Bad behaviour from 3.5yo DD. Advice please(20 Posts)
Hi, we need some help with DD's (3.5yo) behaviour that gets a lot worse after she comes back from her Dad's. She spent 2 weeks with him at Xmas.
She's jumping up and down,stamping her feet, shouting and screaming a lot (usually after we've said "No" to something) and more than half the time she talks badly to us. We don't want her to repress her anger but when is it enough?
Her nursery teachers say she is a model child, speaking very well to them and helping when asked. Her behaviour changes as we approach and leave school. Yesterday morning she was screaming at us all the way as we walked to school and became quiet and talkative as we turned the corner towards the school door. Today she screamed and shouted all the way home (but stopped each time she got to the road and held up her hand to cross the road -still screaming & shouting).
Refuse to listen to anything she says which is shouted or not said in a nice manner. 'I can't hear what you're saying because you're shouting' 'If you want something, you have to ask nicely'
You can't stop her being angry, but you can refuse to accept it directed at you.
Marking place as I've a 3.3yo who's turned into a dirtbag since xmas and I'm thrown on how to deal with it.....
Thanks for your responses. Noblegirafe we already do that and only seems to make things even worse
This morning we asked DD what she wanted for breakfast, she chose fruit with yogurt, then DP asked her if she wanted the yogurt with the fruit in the bowl and she said yes. So DP started putting the yogurt on the bowl and she started to scream that she didn't want the yogurt with the fruit and denied that she told us that. It feels like she is just trying to find anything to shout at.
Second what Noblegiraffe said. If calmly telling her that you can't understand what she's saying/respond to a request if she's shouting provokes more wrath, I would just say "well nothing is going to change until you calm down and talk to me properly" and then carry on with whatever you are doing, ignoring the meltdown.
I find with DD (3.3) that the trick is to maintain a balance between distancing myself when she is raging and being available to speak/make up once she's ready. So if she kicks off I would say that I'll talk to her when she calms down and I can understand her, and then carry on with "normal" activities, but try and stay in the same room.
We definitely get the "I want X", and then when "X" is provided - "I said I wanted Y". All about control I should think. My usual response there is (assuming it's not a total faff to do Y instead of X), "Well actually you said X but there's no problem doing Y instead, and there's no need to get upset about it, just ask properly". I find "properly" a less emotive word than "nicely", but that's just me probably!
Good points in the last post. We never leave DD alone as we don't want her to think that our love is conditional to her behaviour. However sometimes it is difficult for us as she will stay in front of us screaming to talk to her or to listen to her.
I really Luke the way you handle X and Y and we will have a go at it
Thanks for the advice
What works for us sometimes is acknowledging/naming the rage - "you sound very angry, DD", "sounds like you're cross" etc and suggest stamping feet / hitting the sofa to avoid her hitting us, helps her calm down quicker, I guess because she feels like she's been heard.
We also do the "we don't respond to being shouted at" and offer cuddles once she starts calming.
Distracting with humour as soon as possible helps sometimes, even saying "grrr!" and pulling silly faces.
With your DD it sounds like she's just taking out some of her stresses on you, so being there with the love is great, it is hard to teach them how to constructively express anger I think. I do have to remind myself that nobody learns much when they're raging so I probably should ignore more and simply be available for the moment when DD flips from anger to screeching "Cuddle!"
Yes, sometimes my DS is annoyed or frustrated or upset and just needs to let it out in a crying fit. He had to miss a planned activity today that he'd been looking forward to so he started howling.
I acknowledged that he was upset because he couldn't do what he wanted to do because of x, said when he'd finished crying he could come and have a hug, and then when it was tailing off, asked him if he had finished crying then gave him a big hug. Then we got on with the day. Sometimes when he's having a howl he just needs to be left rather than trying to placate him the whole time.
My dd has been like this since Christmas, no routine, staying at people's houses for the first time whilst I work, crap food, going to see my parents abroad. It's all built up into princess-itis.
I'm trying to stay calm, letting her know that I won't interact with her whilst she screams, rages and rolls about but that I'm here to talk after is working a bit better. So is regular sleep, better food, a return to nursery and a promise of a treat if her behaviour improves. She wants to go swimming I said we'd go today if it improved. It hasn't improved enough so I've told her that we will go on Saturday if it continues like this.
I like a phrase my sister uses "it's not you I don't like, it's the behaviour" plus reassurances of love and cuddles when she calms down.
Knew it was a good idea to mark a place!
