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Attitude Issues

Don’t let these pictures fool you. They are what my memories of our trip to Yosemite are going to be. I really don’t want to remember the struggle it was/has been lately with this dude.


I don’t know if it’s his age — he’s 6 — or what, but he’s been so difficult lately. It’s not like the little kid stuff “don’t touch that” “get down from there” or “stop jumping on the furniture!” Those are easy fixes, right? Just don’t do it, it’s that simple. But I’m pretty sure it’s official, we’re in the attitude stage.

You know the one when you call their name and their answer is “what?” in that “what do you want” kind of voice? Yes that. We’ve been hearing a lot of that lately. And you know what you guys? I don’t have the slightest clue how to deal with it.

It’s such a hard contrast too, because Eli, who is 3, is at such an easy stage. He’s a fun, happy-go-lucky kind of kid. But he’s still in a stage where the discipline is relatively easy. Not easy, but you know what I mean. Totally different than this attitude thing.

I sent him to bed early, I take things away, I don’t let him speak to me disrespectfully. He doesn’t get things when he has an attitude and it still isn’t sinking in. He’s so selfish, which I know we all naturally are, but trying to teach him to learn to think of others & their feelings is tough. It’s like it doesn’t click for him, he can’t think outside of his little world.

So I’m gonna leave you with some fun pictures of our recent trip to Yosemite and if you have some, I hope you’ll leave me some advice on what to do with a 6-year-old boy with attitude!

1IMG_2928 1IMG_2947 1IMG_2968 1IMG_2970 1IMG_2976 1IMG_2987

Beautiful isn’t it? I love Yosemite.

So what do you do with your young kids that are coppin’ and attitude with you? All suggestions welcome! 🙂


30 Responses to Attitude Issues

  1. Lindsey B August 22, 2013 at 4:04 am #

    Oh boy! My son went through this too. He went from being the sweetest, chattiest kid who took on this protective big brother role with his sister to being incredibly selfish, lying and he even chopped his sister’s hair off! (That’s a whole other story for another day!) He’s now 8 and he’s come back around. I think it has a lot with going to school because my niece did this too. They’re going to school with kids who have older siblings so they are learning things from them that they wouldn’t otherwise know at 6 years of age. They’re used to spending all day with kids their own age and then they come home to that “annoying” younger sibling and “nagging” parents. I really think it’s just a phase and they have to get used to the adjustment of balancing school and home life. I just did what you’re doing. Stay on him and keep the same standards you always have. It’s not fun but there’s definitely a pay off when they come out of it. You’re doing right, mama. Deep breath, it will pass!


    • Natalia August 26, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

      Thank you so much for your input, I appreciate it! I have heard from more than one person it’s a stage, so I’m hoping it is! Thanks for taking time to comment!

  2. Emily Humphries August 22, 2013 at 5:56 am #

    Oh girl it’s totally the age! My six now seven year old is still going through that and it’s a constant struggle to balance being fed up and what to do about it. The best I can tell ya is don’t give up on him and pick your battles. Somethings aren’t worth the fight and some definitely are. We’ve had a lot of time out and taking things away from him recently but I am still trying to find the best solution.

    • Natalia August 26, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

      I agree with that, definitely! Trying to pick my battles and handle them the best I can I guess is all I can do! Good luck with yours as well, I think you’re doing amazing!

  3. Megan M August 22, 2013 at 6:41 am #

    I have this same problem; my 6 year old daughter was just how you described him at a younger age. I have tried taking things away, timeouts to think about things after we talk, etc. I am hoping that persistence will do it. Hang in there.

    • Natalia August 23, 2013 at 10:02 pm #

      Thank you! I’m hoping the same thing!

  4. Katie August 22, 2013 at 6:44 am #

    We have the SAME problem with bf’s son. He’s 15, so it’s normal, but he’s been this way for a few years now. It’s very frustrating, and some days, I find that not engaging him in conversation is easier…sad, but true. But with a 6 year old, I’m sure it’s much more difficult. Good luck!!


    • Natalia August 26, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

      I do try to stay as calm and in control with him and not let him get to me. Kind of not engaging but at his level I guess? Thanks for your input!

  5. codie August 22, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    Well, it appears i will be the first to comment on your blog post – and i must say your boys are adorable.
    Now. I am in no way a mother, yet, but i will give you MY advice on how to deal with a difficult child, and change the attitude problem. When i was a kid and i had attitude problems, i was sent to my room. And with most children this is the case and it only makes things worse. Kids get upset when they don’t get what they want, so instead of sending them to their ‘room’ for them to vent, cry and be sad, take them outside and challenge them to help you with a project. Whether that be pulling weeds, cutting the lawn, watering a tree, etc. Nature is good for kids, and so is sunlight – and walking makes you happy.
    So just remember the next time he is difficult, and has a load of attitude, take him for a walk or give him an outside job.

