What do you do when your kid is just plain obnoxious? — The Bump

What do you do when your kid is just plain obnoxious?

DD is 3 1/2 years old. We had a baby three months ago. I got when she was hyper looking for attention. We tried being sensitive to it, assuring her she was still our baby, praising her for being a great big sister, including her in helping with the baby. Lately she is just a brat. She doesn't listen, stomps, throws things. I try to brush her teeth she screams, laughs and kicks when I try to put on her shoes, ignores me when I tell her not to do something....I am at my wits end with her. I am so frustrated and don't know what to do. I end up yelling at her then she acts like we are so mean and says she doesn't like me. None of it is directed at the baby and she loves him. Not sure if it even has to do with the baby o if its the age.

I actually got the baby to nap and was excited to do something her and I. She just makes faces stomps and doesn't want to do anything I suggest :/ now I don't even want to do anything.  

Re: What do you do when your kid is just plain obnoxious?

  • I think it's the good old age of being 3.  DS was like that for almost a year.  Now that he's 4, he's much better.  It's a tough age to deal with.
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  • imagemrsseguin:
    I think it's the good old age of being 3.nbsp; DS was like that for almost a year.nbsp; Now that he's 4, he's much better.nbsp; It's a tough age to deal with.

    This was my experience with 3, also. We also had a baby that year and it was frustrating to deal with big sister for a while...but 4 has been awesome! Hang in there.
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  • We only have one but the behavior sounds like our DD at 3.5. Four is a much better age.
    When our DD acted like that I didn't play with her. She played by herself until she could be nice.
    Hang in there!

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  • I agree with the others, this sounds a lot like 3. Neither one of my kids had a "terrible two" period, but 3 was a trial. There are a lot of power struggles and trying to challenge authority. The problem with being 3 is that they don't really have the words/language to communicate frustration, jealousy, etc. So they act out.  I read "Positive Discipline" and it was pretty helpful. It must be even harder for them when a sibling is born. Hang in there, it gets better at 4!
  • DS is like that. He's still my sweet boy but MAN he can be a snot. I think it's mostly the age since DS2 is almost 6 months and DS1 is pretty good with him, he's just a pain sometimes.
  • Yeah, my girls skipped the twos and had ridiculous threes.  DS went through the twos and has had a pretty easy time with threes.

    At 3.5 mine put their own shoes on.  If they don't do it they are carried to the car in bare feet.   I keep shoes in the car (some ratty sneakers they don't like)and when we arrive, I put them on while in the car seat.

    My kids don't throw things, but that would be an immediate time out.  TO is in the piano room and there's nothing to play with and they are there until the tantrum for being put in time out is through.  

    Snotty words, I calmly and firmly say "No.  Try again."  If  needed, "No.  Try again.  Mommy sorry for being rude.  May I please..." If that doesn't do it, I walk away.

     If I ask them to do something and they don't, I casually say " Hey ___... Did you hear me ask you to ____?" If they respond appropriately, I thank them and walk away.  If they don't I assist them.  I NEVER ask them to do anything if I am unable to follow through right away.  

    I tttry when I can to be playful..  If they are being silly/resisting teeth brushing, I brush the chin, or nostrils, or ignore them and pretend to brush my teeth or armpits with it.  Inevitably I get "NO MOMMY MY TEETH!!!"

    I also take 1/2 a second to evaluate motive and how they will respond.  I can usually tell if silly/ignore/assert is the way to go.  Also hygiene, safety are the only nonnegotiables in the house.  Kindness to others is up there, but if one is being bratty to me to get a reaction, I disengage. 

    Now this is what I do most of the time.  I am not close to perfect and bark at them on occasion.  A sitter I had awhile back told me a mother she nannied for would chant "frontal cortex" when she wanted to yell.  Her mantra was "his frontal cortex is still not fully developed and therefore he is unable to reason or behave reasonable at all times."  I never checked the facts on that- the kids were all under two when she told me that but I chuckle from time to time thinking about that when one is wild.  

