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i have a 3 year old, who just hit her "terribles" she tells me no ALL the time.. doesnt listen.. and tries to tell me what to do. She is a wonderful baby girl and i feel so bad for getting on to her nonstop daily.. she has even begun to play "youre in trouble" with her toys/ or pretend like she is getting on to someone.. i dont feel like i am being a good parent because she gets in trouble so often. and she realizes it to the point she plays to get things/people in trouble. :( it makes me very sad.. but on the other hand what else can i do?? when i tell her to put something down (the lotion as she is pouring it all on the floor) i ask her to put it down and she says no, my hands are dry i need it. or not to play in the flour while i am cooking and she does it anyway.. to not write on herself and she does anyway.. none of these things are a big deal but when i tell her not to and she does i have no choice but to get her in trouble.. she gets herself in trouble but i have to punish her. i dont know what to do.


Asked by Ross2010 at 1:42 AM on Dec. 18, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 17 (4,420 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • Yeah, bad phase. You can reword your correction or say nothing. "Mama's gonna take the lotion." "We don't play with flour, thanks." Or just quietly take away the lotion. She is testing her boundaries and it's normal. You have to still get after her to teach her and protect her. It does feel awful and you feel guilty but you are her teacher and this will pass.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 2:26 AM on Dec. 18, 2010

  • Got to agree with jeanclaudia! You'd be a bad mom if you didn't discipline her! You don't owe her explanations, by the way. Just take away what ever it is and say no and walk away. Don't feel bad because she is mimicing you, feel rather honored that she is understanding what you are doing. Believe me she won't be traumatized by this and most likely won't even remember a lot of it!

    Answer by jessa1091 at 2:54 AM on Dec. 18, 2010

  • Make sure you spend positive one on one time with her too. Prasie her when she does things right. Often kids go for the negative attention if they do not get enough positive attention. Be consistent with what the rules are. Take a look around your home and get all those "neat" things she wants out of her reach for the time being. GL

    Answer by elizabr at 5:40 PM on Dec. 18, 2010

  • I know exactly how you feel, my DD is 3 and does this all the time. I really don't have any advice but you're not alone. Good luck !!

    Answer by countrygirl06 at 3:18 AM on Dec. 18, 2010

  • For a three year old it's best to distract or substitute the negative behavior with one that is acceptable. For example, when your daughter writes on herself it's best to say, "Here is a piece of paper. You can write on this, not on yourself."  "Please help me stir this. The flour is for cooking, not for playing."  Take the lotion away from her and give her something she can pour.  You get the idea.  If you do this consistently, over a period of time,  you will see progress. This will change your relationship into a more positive one. (The approach for an older child would be different.)


    Answer by teacher-author at 11:36 AM on Dec. 18, 2010

  • redirection. take what she cannot play with but replace it with what she can or If that doesnt work then picking her up and placing her in a small 1-2 min time out untill she can listen. Some of it is boundaries they are testing limits and seeing just how far they can push normal behavior for a child. But sometimes they are over whelmed and need a time out to decompress. especially when screaming and crying. When dd does that i say " ok go sit on your bed untill you can calm down then come back and talk to mama" usually one of two things will happen she will calm down after about 45 seconds and come in and listen OR sh will lay down and fall asleep. They get overwhelmed at this age very easily

    Answer by ladysummeraire at 3:36 PM on Dec. 19, 2010