TERRIBLE THREES!! Any advice?

Beth - posted on 08/16/2009 ( 27 moms have responded )

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Son has stopped listening, is disrespectful. LOL I know, that's how 3 year old's are. Just want to hear what you ladies have done to cope with the terrible threes! Husband and I are pulling our hair out!!

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Erin - posted on 08/20/2009

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We have done this with our kids 3,5,5,7 and it has worked better than I had hoped. I started a reward program. I cut out paper money in increments 10-100. 10= .10 and 100= $1. They earn "money" for doing good stuff and they pay me for doing bad stuff. I know that it hurts when they have to pay me especially since at the end of eac month we do a reward store. I go buy stuff and price it the way it would look so if it is $1 then it is 100 of theirs. We have two big sheets of poster board. One with Good Things and under a number of how much they will earn for doing it. The other with Bad Things under a number of how much they will have to pay for doing it. This has greatly improved their attitude toward us and also their behavior with each other. They also do better about cleaning up while they are playing and cleaning their plate at dinner. I give 100 for being good the entire time we are away from home as well. That improves behavior when we are in a store or at someones house. I just threaten them once that they are going to lose money and they straighten up.

Tamara - posted on 08/16/2009

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The one thing that I've heard that works fairly consistently is finding ways to say "yes." For example, "you can't drum on the table but you can drum on the floor, etc."

Jenni - posted on 08/20/2009

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My advice on dealing with the terrible threes is take him to bed. if you do it and give him two choices, go to bed or do what i asked you to do most of the time he will make the decision that will take him back to what he was doing in the first place. if you are out somewhere then just remove him from the situation as soon as he starts the fit. tell him your leaving and he is going home to get in bed watch how fst he will calm down. just remember to stick with it and anyone else that is helping u with hm should all do the same. i have a lil boy who will be three in a few days but he already gets the concept and wil change his tone as soon as i say bed. sometimes you have to just not say anything and just remove him as soon as it starts.

Beverly - posted on 08/19/2009

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Well I have raised 3 kids- 34,19 and 14 (still raising this one) I would have three options for your kiddo to pick as a consequence for disobeying- That way they can have autonomy and still know who is boss. Please remember if everything is an issue than nothing is an issue...redirect strong a will in the long run it will pay off. My son is at the United States Naval Academy, strong will was in his favor. God bless~

Ezra - posted on 08/19/2009

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the only advice i can really give on the terrible threes is no matter wat they throw at u,never,never,never give in to them cos if u do it once you'll b doing it for the rest of your life

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I agree with Sophia. Time outs work too a minute for each year 3 for 3 years etc. and if that doesn't work take a toy or privledge away if he's 3 say for 3 days. Then give it back if he still isn't being better take it away again for 4 days. It has to be something he really likes playing with or doing.

Sophie - posted on 08/29/2011

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does it help if i tell you it gets better once they four they seem to be more intelegent and your able to explain things to them and they actually follow mine were horrible at that age..just be firm on rules and also explaining when going out what route you taking what you going to be doing. and what behaviors you expect keep reminding him on what a good job he doing positive reinforcement does work..lots of praise if he behaving when he bad explain that behavior is not proper..and mommy knows he a good boy /girl.

Donna - posted on 08/19/2009

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it can be very simple...you both need to stop him with " Stop " " look at mommy (or daddy)...get his eye attention..and calmly repeat stop...this is unacceptable behavior and we need to stop....( do not think that he will not understand what you mean...trust me he will it has to do with the brain and word development)..your low firm tone, your eye to eye contact is a huge factor....if you can...hold his hands to get his attention..he needs that...as bad as it sounds...may take a couple of try's...but he will get the message...and it will stop the baddering back and forth...you have to take what is called a space in time to make the connection....odds are he is very very bright...!

Michele - posted on 08/19/2009

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Be patient and try to redirect his attention to something else. Tell him in a calm voice to stop, tell him no sometimes helps to put in time out. Such as sit down, or stop doing what they were doing move away from activity. It helped me to have them sit on the steps for a minute and then praise when you catch them doing something right!

Melissa - posted on 08/19/2009

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Ah, i am a mother of a 11 year old, two 12 year olds and a 14year old!!! Talking back and disrespect should be nipped from early on or it will only get worse.

When my kids were little and they talked back or told me no, I would put them in a time out after explaining to them that it was disrespectful and that they needed to sit and think (our bench was called the "thiniking bench") of a proper way to express their feelings. Of course at two and even early three's this was a bit much for them but if the timeout didn't work, i would take away one of their favorite toys for awhile. This is a difficult age because they are learning independence but you have to stay firm and stick to your guns, even if it seems there are days they are on the time out bench more than not! it will get better, they will test and test but stay consistant. It will pay off when they are teenagers, i promise!!!!

Alison - posted on 08/19/2009

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NO, my son had the terrible 3's too! No one told me that you can go through terrible 2's and 3's!

Abbie - posted on 08/18/2009

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thank you so much I was looking at that, but wasn't sure, nice to know its a good one. I'll pick it up!

Hannah - posted on 08/18/2009

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I thin following super nannies rules....not to yell at your child...be aware that what you do your child will copy so no yelling or smacking and also have a look into additives in your childs diet as it does make a BIG difference. There a dvd called "Fed Up with Childrens Behaviour"...its a MUST SEE

Abbie - posted on 08/17/2009

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Quoting Beth:

Abbie, see also Raising Your Spirited Child. It's a lifesaver!



is this a book or video?

