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My three year old will not learn...

My three year old daughter runs upstairs screaming every time I tell her no. She then proceeds to yell for "Daddy" for oh...anywhere from 10 mins to half an hour. My husband does not give in to her either, but you know how that all goes- they always yell for the other parent. This has been going on for months. I have been told just to let her cry, eventually she will learn that when we say no, her screaming will not make us give in to her. But, she's giving me a headache! I've tried encouraging her, "You are a big girl now, big girls need to use their words...", with food(like right now) it's always "Eating a brownie for breakfast is not a good choice. You don't want to get another cavity do you?'... none of this helps. I am just beside myself right now. She's been upstairs crying for Daddy for over 30 minutes now. All the other kids are done with their breakfast, she's still up there crying.

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Asked by Momma24Cuties at 9:38 AM on Feb. 1, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 7 (164 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • She is getting attention from you every time she does this. You need to simply ignore her. She is also pretty young to be given choices on things like breakfast foods. Brownies and cookies shouldn't be considered at all. If she demands a brownie, just give her a couple choices of breakfast foods and don't even pay attention to the demand for a brownie.

    Answer by Marwill at 9:44 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • i sure hope someone can answer this question for you because i need the same advice. the only difference is mine are twin 5 year olds. this just started recentsqueeling like that gets them sent to their roomly but they squeel at the top of their lungs everytime they dont get what they want. they still are not getting what they want and they are getting in trouble instead of getting it. when will they learn??? am i doing something wrong? sorry i cant help you but i sure hope someone else can help us both!!! lol

    Answer by rms7 at 9:46 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Sometimes it's just going for the negative attention when they do not get enough positive attention. Especially in a family with several kids make sure she is getting enough one on one time with you and your DH together, and separately. Plus sit down with her and tell her calmly and lovingly that the screaming is not appropriate and will be ignored. GL

    Answer by elizabr at 9:53 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • I wouldn't reason with a 3 year old, a simple "no" should suffice. And if she fusses, she goes to her room. Instead of telling her what she can't have, give her choices of things she can have - pancakes or chex cereal? When she can make a choice between what's offered, she can come out.

    Answer by missanc at 9:57 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • If I were her mom, I would have already spanked her behind and explained to her that when Mommy says "no", that is precisely what she means, and that no amount of screaming, yelling or kicking will change that answer. I would then explain to her that what it will get her is a stinging behind, and that she will be given a specified amount of time to stop the behavior after the first spanking, or she can expect to receive the second. She's giving you a headache? That's way too much control for any child to have, much less a 3-year old. The very first thing a child has to learn is that she is under the authority of Mommy and Daddy, and that what they say goes. Every child wants to be the one in control, and right now she is. You are the only one who can put a stop to it, and it won't be easy and it won't be pretty, but she will respect and obey you once you take the appropriate actions. She knows what she's doing!

    Answer by NannyB. at 9:59 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Well in my opinion it's time for a couple swats on the butt. She needs to respect what you say. Trying to undermine you by going to Dad is disrespecting you. She's old enough to understand respect and good behavior. I have a 4yr old, he did this a few times, but learned quickly it wasn't in his best interest, I can't imagine listening to that, do yourself and her a favor and nip that behavior in the bud. Consistent discipline for poor behavior will work, I know all our methods are different, but this works for us, and my kids are pretty well behaved and they're happy and loved and very affectionate kids with kind hearts so I consider it success.

    Answer by AshleyBDG at 10:00 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • She's too young to understand your logical explanation of why she can't have brownies for breakfast. Put them up where she can't see them or don't bake them. You are creating your own headache. BTW, spanking wouldn't have helped her understand anything other than whoever hit her was a bully. Spanking condones aggressive behavior.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:01 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • she understands what cavities are, so how is that not an age appropriate explaination? Also- to other replies- I do ignore her until she comes down calmly and asks me for something else. To the person who said she shouldn't be given those kinds of choices for breakfast- she isn't. I asked her what kind of cereal she wanted (we have two kinds to choose from) and she said she wanted a brownie. And to the person who commented on my headaches- I have a VERY low pain tolerance because in '09 I had a stroke due to severe clotting in my brain. When you wake up with a migraine and go to bed with a migraine every single day for 9 months of your life, you no longer have a high pain threshold in your head.Therefore, it doesn't take much to give me a headache... screaming will do it. Also- we don't do "spanking", because I agree that it condones aggressive behavior, which we are currently trying to fix with our only boy

    Comment by Momma24Cuties (original poster) at 10:11 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • BTW- Us having a lot of kids generally means they get more one on one attention. We came up with a plan when I was pregnant with our fourth because we knew we would have to take extra care to be sure that no one felt left out. We plan special nights out, daddy & me, and Mommy & me nights. We do bedtime stories with the kids, we make sure to spend one on one time with them during the day. The issue is not her not getting enough positive attention, she gets plenty of that. Other than these fits of hers, she is a very good child.

    Comment by Momma24Cuties (original poster) at 10:13 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Maybe it will pass soon since you are ignoring it. GL


    Answer by elizabr at 3:18 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

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