Toddlers: 24 Months+

HELP! My 3 year old controls our house!

I am a working mom with a 3 year old (Sept baby) and 5 month old.  After spending the last 7 days at home with the kids due to scheduling and sick days I have had an awakening that I need to take control back from my 3 year old.  I have read a few parenting methods and attempted them, but they all seem so modern and hokey and didn't work for my kid.   Basically anytime we have to do something that is not her idea (get dressed, sit for a meal, go to bed, etc) it is a fight.  We try to offer lots of choices (ex. You can sit down for supper or sit in time out.), but that isn't working out.  Out of despiration, we bribe her a lot, which I hate, but it's the only thing we've found that works.

Can you recommend a parenting book or method that is more traditional that worked for your spirited toddler?  TIA!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Pregnancy Ticker

Re: HELP! My 3 year old controls our house!

  • this has been happening more and more in our home, too. fortunately she's only 1 child so it's easier for me (i'd think) to stick to my guns. if it's bedtime, it's bedtime. whether she wants to walk her happy butt into the bathroom to brush her teeth or i carry her screaming, it's getting done. if it's not a big deal thing- like last night she insisted she wasn't wearing her jammies- i let it go. i don't want to be constantly nagging her, i don't want to be constantly feeling like everything's a fight. but sometimes she just HAS to do it and we're consistent about those times so she is getting a better feel for when we really mean it.

    i've heard from some that 3 was "worse" than 2 and i'm definitely seeing that even though mine's not 3 yet.

    image
    click the pic (blog)
    image
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Which methods have you tried and for how long did you try them?  Generally giving choices isn't "do what I ask or sit in time out" it's usually, would you like to wear a red shirt, or a blue one?" This way they get a choice, both of which you are comfortable with, and you don't open up a can of worms by saying "what do you want to wear".  In our house we A) give choices and B) give time outs.  C) we also give a lot of verbal praise for excellent behavior.  When I can give them a choice I do (clothing, what to pack for lunch etc.) Time outs are more for bad behaviors, (hitting, not listening the first time I speak etc).  Little ones get a warning for bad behavior "if you hit again you will have a time out" older ones know the rules and go right to timeout when they do something wrong.  Also after the first time I ask them to do something "Come put your shoes on" if I don't get a response, I count, one... two... three... if I get to three they go in time out, and then we start again.... I rarely get to two now.  This prevents the frustration of repeating yourself, I know I lose my cool if I have to ask my kids 5 times to put their shoes on, ask once, then count. 

    Time outs are generally 1 minute for each year (so 3 min for your 3 year old) but they can last much longer in the beginning because they need to sit for the three minutes without you telling them to go back, or moving them, etc.  I've had a time out last for 30 min before my 3 year old sit still in the beginning, but it's worth it now, very few time outs, and when they do happen, they know where to go, and they sit still.

    This is NOT an overnight fix, it isn't even going to be fixed in a week.  The key to any parenting method is being on the same page with your spouse and consistency.  GL

    ETA: we also don't pick our battles, for us that leads to constant questioning as to what boundaries can they can push... "mommy let me wear my PJ's to school yesterday so what can I do today!"

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Lilypie - (HKbp)Lilypie - (WKbt)
     Lilypie - (2DqE)  Lilypie - (1KYE)
    Lilypie - (RlhZ)Lilypie - (1CAm)
  • image homebody2:

    I am a working mom with a 3 year old (Sept baby) and 5 month old.  After spending the last 7 days at home with the kids due to scheduling and sick days I have had an awakening that I need to take control back from my 3 year old.  I have read a few parenting methods and attempted them, but they all seem so modern and hokey and didn't work for my kid.   Basically anytime we have to do something that is not her idea (get dressed, sit for a meal, go to bed, etc) it is a fight.  We try to offer lots of choices (ex. You can sit down for supper or sit in time out.), but that isn't working out.  Out of despiration, we bribe her a lot, which I hate, but it's the only thing we've found that works.

    Can you recommend a parenting book or method that is more traditional that worked for your spirited toddler?  TIA!

    Can you offer two viable choices instead of one being a punishment? Such as "Do you want to sit on the booster seat for dinner, or on the big girl chair?"  I don't think the offering 2 choices thing is supposed to have time out as one of the choices.

    My LO is only 2, but like the PP, those are his two choices and if he doesn't select one, I select for him, even if it means I take him kicking and screaming.

