Terrible 3s

Felicia - posted on 09/27/2013 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I am a step parent of a 3 year old girl. She is such a doll and loves to have fun and playout side. She is normally well behaved but recently she has been acting out horribly at the babysitters while dad and i are at work. She is telling the babysitter that she is going to Call the cops and the cops are going to bring their guns and shoot her, she says things like she "no i dont have to" and " no im not going to listen." The babysitter has tried putting her in time outs and she just stands up and says no i dont have too. I dont know where she has learned things like this because we dont allow it in our home. She does go see her mother from time to time so we are assuming it is because of that. She does not watch or see anything thing that involves guns or shooting because of this reason. We arent sure how to handle this and could really use some assistance with this. I have tried to talk to her when i get home from work and explain to her that Jace (her younger brother) will get a treat and she wont because of the way she behaved that day. That seemed to work at the time but since it has happened more than one time now i need something new to do.
Please help!

11 Comments

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Ev - posted on 09/28/2013

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Felcia, About the porn and the brother's tv watching habits, you have only here say. You are going on what people are telling you not what YOU KNOW FOR FACT. And what the child tells you too can not always be taken for what is really going on. Kids this age also are learning to use language and their imaginations. They may see things on TV and then act it out, that is true...or even a movie that they see something of. But unless you can prove that mom is actually watching this stuff or other members of the family are as well, you have nothing to go on. And it is UP TO DAD to make any changes here since she is your step child. If he is not going to do anything, then nothing can be done. If you are so worried about this you need to sit him down and tell him point blank how it makes you feel, but understand this is totally his decision. Also if you did take mom to court, the judge would want real evidence not that I heard/he heard from so and so statements because they do not stand up in court unless he allows those people as witnesses to the case. And this gets complicated. You said you tried Child Services in your area and they won't do anything. Keep calling. If you guys suspect other things are going on then you should report them if they include neglect, abuse, or other real things services will check for.

Get a new babysitter. Like Cecilla has said, if that is what needs done do it. And if you had to stay home all day, it can be done if you watch the budgets well. I had to do it several times and we did not have a lot of income coming in. It would have cost more for both to work if I had gone. Have you sat down and seen what taking away child care costs, work clothing for you, extra meals for work for you, gas and wear and tear on car, and see if you can not stay home. Also, have dad tell his child's mother that you guys do not appreciate the movies that are shown in front of the girl and that she should maybe consider waiting to watch them later.

As for her mother living off government and child support, YOU can not say much about it. The child support is for the child and therefore helps cover costs of the child's needs. Since you do not live with them at mom's house, you do not know what she actually does with the money or assistance she does get. So, if you guys are not thrilled with that, take mom back to court to get custody changed over to her dad and have mom start paying the support and get visitation.

But then again, the actions require dad to step up and do them with your support. He has to be ready to do something about this himself, otherwise all this is just wasting your breath and energy. Just be there for the girl for the time being and hope for the best.

Cecilia - posted on 09/27/2013

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if nothing else call Steve Wilkos and have them do lie detectors. I don't think I could just accept nothing being done.

Felicia - posted on 09/27/2013

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We have tried going to Child perfective servicea but we don't have enough evidence to prove her wrong doing so nothing can be done.

Cecilia - posted on 09/27/2013

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Then why is the child still being sent to her mother's house if this is all going on? If what you say is true, or you believe it to be true, then no- the mother isn't the only responsible party. Her father needs to get her removed from that setting. He is responsible for protecting his baby. If someone watched porn in front of my 3 year old they would be lucky to still be breathing. I would be the one responsible for my child's well being I wouldn't pass the buck and say opps not my problem.

Beyond that, if you think it might also be the babysitter, try looking for a new one. I know she might have a good price but i'm sure someone else would be willing to do it for the same amount. Always worth looking into.

Felicia - posted on 09/27/2013

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About the mom not being the problem she may not be the whole problem but we know for a fact she is part or almost all of it. There is a lot more to know about her but pretty much to sum it up she is not caring about her children and lives off government and child support and is very irresponible when it come to her children. She lets her 9 year old watch porn... im not sure how much more irresponsible you can get. Well so we have heard. We have heard from people that know her mothers family very well and they have said that Olivias grand mother also watches porn in front of her grandkids..

Felicia - posted on 09/27/2013

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I am not sure why she is doing this to the babysitter but it may have something to do with the split family. Her mother and father never were together it just was a happy mistake. I did talk to her and sit her down and asked her why she acted the way she did and what was wrong. I asked her if she knew it was wrong and she said yes and she didnt know why she did it. She does every now and than act like this for us but never does she get to the point of saying the things she does to the babysitter. The first time she did this me and her dad sat her down and talked to her by ourselves (nicely) and asked her why and what happened and she said she learned all the things she says from her older brother (her mothers son) who is 9 years old. Olivia tells me that she learns all sorts of things from her brothers movies that he watches. When we go to talk to her mother about things that olivia says she gets all defensive and just says he watches movies by himself. I have considered the babysitter and i have considered staying home myself but finances just dont alow that right now.