I'm really struggling atm with ds answering back and ruining my threats...If I say 'I'm going to count to three and I'd like you to get up off the floor as its dirty..1' at which point ds will cut in and shout 'twwwooooooooo' ...and then I'm a little stumped as i'm not sure what I was going to do when I got to 3!
Or the typical 'I'll turn the car around and we'll just go back home'...'Ok mummy lets go home'...And i'm on my way to nursery then work so its not really a option.
He's 3 and I always feel like he gets the upper hand. arghhh!!!
If I count to 3 (or rather I do 3 to 1 otherwise he was counting to 10!) then DS knows that he can either do whatever it is himself or he will be manhandled into doing it. So I would say 'are you getting off the floor yourself or am I going to have to carry you? THREE........TWO.....ONE' then he is grabbed. I only use it when I'm really serious about something and although needing quite a lot of manhandling to start with, now he knows it's serious he pretty much complies right away.
Never make a threat that you can't or don't want to follow through (Milkshake, re driving to nursery). It has to be something that you WILL do - and if you threaten it then you MUST do it - then they know you are serious. If you threaten and don't follow through, they know they can manipulate you or that your threats are meaningless if they just keep on pushing...
I agree with CornishMade. I have a 3.5 year old DS. I read that once they reach the age of 3 you can really go to town with rewards and consequences as they are old enough to understand and respond to them. When at home I use the "Thinking Step". Once I have asked him to do something a few times and it is not happening. "DS I want you to do this/stop this. If you do not do this I will put you on the Thinking step." And I crouch down and say this right close to his face so I know he has taken it in. If he does it again then he goes straight on the thinking step for 3 minutes (same as his age). If he comes off he gets taken straight back until he's been there 3 mins (Sometimes crying/sometimes not). It's good old Supernanny stuff. I ALWAYS follow through. This has worked really well as he knows when I threaten it that I mean business and will usually just say "Sorry mummy" straight away and do it. Obviously this is balanced with lots of praise when he's being good and reward stickers for staying in his own bed etc. I subscribe to the view that children push and push to find out where the boundaries are. Boundaries make them feel secure. Tell them clearly what the boundaries are and expect them to test these regularly. In regards to OP's DD sounds like she is testing the boundaries at home to see where they are. She spent time elsewhere where there were different rules and boundaries and needs the reassurance that Mum will say no to certain things and will mean it.
I have two DD's. Both acted up at 3.5. Once they turned 4 it was over - there is light at the end of the tunnel :-)
What Bouncy said, re boundaries.
My DS goes to his room for 3 mins - I have to hold the door shut as he tries to get out. (Should really make him learn to sit still on a step, but haven't yet...) He HATES being on his own. I count to 3 if he's misbehaving and then it's off to his room - so it rarely happens now. I get down to his level, say "That's one. Do you want to sit in your room by yourself?" And he'll usually stop whatever it is. Sometimes on two. (Just "That's two." - no further discussion.) He's rarely in his room now as he knows I mean it and stops before three.
BTW if your child doesn't mind being in his/her room for timeout, then it's not a punishment/time for thinking. I.e. if they just merrily start playing with their toys. My ds hates it but if yours plays, then find somewhere like a utility room or back step or on the stairs etc where they have to just sit and can't be distracted.
Yes. I'm with you CornishMade. They shouldn't like it. I did find it difficult to get him to stay on the step to begin with and had to take him back there many many times on several occasions but he got it eventually.And he goes on a thinking chair if he misbehaves at nursery so it is reinforced there. Just a point on what OP said about not leaving DC alone as not wanting her to feel their love is conditional to her behaviour. I understand your opinion there OP but I don't agree. I tell my DS's I love them several times a day (only natural!). I don't think leaving them alone is any indication of whether I love them. I don't believe my son takes it that way. I actually think that by disciplining him I am showing him I love him. In the long term this is giving them the opportunity to learn self control. Not sure the thinking step will still work when he's taller then me and tell's me to F off though!! (I know this will happen one day!)
DD is going through this phase too. She responds much better if I tell her she won't be able to do X if she carries on. If I threaten to leave her in the shop or whatever, she always says 'yes please'. She was fine until she turned 3.
Mine's the same. I have had tantrums since 5 am today but he has finally chilled out. I started filming him this morning and he hated that and calmed down. I told him that I would stop filming when he stopped tantrumming
That's an interesting idea iwant!! DS has recently decided he hates being photographed so that might be worth a go in a tantrum!
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