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Any ideas why my 3 year old behaves this way??

(5 Posts)
maybebaby23 Mon 13-Jul-09 10:26:28

Ok here goes. This is long, sorry! My 3 year old DD is usually well behaved if a little mischievous at times just like other 3 year olds. She plays nicely at pre-school and they say she behaves very well and is one of the quieter children there. (def not quiet at home lol) Anyway i take her to playgroups and we mix with friends and their children around the same age as DD. We always have a lovely time DD really enjoys the company.

So there is one child who we have seen every week more or less since they were tiny. For the past few months DD has been playing up really bad with this child, being quite nasty and saying "no-one else can play with my toys" etc and taking things off the girl. she kind of goes after her all the time wanting a reaction and its awful. I don't let her behave this way, as soon as i see it i remove her from the situation, sometimes i have to take her to her room because she just changes totally, starts running around and hitting me and being silly!!

Now DD is nothing like this normally, she gets on so well with my other friends children and does tend to be the quieter one, not really dominant with other children. Im trying to think of why she might do this. The only thing different about this child is that she speaks a different language and can only say a few words in english (but can understand a lot) Her and her mum speak in their own language at our house to eachother. Maybe DD gets frustrated at the lack of communication between the girl and her? DD is very chatty. Also the other thing is that when something happens that the child doesn't like, she just screams and cries, she doesn't talk much if you know what i mean. I think DD gets annoyed with the crying (they are the same age) she does tell me that XXX always cries! Also i am not as relaxed with the mum as i am with my other friends, maybe DD picks up on this? I feel i am a bit more strict with my DD than my friend is with hers, she tends to get exactly what she wants, when she wants and i think this annoys DD as well! If the child cries, their game has to stop and DD is always dissapointed.

What can i do about this? I am trying to avoid them really because to be honest the mum always makes me feel like she has the perfect child and mine is a brat I know this is not true as DD is normal like any other 3 year old, like all my other friend's children. I can't help thinking that DD just doesn't like this girl, but i know thats no reason to be like this with her and i don't want DD to end up a bully if she meets someone she doesn't like at school . What would you do? Please help!

giveloveachance Mon 13-Jul-09 10:38:32

My sister used to work at a nursery and she said she often saw this type of behaviour, one child trying to provoke a reaction from another, trying to get their attention because they find the other child interesting - and often despite the early tears shouting and what looks like bullying, they end up best of friends.

I have it the other way round, a little girl we know always always targets my dd and takes things off her, pushes her around, makes her cry and follows her around endlessly, i end up having to separate them and like you have had times when I want to avoid the other girl completely. I think its because my dd is quiet happy finding things/ways to have fun and the other girl thinks, that looks like fun and tries to take over.

I have avoided the other little girl, but if its not possible I keep a very close eye and if it looks like something will kick off, I hand the other little girl a toy or try to redirect her in someway. (BTW her mum just ignores it and only gets involved when my DD has had enough and hits back where upon her dd shrieks and is lavished with cuddles by her mum and never is asked to say sorry to my dd!).

Any chance you could speak to the other mum? or any helpers at the play group?

AintMisbehaving Mon 13-Jul-09 10:44:24


All normal stuff that all parents will deal with at some time - being either side of that encounter.

The fact that you are willing to do something is a big step forward - I think if you instinctively recognise there is a problem you're probably right.

The next thing is what to do....

The answers I came up with are ... 'play the numbers game' ie. try everything you can think of. But stay relaxed and calm - knowing that things may change.

Here's my suggestions -

1) Get your child to play more often with other children / places - they will hopefully learn more about how to deal with other children - ie more practice.

2) Talk to your child at a calm time, and get your positive message across - keep it simple and repeat daily.

3) Your child will settle down, I've seen it myself. It's an age thing.

4) Being assertive is not a bad thing but with your help she can curb bad outcomes.

5) Give that child/place a break - sound like your trying this one.

6) Do nothing! But contimue to observe. If this pattern repeats then you know it may be your child.

maybebaby23 Mon 13-Jul-09 11:22:57

Interesting replies, thankyou!
Giveloveachance, thanks for sharing your experience. I will try to redirect the other child next time and see how it goes.
Aintmisbehaving thanks for your advice. We already do no.1 and no.2 and will continue with this.

I always sit on the floor with the girls and start a different activity when DD is being like this, and involve them both in something different but DD carries on, goes against everything i say. She is just impossible once this girl comes to our house, and i dread it. Even her sticker chart doesn't persuade her to behave!

The mother of this girl has just emailed me and asked when we are free this week. Oh joy. I would like to have a break for a while but how can i tell the mother this? If DD was like this with all children i would have to face it i know, but as this is the only problem we have come across i just feel i want to drop it. Is that really bad? Hormones are raging as im pregnant with DC2 and every time we are with the mother and girl i just feel like a rubbish mum Thanks for reading.

AintMisbehaving Mon 13-Jul-09 12:30:50

You are not a rubbish Mum!

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