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What’s the best response to DD(3yr) occasionally insolent / disobedient behaviour?

(4 Posts)
ManTim Wed 07-Sep-11 00:03:31

I am looking for guidance that I can use with my daughter, nearly three, to encourage her awareness of behaviours that I would like to discourage at the earliest possible age.

For example, and quite out of her normal character, I might find myself on the receiving end of an enthusiastic slapping, delivered with an infuriating half-smile/indignant look on her face - seemingly, in her mind, my punishment for not letting her do something-or-other and have her way.

Another mildly annoying example is a habit she finds peculiarly satisfying, of disagreeing with any standpoint I put to her. i.e:

me: It's raining outside, you will need your coat
her: It's NOT raining outside!

...and so on

Her behaviour is most always kindly and considered. A real pleasure for such a young child, but I?d like to address these occasional behaviours with some kind of light-touch but effective response.

I have not read much on the topic and unsure how best to summarise the issue in the form of an effective Google search expression.

Can anyone suggest further reading or online references for advice?

Tim

wigglemama Wed 07-Sep-11 10:25:25

As far as the disagreeing issue goes, I would just ignore things like that, it would just be a waste of your energy to argue with her!

I have an almost 4yo and the "enthusiastic slapping" is an all to familiar behaviour! What has worked for me is, first of all, being consistent with whatever approach you decide to use. What we tended to do when our son displayed such behaviour was to make a point of stopping what we were doing at time, coming down to his level, firmly but calmly telling him that hitting was not nice, we don't hit other people because it hurts and ask him if he understands. If he said no, we would explain further, if he said yes we would leave it there. If he did it again I would remind him about what I had said the last time and tell him if he continues to slap he will have to go on timeout, again, asking if he understands. I would give him one more chance, then place on timeout for 3 minutes (during which time you walk away and ignore, unless they get off timeout, in which case you put them back and start the 3 minutes again).

I know some people don't agree with timeout at this age but it worked wonders for us and I think I've had to use it about 4 times in the past year, the threat of it is enough. My son is very social and hates the idea of people isolated from people. Our timeout spot is on a chair in his bedroom, I leave the doors open and am only a room away but he hates it. Once I had done it twice and he realised that I was sticking to my guns no matter how much he screamed and shouted, we never had any major issues with behaviour. It is really important to stay as calm as possible throughout the process-which is not always easy as children are very good at trying your patience at this age!

I hope that makes sense and might be of some help to you.

ManTim Wed 07-Sep-11 12:28:16

Thanks for that 'timeout' remedy - It seeds logical and I'll try it.

I think you're right about ignoring her gainsaying, it's more silly than any real issue so I'll stick with a raised-eyebrow and turn-away response when she does it. I am sure the novelty of it wear thin soon enough. We'll see?

Davsmum Wed 07-Sep-11 13:27:48

Your DD sounds like a real character and very bright too !
3yr olds LOVE to contradict. It is best ignored.
I would not ignore the slapping thing though. She may just be playing but its best to tell her that slapping is not acceptable and repeat that calmly every time she does it and walk away from her.

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