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3yo behaviour turned awful(7 Posts)
My usually lovely DD turns three at the end of next month and it seems is using the upcoming change of age to change her behaviour too.
Normally lovely, kind, bright and able to compromise, she has become rude, worryingly willing to push buttons and constantly contradicting everything I or Dh says.
She is transitioning to the pre-registration class at nursery and I don't know if this is coincidence or part of the problem.
She won't listen to me or Dh. Constantly contradicts us (no no no no), continues doing something when we tell her to stop, won't help tidy up anymore, won't eat nicely anymore(food gets spilled over the table on purpose now).
She seems to be purposefully physically knocking us/climbing over us, getting in our faces with tongue out and pestering our pets which she knows is wrong and hasn't ever done before.
It's a complete 180 from her behaviour even two months ago but looking back it has been gradual.
I have always praised good behaviour and encouraged kindness and polite behaviour and she had blossomed into a lovely little girl but it has no effect now. I try so hard to find good behaviour to praise her as I feel all I fucking do now is say,"no" or,"stop" or am having conversations about how she has to be good now.
I was in tears today. It's just low level constant challenging behaviour all the time and it's so hard - I don't think I'm dealing with it at all. I am terrified that this is her now, or that I am going to make it worse by reacting.
I give her warning, I remove toys/privileges/situations, I still try to praise any good behaviour, I talk to her and explain why we don't do things or why she is in trouble. I've shouted a lot I've given her time out. I've given her time to relax and play independently, I've devoted every single minute of the day to her and still we are having these issues.
I'm feeling so so low. My patience is short. I feel like an awful mother. I feel like everything I have done until now is all for nothing. She actually seems spiteful. I hate to say that.
Does anyone have any tips? Any methods that worked? Any words of advice or wisdom?
Anyone? Sorry it's so long. I'm getting it out too, Dh is low about it too
You've probably just been lucky she's been so good so far so it's come as a shock!!
She'll be fine, will just be a phase. Just be consistent with boundaries and try not to shout (only thing it seems to do in our house is make me feel like shit). Just ride it out basically!
Not much advice I am afraid as I have a very wilful 3.5 year old DC! So sympathy. We are currently doing a marble jar and awarding marbles for good behaviour and taking some out for bad behaviour. Idea is when it's full he can choose a magazine. I think it is helping, so maybe something similar? I am also about to order 'How to talk so little kids listen', which I hope will help! Good luck OP, parenting is so hard, especially with no sleep, 11 month old is having a terrible night!
She maybe changing moods. Just avoid shouting or bitting her and try to talk to her in a calm voice. Patience is needed in this change of attitude.
Thank you all for replying @inabox @barleyreed and @PaulMorel. Sympathies for your lack of sleep! It seems that dd is also adjusting her body clock with this change and is rising earlier and refusing her nap so she will be a lot more tired than she usually is. I love the idea of a marble jar! I think we need something visual that she can see - it's is a great idea.
Yes shouting always makes me feel dreadful, I think that's why I have cried. More out of disappointment in myself and frustration than anything.
Thank you for your replies, I agree with everything you have said.
I hate to make things seem worse but we’ve had this with our ds for as long as I can recall now. He’ll be 4 in January. In December last year I had a breakdown and while I was trying different medications I could see my behaviour rubbing off on him. Once I got my meds sorted he seemed to calm a little. In June the family became separated through work and it felt like a constant battle with him while on my own then he’d lash out at his dad when we saw him. He’d refuse to speak to him on the phone, etc so we put the behaviour down to that. Now we’ve been back together for a couple of months now but he’s not getting any better. We’ve approached the staff at nursery and while they have no issues there, they have commented that they can see a change in him when he sees us coming in to collect him. I’m really hoping this is a phase and he’s going to go back to the cheeky, playful but generally good little boy I had until he hit around 18 months when terrible twos kicked in. Just don’t feel like I’ve had much of a break in the past two years 😔
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