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Heidi LPC
Heidi LPC, Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 278
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor
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My 5 year child has become very oppositional at home, however

Resolved Question:

My 5 year child has become very oppositional at home, however at school his teacher comments that his behaviour is very good. He will not do as he is asked, openly ignore requests and throw tantrums. He will pick up money that is lying around and despite explaining that this is wrong he continues. He exhibits extreme jealousy towards his younger brother. i do not know how to cope
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Heidi LPC replied 5 years ago.

Heidi LPC :

Good morning! I have had 30 years experience working with children and I might be of some assistance to you!

Heidi LPC :

I am sorry to hear that you are having difficulty coping with the tantrums; it can be very difficult to know where to draw the boundaries for our childrens behavior, but it will be vital to do so. Simply put, children's behavior is usually driven by 2 reasons:

Heidi LPC :

  • To gain something .... or...

Heidi LPC :

  • To avoid something.

Heidi LPC :

And the second principle of childrearing is this: The things we give the most attention to are the things we will get more of. So, if your son is getting the majority of parental attention when he acts out, he will continue to do so.

Heidi LPC :

So, when you look at it with these ideas in mind, what is he trying to gain? Once you figure this out, we then need to find ways to help him to get what he needs... in an acceptable way. And as for avoiding, same concept: we need to set up a reward system for completing the things that we expect of him. This can be something as simple as having a special seat at dinner,

Heidi LPC :

I am guessing that he is looking for some special time with you, or possibly a feeling of power in some regard, which is why giving him a "special" responsibility and rewarding once it is complete will give him that power.

Heidi LPC :

All children will act out and tantrum once in awhile, simply to see if it works. If it works, and parents give and and he gets what he wants, he has learned to keep it up. So, simply ignoring this behavior (as long as he is safe) and sending him to a "cool off" spot... telling him that you will be happy to speak with him when he is calm, all of these reactions do not encourage the behavior. When he is calm, really listen to him and let him express himself... give lots of attention when he expresses himself appropriately, and this will encourage it.

Heidi LPC :

I hope this is somewhat helpful; please let me know if you have other questions or further explanation, and I will be happy to help! I wish you the best!! Thank you for using the site!

Heidi LPC :

Good Morning! Have you had a chance to read my reply, and do you have further questions?

Heidi LPC and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you