Dealing with defiant children that need to control EVERYTHING

Mandy - posted on 05/14/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

54

5

7

I have an almost 3 year old girl. She is defiant mostly because she wants to control (so you know it) every situation. We used to do time outs in the corner but no longer do that because if you specify where she needs to be, she'll do something such as, fine, if you put me here, i'll move around just a bit or turn around so I'm in time out, but I'm in control. So we've switched to shutting her in her bedroom for the T-O. That seems to be working well because we controlled the situation and she can't do anything to get out of it. But she is getting more and more aggressive-- screaming, hitting objects and throwing things. How do you deal with these sort of children. And yes, I give her options all the time and she DOES understand that she was given a choice. Such as, "you can do what mommy asked or you can have a consequence". BTW, i posted this thread for some CREATIVE ideas because I've tried the usual.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Natasha - posted on 05/15/2010

17

27

1

.Everyone has many different ideas and opinions, I am in the same boat as you Mandy I have a set of 3 yr old twins one is pretty calm and easy to get along with and understands choices but I have one that defies everyone and everything you tell her. If you put her in time out ( which is the naughty chair for my home ) she throws it and she hits you and anyone that gets near her. She will not sit on a spot on the floor or anywhere you put her, she is a screamer and makes everyone miserable I have to put her in her room and shut the door she will scream and throw things at the door and then she will get tired and go to sleep but that is the only way to get thru her fits and they get violent and she is real mean to her twin sister and I have to think of the her safety and anyone else that is near her, the doctors all tell me she will grow out of it and my fear is if she is like this now what happens when she hits teen years ahhhhhh. I am not the spamking type but I have tried to see if that would work but I feel you cannot correct voilent behavior with violence. But we are all intitled to our own opinions right we anyways let me know if you find something that works I am willing to try ........ Good Luck!!!!!!!

Cynthia - posted on 05/15/2010

0

0

4

I do have one comment to help you put things in perspective, Children mimic their parents, she may simply be doing unto you what you are doing unto her. So if you are spending all your time 'controling' thats all she knows how to do, perhaps its time to teacher her other thing like how to play, how to make a bed and have fun doing it, how to pick up her toys to marching music, or how to dance with the dishes to the dish washer, how to hug on your way to the washing machine or write love notes to her on the mirror with the windex. Distraction from bad behaviour while replacing it with appropriate behaviour is a task for ourself as well as our children. replacing bad habits with good habits!

[deleted account]

Gack - the 2s are hard (my son is now 3 - and SO wonderful by comparison to a few months ago!).

I've just recently been reading a book "Discipline without distress" and it's making a LOT of sense to me, about avoiding these developmental power struggles.

When we've resorted to a cuddle in our special place, followed by a very brief explanation of why we don't do that behavior - it's been 100% more effective than the time-outs, yelling, spanking (I admit it) and the rest that we tried. It's really allowed us to love our boy again for himself - instead of constantly fighting the strong-willed-2/3 year old.

Good Luck.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

10 Comments

View replies by

[deleted account]

"Well bless you Jane that you must have never been put in situation that I have with my daughter!"


I have no idea how you think you can comment on that! Such a judgemental attitude. My word if you knew what I have had to endure with one of my children.....3-4hr temper tantrums. The strongest will you've ever seen. At 10mths he was so defient. He would sign 'no' and then do what he knew not to. He would scream if I put the 'wrong' food on his plate, he would throw hissy fits at the smallest thing. I've had to put him back to bed over 140 times when he wanted to keep getting out..... trust me I've done the 'tough' parenting. I have wept over this child, wondering why on earth he was so unbeliveably strong willed and defiant.
We have got through most of these issues, and come out the other side - but Oh my from 10mths - 6yrs was sheer grit your teeth, and try to be stronger/tougher than he was. I read loads. On the whole I've got an 8yr old boy (and yes he's full on boy - loves nothing more than running, jumping, climbing.....) but he's polite, on the whole obedient (tho it's a constant work in progress.....and yes I do say even now....so are you going to choose to be disobedient!)
Last year he underwent an assessment and we discovered he had high functioning autism and ADHD. I always knew he was a bit 'different' but put that down to early birth stuff. I'm glad we didn't find out earlier as we continued to push through with parenting him and expecting great things. We often felt he was behind emotionally than other kids his age, and for a while had to home-educate him in order to give him the stability he needed. We worked from where he was at (which we felt was behind) and pushed him through to the next step.

No-one else is in your house, can see what goes on. You have asked for advice, and people have given some from the limited info they have. I do think there is some very good advice there too, and don't feel people are judging you. 3 is a difficult age when it comes to discipline, and I personally there are limited options when a child is showing pure defience. It's easier to be far more creative as they get older. I have recently got a book called 'creative correction' by Lisa (and I think her surname is Weichel) That has plenty of creative correction ideas.
Well good luck and keep perservering.....'cause sometimes that's what it's about too.

Mandy - posted on 05/15/2010

54

5

7

thanks everybody for the feedback. I know that some of you are thinking, well who cares if she moves around in the said timeout spot? the big deal is that once she feels she has control of the timeout, she sees the timeout as haha, i showed mommy. there's no point to a timeout in a corner (or anywhere else) if its being counter-productive. If I put her in her room, I'm controlling the spot and she knows I don't care how much she moves around in there because I am the one controlling the situation. She knows how to hold still in timeout, she just refuses to.
By the way, I have 2 other children that adhere to normal consequences just fine. This is not a case of, wow, this lady sure doesn't know how to parent.
This a case where we need to look beyond the normal methods of consequences and discipline methods and looking for some creative ones that may be out there. I do not really need this forum for other mothers to squabble and say "she's right", or "no this person is right". I'm confident in what I am doing so far will teach her that there is times where we do have to listen to other people that say, you can do A or there is consequence B. I am just pointing that out to her. Of course I still give her choices on what pajamas she wants to wear to bed, of course I still let her choose if she wants to use a spoon or a fork.

