How can I get my defiant 8 year old to listen?

My eight-year-old daughter goes to a private school and is very defiant and disrespectful. She can go a couple of months and be great. Then all of a sudden, her attitude is horrible. We have grounded her and taken all of her electronics away. Nothing. We have tried sitting her down and talking to her about what she is doing wrong, and she says she will be better tomorrow. The next day comes around, and she is still defiant. We have also tried telling her if she is good, we will reward her with something. She just doesn’t care. We are at a loss on what to do. She is at risk of getting kicked out of her school, and we really don’t want that. It’s a very good school. I asked her teacher if she is having issues with any kids, and she said no. She has her friend she always hangs out with, and they get along great. So I don’t know what’s going on. Is there any other way to get thru to her? Or what else could be wrong? She goes to sleep at 9 pm every night and her teacher says she dont seem tired at all. She just always back talks and doesn’t listen. She got sent to the principal’s office and went back to class to go right back to the same attitude. I just don’t know what to do anymore. Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


Maybe she has ODD…


Sometimes attitude can come from not wanting to ask for help?
Have u seen a behavioural optometrist? Did wonders for my sister and my son.
My sons the opposite goes so quiet when doing work trying to figure it out he falls under the radar. But most of the time kids act out when it’s a bit hard.

Find a therapist ASAP
Talk to your child’s Dr about this! Seek some real help!


Why would you reward her for being good?

Have you tried counseling? That helped me as a child.

Maybe she don’t like her school

Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Rating Scale (VADRS) this isn’t going to tell you for sure or not, but take this test and see if it checks any boxes. Definitely seek out some type of intervention. Start with your pediatrician.


She is trying to relay a message to you. Kids act out when they struggle to communicate. I would see a paediatrician and have her assessed

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In the same boat with my 8 year old son and I tried everything. Only thing thats different is hes wonderful at school. But yells at me im at a point I dont know what to do either. Just following

Get her to see a psych or doctor. Kids dont just act out for no reason. Punishing the behaviour may have the opposite effect. (but never reward of course). You need to find out the cause. Also keep in mind, girls are moody during puberty. Puberty can start around 8. You need to guide her through these emotions.


All I can think is the kids she’s mixing with!?


I’m in same boat with my son he is 8 almost 9 he is defient behavior problems he is good at school just at home and he is ADHD with developmental delay I am getting him more help

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Therapist or go to the Dr and they can refer her to one. My daughter went through this too. It could be a mood disorder or many other things. Not saying it is but either way it will help her to talk to someone who is not u. She may be more open w that person. Make sure the therapist is someone she feels comfortable with. Maybe a female. We went to three before she found on she was comfortable with. My daughter liked the younger lady. Therapist would take her shoes off and get up on the couch w her and talk. Very comfortable setting.

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Some good old fashion Discipline, set and stick to a routine, stop rewarding good behavior (just praise it verbally), kids these days seem to be like this more, because of all the processed crap they are fed and how much. Cut out ALL sugar. Do not Allow that behavior… Your the parent… if you need, strip the bedroom to the mattress on the floor and pillow and blanket. When she finally gets it (not in a week, but longer because habits are hard to break and they can act better to get what they want) start slowly let her EARN things back. But start with educational things like 1 book. Remember things are earned not given


She could be premenstrual it’s not uncommon for a girl to experience attitude problems for a couple of years before actually meeting flo


She sounds miserable and bored. If you are grounding her and taking away electronics she’s just going to become even more miserable. You talked to her teacher but haven’t talked to her?! The only chat you’ve had is to tell her she’s bad and needs to change. It could also be female ADHD or ASD as it can start to show at this age. It could also be hormones kicking in.

Child psychologist ?