    I try to prep him too by warning him the transition is coming. "Almost time for dinner!" and "one more minute until dinner!", then "OK, finish that book and let's go eat."  So that he's not too surprised about what we have to do next. 

    imageimage Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers
    image
  • We have tried Harvey Karp's "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" about a year ago for probably 2 months, but it just felt hokey to me and our daughter didn't respond.  We've also tried components of "Love and Logic" but I didn't agree with all of the ideas, so we didn't do it whole heartedly.  

    LOL to the choices rule.  Prior to #2 being born we did it the right way but out of despiration and sloppiness it's turned in to one choice being a punishment.

    So, I am curious to the PP, if you carry them to bed or back to the booster chair kicking and screaming, what do you do when they don't stay put and run the other way?  I would do a 3 min time out, but my daughter would resume her behavior as soon as time out is over. Thanks!

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Pregnancy Ticker
  • Get rid of the choices. Start telling ( don't ask, tell)  her what you want her to do. When you tell her to sit down for dinner and she fights it you tell her, sit down now or go to your room for time out. If she refuses again pick her up and put her in her room. Tell her when she is ready to hear your words and obey them ( or do what mommy says) that she can come out.

    You will need to child proof her room and remove ALL breakables ( off surfaces and walls) and cover the inside door knob with a cover so she can't open it ( if she won't stay in her room). She will go crazy in her room. Let her. Walk away and ignore it.  Once she is done and calm she can come out. Ask her if she is ready to listen to mommy. If she says yes Take her back to what ever you asked her to do and tell her again to sit down. If she disobeys again put her back in her room. You might have to do this over and over.

    This sounds harsh but it will help. You just have to do it every single time she gives you a hard time about what you tell her to do. You will also have to pick your battles. You will have to ask your self, " do I really  want to deal with the aftermath if she disobeys??"  but at the same time if she expected to sit at the table to eat you need to make her every single time.

     

    My older dd was a hard 3 year old. I have been there. She is 9 now and listens really well. She knows I am in charge. 

    ~ mommy to three~ August 2000, October 2003 & February 2012~






    Lilypie First Birthday tickers

    image

    " Raising children is like being pecked to death by a duck." - Somebody's Tired Mother
  • 1) You don't need to do any book "whole heartedly"- find the ideas that will work for your family and mix and match until you find a parenting plan that works for you.

    2) Natural consequences. If she doesn't want to sit still and eat, she can go read (I wouldn't allow active play during meals but if she'd rather sit quietly in the living room while the family is eating, that's fine). When she wants food 10 minutes after dinner is over I would give her a piece of fruit- not dinner. And she would have to eat it sitting at the table.

    Another example, if she doesn't want to get dressed, that's fine. But she can't go outside. She threw her toy, she loses it (in your closet for a day or so). She doesn't want you to turn the TV off- she doesn't get to watch it later. 

    3) I agree with PP about giving her warning with transition is about to happen. Toddlers HATE change. They need lots of warning. Have you tried explaining why you need her to do things? "We need to go to the store, so I need you to get dressed now. I'll let you push the cart (or whatever she likes to do there).

    4) Some bribery is okay. "I'll give you a cookie if you eat your peas" is bad bribery. "Later we'll have TV time if we can get this done now. If we can't get it done, we won't have time for TV" is okay. 

     

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    image
    Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Nutrition Facts For Foods
  • I agree with heymommy, thats what we do with DD who is 27 months. I also believe in spanking.
  • I know our pedi and a lot of girls on this board recommend 123 Magic.  

    I did read Love and Logic and I agree with you some of the ideas are way too extreme.  I mean let your child flunk a grade if he doesn't want to do his school work?  Come on!  But I think the basic principals are good and seem to work well for us.  So, "Do you want to strap yourself into the chair for dinner or have mama do it?"  "Do you want mama to carry your plate to the table or do you want to do it? 

    image




    Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • I don't think you'll like my advice since you want to "take back control" from your kid, because I'm all about giving them control over themselves. My kid owns her body; I try to limit my control to things of health/safety/hygeine/and damage to property. I consider things like bedtime, brushing teeth, etc to be non negotiables. Other things I'm willing to negotiate on. She chooses her clothes, she chooses her activities for the most part, she helps choose dinner, etc. Generally we have cooperation. Sometimes due to routine and sometimes due to logic and sometimes due to natural consequences, and sometimed due to me offering the choices of walking upstairs or being carried and then following through.

    But really, 3 is a tough age.

    Hysterectomy after Stage IV Endometriosis
    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers
    image
    Charlotte Rocks!

