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Bright child, small world. How do I balance it?

My daughter is strong-willed and sneaky. She's 3, her bro's 2, and little sis is 6mo. We're poor and live in a very small place. Dad works all the time and I stay home. She's very smart and loves to learn but I'm a bad teacher, I find it very hard to be cheerful and enthusiastic when I have all these chores and 3 little kids with diffent sleeping times to coordinate - I often say "Shhh! ____ is sleeping!". So how do you keep such a bright child happy in such a small world? She acts out against her bro. all the time and screems whenever she's told to do something. If I try to include her in what I'm doing, she takes over the project and messes it up when I need it to be done with. I know what I'm doing isn't good for her but like I said it's hard to be cheerful when I just want to get through my day. How do I keep things going smooth but not be a control freak? Which battles should I fight and how should I discipline?

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Asked by kira_5105 at 4:48 PM on Jun. 2, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (4)
  • fight the battles that make her unsafe or unhealthy (foods, messing w/the stove etc. let her win the other ones as long as its not totally against how you feel about something). when it comes to house work let her help with stuff that she can do (spray the windows have her wipe them down, give her a clorox wipe and tell her to clean the table, as long as she isn't one that will put it in her mouth) put all the socks on the floor and tell her to find the matches. as far as teaching her stuff, you can do that while you do your chores, count the dishes as you put them away (you can let her put away utensils, just get all the knives out first) ask her what color stuff in the house is, or a tshirt is as you fold it. and if she messes up and it drives you nuts, show her how to do it correctly but w/o it being like shes in trouble shes just learning so someone has to show her. as far as discipline, time outs, taking away tv, cont

    Answer by vabchmommy at 5:04 PM on Jun. 2, 2009

  • take away her favorite snack at snack time, send her to her room for quiet time, take away something fun you do (if she gets a bubble bath take away the bubbles and make it a reg bath, if she gets cuddle time w/mommy and daddy before bed, cut the time in half)

    Answer by vabchmommy at 5:06 PM on Jun. 2, 2009

  • have looked into getting her into preschool. I know what you mean about being poor and her dad working all the time. Headstart is based on income and they start accepting kids at the age of three. you can also try to enroll in early headstart for your younger kids too. early headstart comes to your house and shows you new ways to play with your kids and teach them in different ways. it also give you a grown up to talk to and ask questions if you need to.
    my Daughter was acting out of boredom too so I started to give her jobs like picking up dirty cloths or toys while I did it with her and cheered her on. point out colors or ask her to find them once she starts to get the hang of it. count utensils as she helps you put them away. just talk about what your doing in as much detail as possible and read to her when you can. kid books are only a few minutes long so a couple book breaks a day shouldn't put you that far off your day.

    Answer by litlsuzzy at 9:35 PM on Jun. 2, 2009

  • you can use vinegar and water on a paper towel to give her to wipe things down with. vinegar is a disinfectant and will 98% of germ with out hurt your kids if they try to eat it. my kids are chewers so I had to find some thing. My daughter loves to "wipe" things in the house. I started giving her little treats like a half a cookie every time she would do what I told her chore-wise. after a few times I just cheered and now she'll do it with out reward. I don't ask, I tell her what she needs to do. if she screams she goes in time out.if she's upset she goes to her room until she's calm. you just keep taking her back.
    do your kids get up at the same time? if not try getting them up together and try to keep them up until they are all tired. I know you may not be able to do that with the 6 month old but you might be able to start quiet time with the books so you aren't always telling her to be quiet while the baby is sleeping.

    Answer by litlsuzzy at 9:48 PM on Jun. 2, 2009

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