How to parent a sassy child?

I’m a single mother to two little girls. My oldest is 5 , The attitude with me and my family is outrageous. She gets into things such as shampoo, soap, etc and makes a mess everywhere she goes. Yes she is a child I understand but I’ve tried everything explaining to her we don’t do this. Or putting things out of reach. When we’re out in public she runs from me a far distance and will not come back it doesn’t matter how many times I yell her name. She is so beyond sassy, I’ve tried time out, taking toys, trying to be a routine absolutely nothing is working. I made a doctors appointment and we are going to be seeing a specialist in a few short months. ADHD runs on her fathers side, I’m a mama that is absolutely exhausted , I love my little girl but I am so depressed. Has anyone been through this? Any advice to help with this type of behavior? I’m so lost on what else to do everyone keeps telling me it’s going to get worse if I don’t fix this now, or to google things to help her and I both cope. When I try to sit on her level and explain to her this behavior is not appropriate she can’t even look at me she is just focused on everything else going around her. She will stomp her feet and scream sorry at me. But it’s like nothing phases her at all :disappointed:


I know its a little extreme but my grandaughter was that way everytime we went to time i hid under a clothing rack and she couldnt find me i came out from under the rack and grab her iit scared her i told this time is was me the next time it could be a stranger and she may see us again it broke her .


Sounds to me like she needs her tail tore up one good time.


Use a child safety harness. If she unbuckles it, put it on backwards


Sounds like a lil whoop in the butt is needed.


Have you tried spanking her? Also, reward her for her good behavior! Good luck I can’t imagine my kids doing that.


I feel you, I see you. My boy is almost 4 and his the same along with violent temper melt downs. I’m also having help with a behavioral therapist along with waiting for alot of medical results to come back towards some other issues but looks like the cause is linked with autism or sensory disorder. My advice, with the behaviour what doesnt cause her harm or poses a risk ignore what you can. She could be negative attention seeking so where possible count to ten yourself and let it slide if shes stopped and moved on to something else do the same again as shes fleeting from thing to thing waiting for that outburst from you. If shes in danger/risk then calmly pick her up and move her elsewhere with as little communication as you can other then along the lines of you’ll hurt yourself. I know it’s much easier said then done but it sometimes works and I’ve seen improvement with my son. Negative seeking is a big thing as unfortunately us as parents constantly tell our kids what isnt ok and when a child is always being told off for “bad” behaviour that’s all they know. This leads me onto my next bit, get your self a tub/pot/jar anything with a lid and some pasta, marbles, pom pom balls etc put a line across it near the bottom and tell your daughter if she fills the jar to the line by the end of the day she’ll get a treat, anything little a sweet, extra bedtime story, go to pound shop and buy trinkets together then wrap them up as lucky dip. Praise everything she does for first few days then keep praising but put the line higher up the jar. Never take anything out of the jar even if you want to as that will only make you feel better but you cant take away the good behaviour she did to earn it just because she slipped up doesnt mean she wasnt good earlier. When she does play up (all kids do eventually) just a gentle reminder come on now, you wont get a marble like that.
It worked towards some of my boys less desirable behaviour as he wanted the end treat. Hope that helps. Raising kids is hard but you’ve got this so keep that head up xx

There may be a reason shes acting out. Any big changes in her life? Kids dont know how to communicate the way adults do. Let’s be real, most adults dont even know how to communicate.


Idk if you tried or not but try giving her a warning and then if she does it again warn her again and tell her if she doesnt stop your gonna whoop her but and if she still does it whoop her but! (I’m also gonna say I’m glad I’m not the only one suggesting this with so many people against it now a days)
If you dont feel like whooping do time outs or take things (special toys, favorite toys) I use this when it works but if all else fails sometimes a whooping is needed!

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Consistency with discipline. Dont give in when she is mad bc you discipline.
Good pop oj the butt
Do not allow her to be out of the cart. She has to earn to be able ti walk beside you at stores , she is to sit in the cart and not move. Very u comfortable.
Did she have trama in early life ? That could exolain some.


This was my oldest … Ommaahhgawd!! She was the child at the store hiding in racks n running from me. She ran from me anywhere n wouldnt come back.
We did adhd testing and it honestly turned out to be a misdiagnosis… She’s 16 now… Better behaved but a typical teenager.
Their was drama going on with her bio dad n his family I didnt know about and then she was properly diagnosed with PTSD.
Speak to your Dr first 100%.
Question things going on in her life right now- do you, without a doubt, know her fathers parenting/abilities when she’s w him? Does he have a stable life/home? If does, this can easily be from you n dad seperating as well. Therapy might be an option in case… I know its really hard at 5.
She’s making messes for a reason. She needs healthy boundaries and positive attention.
Are you being 100% stern and following through with consequences when she acts up? Give timeouts n take things.

