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Have I overstepped the mark?

(10 Posts)
VioLetsMum1 Sun 30-Mar-14 19:31:18

Recently my 3 year old DD's behavior has become increasingly worse over the past few weeks towards me. She's been telling me to shut my mouth and won't listen to anything I tell her to do. Been biting and pinching aswell. If she wants something she's just not taking no for an answer and tries to just do it herself or screams the place down with "I WANT IT!" Today I told her to tidy her room 3 times. She know's what to do. She used to love helping me around the house before all this started and at nursery when they did tidy up time. Every time I asked her she just made it messier and would laugh at me. Two hours ago I cracked and said to her for every 10 mins she doesn't tidy her room i'm taking away 4 toys as she can't look after them; and they've gone in the unused pantry in the kitchen. We're both very stubborn and she just laughed and watching me do the process every 10 mins. Now its two hours later and she sat in an empty room (i say empty she still has her bookcase, wardrobe, armchair and chest of drawers in there) without a care in the world. She's not bothered about what I've done and says she's still not going to tidy up when her toys come back. Which shes expecting. Have I been too harsh on her? Should I give them all back? Not sure how to proceed from here as expected her reaction to be very different. Feeling like a very cra*py mother right now.

NorthEasterlyGale Sun 30-Mar-14 19:51:39

I would say you need to see it through now you've used it as a consequence. Did you say how long they were being pantryfied for? If not, you'll need to find a way for her to earn them back, I guess.

What sort of consequences have you tried with her so far, other than toy removal? Have reward charts been any use?

I really wouldn't feel crappy if I were you - to be honest, it sounds a lot more restrained than what I probably would have done with the toys grin

Theimpossiblegirl Sun 30-Mar-14 19:52:57

Goodness, what challenging behaviour. I really feel for you.

Has anything happened/changed recently to explain this? Where can she have picked up "Shut your mouth" from for example?

You are doing the right thing being strict and setting boundaries though. I'm not sure what your next step should be, but hopefully more people will be back with advice. Good luck.

TheKnightsThatSayNee Sun 30-Mar-14 19:56:39

Tbh I think expecting a three year old to tidy up her room on her own might be setting your self up slightly. Just leave her on her own and tell her when she's ready to apologise you'll help her tidy and she can have her toys back. She'll get sick of being on her own eventually won't she?

cashewfrenzy Sun 30-Mar-14 19:58:59

My 3 year old DD can be like this. I think she relishes the attention. I will give you advice but take it with a pinch of salt because mine is still a horror much of the time!

I think it's about attention. The attention of you getting cross and removing items etc is really rewarding. I think being bored is a bigger punishment for these kids. Ok you didn't tidy up, fine, I've taken away x and y. Move on.

And when she isn't being horrid lavish her with attention. A great tip I was given on here when my DS was going through this threenager phase was to find 5 things to praise every day and make sure it happens by using a sticker chart. You have to find 5 reasons to give a sticker each day. It really works!

Remember though, pinch of salt. I'm shite at practising what I preach grin

VioLetsMum1 Sun 30-Mar-14 19:59:30

I haven't used reward charts yet. Never thought of it. We had workbooks and flash cards for reading and writing that we did everyday for 15 mins everyday or however long she wanted. She loved doing it so if she did something bad I'd put the workbook away for the day. She also wanted the frozen dvd but I've said if she can't stop this then I won't be buying it tomorrow. The only thing I can think of is because a few weeks ago she started asking about her dad again and was getting jealous of the other children that have dads that come pick them up from nursery etc. My boyfriend, who DD had just bonded with dumped me yesterday so I'm dreading whats going to happen when she realises he's disappeared too.

BertieBotts Sun 30-Mar-14 20:05:19

Keep the toys for 24 hours/until she does something to earn them back. It won't harm her to be without them for a while and she'll learn that you mean what you say.

However I have to say that I've also fallen into the same trap and eventually realised that it's just pointless to expect a 3 or 4 year old to tidy their room when asked. It's too overwhelming for them - they don't know where to start or what to do. Break it down, offer help, and she'll be more amenable. Or work it into an everyday routine - tidy up as you go, tidy up before bed, only get one toy out at a time, etc.

Three is really hard and a boundary pushing stage. I found I needed a consequence for things like biting, hitting, screaming rude things, but general frustration type screaming I let go. If it's only just started, you may be able to ignore the screaming of rude things or just state calmly "Those aren't nice words." If she sees it has no effect she may give up. Also I found it more helpful for it to be a very mild, token sanction that I could give without it turning into a battle. Don't engage, encourage appropriate communication, remove battling opportunities, remember she's three.

BertieBotts Sun 30-Mar-14 20:08:35

Oh bless her, a lot going on then. I think don't threaten vague things. It sounds like she could be hurting a lot at the moment (DS' dad didn't bother to see him after he was 2 either) so it's probably a good idea to stay away from punishments unless it's a recurring problem behaviour that you can't stop in any other way, and gently steer her to ways of expressing her feelings which don't hurt other people.

We used to have a little chat at the end of the day which was about something good and something bad that happened and general feelings of being happy/excited/sad/angry/scared etc. Let them know that all of their emotions are okay and that it's okay to talk about things that aren't happy if they want to.

mumofboyo Sun 30-Mar-14 20:09:01

I'm not sure what to say; I think I'd give the toys back tomorrow (as you didn't actually say you'd take them forever).
I think in that situation I'd have left her for a while so that I could calm down (my nearly 3 yr old ds has a gate across his door that he can't yet open and has a toilet style potty in his room) and then change tack - if the shouting isn't working then neither will shouting longer and louder.

You have to be careful with shouting: the more you do it, the less power it has.

I find, both at home and in the classroom, that the carrot and stick approach works well most of the time - especially if I am consistent with it. To my son I'd say, "Ds, it's time to tidy your toys away," and probably help him do it - perhaps making it into a game by, for example, he picks up all the cars and I'll put away the trucks: who can do it fastest?

If he's uncooperative I'd say, "Ds, when you've tidied up, then you can [insert great treat, sticker or reward here]," and ask him to pass me things or give him a toy to put away - clapping and being happy when he does so.

If he's still not playing ball, then I'll offer the stick: I get down to his level, make him look at me and say, "Ds, I'm going to count to 5. If I get to 5 and you're not tidying up, I'm going to [insert a suitable punishment here; something you can and will do immediately. It doesn't have to be big - start small and work your way up]." He knows I will carry out my threat. I follow this kind of procedure, adapted slightly for different scenarios, every single time.

It's hard when they're laughing at you, but I think that at that age they see it as a big game and the trick is to play along. You give appropriate choices so they feel they have some freedom and autonomy but you set the rules.

ImperialBlether Sun 30-Mar-14 20:16:48

You must be under a great deal of stress if you have been dumped by your boyfriend recently. I hate to say it, but this may well be affecting the way she is responding to you. I know when I was under a lot of stress, my son's behaviour became much worse and I found it difficult to deal with. Start tomorrow afresh and try to stay calm and smile, faking it until you make it! It just becomes a vicious circle otherwise.

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