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Struggling to deal with my 3 year old DD

(9 Posts)
HappySeven Tue 04-Feb-14 20:34:35

This is going to sound pathetic and awful but I'm really struggling with my DD. She's 3.9 and very wilful. She seems to argue with anything I say and would tell you that night is day etc.

She tantrums less that she did when she was younger but she will scream that she is right and 'you are naughty!' if I disagree with her. She often says she doesn't like me and 'you're not my best friend' which I know she doesn't mean but it reminds me of the girls at school I didn't like and would avoid and it makes me like her less (I always love her) and not want to spend time with her.

I do my best to ignore her when she is misbehaving and distract her when she looks like she's going to be difficult (meeting her head on is a recipe for disaster) but I don't always manage it.

Does anyone have any tips? I'm worried that if I can't handle her now I'll never manage when she's an even more wilful teenager. I hoped she would improve as she got older but things seem to be getting worse if anything.

DandelionGilver Tue 04-Feb-14 21:19:58

Poor you. I know that behaviour really well. We are going through it at the moment.

Does she go to nursery/pre-school? My DD started the "you're not my best friend" thing after hearing the other girls say it. In fact, they are all going through a phase of it and everyday it's a different person they are not friends with anymore. I just ignore it. If she says it to me, I just say - that's a shame because I love you very much and move on.

With misbehaving. We have a 3 chances rule. She is told not to do something eg - don't jump on the sofa. 2nd time she does it, she is warned that if she does it again she will have to go to her room. Third time it happens, there's no fuss she is just told that she was asked not to jump on the sofa and she continued to do it, so she has to go to her room (haven't quite got passed her slamming the door yet smile ) and that she can come out when she is ready to apologise and behave. She has never stayed in her room for longer than a few minutes, before she comes out and apologises.

If we are out an about doing something, same principle applies, but the consequence of bad behaviour is generally we stop whatever we are doing and leave.

This didn't take long for her to understand that there are consequences - only a couple of times, and generally the 2nd time of telling, along with the consequence is sufficient for her to do as she is asked.

As for tantrums, we're quite lucky and DD is generally distracted. If not, and reasoning won't work, then I just let her get on with it and carry on with whatever I'm doing and then as soon as she starts to calm down, I give her a big hug.

You're not alone. I know a lot of parents with DDs this age and they are all experiencing the same thing. I believe, as MN says "this too will pass". And hopefully, you'll still have your sanity smile

HappySeven Tue 04-Feb-14 21:37:52

Thanks, Dandelion, you've made me feel a lot better. I do need to be firmer I think. I do use the bottom step for time out although less often than I did for her brother. She tends to refuse to stay on it though and so we have a battle while I keep returning her to it.

She does go to nursery/Preschool while I'm at work and I think you're right and that's where some of the language comes from. I don't want her to be one of 'those' girls though and want her to be empathetic to others but then maybe she's a bit young and that will come.

CharlesRyder Tue 04-Feb-14 21:47:13

Not just DDs. My DS is 3.6 and exactly the same at the moment.

'If you don't x unreasonable demand I won't be your best friend.'

'I'm counting. When I get to 10 I will have x y z the computer.'

'Stop telling me that mummy, you are being so rude.'

So wearing.

DandelionGilver Tue 04-Feb-14 21:59:35

Unfortunately, empathy won't come until they are a bit older. They just speak whatever comes into their minds. I'm sure she won't be one of "those" girls. DD's teacher said they all do it, and one thing that can help is having a friend outside of the schoolroom.

We don't have a "step" of any description as I know DD wouldn't stay on it and I'd end up giving in before she did, which is why she goes to her room.

DandelionGilver Tue 04-Feb-14 22:01:06

Although, it goes both ways. Whilst out in the car the other day, I called another driver a Wanker and a voice piped up from the back. Mummy that is a naughty word and you shouldn't use it. When we get home you will have to go to your room"

HappySeven Tue 04-Feb-14 22:07:28

Thank you to both of you. I'm not dreading tomorrow the way I was now. Charles, I could have written all of that - it must be true that there is no such thing as original thought even amongst 3 year olds! My son wasn't the same and I've only been aware of girls doing it so it's good to hear they can both do it.

Does your daughter's teacher mean a friend who she is not at school with, Dandelion? DD goes to nursery two days and then the school's preschool one day a week and so has a range of friends and she sees the siblings of her brother's friends at other times but maybe I should be encouraging her to meet others. There never seems enough time! I know I do less with her than I did with her brother though.

DandelionGilver Wed 12-Feb-14 09:20:36

Yes she does. Someone she sees completely independent from school so there are no ties, particularly with the "you're not my friend" thing.

With this friend, there are never any arguments or fall outs. They always have fun together, and they go to different schools.

Tryharder Wed 12-Feb-14 15:00:24

Why not just change the way you deal with it?

When my DD (3) says to me "you're not my friend Mummy", I just say something like "that's sad, you won't be able to come to my party then"

She thinks about it and then changes her mind and asks to be my best friend again wink

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