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i seriously need some advice.

my son just turned 3 in march. for the most part, he's a great kid. and very smart. but his behavior is HORRID!! he refuses to listen to anything i say and will fight me tooth and nail. i've tried everything. spanking, reasoning, rewarding, time outs, taking toys away. it's even gotten so bad that when he gets angry at me or his father, he takes it out on his little brother. he pushes him down, smacks him, bites him. and when we punish him for that, he just laughs at us. i'm starting to think this is a more serious problem then he's just being a stubborn 3 year old. please, any advice would be well appreciated. thanks in advance.

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MelindaFeeney

Asked by MelindaFeeney at 2:59 PM on Aug. 31, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 2 (10 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • WELL ALL I CAN SAY IS TALK TO THE PEDIATRICIAN DOES HE GO FROM SUNSHINY HAPPY TO NASTY IN SECS OR DOES HE GET A SINISTER LOOK FIRST? HE COULD BE BIPOLAR THIS IS HOW IT STARTED WITH MY DD SO PLEASE GET HELP ASAP, OH AND BY THE WAY NOT LISTENING IS NORMAL ONCE THEY TURN 3 THEY GO DEAF LOL. BUT VIOLENCE IS NOT NORMAL AT ANY AGE.
    BlendedMommy009

    Answer by BlendedMommy009 at 3:06 PM on Aug. 31, 2009

  • Have you tried ignoring him when he's being bad? My youngest used to be a stubborn rotten knuckle head for a while. I got advice from a counselor and that was what finally turned her behavior around. When he's being bad, tell him just one time what he's doing wrong and if he keeps on, just ignore him. Don't look at him, don't answer when he talks to or screams at you, make sure everyone else knows that they can't look at him or respond to him until he straightens up. On the flip side, when he's being good, make a point to notice and shower him with attention, praise him, ect.

    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:09 PM on Aug. 31, 2009

  • If you find the answer, seriously, let me know. My DD (3 also) is the same way. I don't know what to do anymore! That said, if you wanna talk, I'd be happy to listen. Feel free to PM me. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this, but I guess its comforting to know you're not the only one. *Hugs* Hang in there!
    EvaSerenity

    Answer by EvaSerenity at 3:11 PM on Aug. 31, 2009

  • I just wanted to add that if's he's acting out for attention it doesn't mean that your neglecting him or not paying attention to him. (That's what I first thought when counselor gave me the advice.) It just means that some kids want more attention then others. It could be that he used to be the baby and now his little brother came along and stole the lime light.
    GL and be stong! I know what your going through and it wasn't fun. :(
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:16 PM on Aug. 31, 2009

  • He needs to be evaluated by a professional. Ask his doctor for a referral or contact your public schools early childhood department. His behavior is not normal and you need more help in dealing with it. It does NOT make you a bad parent, sometimes our children have issues that are not our fault and they need help to deal with it. There could be many reasons why he is acting how he is. Best of luck.
    tyfry7496

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 4:06 PM on Aug. 31, 2009

  • They should rename it terrible 3's because that for me is the most challenging age. When my dd turned 3 she went from this serene sweet little toddler to horrible outbursts, emotional, and ignoring me when I told her not to do something. The worst that I can remember was she had a huge meltdown at Target in the foyer...she refused to walk with me and just threw herself on the ground screaming (Ican't even remember what for now), but people were trying to get around us and I couldn't carry her out because I had my son who was still an infant. I, with the help of some nice passersby, managed to get her and ourselves back to our car. That when I took her to the dr, they said nothing was wrong she wasn't adhd wasn't bipolar, she was THREE. And 3 year olds PUSH the buttons some moreso than others. I only know this now because my son just turned 3 and he is doing the same things, and dd is happy and easygoing. hang in there!
    genniems

    Answer by genniems at 9:39 PM on Aug. 31, 2009

  • As I read this, I was thinking, "Is this something I wrote a cpl yrs ago??" My ds has gotten a little better but he still has his things he does and is still VERY stubborn. I wish you all the luck in the world.
    rachel92782

    Answer by rachel92782 at 11:51 PM on Aug. 31, 2009

  • SUPERNANNY!
    Mousuke

    Answer by Mousuke at 12:54 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • I'm going through the samething with my little one. He also turned 3 in March. I've done time out, which worked for a while but now when I get on to him he puts himself in time out. I do the counting thing worked like a charm. All I had to say 1 and he would straighten up, but whne I start to count he goes "2 - 3" . So, don't know what to do either. I think its they are at that stage where they test you to see how far they can go with you.
    Rachelle1029

    Answer by Rachelle1029 at 10:39 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • Your son has, rather unfortunately, learned that what you do when you're a bigger person is push around littler people, because you're bigger and you can.

    To date, you've been following mainstream advice that is really directed at breaking a child's spirit and forcing them to be obedient. That's fine as far as it goes, but some kids just won't ever let go of the idea that it's their life and they get to make decisions about it, including not to be obedient to whoever is the bigger.

    You have a living demonstration in your house that punishment, threats, and bribes do not have the power to control other people, at least not without the other people's permission. You can keep working really hard at that, against your son, of you can change tactics to something that might actually work more peacefully.

    I recommend Alfie Kohn's excellent book Unconditional Parenting.
    LindaClement

    Answer by LindaClement at 11:30 AM on Sep. 1, 2009

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