Is it normal for a 5-year-old to act out so much?

My 5 1/2 almost six-year-old daughter has been acting out constantly, is this normal for her age? Or should I be worried that it might get worse as she gets older? My daughter is 5 1/2; her fav word right now is no! Literally, that’s her answer to almost everything I tell her to do. My wife and I are expecting another baby girl in December; we are getting excited and buying stuff, of course, for the new baby. I don’t know if this her acting out showing her jealousy or what. She has been the only child for five years, and now I feel like she thinks we are trying to replace her, “which we are not” (just adding to our little family.) She is starting to act out at school. Also, the past week, she has been having bad behavior or really handsy with other students her teacher mentioned. Could this be a sign of something? I’ve tried time outs, taking privileges away, taking toys away, etc. but does not seem to faze her. Has anyone gone through this? Any advice? “Please, NO negativity! “


each child is different, if you feel like it’s going to get worse do the best you can to nip it in the bud.

My daughter is 4 and we have a little girl due in December as well, mine is acting out as well. But we have been trying to include her in everything we do preparing for the new baby. Asking her opinions on when we buy stuff and even ask her if she wants to get the baby something.
The closer we get we keep reminding her that we love her so much and we won’t love the baby more than her. We also try to explain how the baby will take up some of our time, but we will always make time for her.

She could be feeling left out with the baby getting closer to the due date. And scared and even jealous. Just take some time and talk to her. They are smarter than we think.


She’s probably feeling left out. All your attention is focused on preparing for a new kid. Take time to show her she is still special


Yes and no. See a counselor she could have a underlying issue

It sounds normal to me, but if you’re really concerned you could talk to her pediatrician to see what they think.

It’s pretty normal. I have an only child and she is definitely in a stage of challenging both her dad and I. But in the up side she is great at school and when she is watched by others (which is rare). I have heard that when kids turn 6 it begins a rebellion stage. Maybe they are early. We take things away that she likes and give time outs. It’s not always fool proof but we do our best and try not to raise our voices. I know that’s not a solution but you are not alone and it’s normal.

It could be the new baby. Honestly, maybe she feels as if your not giving her attention which is the acting out part. Just include her. Make her feel apart of the baby too. And when the baby gets here have her help… let her pick out clothes, or have her help feed the baby. Stuff like that. If it continues, then maybe see your pedi… :heart: congratulations

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Sounds like she is either upset over changes awaiting new baby or something at school is bothering her. At her age i would say it isnt like terrible twos… that is a time children usually get into the bossy and no stage. At 5 and if behavior has started over last several months would mean to me that something in her world changed causing her to begin the no’s and getting in trouble at school. I would stay on it and determine why she’s acting this way … without putting ideas in her head.

She might be getting jealous. Talk to her ask why she’s acting out. Keep her busy if you don’t already. Make sure you bring her a gift when you bring the baby home. I didn’t think of that my mil did.

Rephrase your questions into statements something’s are not nagotionable make her do things and follow through… and pick your battles follow through on important things and let go if the small things

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I was with someone with kids and the kids was well behave for most part listen and did what was told well then. Their mom got vistion every other weekend the little girl started acting out real nad nothing work no grounding nothing was working it would make her act put that much more till i sit down and said so so this isnt u whats going on bully at school something here at home or ur moms whats going on then she told me her moms bf and her mom told her to act like her mom when she not home her mom bf was messing withh her she was only 9!!! She. And her mom allowed it!!! Needless to say report was filled and so so started act like her self again

Sit her down and ask what is bothering her!! Encourage her to talk to you!!!

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My 6yo isn’t as bad, but “no” is a major part of her vocab as well. As far as the only child thing, from my experience, if you and your wife do something special just with her that is positive that she enjoys, that may help. Make sure it is something you can continue doing once the baby comes. She is just going thru the normal emotions of getting a sibling after all attention has been on her for years. So ask for her opinion on baby stuff, even if you don’t use it. She just wants to know yours still important to her. Still be consistent with whatever rules/discipline you use, so she doesn’t think you are rewarding bad behavior with a special activity. So be careful with the time you do it, too. I had to do this with my 3yo after my 1yo was born. It helped so much. We color every day, simple, but it means so much to him. His behavior slowly changed and he is so helpful and playful with his little sister now.

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Try positive reinforcement. Catch her doing “nice/ good things”. I think positive reinforcement often works better because it concentrates attention on good behavior rather than on bad behavior. Try redirecting her when her behavior is inappropriate. Good luck. Being a good parent is not easy.

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Every child is different. My son acted like this at 4 when i was pregnant with my second child.
In our case…
Everyone SWORE that it was just because of the upcoming change. Then SWORE it was just because of the new baby. I didn’t believe it. This went on until the “new baby” was 9 months old and i FINALLY got a doctor to listen to me.

We went and had him evaluated and he was shown to have ADHD and ODD. The symptoms were exasberated by the big change- yes. But not the root cause.

A few things that will work for any child…

  1. Make her feel included. Get her opinion on things.

  2. Get her a few new things while you’re getting for the baby

  3. Get her a baby/stuffed animal and let her take care of it (my son put his chase doll in a chest carrier…we set it up the right way and everything)

  4. Since she’s a big girl, start a rewards system with her. I LOVE economy rewards systems. My son’s behavior has improved so so so much with it. He pays even for basic privileges (toys t.v. tablet) BUT its only so he’ll do things like get dressed and eat his breakfast before he starts playing…because if he plays first it then is a struggle to get him to even get dressed. But he also has “extra” things. He can “pay” for sleepovers in our room (complete with movie, snacks, and later bedtime) he can save up a lot of tickets and “buy” a new toy. Its worked really well. Good attitude earns him extra tickets.


Usually if there’s an underlining issue you would have seen it before 5.5yrs old, so probably just acting out.

My kids are 5 years apart. So when I was pregnant with #2 we included the first child in every thing. He picked out the different shades of blue for the nursery and in which order they were going to be used. He help pick out cloth, linen and decorations. I also made a big deal about him helping me take care of the baby. They are 40s and late 30s and oldest is still very protective of ‘the baby’.

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It’s just a phase she’ll grow out of it, I’ve raised 6 kids, 3 of which are girls, just have patience

She’s starting to test boundaries… very typical for that age! My daughter is six and I’ll tell her to do something, she’ll say “No”… to which I reply… “you don’t get to tell mommy no.” So she’ll spell no instead! :woman_facepalming:t2: just make sure she knows who’s the parent.