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How do you keep a 3 year old girl under control when she's being bad?

What do I do? She's never been like this before. She colored on her walls last night so I took away her crayons. She ripped the wings off a toy butterfly so I took that away, and she just threw a stuffed animal so I took that away.

Now she's kicking the couch screaming no over and over again. I honestly don't know what to do. She's not listening to my golden motherly advice. I think taking away her toys is giving her more attention than naughty behavior should get and if I keep telling her she's being naughty she's just going to do it more?

This sucks.

Answer Question

Asked by staciandababy at 2:34 PM on Dec. 28, 2012 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 38 (102,010 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • The baby is crying, the cat is scratching the couch, the 3 year old is kicking and screaming no.

    I think i'm going to stand outside for a couple minutes. That will at least fix me.

    Comment by staciandababy (original poster) at 2:35 PM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • sounds like she might need some mommy and me time. She might be crying out for some individual attention since she's always sharing it with baby, cat, computer, phone, etc.

    Answer by daylily888 at 2:37 PM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • Ahhhhh the jealousy is kicking in. It's normal staci, but you just have to try to divert the attention. Keep her busy, have her help you out, and if needed, there is nothing wrong with stepping outside to calm down. LOL!

    Answer by m-avi at 2:40 PM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • Well, for the immediate problem, if it happened in my house, I would send the kid to sit on the stairs till she stopped screaming and calmed down. The stairs work well because there's nothing to do and nothing to see. I would stand firm on the toys you took away, but maybe try to find an activity you could do when the baby is napping, just the two of you. Heck, she may just be overstimulated from all of her new Christmas stuff and the baby making noise, someone yelling at the cat, etc. I'm feeling overstimulated myself with the two kids, the birds, and the TV!

    Answer by Ballad at 2:42 PM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • Sibling rivalry has begun. she's not happy about having to share you with her new baby sis so, she's acting out. I've totally been there.

    Answer by 3libras at 2:42 PM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • I think stepping out for just a minute or two would be the best thing. If you are able to calm down then you have a better chance at calming everyone down. Try divirting her attention from what is causing her to throw a temper. Sit and munch on a carrot in front of her (or whatever she likes) when she comes over just calmly hand her a piece and share. My dd is 4 and throws some dozy of tempers and diverting her is the best thing I can do.

    Answer by baconbits at 2:50 PM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • Okay, baby fell asleep, cat is fed, 3 year old is eating a waffle.

    I came back inside- picked her up with all her limbs flailing and just held her for a minute. we established that we didn't like the sound the baby swing was making and that she wanted a waffle. we talked about being sad and the bowl of mine she broke earlier.

    I do ignore her too often with everything going on. It's just really hard for me to handle how chaotic this house gets sometimes. Maybe I should take a step away from the computer too.

    Comment by staciandababy (original poster) at 2:51 PM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • I have never experienced tantrums with her before- I have always been so proud of her. But as she gains her independence and I don't have the time to supervise her constantly which I always have- she gets some bad ideas. I need to remember that she is 3, not an adult like me.

    Comment by staciandababy (original poster) at 2:53 PM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • She's itching for attention. How about asking some relatives to take her out to do some fun things a for a few hours here & there. After I had the baby, my sister took my Son once a week for a few hours. Like out to dinner, a movie, a park, the beach or just for a ride when she went shopping. It broke up the monotony for him, gave him a little extra attention & he usually got a little toy too! MY DH would take him on a fun day on the weekend. They went to the zoo, the aquarium & grocery shopping. It will settle down soon. Then when the baby starts to walk & gets into the bigger siblings toys it's a whole new game! Hang in there & try to get some extra sleep since we rub off on the kids too. Maybe ask your SO to go to bed a little later or wake up a little earlier so you can rest.


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 2:54 PM on Dec. 28, 2012

  • i liked the ignore strategy
    but not when way out of control


    she has a rival for your attention now, i am guessing she wants your attention, and being really naughty is working for her (to a point)
    when she figures out that when she is really good, she gets more of your attention- (hopefully) watch her turn into a great helper

    3 can be a bit young to get into the 'helper' mode, more kids like this helper thing at 4 and up
    so have to give her attention when she is good

    good luck, she will settle, it is a stage


    Answer by fiatpax at 3:06 PM on Dec. 28, 2012

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