3.5 year old - I feel like I need an instruction book!

(4 Posts)
6monthsin Thu 07-May-15 19:06:33

Dd1 is happy enough, but getting a bit stroppy and madame-like and I'm not sure I'm handling it in the best way.

I can never think of a reward/punishment... I'm not even sure I do the whole punishment/reward thing right anyway. I tend to go straight into cross/serious tone which I don't think helps. I've started grabbing her to get her attention a bit more too which I hate but no other technique seems obvious at the time. I'm tired and brain dead so know that affects things but I'm beginning to really lose my confidence on what's acceptable from her and me!

Today she just would not do something I asked her to and I honestly didn't know what to do!

Help! Any parenting books that are any good? I really feel like I need a manual!!

SponsoredByTheBadFairy Thu 07-May-15 20:26:58

I'm winging it without a manual (so far) but have a DD the same age. I suspect I get off pretty lightly as she's fairly amenable most of the time. During the trickier times that could easily escalate into a stand-off, what works best is for me to make sure I get quieter rather than louder, to crouch down to her level or give her a gentle cuddle, and then to repeat what needs to happen. I suspect in that moment it's because she gets my full attention, and a bit of comfort, that she seems to calm right down and be happy to do what is asked. I should say that she's a LO who tends more towards anxious than confrontational, so each to their own and whatever works smile

When the tiredness clears a little when they graduate, I believe is it possible to spot a pattern in the tricky times for your DD? I tend to pick my battles and let my DD have choices when it's safe. My red lines that really can't be crossed: tooth brushing, no hitting, hand-holding near roads etc. She can choose her plate from her drawer, and choose what to wear from the box I put out, etc. She loves having some control (even if it's an illusion grin) Routine also means she does a lot of great stuff automatically i.e. it's always "tidy up time" before a meal, so she runs to chuck her stuff into vaguely the right boxes before coming to the table (we race while I tidy my stuff up too!)

Cedar03 Thu 07-May-15 20:49:36

For things you don't want her to do I have found a count down from 3 very effective. There has to be a simple punishment at the end and you have to follow through with this if the behaviour continues.
I found after a while just the threat of counting was enough. The aim is to get them to stop and the count down gives them time to think about it and stop themselves rather than you making them stop.

For positive behaviour we found racing very effective - 'bet you can't get your socks on before I do' can focus them. Or using a timer - my friend uses her cooker timer to ask her children to do something. Or - and this may be my daughter who has always been a bit contrary - but she used to love doing things if we told her her favourite cuddly toys said she wasn't allowed to. Ridiculous but she'd rush to sit on the toilet for a 'try' before bed because her teddy said she mustn't.'

Obviously at 3 they don't always listen or want to hear you. Don't worry if sometimes you are sharp or impatient. Small children can really try your patience.

Becca456 Fri 08-May-15 12:56:14

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