6 yr son does not listen, mind, or care about anything but himself - FamilyEducation
6 yr son does not listen, mind, or care about anything but himself
02/20/2008 at 13:25 PM

HELP!!  My stepson lives with us, me, husband, daughter and brother.  He is very smart and loving and is even being tested for gifted classes.  He refuses to follow the rules at school and at home.  He will do only what he wants and his reason is because he wants to, he likes having fun, and that he doesn't like the rules.  He will have a bedwetting accident and then put his pajammas back up and wear his wet underwear to school.  He will purposely lay down for his nap at school near toys and get in trouble daily for playing with them.  He pulls sticks every day in school for not minding.  At home as long as you are not looking he will make sure he does what he knows he is not suppose to do.  He lies to us all the time.  When he gets in trouble we make sure he understood what he was suppose to do and that he knows what the consequences where going to be.  He just doesn't care.  He does it all anyway.  He breaks other peoples toys because he wants to.  He walks around happy all the time and has so much love and compliments to give to anyone that will take it.  But nothing we do gets through to him!!!  What are we suppose to do to make him want to do right and respect adults and other people.

So it sounds like you have a son who knows how to be charming but doesn't want to "do what is right."  It sounds like you have a pretty normal son.  I'm not saying you should let it pass, just that this is why kids have parents. 

  My first idea is to start having a family meeting (1/2 hour or so) every week, if you don't already do that.  During that meeting you can talk about lots of things: schedules, rules about TV and electronic games, upcoming game purchases, upcoming vacations.  You can play board games or card games or charades or whatever.  You can just go for a walk (if it isn't too cold).  You can make plans for if there is an emergency--who can pick you up at school if there is a big problem, stuff like that.  You can also talk about character, respect, and family expectations of behavior. Keep having the meetings even if the problems are resolved, it is a way of keeping communication really good.  Let the kids teach the lessons or implement the plans, too.  It helps if you have refreshments, rice krispy treats, ice cream or oreos work just fine if you don't want to bake!  Or apples and cheese if you are a no-sugar family.

  My second idea is to provide logical consequences for his mis-behavior.  This is hard to do when lying is involved, because what happens when a kid lies is that people believe him and he gets what he wants.  I just remembered what I did with a five year-old.  Every time he told me something, I would ask something like "If you were the lightswitch right by you then,  what would the lightswitch tell me?"  It was kind of funny, but the lightswitch or the stuffed animal or the paint on the wall would tell me what really happened.  Your boy may be too old for this to work.   

   My third idea is to limit the child's opportunity to lie.  If you think you already know what happened, don't ask, just act.  "Did you wet your pants?" is kind of a dumb question.  Just say, "Go clean up and put on clean underwear."  If he protests that he is dry, just check.  If he really is, say, "Oh, good."  Don't apologize or explain. 

  See if any of these ideas work for you.  I think it is hard for kids when their parents split up, but even when the split is in the distant past, it is hard for kids with parents in two homes.


I am the step mother of a gifted child he just turned 8. He Has similar characteristics. We took him to a evelopmental pediatrician and to counseling. what we founf is a book called 123 magic. I would suggest reading it. it has made a huge difference in both childrens behavior. We also founf that with my step son you have to find soemthing that actually bothers him and use it as a consequence for negative behavior. For instance he loves to play on the computer, video games, and watching movies with the family. we have a family fun night once a week. if he does not do well in schoo that day (pulls sticks) he loses electronics for that evening. There is no discussion or arguing because if there is you count him and he ends up on a break. i would also recommend having a reward board for your child if he is between the age of 2 to 12. these are ways of making him feel like he is able to earn things with good behavior. Please check out teh book 123 magic.