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Brwneyedwonder
Brwneyedwon... , Parent asks:
Q:

How soon can you tell if your child will have behavior problems?

 My daughters father had A.D.D and she's only 3 but really hyper all the time im afraid thats the only trait she picked up form her dad. I try working with her but she seems to blow it off like i never talked to her. How can you explain things to a 3 yr old to where they understand what there doing is wrong?
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 10, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

I understand your concerns about your 3 yr. old possibly having ADHD because of what her father has experienced. It's very normal for a 3 yr. old to have lots of energy, be very inquisitive about their surroundings, and be unwilling to sit quietly for a long period of time. It's tough, however, to tell at the age of 3 whether her behavior is "normal" 3 yr. old behavior, or if there is something more going on.

You have a few options. Continue to explain to her using simple language what you expect of her and tell her when she is acting inappropriately. Even if she doesn't respond exactly the way you want, she does hear what you are saying. Because of her age, I would recommend using a more behavioral approach. Children in that age group respond well to some type of token system. Pick an activity, special snack, sticker, or toy that she can choose from every time she performs a certain task well, or follows instructions that are given to her. Also, take away one of those things when she doesn't do what is expected of her. Positive reinforcement will be far more effective than punishment, so focus on her good behaviors. In addition to something tangible, be sure that you are giving her lots of verbal praise when she performs well. Be as consistent as you can and remember that it will take some time for her behaviors to change.

If you feel like you need her behavior to be assessed further, consult a child psychologist as to what the next step would be. If you need referrals for an agency that may be able to help you in getting your daughter assessed, please feel free to call our toll-free hotline 24/7.

Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000

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Additional Answers (3)

Loddie1
Loddie1 , Parent writes:
One way to help a child is use the reward system at this age. You can also use behavior charts. Children are very tactile learners, so trying to explain something may not really sink in. A book about manners, behaviors, etc. is always a good thing. The pictures in the book really tell the story to the toddler. Tantrums and high-energy is really normal for this stage, so I don't recommend the spanking method. However, when they are older and held more accountable (like 6-9) I do recommend it. Good luck :)
> 60 days ago

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GeraldineCharles
GeraldineCh... writes:
There are quite a few sites on line with information that may be some help to you:
www.milestonemom.com
www.behavioraldisorders.com
www.localhealth.com/behavioral
www.webmed.com/adhd
Good luck I hope this helps you
> 60 days ago

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JamielaIsmail
JamielaIsmail , Teacher writes:
I agree with the expert on positive reinforcement.  three year olds are supposed to be energetic.  they are into exploring and working those gross motor muscles.  i find that a behaviour chart works best for them.  setting about routine and structure.  sit down with her and use pictures to express what you need to tell her.  they respond better to pictures than you talking to her.  keep it short - no long explanations.  hope this helps.
> 60 days ago

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