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4 Bumps

End of the rope.... HELP

I am at my wits end with my 3 1/2 year old daughter. Now she has always been a bit difficult & she has always been punished consistantly.

My issue now is attitude, being sassy, mocking, not listening, etc. For example she would be told to do something dosent do it now one of two things usually happens with her either she runs away giggling thinking its a game & refuses to come back or near me to do the task or listen. When she runs away I have to chase her down pick her up force her to do whatever it is then hauled off to punishment.

Other times she mocks me or something like I'll say "if you dont pick up the toys you will go to bed when we get home" then looks at me & goes "no if you dont pick up the toys I'll put you to bed" meaning she is going to punish me. After weeks of her doing this & me explaining to her how its not polite respectful or nice she is now at the point where I believe she understands it & is being punished for her attitude & sassy.

I dont believe in punishing my child without her understanding what is happening so like I said I have spent time explaining it & shining light on her attitude & talking to her about it now she should be understanding what is going on. I dont even give her warnings about such things anymore bc my goodness she is doing it daily & sometimes multipul times a day & takes it to the extreme usually.

Now a simple few min time out hasent been overly affective for a long time now. Stern voice, threats none of that works. A while ago I'd say almost a year maybe time out went from sitting in a chair to going to bed. Now this means if she is out of hand too much & wont listen she goes into her bedroom & will stay there all day into the night & wont come out in the morning to start a new day. I realize this sounds harsh & if you dont agree with this then I dont care you dont need to say anything negative my child is just fine & loved more then most.

So if she ends up having to go to her bedroom early on in the day after she calms down which is at least an hour sometimes a couple (she stands at the doorway screaming mean things & begging trying to find ways to get out) I will speak with her & she can come out bc I think its too mean to keep her in there if she goes in at 10am which she does many times.

Enough rambling my point/question here is I dont know what to do anymore. This has been going on for a long time & she dosent seem to be getting it or care. The punishment which at once worked dosent anymore. Of course I dont like to punish her but her attitude is out of hand & the things she says are insane once she said she was going to kill me while in time out (she was spoken to about that in a very serious & harsh manner & has yet to do it again).

I need help! Any ideas on new punishments? I dont spank or put soap/things in her mouth. Three min time out works for a quick fix if at others houses, public, or for small issues. I put her in the bedroom as I explained above. If she is inapropriate with a toy it goes on top of the fridge for a two day period but I only do that if it had something to do with a toy I wont take them away if the crime had nothing to do with toys. I dont know what to do please help me, thanks.


Asked by Mel30248 at 5:10 PM on Jun. 20, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 26 (25,898 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • You poor thing! With a child like that it is going to take some very hard work on your part. The problem is she naturally stubborn. Not all children are. You need to do some big time behavioral modification. Any form of punishment or negativity will make it harder for you and her in the future because she is creating defensive walls as we speak. Instead, stay the strong mama you are by supervising her every move. Explain to her right way to do things when you see her do wrong. If she sasses you, ignore it. Give her no satisfaction and continue training her. Do not let her see you ever cave. When she does something right give her lots of positive reinforcement. Almost too much. React only when she is positive and ignore her when she is negative. She is seeking attention and will get it how she can. If you only react to the positive that is all she will give you. Eventually, she will evolve and behave well.

    Answer by Gingerwheel at 5:36 PM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • I'm not bashing but I do wonder how effective sending her to her room all day or from afternoon to the next day really is? I mean, I put my son is his room for fits/cool off periods but I wonder if this anger and ultra sassy behavior is from feeling alone or not saying neglected but left in her room , after hours she might just think Mommy doesn't want to be with her or love her.. hours is just too long for a child of this age to really understand, no matter how many times you have explained it or talked with her about things. Have you ever heard of the saying, Even negative attention is better than No attention? Maybe she's trying that route? Like I said, this isn't meant to bash, just saying it could be leading to other feelings she can't understand or comprehend at this little age

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 5:48 PM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • You have a wonderful child that some parents call "Spirited" while others would label "brat". The spirited child is just like all other children, but "more so". If children whine, the spirited child is more whiny. The spirited child is more loving, more wild, more energetic, more annoying, more naughty, just more! You can try the book, "Raising Your Spirited Child" by Mary S. Kurcinka. But a better help RIGHT NOW, would be to read - "The Happy Child Guide" - which has instant downloads to help you right now!
    Parenting is never easy, but you are not alone.
    You do have a child that does not respond to punishments or rewards. They work only sort-of, and aren't eliminating the problem. The happy child guide will show you how to use other techniques that build trust and respect between child and parent. I wish you the best. Your spirited child will grow up, and one day may be your delight.

