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How do you discipline a 3 year old?

My granddaughter will be three yrs. old next week. She's been in her terrible two's for what seems like years. I just can't bring myself to spank her when she's having a temper tantrum. She yells, throws things, tells me "No", and just recently has started trying to spit. Yes, she is rotten and I know a lot of it is my fault. I keep her Monday thru Saturday while my daughter works (she is a single parent). Her mom spanks her when she misbehaves. I just don't like spanking. At her age, what other alternatives are there that would get her attention?

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Asked by Damma at 5:49 PM on Apr. 19, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (5)
  • Look into the "Parenting with Love & Logic" group on here. One thing is that if she's throwing a fit, ignore her, no eye contact, no words, maybe even leave the room. Nobody likes to throw a fit when nobody is looking. Reading some of the responses in the Love & Logic group about a 2-yr old is "choices". If she misbehaves, sing "Uh-oh" and tell her she has to go to...her room, or your room, or wherever you choose to put her away from you. Tell her when she calms down, or is feels like being nice, or whatever...that she can re-join you. It's about making them responsible for their own choices & behaviors. I'm interested in this Love & Logic book, but have very little info yet. PS-That ignoring thing may not even be in the L&L book. That's what I do now, but when I learn a better trick, I'll try it. Good luck!

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 6:40 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • Time outs.

    Stand in the corner until she can calm down and do as she is told. If she is released from the corner and starts again, put her right back in the corner.

    If she's put there for throwing, then she has to SHOW you the correct way to put a toy (or whatever) on the floor (or table, etc) say, 5 times. While she says "This is how I put a toy down." (or as her verbal abilities will allow) It's "practice". If she throws again, then into the corner until she's ready to practice proper behavior 10 times. (add more times as you see fit)

    This is just a hint at the behavior modification my son's psychologist had us try. It worked very well on my 3 and 2 year olds.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 7:07 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • You can Get to her level and tell her that its not ok for her to scream and have a fit,
    And give her reasons why she cant get what she wants or just ask her why she's having the fit,
    if its not getting what she wants, becuase just putting her in the corner without telling her that what she is doing is wrong wont help, i dont think spanking is a good think to use unless they are doing somthing completly wrong, there are alot of other ways to disapline children, time outs work good though.

    Answer by Juhhmell at 7:19 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • Who's the grown up, you or the three year old? Cut the baloney, you are not doing your daughter any favours, and you are certainly not doing your grandchild any favours. You discipline a 3 y/o the same way you discipline any child. A sharp NO! and then a time out, which may mean you remove the child to a small room and close the door (and sit on the other side so you can hear the child).

    Personally I feel tantrums are fine, but if a child's going to tantrum out, she can do it in her own room/own space, so as not to disturb the REST of us. When she gets over herself, she can rejoin whatever's going on.

    Answer by Morniel at 7:38 PM on Apr. 19, 2009

  • time outs work great in my house sometimes a swat on the butt. What ever yu do be consistant she will take advantage of you!! They know how to push your buttonand she will push push push Do not give in!! You can do it, remember it is what is good for her and she wil lbe better for it!

    Answer by IMAMOM2-2KIDS at 7:55 AM on Apr. 20, 2009

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