Can’t cope. How do you discipline your 3 year old?

(11 Posts)
Pansy0926 Mon 05-Mar-18 18:53:03

Once DS was old enough to understand the difference between naughty and good behaviour, we were able to start discipline, and our lives became so much easier. I was so much happier and more confident now I was able to control my child, and in time he stopped acting out so much and I wasn’t embarrassed or upset by his behaviour.

Now, aged nearly 3, our discipline methods are no longer working because of his growing strength. Simply put, when he misbehaved, he got time out. He would be strapped into our spare stroller and turned to face the wall or put in another room for two minutes. It was amazing how well this worked for us.

Now, he has started to break his pram with his hands, and by kicking at it, and will kick at anything within his reach and knock things down. It’s got to the point I worry he will tip the buggy and hurt himself. We had begun to do time out in his room instead, but yesterday he retailiated by peeing on his carpet (the rest of the house has laminate floors, so he knew it would get to me) with a nasty smirk on his face. Frustrated, I changed his trousers and pants and returned him to his buggy for more time out and he immediately began blowing snot out his nose and wiping it all over the straps of the buggy and the clean washing beside him.

I just don’t know what to do, and without a method of controlling his behaviour I am started to act angry and irrational and shout at him. I love him so much but sometimes I wonder why he is such a little....

I tried time out sitting in a corner unrestrained but he kept getting up, and when I tried to return him like supernanny does, he hit me and scratched at me and pulled my hair.

What do you do?

OP’s posts: |
FissionChips Mon 05-Mar-18 19:48:01

I really recommend that you speak to your health visitor and attended some parenting classes.

Pansy0926 Mon 05-Mar-18 20:15:41

Shit do I sound that awful?

HV told me to say ‘no’ firmly and remove him from the room until he calms down. She didn’t mention his violent lashing out or trashing of any room his is put in.

OP’s posts: |
RedLemonade Mon 05-Mar-18 21:18:29

I freely admit to not being into time outs or naughty steps or generally being the “strongman leader” with my three year old. My feeling is she’s been on the earth for three years. I’ve been on it thirty five and I still throw the odd tantrum, loose my temper and behave like a giant babygrin.

I find the website ahaparenting.com brilliant. It’s the complete opposite of the time out approach and it’s a waaaaaay slower burn but it really does work. We still have our moments but most of the time I gently explain things to DD and even if she storms off (she hates criticism, like me!) she always comes back within 2 minutes and requests a cuddle and says sorry and we have a little chat about what to do better next time. It’s ace. And I have a really cool, lovely three year old most of the time.

RedLemonade Mon 05-Mar-18 21:19:28

Is it loose or lose? It’s lose isn’t it. Damn it!

Pansy0926 Mon 05-Mar-18 21:23:06

Thanks red lemonade, I’ll take a look at that. I don’t think our kids have the same personality types by the sounds of it, so don’t know if it will be as effective, but hell I’ll try anything at this point

OP’s posts: |
RedLemonade Mon 05-Mar-18 21:29:30

It’s worth a look definitely. She goes through scenarios for the sort of situations you’re describing with your little lad. I hope I didn’t sound smug there. Sounds like you’re all having a rough time of it flowers

familylifeiseverything Mon 05-Mar-18 21:33:11

I'm sorry to hear your having these troubles and the "attend parenting classes" is less than helpful 🙄
We have a 3.5 year old boy who went through an stage of acting out and snatching and being a bit of a sh*t.
I'm afraid you have to be tough and firm and keep boundaries very tight (well it's working for us). Consistency is the key and keeping routines and structure in place.
We completely ignore (very hard to do) any tantruming and screaming unless in pain. Most of the times it's just noise to push you or get what he wants. If he is rude or misbehaves then we explain that it's not acceptable and he has a chance to correct. If he doesn't then his favourite possession or toy is removed.
We have a jar that gets marbles added when good behaviour happens and removed when it's bad. When you get to "x" amount then there is a reward of some kind. You can set the parameters of this.
It's really tough but sadly it is a monotonous arduous task to keep the system in place as you are laying foundation for better behaved kids.
Sadly parents just give into the demands for an easier life but that is what breeds kids with bad attitudes and a sense of entitlement.
All opinion based of course but they are kids and we are adults so respect is paramount in my book.
Good luck and stick at it, you're doing a good job and don't beat yourself up as it's a really hard job

breadisnice Tue 06-Mar-18 13:37:49

Are you explaining to him why you're giving him time out? I don't think it's fair to physically restrain him in the buggy, and that was only going to work for so long anyway. Discipline is a long journey and you'll be doing this for way past toddlerhood. I find if I show some empathy to my toddler whilst also reiterating why her behaviour is not acceptable then it calms her down a bit.

Jumperooh Sun 11-Mar-18 13:44:12

I wholeheartedly second having a look at the AhaParenting website. It’s really helped me think about discipline and what I’m trying to achieve.

It sounds as if your little boy is angry at being disciplined (I totally get how he feels). And perhaps you feel angry that he won’t just do what you want or willingly accept your punishment (I totally get that feeling too). If that’s the case then you are both basically angry that you are not getting your own way! You’re in the same place emotionally.

You sound like a good mum and you want to do the best for your DS. Check out:

www.handinhandparenting.org
www.ahaparenting.com

It’s so much easier when we can feel we are on the same side as our children.

Witchend Sun 11-Mar-18 19:08:07

Thing is what works with one child doesn't work with another. If I'd had only dd1 then I'd be happily saying "oh all you need to do is say "mummy will be sad if you do that" and they won't do it again." She hardly ever stropped and only one full blown tantrum. I think I said something along the lines of "mummy doesn't like that, and I'm not going to let you do that because you shout." and she didn't.

With dd2 time out worked well (a safe place where she could spend a couple of minutes to calm down) but "mummy doesn't like that " would be met with "I don't care..." or "Well I don't like..."
Ds used to spend time out getting angrier and angrier so that didn't work and ignoring worked better for his tantrums. And then when he was calm a cuddle and an explanation why he couldn't do/have. Dd2 would say if you tried to explain "I don't want to talk about it." and get angry again.

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