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Bonnie
Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  and pediatric nurse practitioner with 30 years of experience counseling parents.
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My husband and I are at the end of our rope with how to discipline

Customer Question

My husband and I are at the end of our rope with how to discipline our 6 year old boy, or get our child to respect us. He can be a great boy, but then turn and be so naughty/not listen/talk back and shows little respect for us when we get upset (laughs). We give our son consequences if he does not do what we are asking and we DO follow through with them all but nothing seems to work. We take away playdates, toys and etc....and he can be ok for a day or two but then right back where we were.....help
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Bonnie replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank you for consulting JA,
I can hear your frustration! Some children are born with negative temperament and will be non-compliant and defiant and maybe, aggressive. We have a term for this: Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_Families_Pages/Children_With_Oppositional_Defiant_Disorder_72.aspx
The treatment for this is the behavior management strategies that you describe but they often do not work because this is the child's temperament and is difficult to change. If the ODD seems likely, he may benefit from these books and also from child therapy to learn strategies to combat the negativity.
http://www.apa.org/pubs/magination/441B037.aspx
http://www.apa.org/pubs/magination/441B119.aspx

Some children exhibit this behavior as part of another mental health diagnosis such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Anxiety Disorder or Learning Disability. The first thing to do is ask his primary doctor about an evaluation for these conditions. (i.e., usually a referral to a psychologist who can perform a complete psychological evaluation is the most thorough evaluation available). The treatment for these varies from special education in school to medication.

I hope that one of these ideas is helpful and leads to the road of peace in the family.
Warm regards

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