Does anyone find the ages of 5-6 years hard? (pg mentioned briefly)

(10 posts)(8 voices)
  • Started by marinabakhnova ago.
  • Latest reply from diplanat.
  1. I have a 5 year old ds, who will be 6 soon. Up until recently, he has been a relatively easy and well behaved child, and always very smart. Aside from the usual challenges, this is the first year where I am starting to struggle with managing his behavior. He was always well behaved in school, but this year has acted out in class, first being silly when he should be listening (not exactly unheard of!) but I just found out that he has been hitting on occaision also, not hard enough to hurt the other child, but still unacceptable. Part of the problem is that his teacher has not handled the situation well from the start, but I am concerned about this as he has never had these kinds of issues before. He knows when he has behaved badly and feels remorse, but at the same time, he tells me "I just want to do whatever I want" when I ask why he behaves the wrong way. He has also mentioned another child bothering him - but he knows he should not hit. We have tried a reward system and punishing him at home for things at school too, but I am not seeing lasting results with either system. I am wondering if this is a phase...or if this is a new trend for him that could get worse? Or is this a tough age because they have not really learned impulse control yet?

    At the same time, it's been a challenging year on the homefront, between getting pg, having a preemie, and buying/selling houses on top of it. I'm just not sure how to handle it anymore, trying to be patient with ds but at the same time, I don't want to let bad behavior slide. He's very sweet with the baby and not showing jealousy signs but maybe it's coming out in other ways?
    I am wondering if this is a tough age for others too? I'm not sure what to think or how to handle him...

  2. Hey Sandy -
    I don't have personal experience with that age group as my kids are only 3.5...BUT...a dear, dear IRL friend of mine visited this winter with her 6 year old DS. She is in the middle of a nightmare divorce, doing her best to keep things on the level for her DS. Moving to a new house, etc, etc. Different circumstances than you have going on, but change and upheaval nonetheless.

    Kids process things in such a literal manner. Our parenting coach likes to say 'kids are done baking at five...or sometimes six...' - her theory is, that until 5 or 6, kids are constantly testing to see where they 'fit' in the family. If they get a response from being a whiner, it's reassuring 'oh, ok, I'm a whiner, that's what I am, because they respond to that...phew!' For your DS, I imagine he was just figuring out where he 'fit' and then 'pow!' preemie, new sibling, etc. Not blaming you, just pointing out that the changes you see and take in stride, are monumental to him.

    One thing we learned from our parenting coach is to treat our kids with respect and respectfully. To us, that includes admitting when we f up, (not in so many words, obviously) forget something, make a false promise, or state our 'stand' on things. We stand by our words and try to make them understand that we expect likewise from them. It's not easy, because many times it's easier to make something up when you're stressed or in a hurry (or dealing with a preemie!)...but in the long run, it pays off. In your case, if my DS was hitting, then I would take it face on - 'did you hit so and so? Do you thing that was a fair thing to do? Would you like it if so and so hit you?'... leading questions that lets him tell his side of things, then deal with it reasonably.

    HTH - hang in there!

  3. My boys are 6.5. I did find 5 to be quite challenging to my surprise! I thought they'd be past the tantrums, etc. but no! I think (for my boys anyway) that they felt they were so independent they needed to push limits to see where they stood, be firm about what is acceptable and what is not.
    Try and be patient though it sounds like your household is going through alot of changes. last year we were in the middle of selling, buying, moving and our home life was basically up in the air for a long time because of it. It was VERY stressful for DH and I AND the kids too. it was very hard, to add on top of that in your home a new baby, that is ALOT of changes for anyone, especially a child. After the move, things settled down alot.
    Hang in there - I just said to my friend the other day that 6 is my favorite age.


  4. Mine are only 2.5, but we have friends with two boys, 3 and just-turned-6. The 6 yr old has been a challenge since he began kindergarten, and according to the parents, this is common. They are tired out from school, no longer take a nap, a lot is expected of them, so just a lot of change all around.

    Hang in there!

  5. My 5yo dd, 6 in July if she makes it that long, has been a challenge since she could walk. Easiest baby I could have asked for, though. The rest? Continually challenging everything. I am hoping that we can find something that works with her. None of the consequences seem to bother her enough to make her change. None. Boarding school sounds pretty good to me right now. I am really tired of the constant battles. Basically, she is too smart for her own good and doesn't know when to just be quiet and do what she's asked to do.

