How can I get my six-year-old to stop mouthing off?

United States
January 9, 2007 8:02pm CST
I am getting so frustrated with my six-year-old son's smart mouth! He frequently talks back to his dad and me, refuses to do what he's told, and it's really getting to me. Sometimes I lose my temper and yell to the top of my lungs, but of course this only escalates things. I've tried a point/reward system that didn't work, I've tried punishing him and taking away privileges, but nothing works! What did work for a while was when I broke down and cried out of frustration and told him that he didn't love me. That lasted a week or two, then he was back with that same smart mouth! Please help, veteran parents! I know it's probably a stage, but I can't handle it. Thanks.
11 people like this
64 responses
@volatile (204)
• United States
10 Jan 07
You can either do what my parents did...which is spank him. But don't do it by losing your temper and making it an emotional thing. Just spank him with an even headed coolness and then once he's crying comfort him and tell him wh he was spanked. That way it's not a confrontational thing where you are just spanking him because you are mad at him...but because he did something wrong. He will hopefully learn that with actions come consequences. Of course, if you are a progressive type who can't bring yourself to spanking you can always ignore him and let him pout and know that he isn't going to win. You are the mother...he's only a little child. Don't let him overpower you. Take away all his privileges and things he likes and then just ignore him until he cries and caves in.
2 people like this
• India
10 Jan 07
Try not to cry at babies by saying that they're not loving you. Actually they love you more but no way or form to express those, in that age. For your problem, I request you taking your ward to others home where same age boys will be there who not do 'mouth put', so your son will feel guilty and come out of this habit.
• Vietnam
10 Jan 07
I agree with you. I have meet the same situation
• Indonesia
10 Jan 07
be patient
@carolynpb (647)
• United States
10 Jan 07
yelling doesn't usually do any good. You need to give him a couple of old fashion spankings, enough of them till he learns that.."hey evertime I do that I get spanked and that don't feel too good" he will eventually learn and stop doing those things. Take it from a mother of 4 who did this and was the only Mother who could go take her little ones out ANYWHERE and not have to ever worry about them throwing fits or embarressing me. People never minded to see me coming with my 4 in tow because they did what we me and hubby told them to do and there was NO back talking. It's so much more fun having children who listen and mind with no mouthing. Show him you are boss and you will not tolerate his smart mouth or not doing what he's told.
@JashleyB (1441)
• United States
10 Jan 07
I agree. My mom brought me and my siblings up the same way.
1 person likes this
@sthiza (8)
• South Africa
10 Jan 07
I still think coporal punishment is the best way to go.It does'nt mean you are abusing your child, but to show that you really love him.
2 people like this
@unithorn (193)
• United States
10 Jan 07
I believe that there is very little that a good swat on the butt (not in the heat of the moment, of course) won't fix. You have to show your dominance. I would send him to his room the moment that he starts mouthing off. If he startes screaming, take something precious of his away. He will scream and rant about that, just make it known that if he can be polite for a week without being rude, he can have it back. After getting the toy back, if he misbehaves, take it and something else back. They key is to not respond to the behavior with emotion. If you pass it off as though he doesn't bother you in the slightest, and that you can simply dismiss him (by sending him to his room) he should quit. Good luck! Let us know how it goes!
2 people like this
@heesaf (739)
• India
10 Jan 07
First see that to whom he loves and listens every time they say.Like every small child loves his grand parents and by that way we can ask them to tell the child to respect their parents and obey them.We have to tell him the importanse of religion and what religion has said about parents.As every religion does teaches us to obey what our parents say to us we can say this in a humble manner by which he will surely obey you.
1 person likes this
• India
10 Jan 07
I guess he is watching a lot of television programs. If that is the case, don't allow him to see any program. It will do. Lot of television shows corrupt the behavior of kids and as a result, kids don't behave like how they are supposed to, like kids!!!
• United States
10 Jan 07
i would definatly let it be known that you love him but your the mom and he is your son and it is against your rules to act or talk like that and it will not be tolerated and set a punishment up for if he brakes your rules say he yells at you put in the corner for 5 minutes if he talks and another minute to it for everytime he makes a noise if he dont stay in the corner literally put him there and stand behind him with your arms on the walland make him stand there a few times of this will break that habbitt
• India
10 Jan 07
i think he's not getting teh care he needs
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jan 07
Please elaborate on this. What do you mean he's not getting the 'care' that he needs? The attention?