  • The book 1-2-3 Magic was recommended to me a while ago.  We follow it loosely and the majority of the time it does work for DD.

    image

    image image

    image

    Always in my heart: BFP 9/6/12 - M/C 9/25/12
  • I feel you pain! We are trying positive discipline right now, and although I don't agree with all of it, I've found elements of it that work. It doesn't seem to be as hokey as some of the other methods. 

    I agree with PP's about the choices. We do it as they suggest, and it seems to work most of the time. I'm finding lately though that the consequences I'm using aren't always bad to her. For example, if she's acting up in a store and I threaten to leave the store, she is perfectly fine with that (in which case, I lose b/c I don't want to leave the store before I'm finished). So I'm having to come up with different logical/natural consequences which is a challenge at times.  

    The biggest thing we struggle with is hitting her little sister. I got some books about being nice and respectful, and she seems to be responding well to those so far.  



    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • When things start to get crazy around here (with DD1 not DD2), I generally resort to a reward chart.  Once you get X amount of stars you get Y.  She needed to get 20 stars by going to bed without problems.  It took her just over 3 weeks (bedtime had been he!! for a few months) and she got her big girl bed as a reward.  Right now I am working on a reward chart with multiple things (ie, finish your food, brush your teeth, obey quickly, clean up toys, etc) and she will most likely be working toward new pjs or an icee, we seem to always work towards icees?!?! 

    The biggest thing I have found, and I know with 2 this is hard, is that you have to stay on top of her.  If you tell her to do something, you have to make sure right then and there that she does it.  If you don't keep after her and she doesn't do it, the next time you tell her to do something, she probably won't because she doesn't think you'll do anything about it.  Consistancy really is the key. Also, in our house, for awhile we made a lot of things into races.  Who can get dressed the fastest, who can put dirty clothes away the fastest, etc.  A lot of the time I would say something like "DD2, come here, it's time to get dressed and we're going to see if you can beat DD1".  We're mostly out of that phase now but it worked for awhile. 

    Lilypie Kids Birthday tickersLilypie Fourth Birthday tickers
  • I agree with pp in terms of the kind of choices you give. the idea behind giving choices is that you're giving LO control over the situation in ways that really don't matter to you/ the grand scheme of things.

    You want the red shirt or the blue shirt? Is a win win situation.

    I find the more control LO has in a situation the more compliant and easy-going she is.

    That doesn't mean that I bend to her every whim, or that there aren't times where things simply have to be how I say they're going to be eg. we are leaving the park in 5 minutes. But I can pack her off from the park without giving her any heads up and regardless of what activity she's involved in. Or I can say, 'we're leaving the park in 5 minutes. You have time to play one more thing what would you like to play on?" 

    I actually come from a framework of saying "yes" as often as possible. 

    image
    Elizabeth 3yrs old Jane 1yr old

  • image homebody2:

    We have tried Harvey Karp's "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" about a year ago for probably 2 months, but it just felt hokey to me and our daughter didn't respond.  We've also tried components of "Love and Logic" but I didn't agree with all of the ideas, so we didn't do it whole heartedly.  

    LOL to the choices rule.  Prior to #2 being born we did it the right way but out of despiration and sloppiness it's turned in to one choice being a punishment.

    So, I am curious to the PP, if you carry them to bed or back to the booster chair kicking and screaming, what do you do when they don't stay put and run the other way?  I would do a 3 min time out, but my daughter would resume her behavior as soon as time out is over. Thanks!

    I generally give a time out if they don't willingly walk to where they need to go, because I ask once and then count (but I will carry them to time out, and if they don't stay, I will put them back and restart time).  When she is done, ask her if she is ready to go to her bed/chair/booster, if not, she can sit right back down in a time out for another three minutes, repeat until she is ready to do what you said.

    If she went right back to the bad behavior after a time out she would go right back into a time out.... you might have to do a lot of them in the beginning, but they will start to get fewer and far between when she knows you will follow through. I always explain why they are in a time out, and how they can listen better next time to avoid time outs.  I also explain that when I don't have to give time outs we have a lot more time to do fun things, and when we get through a morning without time outs, I point out, WOW, we have an extra 15 minutes to play XYZ because everyone was a good listener this morning!

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Lilypie - (HKbp)Lilypie - (WKbt)
     Lilypie - (2DqE)  Lilypie - (1KYE)
    Lilypie - (RlhZ)Lilypie - (1CAm)
  • image homebody2:

    We have tried Harvey Karp's "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" about a year ago for probably 2 months, but it just felt hokey to me and our daughter didn't respond.  We've also tried components of "Love and Logic" but I didn't agree with all of the ideas, so we didn't do it whole heartedly.  