Stina - posted on 08/17/2009

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I'm going through this right now with my nearly 3yo dd. My biggest issue is how very demanding she is of me. Get me this, Gimme that, Mommy pick that up, Mommy you better.

I've just continued doing what I've always done with her and her 5 yo big brother.



I have them say please... when they request something of me rudely, I answer them with how they should have asked.



DD: "Get me milk!" or "I need milk" (in the winey nearly crying tones)



Me: "Mommy, may I have some milk please?"



Then I wait. She gets the picture pretty quickly and rephrases pronto but I've been doing this for a loooong time with her. She still reverts back to the rude demands, and often when i ask her to do somthing, she'll actually retort with a defiant "No" So I try to be careful to say "It's time to pick up the toys" instead of, "Can you pick up your toys."



And when she doesn't listen to me, I give her a warning and then she gets a time out. Or, if it's close enough to bed time, she goes to bed early.



It's hard, but pays off. My 5 year old son is quite polite toward me and his dad... sometimes he regresses and recently has been going through a defiant stage himself, but not nearly as pronounced as his sister. I find with him, that if I make an effort to give him a bit more quality time, he stops being as defiant.



It's all about consistancy and not giving in just 'cause it would be easier not to listen to the tantrums.

Abbie - posted on 08/16/2009

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My son is 16 months and very strong willed!!! I am reading parenting the stong willed child, it talks about how to redirect the conversation. Such as, instead of while playing, asking them, should we do this, or lets do that(giving direction) just comment on their play. THAT IS A NICE TRAIN, YOUR BLOCKS ARE VERY TALL, THAT CAR WENT FAST.... things like that. Think about how you talk to your child. Believe me it has opened my eyes, and I have seen results with our son!! Its hard at first you feel so stupid for talking like that but in their eyes they feel tha tyou are really paying attention to them vs just giving direction. It is also recommneded to do this a few times a day for 5 minutes.



Also the best advice I ever got from another parent was, follow through on your threats. Even at age 1, 2, 3 whatever you need to follow through, because if you don't set boundaries they will make their own.



Good luck!!!

Beth - posted on 08/16/2009

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Thanks everybody for your advice on the terrible threes! What you all makes sense. Glad to know we are not alone in this problem! : )

Lisa - posted on 08/16/2009

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Well i defenatly rember those days !All you can really do is try and help him to understand on his level why he cant do whatever it is hes doing or act the way hes acting .I used to take away my kids toys untill they could start being good again.I k,now that sounds mean but it worked.Let them see that to get what they want requires a certain amount of disapline .I am going threw it again with my teenagers ...Let me know how thnigs are .I hope i have helped some ....Good luch and I know things will get better.

Krista - posted on 08/16/2009

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Establish a time out area. Get down on your son's level and explain to him WHAT the time out area is about. Tell him that any time he doesn't listen or is rude to you, he will get 3 minutes in the time out area. Make sure you follow through! It will probably be tough at first because he will NOT stay there. You have to make sure that when he's put there you tell him EXACTLY why he's there and that he needs to stay there for 3 minutes (how old he is). If he moves, you put him back without saying a word and the time starts again. So on and so forth for each time he moves. Eventually, he'll stay there. Once he's done his time out, AGAIN explain WHY he's there and end it positively with an I'm sorry from him and a hug and a kiss.

Gretta - posted on 08/16/2009

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good luck because i dont think it get any better my daughter is 4 and very sassy she listens but puts her 2cents in with it. constantly intrurupts when you talk to her, and then the other day had the nerve to tell me i wouldnt yell at you mommy if you would do what i tell you too... i am like ahhh just go clean your room its not a debate.

Jackie - posted on 08/16/2009

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I bought a time out chair. My 3 yr old practically lives it that thing :) j/k. but really i love it, whenever he's rude or disrespectful or not listening. he goes to time out. i really like it cause it gives him a few mins to chill out. i only make him sit for 3 mins. when his time is up, i just get down to his level and explain to him why he was in time out. It really does help and then both of us get a few to chill out so I don't go crazy either :)

Emma - posted on 08/16/2009

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Hi Beth. I would definitely recommend the Supernanny website (www.supernanny.co.uk) as it has loads of great tips. I've downloaded one of her reward charts to encourage my son to listen and respond when asked to do something. It was slow getting started but, when he realised there were rewards for listening, he has now begun to show an improvement. Let's just hope he keeps it up. Emma x

Kim - posted on 08/16/2009

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I think the terrible threes are far worse than the terrible twos. I would just be very firm and put him in time out when he isn't listening or being disrespectful. Tell him what behavior landed him in timeout or explain to him how he is being disrespectful. My 3 yr old is luckily well behaved for the most part, but his older brother was lucky he lived to see 4 yrs old. He was horrible and I think it was because we were not as strict and we would give in to the behavior. GOOD LUCK!

Keri - posted on 08/16/2009

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I have no advice, but I'm relieved to know that someone else out there has the same problem I do. My daughter just turned 2 and has completely stopped listening to me and her favorite word seems to be 'No'. I am trying to teach her how to be respectful and control her feelings when she's mad, but nothing seems to work. Thanks just for posting your problem-- it made me feel like I'm not alone.

Beth - posted on 08/16/2009

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Thanks everybody for your advice on the terrible threes! What you all makes sense. Glad to know we are not alone in this problem! : )

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