my 3 year old acts like a teenager

Alison - posted on 09/21/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )




I am in need of some advise. I have a wonderful very smart 3 year old daughter. She is very outspoken, stands up for herself, outgoing and just all around happy go lucky child. My "issue" is she has just started preschool, she loves it but she is having trouble with her listening ears as well as going poop on the potty. I am afraid that is she keeps having accidents at school they will remove her from the class. She also doesnt listen at all to her teacher(or me). Its her way or the highway. She does listen at times but when i really want her to do something she runs away, cries, hits or walks away from me/her teacher. I have been spoken to by her teacher about her sassyness. I have tried everything from bribs, time outs, taking special activitys away, etc. Please help


Ariana - posted on 09/21/2012




As far as the potty goes there is nothing you can do so do not make this a power struggle. You will not win that battle. What does her caregiver do when she poops her pants? Can you two make a plan together on what to do? I would try to make a plan where you give her the least amount of attention for pooping and the most for using the potty. So if she poops her pants possibly have it so she helps with the clean-up process as much as possible (age appropriately of course). So she takes her clothes off and helps wipe up and puts her underwear back on (leave new clothes in case). Have it so she gets pretty much no reaction or attention, not even a 'were you supposed to do that?' comment or anything. Just oh better clean up etc. When she does use it tell the teacher to tell her what a great job that is and give lots of positive attention. If you talk to the teacher about this she will probably like that you've got a game-plan going. The only one who can choose to use the potty is her so you can't do anything about it.

It's hard to know how to solve 'not listening' because that goes into a lot of different situations. When doesn't she listen? Is it the same issues or same time of day? There are usually patterns to this type of thing so you may want to write down each and every incident for a week or so to see if anything is connected. For walking away I would simply go grab her and tell her that when she walks away discussions are over and give her a time-out that involves her sitting until she's ready to listen and do what you ask. So not a 3 minute time out thing but she needs to sit until she's ready to listen respectfully and do what you are asking. That way it is her choice.

Not knowing the whole situation it's hard to give advice. You may want to 'pick your battles'. Not to let her walk over you but make it so that when you do request something you always follow through until what you've done is asked. You should never ask her something that you can't fully make her do. Not to say you go crazy and become a drill sergeant but actually the opposite where you try to request as little as possible but make sure every request is followed. If you can convince her to do something (not through bribery btw) but by convincing her it's fun, giving her limited choices (do you want to clean up these toys or these ones? do you want to bring your dolly or your cat when you come over here? etc.) . Try to give her as much control in a situation as possible while still getting your end result.

Try to figure this out with the teacher. What behaviors EXACTLY are happening, when are they happening and ask the teacher if maybe you can work on one specific behavior at the time. How is she being 'sassy'? Sorry if I couldn't be any more help and I hope it works out for you!

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