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Can you help me find a better way to discipline my 3 year old when she has a tantrum?

My 3 year old is having tantrums and the only way I can get her to stop is to spank her. I hate that I do that and want to find a better way to deal with them.

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Asked by AngiDas at 1:56 PM on Apr. 30, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 15 (1,898 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • You can try walking away if there is a safe place to do so.Or putting her in a safe "alone zone" that will show her that her behavior wont be tolerated, and when she wants to be included again, shell stop throwing a tantrum.

    Answer by Jaliceawrites at 1:59 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • Pick a room, other than her bedroom that you can put her in with a door you can close. (not lock but close.) Something like a guest bedroom. When she has a tantrum, get down to her level and tell her that she needs to stop this behavior because it is unacceptable. Then warn her that if she does not stop she will be placed in the cool down room and that she is not allowed to leave the room until she has calmed down and can talk to you about why she is upset. Place her in the room and close the door. If she comes out while she is still having a tantrum, place her back. When she has calmed down, go in and get to her level again and talk to her about why she is upset. when she has told you what was wrong, explain to her that you can't hear her when she screams and cries but if she talks to you calmly then you can understand her.

    Answer by MamaStuart at 2:08 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • My niece had terrible tantrums when she was 3 and I (I was her primary caregiver at the time) also often thought spanking might be the only way to get through to her. But when I did (a few times) I found that it just made things worse. My solution was to pick her up, deposit her in her bedroom, shut the door, and (at least pretend to) ignore her. When she quieted down, I'd peek in and give her an option to come out, still sticking to my guns about whatever she was tantrumming about. For instance, if she was screaming because she didn't want to pick up her toys, I'd peek in and say, "As soon as you come clean up, we can have lunch," or "When you're ready to clean up, I'll help you!" Sometimes she'd choose to scream a little longer, but she'd always eventually come out, comply with whatever I was asking her to do, and act like a perfect angel! It was like she just had to get the frustration and screaming out of her system!

    Answer by NickiKidsOnGo at 2:08 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • I used to ignore my kid's tantrum and tell him that when he stopped I would talk to him, but if that doesn't work try time out. Give her a warning that she will have a time out if she does not stop . Be consistent and take her back to the time out spot over and over until she understands. Don't talk if you have to take her back to the spot often. Don't be angry just be matter of fact.

    Answer by whitepeppers at 2:09 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • With my son, I put him in his room, and tell him that when he has calmed down, he may come out of his bedroom. Works like a charm, always a minute later, he is out, not crying, and asking if he can come out now. His tantrums get BAD too.

    Answer by mrs3stan at 2:20 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • I dont see my child alot so I can relate alot and he dose alot of tantrum when i am around what work for me is to talk to he in my calm voice to show him he is not gana get what he whats especially acting that way and talking to him with out spanking him. I feel that once you spank a child he get use to it and they just act out even more. best advice i can give you is to talk to him and key word dont get frustraded.. best of luck

    Answer by youngmomie at 2:53 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • Looks like these ladies have alot of great options for you. Mine wont be much different. I had a step-daughter who was 5 who was having alot of tantrums and of course I am not going to spank someone elses child because thats not how mom handled it so I respected that. BUT what we did do was when she started having a meltdown as I liked to call it I would simply say to her "Kendall, honey if you feel like you need to have a tantrum like a baby then your are going to go in your room and take a nap like one" I realize now years later calling her a baby probably wasnt the most healthy way of handling it but just the simple act of her having the "alone time" to calm herself and realize that her fit wasnt going to get her the desired results she wanted amazingly, they just stopped.

    Answer by SaturnsMom at 4:35 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • I really think that ignoring in a safe place is the best option. Also, making sure that you never give her what she wants when she has a temper and that she KNOWS the temper is why she isn't getting it... (Appropriate alternatives to that behavior are good to stress/offer...)

    Answer by karischub at 8:51 PM on Apr. 30, 2011

  • Just let her have her tantrum, and when she's done, talk to her calmly.

    I don't understand why you need to stop it. Don't give in to her, just ignore her. Don't make it a battle. She'll outgrow it when it doesn't change how you treat her.

    Answer by RedRowan at 9:47 PM on May. 1, 2011

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