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Advice about how to deal with my 2 1/2 year old's behavior, Please!!!!

My daughter will turn 3 in August and she has just recently started acting out. She had been going throught the normal 'terrible two's " stuff but it has just started going beyond that. She is bossy and if you don't do exactly what she wants then she will try to spit on you, scratch you and scream at you. She doesn't listen to anything I say. I am potty-training and most of the time it is a huge battle trying to get her to go. She would stay in the same pull-up all day long if I would let her, and I won't. She will lay down on the floor and scream. I have had to drag her into the bathroom just to change her once. She is all the time trying to tear up her dolls, hitting them, etc. If I am trying to get the housework done and I tell her to wait just a minute to do something for her then she will run at me and hit or bite me. I am at my wits end on this. I almost break down in tears everyday and sometimes I do break. My husband works nights and goes to school and I have NO help from him or any of his family. All of my family lives out of the area and can't help. I don't have anyone to help me with this and I just about can't take anymore. I try the time outs, doesn't work, she WILL NOT sit or stand still. I try calmly talking to her, that doesn't do anything, she will usually just try to spit when I do that. I have tried taking away a favorite toy until she calms down, doesn't work. I have even tried spanking her (on the diaper and just my hand) but that doesn't work, just makes things more stressful for me. I don't really like the idea of spanking anyway. So, what is left? Any ideas? Thanks for any suggestions.


Asked by Kelly502 at 12:08 PM on Apr. 28, 2011 in General Parenting

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Answers (10)
  • Take away what she really likes, and don't give in whether it is a toy an outing or anything you know she will feel it with, when she acts out on the floor just turn your back and ignore her, if she spits or hits you, you automatically enforce what she doesn't like, if you take away the favorite toy, you do not give it back until she understands what she is doing is wrong, even if it takes days for her to do so. good luck. the name of this game is consistency, she will get the point, but you can't give in after she calms down.

    Answer by older at 12:20 PM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • Try the timeout thing again. My daughter also turns 3 in August and she is a little monster at the moment. I will sit her it time out and she will get right back up but you have to stay firm. They have to know you're in control. I don't say anything to my daughter I just will continue to put her in time out until she will actually sit there (it can take a good 30 minutes) and she will finally sit still and behave. After she sits still in time out for a couple of minutes I tell her to apologize for being mean to mommy and she then gives me a hug and kiss and tells me that she's sorry. She will behave pretty well after that.

    Answer by Eisleysmommy27 at 12:17 PM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • Stay calm, stand your ground and don't let her know she's getting to you!

    Answer by SabrenaLeigh at 12:18 PM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • take all of her toys away and make her earn them back. Ignore the fits, she is getting a reaction from you, which is what she wants. Maybe talk to her doctor of a therapist, maybe autism or something else. I am sorry that you are going through this, maybe the husband could take some time off, help out or give her attention. Possibly put her in a daycare a couple days a week, interaction with someone other than you, and you could get work done! Good luck

    Answer by DLCarter2011 at 12:18 PM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • Sorry you are going through this. She may not be ready to potty train. I know I tried to force the issue with my ds and it was chaos. One day I decided not to force the issue(I was tired of fighting). After a few days I noticed that his pull ups was not wet. Come to find out he was going to the bathroom by his self! Long as I was not forcing the issue he would go, but if I was forcing he would have accident. Its seems to me like she is trying to get an reaction out of you.

    Answer by babygirl0782 at 12:20 PM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • Kids are kids and they exhibit behaviors that we moms don't like or disapprove. The hard part of being a mom is teaching our kids that certain behaviors are unacceptable. I can't give you any personal advice but I can tell you what moms in the forum talk about. Moms tend to agree that ignoring the behavior would work with a child that is misbehaving. I mean if you know that your child will not comply then she/he should know better that tantrums will not work on you. A mother posted here in this forum that if you take the kid to his/her room and explain that if she is frustrated and want to "unleash" she/he would have to do it in the room only. You can even close the door and talk behind the door. Always letting your child know that you are there and that you will open the door as long as she starts listening to you. Also moms here talk about structure: Have at least 1 outdoor activity and 1 indoor activity together.

    Answer by MMXI at 12:25 PM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • Okay well then she can behave! I guess that is the good news, momma she is manipulating you like crazy,, I would do as others have suggested and do the reward/take away thing,, also I wouldn't engage with her when she is bad,, she needs a naughty spot,, when she misbehaves calmly say you are going to sit here for 2 minutes , if she gets up firmly put her back,, no talking, keep doing it until she wears down,, it will work momma, and good luck! when she is done, say momma does not like you to spit, every time you do so you will sit in the naughty spot! When she is good for a long period, give her a toy back!

    Answer by kimigogo at 12:51 PM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • You know maybe I am off base here, but I would make an appointment with her doctor,, this is pretty aggressive behavior, coming from a child this young,, is she ever loving towards you? Has she experienced some kind of trauma? I would halt the potty training for now, and make an appointment with her doctor,, HOW is she towards other kids, your husband, in public?

    Answer by kimigogo at 12:23 PM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • She is starting a school program, not preschool but ran by the same people, it will be a couple days a week, only for 2 hours. It doesn't start until this Fall, I hope my sanity can last that long.
    I try ignoring her and that seems to make her do other things to get my attention, like doing dangerous things like climbing so that she might fall just to get my attention. She even once ran herself into the wall head first just to make me have to pay attention to her when I was washing dishes. I will keep trying to ignore the fits if that seems to be the best thing to do.
    I really like the idea about taking all of her toys away and only giving them back when she deserves them, she has way too many anyway. Thanks ladies for the advice. Much appreciated.

    Comment by Kelly502 (original poster) at 12:24 PM on Apr. 28, 2011

  • to answer kimigogo, yes, she can be very loving and sweet to me and everyone else. this is why this is bothering me so much. There has been no trauma that I am aware of. As I have only left her with her Grandmother once in the last 2 months and she seemed fine after that visit, I do not know of any type of trauma to her. I will stop the potty training for now, that seems to be what most of you are saying will help also.

    Comment by Kelly502 (original poster) at 12:30 PM on Apr. 28, 2011