Behaviour Problems in 5-year-olds – Causes and Discipline Strategies

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Behavioural problems in a 5-year-old

We all love kids but as they grow, it becomes difficult to comprehend their desire and nature. The number of issues suddenly seem to ramp up exponentially, and these issues mostly revolve around their behaviour. For a 5-year-old, behaviour problems and tantrums are the worst since they throw everything out of order and cause distress to everyone around.

What Behaviour Is Expected from a 5-year-old Child?

By the age of 5, many children understand that there are certain things that they need to do by themselves. When a child turns 5, he might do a few things on his own, like brushing his teeth, taking a bath, or getting ready for school. Some guidance and instructions might be required so that they do all these activities properly and don’t forget as well.

Many children also begin to interact with other kids by this age. Your child might already have a best friend or might be hanging around with a different group of friends, trying to find one. As outgoing as your child might be, he could also get possessive at times and resort to keep his toys to himself. This behaviour is normal and can be handled by engaging him in games that can be enjoyed alone.

The curiosity of kids is at peak at this age. Your 5-year-old kid might ask you a number of questions all the time, even at the wrong time. This might lead to embarrassing situations in public settings. Do not discourage your child from asking questions, but also encourage him to start thinking and trying to reason things.

Your child may have been a cry-baby as an infant, but now he might be substantially in control of his emotions. He may fall while playing, cry a bit, and start playing again. He may even get angry and seem out of control at times, too. Based on his behaviour, you may need to guide him in channelling his emotions the right way.

What Behaviour Issues Are Seen in a 5-year-old?

Most of the 5-year-old behaviour problems at school are a good marker for understanding any issues that your child might be facing.

He might be getting involved in fights and arguments with kids on a regular basis over petty things. This can be further seen if he usually stays alone and his friends are actively trying to keep away from him all the time. He might fail to note down what he has studied in class just because he doesn’t feel like it or he may end up not completing his homework. He may even be stubborn at times and throw tantrums. Your friends and family may call him a nuisance who seems to only cause problems and nothing else. And this would only aggravate this kind of behaviour.

A 5-year-old girl crying

What Are the Common Causes of Behavioural Problems in 5-year-old Children

Children at this age try to understand the things around them. This is the age when their character develops…but certain things may lead to behavioural problems in them. Know what results in a behavioural problem in children:

  •  Children at this age struggle to transition effectively from preschool to the life at kindergarten. This is the first time they might experience the feeling of being separated from their friends in preschool. If a child hasn’t been to preschool, then interacting with a completely different group of people can be quite taxing for him. This is combined with a new lifestyle of sitting quietly in a place, paying attention to what is being taught, without the freedom available at home.
  • An excessive curiosity of sorts could also manifest into a frustration-filled behaviour. This is when the kids do not realize their capabilities of doing activities and get frustrated with repeated failures.
  • A 5-year-old’s behavioural problems at home could also be a result of wanting to be perfect in everything he does and failing to do so. This unhappiness can further result in tantrums. On the other hand, some kids may want to be as independent as they can and may respond rudely to you if you ask them to do something.

How to Discipline a 5-year-old with Behavior Problems

Here are a few ways to deal with your child’s behaviour problem at this age.

1. Keep it Simple

A kid at this age is not prepared to understand the rationale behind his behaviour. Trying to explain it to him could confuse him even more. Your child will continue to show tantrums over time if things don’t go his way. So, you should explain to him about his behaviour in a gentle tone and in the simplest way possible. Tell him his mistake and ask him politely to not repeat it.

2. Be Patient

Your kid will not turn into an ideal child overnight. The behavioural problems will keep surfacing intermittently as he, too, will be struggling with emotion and reason. Continue telling your child it is wrong and over time he will understand.

3. Be Strict

Certain actions such as throwing things or breaking things should be strictly established as intolerable. Any display of aggression and violence should be nipped in the bud at this age.

4. Understand the Reason

Try asking your child why he is behaving the way he is. If he doesn’t talk, try to figure out what has changed in recent times that might have caused this behaviour to take place.

5. Communication Is the Key

Being able to speak freely is essential in this regard. You can choose a place in his room where you can sit silently and let him tell you whatever he wants to, without judgement.

6. A Good Routine Is Necessary

Not having enough sleep or rest, or cramming too many activities together could cause your child to break down. Make sure he gets proper sleep and follows a routine so that his behaviour is not impacted.  You should also let him make his own choices.

7. One Way Doesn’t Work for All

You may need to adopt different strategies to discipline your child. Issuing timeouts or setting restrictions may work for some but not for others. So, you need to pick the best way to discipline your little child.

For most parents, behavioural problems in their 5-year-old child can easily get on their nerves. Being angry and hitting your child is never the right way to discipline him. No child acts out of malice. Try and figure out the reason for his behaviour and you would have solved half the problem then and there.

Also Read: Child Psychology and Tips to Understand Their Behaviour

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