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How do you respond to 'I hate you' and other threenager behaviour??

(6 Posts)
insicknessandinhealth Sat 13-Aug-11 10:00:07

Rather at wits end with 3.10 year old DS this morning - and in general. Find it really difficult to respond to him shouting 'I hate you' - as usually I would quite like to shout back 'and I hate you too!' at the time! Does anyone have any really good responses to this that have worked? It's really like I've got a moody teenager on my hands sometimes, and he often hits me at the moment too. I've started a reward chart to praise good behaviour, and at first I was disciplining him by taking a star off for bad behaviour, but this backfired as sometimes when I warned this he would go and remove all the stars himself (probably my fault as reward chart is magnetic and within reach! Somehow there is never a moment to bang in a nail higher up in the wall though IYSWIM!). Have also tried naughty step with him but again, he quickly got wind of this and would rush to the naughty step himself, appearing even to enjoy it and treating it as a game! Also not sure how to respond to being laughed at when I tell him off in my best no-nonsense voice. It's like all my discipline techniques backfire the minute he works out what is going on. At present, he has two of his favourite things - his plastic hammer and his JCB Dancing Diggers DVD on top of the fridge until tomorrow, and this certainly provoked a reaction - a half hour tantrum at 7am to be precise! To those of you who use the 'ignore bad behaviour' technique, how bad does the behaviour get that you ignore? If I ignore my DS, he follows me, climbs onto me and basically won't leave me alone to ignore him so I also find that quite difficult. Sigh! Any advice welcome! Maybe I'm just trying too many techniques...?

lemonsquish Sat 13-Aug-11 10:07:41

I think you might be right about using too many techniques. Decide which one you want to use and stick to it for a good while, say at least a couple of weeks.

I have always found the being consistent with young children works well. Both they and you know exactly where they stand, and consequences to bad behaviour.

As for what to respond to 'I hate you'.......'well, I love you' usually makes them think a bit!

holyShmoley Sat 13-Aug-11 10:16:04

'ignore bad behaviour' means ignore the behaviour, not the child.
Our DD1 is the same age and i just treat it as part of the tantrum, so focus on distracting or calming - being with your child, rather than opposed to them.
Have you read Playful Parwnting?

Jo993 Sat 13-Aug-11 22:02:26

My DS is exactly the same age and has the same types of outbursts. We have found that removal of toys he is enjoying works the best, as naughty 'areas' just don't have effect i.e. he simply won't stay on a naughty step. We then try our best to move on from the outburst by distracting him in a positive way. I have to say though, there have been times that I have found myself having an argument with this clever little 3 year old 'angel' and then had to get a grip of myself quickly as I am supposed to be the adult capable of reasonable behaviour!! We have also been guilty of trying too many things at one time so I think that lemonsquish is right - just try one and see how it goes. Good luck! 6 months ago I was waxing lyrical to anyone who would listen about how we had been lucky that DS had not had the terrible twos! At the age of 3, someone flicked a switch!!!

Firawla Sat 13-Aug-11 22:19:29

my 3 yr old is going through a similar phase too, i was just meaning to come on here and ask and then i saw your thread! so atleast we know we are not the only ones. the taking all the stars off the chart thing sounds just like something mine would do, only he doesn't have a star chart, but does things like starts putting all his own toys away in a huff confused
i do a naughty area of putting him to sit in the coridoor and also sometimes taking away toys or priviledge after warning.. but dont really know if its the best way of going about it, or if it would be better to ignore, as it seems to make too much conflict but then i feel like no way im not ignoring being backchatted by a 3 yr old, incase it gives him a license to keep continuing it as he grows up :S i hope they all grow out of it soon!

insicknessandinhealth Wed 17-Aug-11 16:15:48

Thanks everyone - sorry I went away for a few days and forgot to reply. HolyShmoley I haven't read that book but I have read a multitude of parenting books!! That's probably where I get all my techniques from. Well so far the removal of the toys has worked quite well. I stuck to it and he kept asking to have them back early, but I refused, reminding him how excited he would be to get them back. So I will stick to this for the time being with the reward chart to reward good behaviour.

I have also read that boys get a surge of testosterone between 3 and 4 and this would explain a lot of the aggression I reckon. Once they start being more articulate it is hard to remember how young they are, I find myself entering into ridiculous arguments and negotiations with him.

Well, good luck everyone with the challenging boys!

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