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I need advice on how to deal with my 3 year old daughter

Posted by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 9:49 PM
  • 10 Replies

Hello Everyone,

I am a new member to cafe mom, so this will be my first post. I am a single parent of a 3 year old girl. I live at home with my mom so she helps me out a lot with my child.  Lately my daughter has been acting out more than usual.  She rolls her eyes, talks back, and even threatens to hit me.  Now to make matters worse, my mother spoils my daughter way too much to the point that my daughter still feels she needs to be treated like a baby.  When I discipline my child, my mom steps in and treats her like a baby which defeats the whole purpose of disciplining her in the first place. What do I do? How do I set boundaries with my mom? What are some techniques to better discipline my child? My mom does the complete opposite of what I say, so how can I change that?

Any advice is greatly appreciated :)hugs

by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 9:49 PM
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by Platinum Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 12:10 AM
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If your mom is going to undermine you, anything you try will be futile.  You need to sit down with your mom and explain what you've seen and how you feel about it.  You need to make it clear that this is YOUR child and her help is greatly appreciated but she has to respect you as the parent.  Explain that what she's doing is actually HURTING her granddaughter.  She's eroding the respect your daughter will have for you as an authority figure and her mother.  The other thing is that kids HATE chaos.  They obviously don't like being in trouble but they do like being able to know what is going to happen.  With your mom butting in and then being wishy washy herself is actually shaking your daughter's security.  She will act out because she just doesn't have any stability and ability to know what will happen next. 

This is actually a pretty serious issue and I wouldn't drop it if I were you.  If your mom doesn't get on the same page and respect your role then you need to find other arrangements.  If this continues your daughter's behavior will get worse, not better as she gets older and it's a lot harder to reparent a 5 or 7 or 12 year old.  Nip it in the bud now or you'll most likely pay the price later.  Be extremely firm with your mother. 

by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 12:42 AM
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I agree completly, my stepmom did(does) tht all the every time my 2 yr old would throw a fit or mouth off or hit i would get onto her, smetime id stick her in time if she kps doin it, and my stepmom would say to her "cme to grammy" and would baby her every time she gets in trouble. well me and my dad bth confronted my mom and tld her to stop babyin her all the time cuz its nt helpn me at all, cuz my daughter will want to go to her grammy every time she gets in trouble. after tht day tht we tlked to her she doesnt do it as much...she stil babies her every once in awhile bt grammies are gna do tht.  my two year old does all the stuff tht ur 3 yr old does minus the ik wat ur goin through....i knw theres alot of people out there tht thinks this is wrong but idc.....if my daughter mouths off to me i pop her in the mouth(her cheek,nt the actual mouth area) nt hard just lightly. and if she gets into stuff shes nt suppose to i slap her hands. if she doesnt listen to you after the 3rd time of telln them spank her butt, bt nt too hard. and if tht doesnt help and she stil wants to act up stick her in time out for 5 min. and every time she tries to sneak away out of timeout tke her bk to timeout and start her time ovr.

by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 12:45 AM
but when you gt onto her dnt yell at her....when u gt onto her use a firm voice so she knws your serious and youre nt playn....and make sure you are at her eye level when you tlk to her when getn onto her...
by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 10:39 AM
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Talk to your mom and explain how you want to raise your daughter (it might help to give her reasons WHY you want to raise her that way), and show her how what she's doing is hurting that.

If that doesn't work, baptism by fire. I had this problem with some of my family stepping in and giving SD whatever she wanted even if I'd already said no, or comforting her after she'd been punished (even when it WAS for deliberately hitting me). What I did was started letting them do whatever they wanted with her, but then THEY had to take care of her, they didn't get to lean on me anymore to play the heavy. All of a sudden everyone realized they were turning her into such a huge brat that they stepped back and let me parent MY way, backing me up in my decisions.

Good luck, mama! And welcome to CM!

by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 12:38 PM
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I had a similer problem with my mother in law.  I suggest writing a list of what your issues are and then explain what should be done instead.  Have a private meeting with your mother and explain each one.  Tell her that you appreciate her time and being able to live with her but to raise your daughter the best that you can your daughter need to follow rules that are the same from you and your mom.

If your mom doesn't follow your suggestions I would think about moving out.  I had to go to family therapy so my mother in law would realize there is a problem but she never followed my suggestions in the long run.  She moved out evenutually. 

by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 2:42 PM
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Hi, welcome to CafeMom and to the group. :)

You need to have a heart to heart with your mom about what's going on.

by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 3:35 PM
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I have a 3 yr old daughter as well, and she went through all this at two, with her grandmother (SO's mom) doing the same thing.
I had to be firm with her and let her know that my child, is MY child, and I have certain expectations for the both of them. I expect my child to listen when I tell her something, and I expect her grandmother to respect my wishes. Sometimes her grandmother will ocassionally interfere, and it still annoys the HELL out of me, but for the most part, she lets me parent the way I want to.

When my daughter was 2, and went through this phase, I put her in time out. She understood that this meant she did something wrong, and I know your 3 yr old will get it. Most people do time outs according to the child's age; the amout of minutes is equivalent to the childs age. I did the same, but her time didnt start until she was done crying. Because if I let her out of time out WHILE shes crying, I cant talk to her and explain why what she did was wrong. Makes sense? I didnt make her go on time out for eye rolling, just explained that it's not nice. Threats, the same. Actual physical contact, time out. Saying mean or hurtful things, time out. Destroying the room in a rage, time out. You get the idea. At 1st I couldnt get SO's mom to stop getting in the middle, so I would take DD in our bedroom and lock our door so she couldnt come in. THEN proceed with time outs and what not. This was most effective IMO. Maybe try that. Good luck 

And welcome to CM!

by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 4:35 PM
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I had this issue somewhat when I lived with my inlaws.  Caden would start whining about something (and I dont' take whining, I don't care if you are 1)....and she would storm to my area and whisk Caden away and say "why is my grandson crying?"........because he's a toddler that pitches a fit each time he doesn't get what he wants......even if that is 1000000 cookies at once.

For us, it tooks us leaving.  Unfortuatnely, circumstances got so bad that we don't see her very much (not totally our choice).

I'd speak to her about it the best that you can.  I presume you have a good relationship with your mom?  Set her down (not after an incident) and mention the values you want to teach your girl.  Think of ways to come to an agreement on discipline and how what you are both doing (or not doing) is blocking that goal.

Good luck and I hope she recieves it well :).

by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 4:42 PM
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First off welcome to Cafe mom.

I would sit down with you mom and talk start off with thanking her for what she does for you guys and let her know you appreciate having her but that you have a few things that you need her help with and then go on to tell her that well it may be hard for her she needs to be on your side when it comes to disciplining your daughter because she is getting mixed signels when mommy says not and grandma says yes.

With you daughter I am big on talking so sit down with her and talk about the things she is doing that may not be good and explain why it is not good and how you two can fix it. 

I think grandmas are there to spoil but they may just need to understand that you are the parent and you have rules.

by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 11:20 PM

Thank you ladies all so much for your advice, it is greatly appreciated. I think I will have that talk with my mom and hope it only gets better from there.

you rock

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