Help with a 3 year old

Nichole - posted on 02/27/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I am having a difficult time with my 3 year old son listening and talking back. I have tried all that I can think of and it doesn't get any better. He gets mad and drops his body on the floor kicking and screaming. Every time I try to discipline him he winds up mocking what I do and will turn around and do it himself. Time out doesn't seem to work... I am just at my wits end.. Any suggestions?

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Christine - posted on 02/27/2009

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This is normal and frustrating. My son is 31/2 and just getting out of this stage and has started listening better.A few months ago just getting dressed was a big ordeal full of time outs and tears(both of us in tears a few times) I am reading a book called Secrets of Discipline 12 keys by Ronald G. Morrish. A mom of 4 told me about it and i think it is helping. Also I just read a book (twice) called It's Not Fair by Anthony E. Wolf that makes you understand where your child is coming from, why they are acting this way and different ways to word your reactions. It is a very realistic book where you will find actual conversations that sound exactly like the ones between you and your child. My best advice is read a book and don't beat yourself up about feeling out of control, try to stay as calm as possible and wait til he closer to 4, it gets better and i am told you can enjoy them from 4 to about age 12 when they start to think they know everything!

Nichole - posted on 02/27/2009

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I guess I need to be more patient and more consistent with the time out. My patience seems to be worn thin most days and he is a stubborn little guy! Thank you for the help, I will keep it going. :) 

Jessica - posted on 02/27/2009

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I have a three year old as well and we have gone rounds about him not listening.  I agree with Erica that by getting down on his level helps.  I usually kneel down and make my son look at me.  Then I speak in a softer tone so he has to actually pay attention to what I'm saying to understand.  The other thing I do is either take whatever he is doing away or shut off whatever is keeping his attention away from me.  Thankfully I have had luck with timeouts but it didn't at first I had to be consistant and his very outgoing personality makes it tourture to be singled out and seperated like that.  All in all you have to try everything until you find what works for your child because something that might brake one childs heart and teach them will only cause another child to laugh at you. 



Motherhood is often a guessing game to find out just the right way to react and not overreact to any given situation.



 



 

Erica - posted on 02/27/2009

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Hi, I find that if my little 3 year old girl does this you need to get their attention by getting down to their level, gain eye contact and explaining why it is not acceptable to do what their doing and how it makes you/others feel when he does these things. A good easy to follow explanation seems to work with my girl and always have him tell you what they did (this is just so that you know he understands what you have said to him) and get him to say sorry then kiss, hug and continue with what you were doing. Hope this helps, it does work for me and I find this way has very low impact on your stress/anxiety levels which is really good cause if you can be calm then so will your son.

Braedonjm - posted on 02/27/2009

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I have the same problem. I did find that sending him to his room for time out seemed to impact my son more than sitting in a chair.



A really good thing I have learned though is how to avoid a public seen. If he starts throwing a tantrum or isn't listening in a store- tell him you are going to take him to the car for a time out. count to three. if he hasn't stopped take him out to sit in the car (carry him if you have to) until he's calmed down and then ask him if he's ready to behave. If you follow through a couple of times- then he will know your serious and not making a false threat. By the time you start counting he will calm himself down. As a side note- Everyone is always happy to hold your stuff for you (even in a grocery store) if you tell them you will be right back. Most people have sympathy for a struggling mom. And if they don't- then who cares what they think anyways!

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