Diagnosis

Start with these five questions.

What. What exactly does your kid do or say that is uncooperative? Here are a few traits of kids displaying uncooperative attitudes. Mark any that your kid is displaying and add other behaviors that concern you to the list:

□ Doesn't listen to others

□ Hoards toys, tools, supplies, electronic equipment for play or work

□ Tries to bully or dominate a group

□ Complains about working with others

□ Never compromises

□ Wants things to go his own way

□ Doesn't pull her own weight on a team

□ Is argumentative

□ Insists that demands be met immediately and his way

□ Doesn't do what others ask him to

□ Criticizes others

□ Acts bossy; directs others to do what he wants

□ Never asks others what they would like to do

□ Doesn't work well with others

□ Unwilling to negotiate

Who. Does he display the same attitude to everyone? Are there some individuals he is more likely to flaunt this attitude with—for instance, younger siblings, older peers, a teacher, or a coach? If so, then why does he flaunt it toward some people and not others?

Where. Are there certain places he is more likely to flaunt the attitude (at school, practice, the babysitter's, day care, scouts, play group, a certain friend's house, a certain relative's)? Why?

Why. Why is your kid so uncooperative? Does he not know how to cooperate? Does he feel slighted? Is he selfish and spoiled? Does he always wants things his way? Is he usually dominated by another kid so he feels that he can't contribute? Is he not expected to cooperate? Is he used to getting away with not complying with your requests? Is he shy, insecure, lacking friendship skills or the experience of working in a group, worried about some other problem, physically exhausted, or ill? What's fueling this attitude?

When. Are there certain times your kid displays her uncooperative attitude—for instance, during ski practice, a scout meeting, when it's time to go to day care, or during her study group? Might there be a reason? Maybe she feels excluded, doesn't have the skills to get along, feels more secure at home, or doesn't like the competition.

What is your best diagnosis of why your kid has learned this attitude? Confer with other adults who know your kid well to see if they agree.

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