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Lori Gephart
Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist and Hypnotherapist 20 years of experience helping clients of all ages.
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My 5 1/2 year old daughter is so badly behaved when she wants

Customer Question

My 5 1/2 year old daughter is so badly behaved when she wants to be . She does not listen and answers back . Out with my sister and at school & playcentre she lies on the floor and screams if she is for example being denied something . She is a very cute girl and small for her age . My aunt looked after her at home until she was 3 and does not know the meaning of dicipline . Since 3 she has been at nursery and now school . She is accustomed to getting lots of attention. Other childre pick her up and there is always one adult in the set up she is in who thinks she is fine and just has a very strict mum until she starts the behavaiour . She is very bright and could read by 4 . She is very sociable loves a dance and is very funny . Children find her fun and she is very popular . I know i have the worst behaved child in the world - other kids tell me when i arrived to pick her up what she has done . Thier parents tell me she is all they talk about . I know this is having an impact . Although the parents are nice to me i have noticed that a few of them desperately try and get thier children to be friends with other children rather than her and she told me that one little girl she is very friendly with said her mum said she should not play with her .
I have always been a single mum , she has afternoon activties she loves 6 days a week , i dedicate all my free time to her . We go to lost of shows , shopping , cinema , parties . I am so worried when i at work my nose just starts bleeding on the way home i think what has she done today ? I am strict and if she does something awful ( hit her teacher another child ) i will smack her .When you ask her why her behaviour is bad she says that whoever it is was "naughty to her". I have explained that she has to be told what to do by adults and she cannot do what she wants all the time . For the last 2 1/2 years i have taken away things , time out , told off , stopped activties - i even refuse to read bedtime stories ! I acnnot face another school year like the one she has just had and don't know what to do !
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Lori Gephart replied 6 years ago.
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Lori Gephart :

Hello, I'm happy to talk with you. I am working on your question now.

JACUSTOMER-ppyocnby- :

i don't have anything else to say other than i don't know what else to do !

Lori Gephart :

I am working on your answer and will be with you shortly.

Lori Gephart :

Thank you for contacting Just Answer.


I am sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing with your daughter. You are in a difficult position as you have the stress of being a single parent and dealing with this stress alone. The good news is that these behaviors are likely very much able to be corrected. Keep in mind that any behavior that gets attention is likely to continue happening, even if it is negative attention. It has been called the law of the soggy potato chip in that if a child thinks that she has a choice between a soggy potato chip or no chip at all, she will choose the soggy chip. If your daughter feels that he has the choice between negative attention or no attention at all, she will choose the negative attention and so she will act out until she gets it. The only way for this pattern to stop is for to begin to catch the good behaviors and reward them with attention, and to calmly and matter of factly give consequences for the negative behaviors with as little attention as possible. This means no yelling, hitting, lecturing or crying when she misbehaves, just giving consequences. A very good book on this subject is Win the Whining War & Other Skirmishes: A Family Peace Plan by Cynthia Whitham MSW. Remember that the more consistent you are with this positive parenting, the more secure your daughter will begin to feel that she is able to get attention through positive behaviors and the more her behavior should improve. If after consistently trying this technique you see no improvement, then an evaluation with a child psychologist would be a good idea. I hope this answer is helpful. Please let me know if I can clarify further.

JACUSTOMER-ppyocnby- :

Thanks - i will try

Lori Gephart and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Lori Gephart replied 6 years ago.
You are very welcome. I know that it is difficult to respond to these very disturbing behaviors without showing emotion to her, but it is extremely important to avoid reinforcing these behaviors. I wish you the best.

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