Parenting K-6 Kids/Misbehaving 6 year ago



I have a 6 year old daughter who is having behavior issues at school. She is doing great academically, but at times has issues with self control (gets excited easily) and as a result doesn't always listen to authority. She can be very sweet and loving.
We recently had an issue on the school bus where she was talking very loudly, playing around with another child and not listening to the bus driver. She ended up with a warming to be kicked off the bus if this behavior is repeated. Another incident involved her calling another girl "weird" and not wanting to sit next to her.
We've tried taking away privileges, rewarding positive behavior with a sticker chart, time out, etc. I'm not sure how to deal with this behavior since it seems to continue even after repeatedly talking to her about it. Please let me know what more we can do.

ANSWER: Dear Mary,

Thank you for writing. I hope I can be of help.

I have a few question which will help me give you the best response. Is dad in the home? Do you have other children, if so how does she relate to them in the home.  This behavior does not seem to be at of character for a six year old. You do want her to be respectful and kind to others. Does she have friends? When you say she does not listen to authority, do you mean you and teachers, or just with other children? Talking is not going to be of much help, because she forgets when she gets excited as most six year olds do.:)
When she was warned on the bus did she change her behavior?
I will respond as soon as I receive your response.
Thank you,
Dr. Swaby

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QUESTION: Dr. Swaby,

Thanks for your reply. To answer your is in the home and we have another child, 18 months old. Our 6 yr old is great with her, always wants to play with her and treats her well. She has lots of friends, both at school and at home. She doesn't always listen and do what she is told by teachers, us, etc. She often challenges what we ask her to do and whines about it. We want her to be more respectful and listen to what adults tell her to do. I understand that her challenging us is her way of expressing her opinions, but some things should just be done and not questioned. How do you explain this to a 6 year old.
We've started using a behavior chart which helps facilitate conversations when she doesn't receive a star for a certain behavior, however it does not seem to "fix" it.

Thank you for your response Ms. Mary.

First let me say that it is difficult to deal with what she does in school. You can discuss with the teacher what action she takes when she "Does not listen"The teacher should have something in place to deal with her behavior in class.

Now at home: she may not be getting the attention that she is used to getting before her sister arrived.( Not blaming you) Children do not care how they get attention. It can be positive or negative. I am sure she loves her baby sister, but resents all the attention she gets as an 18 month old, she then seeks to get attention any way she can. You have to change your responses to her. She responds to events by thinking, feeling and then doing. She might be thinking that she must misbehave to get your and dads attention.

  I want to make a few suggestions you can try them for several weeks and see how it works.

*Remind her that she is a big girl now, and you are proud of her and how she helps with her baby sister.(Praise)You might want to side-step the struggle for power, and refuse to fight or give in. Remember as soon as you get upset you loose, try to remain calm when responding to her actions.

* When she whines, let her know you cannot listen to her until she speaks to you like the big girl she is( Then stop, get on her eye level and ask her what she wants) Listen to what she has to say before you respond. Make your response short, because her attention span is short.

*Children will sometimes question what you say. It is okay to give her the reason. You can explain to her that as a family we all have to work together, that is what families do and as a family we listen and respect each other and work together.

+If possible set aside 15-20 minutes in the evening to give her your undivided attention. Perhaps once a week you can schedule mother daughter time(She will look forward to this)Once a week, when you can, you might want spend an hour with her doing something fun. example: watch a video, play a game, go out to eat (allow her to take part in choosing what you two do.) Let her know that this is mother-daughter time.("Just me and you":)

Ms. Mary I hope some of the above is helpful. Give it a couple weeks and if you like you can let me know if you see any changes.

"Don't give up"
Dr. Swaby  

Parenting K-6 Kids

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Dr. Mabel J. Swaby


I can answer questions about Pre-K 5th grade. How to listen and talk to your child.Discipline that makes sense and much, how to understand your childs behavior and more. I am able to answer questions about teens,as well I have worked sucessfully with teens in foster care and a teen center, I have a great understanding of teens behavior.


I am retired teacher.(2005)and administrator. I am a Court Appointed Special Advocate(CASA) with the Juvenile Court for the past 6 years. Working with children and teens in foster care. I am a S.T.E.P.( Systematic Training For Effective Parenting) Parent Educator, and I am preparing to conduct workshops in my community.

Masters in Early Childhood Education/Certification in instructional Leadership Court Appointed Special Advocate(CASA) (Volunteer) S.T.E.P Parent Educator/Leader-(Systematic Training for Effective Parenting) Parent-Aide Oasis Counseling Center

Awards and Honors
Teacher of the Year Judical Commendation Award from the Juvenile Court

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