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Trinbago
Trinbago asks:
Q:

I have a 3 yr old who is constantly disobeying me in public and chooses to do what she wants. How can I deal with this?

In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges, Communicating with my child (The tough talks)
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Jun 30, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

When our children misbehave in public it can be so embarrassing!  We feel that everyone is not only watching us, but judging our parenting skills too. Because we’re embarrassed our reaction is often greater than it would be if the same behavior occurred at home.

In fact, many parents spend most of their time reacting to their children’s behavior, often focusing simply on the negative things their kids do.  We encourage you to be proactive when you teach by anticipating what your child will likely do in a situation and teach a more appropriate behavior before that situation occurs again.

Take a situation where a small child disobeys in public.  Using a proactive approach the parent would;
1.) Show and tell the positive behavior. (Clearly let her know what you want her to do.)
2.) Practice. (Make it fun and brief, do it often, by pretending or playing games)  
3.) Show Approval. (Use words of praise, encouragement, hugs, or high-fives for her efforts to practice.)

If you spend more time and energy proactively teaching what you want your child
“to do” in those situations, you will spend less time correcting the misbehaviors.

Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000

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Additional Answers (6)

dgraab
dgraab , Parent writes:
We had similar issues with our daughter when she was three, and could have really used the free resources Education.com now has available on this subject, such as...  

The Discipline info center: http://www.education.com/topic/discipline/

Among the many articles you'll find there..."Eight Practical Tips for Parents of Young Children with Challenging Behavior" http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Behavior_Tips/

Another Education.com info center you should check out:

Early Years (Birth-5): http://www.education.com/age/early-years/

Among the many articles you'll find there..."The Wonderful Three-Year-Old": http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Wonderful_Three_Year/

I hope all of the above information is helpful to you and your family.
> 60 days ago

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sierra995
sierra995 writes:
well first you should try a time out dont hit or yell just say it like using your inside voice second if that dosnt work then take there privlages if that doesnt work then i cant help it sorry.
> 60 days ago

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helpingmom
helpingmom writes:
All I know is that my son was defiant and wanted to do only what he wanted to do at three. Now I'm here to try and help him with the same behavior issues at nine. I read somewhere that these issues are cyclical -- around three, then nine/ten, then sixteen, etc. I hope I can help him now so he does not experience the same issues at sixteen. Good luck.
> 60 days ago

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bigeyes
bigeyes writes:
first talk to your child calmly and ask what is wrong and ask if anyone have done anything to her also, and if your child is being around anyone ask question about that person,then take your child to the doctor for a physical and get some help from the doctor to see what you can do.
also some tough love will help since this child is still young before the child get older not saying you should hurt the child but be strict not give a child everything she or he wants continue to get help and talk to your child let her or him know that acting out in public is wrong and that he or she is embassering herself and you in public, continue to use educational games and tapes on controlling one self and read to your child on about behavior.
> 60 days ago

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Jurmufam
Jurmufam writes:
I can relate to you.  I have learned that kids act out in public because they think that you can not do anything about it because you are in public.  So what we had to do was when they were acting out we left whatever we were doing and went home.  It is hard and seems like something that can not be done but it works.  It is a pain when you are in the food store with a cart full and you need to shop and you have to leave, but it works.  Also if you can when this happens go home and leave the child with an adult and you go back to the store.  Our kids learned that just because they were bad and we left I was still doing what I wanted.  It is a little extreme I am sure you are thinking but it works.  They want to be with you and want to go and see what you are doing.  FYI the closest shopping center to us is 30 miles away so it was VERY much a pain when I had to leave and take them all the way home just to come back.  Also try not to look like you are upset that you have to do it like they won when you leave to go back to the store be a little happy that you get to go alone;)  Good luck...
> 60 days ago

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djorlo
djorlo writes:
If you get an answer, let me know!
> 60 days ago

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