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What am I supposed to do?! Terrible 3s..

My dd is out of control!..and quiet honestly, I don't know what to do to get her under control. She's 3 and has recently started acting up again but worse. Her fits have become screaming at the top of her lungs, throwing things, toeing the line to where she's not doing something wrong but getting close. She's started acting out in public again..just trying to get her way, and yelling "no" followed by "you can't spank me". Even her basic manners (please and thank you and excuse me when she farts) are becoming few and far between. She's started hitting during fits..I'm just at a loss. Dh wants to spank her, but if we go that route, it'd all day of her being spanked..and I feel that there's a more reasonable way to get her to listen and do what we're telling her and getting her to act right. I want to be able to enjoy my child, but she's making it very hard to do. She's getting plenty of attention and nothing has changed to make her go into these fits of rage if she doesn't get her way. I'm home with her all day, so I'm the one taking the brunt of all the fits, and I'm tired of the constant fighting. Everything is a battle with her, from sitting down to eat all the way to bedtime (when she seems to want to pull very late nighters). What can I do to get her on the right path again? Please no bashing.

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:52 PM on May. 24, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (6)
  • I'm not going to pretend like I know your situation or what will make it better, but it seems like she just needs some boundaries. It seems like she knows that you won't spank her so she's testing you. This is a very bad spot to be in if you don't feel comfortable spanking, but that is your decision. I would just find a way to establish set boundaries and stick to them when she crosses the line.

    Answer by missskrisss at 2:57 PM on May. 24, 2011

  • *hugs Mama*
    What about changing negative to positive,. SOmething that helped my very strong willed son was a marble jar reward system
    We together went and picked up simple $1 prizes, his choices and put them in a container at home. Then I took a bag of marbles and put them all in to one jar. Each time he did something good, or something good we were currently struggling with also!!, he'd get to put a marble in the jar, when he earned 10 he got a prize, the first few times of earning prizes I made them very quick so he got the idea.. he would get a marble for putting his shoes on without a fit, going to bed good, getting dressed when I asked. etc.. then I spread it out after it actualyl started making a difference so we dont' go broke with even $1 prizes..
    Also what about letting her make more choices, she will feel more in control then and won't battle everything.. take 2 shirts out for her, ask her which one she wants to

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 3:01 PM on May. 24, 2011

  • wear that day. Same with pants and shoes. give her choices on what she wants for lunch. PB & J or Chicken nuggets and Corn.. her being able to make more choices is a lot of what she's trying to get at - control.. Good luck - my son is 3-1/2 so I can totally relate

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 3:02 PM on May. 24, 2011

  • Oh and the explosive fits, pick her up and put her in her room - tell her she can come out when she's calmed down and can act like a big girl. REput her back in until she GETS that you mean business. For the store fits, pick her up, buckler her in and let her scream. When you get home , put her in time out for her behavior - although time outs never did / do much for my son, we have had to resort to taking away toys and putting them on the fridge for a whole day or 2 days.

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 3:04 PM on May. 24, 2011

  • Start ignoring her. She wants attention - good or bad. When she's bad, put her in her room, walk away, and ignore her.
    My almost 4 year old is getting out of this stage. He always demanded everything and anything from us. My husband is really quick to give in, since he's the "baby." This only led him to throw more fits. Once I started to ignore his demands (much like he ignored me trying to discipline), he started to realize that's not the way we do things. He does get spanked, but it's rare. We utilize timeouts, and I get down on his level and let him know that his behavior is NOT ok.
    Once, I spent 20 minutes sitting on the floor outside his bedroom door while he screamed, and refused to let him out until he stopped. He did stop, and even apologized to me when it was all done.
    Now, when your daughter is good, reward her behavior. Give her a sticker, let her play her favorite game, etc.

    Answer by Fawn80 at 3:11 PM on May. 24, 2011

  • Wow! I think this could be my daughter! Consistency... whatever discipline I use I have to stick with it. Still trying to figure it out myself.

    Answer by naomi.olson13 at 7:04 PM on May. 25, 2011

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