You have to fallow thru with ur discipline. If you tell her something u must fallow thru with it or shes going to keep pushing you cuz she knows she can get away with it. Also my daughter was like this. She would run from me and not listen. She ended up being adhd and having odd. Talk to her doctor.

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I bet a good spanking would get her attention!


I have a step daughter that is like that, for years everyone said I was picking on her, she finally did it to them and into therapy she went , tests were taken I was just stepmom so I never heard dx , she turned 18 ran off one final time.

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We still have a problem similar to this with our 11 year old. We just keep trying different things. The only thing we have found that works is grounding her to her room and not letting her go anywhere with us if she misbehaves when we go out. I was adamantly against spanking but I caved and it does work sometimes. It depends on the situation and the child.

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My oldest was like that
My best advice is consistency is key, take away something that actual matters to her like a tablet or a favourite toy
Reward good behavior with candy or something fun to do
You can not let this go on anymore
Its still an every day challenge with my oldest
Be consistent with punishments and spankings every time she does something bad spank her and it has to be a spanken she fears, as bad as that sounds
You can’t be inconsistent you can’t punish her for a week straight and then give up because she is so hard to deal with
Sometimes you have to go to the extreme punishment, I’ve told my daughter when won’t make friends in school is she keeps acting bad that people aren’t gonna wanna be friends with a mean girl only a nice girl

I hope you find the answers you need

Good luck

Have you tried spanking her ass? I mean pull her pants down in public and give her a swat not to hard but enough for her to know you mean business. I had adhd and never did I empty out bottles or anything like that I just couldn’t sit still and I distracted lots of people but always listened to my parents. Sounds like she is just pushing your boundaries seeing what she can get away with punish her for her continuing bad behaviour.

If she truly needs a diagnosis, you can’t out parent that. A routine and expectations with reasonable consequences is always needed.

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It spunds like ODD.
What I understand is that children with this will do the exact opposite of what is wanted from them.
Im not a doctor so I can not explain it well. Research it.

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Have her checked for ADHD my grandson does this and he has this disorder

They do make harnesses for kids make sure she knows its for her own safety, as for the acting out hope the doctor can help


My son used to do stuff like that. He was diagnosed with ADHD, got on meds, and is a different boy. Don’t get me wrong, he is still a spaz, but he has control of himself now. He is currently sitting still on the couch, playing with his tablet. Talk to her doctor about ADHD

She sounds like she has attachment issues. I’d ask your therapist to explore that to see if it’s a possibility.

Or she may very well have serious food allergies that cause behavioral problems. Common culprits are wheat, dairy, and artificial colors. Maybe you can have her tested for food allergies or try an elimination diet to see if cutting anything out of her diet helps.

Is there anyone that she’s exposed to that may be setting a bad example? That may influence her behavior as well.

Are you remaining consistent with your expectations of her between when you’re home and when you’re out in public? If not, that will cause issues as well. Be sure to require a standard of good behavior not just in public but at home too.

Hope any of this helps. :slight_smile:

So this is my step daughter. I count to 3. If she chooses to continue the behavior she knows when i get to 3 i will smack her on the butt!!! She learns what she can/ can’t do by the counting. She is doing so much better! Like hes she has bad days but hey don’t we all

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Been there seek help :cry:

I would strongly suggest you seek help from a professional. Spanking her is NOT going to work. Anyone who has dealt with a child like this would know that! Hopefully they can diagnose her and find a way to help. Good luck!

She needs a good old fashion spanking!


Spank her little behind


The fact that everyone keeps telling u to spank her is just sad . what if it comes back she does have ADHD or something ? Then u would have hit her bc of something she can’t control :confused: I would def get her checked out by someone

My 16 yr old son was just like that when he was younger. Got him in to doctor and found he had ADHD. My son would run in Wal-Mart and knock everything off the shelves and racks! Taking things away, medication and staying constant with him was our only options. If you have someone that can watch her and give you a break that will help.

