compulsively argues - 6 year old may not make it to 7 at this rate
I am at my WIT's END! My 6 year old son argues everything and I just don't know how to deal with it anymore. (not shouting-arguing, but stubborn disagreement and crying). It doesn't matter how minor the issue, he'll argue the point relentlessly I think to get his way. It can be as simple as whether or not it's Monday. He'd argue that it was day instead of night for an hour if that's what he got focused on - even if we were standing in the moonlight together. He's always had to learn the hard way, he could never take someone's word that it was hot; he'd have to have 3rd degree burns before he'd be convinced. I refuse to argue with him over a lot of things; when it seems we're getting into it again, I let him know that he's heard my opinion and he can decide. If it's a parenting issue, then he can talk with me but as the parent, my 'No' is good enough, I don't have to justify it.
It is just that it doesn't end...it can go on and on and on...and he'll continue to escalate the scene when I won't give in. A pit bull who, once he's dug his teeth in, won't let go.
We've been referred to a neurologist for further testing because he has parasomnias and we think he's sleep deprived because of it. But how do I handle this personality trait? The older he gets, the longer he can maintain the arguing. Are there strategies to help difuse this? he puts so much energy into it to make himself miserable, and he's started to have trouble at school too, and this is one of the reasons.
From a behavior management point of view, you are doing some sensible things, both by refusing to engage in contentious exchanges and by extricating yourself when you find you are in the midst of such an exchange. Since it takes two to tango, so to speak, you can at least minimize some of the conflict that can result from such intransigent behavior. One thing I'd consider is establishing a system whereby your son is rewarded for avoiding such arguing, and he is punished (e.g., by a period of time out - 10 minutes would be sufficient, provided he is quiet). You could rate him during three segments each day: wake up until he departs for school; arrival home through supper; after supper through bedtime. The point of such a system is to make it in his vested interest to argue less frequently.
Hum.. seems to me that you have been leting the kid to do WHATEVER HE WANTS and now that you won't let him, he gets mad and every little thing will become and argument.
Probably you let him control or manipulate the family's activities, making everyone to give him what he wants even though it's not logical, but since you don't want to hear him cry you give him what he wants.
Here's what you need to do
1. Discipline: the kid won't understand that you are the authority until you become one.
2. Let him cry in his room and make sure nobody is listening, he cries to be listened so don't be part of his game.
3. Give him a treat if he behaves and if he doesn't argue, but don't give him anything if he does.
4. Let him now that everybody is important, opinions and persons because in his eyes, he is the most important (the only important) person in the world.
5. If none of these work, a shrink is a good help.
My now 25 year old daughter was this way. It was once told to me she was comfortable in conflict. I believe it. She only got worse in my opinion. She had to find out everything the hard way. She comes from a backgroud of a lot of people that "knew it all" I always thought she inheredited from my husband side. Ha-Ha. But her problem is she didn't have the common sense that took to keep her out of trouble. She now complains about her daughter always arguing with her. Imagine that. Good luck to you.
I'll tell you what I say to my 7 year old.
"I don't have to argue with you, I am the adult, so I win, now go to your room."
That works most of the time.
If she continues crying, I make her shut her door.
That works most of the time if #1 didn't work.
If she still continues, I say how about staying in your room tomorrow too?
That always works.
Time outs are given:
Always as soon as an arguement starts, do not let it drag on, or they have won some small victory.
Always for ten minutes and the timer doesn't start until she is quiet. (starts over if she talks)
It really isn't as harsh as it sounds. She is a highly intelligent and opinionated girl, but needs to learn how to express herself in an acceptable mannor.
Later, when she is calm, we may be able discuss the subject of the contradiction, but only IF she can talk about it without argueing, and we take turns listening.
I think she is starting to chose her arguements more carefully as time goes on.
It is hard to stick to the 'no arguing' policy as they get a bit older and their arguments improve LOL, but out of all of the advice I read I know from experience with my own 7 year old that just saying "nope, I'm the adult... I win" is the best way. I have also had a few talks with my daughter concerning authority. I asked her if I had anyone that I *had* to listen to and how long she thought I would have at least a few people that were "the boss of me"? She said "your mother and your boss at work". I went on to say: "Also police, government officials, judges...do you think there will ever be a time that I won't have to listen to a judge or a police officer? How old do I have to be to just do whatever I want?" She looked at me with wonder realizing that I was right, and that even adults have authority figures that control some parts of their lives.
I think I might, just MIGHT have made some headway!
I think thee is a diagnosis called Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
I'm not a therapist but recently attended a conference on learning disabilities and received information about ODD. You might research it a bit and mention it to the therapist you are working with. Good Luck.
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