This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
3.5 year old DD ‘threatening’ us.(6 Posts)
I can’t tell if I’m overreacting or not. I’m having a hard time cos my DM is dying, so please be gentle if you think I’m overreacting.
DD has started to ‘threaten’ me and DP when she doesn’t get her own way. If you refuse her, say, sweets or something, she’ll say ‘if you don’t give me the sweets, then I won’t love you any more/you won’t be my favourite mummy/I’m going to go away’.
Then this morning our nanny told me that she’s been doing the same thing to her ‘if you won’t give me a snack, you will have to go away from here and never come back’.
Where on earth is this coming from?!
We use sort of light consequences at home eg ‘well, if you don’t put your coat on now, then you won’t be able to come to the park’ and I’m worried that she’s completely got the wrong end of the stick and thinks it’s a threat!
She’s going through a tough time at the moment - I’m away a lot at the moment looking after my DM, the nanny is new, and she’s also just gone back to nursery after a long break following an accident.
She’s always been incredibly strong willed but this is next level!
There’s something in me that’s getting really worried and thinks she needs to understand who’s boss.
But then I wonder is it just normal 3 year old boundary pushing, and saying things she doesn’t necessarily mean!
Hi,I wouldn’t worry about this at all - I would find it a little funny - she is just trying to act like a little adult. Ignoring the behaviour or just saying ‘it makes me a little sad when you say that’ it will make it go away quicker than if you give a more worried reaction.
I have 4 children and they all went through stages of difficult behaviour but they are just learning.
I wouldn’t want my children to see me as a boss - everyone in the family should expect the others to behave reasonably and kindly and the parent’s job is to help children to learn and to step in at times when behaviour is out of control.
If she says she's going away and never coming back, I would say something along the lines of "that would make me sad" but not engage further with it, maybe change the subject.
I'm so sorry to hear about your DM. Sounds like you're both having a really tough time
You have to counter the "I won't love you any more" with "but I will love you"
She's testing boundaries and needs to learn that her threats don't get results. As long as they enable her to get her own way or have adults reacting, she will probably continue to do this.
My 5YO nephew threatens to kill people/beat them up all the time when they're not pandering to his every will They don't really know what they're saying at this age and just testing boundaries. Make a joke of it or ignore it and DON'T give in to something just because she's saying these things and you will remove the power of these words. Nothing wrong with being strong willed. It just needs channeling so that the strong wills become leadership qualities in future good luck xx
Absolutely what everybody else is saying. By gently just reaffirming that you still love her, you are showing her who is boss: the person who is so strong that they can't be rattled and who will always have love enough for both of you. And of course don't give in. But smile and don't give in.