  6. Thanks ladies, appreciate the feedback! I talked to the principal today and was really glad to connect with her vs. the teacher. Ds' teacher means well but she is young and inexperienced and just doesn't really know how to deal with the sitution, imo. The principal has implemented something with ds where if he feels like he is going to do something he shouldn't in class, he can go and read his favourite books - he has certain books her really loves. I think this is a good idea, and I wish his teacher came up with this a while ago.

    kalerante_2, sounds like you have a very good coach! I try to level with ds and be very honnest with him, as much as I can. Today we had a bunch of boxes moved back to our house and I told him that I find it hard to have changes in the house- he said he doesn't find it hard at all. I know he doesn't really understand it or have an awareness of how it is hard, but I do know he has had a lot of change lately. Thanks for confirming that it's a lot of change - I know it is but sometimes I still need to be reminded! I always ask him about why he does things and try to have a conversation with him about it, sometimes I get some info from him and other times I don't.

    tmt, nice to hear that 6 is your favourite age, gives me hope! I know the house stuff is stressful and when dh and I are stressed, I know ds feels it too. I'm glad to hear that things have settled down for you, I'm looking forward to that later this year, once we have moved into our new place.

    fabio, thanks for letting me know that kindergarten can be tough sometimes. I was surprised because ds was doing a full day pre-k program at the same school and things were fine, and because he has been a relatively easy kid maybe my expectations of him were higher.

    pupput - sorry you having a tough time with dd. I do hope that the battles lessen soon!

    Thanks again ladies!

  7. He knows when he has behaved badly and feels remorse, but at the same time, he tells me "I just want to do whatever I want" when I ask why he behaves the wrong way.

    Maybe you could tell him that when he feels this way he should ask himself "if my mom was standing right here would I still want to do it?"

    That actually works with adults too who have trouble drawing the line when deciding between right & wrong. "Would I be flirting with my secretary like this if my wife/mother were standing right here?"

    I've got a 6yr old Kindergartner who has his moments but for the most part he is pretty good when away from his younger brothers. Put them all together and I want to pull my hair out in large patches, like tonight.

  8. My little guy is 6.5 and I am actually enjoying this age. He is a very active and a happy guy.
    I found the most challenging years were between 2 and 3.
    But I have friends w/ kids his age and they complain about their kids talking back, fighting them on everything, hotting kids, etc.
    I don't think it's an age problem. May be it's a stage or since you have so much going on, he is just testing his limits...

  9. pupput - sorry you having a tough time with dd. I do hope that the battles lessen soon!

    Well, I brought a book to work tonight and might have time to start on it. It's called, "Scream Free Parenting - The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool." I'll let you know if it works. I bought it at dd's book fair at school. I wonder how many copies they sold!

    ETA - I truly believe a lot of this is just their personalities. My younger dd seems very similar to the 5yo, only a bit more intense. Yikes! Fortunately my ds is a big sweetie and VERY easy-going. I hope he stays that way because I need at least one of them to be easier than dd! Dd has a friend who seems like a pretty easy child...but she's also pretty timid and reserved and seems to be a follower, rather than a leader. I can see where she could get picked on by other kids. My dd is the opposite. I've been told over and over again that these personality traits will serve her well, but it's hard to deal with it right now. I honestly AM glad that she's an independent thinker and doesn't usually care what the other kids think and do hope that everyone is right about it serving her well in the future. One can only hope and pray, lol!

  10. My DS1 will be 6 in June. And yes.. amazing how at 5 they become much more independent & want to be in control and "do what they want".
    I have found that I gave my DS1 a little more freedom with somethings, (even just getting on the school bus-which picks him up ifo the house), seems to make him feel "grown up". but yet supervised.
    I also have noticed, he can give me a hard time and be very testy with the mouth, but i do not put up with it.. and yes it still continues. I think this age in general, is just testy.. very testy. he's excellent in school and has no behavior issues I'm guessing he is trying to see what he can get away with with me.
    EG; On mothers day at my g'moms house. he changed into his Mario Kart pj's before we left to go home. he asked me. "mom, when we get home can I play Wii". I said "not tonight, it's already getting late and close to bed time and you have school tomorrow, you can play a game of mario kart after school tomorrow". he asked again, i said. "No". plain and simple.. at home I'd normally get a meltdown , but since we were out.. he walked away,, about 10 min later I walk into the spare bedroom and say "what's wrong, what are you doing in here".. his reply.. "i was sad I couldn't play mario kart, so I'm in here". (here he was all upset..but didn't want to throw a tantrum in front of everyone, so he walked away to cool down-- which is what i try to do at home,,and he NEVER's always a meltdown).

    anyway, i think at this age they just push , push push..
    and with all the changes you are going through right now, I'm sure he feels your stress.. even though you try to disguise it.. kids are like pets, they can sense everything !!!!

    good luck and I hope it gets better quickly

    topher 5 1/2
    Jake 3 1/2

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