JuLeah - posted on 05/15/2010

3,133

38

681

She is looking for power and finding it in power struggles with you. Think about what is important, what you can ignore, and how much do you really need to control.
So she moves around and turns around .... so what?
Pick your battles and let the rest go. Your relationship is important, her self worth is important, your peace of mind is important, her big heart and kind nature are important .... her turing around is not.

You can do what mommy asks or have a consequance is not giving her a choice

Do you want to wear the red shirt or the blue is a choice

Do you want your pink shoes or your white

Do you want to play on the slide or swing

Do you want a bath before dinner or after

Jessie - posted on 05/15/2010

333

36

7

Ok if my preschoolers, that are 1-2 can stay turned around facing the wall during time out Mandy is right in thinking that she is using this as control. Maybe not for 10 min. but for 2-3 min. she should be able to stay turned around. She should be able to understand the choices you are giving her, but maybe you should word it as you don't have a choice, either obey Mommy or _____ whatever consequence you chose to insert here. I would find a really boring spot to sit her when she acts up and when she gets violent and throws things, if they are hers, take them away and put them on top of the fridge or somewhere where she can see them but can't have them. It might take a little bit but she should decide that obeying is much easier, and you don't have to spank if you don't feel to with this type of method. Good luck!

Cynthia - posted on 05/15/2010

0

0

4

How to talk so kids will listen. www.FaberMazlish.com is the link the book should be available through your library.
Actually she is quite within her rights to move around in her time out spot since time out is about thinking about what you did and why it was wrong, as much as it is about removing her from the situation. Its leaving the time out spot or screaming, bagging making a racket of some kind that should add time to the time out. Timers are really effective tools for both parents and kids in time out situation, kids who can print or write could also write about how they feel and about why they did whatever it is that they did.
But as parents I feel we should be able to articuate first to ourselves then to our child (at their level) why what they did was wrong. Funnily enough I've probably had to apologise to my kids as often as they've had to apologise to me after a time out! and that is as it should be sometime our own exhaustion and worry cause us to take out our frustrations on a child just being a child or a child behaving badly because WE are distracted, of course behaviour needs to be corrected but we must never not apologise for our part in a situation if we are part of the problem. In this way we will raise a child into a responsible aware competent human being.

I agree children need to have choices but the choice should be limited between on two at this age and sometime that choice needs to be between the lesser of two 'evils' ie you can pick up your toys NOW or I can pick up your toys and you won't have them to play with for a couple of days.
Is she your only child or do you have other children too?
If a child isn't being heard she will do everything in her power to make you hear her, the problem may be you are seeing behaviour but not truly seeing the cause.
She may have an ear infection, or some pain in her body that she may not be able to articulate, she may be jealous of a new sibling, or may be being subltly bullied by an older sibling or neighbours child. What ever it is she is yelling out to be heard, or held. sometimes the best thing to do when she is out of control is to be wrapped in a light blanket or sheet and hugged back to your front and held calmly and quietly while you breathe. together.

Mandy - posted on 05/15/2010

54

5

7

Well bless you Jane that you must have never been put in situation that I have with my daughter! She used to not get choices. and that's when the problem lies. i don't really give her the choices your talking about as much as, "would you like to do what mommy asks or would you like the consequence?" Those are the options I give her so she understands that the consequence is just around the corner. Time outs, spankings, things like that DO NOT work for this child. remember, my child is not the same as your child.

[deleted account]

And yes, I give her options all the time and she DOES understand that she was given a choice.

And there-in lies the problem! You are giving her choices, therefore allowing her to think she has a certain amount of control. It starts with simple things like which b'fast cereal do you want, do you want to wear pink or green today - shall we walk to the shops or go in the car - play with this or read a book? The choices are endless for these little ones, and no-wonder they think they are in control because we are giving them so many options all the time, letting them make the decisions.
We've been taught this is the way we should raise our children - and what are we getting?! Just clock yourself and see how may choices you ask her to make in a day.
Try taking away ALL choices. You decide what she is going to eat, when she is going to eat it (of course she can refuse - that's fine, take her down and food time is over) when she is going outside to play, bedtime etc....

Of course you are likely to get some initial resistance - but then it will calm down.

In the meantime put time out near the front door, or some boring place. I set a timer. I make sure there aren't too many distractions, and then leave them to it. So what if they are turning around etc.... that is only an issue if you are watching them. They are children after all, and I don't know many 3yr olds (or older) that can sit /stand perfectly still.
Time out is about reflecting etc...
Personally I have found with 2 of my 3 children, a simple quick smack solves the problem a lot quicker. I warn, and then if they continue, a smack on the thigh/bum is good at sorting. Often a warning is enough. The other one it was too devestating and not a suitable punishment. Time out for one of mine made them more sulky. We use a lot of different methods now they are older. But at this age removal and ignoring them can work wonders, after all they want attention. So make sure you heap it on for the positive stuff.
and remember 3yr olds don't need choices yet - they are too young. They need us to be parents and be in control. Makes them feel safer.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms