat so slowly?

When we have a family meal, the middle daughter will always take her time. I mean up to 2 hours, to finish a meal, especially if its not her kind of food. She'll get very easily distracted, sing to ...
13
votes
6answers
339k views

What to do when my 3-year-old holds poop in and won't go in diaper or on potty?

My son is almost 3 (33 months) and for the past few months, he has been holding his poop in, to the point that he won't go for many days a time. When this started, the doctor advised us to give him ...