I just received this message from a parent:
“My six year old son is very aggressive. When he is told to the simplest thing he in an instant starts to say ‘shut up!’ and uses the ‘F’ word. We have tried everything!! If we put him in his room he throws anything and everything in his room. If we spank him he just gets more mad. If we take away privileges he just doesn’t care. What do we do now…I feel so hopeless!!”
Children say what they hear.
I have a child who just turned six. I am sure he would never use the ‘F’ word or say ‘shut up’. The reason I’m sure is not because I’m such a great parent, but because he has never heard these words used before. He doesn’t hear my wife or myself use it, he doesn’t hear his older siblings use it, and we control what media that comes into the home so he doesn’t hear it there either.
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Eventually, he will hear it from other kids at school, but hopefully by then he will be old enough to understand enough not to use it, at least his older siblings were.
You need to make your home a place that your child sees as more refined and better than the world around him. Your family should have higher standards of conduct than the society surrounding us. That way your child will see your home as a special place.
You do this in two ways. First, you need to control what comes in your home. Unless you want your child to grow up with decadent morality of Hollywood, modeling the behavior of Hollywood both on and off the screen, you have to limit your child’s contact with the smut that comes out of there.
Second and more importantly, you yourself need to model refined behavior. If you or your spouse use foul language or what raunchy TV shows, if will rub off on your children. Children learn what they see and hear and they copy that behavior.
A six year old or even an eight year old doesn’t know what the ‘F’ word means. He just learns that that is what you say when you are angry. And he learns it from those around him.
Your child’s environment is his teacher. He is going to learn much more from what he sees on TV, hears in music, plays on video games, or observes in your actions, than anything he will learn in school. If you care about your child’s moral social development you have to control his exposure to these negative elements.
The lessons of the surrounding society go in deep. Once they are inside of your child, it will be very hard to get them out of him.
For an easy step-by-step plan to build your relationship with your child and end your child’s difficult behavior forever,
For children 2-11 go to
For teens 12 and older go to
For more information on how to handle your ODD child or teen:
If your child is 2-11 go to:
If your child is 12 and older go to:
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