Education.com
Try
Brainzy
Try
Plus
domsmom2008
domsmom2008 asks:
Q:

Destructive, defiant, mean behavior of a new 3 year old: stage or real issue?

how do i know if my newly 3 year old son's absolute     defiant behavior and down right mean behavior is a long lived stage or if it is really a problem. there are times when he is sweet as peaches but those are not nearly as often as the naughtiness. he does exactly the opposite of what you tell him or as different as he can tell you he will do it. he cares nothing about Any form of discipline. this behavior occurs with everyone not just at home. but amazingly he did quite well being at vacation bible school for the first time. he is unable to content himself, always has to be center of attention, and is physically hurtful without a care. he knows what he is doing is wrong and when you sit down to talk to him about it he tells you that he did it and he knew he shouldn't have but the isn't barely a hint of any remorse. punishment brings about a few seconds of tears then it was as if nothing happened. im at my wits end. he was not raised to act like this and his 4 year old brother is as different from this as night is from day. PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

|

Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Jul 23, 2009
Subscribe to Expert

What the Expert Says:

Remember that your child will not always listen to parents the first time they are given a decision. The key is consistency. Keep being consistent, this will help you and in turn her behaviors. Ask yourself, a few questions. Is there a time of day he acts this way? Could he be tired, hungry, thirsty or not feeling well? Is there a person that he seems to struggle with the most? Considering all the factors involved, may help. We all go through feeling like "its my way, and negotiating is not allowed". However, when you think of all the decisions you give your child in a day; can you make exceptions? If he asks to have another cookie, can he? Think of the decisions that you can not make exceptions for. For example, he needs to always wear a seat belt.
 
Think about teaching him to accept no answers, decisions and follow instructions. This can be done by practising with him. This can help as you want to try and help him control his feelings when he gets decisions or instructions he does not like. You can make it a game with him. At first, he will like being 'silly' and this can strengthen the bond with you. For example: he will ask you, "mom, can i watch T.V. all night tonight?" You will respond, "no". She will respond with "ok". Then give a short rationale as to why you said 'no'. It could sound something like this: "honey, if you watch T.V. all night, you will not sleep enough. You need your rest". Then over time, he will learn to accept 'real' no answers--with little to no 'fight' or complaints. Follow this same example for accepting decisions. Following instructions requires adding a last step to the example, which is: doing the task.
 
You might also want to try a chart. If he sees that he can accept no, decisions, and follow instructions--reward him. He will see how many stars or checks are on the calendar. At the end of the day, if he has 10 stars; he can watch his favorite T.V. show. If he only makes 9 stars, then he can only watch his show for 10 minutes with you. You can adjust his motivators as he changes them. You can also set up a 'menu' of options he can pick. For example: 5 stars = picking one bedtime book. Choosing a favorite cereal on grocery day. Choosing the dinner menu, etc.
 
Over time his behavior can be shaped to the positive and more desirable behaviors you want to see. Parenting is a tough job.  Remind yourself, what is it that you want to have happen in the heat of the moment? You may have to help your child follow the instruction, if it is cleaning up her room or her toys. If her behavior escalates to the tantrum, out of control behavior, try and remain calm yourself, and let him finish and calmly instruct him that when he is finished, you will talk with him. Its important that you model the correct behavior for him.
 
If you feel you would like to talk to someone, you can call the Boys Town National Hotline. Our mission is helping kids and families and we have counselors available 24/7, to assist you. Take care, and let us know how it goes.

Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000

Did you find this answer useful?
3
yes
1
no

Additional Answers (5)

eli'smom
eli'smom , Parent writes:
Dear domsmom,
 sounds like you have a challenging day, every day. forgive me for saying so....but you must be very persistant in your discipline with your child. you have to stick to your guns and not give in. so what if he cries, he will get over it. start taking away things that he likes. such as toys or privileges, something that will catch his attention. going to the park, or to grandma's house. you get the picture. it really sounds to me like more than just a stage. if you don't take control of it now, he will be controlling you before you know it. hope some of this information will help you out. speak to his pediatrician about your concerns and he/she may have a better solution for you. good luck!!!!!
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
0
yes
0
no
bonnie62
bonnie62 writes:
I too am having this same problem. I have had my son to a child phycologist and been told it could have to do with his sensory. We are having him evaluated and weekly therapy sessions. We are hoping this will help.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
0
yes
0
no
bb100
bb100 writes:
I too have a child who is having a hard time being nice. I feel frustrated too but remind myself he is 3 all day long. I've been being consistent with time out as well as letting him fill a jar with marbles for good deeds and helpful behavior. It seems to be helping in baby steps. I don't think evaluation is necessary or ever will be for us but we are trying to talk about our feelings instead of acting them out. I like the book Siblings Without Rivalry it has helped me know how to talk with him better since our issue started about the time we had a new baby. Hang in there.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
0
yes
0
no
Wayne Yankus
Wayne Yankus writes:
this is a work in progress.  Stay firm, uniform in response, and give your reward system an overhaul.  Possibly get help from your pediatrician or a child behaviorist. He is close in age to his brother. Try to separate them for some activities to focus on him without comparison.  The fact that he did well in bible school shows he knows how to behave with strangers.  Keep the faith but work on it.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
0
yes
0
no
TeacherandParent
TeacherandP... writes:
If he did well at Bible school, it might be well to consider putting him in preschool. Some children need to be kept more active than others - some children need more structure than others. It sounds as if your son is acting on impulses that he can't yet quite control. It sounds as if his inability to content himself can restlessly lead him to constantly look for the next thing to do whether it's a good thing to do or not.

My two sons are also very different from each other - it's baffling.
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
0
yes
0
no
Answer this question