At my wits end with 3 yr old ds behaviour(9 Posts)
DS is a very bright 3.5 yr old who ticks off a lot of the boxes aimed at 5 year olds at nursery. He enjoys reading counting etc so we are encouraging him with this and give him lots of praise for that and if he behaves nicely, eg being kind to his sister.
The trouble is he is extremely challenging and will have screaming tantrums for no apparent reason. For the past couple of days he has refused to walkto school so I end up having to drag/ carry him there much to the disgust of the other parents.
He can be violent and aggressive, usually towards me if he does not get his own way. Thankfully he does behave well at nursery.
He still wears nappies and will refuse to go anywhere near the toilet despite various bribes, reward charts, choosing new big boys pants. I am worried that he will not be dry for some time yet.
Sadly, all this means that poor dd misses out on a lot of attention. It is a juggling act that I am struggling with at the moment :-(
When you say he is violent and aggressive, what does he do and how do you deal with it?
He usually hits me in the face or throws whatever he can grab at me. I deal with it by removing him from the room and sitting him on the naughty step. That has little effect however because when I go back a couple of minutes later to get him off the step, he will often hit out again. Sometimes when he is really awful I leave him in his room and tell him that I will be in my room, and that he can come and find me when he can be kind again. He usually comes into me a few minutes later and says sorry.
When he has calmed down I try and find out what the problem is but he is not always able to say.
So if he hits you again, do you start the time out again? I think it's this that you have to address first, you simply can't have your children hitting you, he's 3 now but will be a strapping teenager one day.
Google askdrsears hitting, it should give you a few tips and see if you can get hold of one of dr Tanya Byrons books like little angels.
Does he get enough sleep? I find this age they are SO much worse if they don't.
Could there be any other underlying issues (sight/hearing etc?). Might be worth thinking about. We discovered DS was very long-sighted and needed strong glasses- not excusing his behaviour but at about this age he could be awful in the afternoons and I think some of it could have been tiredness from overstraining his eyes.
Are you expecting him to walk too far? If so, then can you go in the car/scoot etc? If not, then you could set up a consequences/reward system for walking well and make sure he knows what your expectations are. You can refuse to carry- this takes nerves of steel but is possible. Also hard if you are time pressured- I guess you are with older one, but it might be worth being late/leaving early to avoid being late once or twice to make your point re there will be no dragging or carrying, you are in charge!
He is 3.5 but if you have a long walk you could put him back in the buggy. I kept DD in the buggy last year. She has just turned 4 so was 3.5 last May. She was in the buggy for school run May, June, July as it's far enough that it wasn't easy for her to walk and I didn't want battles. The buggy went in the garage over the Summer and didn't come out again.
Re the other stuff- I didn't like the naughty step- but we did the go to your room thing (for time out) which works best for us. Touch wood we don't have to use it much at the moment (DCs are 4 and 6) but I remember a bad time when DS was 4 when he spent a fair bit of time in his room (4 minutes at a time!). They can really push their boundaries!
Do not accept any violent behaviour, it has to be crystal clear.
Re the being dry- not sure about this- maybe leave it a month or two then go for it again, but make it more his responsibility from the word go as he is older now. Have nursery got any tips on it?
There is a great book on potty training montymoo which I forgot to mention earlier. It's an nct book, so you know all the information will be evidence based, and its called successful potty training. It's not prescriptive like some potty training books so you won't feel bad if it doesn't work "in one week". I found it really, really useful and have lent it to a few friends who have all made positive comments too.
Agree with Tgger too, she makes some good points and has some great suggestions. At that age my dc2 was doing the school run on a Mini Micro, so much less stressful than trying to make a tired and reluctant child to walk
Do his shoes fit him? Since DS stopped wearing his shoes and starting wearing his boots he's fallen over less and is less reluctant to walk. Took him twice to the shop, both times I was told shoes still fit him fine. Since then I've given him a choice if shoes or boots, he won't wear them.
I can sympathise with being thumped/kicked/bitten. DS does this to me when I tell him off.
Thanks for all your replies. I shall be doing some research on the reading material suggested, hopefully that will help.
JJJulie, yes he does go back on the naughty step if he continues to be aggressive. He has been known to spend up to half an hour on there at a time
He loves walking and will happily walk for over an hour in the forest near our house. The issue with him tends to be the route that we take for the school run. It is only about 15 minutes so not too strenuous. I try and make a deal with him that if he walks nicely on the way there then he can choose the route back (which will be the busier road so that he can watch the cars going past). He does not seem to realise that sitting down etc does not count as walking nicely so as a consequence he does not get to choose the route.
We have tried him with a scooter but the last couple of times he has refused to go on it because the pavement is too bumpy.
He does get very tired at times and this does contribute to his behaviour. He is definitely worse after a full day at nursery (9am - 3pm, once a week) and we do try and make allowances for that.
If you think the tiredness could be a factor, is he getting enough sleep?
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