Jessica - posted on 07/02/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )




I have a 3 and a half year old daughter, Maggie. Since she was 11 months old, she has been very defiant, selfish, and out right MEAN. Being a stay at home mom, she has been around adults all of her life. She has an extremely extended vocabulary, is extremely smart, and she knows how to use both to her advantage. She continuously does things just to see how far she can push me. She screams at me, demands me to do things for her, does NOT mind me at ALL (nor her father), grits her teeth when speaking to me, tears things up that do not belong to her, etc. She is absolutely out of control. She is suppose to start pre-kindergarten this Sept. but I am actually afraid to let her go because I am afraid of how she will act. Granted, when she is away from me and her daddy, she is a perfect child and I am told (by her MiMi and Aunt) that when I am not there, nobody would even know she was there. Why is she acting out this way? I have tried everything and I mean EVERYTHING-from hugs and calm speaking to yelling to ignoring down to spanking. When I was small, my mom used a paddle on my behind or a ruler on the bottom of my foot. That was always enough to get my attention, but with Maggie, it's almost like she WANTS it to get to the point of spanking. Maybe I should use Mom's method when I spank, but I use a plastic spatula and it's just on her behind. And no matter what, she will NOT cry. She has gotten so mad before that she banged her head so hard on the kitchen tile floor that her teeth chattered and she did not cry. I have no idea what to do anymore. I am to the point that I have thrown my hand up and when she acts like this all I can do is sit and watch and cry my eyes out because I can't DO anything more than I have already done. I am out of options and it is ripping my heart out to watch her act this way. WHAT DO I DO WITH HER??? HOW DO I HANDLE HER BEHAVIOR??? (Please do not make this into a spank/don't spank battle...She does not even have a red mark after I spat her on the behind)


Maryanne - posted on 04/29/2016




I Agree 110% WITH MANDY...For Heavens Sake Hun, If Your The One In Tears, thenYour Three & a Half Year Old Is SPANKING YOU!
Give her credit where credit is due, she is teaching you how to "MOM UP" and spank her little Bare Behind!
I have 3 girls, now 11, 13, & 15...who *STILL* get their panties pulled down for a paddling when needed, as long as they act as a baby, they will be treated as such! HOWEVER, YOURS STILL IS A BABY! Your child needs direction for Goodness sakes! You say she acts as though she's asking for a soanking...HAVE YOU EVER GIVEN THOUGHT TO SHE ACTUALLY IS!?!? AND THOUGH YOU SPANK, If she is not crying...then that's not her refusal to cry, THATS SIMPLY NOT A SPANKING!
If she were my own, starting at where your at with her behavior as described....I would (before her next act of disobedience) explain the best way you know how what "not minding mommy or daddy will get"...demonstrate with a stuffed animal, have already "spanked" so she will get the warning in the moment but once the next time she disobeys happens, the past memory of the warning and present moment of the REAL SPANKING will CONNECT.
It sounds like you have a very smart little girl on your hands....especially if she is the one who has YOU IN TEARS over her misbehavior rather than the way around! My 15 year old was like that...and maybe because it was so hard for me as a new mom to administer a spanking...AIM SPEAKING OF A REAL SPANKING...(no offense but at 3 & 1/2 if she's not crying during a spanking then your NOT ACTUALLY SPANKING! My girls are 11, 13 & 15 and BELIEVE ME They cry before during and after their spankings!
You need a good paddle and her bare bottom...the rest takes courage on your part to change the direction she is headed.
GODBLESS You Both, your in my prayers

JuLeah - posted on 01/26/2011




Punishment does not teach a child anything you want them to learn. Clearly your methods are not working, so don't make them harsher -
She doesn't act like this around others, start there. Observe her around others in a situation where she does not know you are there. What are the adults with her doing that you do not? What is she doing? How is she reacting to them?
BIG red flags go up when I hear parents use labels for their kids like you use for your child.
Never on the face of this planet has there been an 11 month old that was defiant, selfish, or mean.
Your perception is the problem here. You lack an understanding of what normal human baby behavior looks like. You can not hold a baby to the behaviroal standards of an adult. Their brians are different, not fully formed. Their body chemistry is different, so they react and respond differently. Their understanding of the world has not been shaped by years of living.
Please please take a parenting class and read a few paretning books.
Your child is not the problem, please stop blaming her and stop giving her such harsh labels. When we call somene a name, we stop seeing the person and just see the bad name.
She is still just a baby and she is not mean. She is reacting to her enviornment and acting in the way she was taught to act. We teach in our every interaction even if we don't know we are teaching.
Talk with her Aunt and see what they say ... of course it is a worry too that 'no body would know she was there' because that is not 'normal' 3 year old behavior. Threes are loud, and fast, and into everything. It is what they do.
Thank you for having the wisdom and courgae to speak up and ask for help .... please get help for you and you child.

Iridescent - posted on 07/02/2010




We also live in a small town, and we are taking our kids for psych evaluations next week 364 miles from here. If you're seriously concerned, make the appointments. You'd want a Pediatric Neurologist that does not specialize in any one category of brain disorders - rather, they have a working knowledge of all of them. There may be nothing abnormal, and you may simply need to be taught how to parent this particular child (as each child is so different from the next), or there may be a problem that can be treated. Even though they cannot diagnose ADHD or ADD at this age, there are other things that can be diagnosed or suspected and treated via behavior therapy at this age with huge success.

