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Most parenting books tell you about the "terrible twos" - those crazy, unpredictable days of unannounced tantrums, yelling and screaming in the shopping queue for no apparent reason and the sensational throwing oneself to the floor in an anguished rage! Fast forward three years as your child has just started school and you may discover some of those dreadful memories coming back to haunt you. Five year olds with "attitude", answering back, rolling their eyes in despair. It is probably more frustrating for parents: a two year old is just a baby; a five year old should know better. But, it seems common.
The reasons behind this strange character change could be numerous. Your five year old has just started school and is discovering their own independence. They want to act grown-up in front of their friends and are being exposed to more grown up behaviour from school friends. They are realising that they have an opinion and that they can make themselves heard.
What can be done to ease the tension? Give them the chance to feel in control of some situations. Let them make a few decisions: dinner menu, which park to go to, where to shop. This will make them feel empowered.
Reward them when they are good. Positive enforcement is very valuable and has great results. Even get them a reward chart and make sure you stick on a sticker each time good behaviour is spotted. For free customised sticker charts log in to ToucanLearn.com and go to Fun Stuff! Get your child to choose the picture to illustrate the chart and even go with you to buy the stickers.
Use avoidance tactics to avert a problem before it happens! Try and distract a potential bad mood with something fun or constructive to do together.