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Need help with how to discipline a three year old, please!

(12 Posts)
mcgonagalscat Fri 31-Jul-20 19:35:30

My DS has just turned three. He's a lovely, funny, cheeky, kind little boy most of the time. Me and DH are calm with him, explain when he does something silly why he shouldn't do it, give lots of praise and will take toys away for a short amount of time if he deliberately does something silly that we have asked him not to - like throwing food etc.

When he is tired he gets really daft as all toddler do, and has started to pull my hair at the back of head really hard, he knows it hurts me. I ask him to stop and tell him he's hurting me, and try to move his hands but he keeps going. He did it tonight and I had tears in my eyes it was hurting that much blush- how do I disciple this behaviour effectively? DH ended up shouting to get him off and picked him up and told him off, DS came and apologised and gave me a cuddle. Is that enough? It's happened a few times now, always when he's tired. Also with pulling cheeks/ scratching faces. He knows it hurts and does it on purpose.

Thanks in advance!

OP’s posts: |
mcgonagalscat Fri 31-Jul-20 19:37:06

We tried the 'naughty / time out step' but he kept getting off and laughing- again, when he is tired, he sits on the step and then apologises. It's just when he's knackered, and it's knackering for us!

OP’s posts: |
SunbathingDragon Fri 31-Jul-20 19:39:13

He’s tired. Rather than disciplining him, I’d work on getting his naps right. Tiredness and hunger are two big triggers for young children and it’s unfair to compare behaviour then with normal behaviour, especially when it’s out of their control as the adult needs to ensure they get the sleep and food at the right times.

mcgonagalscat Fri 31-Jul-20 19:43:21

Yeah that's what I thought I might hear, and I think you're right. He had a nap today but dinner was later than usual so bed time was a bit later.

OP’s posts: |
user1493413286 Fri 31-Jul-20 19:44:09

I’ve just had a similar evening with my three year old; I end up telling her off in a similar way but if I can pre empt this behaviour it works much better. My DD will get over tired and start doing things like that so I do my best to engage her in a calm activity or give her an early long bath as that seems to calm her down a lot of the time and keeps her out of trouble. I did bedtime early tonight as she was just getting too much even for herself.

ScrapThatThen Fri 31-Jul-20 19:45:54

Don't explain, state. Remember you are teaching him emotion regulation. Don't talk much just state 'no, that hurts, time out until you can say sorry nicely'. Go to him after 2 minutes and say : now say sorry and then you can.come off the step. stick it out until he says it.
Avoid complex explanation ,(he's too young,,), avoid shouting don't hold grudges. Model getting over things and apologies and forgiveness. Then he will be secure to make mistakes and learn.

mcgonagalscat Fri 31-Jul-20 19:52:35

Thanks all. You're right, I can pre empt it and I ought to do more to stop it from happening in the first place. We have a little baby too so it's striking the balance, isn't it?

OP’s posts: |
babychange12 Fri 31-Jul-20 20:00:04

I tell my toddler to stop ✋ I don't like it. If he persists, I get up and move away. Usually works but sometimes results in tears

newphoneswhodis Fri 31-Jul-20 20:03:39

Naughty step works well in this situation because you are removing him. Make sure you give him a warning, you state why he's in time out. He apologises after.

icelollies Fri 31-Jul-20 20:09:43

Same here - 3 year old will hurt us when tired - including pulling hair!
I am not sure he really means it deliberately, but is just less able to control how hard he touches my hair when he’s tired. I just tell him it hurts and move away - i find that me stopping playing with him and moving away is enough ‘punishment’.
Like most behaviours, this will end and something else will start!!!!

missyB1 Fri 31-Jul-20 20:20:46

Yes pre empt it if possible. But if he starts to do it a quick stern warning to let go immediately or he’s going to get a consequence. If he doesn’t let go then I would personally put him in another room on his win for 3 minutes (one per Year of age), and explain that as he has hurt you he needs to be away from you for a while. Then after bring him out and let him say sorry and then move on.

tankflybos Fri 31-Jul-20 20:34:11

You're being too soft IMO.

Using words like "silly" and "daft" don't correlate with him pulling your hair until it hurts and scratching. Get firm with him. It's all there in the language...you say you "ask" him to stop? Don't do that anymore. Tell him. No "please" either, direct him. Give him an instruction. If he doesn't do as he is told then he faces the appropriate consequences.

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