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3yr old does care about ANY punishment for bad behaviour - Help me please?

(7 Posts)
trazie Thu 23-May-13 08:34:04

I am at my wits end with my 3 yr old daughter. When she does something we put her in time out then "are you ready to say sorry to your sister for hitting her?" Answer "NO"..."well do you want to stay in time out or say sorry?" Answer "Stay in time out!"....and so on.
She has a very good diet (low in sugar etc) and sleeps well.
I have tried confiscating toys, time out, taking away pleasures - she just doesn't care.
I always take the girls swimming on a Wednesday afternoon and yesterday we did not go because she had behaved so badly I took away the "treat". That meant my 5 year old (who is fine) missed out.
She is a very loving and kind child and on the upside her tenacity is unparalleled!
Any ideas gratefully received please?

RubyOnRails Thu 23-May-13 08:36:13

Mine is the same, although I find sticking him in his room until he stops screaming AND comes out to apologise works every time. I think they are all defiant at three.

kweggie Thu 23-May-13 08:51:06

Stick at it. You are doing the right thing,but you need to find something that she does care about. Always carry through what you say. It's hard but it pays dividends later on. My DD1 was very strong-willed, once she was past 3 was a joy and has been ever since-over 20 years! Good luck!

And BTW I would try and arrange it that you take the five year old swimming without her, by changing the time if necessary. A missed treat seems ten times worse if someone else has been allowed to go!

LousThighBurn Thu 23-May-13 08:52:36

I have a two year old that is currently testing the boundaries, when I can I let the natural consequence occur, otherwise I tell him to sit down whilst I fix whatever he has done, that gives me time calm down and then I approach him and talk to him about his actions, we hug and then we carry on. I know that there is possibly a major flaw in what we are doing but it seems to be okay for the mean time and it seems to help him communicate why he behaved that way.

May I suggest that you take away the option of either time out or an apology? It is important that she says sorry when she has hurt somebody or can hug them. I'd also steer away from taking away swimming, As you pointed out, it was something that your other daughter would have enjoyed, I'd imagine the swimming is a great time for her to have you watching and praising her, and she can play with her sister together with you. Do you play often with them or are they left to play together? If you are able to supervise or join in with games maybe that would help for the mean time?

I HTH, I'm in a completely different situation as I only have my son, I'm sure if we have DC2 I'll be making some alterations to how I parent! flowers

adoptmama Thu 23-May-13 08:59:56

It doesn't really matter if she cares or not about the punishment. Just stick it out. You are right to insist on an apology when the timeout is finished. Explain to her again at the end of the 3 minutes why you put her in timeout and ask her to apologize for her behaviour. If necessary remind her of what she did wrong - mine have an amazing ability to 'forget' why they are there! If she won't apologize then put her back in time out. After 3 minutes of ignoring, check again; if she is still not ready to apologize then back she goes. It can be a huge battle of wills with a stubborn child, but keep calm, don't let her see you are getting stressed; just ignore her whilst she is doing the time out and use the time she is there stubbornly refusing to cooperate to have a nice cup of tea. You will win the battle of wills in the end if you persevere. My eldest once kept this going for 40 minutes and we missed a play date but once I won that battle it was much easier in future.

trazie Thu 23-May-13 12:57:30

Thanks so much for your advice and support ladies. Sooo nice to know that I am not alone and (Kweggie) that there is an end to this phase.

I will stick with it. If there is anything that you have found works other than what i am doing already I am willing to give it a try.

I have just placed an order at Amazon for several "how to deal with strong willed children! :-)
Thanks again.

stewartlaura67 Thu 23-May-13 13:58:12

I’d suggest you to speak and try to make her understand what is wrong and what is to be done. Make her feel sorry about the wrong things she does.

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