    LOL to the choices rule.  Prior to #2 being born we did it the right way but out of despiration and sloppiness it's turned in to one choice being a punishment.

    So, I am curious to the PP, if you carry them to bed or back to the booster chair kicking and screaming, what do you do when they don't stay put and run the other way?  I would do a 3 min time out, but my daughter would resume her behavior as soon as time out is over. Thanks!

    Well, my LO is only 2 so I'm sure I have much more to come, but most of our disagreements don't involve staying put, so I haven't had to deal with that. Plus he's still in a crib so there's no running away.  At least for my LO, at this age, giving choices helps a lot.

    I also try to be super consistent. Last book for the night means last book, period.

    As a PP mentioned too, I try to pick my battles wisely. I have learned to let a lot roll off my back and only to be firm when it is truly important.  You MUST wash hands before dinner, but if you don't want to take your jacket off, fine... keep it on.

    Again, I'm sure 3 brings a whole new set of challenges, so I can only imagine how tough it gets! 

    imageimage Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers
    image
  • I just NEVER let DS win. If he wants to throw a fit for 10 minutes, I can easily block out his screams. I completely ignore his fits. I also believe in spanking children. I don't really do time-outs. It really doesn't work for DS. I will just leave the room and let him get over his fits by himself. There is no point banging your head against the wall and arguing with a toddler. My strategy is to show him that his bad behavior doesn't get him attention. 
    AnniversaryBaby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    image         
     MC #1 6/13 (6weeks),  MC #2 8/13 (7weeks)
                        image
                                      Lila Elizabeth EDD 9/30/14
  • Ditto all mamabear's advice. 

     

    And we loosely use 1 2 3 magic and it works for us.  

     

    I read happiest toddler on the block and thought that was soooooo hokey and couldn't even begin to speak toddlerese or whatever.  

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • image KateLouise:

    I agree with pp in terms of the kind of choices you give. the idea behind giving choices is that you're giving LO control over the situation in ways that really don't matter to you/ the grand scheme of things.

    You want the red shirt or the blue shirt? Is a win win situation.

    I find the more control LO has in a situation the more compliant and easy-going she is.

    That doesn't mean that I bend to her every whim, or that there aren't times where things simply have to be how I say they're going to be eg. we are leaving the park in 5 minutes. But I can pack her off from the park without giving her any heads up and regardless of what activity she's involved in. Or I can say, 'we're leaving the park in 5 minutes. You have time to play one more thing what would you like to play on?" 

    I actually come from a framework of saying "yes" as often as possible. 

    As to your last sentence we have started doing that as well.  It's amazing how often you say 'no' as a parent!  For example DD gets two cups of milk a day.  If she has already finished her second cup and is asking for more I say, "Yes, tomorrow morning when you wake up you may have more milk" it's so much more positive and well received than saying, "No, you have already have enough milk today."  Who knows as she gets older it may become frustrating to her, I don't know, but for right now it really seems to be a positive in both of our lives.  Of course you can't say 'yes' all the time and it's important for them to learn to hear the word 'no' as well, but it doesn't have to be said as often as it is.    

    image




    Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • Lots of ideas here to try, but I will say so many things are dependent on your child's personality and some ppl one here and elsewhere will give suggestions that seem really common sense and easy and maybe they were with their childs personality, but don't work with a lot of other kids...I often think thechild who generally follows what they say etc is likely more like that bc of their natural temperament than some amazing parenting ability, but that is my .02. I have a friend who never had to put her son in a time out or discipline him really until age four bc he just did whatever she said and then her second came along with totally different temperament and she was like wth do I do with this? 

    That being said, neither of mine (b/g twins)have been very easy or textbook in most ways and i have tried lots of things and totally different things work for each of them. 123 magic was not he magic bullet that a lot of ppl on here claimed it to be but it has worked for us over time and the use of the kitchen timer for transitions in particular has been a huge thing w my son who has some anxiety and transition issues...he will actually ask me to set the timer now and infrequently puts up a fight when the timer goes off and we have to go do whatever it is that is next. My daughter is much more into rewards, choices, doing things herself, and he is into predictability, low stress, etc.

    Good luck figuring out what works for your dd! We went through a horrible phase for about three months just before age three where I though I was going to lose my mind but it calmed slightly so hopefully yours will too.. 

  • Read the Explosive Child.  I can't remember the author.  I retaught the methods a lot when I when I was doing in-home behavior interventions for families of children with severe behavioral issues.  I think the author's philosophy is very straight forward.  
    Lilypie Third Birthday tickers Our Little Guy due 4/14/13 BabyFetus Ticker
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards