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nearly 3 dd anger issues, trashed her guitar(!)

(8 Posts)
linserella Wed 12-Aug-09 23:14:27

I'd appreciate any thoughts / previous experience. DD almost 3, has always been wilful but these past few months her short temper has really come to the fore. Shouting at me (i TRY not to shout at her...) and (eg) slamming the door in my face. Today whilst at work while my mum was looking after her she continually lost the plot over the slightest thing (getting dressed, wanting to do certain things herself accepting NO help etc) and on one of these occasions when she went into her room and slammed the door behind her I have since discovered that she had broken one of her things, a small guitar, the neck broken in two, strings hanging off, looks like it's been trashed by sid vicious! I said did you do this? "yes" did you bash it? "yes" when you were angry? "yes". She was smiling and giggling and showed no signs of being sorry / sad about it. I walked away saying it was very bad of her to break her things (this particular item was a present). This is the worst it's got but as I have said the temper and tantrums are pretty much a daily occurance now. Tantrums I think I can handle, her temper I'm at a loss as to what to do. I'll withold treats for the next couple of days, referring to the guitar and leave it lying around so she can see it and perhaps feel sorry about it. I end up blaming myself, I work, my partner is away a lot, I'm tired and perhaps give in to her too easily at times. Any thoughts on how to handle her temper would be appreciated, thanks xx

kormachameleon Wed 12-Aug-09 23:20:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DottyDot Wed 12-Aug-09 23:26:14

How do you show her you're cross and it's unacceptable - other than saying it's bad?

She's old enough (IMO) now to have both rewards for good behaviour - star chart -and 'punishment' for bad behaviour - so, something she really likes taken away (could be a toy, could be telly time) and/or sending to her room for 3 minutes or the naughty stair for 3 minutes.

A combination of these things has come in handy for ds's in the past - but e.g. the naughty stair worked brilliantly for ds1 but ds2 loved sitting on it and was very happy there, but hated going to his room, so you need to find out what they're not going to like (it's only a few minutes!).

You're the boss - your dp is away so you need to stay in charge and keep the boundaries as firm as you can.

So, if she shouts at you she goes on the stair/to her room - every time. Even at someone else's house. It's a complete pain but if you're consistent it'll happen less.

If she hurts you that's the same.

But if you start a star chart and tell her for every kind/lovely/good thing she does she'll get a star - 10 stars = a treat - and liberally apply them so she gets her first 10 very quickly, that will encourage her to keep doing them.

Removal of stars for naughty things is my ds's worst punishment now - they love getting to 10 and getting a magazine/small trashola toy and I only have to warn them if they do xxxx again they'll lose a star and they pretty much stop straight away.

Good luck - 3 is the worst age (worse than 2 I found) so try to keep going and stay in charge! smile

linserella Wed 12-Aug-09 23:29:48

Thanks korma, good to hear from another parent of a wilful one! I like the sound of your approach and I will try that. When I'm tired I think I tend to react or ignore, not the best.. I agree they just cannot be reasoned with at this age so helping her to work through this makes sense. "Go with the flow and wait for [her] to grow out of it" will be my new mantra

linserella Wed 12-Aug-09 23:43:37

Dotty dot, thanks, it's true I haven't ever done star charts and I tried the naughty area but never used that approach consistently so I'm probably not really in control of the situation, which I dreaded was the case. I have always tended to try to treat her as an individual and get onto her level and reason (when I'm not tired) but as korma says they cannot be reasoned with easily. I will endeavor to make a plan, find a good area for a naughty step, and I'll make up a star chart with her tomorrow and stick it up somewhere whilst this guitar incident is still fresh. I think she will probably respond well to it as she loves getting stickers at nursery and I agree that this more structured approach is probably needed now. I have heard from so many that 3 is worse than 2! I'll start her turning 3 as I mean to carry on, with more structure..

linserella Wed 12-Aug-09 23:48:30

I perhaps should have said, I discovered the broken guitar when I was putting her to bed so there was no opportunity to give her a clear punishment as such then, witholding a treat / tv etc, which is why i could only walk away. But i will try to make my point about it tomorrow instead. I think I'm beating myself up...thanks for your ideas

kormachameleon Wed 12-Aug-09 23:49:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

linserella Thu 13-Aug-09 00:03:36

korma, you are describing my daughter re determination more powerful than our patience, oh yes! She just does not give up, no matter how many times we say no. Indeed the ball of emotion as you say can never be cajoled or persuaded. I find distraction tactics work best most of the time or she will eventually find a distraction herself and within minutes be back for a cuddle and saying "i love you!". Then i suppose it's forgotten till the next time! I will talk through it with her tomorrow and hope she will understand and feel sorry for what happened. I'm going to try the more structured reward / punishment approach too, I'm curious to see if she will respond to it. I feel I'm muddling though a bit here! It's lovely to hear what sort of a little boy your son has grown into! DD has so many amazing qualities and I tell myself constantly that being strong willed could be a great quality when she's an adult! thanks

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