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How do you deal with an argumentative three year old boy

My 3 almost 4 year old is a really sweet boy but..... he is so argumentative. I can't do anything or ask him to do anything without him giving me a reason why he can or can't do this thing I have requested. Example: Austin I need you to go in and go potty. He say well mommy I can't go potty because i have to play with this toy. it takes me 10 minutes to get him in there unless I yell and I hate doing that. It isn't a HUGE problem he is well behaved he just argumentative and i don't know what to do. HELP PLEASE!!!!!!

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Asked by Julahan at 11:25 AM on Mar. 5, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (6)
  • Start saving for law school. :)

    Answer by Jodie118 at 11:26 AM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • LOL, I like that answer. One thing I learned is that to NOT argue with a toddler, it's a hair pulling experience. When my daughter was that age, she decided she didn't want to eat. So I told her, thats fine, but this is it, NO snacks. So when she said she was hungary that night, I reminded her that it was her choice to be hungary. When she got angry and threw a fit, I put her in her room and told her when she was done she could come out. The next night the same thing. 3rd night I was cooking dinner and she said she didn't like it, so I asked her if she was going to choose to be hungary again, then she said "Oh I fogot, I wuv chicken" lol. Thing is, when you get reactive, they get reactive. If he won't do something that you tell him to because he's playing with his toy, just calmly take it away and tell him that he can choose to have the toy back when he chooses to do as he's told. It's not an easy process though

    Answer by Zakysmommy at 11:32 AM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • Give it back to him! My son is 16 and STILL does this, that boy can argue the side of something he doesn't even agree with just to argue and has had teachers tell him he should join the debate club! I would say the sky is blue and the grass is green and he would say it's cloudy so the sky is gray and some of the grass is dead so it's brown! Choose your battles and try to keep a sense of humor! If something is nonnegotiable tell him upfront that you aren't going to budge he needs to ...

    Answer by goaliemom93 at 11:38 AM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • just dont play into it, when he starts to explain why he cant do something you asked, interrupt him saying "you did not hear me, i told you to go to the bathroom." i would imagine he would try again to argue right... so then you explain that you did not ASK you TOLD him to do it... and when mommy tells you to do it you say "yes mom/mamm..." he will not like it at all, may take you putting him in time out for argueing a few times after you have clearly explained your expectation to do what is asked the first time. with my 3 yr old sometimes i have to physically move him to the place where i have asked him to do something (like lead him to the bathroom) if you say put him in the bathroom after telling him to use the toilet and he argues again tell him /interrupt him saying "you can do what you are told or you can go to time out, do it now." you just have to nip it in the bud... good luck, be firm!

    Answer by AmaliaD at 11:55 AM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • I just wanted to thank you ladies who have answered my question so far all the answers are great and somehow I feel like I should know this stuff after dealing with my older boys now 13,12,and 7 but somehow Austin is different. As for the prepare for Law school I like that it was funny but I think it might be true for two out of the 4 boys. My oldest will argue for for the sake of arguing but he has learned the line with me and his dad. I just forgot how to teach where that line is.

    Answer by Julahan at 1:27 PM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • Do not argue back. Be firm and tell him what it is you expect him to do without him thinking it was a question where he has an option.

    Answer by shellyplatz at 1:53 PM on Mar. 6, 2009

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