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3 yr old horror: just Christmas or should we be worried?

(9 Posts)
Dosdemayo Tue 28-Dec-10 16:27:01

My 3 year old son is being unbearable... lots of biting and general agression towards his younger brother (22 months) and lots of growling, whingeing at everyone else.

He seems to constantly do things he knows he shouldn't, we have to ask him to do/not do things a gazillion times. We are staying at my mother-in-law's and he has had lots of attention etc, sleeping and eating fine. He does seem worse than usual right now, but then a lot of this happens at home too so I have been getting concerned that he may be in an aggressive pattern of behaviour.

Is this the sort of thing that just resolves itself in time or should we be concerned?

Time out doesn't work because his little brother thinks its funny, reward charts seem to work a bit but as soon as they stop, the behaviour reverts. Is there any sort of 'punishment' is appropriate and does it even work for this agegroup??

blinks Tue 28-Dec-10 16:35:56

if reward charts work, why not have a system where it can continue rather than stop it... something he regularly works towards?

SkyBluePearl Tue 28-Dec-10 17:48:31

can you help him find the words he wants to say? If he says 'grrr' and snatches a car or demands it rudely - rephrase what he is trying to say nicely 'please may i have the car, thankyou' - get him to say copy what you have said and only then allow him the car. You must be polite and calm yourself throughout. I feel like a parrot at times repeating things endlessly and getting him to copy but it has helped with my litle ones manners hugely in he long run.

Dosdemayo Tue 28-Dec-10 20:34:23

thanks both! He knows what to say and sometimes does so perfectly so its more about attention seeking I think... from what I have read lots of kids this age play up when there are lots of adults around so maybe that's part of it.

Herecomesthesciencebint Tue 28-Dec-10 20:44:14

wow are you me?!

DS2 (3) is being an absolute nightmare. Hes been a bit off colour so have put it down to that but as you say, he was heading like this for sometime so dont think illness is the crux of it!

He is rude, defiant, nasty, bullying and frankly hard work! Love him tho!

He will always destroy any game we play even if fully including him, says 'meh' in a really aggressive way at least 60x daily, never ever smiles spontaneously, always ends of moaning and whingeing even if we are having fun and he was giggling seconds ago.

DH describes him as a 'dementor', (privately of course) as he sucks any happines out of a room.

I am trying really really hard to be calm, ignore the bad stuff and smile lots if hes in a good mood, but wow its hard.

I spent ages reinforcing at bedtime how much I love him and how his behaviour doesnt change that altho i would be alot happier if he was kind and calm more. Im not holding out much hope that it works at all!

Pray its a phase and Ill join you in that!

Dosdemayo Tue 28-Dec-10 22:11:45

yup, sounds v familiar. let's hope its a phase and hang in there in the meantime. incidentally, we went out earlier this afternoon with his little brother and left him with his grandma for some solo time with her - this seemed to help us all feel refreshed... maybe worth a try getting him to spend some solo time with your partner or someone else to give you a break and then swap over...

tryingtobemarypoppins2 Tue 28-Dec-10 22:15:52

I think this week will always be a bit shock
Everything is out of routine, people here there and everywhere, pressents! Etc etc. No nursery the list goes on. Time of year I think!
Lots of fresh air and big spaces needed!

MerryMarigold Tue 28-Dec-10 22:18:41

You decide if this behaviour is just about Christmas and adults or a general trend. If it's a trend, it may not be a phase and may become habit. I guess you don't want to risk that one!

This is what I'd do. I have a 5 yr old ds and 2 year old twins and have employed some of these.

- Time out for very bad things eg. biting, hitting, things which you decide are really unacceptable. Doesn't matter if his bro thinks it's funny. He won't when he is isolated from everyone for a certain amount of time. We sit on the stairs, not allowed to take toys with him.

- Reward chart. Obviously preferable...

- Lighten up the situation! Ds being generally narky. Have a laugh and a tickle or pretend to be a monster and chase him around!

- Make sure he is getting enough exercise outside. My ds1 goes a bit crazy when he is indoors, which has happened with this weather, so I do forgive some of the rougher behaviour (though hitting is not acceptable in our house).

tattycoram Tue 28-Dec-10 22:19:30

I could have posted just the same about my nearly four year old DS. He was a horror at my mums, it was grim. He's been fine this evening though, since we have been home, I think the excitement has just been too much

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