I had a give my daughter malatodine just to get her on a sleep sceduel and sit then in time , put them in the corner that’s what my dad use to do they hate having look at walls

Sounds like my kiddo when he was in kindergarten, sadly it was more the teacher than anything. When she talked to me everything was just fine she didn’t understand why he acted like that. Took him to a counselor, tried all kinds of things. After trying everything and the school saying they were helping me in every way possible (and were not!) My son was kicked out of school 10 days before the end of the year. Then I was told my son BEAT the teacher. A 6 year old?! When I was finding things out and adding things together his counselor said every time she tried to call the school they either didn’t have time or would say he needs medication! We started a new school, I did a one on one with the new teacher and the principal and an aid. I explained everything that happened and we had a game plan. First couple months were rough (he was set in ways from the last school, letting him run free and not knowing where he was all day) the next couple we were seeing major changes and making full weeks with no calls home. Just as things were really looking up covid hit.

I’m just saying is how is the teacher reacting to her outbursts and attitude?! Sometimes it can be made worse by the way the talk and react to a child that is having a bad day for whatever reason.


Try not to give her anything w artificial coloring in it, believe it or not dies can spark this kind of behavior.

I’m not a therapist but work in a clinic that sees kids exclusively - this is very typical of kids who have ADHD or some type of mood disorder. Please seek a professional as her behavior indicates there is something more going on than just “not listening” Good luck


Sounds like it’s nutritional, I’d consult with the nutritional doctor

Mine has ADHD an is very definite she was put on meds but it got worse she refuses to take her meds now so I take everything away from her an leave her with nothing

Could be DMDD, play therapy can help a lot at that age. There should be an 504, and IEP program. Know your rights don’t let school bully you. Im sure they are not lying so do what ever you can for your daughter with therapy and evaluation. That way teachers know that you are doing everything on your part and they can then implement programs to help you out. Good luck


A good old fashioned butt busting would do that girl wonders!


I agree with telling your family doctor and seeking therapy. Therapy has changed so much for me and I waited way too long to help myself. I only sought professional help for my issues and baggage after I became a Mom myself and looking back, I wish I could tell my 13 year old self to talk to someone. It would have saved me soooo much hardship growing up.

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ask the school to have an assessment done and seek help from your GP who will refer her to a pediatric doctor good luck and hang in there :slight_smile:

I think she may not like her school or does not have positive connections with adults.

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Sounds EXACTLY like my niece I have custody of. She does have some past trauma though that also play into the behaviors that happened before. I got custody. She has diagnosis of PTSD, ADHD, ODD, and DMDD. Her psychiatrist said the simplest way to put it is they are consistently inconsistent. They do great and then BAM out of no where it all falls to pieces and then they get back on track and it’s all good, and repeat again falls to pieces. Stay consistent with therapy and a set schedule. For us 9:00 is to late of a bedtime. She thrives when she is on a set schedule and bed time at 7:00. The most minor schedule changes throw everything off track. I mean it can be something as simple as a holiday school being closed Monday for Presidents’ Day and throw the whole week off or have to get up 30 minutes earlier m for an appointment and throw the sleep schedule off. And it take us a week or two weeks to get back on track.

I agree with many others that this could be early oppositional defiant behavior. It is often seen with ADHD. I would also suggest a child psychologist. Also, try to implement positive language and choices as much as possible. For example. When she demands a toy at the store, instead of saying no, say “let’s put it on your Xmas list” and tell her that before Xmas Santa will look at the list and bring a couple of things from it. At school, the school psychologist can help the teacher work with her behavior

I would definitely consult a therapist about this, but also would ask your child what they think of your teacher and tell them if they are honest with you, they will not be punished. I have seen this kind of behavior before when a teacher is bullying or mistreating a child and then they turn around to the parents and play innocent to try to make the kid’s home life hell, too, because they don’t like the kid for whatever reason.

The age! Shes outspoken and spirited. I’d ask the teachers what she said that was considered back talking. Sometimes teachers consider things back talking when its an opionon. Rather then teaching her how to say something they push to the next. My son was like this. Hed getting in trouble for “back talking” but in reality the teachers wouldnt listen to him or didnt like what he was saying. He wasnt being rude it was an opionon or a correction and the way he said it sounded rude. So we focused on how to say it when to know when not to say it and to raise his hand. Ask your daughter what she is saying and why. She May not think shes back talking and she may not be it may be as simple as her wording and knowing when to think it not say it or how to word it.


