My grandson is only five and out of control

Dear Sara,

You sent out an article about raising children. The one thing that stood out was about discipline. Things to overlook and things that need discipline. You stated something like if it’s not something you want him to be doing when he is a teenager then the problem needs to be addressed now. My grandson is five now and screams “I hate you” to his Mom, throws things etc. It happened last night. I asked him to put his phone away and stop playing games so we could eat dinner. I turned off the TV. He was terribly rude to me. He took food off his plate and threw it on the chair. Where was Dad? In the bedroom. Is it time for counseling? Thank you.

Dear Lynda,

It sounds like your grandson has been allowed to get away with being rude to his parents and now this is the way he deals with things when he doesn’t get his way. Maybe his father has been overruled in his discipline so he just stays out of the way. If you are consistent in making your grandson behave, he will probably have some respect for you so keep it up.

Your daughter and son in law are the ones who have to step up and react to their son’s temper tantrums unless you take care of him on a regular basis. His behavior certainly won’t get any better if they allow it to continue. Once they let him know that there will be consequences for his behavior and follow through their son will change but it will take time. Parenting classes would probably be a better option than counseling.

If they need a book you could recommend “Parenting Isn’t For Cowards” by Dr. James C. Dobson


  1. Why does a 5year old have a phone?????

  2. My son was very good and loved and still loves his mother a lot. However when he was about thirteen he developed a deaf ear to his mother’s requests. She spoke to me about him. When next she asked him to do something for her and he ignored her I said to him, “I understand that your mother is talking to you!” He went and did it. Today he is forty five and still pays attention to her!

  3. Dear Lynda,

    Does a five year old really have a need for a cell phone? I am in agreement with Anne on that
    point. However; there must be a real problem
    that your grandson is holding back on. Perhaps, you as his grandmother can help find out
    why he is acting out. If that can be brought
    out perhaps he will change his behavior.
    Most grandchildren will confide in their
    grand parent but it may take some time. It’s
    obvious something is troubling him so
    that he is acting up out of frustration and
    can’t do it on his own.

  4. Speaking from experience!! My son was very disruptive.
    His problem was not from no punishment. He got lots of that. Things taken away, being sent to his room ect.
    The biggest problem was he was on the autism spectrum. We as parents did not know this.
    We did out stubborn him on many things thinking he was a stubborn boy acting out, but his tantrums were epic.
    Once he got older, he learned to control some of his problems, but we had NO counseling or medication for him was never prescribed. We learned of his problem once he was an adult.
    Consistency is paramount from ALL involved in his care.
    Seek medical advice or counseling if you feel that is necessary but also remember that love and lots of patience is also needed while you are teaching him the rules of proper behavior.

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