In need of some advise on how to discipline my 3 year old son!

Heidi - posted on 08/27/2012 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I have a 3 year old son and a 1 year old son. I also have many nieces and nephews i have helped raise so it's definitely not my first rodeo. My 3 year old is very sweet and loving and is a good boy, but so stubborn and mouthy sometimes. I try talking to him instead of yelling or raising my voice and it just does not get through to him. I've tried time outs, taking literally every toy away from him, sending him to his room, spanking, trying to just talk and reason with him. Absolutely nothing works. He is a very smart little boy and i always talk to him and explain why what he did was unacceptable, and he'll say he understands and is sorry or whatever but then goes right back to it. And usually it isn't even big things that he does but he just does not listen so everything gets blown up into a huge fight when if he just would listen the first time it would be done and over with. I understand he is 3 years old but he is a very smart 3 yr old and knows when he does something wrong. I've tried doing more with him one on one thinking maybe he's wanting more attention or maybe he's just bored or whatever, but nothing works. And sometimes he is just downright mean. My older sister lives across the street from us and he is very close to her and her 3 girls but sometimes he'll act like he doesn't even know them when they try to love on them and stuff. He is super smart and very sweet(when he wants to be) but i sometimes wonder if i am just doing something wrong. I try not to over think it too because i know he is a 3 year old boy and this is how little boys act sometimes but i just hate the yelling and fighting with him and we need some advise. Thanks!

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Heidi - posted on 08/29/2012

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Thanks Jessica. I know that it isn't all him. I need to work on my patience too. I just get overwhelmed sometimes and i don't take the appropriate measures which in turn aggravates the situation even more. I definitely try with everything in me to not spank until all else has failed and i need to get his attention quick and make him understand i mean business. But i hate it. It makes me feel like the worst mother ever. I have 2 sisters, one older and one younger and they had kids before i did. They are both loud and abrasive people which i have never been, i worry sometimes that being around them and their kids so much i have picked up on bad habits from them. Like yelling and losing my cool faster. I know i need to try really hard to break that. I don't want to be that mom who is constantly screaming at her kids all the time. I really appreciate the input. Especially from someone who has gone through the same thing i am.

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Jessica - posted on 08/28/2012

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Oops I hit the post button before I was done. The challenges get different the older they get. My son knows how to manipulate now and sticking to what I say is imperative. He is and can be sweet as well and does feel bad as well. Some kids are just high maintenance and take so much patience!! You can do this:-)

Jessica - posted on 08/28/2012

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II haven't read the other responses but just had to respond to your post. I have a son just like yours who is now 6 1/2. All I can say is love and consistency are the key. Don't give up. My son is also very smart and as they get older there

Heidi - posted on 08/28/2012

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I have tried just ignoring him and it does get his attention quicker. He'll get really mad but he'll get it that i'm not giving in a lot quicker. Yes i am home with them most of the time. My husband works insane hours. The past few days have been exceptionally hard. Saturday they both started running fevers and today i took them to the doctors and they both have strep throat. Never ending. I am going to try the rewards system. And i know part of the attitude is bc he feels like he doesn't get enough attention. But with him, his 1 year old brother, the house and all that entails, the dog and whatever else, there just aren't enough hours in the day. But i know i need to set some special time aside each day just for us. Hopefully that will help. Thanks for your advise. I really really appreciate it!

Snickerzzz_33 - posted on 08/27/2012

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Look up on youtube 'House of tiny tearaways' by Tanya something.

This is just a link so you can search the one you need. I think she's amazing. I know I will look it up if my baby will have problems like this too and more. I recomend it even tho I was never on her program, only from tv. :)

Snickerzzz_33 - posted on 08/27/2012

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I think that for him it could really work! Maybe stickers of cars or trucks :) I can come up with great ideas, lol. So I understand its harder for you because ur most of the time with the kids alone, right? I dont know why, but Im guessing he wants attention from what u write. Maybe you could also try just not paying attention. Ive seen it on a British program. (which I thought was amazing!) that the moms didnt seem to care for what they did, and they stopped doing it (the kids) cause no one cared :/ weird, I know. But it was wow!

Heidi - posted on 08/27/2012

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Roni, no he doesn't swear at all he just talks back a lot. I try to stick with a punishment for a while to be consistent and it may work for a while but eventually he just doesn't care any more. When he gets time out there are no toys around for him to play with. When i take away his toys he is unaffected after the being mad wears off. He can find anything to play with. He definitely does not rule this house. I am the boss and he knows it. I don't give into him at all. But he will go round for round with me. He doesn't give in very easily at all. I know especially with his little brother around he doesn't get the attention he wants all of the time, And i feel awful about that, but when i'm the only one home 90% of the time i can only do so much. My husband works crazy hours. And i try not to spank. That is usually the last ditch effort which definitely is not the answer since that's when we are both the most agitated. I keep in mind that he is only 3 and not to expect too much for him but i know that he is capable of being an amazing kid. Do either of you think a reward chart would work for him? Like when he is good for a day he gets a stick then at the end of the week he gets a special treat or something like that.

Snickerzzz_33 - posted on 08/27/2012

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Hi Heidi, sorry that its hard on you. When you said that he's mouthy, what did you mean? that he swears? Is there anyone he looks up to that swears? If so, maybe you need to talk to the person, cause kids that age pick up the most from those people. From what I read, you need to be more firm with him, and when no is NO. You love your child, and I can see it through your writing, and dont forget that he may be smart, but you are way more. dont let him be the one who rules, if you put him in time out, are there any toys around? I do think (not sure tho) he's doing it for attention, not because he's bored. What kind of games do you play together? does he get bored quick from playing one game? Maybe he's the kind of kid that praises will work with him. On 'good' days ;) ask him to help you, something that grownups do, and if he does- say 'thats great, well done, or anything that'll make him happy for helping. Hope it works.. I personally dont believe in spanking, I dont think it achieves anything but the feeling of pain at that moment, and feeling anger at the one who spanked. Maybe that's what trigers him to act like he does. Sorry its too long :)

Michelle - posted on 08/27/2012

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welcome to having a 3 year old smart is why he is doing this in the first place. Your son has figured out how to push your buttons and to him it is a game. You need to pick one consistent form of discipline and stick to it so that he can put a consequence to an action. 3 year olds are rough, they don't know their own strength and are stubborn as mules if you give in even once you are starting all over again. Pick how you intend to discipline stick with it as time outs for example take time for them to grasp and remembering not to do stuff is just not in their vocabulary right now. My daughter is the exact same way, except she picks at her 11 year old brother she chose him because he is the only one she can get going. She gets told on a regular basis you want to be mean and not listen you can go to your room. She is so afraid she is going to miss out on something that she changes her tune rather quickly

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