    My suggestion! Like i said, in no way a ‘mom’ to “human” children – but a great aunty to 3 girls, and 1 boy… and of course a mom to my 3 fur-babies.

    Hope this helps!

    • Natalia August 26, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

      Great suggestions! My kids thrive outside so that’s a great idea for them. They can blow off some energy! Thanks for your input!

  6. Ida August 22, 2013 at 11:43 am #

    I feel for you. My son is also 6 and yes the attitude is creeping out. I take EVERYTHING away. I mean everything. He has sat in a room with just a bed at a point. That helped alot. Also, I’ve noticed that it tends to come out when he is bored so I try to keep him entertained or when I ignore him.I wish you luck and I hope the attitude fades away soon.

    • Natalia August 23, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

      I have kinda noticed the same thing and when his dad is gone. That’s when it’s worse. But I am just trying to hang in there. Man it’s tough isn’t it?

  7. Ruth S August 22, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    We just had my daughter and her two children living with us while their dad was on deployment. The youngest was also 6, the eldest was 10, also with an attitude. Now may be the time for dad to step in. We were having problems until my husband heard them. He called them into the room he was in and told them sternly that I was their memaw, but I was HIS wife and he would not tolerate them talking to me that way. He asked them if they understood and made them tell me they were sorry. It took a couple of times talking to pawpaw, but it ended it. They weren’t sure what pawpaw would do to them, but they knew they didn’t want to find out, lol.

    • Natalia August 26, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

      I totally agree and thank you! My husband has been gone and it’s always harder when he is. My dad is a fireman and isn’t always around. So we are missing that masculine influence lately. But we see daddy this week and I am hopeful things will go back in order a bit. Thank you for sharing your story! It’s helpful to hear!

  8. cathy August 22, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    I came over from Living in Yellow. First I would like to say that your boys are seriously, ~ beautiful!~ The whole attitude thing I think is normal at this age. I don’t know if your son goes to school or if he is home schooled, but, our 6 year old has started with the attitude and telling on everyone. School seems to change that sweet little person that hung out with you every day. Don’t get me wrong. I still think they are sweet, I just think that they are in a new world now. Trying to find themselves and I think it will all even out soon. You are doing the right things.

    I hear it only gets worst from here…lol.

    I love your blog. I am looking forward to reading more and getting some great tips.

    • Natalia August 26, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

      Thank you! I am so glad you came to visit! I love what you said about them going to school and think it’s so true. He does go to school and some of the things he comes home with sometimes is just silly! Like the tattle thing, although he learned that a long time ago, I can’t stand it! I try to tell him if he keeps telling on his friends he’s not going to have any! But some things they just have to learn and I guess being a friend is one of them. Thanks again for your comment, it’s nice to hear from other moms who are in the midst of it all too! Thanks for visiting!

  9. Becca August 22, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    Tell him you love him no matter what. Then explain you don’t like some of his choices and those choices have concequences. Have a set of consequences for his actions, and most importantly follow through. When good behavior is replacing the old actions, reward the new behaviors with praise and watch him flourish. Through it all remember he is a healthy young boy – attitude is growth. : )

    • Natalia August 23, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

      This is exactly what I do. I am working on not getting mad at all, just telling him what the issue is, telling him there’s consequences & dealing with it and moving on. It’s just that he’s having a hard time connecting that it’s his fault. He blames everyone for everything. UGH. But hopefully perseverance will pay off at some point!

  10. Kim August 22, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    Natalia, My advice to you…Keep doing what you’re doing! You are FACING the attitude problem. As our girls were growing up, we disciplined for two things…disrespect and disobedience. It may seem like these things will come often during childhood, but know that if you consistently work on correcting these while they are young, they are much more likely to have behavior that you are happy with and proud of when they’re grown up. I know it’s hard to be consistent because as a mom you get tired, in a hurry, distracted, etc. It’s hard, but it will be worth it!!! It is a special job to be a mommy, molding those little hearts, teaching them what they need to know and how they need to behave. There will be different strategies to get attitude adjustments at different stages of their life. Remember that although it seems like you are the only one with kids who go through attitude issues, you are NOT alone. Keep asking your other mommy friends what’s working for them and also, ask moms who’s kids are on the other side of childhood, for ideas that worked for them. The most important piece of advice…keep praying for wisdom and the Lord will provide it!

