Five going on fifteen

Five going on fifteen

I’ve noticed a shift in attitude from my 5-year old boy recently.  He has always known his own mind and has never been afraid to ask for what he wants, exactly when he wants it. But, this is more than ‘I want juice’, ‘I said the blue cup, not the red one’, ‘I’m not drinking anything until you make me a fresh drink in a new cup and if the beverage/colour of cup/way it is delivered is fitting to my mood then I will refrain from throwing it across the kitchen table in a blaze of fury’ kind of way.  Much more.

For example, when I asked him to brush his teeth this morning, he told me to ‘just zip it’.


To which, once I had peeled my jaw off the floor, I responded with ‘Please don’t speak to me in that way’


I will not shut-up. Now, please go and brush your teeth.


I need you to brush your teeth now please.


Did you just call me a stinker?


So, I let him get on with on it.

Later, as we walked to school and he was behaving like a perfect angel again, I explained that I don’t like it when he is so rude to me. He seemed to understand, apologised, and we left it at that.

As we did when it had happened a few days previously as well; probably because it was time to leave a friend’s house before he had finished playing, or it was time for bed and he wanted to stay up for a bit longer.  It is always ok until the next time he is asked to do something that he does not want to do, at a time when he does not want to do it. 

Then he folds his arms, shakes his head and says NO. I’M NOT DOING IT.

I do like that he challenges, ask questions and has bags of personality, and while I don’t want to quash that part of him, I do want him to be a little more respectful.  And, you know, not tell me to shut up.

But, where to start?  I’m trying to be clearer in my expectations and give him plenty of warning before we need to leave somewhere.  I am hoping it is just a phase as he gains more and more independence from me and wants to test boundaries.

We don’t often make him do too much grown-up, or ‘boring’ stuff with us.  He spends time with his friends, gets outdoors regularly and has enough downtime at home to relax and unwind too.  But, there are obviously also times when he will need to go to B&Q with us, or I’ll need to pop out to the post office and he will have to come with me.  It would be nice to do these things without him putting up a fight.

It would be even nicer if I didn’t have to chase him around the house to put his coat and shoes on too.

I’m trying to be fairly relaxed about this shift in attitude at the moment, in the hope it will soon pass.  Then, some days I think I need to just nip it in the bid quickly.  Although, how I do that, I am not quite sure.

Parenting does in many ways, get easier.  Phases do end.  However, as soon as you think you have conquered one challenge, another soon appears to take its place.  As physically demanding as it felt at the time, shadowing a toddler around the house all day to make sure he didn’t bang his head, eat 4-week old toast off the kitchen floor, or fall down the stairs, was strangely satisfying at the end of the day.  Because when I put him to bed, having succeeded in not breaking the baby, I had proof I’d done a good job that day.  At almost 6-years old, parenting feels less physical but more emotionally exhausting.  I can toss and turn all night worrying over whether my strategy will break or build the boy.

Either way, I really do not care much for this rudeness.




  1. May 20, 2015 / 1:50 PM

    Oh I feel your pain. Mine is at a similar stage and I appear to be constantly threatening him at the moment. “If I have to ask you to out your shoes on once more there’ll be no TV tonight.” Even I’m bored of hearing it. I’ve not been called a stinker yet though. Did you giggle?

    • Grenglish
      May 20, 2015 / 6:16 PM

      Totally cracked up!

  2. May 20, 2015 / 2:44 PM

    Ha ha ha! I have a sassy almost 7 year old daughter and believe me, I feel your pain. The problem is that it’s quite funny, isn’t it? When they come out with sass but you have to teach them it’s not really on to speak to us like that. I do a lot of cheek biting.

    • Grenglish
      May 20, 2015 / 6:16 PM

      It’s so funny but would be mortified if he started to speaking to other people in the same way!

  3. May 20, 2015 / 4:52 PM

    gets worse at 6, then 7, and so on. 🙂 x

    • Grenglish
      May 20, 2015 / 6:15 PM

      I have so much to look forward to!

  4. May 20, 2015 / 7:18 PM

    My boy is mostly an angel. Mostly an angel until he seems to go through one of these testosterone surges they are prone to every couple years. I think 5/6 is one of those stages by the way!!

    • Grenglish
      May 21, 2015 / 6:16 AM

      Haha! Good to know!

  5. May 20, 2015 / 11:02 PM

    Oh yes it definitely gets easier – but at 5 it is going to get harder first. I have a preteen and he’s currently the hardest. If my teen is anything to go by the teenage years are the best.

    • Grenglish
      May 21, 2015 / 6:16 AM

      Ah fab! I always imagined teenagers would be the hardest stage of all!

  6. May 20, 2015 / 11:59 PM

    Ozzy gets grumpy when he’s tired, after school today his dad said ‘do you want me to carry your bag mate’ to which Oz looked up in disgust and said ‘I’m not your mate’ !
    GAH! Hope it eases soon x

    • Grenglish
      May 21, 2015 / 5:52 AM

      Oh no! So so cruel… I’ve had ‘I’m not your best friend’ before because I wouldn’t let him have another ice-cream! Great age but so cheeky.

  7. May 21, 2015 / 1:19 AM

    It sounds like he is doing a lot of experimenting with language, and the effect it has on you. Perhaps people at school are coming out with all these terms and he is trying to get his head around them.
    There is a fab book, Playful Parenting, and I remember a bit where it talks about, when this kind of thing happens, making a big game of it, with lots of connection. So you, in love and fun, say, in a funny voice etc so it isn’t mean, me? a stinker? Why, you are a BLINKER! Absurd, playful stuff. This way he gets to try out all his stuff but your connection is deepened? Just a thought x x

    • Grenglish
      May 21, 2015 / 5:51 AM

      I would love to read that book! Sounds totally ‘us’ – will check it out! Thank you x

  8. May 21, 2015 / 8:54 AM

    Ha ha – Zip It!

    My ten year old has always been my kind and considerate one but lately he’s like a teen with full on attitude! I know he’s still his old self in there somewhere though as he’s always so apologetic. It makes me smile and from him, always being so quiet, it’s nice to see a bit of attitude! Just a bit mind 😉

    • Grenglish
      May 23, 2015 / 8:14 AM

      Agree! A bit of attitude show spirit 🙂

  9. May 21, 2015 / 9:22 AM

    Just wait till the tween years strike. They are my nemesis! Then once they hit teens they are lovely again!

    • Grenglish
      May 23, 2015 / 8:14 AM

      I have heard about these ‘tween’ years… *approaches with fear*

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