    Answer by LoreleiSieja at 9:35 PM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • also to note, my son is very strong willed so I do understand that this goes beyond just normal persistence and sassy behavior lol!

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 5:49 PM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • im almost in tears b/c im going thru the exact same thing!! its so nice to know its not just my DD who's acting like this (she just turned 3). i too am about to lose it. my DD is uber stubborn & this afternoon was the worst ever...she even scratched me hard enough that i was bleeding. to make it worse we're trying to potty train too. it hurts me how wicked she's been acting & it makes it really hard to like her. we've always been consistent w/ her so its even more mind boggling.

    i cant tell you what works cause i havent found anything. but ive noticed my DD acts her best first thing in the morning & right after her nap. after reading Gingerwheel & maxsmom's posts im thinking it really is all about any attention. i have a 2 month old DS so it makes perfect sense for us & i'll be trying that.

    Good luck mama! i know you need it.


    Answer by okmanders at 6:17 PM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • My son has been doing the same thing!!!! I took all his toys. And I am giving them to him slowly. My son want his cars so he is doing anything to get them back. He is also not allowed to have play dates! Good Luck!!

    Answer by ljmommy1211 at 6:47 PM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • You need to take away things that she loves even if they are not related to the crime, get her where it hurts, and I don't mean hitting her.....

    Answer by older at 6:49 PM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • Thanks ladies very helpful tips & thanks for not bashing. I have always done the positive reinforcement since she was born. Sometimes she is in her room for hours from afternoon to night bc she wont calm down. This afternoon she was put into her room, she carried on, calmed down, read books, then asked to come out. I spoke with her about everything had her say sorry then let her out, this happens a lot of the time as long as she can calm herself down (she knows this) then we can talk about coming out. She is only 3 1/2 but she has always been advanced for her age. She is far beyond her age in everything (not only do I say this but drs, teachers, friends, etc). We seem to hit personality/behavior problems early. Also she is extreme when we went through terrible 2's (at 14mo) she would slam her head on concrete floors & spin around screaming just to give you an idea of what we go through *sigh* maybe ignoring her could work????

    Comment by Mel30248 (original poster) at 7:05 PM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • okmanders - thank you for responding. It is comforting to know that other children out there are just as stubborn as my child. When I express how frustrated I am to ppl IRL they go "oh its just your 1st child they all are stubborn mine are too" etc & I just want to scream that while yes all children have their stubborn moments & streaks mine for whatever reason is a much more intense child thats all. Now you said you have a newborn so it makes sense that your child would be looking for attention. We just moved & that is when the issues really began (or attitude). We moved into my parents apartments & now live & share a yard with 7 other children. She went from being alone to constantly being with other kids all day every day (we share all the same yard stuff & yard area). Of course she learns things from them but maybe there is a bit of attention seeking going on in there too. Lots of things to think about! Good luck to you!

    Comment by Mel30248 (original poster) at 7:13 PM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • I think you have too stop explaining. She knows she is being bad. She is testing her boundaries and you are caving. I know that seems harsh. Im not saying this to be mean. A stern tone of voice is not a punishment. A consistant time out policy is the answer. I put the 2 toddlers in time out in the corner. They both get ten minutes. The timer does not start until they are quiet and stop moving/ wiggling and they put thier hands down at thier sides. If they do any of these things during thier ten minutes I restart the timer. This strict routine done consistently works, but only if it is consistant and if I monitor them the entire time. Putting a child in time out means the parent is in timeout too. If you dont watch them like a hawk through the entire thing they will take full advantage of you. I hope that helps. My toddlers have an attachment disorder and are abnormally destructive and mean, but this works!

    Answer by Ms.Gwen at 8:04 PM on Jun. 20, 2011