General guidelines
Behavior is set by age 5
Ability to learn is set by age 7
Ability to learn respect is set by age 10
These are critical to know when you're dealing with a child having problems learning any one of them. While they aren't 100%, they are the guidelines used in schools and clinics to set potential and goals for children receiving therapy. If you wait until she's 5 and find out there is more going on than you see, you may have lost potential for improvement.

Mandy - posted on 02/15/2015




Spanking works on my 2 year old. However, I don't think your doing it hard enough. A simple swat on the bum wont teach anything. Her pants and undies should be pulled down, she should be over your lap and her you should use a belt or paddle. Spank her very hard, until she cries. DO NOT STOP UNTIL SHE CRIES.

Ramona - posted on 01/26/2011




who's the parent....she has been.... time outs with losing toys works if firm ....As Dr. Phil says a bare room with no toys is no fun... mom and dad must agree....lost privileges
and sitting gets boring!!!!! Ramona


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Sarah - posted on 04/30/2016




Good Heavens, now y'all are trolling 5 year old posts to proclaim your whipping your kids into submission methods? Really? My heart aches for your kids, I know you think your right. I have told you before I respect your parenting choices but why are your so close minded to other discipline methods? Why is your way the only way. Hitting a toddler into weeping is really the only way to train her to obey?

Amanda - posted on 01/26/2011




Do not ever spank your child agian with a weapon!! It is against the law, and degrading to your daugther.

Your daughter has no self control because you have no self control. Spanking your child with a weapon is NOT control, crying and having melt downs infront of your misbehaving child is NOT control.

Get a grip on yourself, your daugther behaves like this because her own mother behaves in such a way. She also behaves like this because you ALLOW her too. Send this child to her room until she can behave, leave where ever you are in public and take her home STRAIGHT away, and again send her to her room until she can behave.

I am a firm believer that we teach our children how to behave. You taught her how to misbehave, now spend the time and effort to teach her how to behave correctly.

1. Dont yell, talk. Send her to her room and tell her why shes being sent there.

2. Dont do everything she demans.

3. Dont hit, it clearly isnt working

4. Encourage good behaviour, it takes a 1000 Good jobs to repair one bad girl.

5. Be consitant, rules are to be obeyed 24/7, and punishment will be handed out when every a rule is broken.

*added note*

Your child is 3, so you need to treat her as a 3 year old. Clearly there are rules, that a 3 year old isnt going to listen to, you need to set rules that go with her age and maturity.

Geri - posted on 01/26/2011




It sounds like your daughter has no respect for you or your husband and that is not a good place to be for any of you. Have you ever watched Super Nanny on Style network? If not, I would suggest you catch an episode or two. If you don't have access, check out the website. She has some excellent methods of dealing with turning kids attitudes around and how to firmly, yet lovingly discipline them. Good luck.

Tanya - posted on 07/02/2010




Just wondering how often she gets out of the house. Maybe you should let her have some sleep overs with Mimi and Aunt. If she likes getting out of the house see if Mimi will agree to take her one night a week for a few hours. Then see if aunt will take her for a few hours. Maybe she can also spend one night a month somewhere else as a reward for good behavior.

I would take her to a doctor it could be something other the adhd.

Emily - posted on 07/02/2010




Also want to add, you may want to take a look at the way you are viewing your daughter. I find it somewhat shocking that you would label an 11-month-old defiant, selfish, and mean. You speak very negatively about your daughter, like you are describing a monster. It's pretty normal for most toddlers to be selfish and defiant.. that's just the way they are. It takes a lot of time to learn proper social skills. I'm wondering if maybe you started off on the wrong foot by expecting her to be a certain way, and maybe you both need to work on your relationship. Start by focusing on what her positive qualities are, and building her strengths, as well as building quality time between the two of you, instead of this constant battle of wills.

Emily - posted on 07/02/2010




If she is only acting that way in one setting and not with other people, she likely does not have AD/HD.

It sounds like she has control over you. Kids continue behavior that gets reinforced. When she demands you do things for her, do you do them? When she does not do as you ask, does she get any sort of consequence? It sounds like there's not a lot of consistency in response from you, so she has no reason to stop what she's doing. When my son talks to me that way, I simply do not give him what he wants until he can speak in a calm tone and use his manners. He gets consistent consequences (typically a time out) when there is unacceptable behavior.

I would really recommend getting some advice from some sort of professional. If it's too far to drive, see if you can do a phone consult. There are even counselors that do internet sessions for people that live too far away. You need some support.

Jessica - posted on 07/02/2010




I asked the doctor when we went just for a check up and he said that really until the age of 5 that even with ADD or ADHD it couldn't be detected so there was really nothing anyone would be able to do until that age. And we live in such a small town that there is no psychologist or therapist for over 100 miles away.

Angela - posted on 07/02/2010




How really awful for you! I wish I had some words of advice to give, but in truth I just don´t know what to say to such outrageous behaviour. My 3 yr old never listens but can be made to do what she´s told with firm words. I would be at a loss if I was faced with your situation! You must feel so desperate! What could I suggest that you haven´t already tried? Except maybe some counselling sessions, is there a psychologist or counsellor that you could go and see?

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