Ariana - posted on 09/27/2013

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Okay, I know it's not totally on topic but I wouldn't go jumping to the conclusion that it's the mothers fault she's acting like this (unless there is some actual reason you think so). I say this because I have a now almost 4 year old boy who became a terror at about 2 1/2 and also started saying no way and tried to play with guns etc when he was 3.

That was before he started school, when it was either mostly me or my mom caring for him and no one else ever showed him guns or gore, and yet my child (still sometimes) wants to talk about blood and shooting (although he knows we have a no guns rule at our house, even pretend or talk about guns). Anyway sorry I just want to say that it's most likely normal 3 year old behavior not necessarily due to any other things. (He's not a total terror anymore btw :) so there's hope!).

The best thing to do is try to help the babysitter find new ways to deal with her behavior. At 3 she may still be to young to fully get the impact of 'if I act like this will happen later'. She'll sort of get it, but it's not going to be as effective since to much time has passed.

She's getting older and smarter. This is good for you because she can understand more, but bad because... well she understands more. She knows that she can push the limits and, frankly, who she can push them with. They sense weakness... haha, but also sometimes discipline that works with you, won't work with another adult. The way my babysitter gets my son to do things is different than mine, but as long as it's safe and effective it's okay that it's different. Some things she can get him to do way easier than me, and there's no real rhyme or reason for it.

If the sitter puts her in time-outs and she stands up and says she doesn't have to maybe she needs to get put in her room until she can calm down and listen (as well as apologize). Or stay in her room until she can come sit in the time-out spot (unless her rooms really fun...).

Could the babysitter offer her something good for when she does what she should? She could say at (w/e time) you can watch tv (or get a treat or w/e) if you're listening. Then it's the babysitter giving the positive reinforcement for behaving properly and it's in a manner that is timely enough for a 3 year old.

At our house there is a no guns rule. I had that conversation with my son a couple times explaining why we don't have guns, and he tried to get around it with other things and got really mad at me when I refused to buy him gun toys or let him use a pretend finger gun. I simply told him this is a no gun house. We don't play with guns.

I said maybe he could pretend to have a bow & arrow, or be a knight with a sword. Try to have the babysitter say things like this also, and if your daughter doesn't listen then she should be told that she will get a time out (or not get to watch tv) by the babysitter.

There may be other things the sitter can do, try to work more on figuring out what you can do about the behaviors in the moment rather than after the fact.

Cecilia - posted on 09/27/2013

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I'm wondering why she only does it to the baby sitter. What is the babysitter doing different than the rest of you to get this reaction? you said you spoke to her, but did you really? Did you ask her what was wrong or did you tell her she was wrong? Those are very different things. One you spoke at her and the other you spoke to her.

Have you considered that the babysitter might have something to do with it? This little girl is basically saying I hope cops (meant to protect people) come here and hurt you. Am I the only one reading it this way?

Where she learned these things really doesn't matter too much. Sometimes you'll never find the answer to that. My daughter started doing ring around the rosie one day and I have no clue where she learned the song from. They pick up things.. that isn't your problem.

Ev - posted on 09/27/2013

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You assume she is getting it from visits with mom? Have you talked to her mother to see what is going on? How long has she been in your husband's custody and he as the primary parent? Has mom been in the picture regularly via those visits? What behaviors does she witness at the babysitter's house the other kids do? There are so many questions here that you need to look at.

If you are assuming she learned this at mom's; that is all you have is an assumption. You do not have any knowledge of what goes on there if mom has her for a weekend visit. So assuming that it comes from that arena is wrong. You need to investigate to see what is going on at mom's home.

Bribing--I have tried to talk to her when i get home from work and explain to her that Jace (her younger brother) will get a treat and she wont because of the way she behaved that day.--is not going to work to get her to behave the way you want her to. Time outs only serve a purpose of getting the child out of the way of a situation and does not teach a lesson. At age three, she is more than capable of getting consequences for her actions and words. If she does something that is against the rules, take away something that is very precious to her but goes along with the rules. A favorite toy, tv time, special treat and so on can be lost and earned back. But she has to understand that if she does this thing again she will loose said item again.

One thing you should do and do a lot is praise her for the things she does do right at the time it happens. Make a big deal out of it. When she sees she is getting the attention she desires at a good moment, and sometimes active ignoring gets ride of unwanted behavior, she will adjust her behaviors to the ones you want.

As for the title of the post--Terrible 3's--I do not believe in that nor in the terrible 2's. There is no such thing. These are ages that kids are going to go through phases to learn how they can push buttons, figure out the boundaries, and test you. They want to know that they have those limits in place. If you wait too long then its going to be harder when she gets in to tween and teen years.

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