going crazy with my 3 year old

Deborah - posted on 10/14/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My daughter is 3, about to turn 4 in December. I have searched the internet with no luck. Here is the problem. She is a great child when she wants to be, but lately she had been horrid! I recently became disabled so I'm limited in things I can do, husband is in the military and my oldest is 8. My 3 year old defies me any chance she can. I ask her "Can you pick up your room?" I go and check on her and she will have her bed of the frame, toys scattered, and clothes out of the dressers. She intentionally does this because I request her to do a specific thing. I never dealt with this and don't know how to handle this. A year in a half ago she had a terrible problem with playing in her poop. She will go hide in her room, pip in her diaper, and smear it on everything. For months we tried talking to her, rrasoninh and rationalizing to a 2 year old, duct tape the diaper, nothing worked. So I looked online to see other patents who had the same problem and came across a couple who were in the same boat with us. They have their child a cold shower. I thought this was cruel, but living in the south, the child water isn't really all that cold. We have it a try, and it worked. She never did it again! A miracle. But this behavior doesn't warrant a cold shower. I do follow through, I do try talking to her and starting open, I use several different types of punishments that fit the "crime". Just today, we were watching a movie together that she wanted to watch. My phone was running so I got up to get it. Within less then a minute u come back and there and behold-a big steaming pile of poop in the middle of the living room!!!! When did she have the time to do this. The quickness of her removing bowels are impressive, but it's gross.. But any ways, it's rare that I use corporal punishment. Like with my 8 year old, I threaten her with wedding sweat pants to school.. Then I have no issues. But with my 3 year olds.... I have no vice on her. I have nothing to use against her, nothing is working. Please share some advice!

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Sabastiana - posted on 10/25/2014

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Wow it sounds like you have your hands full! I have a boy who just turned 3 a week ago. He is potty trained but thinks its fun to pee in the vents around the house, in his toy trucks, boxes, cups etc. He also fills things up with water/milk/juice and just dump it out wherever. One time he peed in his own sippy cup and started drinking it >.< He also will dump ever toy on the floor... Cars, Legos, blocks, every single toy and when it's time to pick up he says he 'can't' and I've threatened to throw them away(and followed through as far as he knew) and then the next time he'd say 'I don't want to pick them up. Throw them away' so I understand the part about not having anything that gets them to start listening... I am happy to say though that things are slowly turning around. I started taking away tv if he intentionally pees anywhere but the potty and so far so good. Picking up took a while but me or my husband had to supervise as be picked up every toy(it didn't start working until we stopped helping him). And as far as all the other little things, I just sat him down one day, just the two of us with zero distractions, and told him we needed to talk. I told him that both of us need to start doing good things instead of bad things so we both will be happy. We went over all the no-nos and why they're wrong and all the thing he should do instead because when he makes messes or spends too much time in time out then mommy has to take the time cleaning up instead of playing with toys with him, painting with him, going outside with him etc (all the stuff he likes to do with me) and when he spends too much time in time out he can't do all the fun stuff he likes. We made a deal that we'd have more fun together as long as he stopped doing the no-nos we talked about. Of course he's still making messes and being defiant but reminding him of our deal is helping which is kind of surprising. I've tried rationalizing in other ways and it had never worked before. I think telling him we are both changing our behavior together is encouraging to him. The truth is cleaning up after him constantly really does take away from the time we could be doing something more fun together, as does time out. I guess industry had to sit him down and explain it to him very simply and then create a plan and stick to it myself. I don't know if you've already tried that but I just thought I'd share what has shown some promise with my wild child's behavior. He has such an awesome is so full of energy and curiosity and life, he is also soooo independent! But for him that also means being messier, more distracted, more intense and more defiant than a lot of the other 3 year olds I've been around. I'm sure you'll find what works for her... Unfortunately no on method works for every child so a lot of us have to go through a lot of trial and error before finding the method that fits. Just keep trying and remember, consistency is key.

(Sorry if that was too much to read)

P.s. I almost forgot. I read in dr spocks parenting book that potty trained children may pee/poop in places other than the potty because its somehow more rewarding to them than going in the toilet. So if she is still pooping in places she shouldn't even after a punishment she hates, you might try and make going in the potty more rewarding. With my son I told him the potty was HIS and let him decorate it with stickers whenever he wants. For a little while I even gave him 3 chocolate chips after he peed I the potty to get him in the habit. Now he doesn't get chocolate anymore but he still likes to put stickers on it so he can look at them every time he pees. I don't know what a girl would like but I'm sure there's something fun that she could get into. I have to keep the toilet cleaner now that he's touching it so much but that's preferable to scrubbing the carpet 5 times a day ;)

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