@swatig (1187)
• India
10 Jan 07
First of all, I advice you not to do experiment with your kids either by point/reward system or by taking away the privileges. As you also know, it is the main cause of his misdoing. As I know some of sociology of kids specially, he wants your attention as i think he has no other with whom he can play or release his engerie. As you know, like us, kids having lots of engeries within, that engerie must be release, generally through playing, studing or doing various activities. It is upto you to which way you put your kids so that he divert his attention from this type of doing to constructive doing. am rite? To gain his attention, his likeing, do some of his liking things so that he start consider you as a friend. then after you teach anything when he is in cool mood otherwise ther is no much use as he is using his engeries in destrutive way. Mother love's can do anything as there is power in love. best of luck.
@kiran511 (22)
• India
10 Jan 07
i think a small communication gap between u and ur son. what ever our children does, they may learned from parents some what. if u understand this and ur in this position try to stop this kind of behavior. and comming to ur son, try to keep him away when u were in any serious discussions. i hope u understood.. and see that habit had comming from outsiders. its a sons sugessions because i am not a parent...
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jan 07
Have you sat him down, and calmly talked to him to find out why he is acting in this manor. Has something happened in the family recently, that might have affected him? Do you and your husband argue in front of him? If you are able to find out why he is acting like this, then you will have the answer to change him. If not then, find out what your child cherishes the most. Is it a toy, another object. When you find this , everytime that he acts up, take the object away from him, and when he behaves, give it back. You don't have to scream at the top of you lungs to try to get across to him. Does his father have any luck in discipling him? I hate to say this, but, if you can't find a way to make him listen, you might have to take him in to see his doctor, or a specialist.
• India
10 Jan 07
It's only the matter of the age. No need to worry abt that. But then also try to be more friendly with him than before. Talk to him and try to understand him, but do this only with patience coz he is only 6 yrs old. I am sure he will change.
@hazelle (134)
• Philippines
10 Jan 07
I am not a veteran parent, I never had a child but when I was a kid we (my siblings) really were scared to mouth off, because if we did mom would crush chili pepper on our mouth or lips and boy does it sting. Afterwards, mom would ask us do you know why I did that? and of course we know and if we didn't I presumed she would have told us why she did that and then she'll buy as candy to alleviate the hotness hehehe. Some may think it cruel though but it sure worked with us.
1 person likes this
@ajay22 (300)
• India
10 Jan 07
ahh ! that's a very tricy one, each child is different and what works for one may not work for other, also I think what you are going through is general child behaviour, they listen for some time and than simply do what they want. child are the most difficult person to deal, I think you just have to wait till he becomes mature, and at this point of time I think you just have to see that he is not expose to undesireable things like violent movies/games etc.
1 person likes this
@rms2727 (815)
• India
10 Jan 07
it is generally a passing phase, but you still need to handle carefully, for me the reward and punishment system worked. everytime my niece did that i use to make her stand out side the door in the cold, and she has sobered down. but in your case if nothing seems to work how about geting some counselling sessions and more importantly watchout on his friends circle and his TV watching.
1 person likes this
@humaaaa (1387)
• Pakistan
10 Jan 07
Spanking him or yelling at him may make him grow more bad and mischeivies . Make him feel that you love her more than he does love you and talk to him sometime about your feelings and what he is doing is not good.
1 person likes this
• China
10 Jan 07
first, congtatulations. You have a very smart and clever son because you sometimes got tempered, which shows that he can respond to a situation very quickly... Second, try to lead him to the path to employ his intelligence. I think this can help you.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
10 Jan 07
i think you should just ignore your child's behavior because the more you pay attention the more he does this. instead, you do more fun activities with him. this will let him forget smart mouthing and it will also increase the bond between both of you. this attitude won't last long. focus more on his positive side so he'll grow to be a good teen. i hope this helps. thank you
1 person likes this
@milagre (1272)
• Portugal
10 Jan 07
I've seen a tv program where a nurse was dealing with this kind of children. She was using paper made golden starts to reward the child. If the child was having a good behavior during the day, at the end of the same day he was getting a star if he was behaving badly the parents were sending the child to a sofá for a while they would explain him why he was being a bad boy and he was lefted there for a while to think about his attitude and say sorry if it was the case. some times give him responsable tasks also works, make him think that he is important for a kind of task. However, most of the time they just want to call our atention. Maybe it will work.
@naps2c (137)
• India
10 Jan 07
stuff it with something
1 person likes this
• Australia
10 Jan 07
No! If there's anything you shouldn't do, it's punish your child for being bad. Instead, reward them for being good. What was included in your point system? What kind of things did your kid get? You could give him a dollar for every day he is good or something; money is always alluring.
1 person likes this
@amanda84 (263)
• Malaysia
10 Jan 07
im not yet a mum yet..but i think u need to talk to him..told him how his attitude is hurting u since the punishent & reward cannot be used
1 person likes this