To ask you honestly if you think my DD is badly behaved?(466 Posts)
DD is 3, and I used to think a lot of her behaviour was normal for this age. I still think it's normal but I wonder if DD is maybe at an extreme end and I wonder if its my parenting I definitely don't want soft soaping here so please give it to me straight.
- tantrums, I know, normal for this age group but they last such an unbelievably long time and are so forceful. She honestly screams as if she is being murdered. Anything and nothing sets them off, things like buttoning her cardigan the wrong way, putting a blue hair bow in and she wanted purple.
- rudeness (this upsets me most) she is not a polite little girl. We were at a party the other day and she was given a "prize." She responded with a foot stamp and a loud "noooooooo NOOOOOOOOOOO I want THAT one." She couldn't have "that" one so she just kept screaming. It was a gift She has done this before if anyone gives her anything, so embarrassing.
- won't walk anywhere for long periods, she has to be carried and only by me, not DH or one of my friends. I've stood for an hour telling her to walk but she doesn't give up. It's definitely about being close to me not tiredness as alternatives like DH carrying her, standing on the buggy board, don't work.
- sleep, she's always been a bad sleeper and it's not improving, she wakes several times in the night and again it is me she wants.
It sounds awful but it's putting a strain on our relationship as DH thinks (he doesn't say so explicitly but it's obvious) I have "caused" this and I think maybe I have as I was very into the whole gentle parenting thing when she was born. We were at the zoo the other day and DH suddenly walked away with other DC when she was whining and crying. I asked him what was wrong and he said "I wanted to smack her, and I felt awful for wanting to smack her, but I did." I knew what he meant. Obviously I don't want to smack her but I do feel like she's making us all and more importantly herself miserable right now.
What are the ages of your other kids?
Any recent family upheavals?
How do you react to the tantrums. For example the rudeness at the party?
What consequences are there for when she behaves like this?
Can you tell us a little bit about what the consequences of her behaviour are? Eg the screaming at the party? What did you do next? How do you try and encourage her to walk; do you recognise her tiredness/hunger cues which might be triggers? Do you have other DC? If so what are their ages?
What you describe does sound on the more extreme end of what I would consider 'normal' (whatever that is!) but it's how you deal with these episodes that may define the future pattern.
You can't really do much about the tantrums but they are probably symptomatic of the other behaviour. Is there any consequences to her behaviour? I would have said then there is no prize when she kicked off. If she isn't walking then you go home and there's no fun with friends. There needs to be a consequence to her kicking off else she'll just carry on as she gets what she wants.
Hope that doesn't sound too harsh but something needs to shift.
The fact that she isn't sleeping well is a likely cause. My daughter because a feral nightmare and no amount of strict parenting works.
Perhaps putting her to bed later and not allowing a daytime nap might help her sleep better? Or co sleeping which is what I did/do.
I doubt you caused this though!!! Kids without sleep are monsters. As are adults!
It's hard to know what to do about the tantrums. What consequences can you have for such a young child? I don't mean that in a horrible way, but even things like taking a favourite toy away don't work if you happen to be out and about and anyway she hasn't got one particular toy she really loves.
It sounds like she is just used to getting what she wants and uses the tantrums to achieve this. I second the PP who mentioned the consequences - it will never stop if she never loses out.
Has she been okay with the verious developmental milestones. If she goes to nursery/a playgroup/a childminder/is looked after by relatives or babysitters - has her behaviour been considered okay while she was not in your care?
She doesn't really nap in the day. Occasionally she might doze off in the car if it's a longish journey but otherwise she's up and about.
Does she still have a nap? If not reintroduce them
Do you do anything to chastise her or do you appease her? Actions have consequences and screaming about a gift at a party = removed from the party. Use a time out space for home ones.
This isn't going to be an overnight fix you need to be firm and stand your ground. No means no so use it sparingly.
I agree with Kennington. Lack of sleep in my DC creates awful behaviour. I can see that they don't really have any self control when so tired.
Honestly it sounds at the more extreme end of what is considered 'normal' however my dd was similar at that age. Woke every night without fail several times, sometimes would wake with what appeared to be night terrors and start having what I thought was hour long tantrums at 3am. Her tantrums through the day were epic too and she never gave up. Also very clingy to me-I used to describe her as my stalker lol. It turned out for her that she has autism as well as sensory processing disorder. There were other small indicators, but overall she appeared to be developing at the desired rate.
