Advice for Disciplining a 10 Year Old?

I have a grandson (10) I am raising and I am having trouble with him not minding when I say no. He is a great kid, but I guess I have given in so much because I felt sorry his parents left him. Now it is so hard to correct him. Please help.


By marilyn smith

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November 4, 20100 found this helpful

Right now is absolutely the time to start being firm. True 'discipline' is not a bad thing; it shows love and will help him for life. By 'discipline', I mean to set boundaries and be firm about it (e.g. one day a week he cleans his room, firm bed time, give him chores that must be done). Don't let it become an argument if he protests; if you say it, that's how it is - keep that attitude.

I truly hope it doesn't become too much of a struggle for you. Your job is to help him become a good adult; right now is the foundation of his whole life.

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November 4, 20100 found this helpful

Marilyn, I have a 10 year old son who is ADHD and ODD (oppositional defiance disorder). I have been through a lot of therapists, books and opinions on the matter. Now your grandson might not have these severe issues but stress and change can make even the best behaved child want to push back. Here are some ideas.


I recently read a great book that has helped me immensely. It is "The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child" by Alan E. Kazdin, PHD. It goes through the reasons that certain discipline methods are actually rewarding the behavior we are trying to prevent. I bet you could request it at the library, I bought it at Barnes and Nobel for about $15.

Another suggestion might be to make an appointment with his school counselor. I have found that they are very helpful for pointing out community resources and advice. Other parents in his classroom might also be a good resource.

Good luck and let us know how it is going.

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November 4, 20100 found this helpful

The best thing in life to help children is giving them choices, So you give them a choice you can handle with and you can let them understand that you are still their parent. Give them two choices either:


A) clean up your bedroom or B) don't clean up your bedroom and no more toys are given to you till you clean the bedroom.

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November 4, 20100 found this helpful

Don't wait another minute in getting him under control. Permanent habits need to be developed while he is young. Behavior that is inappropriate or unacceptable now will be uncorrectable and significantly problematic when he gets older. There are many good books about parenting/discipline/behavior in the bookstores an library. I like Dr. John Rosemond. He advocates a very firm position on consequences for the behavior that is right on. A little extra effort on your part now will save you many years of heartache as he gets older. I am a special ed teacher with well over 30+ years teaching, and very many university credits in behavior management. Please contact me thru this site if I can help in ANY way. Grandparents like you are a national treasure!

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November 4, 20100 found this helpful

The important thing is to set limits and stick to it. Consequences for not obeying.


You do not have to raise your voice. "If you do this then this will happen." I raised four.

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November 5, 20100 found this helpful

Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Be clear about what you expect, and have appropriate consequences when your expectations are not met. Tell the child every day that you love him.

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November 7, 20100 found this helpful

I would give him a certain amount of good behavior money each week. When he doesn't mind, say that is one, that is two, and when he gets past two times being requested to do an action, that is when it costs him a quarter and you deduct that from what he gets that week. There may be some weeks he gets nothing.


There should also be fines for non responsiveness. I have found that lots of times it will help to put into a sentence what they are actually doing, before requesting them to stop. If they are having a hard time focusing.

For Example:
Boy is banging a stick on the counter:
"You are holding a stick and banging it on my counter and it is making me have a headache. Please stop now.
"You are stomping and kicking with your feet and it is making me upset. Please stop.
When they just cant get it, give them two activities that are fine with you to do, and if they don't do them, take away one of their favorite toys.

Give the child things to do and carry around that have a little weight to them, such as carrying the laundry basket or doing the trash takeout.


I would try to put a little time for activity, such as jumping jacks when the child is over stimulated.

Sometimes it helps to incorporate a time of exercise if you can tell when they are going to be the most rebellious, and on top of all this, I would start keeping a behavior journal of times and events that happen and what he did or ate before the incident.

If my older child is having a bad day, I will take away cokes or anything else that might be the reason for her behavior.

Also I try to keep in mind that I am trying to teach them to do things because of the personal satisfaction of doing it themselves the right way, so I say a lot of times,
"Don't you feel happy now that your homework is all done" rather than saying "it was nice to see you mind."

I hope some of this helps!


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Parenting Grade Schooler BehaviorNovember 3, 2010
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BehaviorGrade Schooler