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What to Do With My Sassy Daughter?


U (30_female_Malaysia)

Reply Date

Mar 18, 2019


My 6-year-old daughter is very sassy and laughs at me when I try to discipline her and spanking doesn't help. She is also doing these things at school, too. I am so tired of spanking and grounding her, I don't know what to do anymore. Please help.



Sassy, Daughter

In this counseling answer:

•All the children start to come up with silly behavior to attract attention to themselves. So, the mother should control her temper when her daughter does something silly.

•Talk to her as a responsible person, befriend her daughter, observe a good diet for her, control what TV programs she watches.

 As-salamu `Alaykum, sister. 

First, let me start with saying that the majority of children in your daughter’s age are active and inquisitive. So from that angle, she is normal. However, the fact that she is making fun of you when you try to discipline her points to another problem, and that is (in my view) a lack of respect. You will not gain her respect by punishing her physically (that is, spanking). You need to explain your point of view on any disagreement so that she understands what she is being punished for.

She obviously does not care now if you are going to hit her or not, and that in itself is a negative sign that you need to work on with her. In schools in the United Kingdom and the West, there is a ban on corporal discipline as well, which makes children not wary of being punished; that is why she was perceived as being reckless or cheeky.

Concerning the root cause of such behavior, there are many reasons for children to act in such a way:

1-The children may be looked after at the beginning and when their brothers or sisters arrive, attention is taken away without appropriate preparation from the parents for such change. So the children start to come up with silly behavior to attract attention to themselves. This can be very relevant to your case.

2-Many grandparents don’t necessarily pay much attention to the house rules for their grandchildren. The grandparents feel that the children need lots of attention, and the result would be spoiling for their grandchildren.

I would say that there is a big difference between discipline and revenge. I would advise you to do the following:

1-Control your temper when she does something silly. You need to explain to her why that thing was wrong. Don’t act instantly. Calm yourself first and then proportion your reaction appropriately in light of her action and the situation.

2-Talk to her as a responsible person and remember spanking or physical punishment is the end of the line, which means that no effective communication can take place once you resort to this measure.

3-Befriend your daughter and get her to share in small domestic responsibilities including looking after her young sisters since she is the elder sister.

4-Observe a good diet for her that includes more natural fruits and vegetables and fewer sugary products, as those can cause children to be hyperactive.

5-Control what TV programs she watches and avoid scenes where there are impolite suggestions from youngsters to elders. (There is plenty of that material around these days.)

At the end I pray to Allah to guide us and you to the straight path.



Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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