Sounds like she needs a good ole fashion asswhoopen…


My son has ADHD, simply talking and explaining why his behavior was unacceptable never worked. You definitely have to be consistent, and keep them on a routine ad much as you can. I had him at age 42. He is 18 now. My prayers for you. :heart:

Have you ever heard of the 5 love languages? You can do the test on children too. Also you gotta figure out what she loves. Example…my oldest is ADHD its rough on most days but say she is back talking and being just plain out nasty. She will mot be allowed to play the game system the entire day precedding the incident. Will she stomp off yes ( at least mine does) but before it gets crazy I give her a gentle reminder that it can be taken for the day and that usually helps. My middle girl lies…not cool right. Well when she does she gets soap. She hates it and swears I’m killing her but I’m not dealing with a liar. My baby gets sassy…her punishment is usually I outside time taken away. That’s her vice. …*** Dont get me wrong sometimes they just need their butts tore up**** aint nothing wrong with a whopping. And it will get worse if you dont check it now. Hope this helps. Good luck. Also…pray. Pray with her. Pray over her and yourself. :heart:

This sounds just like my 4 year old. Shes hit ADHD but I seen someone mention Odd n I’m going to look into it. I am a single mother of 4 girls n shes just so destructive wherever she goes she sees a phyc. But I’m going to mention odd n he dont want to put her on meds yet cause of her age and I agree with him on that but she seems to just be getting worse.

As much as you may feel alone, you are not. There are many of us who have faced the same type of issues. This sounds so much like my daughter. She does have ADHD but there was more to it. she did not tell us until she was 21 that she was being molested. It started when she was 5. In her little 5 year old mind she thought we knew and allowed it. She was very angry. People gave me all kinds of advice that but what we needed was a good councilor that she could trust. I hope you will find the answers you need. There is hope.

So much good advice with good intentions. my advice the only way to go. Blessings to you

Don’t smack her no need to.

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Harness in public? The fact that she runs away is scary and won’t come back. Put stuff up out of reach I guess. Slap her hand when she takes something. Dr will probably be able to tell you if you have an unruly child or ADHD. My son didn’t do that. He had temper tantrems, I poured 1/4 cup of water on his head didn’t take long and he stopped.

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Try a hand on the bottom. Human traffiking is real. Would you rather set limits and spank her bottom when it comes to taking off or would you rather she take off, someone grab her up and you never find her or she end up hurt and dead? Your choice and yes kids with ADHD DO KNOW HOW TO FOLLOW RULES IF PUNISHMENT IS CARRIED THROUGH NOT JUST VERBAL THREATS.


Something else we tried when my daughter was young is, we would purchase a balloon on our way in. We would tie it to her wrist so she couldn’t get it off. When she ran, we knew where she was!

Sounds like my son where currently going through the process of him being diagnosed, has she started school yet? My sons schools been so helpful and pointing us into the right direction for help and what he needs etc we had honestly given up until they came along.

Had this problem with my older son when he was 5. I finally did the unthinkable. I hid from him. Keeping him in sight of course and let him panic for a couple minutes. When I walked into sight he came running tears in his eyes crying with relief. I told him from that point on he had to keep an eye on me when we were out so I wouldn’t get lost again. NEVER HAD THAT PROBLEM AGAIN.


Sounds like my 6 yr old. Believe me, i feel for you. Been to the doctors for them to just keep saying its a phase ect. A 3 hour meltdown in public because she cant sit away from you in a dark auditorium near a bunch of strangers is not a phase. Currently scheduling to have her evaluated. She is a golden child in school. Comes home- forget it. Ive joined some support pages (anxiety, and odd ) for some advice in the meantime. If anything those parents understand your agony. Good luck. And yes i do spank when nec. But really…it doesnt helo much. Maybe on a lighter day. Otherwise…just adds fuel. Its not a solve all solution.

This is not ADHD this is a need for hard disepline and possibly a kids leash when out in public so she can’t run off and get snatched. Even with ADHD you have to discipline consistently so they learn what is allowed and safe.


My 7yr old daughter has ADHD. She scored 98:100 at the age of 2yrs; we had her tested… You have to redirect her every 3 SECONDS. I feel your struggle to my core Mama. We counted the days til’ she was old enough for meds, you can’t do shit to teach/parent/redirect in that amount of time. The attitude thing is obnoxious AF, SO HARD to deal with but ADHD comes w/a social skills delay :unamused: Sign her up for an IEP, try to communicate w/her teacher for consistency AND request a “social group therapy” for her at school. Definitely helps. Feel free to message me :blush:

An old electro shock collar?


