My daughter will turn 5 in the next 3 months. I am having a hard time controlling her and getting her to listen to me. She is defiant and argues about everything. She has even started hitting me. If I tell my husband, he says that it is because she feels she isn't getting enough attention. The truth is that I am a home maker and finish all my cooking and house work while she's in school and then I give her full attention. In fact, she will never let my husband and me speak or let me speak with my parents etc and will always intrerrupt in between which I feel is bad manners but my husband will never tell her to wait her turn. I don't want things to get out of hand and don't know what to do....I feel I need counseling and am getting depressed as days go by....please help!

4 Answers 4


Sounds like you and your husband aren't providing consistent consequences for her actions. You try to discipline her. Your husband doesn't do anything (and it sounds like he might be undermining you). You and your husband need to sit down and figure out what the consequences should be when your daughter misbehaves.

Your daughter wants what most everyone else wants, to be happy, usually through getting her way. And she has figured out she can get your attention any time she wants it by interrupting. She isn't going to learn socially acceptable behavior unless you teach it to her. Eventually she will get to a place in life where people won't put up with such behavior and those people won't have an unconditional love for her like you and your husband do. You will shrug off mistakes and teach her. Others may not.

Once you and your husband have decided on what is appropriate behavior and what the consequences should be, implement your choices and follow through with the consequences every single time. This is how you will teach her, by correcting her. Probably a lot. It won't be easy going at first, but it will pay off.


I have five year old twins. I find that positive reinforcement when they are acting appropriately helps fend off some of these issues. For instance, when they use please after asking for a glass of milk I say "thank you for asking so nicely." Or, when my son puts his clothes away unprompted I pull him aside and say that I really appreciate that he helps keep our house clean. I feel that these actions help them feel seen and heard for good behaviors.If one acts up I say "John, you are a good boy and good boys don't scream when they need attention, they wait patiently by their parents side when their parents are on the phone."


A friend of mine had this problem with her daughter. They solved it (though it took a while) by pretending her daughter was invisible when she was misbehaving. They remarked aloud that Sally was so loud they had to turn off their "Sally ears and eyes". In order to become visible again, she had to ask politely if she could be visible. It sounds silly, but it worked for them. At first when she asked they allowed it right away, later on she had to learn to sit quietly for a while before the invisibility wore off. Once Sally discovered that her loud and disruptive behavior was producing the opposite results from what she wanted, she altered it.

But, as Becuzz mentioned, no method for solving this problem is going to work unless you and your husband are on the same page. He needs to stop putting the responsibility for the solution on you and accept that he has to be a part of it. He is correct that she feels she isn't getting enough attention. That doesn't mean she isn't getting enough, only that she feels that she isn't. Important distinction.

But putting the question of whether your five year old is attention starved aside for a moment...is he really suggesting that hitting her mother is an acceptable method for asking for more attention? Perhaps if you present it in this way, and ask him to help you figure out an acceptable way to ask, he may be more supportive of your efforts.


Having a 4.5yo daughter myself, i recognize the pattern.

I agree with the answer from Becuzz that it is a consistency issue.

But i think it is not an issue between different people (you and your husband). People will always have different standards and the little ones can adapt to them. What matters are your standards have to be consistent.

I guess your daughter figured out, that when you are around other people (your husband, speaking with your parents etc.) she can get away with misbehaving because you are stressed/distracted/busy/shy etc. and she uses this to her advantage.

Have you asked your teacher if she behaves the same when she is in school? I bet she is behaving better at school.

What helped us, we needed to be careful that her actions have consequences and that we interrupt what we were doing to speak with her about her mistakes even if we are stressed and don't feel like discussing with a 5yo.

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