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Help w/ a stubborn 3.5 yr old. Never listens. Argues. Won't poop in potty. Won't sleep in her bed any more.

I'm a SAHM. My 3.5 yr old is my oldest. I have a younger toddler and a new baby. My 3.5 yr old DD won't listen to me at all. She argues all the time. If I tell her no she begs and begs even though I always tell her that "no means no." Begging has never worked, so I really don't know why she does this. She also refuses to poop in the potty. She asks for a pull up when she needs to poop. She has even stopped sleeping in her room alone. My husband has started sleeping on the couch with her since the baby is sleeping with me.

How do I get a handle on her? Time outs and spankings don't phase her. I have tried for a year to teach her appropriate behavior, but she just argues.


Asked by Anonymous at 2:56 PM on May. 3, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • It sounds like you have a busy house right now - 3 under 4? Poor you. I think your daughter is feeling the stress. I'm going to disagree with the hardliners on this one - she needs more TLC right now, not more discipline. You probably do, too! I feel for all of you - it's hard work meeting everyone's needs. She might need some mommy one-on-one time, or daddy trying to do special things with just her. She knows your time is being commandeered by the little ones, and she's just doing the squeaky wheel thing to get a little attention. More nurturing and understanding - and it's quite common for regression to occur with sleeping and potty training when a new baby enters the scene...

    Answer by LisaLulu at 10:13 PM on May. 3, 2010

  • Don't give her the pull up for one. You say you don't give in to her.. but handing her a pull up to poop in.. that's giving in. She should be potty trained fully by now. Don't let your DH sleep on the couch with her anymore. Tell her, and make sure he reinforces it, to get in her own bed at night, and that should help with naps. As for the begging even after you said no.. I think that's just a phase. Just stick with it, and eventually she'll give up. Make sure your DH isn't giving in to her begging though.. that could be where she's getting it from.. good luck.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:00 PM on May. 3, 2010

  • OP: Clarification on the pull up. I don't give it to her to poop. She still wets in her sleep and I only give her a pull up at nap and bed time, but she holds her poop and now poops during naptime because she knows she will get a pull up. If she doesn't get a pull up she either won't nap, or wets herself and wakes up during her nap. She will also hold her poop indefinitely without a pull up and then have severe constipation problems. It's just so frustrating. I tried to start naps with no pull up and only use them at night time (because she usually naps without wetting now) but then she sneaks out and puts on her own pull up to poop in.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:23 PM on May. 3, 2010

  • Is she growing?

    Sometimes when kids are going through through either a mental or physical growth spurt- they become overwhelmed with life. They tend to be grumpier, more argumentative and revert back in their progress... It can be frustrating for an adult- but from the kids standpoint- life is overwhelming.

    Stay firm on the rules, don't coddle inappropriate behavior- but give her a bit of wiggle room. Be extra supportive of the positives and ignore more of the negatives. For the time being.

    Answer by HistoryMamaX3 at 3:40 PM on May. 3, 2010

  • Maybe try making up a chart with stars when she is being good. She can place the star on the chart if she does well for a couple days then plan something special to do that she would like for example a trip to the playground. Preferably just you and her. Spending quality time together and also rewarding good behavior hopefully may change her to want to please you with positive behavior instead of negative.

    Answer by Kellyjude1 at 7:13 PM on May. 3, 2010

  • My daughter started acting up when we brought her bother home. 6 months later it's SLOWLY getting better. Stand your ground. It was hard as hell for me at first but it's getting ever so slowly better. Set specific rules and apply the same consequence every time. Get her back in her own bed before it ruins your marriage.

    Answer by paganmom05 at 7:46 PM on May. 3, 2010