My kid run away from me once, i turned back and started to walk in opposit direction. Those few sec lasted for a year, i was scared over and beyond, but i simply knew if i back out I ll never have peace. She made icident in car once, she was four, stopped car and threw her out… Drove like 20 m untill i saw her panic in rear mirror… Its all about not caving in when they start, aka cutting it in the roots.

When my son was little he wouldn’t stay with me so I rented the movie called Adam . We watched it , I promise he never left my side again while shopping. Adam was only in the next row over , when he was abducted & murdered .

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Try giving her some caffeine if she calms down she has ADHD. I was told this and it works with my older 2 and they both have ADHD


Sounds like my four year old. I have recently talked to his doctor about his Behavior. Normally they don’t test for ADHD/ADD until school age… He starts Pre-K this fall and his doctor did list behavior. So I’m hoping once he starts school, His doctor will start testing…
He’s so good for everyone else, Like he turns into a different child when I drop him off But as soon as he sees me his back to acceding out, being hateful,Disrespectful, breaks my heart that he’s so well behaved for others but Won’t listen to me… I have talked to him over and over, But as soon as I’m done he’s right back at it …

Please don’t take advice from a Facebook page and consult your doctor and specialist. Some of these comments are shockingly terrible to put babies through.

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Spare the rod, spoil the child. A good ass whipping is what she needs.

I think you did the right thing by making a dr appointment. Sounds like a lot is going on in her little mind that’s growing. You’re doing great by recognizing she might need help learning how to control it / controlling it.

It sound like she needs a swift spanking and to be either put in the buggy so she cant get out or get one of those leashes that she can’t get off. Also just so I dont have to keep saying it I do not care what all you other parents are saying this is unacceptable behavior for the simple fact that she is putting her life in danger not to mention shes a child who is deliberately not listening and eventually time out doesnt do anything for kids like this oh and I’m not the only one who said she needs a spanking so obviously I’m not the only one who feels that way sorry were not all morons raising kids that will be unruly teens and misguided adults :woman_shrugging:


Why are people so obsessed with getting their children diagnosed with things?! She’s sounds like a typical 5 year old! Not only that but some of these comments on how to deal with it are not only cruel but totally uncalled for!

Spanking does more damage than good, it will create a fear of you and her behaviour may become worse… or she’ll go the other way and be good because she’s scared of being hit! Either way is not okay!

She will more than likely calm down with a little patience, you will find the right way of dealing with her eventually, but it will take time!

Do see someone if it continues in a few years, but at 5 she’s still developing!

Put locks on all doors above her reach a little soap in a smart mouth works
wonders and leaving her home when you want to go shopping with a sitter and explain why may help. If you do take her and she runs from you put her on a short leash if she acts up pick her up and take her home. No one enjoys hopping when there is a child that Is acting out you’ll be doing yourself and others a great favor . I never spanked my children but they were disciplined when needed. They knew by one look that what they were doing was not ok.


I know u said you have tried telling her off and calling her name and talking to her…
I’m not being judgy just trying to help

Have u tried enforcing and form of discipline… Not just telling off

The naughty spot, or taking toys… Thing is these need to be done for weeks for you to see an improvement. A lot of people try for a few days and give up, then wonder why they can’t get their kids to behave

Also is she only like this for you…

Children with behaviour problems will behave the same no matter who they are with

Children that need discipline will play certain people up because they know they will get away with it

Good look and I hope u get all the support you need

Asking for help is the best way forward, so we’ll done cxx

It must be very hard for you being on your own being tired and depressed that’s a struggle in it’s self. To stop your child running off use a wrist band or put in a buggy. Keep to routine as much as u can when telling a child off stick to your word carry it though show your child u are in control and not her

How’s her sleep? Is she a mouth breather? Sometimes poor sleep can look like this.

Get her checked at a sleep clinic as she may be mouth breathing at night. This means she won’t be getting enough oxygen which will cause her to wake multiple times to breath properly (but not wake up properly if that makes sense) so she will be tired without knowing why which could make her act out. It is an actual disorder I can’t remember the name of it but it presents like adhd xx

Sounds like my son to a tee. Is she in school? You might want to have her evaluated before she starts. My son’s evaluation is coming up. I’m thinking ADHD and or oppositional defiant disorder. Is she super smart too? A book I’ve found to be insightful is ‘Living with Intensity’.

All you Doctors on here seem to missing the point, the child is a brat to her mother not anyone else she needs her butt spanked

Could maybe try disepline.

Sounds like too much sugar or something that’s got her hyper or she might be low on nutriets ?

Yes, but this is a bit too hard