3 yr old with horrible behavior. — The Bump
Pre-School

3 yr old with horrible behavior.

I am struggling with finding more patience.  My son is a CONSTANT whiner, complainer, contrary, OCD child.  I know this is preschooler behavior but in the last 4 hours he has not had more than 2 minutes of good behavior at a time.  If you thank him or give him praise for the short bursts of good behavior then he snaps at you.  We use the 1-2-3 method with timeouts or taking away privileges.  He does better after I have been home for 8 days and been constantly working on the behavior, but then I have to go to work and he goes to daycare or stays with DH and everything gets messed up.  Im not looking for solutions because I know the discipline we need to do, I'm just looking for patience and compassion.  Please tell me this gets better?!!  I'm about to sell him to the highest bidder. (I'll point out that I am joking since there are people who will actually do that.)
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Re: 3 yr old with horrible behavior.

  • Our DS2 just turned 3 years old last month, and he's a holy terror!  He's hitting, picking on his big brother, talking back, runs around in the store with no care in the world!  Like today we went to Target for groceries, and he bolted into the pharmacy!  Like behind the counter!  And he was knocking meds off of the shelves and just keeping away from us. It was a total nightmare!  We sat him in the cart and he complained and cried most of the time cause he didn't want to be in there. He wanted to walk....YEAH RIGHT!

    So, you're not alone.  I'm hoping he'll come down from this chaos as he gets closer to his fourth birthday.  Out grows it, sort of speak.  Unfortunately, DH can't handle this type of behaviour.  I'm a SAHM so I can deal with it.  You just have to breathe, let them finish their fit while you remove yourself, then come back later and talk to them.  

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  • is he in preschool?  The structure of school and all teh friends/playmates, might help him.
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  • You are not alone.  With my oldest I have noticed that each half year (so 6 months, 18 months, 2 21/2, 31/2) were hell.  Right around the year marks he's pretty good, well mannered, nice to his brother, polite, but god help me in the middle. 

    The upside is it sounds like he does well under the right circumstances.  Is it possible to have a good heart to heart with DH and with your daycare provider about making sure that everyone is consistent since he so obviously needs that?

  • My son was exactly the same way right around when he turned 3 years old.  It has gotten better.  I hear that the tantrums wear off around age 4.

    We've done alot of prayer, praising good behavior (verbally, high fives, stickers, suckers, popsiciles), removing priviledges (no TV, sucker, etc.), and time outs with explanations. 

    Yeah, that behavior is totally frustrating.  It just so happened that I had to go back to work at that phase and mentally I was running back to work, lol!

    Hang in there.

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