Dealing with attitudes — The Bump

Dealing with attitudes

Who's 3 year old acts like a teenager? One of my DDs is driving me crazy lately. Every time we try to leave the house, I get "I'm not going! I hate...." (and its usually a playground, storytime....something for them). And when we get there lately, she'll march off with her arms folded and tell me she's going home. She did this at a playground last week. Yesterday, my moms group had a very delayed egg hunt and while all the kids were looking for eggs, she threw her bucket and dramatically walked off. Her favorite answer to any question lately is "never!"

As far as I know at preschool (2x/week), she doesnt do this. I guess its for my benefit. Its frustrating when I try to make fun plans and get this reaction. Part of me feels like I should punish her and just keep her home, but its not fair to her sister (or me!).

Any advice on how to deal with this? I'm so not looking forward to 10 years from now!

Re: Dealing with attitudes

  • imageNJLH:

    Her favorite answer to any question lately is "never!"

    I know it's wrong and not at all helpful, but I can't stop laughing about this.  

  • ugh - yeah I get this sometimes too.

    I use a variation of ignore it/her and making it a joke.


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  • NJLHNJLH member
    i know....I laugh too, which doesnt help! Then there are the times I feel the need to put on headphones!
  • Does the word "never" just pop into their vocab over night once they turn 3?  OMG, we hear this from DD all the time, and it's hilarious and obnoxious all at the same time.  "Honey, put your shoes on so we can go."  "Never!!!!!"  Sometimes if we're really lucky we even get "Never!!!!! Never ever!!!!!!"  I cracked up the other day when I was doing a home visit for work.  I was filling out some paperwork while the woman was trying to wrangle her 3 yr old and he shouted "Never!!!!"  I just laughed and at that point assumed it must be a 3yr old thing.

    So yeah, we obviously get a lot of attitude.  I told DH to start preparing himself  now for the teen years.

    ETA:  As far as dealing with it, we mostly just ignore it.  Unless it's something really rude that's directed AT us, like demanding things by saying "Right NOW!" then we just correct her and say "That's not how you ask for things.  Ask the right way" 

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  • Yes. I got glimpses of her 13 yo self. It really helped to call these outbursts "spoiled behavior" and educate/TO just like any other behavior that needs changing.
    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • It's not only the three yo DS is the king of attitudes.  I try and ignore it and correct rude behavior when needed.
  • I'm glad to hear others are experiencing the attitude problem with 3yo boys. I swear my DS has turned into a teenager overnight. "Whatever" is his go-to word these days. That coupled with his stubbornness has made our house quite lively these days. I'm hoping this is a phase that will pass :)
  • Could you have a friend take the sister that is in better mood? 

    If it were me, I would say very calmly, "Okay, we won't go then. I'm sorry "sister's name" but we aren't going anywhere with this kind of behavior/attitude." Then we would stay home. If either of my girls isn't enjoying and activity or not acting appropriately we go home. The sulky one can go to her room and play by herself till she turns around, while the other gets to have special mommy time. We usually bake when other plans don't work out. 

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