OhioZR asks:

Nothing is getting through to my 5 year old.

To set the scene, I am married with 3 kids. I have a beautiful home in the country, a great job, and my younger girls (ages 4 and 1) are angels.

My 5 year old son is from a previous engagement and lives with us full time now. His mom has some serious issues and now that my son lives with us, she has not even called to say hello to him. (It actually makes me really sad for him.) My amazing wife has been the perfect step mom and considers him her own son without hesitation. He considers my wife his mother and has said to us "I'm glad I live here now." I know that his new environment is not the issue because he says he doesn't want to go back to where he was (he lives with us for a reason and we will leave it at that).

Now, the issue is, he has some serious anger issues. He feels the need to boss his sisters around and has been having an issue with hurting our small dog. He knows he is in the wrong when I ask him "why are you acting like that?" and he simply responds "for no reason," and doesn't care what I have to say.

I have taken away favorite toys and taken away privileges with no affect and even tried heaping on positivity to the point where it is too exhausting to keep up. I have tried everything. His preschool teachers say he is a typical 5 year old but at home he is an animal. Can somebody point me in the right direction? I don't know what to do anymore.
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges, Communicating with my child (The tough talks), Blended families
> 60 days ago



Feb 14, 2013
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What the Expert Says:

Sounds like your son came from an environment that was not supporting his needs, and that in itself is very stressfull to a child.  Because of immaturity, children do not know how to deal with stress and often their frustrations suface as behavioral problems.  Even though his current situation makes him thrive physically, the past stress might have stamped its mark.  Since your efforts to deal with your son's acting out have been ineffective, seeing a pediatric therapist could be of benefit.  Your child regular health care provider will be able to refer you to one in your area.

Best regards.
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