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DD just turned 3 and has a bad attitude. Help!

Posted by on Oct. 15, 2008 at 1:37 PM
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My dd is now 3.  She has started to yell at me, her favorite word is NO, and she refuses to follow directions.  Then if I punish her she immediately tells me that she is sorry and tries to get out of punishment.  Time-outs don't seem to help, and I am at my wits end.  She has such a bad attitude, I feel like I have a teenager, not a toddler.  What do I do?  Any advice is really appreciated.  I have tried spanking her, but it doesn't help, and I don't like teaching her it is ok to hit.  I know she yells because I am a bad mother, and I yell, so I am working on that.  SO basically, how do I reverse the bad habits that I have taught her?  How do you teach a 3 year old to respect adults?  I also have a 21 month old son who doesn't talk yet, and she is very jealous of him if i pay too much attention to him.  Thank you for your advice.

by on Oct. 15, 2008 at 1:37 PM
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abigail824
by Member on Nov. 24, 2008 at 9:48 PM

First of all, you are not a bad mother.  I think all 3 year olds go through  this.  At two, the "terrible twos" consisted of temper tantrums because they couldn't understand.  At 3, now they understand, and they can actually use their words and actions against you.  They learn what gets to you and can manipulate that to get their way.  Obvioulsy they aren't sitting up at night scheming on ways to get to you, but I think its sort of a natural thing to do it.  The problem with mine is that she always wants daddy. She says hse doesn't want me or need me, nad doesn't wnat me to do anything for her when all three of us are home.  It was bad for a while- she even ran screaming and crying from me at preschool one day!  Anyway, I've learned not to let her have control of the situation and do things anyway.  If I am putting her to bed and she wants daddy I say, its me or no one.  And daddy is on the same page- dh backs me up completely. 

So for you, just don't let her have control.  She is not the parent.  Start taking things away from her like a favorite toy, tv, or snack.  Tell her until she can treat you nicely she won't be getting it back.  Stick with the time-outs and make sure daddy is on the same page as you.  Make sure he is doing the same punishments etc when you aren't around.  Try not to give in when she plays the "im sorry" card and acts all pitiful.  Its hard- mine does it too.  But stand firm with your punishment when she starts to cry and say she is sorry.  Tell her to tell you why she is sorry, and tell her if it happens again so-and-so will get taken away.  It seems she's pretty jealous of her baby brother, and is trying to get attention in any way she can.  I suggest once a week you carve out just mommy and dd time.  Go someplace with her- it has to be away from the baby.  Go to a park, the mall, nature center.  And make a big deal that its just you and her and no one else. 

I hope this helps.  I am having a hard time with mine with the daddy thing, and it seems to me 3 is worse than 2 lol!  I still love this age because when she's not being mean about wanting daddy all the time, she is so affectionate and lovey- I just love it.  Also don't be afraid to call a counselor or something.  I did about the daddy thing-  I just needed to know how to handle it.  I got the advice I needed and it really is getting better.  She doesn't go crazy anymore- she'll kinda say she wants daddy but when I say I'm doing it, she think about it and then says okay.  So I think if you try to stay in control, and stay consistant it'll get better.  Good luck!

KellyChristal
by on Nov. 25, 2008 at 9:08 PM

Wow, thanks for actually responding to my post.  Your ideas are great.  I know about the only wanting daddy thing...my dd wants daddy when I am being "mean" to her...in other words, when she isn't getting her way she goes and works daddy.  Boy, she is a little toot.  You are right on about the jealousy thing...she wants mommy all to herself.  I am going to take back control...but it is going to be hard, this little stinker gets her way way too much!  LOL...thanks again

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