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Three year old with an attitude

I have custody of my 3 (almost 4) year old niece. Recently she has sprung an attitude that I just can't handle. In the middle of a store I expect that my "threats" will work, and when they don't or when they cause a mid-store melt down, I'm not sure what to do. Then when we get home all I get from her is back talk. I want to out and do fun things but it wont work if I have an uncontrolled kid on my hands. How do I get her to listen when we're out and how do I stop the back talk??


Asked by OneAndAHalfKids at 10:29 AM on Sep. 23, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 3 (18 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • That behavior is average for 3-4 year olds. They are just testing limits. But she is probably also going though stress issues because of the situation. Just take one day at a time and don't take her out shoipping for a while. Also don't react everytime she has a fit because that is her way of getting what she wants and attention. Just walk away for a little while then go over eye level with her and give her a hug and a kiss and quietly explain what she did wrong. It takes a while but she will learn. They all grow out of it eventually. Good luck.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 11:33 AM on Sep. 23, 2010

  • What are your threats?

    Answer by UpSheRises at 10:31 AM on Sep. 23, 2010

  • Usually it's along the lines of... "You need to listen or when we get home you'll go in time out." or she has what i call "listening toys" that I bought her when she was doing well as a reward but as soon as she starts not listening again they will get taken away.
    I'm afraid that my authority in her eyes is weak because i'm not her mom.

    Comment by OneAndAHalfKids (original poster) at 10:35 AM on Sep. 23, 2010

  • She can tell or sense that you will not follow through with threats. If your in a store, leave! bring her home, ignore her terrible attitude and with a firm voice let her know that you will speak to her when she shows you some respect. Do not reward bad behavior. believe me , I've been there, but don't loose your cool, stay calm and strong. You are the adult.

    Answer by kozymama700 at 10:39 AM on Sep. 23, 2010

  • it could stem from the reason as why you have custody of her - its about athority and power - there are many times I've just stopped bringing him and reminded him while at home we he doesn't get to come with or leaving as soon as the tantrum starts.

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 10:41 AM on Sep. 23, 2010