Lifsvrhrtbrkr , Parent asks:

Needing advice on my 3 y/o girl

I'm a stay home mom and my husband's out of town working for months at a time. My girl will be 4 in a few days. She won't listen or mind and has no respect for anything. Quick to loose her temper & throws out of control fits while shouting she hates me, she doesn't want to live with me or she doesn't love me. She breaks things & laughs about it. She's started hiding things from me. (Car keys, wedding ring, kindle just to name a few.) I'm suffering from some hefty medical issues & she deliberately hurts me when she gets angry. She won't sleep for more than five hours at a time. She wakes up in the middle of the night & won't wake me up. Instead, she tears up everything she can get her hands on. She was a wonderful baby and the sweetest child I've ever met until she received her 2 year boosters. Her personality spun a 180. I don't know what to do to help her. Corporal punishment (Hand popping) and time outs are useless. I don't bother because it only makes her even more angry. If I do, she slaps & hits me or goes to her room and urinates in her floor.  The only thing I've been able to do as of lately to control the temper tantrums sit in the floor with her, hold her in a bear hug & whisper how much I love her until she calms down. I know I'm not handling the situation properly but, I don't know what else to do. I don't have family members to help me. Her pedi says it's ages and stages but, I'm at my wits end because things are getting progressively worse.                
In Topics: Sleep and rest, Children and stress, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
Feb 27, 2012
Subscribe to Expert

What the Expert Says:

Thanks for taking the time to reach out for some help with your parental problem. It sounds like you took a really great step by taking your daughter in to see her pediatrician, but weren't able to get the help you were looking for. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going in for a second opinion by taking your daughter to see a child psychologist. There are established norms for ways a child should be behaving, and it seems like your daughter's behaviors have been getting progressively worse and more extreme in nature. Urinating on the floor intentionally to upset you is not healthy behaviors for a child of 3 to behave in. A child psychologist could help you understand which behaviors of hers are abnormal, why, and what you can do to start correcting them.

Also, a parenting technique you can use is called "Teaching to the Behavior." When your daughter misbehaves it presents you with an opportunity to teach her appropriate behaviors. For example, if your daughter breaks something follow this procedure:

1) Tell your daughter what she did that was wrong (breaking the vase)
2) Tell her why it is wrong (it makes a mess, it is dangerous)
3) Give her a consequence (no TV for the rest of the day)
4) Tell her what she should have done instead (ways to cope when she gets upset)
5) Practice the more appropriate behavior with your daughter
6) Offer her a chance to earn her consequence back if she behaves (she can have TV time back in 4 hours if she is able to keep from having an outburst)
7) Praise her ability to practice the appropriate behavior
8) Let her go about her day

Obviously giving a consequence won't be a pleasant experience right away, which is why being firm and consistent is key. Eventually she will realize that good behavior is rewarded and that pleaded and throwing a fit when she is giving a consequence will not result in anything positive for her.

Boys Town National Hotline

Did you find this answer useful?

Additional Answers (1)

cecedolphin writes:
Do you leave her in time-out for three minutes?  If she gets up do you put her back? Is she away from toys while she is in time-out?
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
Answer this question


You are about to choose ${username}'s answer as the best answer.

Cancel | Continue

*You can change the best answer in the future if you think that you received a better answer

How likely are you to recommend to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely