how do i stop my nearly three year old's bad attitude?

Cheyenne - posted on 05/22/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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my nearly three year old girl has just started to develope a really agressive attitude towards every thing. every time i ask her to do something i find myself having a screaming match with her because she tells me 'NO' to everything.

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first, try to avoid the screaming match if possible. like simone said, walk away if necessary. your child will do what she sees, so she thinks raising the voice is okay because mommy is doing it. obviously, there is a difference in how parents can talk to kids versus kids to parents, but your child is 3 and she doesn't know that yet. my high school students are *still* learning there are appropriate ways to speak to adults!

if i get a "no!!!" the first time i ask, i first try giving my son some kind of option or choice in how to do something. if i am asking him to "come here" and i get a big loud "NO!!", i kneel down to his level, look him straight in the eye, and i calmly tell him, "you can come here nicely, or mommy will get you to come here the tough way. which do you want?" basically, i send him the message that no matter what he chooses, he is still going to do what i want, but he can choose which way to do it. sometimes i distinguish between a "fun and happy way" or the "firm way".

if he throws a bigger fit, that's when i do a time out or a "i'll give you x seconds to think about this before you decide."

lastly, i would think about when these things are happening. i found my son gives me the hardest time with leaving a fun place, like a park or toy store. that's why i give him a bunch of warnings before we go. "we've got 10 more minutes!" then a 5 minute, 3, and 1 minute warning. *usually* this gives him enough time to let the idea of going sink in, but that doesn't always work. if you can figure out what triggers her temper the most, you might be able to find a way to prevent it by working around the trigger. if it's going to bed, warn her she has 10 more minutes to play before cleaning up. if it is about being too loud, show her how to talk in an inside voice and model it.

and i completely agree that it's just the age!!! even all these tricks up the sleeve don't always work and i still get extremely frustrated with my 2.5 year old! i've had my share of outbursts and anger. the key is to quickly turn it around and reset a happy tone so that you can move on through the day!

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Cheyenne - posted on 05/27/2009

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thanks to everyone's input i will try everything and anything. THANKS heaps.

DeeAnn - posted on 05/23/2009

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First, this is normal...Second, try telling her to take a deep breath. I do that with my little girl and it seems to get her to calm down enough to talk about what the problem is. Third...sometimes a good time out is all that works! Good luck...and be patient...she will grow out of it.

Carolyn - posted on 05/23/2009

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Ugh, I have the same issue. I pretty much ignore the tantrums which makes them last for a shorter period of time. When we are going somewhere and he keeps sitting down on the floor I just stand there for a second and he either gets up or I just pick him up. Then I just carry him to where we are going not really reacting to his behavior. The one that drives me up the wall is when he hits his head on the high chair when he is mad. He is going to hurt himself one of these days and I don't know how to stop it without taking him out of the chair but I want him to eat so I don't want him to do it to get out of eating. Ugh. Terrible twos are so fun aren't they. *sarcasm*

Simone - posted on 05/22/2009

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iam having the same problem with my 3 yr old girl.. she tells me no to everything i say and will not listen she chucks big tratrums when i take things off her... she will throw her self in the midle of the floor in shoppign centers and everything,, the best thing i have learnt to do is walk away from her and take a breath and then walk back and deal with.... i take my daughters toys off her and i wont allow her to have anything untill she calms down and stops.. it dont always work but its a start

Neroli - posted on 05/22/2009

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I think it's the age. My 2 1/2 year old has been doing this for a while. Not only does he yell 'NO' but he also roars at me like a lion when he's mad at me! Time out is really helping him - it seems to calm him down. I can now give him the choice - either do as I ask or sit on the naughty chair. I'm finding he still says no - but often as he is doing what he is supposed to do. Hang in there I think it gets better with time - and everyone's kids are different (nothing worse than having friends who only have calm compliant children!)

Tracey - posted on 05/22/2009

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Cheyenne I am having vthe same problem. I have tried time on a stool away from everyone until she can show me her "happy or nice eyes". It works fairly well most of the time.It really changes her whole outlook. I have also put her in her room until she can be nice. It works for a little while. I have yet to find the "cure" for the attitude. I'm guessing it is the age and hopefully she gets over it soon. I'm sorry I can't be better help, but I'm definitly in the same boat. HANG IN THERE!

Tracey - posted on 05/22/2009

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Cheyenne I am having vthe same problem. I have tried time on a stool away from everyone until she can show me her "happy or nice eyes". It works fairly well most of the time.It really changes her whole outlook. I have also put her in her room until she can be nice. It works for a little while. I have yet to find the "cure" for the attitude. I'm guessing it is the age and hopefully she gets over it soon. I'm sorry I can't be better help, but I'm definitly in the same boat. HANG IN THERE!

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