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3 y/o behaviour - how to deal with as running out of ideas and desperate!

(7 Posts)
CJMommy Sat 09-Jul-11 18:25:07

My 3.6 y/o DS is a lovely, polite, sweet, sociable little boy. He loves his sister (6 months), is very affectionate and loving, loves being around people and appears to be quite bright. He language skills are excellent and he continually wants to learn about things. He loves jigsaws and will complete them quickly and will concentrate for long periods of time (30 mins +) on doing them or colouring etc.

However, in the last 2 months his behaviour both at home and nursery has deteriorated significantly. For most of the day he is lovely, but the moment you have to tell him off/speak to him to stop doing something, it escalates into a nightmare;

e.g. Asked him to stop climbing on DD's chair so he does it again, i repeat to not do it or will go on naughty step........so he runs over, punches my feet several times, I put him on naughty step where he spits at me and starts shouting very loudly in my face, he often then throws himself on the floor and will thrash around hitting things or throwing whatever is in reach.

This happens at nursery too when they asks him to stop doing something, he will either ignore or punch the feet of one of the girls. Sometimes he will start thrashing about and has had to be removed from the area as in danger of hitting one of the other kids (albeit not deliberately).

Now, nursery have pulled us aside to say that they are trying to find ways of stopping this happening and it's not a big issue at present although I fear it could become one.

The only triggars we can identify are that it seems to happen in an afternoon and specifically when he is being 'disciplined' or asked not to do something.

The naughty step has always worked in this house up until now but seems to no longer have a deterant effect.

How do we stop things spiralling out of control and why does he suddenly turn from the gorgeous loving DS into a nasty little person sad sad?

Is this normal, it doesn't seem to be?

Any advise welcome please.

Parietal Sat 09-Jul-11 19:01:51

My 3yr old DD is also troublesome and jealous of her baby sister but in a subtle way.

The only thing I can suggest is more attention when he is being good. It doesn't need to be OTT praise, just commenting is enough. Eg. 'look baby, ds is doing his puzzle'. Little and often is great. And keep going with the naughty step even if it doesn't seem to work.

ellensmelons Sat 09-Jul-11 19:38:38

Hi. I was just looking through the treads before I posted a similar plea for help for my 2.9 YO!! I work in a primary school and we have met similar gorgeous, loving, intelligent children who HATE being stopped mid-flow. Some find transition times very difficult indeed. We use a counting down technique. eg with a lad in reception we say 'ready to finish in 5' or '5 more minutes then we're going to xyz' Then we count down, either each minute or slowly from 5 to 1. Hold out hand. If they take it, great - reward! If they need a little encouragement we gently guide.

Let me know how you get on!

ellensmelons Sat 09-Jul-11 19:42:04

Sorry just read it again - prob wouldn't work to countdown bad behaviour as you want it to stop straight away! I've just bought 3-2-1 magic which I haven't tried yet. Basically, you give the countdown but you can go straight to 1 if the behaviour is severe. Then you take them to time out. In silence. Ususal 1 min for each year of thier life. Then take them out, no talking and carry on! Sounds odd but I'm going to try it. I'm at my wit's end!

CJMommy Sun 10-Jul-11 10:49:41

Thanks.
I've had a look through the threads and there does appear to be a reccuring theme with 3 year olds! Sometimes it just seems like yours is the only one and i'm beginning to dread picking him up from nursery, waiting for the words "DS has had a really good day, but..."

I'm trying to find something that both the nursery can do and we can do at home - they aren't allowed to do 'naughty step' or time out in silence.

I know that DH thinks that smacking should be considered and he has used this as a threat..."if you don't stop you'll get a smack" type of thing.......the sad thing is that this does seem to work but I don't want him to stop through fear IYSWIM

Chucksmum Tue 12-Jul-11 16:07:50

I've recently heard a great phrase to describe our darling 3 year olds - THREENAGERS. When I heard that it made me feel much better about my temperamental 3.5 yo. Also a friend who works in a nursery said that the terrible 2s are nothing compared to the terrible 3s! We'll all look back on this phase in a few years time and breathe a sigh of relief.

Davsmum Tue 12-Jul-11 16:35:09

What your son is doing is not unnatural or unusual - He is starting to assert himself and he wants control and will test to see how far he can go. Don't let it alarm you ! When he doesn't stop doing something repeat it once and then if he ignores you go and remove him firmly, affirming why you are moving him. Put him where you want him to be and if he hits or spits or kicks - hold his arms firmly and tell him in a low firm voice that he is not to spit/kick/punch etc. You may have to repeat this every time he repeats his behaviour over a few days but he WILL learn that he must comply and that you mean what you say.
Children DO pick up on any hesitation or surprise or fear from you so its important to mean what you say.
Children tend to behave like this more when they are tired so perhaps thats why he is more like this in the afternoons ?

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