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3 year old public scenes

(5 Posts)
madeit Mon 25-Mar-13 22:36:15

My three year old is an active happy child who questions everything.
When I ask him to do something he doesn't want to do it can develop into a bit of a bribing scenerio. Example, time for bed. He says he's not tired. I say well we have got such and such a story to read let's do it. He has to be cajoled and coached into doing lots of things he's not keen on.
Recently when we are out in public he has become quite defiant. It is embarrassing and stressful. Today whilst waiting for a bus I told him to get off a child's pushchair he was climbing on. He had met the child at a playgroup we had just been to so he wasn't a total stranger. He said no and then told me he didn't like me. It is upsetting and hard to manage. I ignored the comment and removed him from the pushchair. He got up on it again. My son is a big boy so it isn't easy to move him physically. I spoke to him about the matter later and said mummy loves you and it makes me sad when you say things like that. He is a well adjusted, boisterous boy generally and I think quite clever. Is this sort of behaviour normal? any ideas on how to address it?

tethersend Mon 25-Mar-13 22:45:46

I find saying "your mummy's going to be VERY cross with you" loud enough for onlookers to hear helps grin

mummy2benji Tue 26-Mar-13 08:57:06

My ds (now 4.3y) went through a phase of being a handful at 3. Not wanting to leave shops or come when told and kicking up a fuss. I would get down on his level, hold his arm firmly and tell him "you do NOT speak to Mummy like that" which usually resulted in a crestfallen face. Face to face on his level where he couldn't easily look or turn away seemed to be effective. Backfired in M&S one day when he cried "Oww Mummy, you're hurting my arm!" I wasn't... blush

Goldmandra Tue 26-Mar-13 09:27:23

You did exactly the right thing by getting him down. He needed to stop what he was doing, he refused, you made him do it anyway. What did you do when he got up on it again?

His comment about not liking you was akin to the 'you're not my friend' kind of statements children make to each other. He knew he was cross with you for challenging him but probably didn't have to emotional maturity to understand why. Saying he didn't like you was a clumsy way of saying he didn't want you to challenge him.

He will be cross with you for being in charge and managing his behaviour but the alternative is to raise a child who has no boundaries.

Keep your expectations are firm and consistent so that he can predict how you will react and you stay calm when dealing with him. Don't change your responses because you are in public or he will realise and take full advantage.

It is completely normal behaviour and is about him testing the boundaries. All children do it from time to time. The firmer the boundaries, the less they bother pushing them to test them.

madeit Tue 26-Mar-13 15:59:48

Thanks really appreciate the advice. I can see being firm and consistent will give him security.

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