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My 3 year old is so difficult

She wakes up each morning and gets mad at me because the sun is out, and because her dad's at work, and she needs a skirt on. (she will only wear skirts and dresses) She always wants to eat. Sometimes I'll be making dinner and she'll come in the kitchen and ask for something. I don't let her because she's about to eat dinner. She throws a fit. 20 min. into it I just wish I would have given her the damn cookie! It's her way or the highway, and my two other children are getting used to that reality. She's the middle child. She's very rough on them. Is this only me? Any advice?


Asked by Anonymous at 10:57 AM on Jun. 19, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

This question is closed.
Answers (4)
  • This is perfectly normal behavior for a 3 year old. Their tummies are still pretty small, and sometimes (especially before and during growth spurts) they do need extra snacks. Rather than a cookie, she can eat some veggies with hummus (still my 13 year old's favorite snack), some guacamole, a bowl of frozen blueberries, etc.
    Try to keep your sense of humor and remember to be consistent with rewards, discipline and expectations. It is hard to believe, but one day you will look back and think of this as an easy parenting time...

    Answer by rkoloms at 12:16 PM on Jun. 19, 2009

  • in the same sinking boat right now...let me know if you get any answers that help. I'll try anything!!!!!

    good luck!

    Answer by ivebcummymother at 12:05 PM on Jun. 19, 2009

  • I have 4 boys, and 2 of them are like that. One is 9 and one is 3. They basically run the household. Or try to anyway. I call my youngest the dictator. Both of them are really great kids, but so demanding , and persistant. I feel like you. When I put my foot down and they don't get their way, I almost wish I would've just given them their way, because now I have a new crisis on my hands. As hard as it is, I just have to try to be more persistant than they are, and I have to continually remind them that the same rules that apply to everyone else also apply to them. I don't think a strong will is a bad thing at all. They just need to apply it to constructive things as they get older. But for now its our thankless, stressful job to stay strong and not give in to every little thing. Otherwise we'll have a real mess on our hands later on. Much easier said than done when you're a softy like me.

    Answer by at 1:36 PM on Jun. 19, 2009

  • Three year olds are so much more difficult than two year olds! They are not easily redirected or distracted like before and they know that they have some control or ability to make things happen or not happen. Try to anticipate when a "melt down" might occur and try to give her choices. Also, figure out a way to wake her up that doesn't make her mad. Surprisingly, I found that my dd liked to be woken up with the "tickle bug" coming to get her. This would help her wake up happy.
    Let her pick out her clothes the night before and lay them out. You could present her with 3-4 outfit options and let her "choose" one.
    Catch her being good and having a happy attitude and PRAISE her often for it. When she is playing nicely and is being happy say to her, "Mommy loves how you are playing so nicely. You are making the day so happy and bright. Once she hears your praise and feels like she is making choices, it will be ok!

    Answer by LovetoTeach247 at 3:34 PM on Jun. 19, 2009