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3 dd scratching me - angry behaviour - advice needed please

(5 Posts)
MissisBoot Sat 16-Aug-08 15:05:39

DD is 3.3 and has just started nursery. Last week she got really upset when I left her and that evening when she was in the bath she purposefully scratched me on the chest when she wouldn't get out. I asked her if she was angry and asked if she was angry with me because I'd left her at nursery - she said Yes and then quickly said No.

Now she has been trying to scratch me whenever she doesn't get her own way. It all came to a head this morning when she scratched me on the face on purpose when I was trying to stop her running out in the car park. We were going to visit a friend who has a dd she loves and I turned round and went home as I don't believe she should be rewarded for such bad behaviour.

I really need some advice on how to deal with this - she has never been vicious before and I'm pretty sure she'd never do it to anotehr child - so far its been directed at me - she is fine with my dh.

lilacbloom Sat 16-Aug-08 22:02:39

She needs you to help her over come her anger with you for leaving her; by asking her if she was angry, you were projecting your fears on to her.
I would cut her nails short to start with; then every time she was angry I would wrap her in my arms with love when she is angry to help her feel secure and try to defuse the situation.

HonoriaGlossop Sat 16-Aug-08 22:17:33

I agree with keeping her nails really short! I think you dealt with it brilliantly by going home after she scratched you. She felt an immediate consequence to her actions which will help her to learn that she needs to govern this particular impulse!

lilac's approach sounds lovely - if your child will put up with it. My ds, when angry, would have gone NUCLEAR if I'd tried to hold on to him...it would have fed his anger. I guess just see what works; withdrawing attention from her would I think be a sensible approach because she does need to learn that if you scratch mum she does not reward you with her full attention.

At this age I think positive parenting is SO important. When she's not scratching, tell her all the time how gorgeous she is, how clever, fantastic, give her kisses and cuddles galore; then when she DOES scratch, or do anything naughty, a stern word from you, and withdrawal of your warmth and attention, will REALLY register. With my ds often it was enough, no need for formal 'discipline'. You prob do all this anyway but thought it was worth mentioning as sometimes it is something that gets lost in the day to day grind of life with a 3 yr old.

PanicPants Sat 16-Aug-08 22:39:51

No advice but just want to say you are not alone.

Ds scratches, bites, hits and pulls hair. He is nearly 3, and is aggressive whenever he can't get his own way or when I tell him no. Flash points are getting dressed and getting in the car seat.

He used to hurt other children in social settings, but now most of this behaviour is now mainly directed at me.

I've no idea why, we have never smacked him, and don't hit each other.

When he is aggressive we cope by saying no, thats not nice, and ignore him for about 10 secs or so, before turning back and and carrying on talking to him in a normal way. This so far has been the best way of keeping things calm. We have tried timeouts which did use to be successful, but now it escalates the the anger. If he bites/hurts and we are at a park/somewhere nice we leave immediately to try and enforce that there is a consequence to such behaviour.

Ds, like HG's ds, would go NUCLEAR if we were to hold him until he calmed down.

So I'll keep watching for anymore advice.

MissisBoot Mon 18-Aug-08 11:50:18

Thanks for your responses - the last few days have been a bit better - since she was able to vocalise why she was angry I think she is able to control it a bit better - I don't think I was projecting my fears onto her - she is quite emotionally developed and just needed some help in articulating her feelings.

I'm a believer in the power of positive parenting - but yes I do try and praise all the positive things she does - I think I've found the scratching so difficult to deal with as its been aimed at me and its so bloody painful.

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