3-year-old behavior — The Bump
Toddlers: 24 Months+

3-year-old behavior

DD just turned 3.  Her new favorite phrase is "I don't want to, Mom." She doesn't follow directions, or cries/argues when she is told that it's not her turn with that toy, or she needs to put on her shoes, etc.  I know all of this is totally normal, BUT, DH and I aren't sure how to handle it.  I'm thinking about doing a sticker chart where she gets a sticker for listening, picking up toys, etc.  Or, some kind of fuzz ball in a jar.  When the jar fills up, she gets some kind of reward.  I'm not sure about using rewards?  That typically isn't my style, but I'm not sure what else to do to teach her to listen to me and obey.  Any advice/suggestions?

Re: 3-year-old behavior

  • My DD sort of became a stinker when she turned 3.  Terrible 2's did not exist for her but she did get very "bratty" after she turned 3.  We have a responsibility chart that we use perioidically for her. I find it loses it's appeal pretty quickly but if she's being a pill I can bring it out for 2 or 3 days and she gets into it.  Then I take it away before she is over it completely.  

    I try to ignore her when she's whining or crying about picking up toys.  I just give extra praise to DS if he is picking up toys and that usually motivates her (that could backfire!).  If it's something like putting her shoes on we always let the kids pick one toy to take with them before we leave to go somewhere.  If she fights about shoes she does not get to pick a toy.  That is effective.  
    DawnJM25
  • I think you could totally do the "Caught you listening" route. We are doing it with my 5 yr old as she has also become very argumentative and defiant. We have her fill up a spaghetti sauce jar with the colored pom poms, but I think for a 3 yr old it would have to be more immediate or a quicker pay out. When we were PTing, 5 stickers (staying dry all day) earned a trip for ice cream, when she got to 10 it was something else small, but when she filled the whole sheet she got a bigger prize like a trip to the zoo or Chuck E Cheese. With my 5 yr old, every time I catch her listening the 1st time she gets a "cotton ball" in her jar. Even the 2 yr old has caught on and gets really excited when she earn a cottonball.
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    DawnJM25
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  • PS- I'm all for rewarding good behaviors. It teaches kids that when you make good choices, you get good results. We get paid for making the right decision and going to work and doing our job every day, so I don't see rewarding kids for their good behavior as any different. Schools across the country and doing the PBS or Positive Behavior Support which is rewarding those kids that show up to school and do the right thing every day. Every 9 weeks we do some sort of school-wide reward for those kids who haven't had an office referral.
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    DawnJM25
  • DawnJM25DawnJM25 member
    edited November 2014
    Thank you for the suggestions! I ordered Positive Discipline and I'm open to using rewards.  I like the "I caught you listening" jar!
  • I don't do rewards for listening.  I make sure that when I speak to my kids, I'm on their level, making eye contact.  I give them some warnings about transitions.  We have routines.  We talk about the day's schedule ahead of time.  I ask for their input on menus, activities, and schedules. 

    I highly recommend, "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen." 
    DS born 8/8/09 and DD born 6/12/12.
    DawnJM25
  • My ds had a horrible 2.5-3.5 yo. I just tried to be super consistent with him. Lots of time outs. Take things away for throwing toys, stuff like that. I did make a big deal if he was good or did good things.
    Then one day he started acting like a sweet little boy again. Still has his moments but much better. Just stay consistent!
    BabyFruit Ticker
    DawnJM25
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