Questions about why children act the way they do. See the tag [discipline] about enforcing your rules.

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74
votes
13answers
19k 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, ...
25
votes
10answers
4k 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 ...
25
votes
8answers
74k 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 ...
22
votes
14answers
8k 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
19
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
5k 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
5answers
1k 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 ...
17
votes
10answers
34k 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 terribly over dramatic fits screaming ...
17
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
19k 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. ...
16
votes
1answer
743 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
5k 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
1k 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
8answers
3k 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) ...
15
votes
7answers
4k 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?
15
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
251 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, ...
14
votes
8answers
8k 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?
13
votes
5answers
3k 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
5answers
732 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
16k 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

What should you do after you've raised your voice at your child?

We've all lost our cool at one point or another. We all know its terrible to raise your voice at your kids, but every once in a while we slip. I've occasionally raised my voice to my teenager and to ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

How much of an effect does parenting style have on a child?

I'm not a parent and I haven't done as much research as anyone on this website. This question is motivated by looking at many of my friends. Sometimes, I find that one sibling is a high achiever, ...
12
votes
7answers
509 views

How do you address a 5 year old that has problems accepting corrections?

My 5 year old niece who is 'kind of' smart, (i.e. was playing solitaire online before her 3rd birthday and is now doing 4 digit addition/subtraction and multiplication up to 5's; and reads chapter ...
12
votes
7answers
1k views

How do we teach our 1 yr. old that “no” isn't a game?

We have a little girl that's almost 13 months old. She's found that when she touches a power cord or near an electrical outlet and we say "no" that it's a bit of a game. She gets a funny smirk on her ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

What constitutes verbal abuse of one's child?

I frequently see parents engaging in behavior that I perceive to be verbal abuse. However, with so many parents falling in different places with regard to the strictness of their discipline, the ...
11
votes
6answers
447 views

How to Teach That Following Rules is Not Always Good?

My 8 year old son has an issue with following rules a little too closely. He gets upset if rules and/or routine are broken. For instance, last night he was upset because a classmate was singing ...
11
votes
2answers
400 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
765 views

How do you operate a successful “Star Chart”?

So, one of the techniques for improving behaviour that you often hear about is the "star chart". You put the focus on good behaviour by adding stars (I nearly said "badges") for the good stuff and ...
10
votes
5answers
600 views

Is complimenting children where they can hear it good or bad?

TL;DR: Is there anything wrong with praising children to their parents while the children can hear it? From R. Kipling's "The jungle book": ‘How beautiful are the noble children! How large are ...
10
votes
7answers
23k views

Why won't our infant stop crying when in the car seat?

We have a 2-month-old baby that will start crying as soon as we put her in the car seat and absolutely will not stop until she is out of it. She could be fed and asleep with a new diaper before the ...
10
votes
4answers
14k views

How can I deal with my 12-year old son's rebellious behaviour?

My son is a very loving child and fun to be with usually....ever since he turned 12 he is suddenly the resident expert in the house on anything from how to drive a car to how become president. You ...
10
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
501 views

Preschooler can't sing, but sings anyway - loudly!

My 3½ year old has never had any sense of music, rhythm, notes, or anything resembling the musical arts. (Motor skills is where he truly excels; he's a sports person, not a musician.) Recently, he ...
10
votes
2answers
715 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
369 views

Relatives' son is awful. What is another option?

Background: While my wife and I provide an independent, creative and supporting environment for our kids, we also work very to hard to demonstrate "predictable consequences" for any behavior be it ...
10
votes
5answers
463 views

How do you respond to a teenager who has started to smoke?

How can you best handle this? Coming off as too strong and authoritative might invite "rebellion". Too lenient makes it seem okay. What is the best response for driving home the dangers and risks ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I help my child to stay still?

My 3 year old son is generally very well behaved and plays well with others. However, he just wont sit still when we need him to. He is good at staying still when he is focused on something, but as ...
10
votes
3answers
678 views

How do you moderate a teenager's obsessive or excessive behavior?

We're not dealing with teenagers yet but I would really like to avoid this kind of outburst. How have parents with teenagers been able to find/establish a balance for their children to not be so ...
10
votes
2answers
336 views

What role do imaginary friends play in a child's development?

My son, currently three-and-a-half, has taken to making constant references to his "brother," who is apparently a wealthy businessman and property owner (he apparently owns several stores that sell ...
10
votes
1answer
623 views

Why do infants flail their arms?

I've noticed that with most infants (say, around 6 months old, give or take), when presented with an object, there are 3 main things that they'll do with it: look at it put it in their mouth hold it ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

How Should I React to an Indecisive Toddler?

I'm looking for anyone who might have had experience with an indecisive toddler. It happens mostly when tired but I'll ask him if he wants something and he will say no. Then when I go to put it away ...
9
votes
6answers
90k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

1 yr old boy prefers dad

I am the proud father of a little 1 yr old boy. My wife and I love him to pieces! A few months after his birth I suffered through a terrible bout of anxiety attacks. Turns out it was just my way of ...
9
votes
3answers
407 views

How can I handle a child that claims medical problems as a bad excuse?

I have 3 kids who seem to use medical reasons for excuses, most often to not go to bed. For instance, my 7 year old periodically "Can't move" at bed time to get to his bed, but when he gets in there, ...