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Unruly 3 Year Old

Posted by on Jun. 1, 2009 at 10:28 PM
  • 10 Replies

 I have a 3 year old daughter who is absolutely unruly. She talks back, has the attitude of a teenager, is rude, disrespectful and hits/pinches/kicks when you try to punish her. She beats up on her one year old brother and tries to break all the toys at daycare.

Hot sauce on the tongue worked for a couple of months but now she thinks that is a joke. Time out does nothing to her. I am not keen on spanking unless absolutly warranted which has occurred less than a handful of times but she thinks that is funny too. A swat in the mouth when warranted gets me a laugh as well. I do not know what more to do.

Any advice or suggestions on how to tame this out of control child would be greatly appreciated.

Leila Brenner

Educational Consultant for Discovery Toys

by on Jun. 1, 2009 at 10:28 PM
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by on Jun. 2, 2009 at 12:13 AM

Sounds exactly like my son. I've tried everything..time-outs, toys taken away, bed early, swat on the butt, standing in a corner...nothing works. I have no idea what to do. Tried talking to him when he was calm. He told me he doesn't want to be has gotten to where I can't take him in the store with me because he spits, screams,yells, and hits me. It's like a mini terror took over my naturally sweet well-behaved son. 

by on Jun. 2, 2009 at 12:21 AM
My children were doing the same thing to me! I did find a solution...

Please don't think I am cruel at least I am trying not to spank them!

I simply put them in the corner on their knees with their nose against a wall and their hands behind their backs! It did wonders for mine!
by on Jun. 2, 2009 at 10:40 AM

You have described my daughter to a "T".  My mother (an ex preschool teacher and mom of 7) says that this is a stage and to be consistent with whatever form of punishment you use.  That they (our kids) are testing to see what they can get away with and how far they can take it. 

What I have been doing (punishment wise) is putting her in time out with her nose touching the wall.  If she doesn't stay in time out, then she gets put in her bed (after I strip it and remove all baby dolls and stuffed animals).  If that doesn't work, then I start bagging up her baby dolls and stuffed animals and she has to earn them back.  Luckily, I have only had to do that one time so far.   

by on Jun. 2, 2009 at 1:20 PM

 Hmmm... I am going to try the corner trick. I know I hated it when I was younger so maybe it will have an affect on her! Thanks ladies!

Leila Brenner

Educational Consultant for Discovery Toys

by on Jun. 2, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Is your daughter also very active? Can't seem to focus on any one thing for any period of time? Moves from task to task never completing any of it? Very vocal and loud at times? If so you might want to consider having her evaluated for ADHD.

My adopted daughter was in a foster home at age 4 and literally beat up on the other foster children, destroy her bed by kicking it apart, etc. Everything that you said described her to a T as well as the above questions. She ended up in a psych Hospital for 2 months where they did testing and diagnosed her with ADHD. She kept telling everyone she wanted to be good but couldn't stop. She laughed at punishment and anything else that they did to correct her. Once they finally put her on Dexidrine she did a total about face. Became the sweetest child you would ever want to know.

I'm not one to medicate every child that's active but in her case it was neccesary and she became a very happy child instead of a mean, unhappy little girl.

by on Jun. 2, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Pretty sure three year olds are just unruly! hahaha....I am on my 3rd three year old...way worse than the 2s. I think just be consistant and don't loose your cool and they will outgrow it! At least so far for me that has been the case! My third will be 4 in a couple months and is already coming out of it!

by on Jun. 2, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Hi! I am totally experienced with this problem.... Trust me I have 2 teenagers and a 1 and 2 1/2 year old. She is at the age of knowing right from wrong. I can tell you what I do with my 2 year old.... He is a hitter pincer, biter, you name it he has done it.

He now is on the CONSIQUENCE punishments.... For instance if he hits his little sister, he loses dessert.... he pulls hair, he goes to bed early. He hasn't bitten anyone since he was 18 months old, he bit his sister when she was a month old and drew blood..... I bit him back. Hard enough for him to get the idea.

So many moms say that they are too young to understand. Kids at the age of 2 KNOW the things that they do are wrong. Take away a special toy. make them stay in their room to "cool" off. You have to find what works for you. I now have my son under control. All I have to do is say "you know what you are doing is wrong. I am going to count to 3 and if you keep doing it you lose your outside play time" and 9 times out of 10 he stops and tells me or whoever that hes sorry and gives hugs and kisses. Its all about consistancy. You may feel bad about it but you have to teach them. Good luck Mama!

by on Jun. 3, 2009 at 2:06 AM

My son was the same way. We are doing a combo of 123 Magic and "Taming the spirited child". The second book has really been a lifesafer recently =)

by on Jun. 3, 2009 at 9:12 PM

I have the same problem with my 3 year old son. I have no clue what to do. I spank him and he also thinks it is funny. He runs off in stores. He back talks. I would have never thought that a 3 year old could act that much like a teenager

by on Jun. 3, 2009 at 9:15 PM

get the book called magic 1,2,3. its by dr thomas phelan. use it and be consistant. 

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