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3yr old DD's rudeness - I know it's normal but don't know how to deal with it!

(4 Posts)
jamhead Mon 22-Sep-08 21:06:54

My lovely cute DD2 is nearly 3 and has suddenly started being agressive and rude and generally pushing the boundaries with me, her dad and her older sister (4yrs).

Example: Me: 'You're not going out with no trousers on!' DD2 'I AM. I'm not your friend anymore, you ... (made up name calling - which is actually quite funny).'(followed by a shove or pinch or such like). And when mummy insists, huge dramaqueen tantrum tears and more shouted insults which can go on for a very long time.

She's very bright, been talking like a 3yr old for about a year and can negotiate her way out of anything but has suddenly chosen this aggressive path.

I don't feel I can ignore her being like this to all members of her family. Naughty step has little effect. Any ideas?

snowleopard Mon 22-Sep-08 21:16:40

DS does a lot of this, and bossing us about, saying things like "I want my snack RIGHT NOW!" I say firmly "You do not talk to me like that" (but try to avoid shouting). I give him a chance to ask or talk nicely, which he does know how to do - or I give him an example of how to repeat what he wants to say more politely, and ask him to try it. We say well done when he does do it. If he actually grabs or pushes us, he has to say sorry and we explain why it's not nice. If he's persistently rude and won't say sorry, we have a pasta jar system - he gets a piece of pasta for politeness wihout being told and other achievements, and a full pasta jar can be exchanged for a toy (which happens every few months). Saying we will take a pasta piece away is very effective, but it's a last resort - we reinforce that he can be nice if he wants, and of course he doesn't get what he wants if he's rude.

Sometimes I make a joke of it - "WHAT did you say, was that someone being EXTREMELY rude I just heard???" and he laughs and says it nicely, but I have to know he's in the right mood for that.

I don't like the naughty step much, because it seems to reinforce the message "you are naughty". With DS it works better to tell him he is good, he can be polite if he tries, and then say well done when he manages it.

It's exhausting though because they're not going to learn it overnight. I remind DS not to be bossy and rude all the time, like a stuck record.

jamhead Mon 22-Sep-08 22:43:35

Thanks Snowleopard. Sounds like you have some good systems. I especially like the pasta jar.

I've decided to try to use more positive statements - rather than 'Why haven't you...', more 'I know you can' ...
She does respond to praise and positive reinforcement - but it's hard when she's staring you out, glowering and shouting!

Anyone else have any tried and testeds?

nelliesmum Mon 22-Sep-08 23:00:04

For heavens sake pick your battles, if letting them get their way in the first place isn't actually going to kill anyone , then let them have their way. There have been so many times when, in the middle of a tantrum/ screaming match, I have thought "If only I had let her wear the princess dress/ squeeze her own ketchup/ climb into the car herself etc." Once you are in the middle of a battle then you can't back down as it is just reinforcing horrible behaviour. If you can avoid the battle in the first place then it is far better to do so.

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