    • Natalia August 26, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

      Prayer is the only thing that I know I’m doing right! Parenting is hard! Thank you so much for your encouragement. He can be such a good kid and then such a whiney little boy. I guess a lot of it is phases, but man it’s exhausting. Although lately he’s been a little better, I think a lot of it was he needed to get better more consistent rest. He is a mess when he doesn’t sleep. Anyway, I love to hear from you and appreciate your advice! Thank you!

  11. monique August 23, 2013 at 12:45 am #

    oh momma, I know how you feel! I went through the same thing, and going through the know-it-all stage now at 10 years old. My best advice, do your best not to take it personal….I know this is very hard….keep your cool, but most importantly, stay consistant. One thing that worked what was we called the good attitude vs. bad attitude. I had two jars, one with a happy face on it and the other with a sad face. At the beginning of the week, the happy face jar would be filled with little felt balls (you can use anything you want) every time he talked back, gave an attitude or was rude, I would take one ball from the happy face jar and put in the sad face jar. At the end of the week, depending how balls where left in the happy face jar he would a prize or special privilage. If at the end of the week there were no balls left in the happy face jar he would have to do extra chores or have a consequence.

    HOpe that helps, and know I’m praying for you…email me if you have any questions.

    • Natalia August 26, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

      Thank you for your encouragement! It’s nice to hear what other people do. We have been trying to work on rewarding & encouraging good behavior. It’s just tough because his dad’s been gone & we’ve been super busy I think he was over tired. It’s a slow process, but he’s doing well lately. Thank you again for your input!

  12. Leslie August 23, 2013 at 6:26 am #

    I have a six year old boy also. He has his moments of being a bit self centered and mouthy. His dad and I are in total agreement on an action plan. I think that’s the first and most important step. If he answers me or daddy with rudeness, after the third time in a day, consequences come into play. We take away tv/movie time, Legos, or a privilege. It takes loads of patience, prayer, and positively reinforcing his great character and attributes that cuts down on the rudeness. When he’s a wonderful and helpful big brother, we acknowledge that. When he completes chores and schoolwork happily, we reward that as well. But, if we struggle to do the things expected, there is a consequence. We hit it home with him that for every behavior there are good consequences or negative. Choose wisely!

    • Natalia August 26, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

      Yes, this sounds great. My husband and I are on the same page, but he’s been gone the last few weeks so that has made it harder. We’re joining him this week, so I hope that will help a lot. I totally agree about positive reinforcement, I know my son needs that a lot. Because he can be super sweet and good. I also think a lot of it was he wasn’t getting proper rest & I’ve been more scheduled and i think that’s helped. Thanks for your input!

  13. Pamela August 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    I feel your pain. I have 2 boys who are 2 and 5 (also bi-racial white and black). The 5 year old is testing me, but not at a “bad” age yet. I also am a teacher, and we always have to be positive when we “scold” our students. Like, instead of saying “you did this or that wrong” we say “you did great on this part… i am so proud of you and knew you could do it. now let’s work on this part”. It also feeds into outside the classroom, of commenting more on the positive. Once we keep getting our kids in trouble for doing bad things, they just think they are bad, and then gets worse like they feel like they are worthless. I would constantly tell him the positive things about him, and when he does something bad, start off with more of a compliment then straight to the punishment.
    Hope that helps 😉

    • Natalia August 26, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

      Thank you! I do see that and definitely try to be positive considering he’s pretty tough on himself on his own. I’ll try to keep this in mind!

  14. Sandra August 24, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    My daughter was the same. What worked for us was to find something she really wanted (for her it was being allowed to join in the family fun swim at her older brother’s swim lesson) and we asked her to complete a listening to Mom challenge 3 times a day (best to not set expectations too high at this point). We kept a chart and it really worked. My son is 10 and can get really grumpy, especially if he feels his dad isn’t as available as he’d like. His reward choices will always be something to do with Daddy. Usually a long bike ride or time on the Wii with him. Also, my kids shot up quick like yours have and I think some of it is testerone / hormones and it takes a lot out of them. Now my kids are educated on how lucky they have it compared to the rest of the world etc etc but kids are fairly selfish and so I’d say don’t take it personally and they do have great phases. My fiery, stubborn daughter is pretty sweet right now (aged 8) I know it won’t last but I also know it’ll return someday!

    • Natalia August 26, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

      Thank you for your input! I do think it must be stages and I think my son was extra tired lately too. He doesn’t function well without a lot of sleep and I might have realized it after he was a bit too tired. I am trying now to adjust it! It is encouraging to hear what works for others, thank you!

  15. Krista September 13, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Seeing some of this with my daughter lately, who will be 8 soon. I like the suggestions and do them. Hoping for the best, and ready to keep having those conversations and consequences when needed!

    • Natalia September 14, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

      thank you so much for your input, it is nice to know we’re not a lone!

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