I'm not saying that your dd is the same but this was my experience, its easy to blame ourselves but sometimes it isn't caused by us not handling them properly.
There are so many consequences you can enforce but you have to follow through on them if you 'threaten' her with it.
If you're out and about - go home.
If you're at a cafe - no juice/cake/treat
If you're at home - early bedtime/naughty step
Children this end like to choose and by taking away their choice you are sending a message they can't get their own way all the time.
Honesty? She sounds pretty badly behaved to me.
If either of mine had behaved like that at a party I would have taken them home. They knew it, they did not behave like that. And yes at 3 they had clear boundaries and, more or less, stuck to them.
Sorry, but I think gentle parenting, any of these movements are a bit rubbish. Also sounds like DH could be far more supportive and needs to help/ discipline instead of putting it all on you, making unhelpful insinuations about your relationship.
Obviously not snacking but being very firm with her- looking directly at her, holding her gently by the shoulders and explaining why you think her behaviour is unacceptable. You need to have your other dc on board as well, if this is possible. No point doing all the work with her while they're winding her up etc.
Developmentally she is spot on and her speech is excellent. She is fine at nursery. I am definitely the trigger if I was at nursery she would be really naughty but as soon as I go out of sight she is fine. It's the same with a couple of activities she does too.
I'm sure, though no one has explicitly said so, that it's putting people off spending time with us and I can see why, it's just not enjoyable.
You can't reason with a child of that age. There is no mention of consequences in your post OP. For example, the incident with the prize, it doesn't matter how much she plays up, she either has the prize offered or nothing and that has to be made clear to her. If she persists she doesn't get anything. You spent an hour trying to persuade to keep walking? Have you ever tried walking away instead? Obviously you keep an eye on her, but kids usually realise they are going to be on their own and catch up. Do you ignore tantrums or try to soothe her? If the latter, then her tactic is working.
It sounds to me as though she has worked out how to play you. She pushing the boundaries so you need to set them and not move them.
Consequences for 3 year olds need to be immediate and related to the incidenr. So if she is having a tantrum at a party then you give her a single warning then you remove her from the party and ideally take her straight home. Same in any public place. One warning then immediately removal. She should hopefully very quickly get the message that you mean business!
It all sounds 'normal' behaviour for a child of that age.
Maybe give more praise for the good things she does. I'm sure you do anyway but I find rewarding the good and ignoring (if you can) the bad helps. Give it a try even if it seems over the top. Children love being praised. Buy some pretty stickers to reward her. Lots of exaggerated cheers and claps etc. I know it's not easy especially when you have other children to give your attention to but it could be worthwhile in the long run to give her all your attention for good reasons rather than bad, if you know what I mean.
It's not something either of mine did but that's not to say it isn't normal. The thing is when they are so little, it's difficult to put a stop to such things. Their communication and reasoning skills aren't good enough.
It's nothing to do with gentle parenting, people have different personalities and hers sounds fiery at the moment. She is too little to realise that it's not appropriate to be ungrateful for a prize for eg.
You will unfortunately come across people who think their 3yos good behaviour is down to their excellent parenting skills and they will judge you. I have two dc and at three they could not have been more different. I got judged when people only one.
It sounds on the upper end of normal - is she shy or just blatantly rude. I would really work on the social skills first.
Pick ONE Issue and work on it - read whatever books you relate too and then go from there
One of the primary roles of a parent is to create good boundaries and then to enforce them. I see too many parents today with poor boundaries and no enforcement.
wanting to be their DC's best friend etc
I am fortunate to have a great DW who never wanted to be "besties" she just wanted to be the best Mother she could. Upshot, three adult kids with a grand total of one supermarket strop, between them. We even joke about that as a family.
Take control of the bad behaviour, jump on it. Never excuse or ignore it. Set the boundaries and enforce them.
I think you need to have some firm
boundaries and consequences in place.
E.g. The incdident at the party. You make her apologize for being so rude and then give her a choice. She either has that prize or no prize at all. Her choice. Ignore any crying/screaming and if it's bad, simply say "if you don't stop by the time I count to 5, I am going to take you home and you'll miss the party." Start counting slowly. If you get to 5 you pick her up and take her home, just as you said you would. No discussion, just do it.
At home I would use the 'thinking step' or 'thinking spot' (some people call it the naughty step but I don't particularly like that.)
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