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I can't take anymore! obviously I'm doing something wrong.

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I have 3 girls, age 10, 3, and 2. My 3 year old, Cecily, won't listen. Nothing works! Time out, yelling, getting on her level, taking away toys and privileges, etc. She just shuts down if you ask her to do (or stop doing) something. If she wants something and I say no she won't acknowledge my answer and keep asking, yelling and grabbing at me, then when I don't give in it escalates to a screaming tantrum where she still won't listen and often dh or I have to physically restrain her to keep her from hurting herself or little sister.

she and little sister (Elli) are both very advanced verbally and can use their words to tell us what they want or need, and understand everything that we say, so its not a frustration or not understanding thing. She just completely shuts down her hearing or something. She doesn't look at me or even act as though she heard me ask her to do something.

what do I do? I tried everything I've heard that is supposed to work. I can't take much more, I'm on the verge of a breakdown. I am so tired of fighting with her and the screaming tantrums. :(

*eta: what would you do if she was fairly calm but kept saying "mom? Mom? Momma? Mom?" I ask what or yes? Or acknowledge every question but she just keeps repeating mom.
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by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 12:24 PM
Replies (61-62):
by on Feb. 17, 2013 at 7:58 AM
1 mom liked this

My daughter is almost three and we are going through some of the same stuff. The quickest way to turn Alex's behavior around is taking away all electronics (TV, ipad, games on TV). She is at the age where she wants to be super independent. When it's safe for her to I let her do what she can on her own. I have to give more time for this. She does the whole mommy, mom, mommy. I started responding with her name...otherwise just know it will stop at some point. I thought I would add a couple thoughts. A parenting technique I like is Love and Logic. It puts the behavior on the child and doesn't make you the mean mommy. The child is given two options (both of which you are good with either option) and she picks which she wants. For example, your daughter wants a sweet goody. You tell her she can have it after she eats all of her dinner or not at all. As a mom I'm good with either option. If your daughter doesn't eat her dinner she is the one preventing her from getting the snack. I use a lot of transitions where if it's almost bed time I tell my daughter she has 3 minutes and then it's time to get ready for bed. This works much better than interrupting what they are doing without a warning. Also, I do explain to my daughter why my decisions are what they are even if the explanation is "mommy doesn't want you to have that right now".

some things I've learned frommy sister, who is a child development major, is that kids respond better when you tell them what to do instead of what not to do. That way you are not always say 'no'. So my daughter likes to put the cars wheels on my wall. Instead of saying "no don't do that" I say "wheels on the floor". You do two things at once you tell them what they should be doing and they stop doing what they were without the word 'no'. Another thing I've learned from my sister is that kids like to feel as though they have some control so wear him out with choices...everything and anything can be made a you want to put on pj's or brush your teeth first, are you done watching your show or do you need one more minute, do you want to sit in this chair or that chair...when I do this with my daughter her face lights up she LOVES to make decisions! My sister has also taught me that when you get so frustrated a lot of times  you are upset by the behavior, but really you're upset b/c your boundaries and expectations are not set. I find when I get frustrated I am doing just that, allowing my boundaries to be negotiated. When I know they are clear and my little one is just testing it's easier for me to remain in control and focused on teaching her instead of being overly frustrated.

Lastly, the one thing that I remind my self pretty much daily is the idea shared from Dr. Phil that at 2 and 3 and 4 years old you are raisiing a teenager. If you think she is hard to handle now just wait! And remember disciplining is not being a mean parent. Make sure you're spending time with her - after all LOVE is spelled TIME!

by on Feb. 17, 2013 at 11:18 PM

I would just tell her that I am not going to be answering her or speaking to her until she can use her big girl words.

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