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I need some help with my daughter's behavior...

My daughter (4) has been in a bit of a "funk" the last few days. She has been very argumentative, very hard to please and very emotional. I try hard to make sure I keep her feelings in consideration, I let her and her brother help equally and decide on things to do , and I also let her pick out her clothes (so she feels she has choices). Today her, daddy and brother were getting ready for an outing to a book store. I asked her to go pick out clothes and she ran and got dressed in a short sleeve dress ( it was around 50 degrees out at the time) so I said ok and grabbed her a pair of leggings and a sweater- she flipped her lid, she was yelling and crying and basically pitching a fit...I tried to explain that it was too cold for just that and she still gets to wear the dress but with these other things as well. She wasn't buying it and was being very argumentative, so I did not let her go on the outing. cont...

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Asked by Sarah1220 at 3:20 PM on Oct. 8, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (8)
  • Do you think this was too harsh? This behavior has been going on for a few days now and her attitude has really gotten out of line. What do you suggest I do? Should I keep taking things away? Was I too harsh to not let her go?

    Answer by Sarah1220 at 3:22 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • I dont think her punishment was too harsh. You were simply adding to the outfit and there was no need for her fit throwing/bad attitude. She does not need to act like that especially when she is getting privileges like picking the clothes and going somewhere special with dad. She needs to have better manners towards you, that is for sure.

    I think its normal for girls at this age to try and have control issues and it usually revolves around clothes. I personally took a stand towards my daughter when it came to clothes because I did not have nice new things like her when I was little and I was not going to stand for her ungratefulness (is that a word? lol) Seriiously !! I remember telling her "This is not a duiscussion I am going to have. You are wearing this, or this! We are not going to argue over your nice clothes." Trust me I remember. lol


    Answer by 3gigglemonsters at 3:41 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • And I should add, she will normally protest to things here and there but never like this. I wondered if maybe she was getting sick or something like that, but nothing I can tell so far. She is a really good girl, I hope it's just a phase.

    Answer by Sarah1220 at 3:47 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • She may have been tired or getting sick.  We are all entitled to a bad day or week.  But if it continues I would look at it differently.  She may be trying to exert some independence. I would probably explain that it is cold and have her go outside and see for herself.  If she doesn't come to that conclusion on her own, I would let her know that you disagree and are making a "mommy decision" that she needs to wear the extra clothes because you care about her and don't want her to get sick.  Then do as you did..let her choose if she wants to wear the clothes or stay home.  Here are some books on anger/acting out/temper tantrums


    Answer by momjs at 5:07 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • Thanks!

    Answer by Sarah1220 at 5:38 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • I understand that she is a really good girl. I have one of those too! lol But I remember age 4. They are figuring out their likes and dislikes and your daughter is being more expressive about it. Nothing wrong with that. Just have her use those manners...GL!

    Answer by 3gigglemonsters at 6:41 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • I would have let her wear the dress and be cold, she would have learned naturally that she needs to dress appropriately for the weather. You could have brought a sweater and when she said she was cold, hand it to her. Learn when to let her learn natural consequences and when to punish her on your own. She would not have been harmed by wearing the dress without a sweater and she would have learned to listen. I tend to let my son learn some lessons by natural consequences.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 7:42 PM on Oct. 8, 2009

  • My son does this every morning when I am trying to get him to preschool and myself to work without being late. He was always an easy going kid until he met Caleb. Now Caleb is what you would call gifted and he dictates to the other kids what they should wear and to bring things to him etc. Long story short, he told my son that none of his clothes were cool and that he was never going to be a rock star looking like that. Hes 4 not 40! I tried to explain to my son that he has to be himslef and that the clothes that he picked out in the store are awesome and reflect who he is not what someone else wants him to be. This has taken a blow to his self esteem and I am tired of fighting him over it. He now has to choose clothes the night before and if he starts to pitch a fit then he gets to go to school in his underwear. Clearly my son is not a leader but if I can help it he won't be a lousy follower either!

    Answer by mom2Pip at 3:50 AM on Oct. 9, 2009

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