My son is six and in the first grade. He is incredibly sweet most of the time, but my husband and I and his teachers struggle with his tone, rudeness, and lack of respect. He is very rough in his delivery and lacks empathy at times. For instance, he gets outwardly frustrated if a goalie misses a goal. If he wants something, he is quick to raise his voice to parents/teachers or to interrupt an adult. Overall, I need tips to work on building respectful behavior with an assertive six-year-old boy.
Hello, and thank you for writing. It seems that your mostly sweet son has a raging case of Me! Me! Me!, which is what happens when a little boy hasn't learned that he's not the center of the universe, or anything else.
At home, you can tell him that the disrespectful behavior will not be tolerated. You can search this site for Ticket System or Doctor Cure for ways to enforce the ban on rudeness. I'd start with the Doctor Cure because it's easy to implement and he likely already has a healthy respect for his doctor's authority. Tell him that you've spoken with his doctor who told you that smart first graders behave in unkind and disrespectful ways because they're not getting enough sleep. Therefore, on any occasion when you witness or learn of his behavior being inappropriate, he'll have to go to bed directly after dinner and there will have to be 6 days in a row of no infractions before you'll restore his regular bedtime. Make a simple chart to show his progress and make sure you follow through! You can share what you're doing with his teacher and ask for support in your efforts. Be sure to give him examples of what he's done recently that will qualify as disrespectful or unkind. Also, if he doesn't already have at least one daily and one weekly household chore, assign those now! There are lots of suggestions on this site of how and what to do regarding chores. Reducing his screen time to almost zero can help with his quick temper as well.
He's developing some great qualities, such as focus and commitment and high expectations, but those characteristics don't always jive with a 6-year-old's understanding of relationships and manners. He needs to learn humility and kindness and have the opportunity to practice those attributes regularly. I highly recommend volunteering with him a few times a month. Appropriate activities can be accessed through religious organizations, and you can go to www.volunteermatch.org to personalize your volunteer preferences and receive regular updates on opportunities. Even something as simple as handing out water bottles at a charity 5K can help him learn about those less fortunate and his obligation to be a blessing to others.
Please write again if you need clarification or further guidance ~ we're here to help!
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Love & Leadership Parent Coaching