Frustrated preschooler

Eboni - posted on 05/05/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )




My three yr old is acting out at school largely out of frustration. Whenever she is frustrated, which these days seems very often, she screams, bits, kicks or wets her pants. I think she is doing it because she can get away with it there because her teachers are far more passive than I am in dealing with inappropriate behavior. I don't want to spend the next few months punishing these outburst because I think that may only be making the problem worse. Any ideas?


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Selina - posted on 05/05/2009




i agree with the 1st 2 replies 3 is the worst age.. my son is 3 however i have the opposite problem . at pre school he is fantastic they think he is an angel and love him . At home we have a lot of problems.. i think when people say the terrible 2s i disagree its the terrible 3s.. my eldest son was exactly the same he turned 3 and the problems came. However do not dispair it will pass i have a lot of friends with 3 or more children who all say just persue with things and eventually it will stop.

Perhaps try a behaviour chart for if they have a good day at school they get a smiley face and a small reward and bad days get a sad face and no reward..

Hope this helps for u

Tisha - posted on 05/05/2009




Hi Eboni, I have three boys 14, 9, and a 6yr old. Yes I have been there with my 6yr old. It turned out that he was acting out in school and home because he was not getting the full amount of sleep he needed. For my other two can go on lettle sleep, but my 6yr old seems to need more. We would put him to bed at 7pm and he get up at 7am, happy as can be, on the days when he would go to bed at 8pm he would have a bad day. Maybe your three yr old just needs a little more sleep and love, all ways extra love. I hope I help. good luck..

Shannon - posted on 05/05/2009




I am not sure where your child attends prescool but as a preschool teacher at a private school I want to say this.... Let her know that this is not acceptable and if you have to come over on your lunch break and deal with it you will. At our school K3-12th grade we still use spanking if nothing else works! I am not saying that spanking is always the best solution but your child needs to know that being disobiendent is unacceptable and that you will use the best punishment to fit the crime! If you are back and forth on this the child picks it up and knows that nobody is REALLY going to do anything! Keep in mind the 4 year olds that I teach can read and write at a 1st grade level and that is mainly based on the fact that my children know that I love them and expect and certain level of behavior. You may want to re-think your school....

BTW Each child is diff. in the thing/discipline that works find the one thing that works

on your child and use it. Time out/ spanking/taking away things... One of them will work!

Hope this helps!

Holley - posted on 05/05/2009




All great advice. I'm sure it isn't the case...but just make sure that nothing is going on that is upsetting her. For instance, if something has happened that has made her uncomfortable, hurt, embarassed, etc... You never know with kids because thier ability to communicate is so immature. Sometimes things are going on for reasons that seam completely unrelated. Sometimes we never find out the reasons for the phases/fears that they go through.

Barbara - posted on 05/05/2009




I learned from a very wise Preschool teacher that alot of times this happens when the child is about to make a new learning breakthrough. It can be language, a certain skill mastery, or becoming totally potty trained. If she is a talker, encourage her to use her words to tell you what bothers her about school, or to draw you a picture of how she's feeling. Encouragement is key at this phase of her development, but you don't have to be a pushover. She must understand if she acts inappropriately, there are also consequences. I know taking something away that is a favorite almost always (STILL) corrects the issue. You know your child best, just take a step back and "read" her.

Cheryl - posted on 05/05/2009




I havent been through this I can just remember with kids in my family at that age and at home we need to teach them emotions and the right way to deal with them at home, there is books and movies that do that if you dont know where to start. your doing the right thing by not punishing this, but still need to teach at home. make a face chart and when she is acting out get her to draw her face, tell her to take a few min to think how she would like to draw her face for the next time and what does she need to be able to do that, is it words or touch. does she need something from you or others to be able to draw a happy face. like a hug or a good job. get them connected and aware of why and how to change their own attitude!

good luck

Emily - posted on 05/05/2009




def dont punish her at home for it. they will handle that there!! I rem my son at the time 3 also, hit a few times and they would not let him go outside or sumthg. They will def handle it there. Just in case tho i would talk to the teachers about it and see what they say. Do you no why shes doing those thgs?

Elizabeth - posted on 05/05/2009




oh, I am convinced the age of three is the worst, my son did the same thing. There were days I felt like time out was how he spent the whole day. I believe a lot of these behaviors are because the child craves attention, and they get it when they act out. They don't care if it's negative, they just like the attention. You could try to make a big deal out of the good stuff, even if it seems mundane, like saying please, or actually doing what you ask her to do. Also at the age of three, there is a lot more going on in the world then they can express, so it may just be how she knows how to get her frustration out. The nice thing is it is a phase, and she won't be like this forever.

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