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Cannot cope with 3yo DD's behaviour

(6 Posts)
ThomasRichard Fri 05-Aug-16 12:21:11

I have a 6yo DS and really struggled with him at 3yo too so I know this stage passes but I've just lost it with DD and feel awful and want to know what I'm doing wrong.

She is really bossy and defiant. If I ask her to do something she doesn't want to do - like put on her shoes - will scream NO and run away. She runs off constantly when we're out in public. When I catch her she thrashes around and kicks and punches and scratches me. When I stop her, she screams at me and spits in my face. She won't walk anywhere except to run away. A few weeks ago we both ended up in A&E when I was so tired from carrying her that my arm just gave out and we both had a bad fall into the road as I tried to catch her. She hurts her brother constantly: horrible scratches on his face and chest and kicking him all the time. She whines for things constantly in shops and screams and thrashes when I say no. She tries to take things and run out of the shop. Other times she's clingy and just will not leave me alone, pulling me hair and my face and climbing all over me.

I've been separated from H for a year and whenever I discipline her (telling her off, refusing to buy her something, putting her in time out) she screams for him and hits me away.

She can be a gentle, loving, sweet little girl. We do lots of fun activities and play together. I have one day at home with her and spend 1:1 time with her then. She's lovely at nursery. The bad behaviour though happens every day and the good bits just feel like a pause between the screeching. I'm exhausted and I'm trying to be calm and firm but I am sick of having to constantly police her behaviour.

Any ideas?

purpleapple1234 Fri 05-Aug-16 12:42:49

Sorry to hear that you are going through this. It must be so tough. I have no real suggestions. I can give you ideas, but it sounds like a difficult situation, so I hope that they don't sound glib.

Are you giving her enough praise when things go right? Then try (almost impossible) to ignore the bad? Can you limit things that you know are going to set her off?

Sorry not to be more helpful. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will come along. flowers I'm sure that you are doing a much better job than you think you are.

ThomasRichard Fri 05-Aug-16 12:50:33

Not glib at all, thankyou for the ideas. If she's in a real state at home and won't be comforted then I'll tell her to find me when she's ready for a cuddle and leave her to it, but out and about it's not safe as she will just run off. I've tried refusing to carry her but I have sat with a book for over an hour while she threw a kicking, screaming tantrum on the ground and I can't do that when DS is there too or we're somewhere where people would be disturbed.

Beautifulstorm Fri 05-Aug-16 13:00:39

We had this with DS4. I think it stemmed from lack of boundaries and following through with punishments for us. We always had rules with what's acceptable but if he wouldn't stay on time out I'd give in etc. Well this past week we have a reward jar as Friday he gets a treat of some sweets. If he's really naughty he loses a sweet and goes to time out. He's a different child already, I think he just needed me to be firmer. Not saying you don't follow up on punishment to reinforce good behaviour OP but that was the case for us.

DoItTooJulia Fri 05-Aug-16 13:16:35

I have a 3 yo a bit like this. He hurts me/DH/his dbro a LOT. And he's bossy and contrary. I've decided it's time for no more. So, he has time out every single time. 3 minutes. Timed.

An example from today. We were going to the park. There's a river on the way. So I said, shall we look at the river? He said no, so I said ok, let's keep going. About a minute later he said he wanted to see the river. So I said ok. We went to the railings and he just lost it, screaming I didn't want to see the river, and he punched me.

So I took him back to the car, strapped him in his seat and put the timer on for three minutes time out. When it was over I told him that hitting and punching is a naughty thing to do and it hurts me and makes me sad.

He said sorry and we went on our way. So far today we haven't had another incident. I'm hoping this strategy carries on working.

I'm thinking that firm
Boundaries with consistent consequences will help. If not I have no idea what to do next.

flowers because it's not easy. And if I had a bolter they'd be in reigns until they could be trusted. I'd tell her that if she behaves like a baby, I'll treat you like a baby and put the reigns on. Good luck.

EssexMummy1234 Fri 05-Aug-16 21:57:17

If she's lovely for the staff at nursery then i would start by talking to them.

For instance at my kids nursery at the start of the year all the kids agree the rules and make a book about them and they constantly remind reinforce those rules - now I don't know if this is unusual but at this nursery they don't do 'time outs' and aren't really supposed to tell the kids off - anyway the kids are all very well behaved and it gave me the idea to make up a few rules at home in a similar way.

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