sumaiya-01 asks:

My 3 year old girl won't listen.

I have a 3 year old girl who is just the same. I don't know what to do anymore as I can't seem to get through to her. Everyday it's just screaming, crying for every simple thing, she cries for nothing. When you shout at her for doing something wrong she cries. She won't listen to a single thing I tell her to do, not from picking the toys up, or I tell her to help pick the toys, not even that. If I tell her you can't have that, first you need to eat or whatever the case might be she starts to cry and then she is all over the floor kicking and screaming. I just do not know what to do anymore, I have failed with her. I don't know whether it's because she is spoiled rotten or because off all the attention she gets as she is the only child at home. Sometimes I feel as if I am not good enough to be a mother. As I can't seem to make my own child listen to me and behave herself, as my husband keeps telling me that. I need advice on how to deal with her in the future. Something on what I can do to make her listen to me. Please help.
In Topics: Parenting / Our Family, Discipline and behavior challenges, Communicating with my child (The tough talks)
> 60 days ago



Jan 31, 2013
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What the Expert Says:

Sorry to hear about your struggle with your daughter's behaviors.  Sounds like you have already tried a few approaches to correct her tantrums, etc.  I would like to suggest a positive approach: positive reinforcement.  Instead of telling your daughter that she can't have a cookie now, tell her that she can have it after she finishes her meal.  Instead of telling her to pick up her toys by herself, do it with her.  Set an example.  Make it into a game, and after you are done picking up the toys, admire how clean the room is, how well she did her part, and put a sticker on the calendar.  Explain to her that if she collects 5 stars, there will be a small reward.  Over time, allow her to do most of the work when picking up the toys until she can do it independently.

Pick your battles by reacting to what's important.  If she does not eat lunch, offer a small nutritious snack a couple of hours later, without nagging her about being a bad eater.  She will be hungrier for dinner!  

Temper tantrums are common in 2-3 year-olds, but should diminish over time and go away after age 4.  If they get worse or persist after your daughter turns 4, talk with her nurse practitoner or pediatrician.

Best regards.
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