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How to correct an aggressive and out of control 3 year old

My son is 3. When he was younger, he would hit and throw things when he didn't get his way. He was kicked out of daycare. We found him a new one, and over the last year, his behavior has improved drastically. We recently purchased our first home and moved out of the area. He started hitting and being overly aggressive again. His second day of daycare and he's already been kicked out. His tantrums are so bad that it feels like all we do is try to calm them. My husband and I both work full time, he travels, and will be gone for almost two months very soon, and I work an hour drive from home, we just moved to a new town and I really don't know what to do! We try timeouts and he just gets ups. When I put him back in the chair, he slaps my face. I don't want his room to be a punishment. We've tried everything from spanking to talking to him, all he says is that he "is naughty all the time" I get upset and cry, he cried when he sees

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Asked by danif1288 at 9:26 PM on Jun. 4, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 3 (17 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • feralxat

    Answer by feralxat at 9:32 PM on Jun. 4, 2013

  • He slapped you in the face? And you get upset and cry? Part of his problem likely is that he is totally confused about who is the child and who is the adult in his home. I think you really need some parenting classes, but I would recommend you be really careful about the ones in which you enroll. There's also an excellent book entitled SHEPHERDING THE HEART OF A CHILD by Tedd Tripp. Please get that book and read it at once. For a three-year old to strike his mother in the face is a very serious indicator of things to come. And your husband should have handled that one and explained to your son that children don't hit Mommy and boys don't hit girls. I shudder to think what your lives will be like in just a few short years. Please get some help as soon as you possibly can!

    Answer by NannyB. at 9:38 PM on Jun. 4, 2013

  • My son is 3. When he was younger, he would hit and throw things when he didn't get his way.

    What kind of environment is he being raised in? Children learn everything from what is around them.

    Answer by virginiamama71 at 9:39 PM on Jun. 4, 2013

  • No, I didn't cry when he slapped me.
    I pointed out that when he sees cry he gets upset to point out that he does show empathy.

    He went from being one of the favorites at his former day care, to expelled from his new daycare in just 2 days. This tells me that he's having trouble adjusting to the changes. We just moved an hour and a half away from where we spent the first 3 years of his life. His whole world is upside down, and I don't know how to show him that it's all okay.

    Comment by danif1288 (original poster) at 9:44 PM on Jun. 4, 2013

  • Virginiamama, he acted this way when he was under 2, but seemed to have grown out of the behavior. It's as if he's reverted because of all of the change. We have only been in our new place about a week, and today was his second day of daycare.

    Comment by danif1288 (original poster) at 9:47 PM on Jun. 4, 2013

  • First of all, don't let him slap your face. As in, if he won't stay in time out, then hold him there in a way that keeps his hands down so he can't hit you, but make him stay in time out till you say it's over even if you have to restrain him physically.

    Beyond that, is there any way you can take a short time off to hep him get settled in his new world? Maybe the new house and new daycare all at once were too much for him. Keep his rules and routines as close as you can to what they were before you moved. Same foods, same bedtime stories, etc.

    Answer by Ballad at 9:53 PM on Jun. 4, 2013

  • After the slap, and 3 times of putting him back on the time out chair, I physically held him for about 15 minutes. I kept telling him that I was just going to hug and love him while he calmed down. After 15 minutes, I put him in his room, because I was getting frustrated, and after I walked out and shut the door, he finally calmed down.
    My husband kept him home for a week between daycare. Our thought was the same as yours, that all at once would be too much. I (thankfully) have a pretty understanding set of bosses who all believe that family is first, so if it comes down to it, I will have to take time off, I'm sure it would fall within FMLA leave anyway, and we are prepared to do whatever it takes to get things to a new calm normal.

    Comment by danif1288 (original poster) at 10:00 PM on Jun. 4, 2013

  • Putting him in his room to calm down to me isn't punishment, it's simply a safe place for him to get his frustration out and calm himself. I put my kids in their room to "take a break" when I could see they were getting frustrated. They learned to monitor their own behavior and take that break in their room when they started to feel overwhelmed.
    Have you looked into counseling for his anger/aggression? It sounds a little over the top even for a 3 yo.

    Answer by missanc at 9:32 AM on Jun. 5, 2013

  • That's a good way of looking at the breaks in his room, thank you.

    No, we haven't considered counseling. This behavior just started within the last two weeks. I was very upset yesterday when I learned that his "new" daycare quit him after 2 days because she couldn't deal with him. We have talked to other daycare providers, and family members who all agree with us that he's just having a little trouble adjusting and doesn't know how to vocalize it. Even though the changes that we've made in the last two weeks are all for the good of our family, all he sees is things are different. He really liked his old daycare, so it's going to take some time to adjust. If he keeps going this way for a prolonged period of time, then we will explore the counselling avenue.

    Comment by danif1288 (original poster) at 3:32 PM on Jun. 5, 2013

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