A Defiant 5 Year Old

I want to assume we aren’t the only ones going through this. Our 5-year-old has really pushed the limits of our parenting, challenging us and causing us to go, “how the heck do we handle this?”

I’ve been told this is a sample of how they’ll be in their teenage years but I don’t believe it. He’s still sweet, caring, sensitive, charming, very smart and hilarious. But the other side is a challenge. Everyday he’s in tears over something, making it more dramatic than it should be.

He’s in this phase where everything is “forever and ever?” like when I say (out of frustration and anger, mostly), “I’m going to take toys out of your room as punishment.” “For forever and ever?” Then it leads to, “You don’t love me anymore?”

What do you say to that? We assure him that yes, we love him, but we don’t love the behavior. Justin and I are the type of parents to explain things many times; what acceptable behavior and most importantly, what is not. But we eventually lose our cool and snap and he knows it. He pushes us to that snapping point and then it’s really dramatic and can take pretty much all day to recover.

I keep telling myself it’s a phase. Which it is. But it’s a really crummy, long phase that hasn’t let up.

I recently asked his preschool teacher if she’s had any problems with him. She said all the kids were generally having problems and it could be the time of year (holiday’s) or the fact they haven’t had any outside time. I’m convinced physical activity is a mood booster in kids just like it is in adults. But since our weather has been crappy these last 3 weeks, they haven’t had many opportunities to go out and play. Gymnastics has helped but the session is over. Either way, it’s time to get back into the gym and pool!

We adore and love our son. The attitude and behavior we do not adore or love. Each child is different and we’re learning what works and what doesn’t when it comes to raising them. Marlo is very different than Jules was/is and I’m sure she’ll be defiant in her own way that’ll drive us nuts too.

I should be thankful that we’re able to learn from it and will be better prepared for Marlo. But until then, I can’t wait for him to be 6 and magically out of this phase. I can only hope.

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