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Discipline techniques don't work on my 3 yr old. She's really good for a few days or a week then she'll start acting out. Slapping me, kicking me, sticking out her tongue, talking back, refusing to get dressed or eat, not listening, totally disrespectful. Last night I undressed her to give her a bath and she stood on our couch, said she was going to pee on it and did just that, laughing all the time! I was stunned! She does very well in preschool, most of the time.

She is extremely intelligent for her age and does well in school, however sometimes she hits the other kids or makes fun of them until they cry. I let her do things herself like pick out her own clothes, dress herself, help me cook dinner and make her lunch. When she is good she is VERY good but when she's bad... UGH! I have tried all discipline techniques I know of: time out, spanking, taking toys, tv, activities away. I even started a behavior chart where she gets a sticker every time she's good or does what she's told and she gets a toy taken away every time she's bad. After she peed on the couch she she looked at me and asked if I was going to write it on the chart, then brought me a toy to take away! Nothing fazes her. She doesn't care about time out, she laughs at spankings and she doesn't care if her toys are taken away. This behavior is driving me crazy and I'm at my wits end. Please help us!

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Asked by gemmekare at 6:21 PM on Jan. 8, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (13)
  • Kids at this age are really trying to test your limits. No matter what you must continue punishing the behavior. Instead of punishment, try making her clean up the messes she makes. If she pees on the couch, make her get a soapy rag and scrub it up til it's all gone. If she won't eat, she goes to bed with no food. Don't let that phase you. She will eat if she is truly hungry, she is just trying you. Pretty soon she will see you aren't going to give in. If she is mean to someone, her punishment should be to do something really nice for that person. If she hits you, tell her your feelings are hurt and you can't be around her right then until she apologizes, and do something to separate yourself from her and don't talk to her for a few minutes, ignoring her if she tries to talk to you until she apologizes. Kids at that age know when they are doing wrong. My daughter is 4 and she went through a very brief phase of this too!

    Answer by AprilDJC at 6:37 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • She knows you won't do any thing to her. That's why she does these things. Give her a few swats on that back side, with know cloths or diaper on. She will stop it quick. When she knows she will really be disciplined she will stop that stuff.


    Answer by louise2 at 6:45 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • My daughter is exactly like that!!! She finally started telling me that she doesn't like when people yell at her. When it's me by myself and I'm not glued to my pc, and I am nice to her, she's amazingly behaved. But when others are home and being impatient, or when I am paying attention to something else for a while, she acts out. If I were you, I'd just try being VERY patient and spending a little bit more quality time with her, see what happens. Good luck!

    Answer by Shlamoof at 7:14 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • Watch SuperNanny on TV!!!! I don't know how she does it, but she makes time-outs work like magic...
    My pediatrician has always told me to reward the "good" behavior. Example, buy her a special treat, give her a treat like going for an ice cream, etc.
    Personally, I've tried everything, and like you, sometimes it'll work for a few days, but then everything goes right back to the way it was before.
    I think we both need to learn to be a little more consistent in our actions. Good Luck!!

    Answer by lighthousemom3 at 7:57 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • Remain calm no matter what she does. Make sure your discipline fits the behavior - if she throws, take it away; if she makes a mess, she cleans it up; if she's rude, teach her the respectful way to speak. Be sure you and everyone else in the family models the behavior you want to see. Remain consistent with discipline - it takes a long time, but if you keep changing your tactics, she'll keep testing you to see when you cave and what you can come up with next. Check out the Creative Discipline group on CM. It sounds like she's really spirited - you want to help her learn to control herself and still remain strong. Don't give up!

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 8:53 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • ok this is a little extreame, but take a ruler or wodden spoon and swat the BOTTOM of her bare feet. it hurts worse than a spanking, cause the feet are so sensitive, and it get's the point across better

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:44 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

  • Sounds like ODD (oppositional defiance disorder). Google this and see what you think.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:46 AM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • Sounds like she has oppositional disorder. Seek help from a pediatrician.

    Answer by SusieD250 at 1:59 AM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • I am pretty sure spanking anywhere but on the bottom or thigh is against the law.

    Answer by SusieD250 at 2:00 AM on Jan. 9, 2009

  • Take everything from her. Including her ability to make her own decisions. My son has RAD and he was like this and we finally had to take everything, including his decisions, away from him and he started behaving a lot better. When he steps out of line I take ALL of his toys away and he earns them back one at a time. He can't even go to the bathroom w/o asking and if he goes in his clothes he gets clean it up after I spank him. Don't yell at her because then she knows she has gotten you mad and thats what she wants. Even if she does have "ODD" there is no magic spell the therapist is going to tell you the same thing I am telling you.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 9:38 AM on Jan. 9, 2009

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