    But long rant short... she's three.  As long as these bad habits she is in now do not  get her what she wants, she'll outgrow it.  

    If you really want to be happy, no one can stop you.

  • Thanks ladies. We started being consistent with time out when she doesn't listen. She actually hit me with a toy which was a first an she lost tv privileges for that. I tried talking to her asking if something was bothering her and she wouldn't answer. Hopefully this stuff will pass. Only 6 more months til she's four...LOL
  • I do alot of what Eyeore said and I basically try to ignore what I can, be flexible when I can.  On rare occassions for serious things, we don't even talk about, no chance to apologize or debate it - we just go.  i.e. pushing her friend at a playdate (after one warning), trying to run away from me in a crowded bowling alley b/c she didn't like her chair, etc. 

    DD hit me with a toy once (playfully, but trying to see if she could get away w/ it).  I didn't say a word, just walked away and wouldn't talk to her until she apologized.  That took about 30 seconds.  And, then she was crying, saying sorry Mama, sorry Mama, etc.  She knew it was wrong when she did it.

    Honestly, the most effective thing I can do when DD is being a brat is just to walk away.  It makes the point that her behavior isn't appropriate and isn't acceptable.

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  • Mine had some worse behavior when the baby was born. They are 3 years apart.

    A few things:

    I got very consistent on discipline

    I created listening charts, etc which worked well

    I made sure we had special time set aside- with me or DH. We both work full time but do a class with her Saturdays. This was VERY important for her-she felt special and it was time without the baby. Just a thought.

  • I don't really know what to do, because I could have written this post myself!!!!!!  DD1 will be 4 in March, and DD2 was born in October.  She absolutely adores her sister, but has been a nightmare to DH and I since right before she was born.  She's even having behavioral problems at school.  It's a constant struggle.  Add to this she won't go to bed and has been waking up in the middle of the night crying hysterically. it's so much fun. 
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  • I'm a bit of a toughy but here are some things to consider.

    Know what her currency is. Does she love TV, candy? Well, those things are a priviledge and so she has to 'earn' them with good behavior. You tell her exactly what you want her to stop doing and then give a warning. 

    Also, don't be so forgiving on their age. people say, "But she's only 3" but a lot of 3 year olds are really smart and in fact can do and handle much more than they're allowed. For DS, he would fight us to get dressed and shoes on so now he can't have breakfast and tv until he's dressed and with his shoes on. Some serious motiviation because all of a sudden he could dress himself....

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  • 3 1/2 is a really, really hard age - way harder than the 2's and I honestly feel like with my girls, it was hard well into the 4's and finally starts to get better a bit before 5 hits.  What I found worked the best with my girls is to let them try to do more and more on their own.  When its time to put on shoes, ask her to put her shoes on - give her time to actually try and then she will either ask for help or offer to help but don't force yourself on her - give her time and space.  I know - so hard to do!  If we were at home and the girls were out of control, they got a time out to cool down/calm down.  If they won't go into their room, I would go into mine and shut the door - I just didn't give them the attention they were seeking so that they see that the behaivior will not get them anywhere.  When out in public, I never had an issue getting up and taking my child out to the car.  I once sat in the car for 45 mins at the school when my older DD was having a major meltdown.  I just sat there while she cried and screamed and then all of a sudden she got in her seat and said, Mom I'm ready.  I had to do that 2 times and never again.  Being consistent is huge at this age but also giving more choices and letting her do more on her own (or at least trying before you jump in and help).
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • Its 3  :)

    When given choices he feels he has more freedom.

    "Do you want to wear X shoes or Y shoes?"

    "Peanut Butter & Jelly or Turkey Sandwich?"

    When there isn't an option, I tell him we either do something (ie. Hold Hands in the street) or there is a consequence (ie. we won't go to Grandmas house).

    I have allowed him to wear costumes to class...you really have to pick and choose your battles with a 3yo. 

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