My exs daughter was diagnosed with oppositional defiance disorder and this sounds pretty much exactly like it. Id take her to be evaluated…

Could just be she’s seeking attention being in a private school there are very rigid rules very stressful for some kids. Does she have any extra curricular fun during week? How are her grades. Has she been tested for diabetes. Is she better after eating? Many things can cause this. Have you sat her down and had a gentle friendly talk about it?

Has she had any bloodwork done…she could have vitamin deficiency of some sort


You need to take her to a therapist and rule out any mental/psychological issues. As well as a doctor for food allergies or possible hormonal imbalances. Sounds crazy, I know. But it’s possible. Then, if all else fails, tough love baby!!!


I noticed that you mentioned sitting her down and talking to her about what she is doing wrong but have you tried listening to her ideas about what is wrong? Just asking. Not trying to be disrespectful


Do NOT let a doctor medicate her for ODD. Has she gone through some major life change. Make sure NOTHING has happened to her. She may have something happening to her that no one knows about. Find a play therapist and make sure nothing is going on. She may be bored at school. Higher intelligent kids get bored very easy or she may be struggling. A lot of scenarios could be in play, but md’s are quick to medicate which I have found either makes them worse or a zombie.


My 8 year old step daughter was the same way, we was to the point we wanted to send her to a military school because of her ways and at 13 she’s still a snotty, ungrateful teenager but I’ve come to realize that if I ignore her and act as though I don’t notice her when she starts with the ignorance she actually changes her behavior! Don’t give in and bribe with I’ll buy you this if you behave, instead let her know you’ll take measurements to make a change! At 8, she’s obviously trying to figure out who she is, where she belongs, her body is starting to change, she needs tough love not the I’m your friend love…don’t give in!


My son was the same way we even brought him to a therapist and she said he won’t talk to her at all. Come to find out he was bored so we had the teachers challenge him with some stuff older kids did and that helped but years down the road we found out he has asberger syndrome. He is extremely intelligent and gets bored so fast. He’s now 27 and still has his challenges but he is so much better. I would ask her dr if they think she should be tested

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I think the first thing you should do is to take her to the doctor for a checkup just to be sure she doesn’t have any physical problems. Then perhaps take her to a counselor.

Maybe she just dont like the school and knowing you want her there is making it hard for her to tell you that.

Have you had her tested for ADHD? I’d start there, those are common symptoms.

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Definitely adhd. Out daughter was doing the same thing and her doctor said she is adhd.

Sounds like a topical child. Is she getting enough sleep. It’s there something or someone new in the environment? could it be any attention is better then no attention. Stay firm and constant don’t give in to her and let her have her one way. As far as being rude , there’s nothing wrong with a time out chair. Take away her favorite something. Till she earns it back. It will be a fight


My son was the same exact way. Finally took him to his dr and found out he has adhd


Have you seen her pediatrician? If it’s cyclical, it could be a medical or mental health issue.

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It is probably her hormones.

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Do you have other children

Sounds like ADHD and ODD

Maybe it’s an adult she’s having issues with. My daughter MIL has a daughter that was being molested at school by a janitor from time to time and she was exhibiting bad behavior only when the janitor could get the chance to molest her. When he couldn’t get his nasty hands on her she was ok. I hope this isn’t the case but I wouldn’t leave anything off the table.

You just described me as a child. I was FINALLY diagnosed with ADHD when I was in my 30s.

This is my 6 year old daughter to a T.

Maybe something is happening at school, or it could just be hormones. 8 sounds really young, but my daughter started her period at 8 and we went through this.

She could be copying the behavior she if she’s seeing it whether it be from kids at her school or on her electronics.

Take her to a therapist, have her tested for mental illness.

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Straight up ignore any bad behaviour, as if it doesn’t exist. If she’s being naughty, don’t tell her off, don’t react, don’t even look at her. And then over praise when she’s being great. Kids crave attention. They don’t care how they get it. If she realises she gets it from good things, that’s what she’ll do.


