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How strict is to strict?...3 year old.

My 3 year old is crazy, she is ripping things up, ruining her mattress, talking back to me and just everything ON PURPOSE! I talk to her, and put her on time outs, but she doesn't seem to even care.
I had enough tonight, and she has been in bed since 6:30pm, she cried alot, and then ripped up some stuff, so she certainly isn't coming out until tomorrow morning.
Is this a stage? and what can I do to "punish" her, without hitting or yelling, I do not believe in either.
Thanks in advance

Answer Question

Asked by xoxticiaxox at 8:14 PM on Aug. 16, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 12 (746 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • Sounds like you need Supernanny. I know my son goes nuts and becomes "bad" when he has too much sugar.

    Answer by JGRIMMER at 8:15 PM on Aug. 16, 2010

  • It is hard for a 3 yr old to express how they feel, so they will hit or throw things to show they are frustrated. When my 3 yr old is talking back or throwing fits. I get down to her level and ask her if she is okay. What is bothering her and why is she frustrated. I ask if she needs a hug or needs to cry and usually, she tells me she doesn't know why she is upset. I give her a hug and tell her not to act that way. TESTING, really!

    Answer by 1lilgirl at 8:18 PM on Aug. 16, 2010

  • Tough one! Just stand your ground and be firm and consistent. She is probably testing you, and the sooner she gets that you are not going to put up with much, the sooner she'll give up! The only other thing I can think of is positive reinforcement (lots of praise) when she is doing the right thing. Good luck.

    Answer by jjamom at 8:19 PM on Aug. 16, 2010

  • Start taking away "her" stuff. Make her earn it back. No amount of screaming, crying or hitting by her will get her things back until she learns to respect it. Remind her that YOU bought everything has, uses or claims as hers and YOU can take it away.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 8:19 PM on Aug. 16, 2010

  • everything she has


    Answer by matthewscandi at 8:20 PM on Aug. 16, 2010

  • This could be a lot of things. First is a cry for attention, if that's the case things get worse when you put her in time out or leave her alone as a punishment. Try letting her help you do things. Not only does this keep her busy but gives her more of your attention. She's old enough to stir things for meals, crack eggs, set the table, etc. My 3 y/o son has a step stool for in the kitchen so he can help me, we have a similar problem. She may also have a food allergy that is showing signs of aggression. Milk is a common culprit here. Research alternative calcium sources and try taking her off milk for a week and see what her behavior does. Make sure she is also getting enough sleep. She is learning her boundaries and trying to figure out right from wrong. Gentle guidance, calm communication, and lots of love are what she needs right now. *hugs* It's hard but they do grow up.

    Answer by Cassarah at 8:21 PM on Aug. 16, 2010

  • I wouldn't use an early bedtime as a punishment. Bedtime should be a pleasant experience, not a punishment.

    Do you spend enough time with your tot? Sometimes they do naughty things just to get your attention. Hold her if she wants. Cuddle on the couch and read books together. Take a nap together (if possible).

    Use logical consequences. If she tears her book, then she won't get to read it. If she ruins her mattress, then it won' t be very comfortable to rest on. If she throws she throws her lunch on the floor, she won't get to eat lunch (if she really wanted lunch then she should not have thrown it on the floor).

    Try not to take her behavior personally.

    Answer by Fallaya at 8:59 PM on Aug. 16, 2010

  • My son is 3 and has recently become a little whiney and I thought that was bad.

    Have you spoke with her Dr. about the behavior? Maybe put her in her room with nothing but the bed until she calms down. Then try to talk to her, ask her why she is upset. Maybe she can "draw" a picture for you about it. Don't let her tear things up. Remove her from the situation to her room. Remove the bedding if you have to.
    Has anything changed? Someone new or leave? What sets her off? Iwouldn't leave her in there all night if she calms down go talk to her. By morning she will have forgotten about it and not know why she did it.

    Answer by cassey.e at 10:25 PM on Aug. 16, 2010

  • I spend all day doing things with her, teaching her piano, she helps make lunch, and helps me bake. Nothing has changed, it's been the same for a very long time. We have a pretty good routine going.
    I am most certainly going to put some of these ideas to use. I am sooo at my witts end. I know children act out when they don't get enough attention, or something has happened, but she lives a very easy going life, and spends all day with me.
    Thanks for all of the suggestions.
    Ps, she was put in her room at 6:30pm, and she goes to bed normally around 7pm.

    Comment by xoxticiaxox (original poster) at 10:29 PM on Aug. 16, 2010

  • Empty her room so that there is nothing to tear up.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 5:10 PM on Aug. 17, 2010

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