He thinks he knows EVERYTHING (X posted in Gentle Discipline) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 4 Old 01-21-2010, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
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my 5 yr old ds has decided that he's so smart he knows everything, including what he should eat, wether he should have to have baths or go outside or take medicine for teething pain (his 6 yr molars are coming in) . . .

it is driving me nuts because he wants to argue endlessly about everything i ask him to do, and he's in a terrible temper because he's not eating any protein (not even soft things) or getting outside in the mild weather or doing any kind of sensory play that would usually help him keep his moods in check. which means he's having daily terrible screaming fits and acting like a little dictator.

its almost like he's enjoying being in a foul mood . . .

we also have a new baby and his brother just developed the fine motor skills to start playing with legos and the attention span to listen to chapter books, so more of his "big boy" distinctives are being taken away.

I'm trying to spend some extra time with him, but when I suggest that he do something with me he'll either refuse to spend time with me or he'll end up arguing with me the whole time about why he can't know everything and why he's not allowed to watch more tv and why his brother had to get such good presents for his birthday . . .

Any suggestions of how to deal with this other than spending all my time arguing and engaging in power struggles?

Jill , mom to Andrew (09/04), Aaron(01/07), and Emma (11/09)
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#2 of 4 Old 01-21-2010, 08:38 PM
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With a 4.5 yr old DS, I can at least commiserate.

I can also gently offer an alternative to the power stuggles you have gotten into with him. Let him be the boss and "know everything" about himself. Sometimes I find it helpful to consider the worst-case scenario for perspective.

He doesn't want to bathe -- ok. The worst thing that will happen is that he has food and dirt on his body that might get tracked into the house, wiped on the couch, etc. If he gets that dirty, explain your reasoning and then let him choose. "Oh, DS, you can't get on the couch until you wash dinner off your face and hands."

He doesn't want to eat -- ok. I know a lot of houses have different rules, ours is "this is dinner. Eat it or don't. You can always have a PB&J instead." Mine are still slightly younger, but I find that when I insert myself into their choices, it never seems to go well. Sometimes I coach, "we are about to leave the house to run errands, and if you don't eat your stomach might hurt." But no pressure.

No meds? Ok. Pain medication isn't essential. He is the one that hurts. If he starts to hurt others (screaming, fits, etc), then he is old enough to be told to keep to himself until he can control his behavior. It is his choice whether that means taking the meds, meditating, or something else.

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#3 of 4 Old 01-21-2010, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by SeekingJoy View Post
Let him be the boss and "know everything" about himself. Sometimes I find it helpful to consider the worst-case scenario for perspective.
ITA. If DD is feeling argumentative, I just disengage. There's no point in fussing about minor things (and, yes, I'd consider the examples you gave to be pretty minor). It sounds like your DS is feeling out of control and that is a very tough (but also very normal) place to be in. Have you tried talking to him about things he can have total control over? Sometimes having just one or two things that are entirely up to you can make all the difference.
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#4 of 4 Old 01-23-2010, 08:19 AM
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Please reply on the x-posted thread in Gentle Discipline:


HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys:  reading.gif 03/02; modifiedartist.gif09/04; sleepytime.gif 09/07 - and Eliana, babygirl.gif 11/13/10!  
Founder of Houston Birth Alternatives: Be Informed, Encouraged, Supported birth support group and aspiring midwife.

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