I am a widowed single mother of a 6-year-old boy. He knew his father until he passed away, this August will be four years ago. Since then I have been close to maybe two men. One is no longer with us and the other I am currently engaged to. I have had many strong male figures in his life, mostly close friends or uncles of sorts and if a man in my life spoke disrespectful in any way towards me, I always stood my ground and never let him see a person act that way towards me, especially a male figure.

My son will say things such as, "You don't love me, never have and never will, you don't want me," and any other hurtful thing he could possibly say. I have been searching for ways to get my son to speak in a respectful and calm nature for quite some time. When his bio father and I were still together, he saw the way he would talk to and treat me, which is similar (not sure if it is related or not) but it has calmed down some. He is no longer violent towards me.

His temper tantrums include kicking of the walls; slamming doors (I have taken the door off the hinges in the past); yelling and screaming; his tones and body language puts the house on edge; does not obey house rules; tell me no. He will be nice and respectful to one person and turn around and be very disrespectful towards me.

Now he is very demanding and disrespectful. He is basically an only child. He has older siblings that he does not get to see or barely speak to. I am at a loss with how to handle my son and I am feeling like I am a terrible mother because he even acts this way after school in front of everyone. Mind you we just started going to this new school and we are also new to the area and have no real friends yet so he does not have any playmates but me, my fiancé, his brother, and our dog.

In order to curb the behavior I have done time outs, taken his allowance, stopped speaking to him, grounded him, taken birthday parties away, the electronics such as the use of phones, not allowed friends to come over and vice versa. Nothing seems to help but in some ways makes him act out even more than before.

I understand the anger that comes from this but his attitude towards me is getting worse by the day. He will be nice and respectful to my fiancé then turn around and be just nasty towards me and vice versa. It always comes back to his biological father dying or more recent is he feels I left his older brother behind. He is too young to understand why his brother is not with us and for that reason alone and talking with him and giving some sort of explanation should have eased the behavior. Now it seems as though he enjoys seeing me get upset. Even though after sitting him down and explaining he shows remorse.

I admit my son has been through some tragic things in his short life, and for that he is more mature than most kids his age and he understands more than he should. I wonder if that could be the reasoning for his behavioral issues. I have taken him to multiple counselors and therapists and they all tell me that he is a normal child just a little more intelligent than most boys his age.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.


2 Answers 2


The behavior and attitude seems a bit extreme for a 6 year old. I'm inclined to think that there is a reason behind it. My son once told me he hated me and I told him, "I know. I love you, too." He never said it again. I think it's important for you to see if you can find out where the anger is coming from. Ask him, "Why are you so angry today?", "What happened?", etc. If the attitude continues, remind him that it's okay for him to be upset if someone hurt him, but he should be upset with that person. And only that person. Not with you... you did not do anything wrong. Whatever is going on, I think his behavior is his way of trying to tell you something is wrong.


If you have undertaken every measure that you know of to discipline your child without success, I would suggest visiting a child psychologist for help.

A psychologist can help to identify factors affecting your child's behavior that you may not have considered, and may suggest further investigation if they suspect an underlying physical or neurological disorder.

  • 1
    A psychologist or counselor would be a great start seeing as the boy may not have overcome the loss of his father.
    – user20343
    Jan 14, 2019 at 21:48

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