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How to disapline a 3 year old boy?

My son Haiden he will be three in about a week. He misbehaves constantly. I have done 2min timeouts in the corner of the kitchen but he kept getting up, so timeouts have changed on to our naughty step with a gate so he doesn't go up the stairs and close the door so he doesn't walk away from it and he sits there for 3mins, i then ask him if he is ready to talk and he says yes, and have him apologize to me and the person involved. He says sry to me but it is a fight to get him to say sorry to the person involved. I have taken toys away and he doesn't get them back for a week but that don't help, i have taken toys away from him when he throws things but that doesn't work.
he started swearing at me, having meltdowns in public (which he never did), he has a little brother who is going on 5months and his brother doesnt' get any attention until Haiden goes to bed.
I have also problems getting him to take a nap, he is tierd and exhausted but when i put him down he wont go, he fights his eyes, i have to stay in his room till he falls asleep otherwise there is no nap and a very crabby child at 4pm or 6pm. i have tried leaving him in there but he just gets up and plays. Any help i will take it

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Asked by at 2:26 PM on Feb. 22, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 16 (2,515 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • He's 3 not a teen. He has no clue what you are talking about. Instead of punishing him for doing something he's not understanding is wrong how about teaching him the right way to act. This age is a teaching time. They learn through imitation. If he does something wrong then just tell him what he's doing wrong and tell him until he gets it right. Save the punishment stuff for when he's older and can appreciate what you are talking about. I see nothing wrong with being with him until he falls asleep. Kids get scared parents will leave them so being there helps him feel secure enough to sleep.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:34 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • 1) I would change how the time out works. After a warning; "If you don't stop X behavior you're going to timeout". Then stick to your guns. The time out STARTS when his butt stays in that time out spot. Every time he gets up the time out starts all over. This CAN take hours to complete. It has in my house. When he finally complete's the time out he should only have to apologize to YOU, not you AND whoever the infraction was against. Make SURE you tell him WHY before and after the time out why he was put there.

    2) he may be giving up on naps altogether. My daughter will be 4 soon and hasn't really napped consistently for about six months now. Try insisting that he have some quiet time. He doesn't have to sleep but he DOES have to stay in his room or on his bed and either play quietly or read books. It'll be rough for a bit, but y'all WILL get over this hump.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    Answer by Rosehawk at 2:36 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • Oh, I'd talk about when my son was 3.5 and my daughter was a new born, but I honestly don't remember much; other than being massively sleep deprived.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 2:38 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • You should get the book "Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood"
    I know you've tried time outs but how about trying this. When he acts up say "Uh oh (or some other phrase like bummer or OH no ect) mommy is so sad that you decided to ...... Looks like it's time for a little thinking time" then you put him in time out. (During your uh oh you sound sweet as pie but very disappointed.) When the time is up you ask "Are you ready to be sweet?" If no then another minute or 2 if yes hugs kisses and exactly what your doing with the apology. There are a ton of other techniques in this book. What I got out of it the most was to make your child think they are a breeze to handle. No matter how bad they only see that it's easy breezy for mom. There's some reason behind that but I forget. Trust me hun it make take a week or 2 but if you impliment the changes that the book says you'll see a whole new kid.

    Answer by 2murphyboys at 2:38 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • To Anonymous> he pedatrion told me as well as the peds nurse he needs the discipline but it is a constant every like hr on the hour.
    To:Rosehawk: i was always told by nurses and others when u hurt someones feelings u should apologize to both parties involved otherwise they will never do it when they go to school and he starts preschool in fall.And as far as the naps go half of his emergencies room visits were because of not having naps so he needs them.
    to 2murphyboys: i never heard of that book. i just always call my son's nurse if i need help and that doesn't get me far

    Comment by (original poster) at 2:53 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • give him a warning the first time he does it and tell him how he should behave, and what will happen if he does x behavior again. if he does it again, follow through with what you said would happen if he acted out again. i have had to do it with my kids several times. kids will always listen to people who are not family too because they are not familiar with the other persons dicipline.

    Answer by chrisrmom at 2:59 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • To chrisrmom; i give him 3 warnings first. I tell him once u do it again mommy is taking a toy away and ur going in timeout. Tell him again but this time i ask him do u want to go in timeout for your naughty behavior, he says no then i said u need to stop. The third time i tell him last chance to listen to me. After 3 warnings i grab his hand set him on the naughty step and let him sit there for 3mins crying. 3mins are up i tell him are u ready to talk. He says yes i talk he says no i put him back on there and say another 2mins now. when he is ready i ask him why i put him in timeout, he gives me the answer and hug but shortly after he just got out of timeout for the problem he goes right back to it after he told me was not going to.

    Comment by (original poster) at 3:07 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • we spank and do time outs. its what works the best for ds, he wont listen otherwise, we have tried. and as for the naps, we put up a baby gate and let him play until he falls asleep, if he really needs a nap, he'll fall asleep. or you could try making him lay in bed,leave the room, and if he gets up, keep putting him back. he will fall asleep after a while and he will throw fit about it.

    Answer by dreamangel06 at 7:06 PM on Feb. 22, 2011

  • Maybe he is feeling a little jealous of the baby so he tries everything to take up your time. Try talking to the baby about how lucky the baby is to have such a good big brother. When you feed or change the baby make sure Haiden can hear you saying, "OH! you don't know how lucky you are to have Haidenb for a big brother, he's going to teach you to crawl and walk and play lots of fun things". Why are you making him tell the person involved sorry? He's not sorry and forcing it is just causing an insincere apology and a fught for you. I know Supernanny says to do it, but if he apologises for the meltdown that should be enough. I think trying to tell the baby and Haiden what a good helper he is might change some of the behavior. But it does sound like you are trying to do all the right things!! Keep Smiling, it gets easier!

    Answer by icequeen32 at 1:22 PM on Jun. 22, 2011

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