Okay, not really. Just as disclaimer, no I'm not about to do bodily harm to my child. But my goodness I'm losing my mind.
This child WILL NOT LISTEN. She'll be 4 next month. I'm expecting and her behavior has definitely gone downhill in the last few months. I know that can have an affect but this is getting ridiculous.
When you tell her to do something, or not do something, it's like she doesn't even hear you. You have to tell her 20 times to do something and usually she ends up with something in time-out or a privelage removed or *something* before you finally get to the end of it. She does not stop moving, not for a second. I know, all preschoolers have an abundance of energy. But I've seen her around groups of other kids her age. She makes the other 3 & 4 year olds look like calm, silent children. It's like she has absolutely zero ability to focus.
This evening she has dance class. She loves dance and looks forward to it all week. I had to tell her about 7 times to put on her leotard. Then I told her to go get her shoes on and it was no-go. She was too busy jumping around in a box and screaming (in a fun way, not like a fit). I had to ask her numerous times to use her inside voice. We told her if she didn't get her shoes on she wasn't going and she flipped out saying she wanted to go. But then she just sat there. She finally sat down by her shoes and then asked where they were. She just sat there playing as DH and I were talking. I told her that her time was almost up for having her shoes on and she told us she *did* have her shoes on. She didn't. :/ Great, so now we've added lying to the mix.
Physically forcing her to do these things rarely works. She's very independent and hates being helped with things she can do. If you sat her down and tried to put her shoe on her, she'd take it back off just so she could put it back on herself. We're running out of things we can threaten or take away. We do make consequences, but they don't seem to faze her at all. Yesterday I ended up putting her entire playroom in time-out for the rest of the day and though she made a small fuss about it (a 3 second fake cry/whine), it didn't truly faze her at all. Time-outs don't do anything when she's like this because all that does is give her an automatic 3 minutes to continue not doing what she was supposed to do, she's only stalling in a different location.
I thought temper tantrums were bad (and we're still dealing with those, too, btw!), but this I don't know what to do with. Tantrums, though they suck and I often feel like I'm floundering, at least seem to have more options for dealing with. What am I supposed to do when she simply refuses to do what she's told, it's something I'm physically incapible of enforcing, and there are no logical "threats" to make?
For example the other day when we were out and headed home and she refused to get in the car seat? At 34 weeks pg and her quite strong, there is simply no way I could force her into the seat. We'd already had our playdate and our fun and we were headed home. There wasn't anything logical to take away, like if we were on our way out to somewhere she wanted to go. There was nothing else fun planned for the rest of the day to take away. I took away everything within reach in the car that she might be able to play with to distract herself, though none of it mattered to her at the moment. She had already been defiant for too long (just getting *to* the car!) for me to be able to offer a reward for cooperation. I'm not going to offer her something out of the ordinary just for doing what she should have done already.
We're thinking we need some sort of behavior chart or reward system, but we're not sure exactly what it should look like. I know I'd rather reinforce good behavior than focus on when she's bad. Though with the way she's been lately that would be a hard thing to do. I don't even know if that's the right direction to go or not.
So what in the heck do we do at this point?? Even the serious "mom-tone" doesn't do a thing. That used to get her every time. If she was having trouble minding I'd get "that" tone and she knew I meant business. Now, doesn't faze her a bit. Calm voice, quiet voice, loud voice, normal, raised, yelling, silence, mom, dad.....none of it makes the slightest bit of difference.