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Defiant 3 year old..

(9 Posts)
NewTeacher Wed 17-Sep-08 11:42:40

My DD has just turned 3 and in the last month or so has been behaving like a little monster.

I have gone back to work after being on summer holidays and its dificult to deal with her behaviour without being completely stressed.

She has attended nursery since she was 6 months old and loves it her brother was in the same class as her until the end of August as he has now started school. She still enjoys nursery but is finding it hard to adjust to the change.

We have an AP who helps gets the kids ready in the morning and takes DS to school, she refuses to let the AP get her ready in the morning and has a screaming tantrum. I have to intervene, which means I ma late for work.

She wants to go in the other car to nursery (which the AP uses to take DS to school). SHe screams the 5 min journey to nursery and has to be literally dumped in the classroom. I am assured she stops crying within a few mins and is always fine when I pick her up.

The whole thing starts again when its time for food, bath or bed she refuses to let AP dp it though she will happly play with her. We usually leave her to have her tantrum and then she lets AP do whatever she needs to this is ok in the evenings but in the mornings causes probs. She has let AP sort her out without complaints on a number of occasions but seems to keep trying it on.

I'm getting really upset by it, she was great with the other AP all the way until July when this behaviour started. I dont know what I can do as she refuses to sit on the naughty step and I've taken most of her prized possessions away...

Any suggestions welcome...

cory Wed 17-Sep-08 11:53:42

It may be a problem with the AP (no necessarily anything bad, just that some people don't have the same natural authority). But it may equally well be that she is simply moving into a defiant phase. Lots of Mums find the age of 3 more difficult than any other age- I was one of them.

What is your schedule like? How much Mummy time does she have a day? If the AP needs to do the mornings to get you to work on time, is there a chance you could do the bath/bedtime routine to make sure that she does have enough time with you? Not saying this would necessarily sort your problems but might be worth thinking about.

NewTeacher Wed 17-Sep-08 12:23:30

The AP is pretty good authority wise the other one left as she couldnt handle my DD! I think she realised she wasnt cut out for under 5's.

I spend time with DD from 5pm when I get her from nursery sit with her then she sometimes helps to make their dinner and then AP takes over from about 6.30pm-7pm. She gives them both a bath so I can make dinner and do my work.

I'll go up and read a story and give a bedtime kiss. She just doesnt want to listen and refuses to let anyone else do anything other than me or DH.

I'm at work until 4pm so mornings are really hectic as I dont want the kids up too early thats why AP gets them sorted if I had to do it then they would be up at 6am instead of 7am.

I am completely at the end of my tether and the thought of this carrying on until she is 4 ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH....

trockodile Wed 17-Sep-08 13:07:33

3 is tricky! As an ex nanny and mum of a 3year old I find it a lot harder than the `terrible 2s`.

Can you leave the house earlier in the morning so she has not choice but to let the aupair deal with her? It can often be less stressful with just 1 adult around. Perhaps you could then do more of the bathtime routine? -Obviously don`t know your circs.
Decide what is negotiable and what is not-don`t quite understand about the car, but if it is not convenient to use that one she should be told. Sometimes 3 year olds can have too much choice.

I find staying relentlesly positive and not getting into a downward spiralling argument can help too. And sometimes just doing whatever it is, instead of punishing -`Oh dear, you don`t want to get in the bath(taking clothes off her), I know but we must have a bath because you are so dirty(in the bath, wash and out, ignoring screams)now lets get you dressed etc can work better than`take your clothes off now, i will be so cross if you don`t(child rolls around floor screaming) I will take your toys away, you are very naughty...`

Just rambling but remember they are still very small and I think at 3 people can expect an awful lot more than at 2.

It will get better...smile

jelliebelly Wed 17-Sep-08 13:16:56

Not much advice I'm afraid but just to let you know that I could have written your post myself and that most people are telling me that this is just a phase to be endured rather than any real problem to be solved if that's any help!

Poppycake Wed 17-Sep-08 13:19:16

I think trockodile makes a good point re leaving earlier - part of the problem may be that your dd (like mine at that stage) realises she can play off people if there is more than one dealing - if it was only me or dp, then she was fine, but if we were both around, she started misbehaving for attention from the other.

jelliebelly Wed 17-Sep-08 13:25:48

I agree with Poppycake - ds is definitely much calmer when only I or dh are around at bedtime - if we are both there he definitely misbehaves for attention - haven't worked out a way of getting around this yet though!

NewTeacher Wed 17-Sep-08 14:36:46

I cant leave earlier as I drop her to nursery. The AP takes the other car and has to drive DS to school she cant drop both.

DD cant go in other car as AP is not insured on my car.

I know its hard at 3 and yes OP I do exactly as you say continue with what needs doing ignoring screams which I can do in the mornings but is impossible to do in the mornings without making me late.

I feel like such a failure at times, doesnt half make you lose your self confidence!

I can control a class of teenagers but my DD will have me in tears!

cory Wed 17-Sep-08 14:52:46

Another thought (though possibly not really that helpful either):

You don't actually get home terribly late- could you all have dinner together (eating the same thing) so as to free you up more to be with dd?
(I know having dinner with a 3yo is pretty stressful, but we've had some good quality family time over the years that way). And are there any other solutions- like cooking at weekends (or getting dh to cook wink) that would free you up a bit in the evenings.

I wonder if she does feel that the AP is there to keep her away from mummy, when you are what she really wants and she can see that you are home. Small children understand little about the realities of life...

But anyway, I think you need to accept that not all bad behaviour is caused by mistakes in parenting or anything wrong in the setup. I remember this time as pretty stressful both times round. It gets better. Honestly, it does.

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