Hey, quelindo. I came in the GD forum today because I needed a little moral support and grounding after parenting a fairly intense 5 yo, too, this week. ((hugs)) to us both. Five is really an age to me, right now, where they're experimenting with rudeness, I'm finding. Today, ds told dd that he liked her least of all the people he has ever met on this planet, ever. He then began to name all of the people he likes better than her. I was about ready to intervene and call him on his rudeness/meanness to her when she perked up and actually started helping him *list people* that he likes better than her. She named every kid in his class and started running down the list of relatives we have before he just stopped because it wasn't satisfying anymore... I'm having a hard time with the blatant rudeness to his sister lately. Anyway....yeah. They're a tough bunch, these 5 yos. I was joking with some parents yesterday that "Blind obedience was much more convenient for me." -- tongue in cheek, of course, but then the kids turned 4 & 5 and I really don't remember those days all that well...
Our house is not consensual, and I don't necessarily agree with all of Alfie Kohn, either -- I will love my kids no matter what, but I will not be a doormat. I tell the kids every day that they can FEEL and THINK however and whatever they want, but they cannot ACT and SPEAK however they want, whenever they want. They can feel like I'm the biggest stinkyhead in the world (favorite word in our house lately) and they can think it in their heads all they want....but if they try to whack me as I'm bending to their levels or yell it at me while slamming their bedroom doors, there will be consequences. Many times, the consequence is that my feelings are hurt by their rudeness and I do not feel like reading books when I am sad; they're just going to have to play by themselves while they're feeling like hurting other people's feelings. It feels sort of manipulative sometimes but it's the only way I can get to a somewhat logical consequence from name-calling and rudeness -- i.e., it feels like "Fine! You hurt my feelings and I don't feel like playing with you!" -- but it is more logical than a punitive taking-away-of-something or whatever --- and I find that if I respond with a calm, rational voice to tell my angry/rude child that because they did xyz, I will no longer do abc, then it returns a sense of calmness to our situation and ds/dd can perhaps re-think what they're doing/saying. Does that even make sense?
When ds is being rude/petulant/awful, I'm not above saying to him, "You are being really rude to me and (dd) right now. Go to your room and you may calm down by yourself. I think you'll feel better if you have some quiet time." Oftentimes, he does -- and sometimes he does really just need some time away from us to just play legos by himself before he feels like interacting positively. On occasion, I have picked him up and carried him there and told him it was not a request, either. I do talk with him sometimes about how I am the mama and it is my job to teach him how to be polite and kind, and that sometimes, kids just do have to listen to their parents and do what I ask, when I ask it. I realize it's authoritarian, but I think that sometimes life is just that way. I do try not to make every situation/transaction a "Do This."-sort of command, too, but if it's a request (and optional), then I ask, and if it is not, then I tell. In quiet moments, the kids and I talk about the differences. (This has helped with school situations for us: both kids have had to realize that when their teachers say for them to do something, that it is a command and not a request... I remember ds's utter confusion last year in preschool over this concept: when kids with far more authoritarian parents than I simply complied with the teacher's plan, ds thought he had a better idea... ;) )
This is just my .02 -- obviously I came into the GD forum today for tips on handling rudeness, so I certainly don't have all the answers but am throwing some of my random thoughts out there -- but just know that you aren't alone & it isn't just your five year old, my friend. Also, that these are typed out in relative calm right now and that I think we all yell sometimes, even when we don't want to. In fact, I think the last thing I yelled was yesterday: "GET YOUR BOOTS ON! WE ARE LEAVING!", speaking of outerwear... (I then threatened to make them walk outside without said outerwear because I was leaving in two minutes --- and I've done that one before, so they both scurried to comply.)
With love ~