Please help me handle my lovely but naughty 3 year old(17 Posts)
DS2 , a very confident and charming little boy, has always been a little bit naughty in a 'let me just do this and see what reaction I get' way, but in the last few weeks has really crossed the line. Today, amongst other, lesser sins, he has broken the microwave, and weed twice on the new living room carpet (not accidents, actually purposely weeing). The final straw was throwing bowl fulls on water out of the bath and onto the bathroom floor, at which point I shouted at him and got him straight out of the bath and dressed. He was crying to begging for a cuddle, and I refused. He's very affectionate and we cuddle a lot so I know this was a big thing for him. I did go back after 10 mins and asked him to say sorry, wguch he did and gave him a cuddle.
I really don't want to get into a cycle of negativity with him but at the moment the naughtiness is just constant!
Any advice pleaeees??
For context I work full time but am usually home by 3, he's with DH while I'm at work, but has just started nursery 2 mornings a week, very minimal issues with settling in there.I find that at the weekend I'm often trying to get lots of house stuff done so maybe it's attenetion seeking?
You don't withhold affection as punishment.
The way he sees it - you've sent him away to nursery, now you won't cuddle him. Bad behaviour is a way to get your attention, to see if you still love him.
I wouldn't have denied him a cuddle but I would have cut his bath short and accepted that he was upset about that but it was a consequence of his behaviour.
I would try and be more unruffled (or at least appear to be) if it's a reaction he's after.
Yes, the lack of cuddle was a mistake . I have unruffled days which are certainly more pleasant for us all, but this doesn't seem to curb the behaviour at all.
I wouldn't have responded at all. Just kept a straight face and asked him to help put towels down to dry it up. Any sort of reaction to things like that will make him do it more. Create a few situations where you get to give him praise instead or create mummy and me time for extra cuddles or something.
That's not naughtiness really, its how they learn about absorbence, transparence and how angry Mum gets.
Seriously, its very normal.
OK, so it looks like I'm just getting too wound up by it all. So I should just be calm and reiterate the message that we don't do that? Will that eventually work??
Three year olds are worse then 2 year olds
Calm consistent is the way forward, my two did the bath thing, it's funny looking back
I’m just going through a similar stage with my 3rd child and I can totally sympathise, it’s so hard at times when it’s a constant stream of annoyances.
I found myself saying to my toddler yesterday “well that was a very silly thing to do wasn’t it?” Then I thought to myself, it’s not silly, she’s only little, so to her it’s funny.
As hard as it is to ignore and remain calm, it really is the best approach for you and DS. You’ll only work yourself up more getting angry and he’ll love the reaction so do it more!
How could he reach the microwave? Don't let him have bowls in the bath. Think 2 - 3 steps ahead as to what he can do. The weeing could be for attention. However I can remember having a soaking wet bathroom floor days. Made sure my 2 boys were shown how to wee in toilet properly, but soon found out they thought it was fun to play sword fight with their streams of pee. I admit I did have to laugh out of their sight.
My DS went through a stage just like this, always doing things for a reaction (tipping up drinks, flushing stuff down the loo, the worst was pouring paint out of the window! All in the space of about two weeks).
I think mainly it passed on it's own but the best way I found to deal with it was to have a completely blank, unemotional reaction and just enforce a consequence related to the "crime". e.g. getting out of the bath and helping to dry up all the water. I also used "trust" as a bit of a currency, e.g. he's now not trusted in the kitchen without me, because I can't trust him. Making sure I was clear about ways in which he could earn the trust back.
He's more than old enough to understand that being naughty results in a punishment. Keep calm, as others have said, tell him to stop and tell him that continued naughtiness/disobedience will lead to a specific punishment. And then enforce it.
Be careful to show him you still love him. Lots of cuddles and reassurance. But still - ten minutes on a naughty step, confiscating a favourite toy for an hour, or whatever.
No advice, but I assume that this will make you feel a LOT better about it all.....
My DD is 3.5 and cleaning up after herself has improved her impulse to make a mess for a reaction.
We had the same bath issues, throwing water out, turning taps on, going under water no holding breath and refusing to come up.
Each time, before the bath, I explained if he did any of those things, he would get straight out.
Each time he did, he got out. And he stopped.
If he sees on the carpet, he cleans it, and then has time out. And apologises.
It's about being calm, and consistent and stopping this behaviour before it escalates.
Of course it is funny to them, teach them it isn't funny, it's unpleasant and they need to not do it.
Some great responses! I’m having similar with my 3 year old son. It’s very hard not to take it personally and consider it defiance.
When he’s good he’s the sweetest politest kindest child. When he’s pushing the boundaries he’s a bloody terror!
Thanks there's some brilliant advice here. I think I know what I need to do really, just need to remember to take adeep breath and not react!
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