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Can you help me to stop battling with my 3 year old?

(7 Posts)
LillyBugg Wed 25-Apr-18 16:36:25

Generally I've had an easy ride with my now 3.5 year old DS. Until now. He is still lovely but his challenging behaviour is definitely on the up and I already feel a bit out of my depth. I feel like I'm massively winging it and could really do with some advice.

We battle all day over the smallest things and I know I'm going wrong somewhere so some help would be really appreciated!

So far to manage poor behaviour I've used the naughty cushion. A warning followed by going on the naughty cushion for 2/3 minutes. A talk about what happened. A cuddle and an apology.

I also use a lot of consequences. So 'if you don't get dressed then you can't go in the garden' 'the Lego needs to go away before we can get the cars out' 'if you don't do a wee (first thing in the morning) then we can't go downstairs to have breakfast' 'if you splash the water everywhere in the bath, you will get straight out'.

For particular challenges we use stickers with an agreed prize. So at the moment we've been working on him getting himself dressed, ten stickers and he gets his prize. I had to introduce a timer with this because it was taking forever. All the whining and jumping around and throwing clothes everywhere.

He whines a lot. And argues a lot. He might ask me to unmix the play doh, I explain I can't. He says 'you can' accompanied with jumping up and down and crying and whining.

He will often completely ignore what I'm saying if it's not what he wants to hear. So will ask over and over for something I've already explained is a no. How do you manage this??

I'm sure this is all normal...but I'm just after ways to generally manage the backchatting, the whining, the crying and throwing himself around when things don't go his way.

For context, he has an 11mo brother. He goes to preschool 2 days a week. On other days we have a planned activity in the morning and the afternoon is generally free time. Anything else then please ask me!

LillyBugg Wed 25-Apr-18 19:49:58


Misty9 Wed 25-Apr-18 19:58:26

If you find a solution, could you let the rest of us know please? grin

A lot of it is normal (and doesn’t improve anytime soon...) but I’d recommend voicing his feelings, that is empathising while still setting a limit. For example, “you’re really upset that the play doh won’t be separate colours again aren’t you? Well, I would be too I think - but could we make something cool with this purple/brown/sludge colour? What things are this colour do you know?”

So, it’s empathising, setting a limit (but I can’t unmix it) and then redirecting. I need to do it more but somehow shouting seems less effort at the time... blush

Check out for more on the above technique. It’s a bit American but I’ve found it really helpful.

MollyAA Wed 25-Apr-18 19:59:00

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ohlittlepea Wed 25-Apr-18 20:11:51

How to talk so little kids will listen is a fab book...'if you don't' is quite negative language, it gives loads of practical tips for 2-7 year olds smile

LillyBugg Wed 25-Apr-18 20:19:10

Thanks misty I'll try that. Glad to know I'm not the only one that quickly resorts to shouting either.
I'll also give that book a try thanks pea.

Misty9 Wed 25-Apr-18 20:41:54

I’d also try to say no as little as possible - it’s like a red rag to a mini dictator! I try to say things like “yes, you can have a biscuit/sweet treat after dinner” and repeat ad nauseum grin instead of saying “no!” many times...!

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