Y’all have spoiled her rotten , you and your hub get belts and tare each other’s butts up for allowing it, then y’all tare her butt up and make her mind , not what you wanted to hear, but what you needed to hear


Give an ass whooping the kid wont forget


Have you tried taking her to the doctor? There could be underlying health issues going on that you could be completely unaware of.
If not medical, then I think start looking into therapy options. Someone for her to talk to confidentially to maybe try and work out the problems.
And if all of that fails, my momma used to pop me in the mouth and ground me with literally a bed and four walls in my bedroom and normally that would set me straight.
Sometimes tough love works the best for kids and sometimes it doesn’t. I’d go through each of the options to see what works.

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My 11 yr old was like this when he was 6-7, I mean it was terrible, I won’t go into alot of detail but he told his school lies and that caused a domino effect for our family, so I set him up with a psychiatrist and after about 2 months he was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD, he started taking his meds ans man what a difference, he makes As and Bs now, his teachers love him and say how sweet he is, but I knew how he was acting before was not normal behavior for him so I sought help

Make her earn her privileges.
Step one. Sit down right down ALL of her privileges. Choosing snacks. Toys. Electronics. Screen time. Whatever you can think of. Then include some bigger rewards…
Step 2. Sit down and write down all the behaviors you want to see and all of the chores she’s supposed to do. Try to phrase this in a positive way. Instead of saying “no bad attitude” try “doing xyz with good attitude”.
Step 3. Figure out some kind of token to use (admit one tickets popcicle sticks craft balls…anything). Then figure up how much the behaviors are worth and how much privileges cost. You want to make sure that you’re not expecting too much for privileges but it’s ok to set the rewards higher so she’s not earning them as often. For example…we had a really hard time getting our oldest to get dressed and eat breakfast (he wanted put off getting dressed then play in his breakfast) so the privilege to play with his toys cost the amount of tickets he would earn to get dressed and eat breakfast.
He had to do what he needed to do before he got to do what he wanted to do.

You also want to stay calm. She’ll likely rebel at this at first, and that’s ok. Once she realizes she’s not going to win and she’s not getting under your skin it’ll help a TON.

Time for a old fashioned spanking that’s what wrong with the world today

Spare the rod spoil the child

Check ADHD sounds like my daughter. She could be bored or doesnt understand her work.

Well this sounds just like me when I was a child the more I got into trouble the worse I was because I thought I was being picked on. The more I was praised the better I excelled. I’m still defiant if it suits. She will come right but your in for a lot of headaches :blush: I didn’t have ADHD or any medication but I really did give my beautiful mum a hard time xx

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Why do y’all act like y’all can’t spank kids now days??? Lol if you do I bet she’ll get the memo.

Bipolar maybe. I have bipolar and I have a issue with authority as a whole. Now ofcourse I have learned as an adult to control it enough to hold the same really good job for 12 year. But sometimes im shocked I have that job because my mouth runs before I realize it.

No one smacks their kids asses anymore. That’s the problem.

She needs evaluation and counseling by a professional-also you might think about exposing her to some consequences like a police dept who can show her what happens to folks her age that do not obey rules of conduct and the consequences those kids face!

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Its her friend… Her friend might have some personal issues at home going on and they can reflect on your daughter… We’ve been through it with our 10 year old… Friends can be a big influence in kids…

Perhaps you should talk to the parents of her friend…your daughter has got to be getting this behavior from someone. It’s better to stop it now because once she becomes a teen - it will only get worse.

The Teacher has alot of children to look after there could be something going on at school she could be being bullied maybe she has some sort of anxiety in school I’d take her to the doctor to find out if something physically is wrong sounds like a cry for help but she doesn’t know how to get what she wants??? God bless you and hope you figure out what’s going on

my momma would give me this thing called an ass whooping . Im turning out pretty fine :joy:

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Might be an underlying problem like asd or bipolar. Ask her teachers to start keeping a record of her behavior, and ask your gp to refer you to a pediatrician. It’s hard for the kids being like this, and if medication can help… but either way, at least you can rule it out if it’s not something like that, and proceed accordingly. It might come down to doing a parenting course or two just so you’re better equipped to deal with it. Good luck :heart:

I agree with getting her evaluated for mental health issues. :heart:

What does she say when you ask her why she is acting like that? Something is going on and she doesnt know how you tell you.