Please Tell Me My 6 Year Old Sons Behavior Is Normal…

My 6 year old son is a smart, confident, fun little boy. He is loving and caring, and values his family and friendships. He has never been a bad kid. So why is he misbehaving so much?


MJ Underwood at his 5th birthday party


Ever since he started 1st grade, he has been doing little things to get in trouble at school and at home. I mean petty things. Little crap. So minor. So irritating.


  • Disruptive behavior in the classroom, overly talking out of turn, rough-housing with kids at the wrong time, etc
  • Careless mistakes, such as writing on the classrooms brand new carpet, which the kids were specifically instructed not to do.
  • Ignoring our requests to brush his teeth, clean up something, put on his jacket, etc and those requests of his teacher at school. 
  • He’s gotten 5 notes home, all in the first half of the school year.


We have done pretty much everything in the book. We’ve talked to him rationally, we impose timeouts, restrictions, you name it.  He is a huge fan of the iPad and Xbox games, and he hasn’t played in over 2 months because of his repeated behavior problems. We told him that if he could go through the entire school week without an issue, he could play games again. You would think that might do it. Nope. He is fully aware of the action = consequence, yet he STILL does it. After the fact, he is remorseful and I can see that he’s trying hard to do better.


He is not a mean, violent or hurtful kid. He’s overachieving in school and has plenty of friends, and a family that loves him dearly. I know that he means well in all that he does, I just don’t understand why he keeps doing the little things that get him in trouble, when he knows 100% that it’s wrong. I don’t know what it is, this impulsive  behavior is so sudden. I love him to pieces. I just want him to do well in life, to succeed.


Is this normal behavior for a 6 year old boy?


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  • I think it’s normal, but could also indicate an underlying issue. If he’s an overachiever, it’s possible that he’s just bored. Is the work being done at school generally below his level? I know I was bored out of my mind at school and required differentiation and permission to work on other things or even just read in the corner to keep me out of trouble while the other kids finished work that I was done with. Is there a gifted class at his school that he could be moved to that works at a higher level?

    A great outlet for extra energy that can improve behavior, too, would be martial arts training—I used to be an instructor for 3-12 year olds and it really helps kids with focus, discipline, or attention deficit issues. Also maybe look into a program like Sylvan that would differentiate instruction for him to find his appropriate level and work with his teacher to help find the appropriate outlets for him. They have programs for gifted kids, too, not just kids who are falling behind.

    • It’s just so all of a sudden. He is a very bright kid, he is doing great in school, he just can’t shut his mouth. I wondered if he might be bored or something and I asked his teacher to challenge him with a little more when he needs it.

      I think some of this is normal, but the continuation of not listening and making poor decisions when he clearly knows the consequences is beyond me. I hope it’s a phase and that it ends quickly!

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