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I need one to three consequences for misbehavior for my three-year-old.

*Not spanking--I'm aware of it and am leaving it as a last resort.
*Not time-out--that's not working.
*Nothing that cannot be applied at the supermarket, at a friend's house, at the park, at home, etc. It must be versatile.
*Not "logical" or "natural" consequences--I approve of these and use them, but I need consequences for misbehavior that has long-term or overly severe consequences (running into street, running off, eating food too fast, not brushing teeth, etc.).
*Not taking away toys--that's not working (and has the effect of reducing the toy availability for little sister).
*Not leaving the area--generally, we are somewhere I need to be and I do not have an infinite amount of time to do something, and also, her little sister deserves to play outside, too.

I need consequences that can be consistently applied, which are severe enough to be a deterrent, which are not abusive, and which are not too expensive. Tips?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 2:42 PM on May. 25, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (13)

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:24 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • I think I specifically said, spanking is a last resort, and child abuse is not an option. If I wanted to "bust" my child, I could have done it without random, all-caps advice on the Internet. Drrrrr.

    Answer by MamaZoya at 3:50 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • Anon 2:24 has been giving that same stellar advice in posts all over CM today (note my sarcasm :).

    I wish I had answers for you, but I can't think of anything--my son is two and we're still using time-outs and they seem to be working ok. Sorry, I hope some other moms have better answers for you, especially the whole running into the street thing. We're not into spanking either but I think that might be the one situation where I would use it.

    Answer by bethany169 at 4:31 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • Oh, thanks Bethany. Perhaps I was overly-sensitive due to comments in the politics forum. LOL. At two, time-outs worked for awhile, though, not as much as for others. Was chatting today with another parent who does spank and she's at the end of her rope. She can't spank harder or it would be too hard, she doesn't want to be mean, she just wants to teach them that something is not acceptable and these aren't kids (four and seven, she did not spank at two, obviously) who listen to reason / remember reason in the heat of the moment. She's looking for an alternative too.

    Answer by MamaZoya at 4:46 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • Wish I could recommend something, but everything I would have recommend you said not too...GL

    Answer by Soniam301 at 5:51 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • Well you dont leave much options. lol You might try to make things fun for her because she is three. Sing a song while brushing her teeth. I have cinnamon flavored mouthwas in a used honey bear bottle that my kids get after they are done. They have a kid friendly toothbrush and flavor. Let her brush your teeth for fun. Give her a mirror.

    A good form of discipline that parents dont seem to use these days is holding. Explain that the street is for cars only. You can draw a line with sidewalk chalk that she is not to cross and tell her the consequense. When she runs into the street make her sit in a chair. If she doesnt sit, then hold/restrain her in your lap for 3 minutes, forced, but not abusively. This consistancy worked for my almost 2 yr old in 1 day.

    Give rewards at the grocery store for good behavior. Put something in the cart for her and when she messes up put it back. Allow her to choose...cont

    Answer by 3gigglemonsters at 6:08 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • When she chooses good she gets something good. When she chooses bad she gets a consequense. You gotta be consistant and active and way ahead! lol She is three so she has lots to learn. GL!

    Answer by 3gigglemonsters at 6:09 PM on May. 25, 2010

  • "Well you dont leave much options. lol "

    I know, we've been through the wringer trying EVERYTHING over the past year and I'm finished. Candy? Stars? Time-outs? Naughty chair? Charts? Gentle Discipline? You name it, we've done it.

    3GM-- What is the bad consequence you suggest? What is the good thing?

    What do your kids respond to? Mine just doesn't respond to future rewards sometimes.

    Answer by MamaZoya at 2:08 AM on May. 26, 2010

  • "This consistancy worked for my almost 2 yr old in 1 day."

    I can appreciate that because my own child was much easier to discipline at 2. Our problems really started around 2.5, when her little sister was born, and have become more frustrating as she gets older and heavier, LOL. It's not that she doesn't know that if she runs into the street, she will get a time-out. And it's not for three-minutes. It's ten minutes (three was a JOKE to her) in a room alone with no toys, or she sits in the carseat alone while we all go into the park. If she does it twice, no dessert. Three times, no story. The problem with all these is she doesn't care. Or rather, she does, but not at the moment she's testing the limit. She's not AFRAID. I want to put the fear of God into her.

    I was thinking of taking her to the police and having them give her a scary, angry lecture. But I want her to have some trust in them. Sigh.

    Answer by MamaZoya at 2:21 AM on May. 26, 2010

  • Wow she sounds I have a stubborn child too, my little one. Please dont send her to the police, okay?
    Give her a goal she can see so it will connect in her little brain. Put a reward into the grocery cart as soon as youstart shopping like fruit snacks. Give her a warning when she misbehaves like. ..."if you do that one more time you will not get the fruit snacks." Then your hands are not tied, she makes the choice and its all her fault, Im just saying that her choice gets her ownself in trouble. Its a consciounce (sp?) thing. This will connect in her brain - bad choice = no reward. Then take it away when she misbehaves. Show her something physical. And praise her when she is making good choices.

    How do you talk to her? I bend down, place hand on their shoulder, and lecture (lol) and make them repeat me sometimes. Making her repeat will sink in for her.....cont

    Answer by 3gigglemonsters at 10:14 AM on May. 26, 2010

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