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5 year old won’t listen and is really naughty

I have a 5 year old that used to be such a lovely girl up untill a year ago when my son was born. She started school around this time and now she swears, spits, hits, shouts, won't do her reading homework and won't listen at all. I'm pulling my hair out with her. We have the naughty step, which she stays on there for 5 minutes, a minute for every year of her life. Nothing works. I also have 2 other older children, 1 of which has AD/HD, so I think my 5 year old picks stuff up from her.

Hi there,

Well what a frustrating and worrying time for you. As parents, we all want our children to have a great relationship with school and feel good about going to a safe, fun place that offers so much for them on so many levels. So a few words of advice:

The first thing you need to do is to have a meeting with your daughter's teacher and find out what might be causing this behavior. I would also suggest talking to your child about school and finding out how she is feeling about going and how she feels about the teachers and children she interacts with on a daily basis.

Has there been a change in her normal routine? Has there been change? New circumstances can impact the way children behave in school. Moving home/new baby/illness/new school. New teacher? What you can do which is very effective and positive is to do a joint school reward system where there is daily correspondence between you and the teacher on your child's progress and reward your child with the things she likes to do rather than take them away from her. Keep charts in both places.

At home, practice her listening skills, identifying noises and taking good direction and develop her attention span more so she keeps focus longer and doesn't get bored. Challenge her to do exercises that make her think, mental stimulation developing the brain, allowing more creativity to follow.

Maybe she needs to be engaged at school more and perhaps the teacher could give her different tasks to complete for the week and school responsibilities. If she completes her work then maybe offer help to others and join in plenty of discussion.

She's obviously a very bright young girl and so moving her forward is key here. The one good thing is that this situation does lend itself to changing fast and what may seem a problem now will very easily not be one next week! Hang on in there.


Jo x