My boyfriend has a little 6 year old girl and she won't listen to us. I really don't understand what to do... I am not the type of person to spank, but she has forced me to the past couple days. Her temper tantrums have gotten worse as has the whining and the fake crying to get her way, but for some reason it just keeps getting worse. We have even started to take things away, but that doesn't help either. We have tried a ticket system, rewards system, positive reinforcement. Everything... Help!!!

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    What systems, specifically, did you use? What type of positive reinforcement? How long did you attempt the other forms of discipline? Have you tried time outs? How committed was your boyfriend to this other methods? How committed were you? If you can't tell, it seems like we really need more information in order to give you the best answer! Otherwise, I can only really suggest that you use time outs, as described this answer to another question.
    – user11394
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 19:48
  • I have tried time outs, corners, time outs in public, positive reinforcements as in making sure she knows when she does good. Teaching her good and bad choices and talking to her about them. I have tried them for the past 16 months. With various types. Her dad does the same. Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 19:53
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    It seems like a lot of variety for a young child. Others may have more answers, but my suggestion is to pick a really structured method (such as 1-2-3 Magic mentioned in the other link, I'm not versed in other methods, unfortunately), and use it exclusively with dedication and consistency for a long term. We personally see results with that method in a very short timeframe (1-2 weeks), and we also see that when we, as parents, are less consistent with it then we start having more misbehavior and we get more frustrated. Consistency is key!
    – user11394
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 19:57
  • While you're waiting for an answer, I also suggest browsing our other questions on discipline, like you tagged your question. You may find something there that gives you insight into what has worked and what has not worked for people here!
    – user11394
    Commented Jul 17, 2015 at 20:00

2 Answers 2


I'm a babysitter and I've worked with few kids that are like this. The best thing to do (that I've found) is to out right ignore her. not just the behavior but the kid herself.

She is most likely trying to get attention and unfortunately taking things away, talking with her, and putting her in time out is giving her attention. Now you won't see changes right away, but with time it should get better.

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    Hi, Alice, and welcome to the site. Citing a reference to support your position would make this a better answer (this is a Q&A site, not a forum). We try to give answers with some kind of authoritative reference here, and prefer fleshed out answers when helpful. Please have a look at the site tour and visit the help center for guidance on how to use this site. Again, welcome! Commented Jul 25, 2015 at 2:50

It's difficult to give specific recommendations, without knowing more, but I'm going to share a couple of suggestions, based on observations I've made of whiny children I've seen in the grocery store. It may be that everything I say is already obvious to you -- in that case, please give us more information.

  • You could try eliminating all electronics for a couple of weeks (cell phones, computers, televisions, gaming toys). That would mean that you adults would not use them either. You may need to use a phone occasionally, but keep it to a minimum, and make sure the phone is not accessible to the child.

  • You could try eliminating all sweets for a couple of weeks -- and that would go for adults too. To make this easy, make sure you don't have any junk food in the house. Make sure you've got plenty of nutritious food on hand during this time. Have some fun doing some cooking projects with your little one. Six-year-olds can do a lot with a microwave, with direct supervision, and can get a real kick out of "making dinner for Daddy" -- salads work well at this age.

  • Boredom is your enemy. Keep her busy!

  • Pick at most three behavior goals to work on at a time. Pick your battles, in other words!

  • Catch her in the act of behaving well, and give her some low-key praise.

  • If there's some particularly troublesome behavior, don't get angry! Let her know with a calm but disapproving voice that it was not good.

  • She needs fresh air and exercise every day!

  • Look for supportive ways to cope with the stress and take care of yourself. Hitting her is an understandable reaction to the frustration you feel -- but it doesn't help.

My favorite parenting book is "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk" by Faber and Mazlish. It's got lots of great ideas, and is written in a comfortable, parent to parent style.

  • Why a downvotes without any comment / explanation? Seems like a pretty accurate answer.
    – trejder
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 8:17

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