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Why is my 3 year old Daughter so disobedient and destructive?

My Daughter has just turned 3 and she's so disobedient and destructive. If she gets a new toy she'll immediately attempt to rip it apart or damage it somehow. She will never just go to the toilet, she will pour all of the bath products into the bath or unravel a whole roll of toilet roll and put it down the toilet,. If I take her out she will never hold my hand, she'll run off and sometimes into dangerous situations, like into the road or near escalators; regardless of how fast you chase her or how loud you call her she will not stop. Can somebody please tell me if this behaviour is normal. There's only so mauch shouting and time out I can do before I accept it's not working.

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Asked by lostmummy at 4:47 AM on Aug. 16, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (8 Credits)
Answers (23)
  • Sounds like you need to keep a closer eye on her
    Yeah,they're holy terrors at that age
    If she's a runner,get one of those wrist straps

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 7:14 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • This behavior IS normal. Kids this age start testing the boundaries and will take charge of the situation if their parent isn't effectively in control. Shouting is ineffective. Do you have a solid, *consistent* routine where her boundaries are clearly enforced? Do you actually discipline when she acts out, especially when it could be dangerous for her to do so? Not that I'm bashing you - it can be hard to effectively discipline. My advice would be to sit and think through ways you're going to handle each of the areas where she doesn't listen so well or where she is destructive. Perhaps you could take toys away if she's abusing them. Or make her sit on the curb with you if she tries to run off in the parking lot/road. The biggest point is consistency, that she KNOWS if this then that.

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 7:22 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • sounds pretty normal really. She needs to know you ARE the boss, if she runs in the store- her butt gets put in the cart... if she is really bad with it other places, get one of those wrist strap thigs like butterflyblue suggested.
    and like bangeek said, you need to give consequences for things
    3 yr olds are HARD- mine both were way more difficult at 3 than at 2
    hang in there, this eventually will get better

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 7:35 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • It is normal for her to be attempting these things, but you as a mother need to be more effective in putting a stop to it. You go with her into the bathroom to make sure she doesn't dump out bath products or clog the toilet with tp, you MAKE her hold your hand when you go out and if she won't, then you pick her up. You discipline her every time she does something that you want stopped - you take her back home when she doesn't listen out in public, you take toys away when she tries to destroy them, etc. The key is to do it every time and to make sure it's an effective punishment. You know that yelling doesn't work - so stop yelling. The fact that she ignores you when you yell is dangerous - if she's about to step out in front of car and you yell, she'll ignore you. My kids would stop instantly, because they know I don't yell unless there's danger like that.

    You have to take control back.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 7:36 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • Sometimes kids go for the negative attention when they do not get enough positive attention. Make sure she is getting one on one time with you to read, play, cuddle. Plus your husband/significant other should be spending quality one on one time with her also. Do not let her in the bathroom alone if she is getting into mischief. Get one of those vests with a fabric cord so you can keep her close to you when out of the house. She gets a little freedom, but you control how far away she can get. Heap on the praise when she does something right and involve her in things with you like folding laundry, loading the dishwasher, gardening, etc, etc. GL

    Answer by silverthreads at 7:43 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • this is what I'd do...stop buying her new toys until she can show you she is thankful for what she is given. Yes, it is possible at this age, my son just turned 4 and has some developmental delays and I do that with him.
    supervise her in the should be doing that anyway at this age
    as for running off? like the pp said get wrist straps if it is that big of a problem. Thankfully with my kids, a quick swat on the butt did the trick.

    Answer by josiesmommy00 at 8:06 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • She is this way because you have not trained her to behave differently. Boundaries must be drawn and you must consistently enforce them. We spanked our children for disrespect and disobedience. Our children spank our grandchildren. Night before last, I took our 3 and 5 year old grandsons to choir practice with me because there were no children activities that night. They sat quietly and behaved for an hour. The little one did have a book and some markers for entertainment. Children are by nature rebellious and selfish. It is the parents' responsibility to cause them to not want to be selfish and destructive.

    Answer by NannyB. at 8:40 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • She is 3, they are holy terrors at that age if you aren't watching them pretty much 24/7. If she is running away from you, you have a serious issue. As soon as she is out of the car her hand is in yours and you don't let go. You need consistent consequences and yelling won't help so work on calming down before you start yelling. Keep the bathroom door shut and put a child lock on it so she can't get in.

    Answer by kmath at 8:56 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • welcome to the toddler years girlfriend. You are not alone! My daughter does the same thing, they are adventourous ones. Curiosity drives them to want to run and see whats going on even if mommy is yelling " hey get back here " lol. yes. My daughter at times can also make such a mess throwing her toys all over the place and then she'll refuse to pick them up. If she doesnt like the outfit i picked out she will take it off , and if i put it back on her, she will take it off again. all while throwing a big fit. i think its the age. talk to your pediatrician about it. but it sounds pretty normal to me. This is the age where they are learning that they can have opinions and they want to make their own decisions, so when she says no just say " i know you dont want to... but you have to". this way your acknowledging her feelings but your letting her know she still has to do it. good luck hope this helps.

    Answer by keepingmycool at 9:02 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

  • No, I don't think it's normal. I have 5 kids and only my oldest (who has autism) ever acted like that. Has she hit all her milestones? Is she in daycare/preschool? I would look for a mother' s morning out program to start getting her adjusted to being around others and teaching her how to act, she may do better for them than she does for you. Make sure you are being consistent in your discipline, which doesn't mean yelling.

    Answer by missanc at 9:13 AM on Aug. 16, 2013

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