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  1. #1
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    Default Respectfully parenting a threenager

    My daughter turned 3 last week and it is like someone flicked a switch and said "OK we got through the terrible twos relatively unscathed so lets really turn it up a notch now that you're three". I'm really big on picking my battles so if she wants to wear clashing clothes, go for it. If she wants to use a spoon to eat spaghetti? No worries. But she suddenly refuses to go to daycare; she won't get dressed, won't let me brush her hair, pulls her shoes and socks off, etc. That is a battle that I can't let her win as I need to get her there on time so I can get to work! There are other times too when I feel that I have no choice other than to disrespect her, like when she doesn't want to sit in her car seat, she wants to sit in a normal seat in the car. I have picked her up and forced her into her seat, with her screaming and kicking the whole time. I don't blame her, I would too if someone was forcing me to sit where I didn't want to sit! I am trying to fix the issue before it becomes an issue, e.g. by getting up 15 minutes earlier so she can have some time to wake up and chill out before she has to get ready, and also to give us some spare time so we're not rushing if she insists on changing her socks. This hasn't really made a difference except that I'm not so worried that we'll be late.

    Also another issue is that when she's having a tantrum, she doesn't know what she wants so I don't know how to effectively deal with it. I'm not allowed to talk to her or look at her and definitely can't touch her, but I am allowed to be in the same room. But I'm not allowed to sit down or stand up, and the door can't be open but it can't be shut. Once she has calmed down slightly, I start to say "You must feel really angry when ...... sometimes when I feel angry, I stomp my feet." that usually just has her yelling that "no only children can stomp their feet when they're angry!" or "no I just want to kick you!" I'm really strict on her not hurting anyone, so tell her "I will not let you kick me" and hold her legs or whatever I need to do to stop her hurting me. Obviously holding her legs flares her up again and we're back to square one.

    Also we don't do time out, I'll sometimes remove her and I from a situation, e.g. if she won't share or is getting annoyed with other people, her and I will go and sit somewhere quiet until she calms down.

    I'm still trying to get my head around discipline while being respectful as I was smacked, had time outs, was sent to bed, etc. when I was a child so this is all new ground for me.

    Looking forward to any tips or guidance that you can provide!

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    Default Respectfully parenting a threenager

    My youngest is nearly 3. Maybe because I have 3 other kids I'm not nearly as respectful of her as you are of your daughter because I just don't have time.

    It seems like your daughter has a lot of power in your relationship. DD3 has monster tantrums but she doesn't get to choose how I deal with them. If I have other kids to feed, bath , put to bed then she just has to either get over it and join us or I leave her to calm down and then we have a cuddle and she joins us. I'm always doing something that gets in the way of doing what she wants me to do so she has learned she screams or she waits quietly. Either way she's waiting.

    As for the car she does this and it drives me crazy. I have to get 3 kids to school and I don't have time to negotiate with her about where she sits. We often end up making deals. Sit in your seat and when on the weekend you can sit for longer in another seat (obviously not driving). The weekend just never comes. So it doesn't happen.

    Parenting a kid that age is a constant battle and negotiation some days. I guess because I know it passes and they return to normal around 4 I've stopped trying to reason and we're just moving through it.

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    With the stuff where we have to force her in we give her a choice - she can do it herself or we have to help her eg open the door to get in the car

    Can she reach her own hair? A friend of mine gets her daughtee to brush her own hair and she gets most of it. Alternatively we offe her different styles eg elsa hair, anna hair, tinkerbell hair and that usually gets her to sit still for a second

    If she goe to hurt me I respond that we do not hurt people and that its rude. I then stop her or walk away.

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    I deal with a tantrum by walking away. They soon learn that it gets them no attention at all. Not saying my kids didn't have tantrums but they lasted no more than 1 minute at that age.

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    Default Respectfully parenting a threenager

    I think 3 is a difficult time because they don't want to be babies but they aren't yet equipped to understand or deal with their emotions.

    I think it's awesome that you want to be respectful to her but I think at this age sometimes stern-ness is needed before they 1) hurt themselves 2) think it's ok to hurt others or break stuff 3) become disrespectful to others 4) drive you insane!

    My 4yo is a wonderful kind boy, but his tantrums are legendary. He still can't deal with his emotions and can't calm himself down. But I find the only way, after I've tried to help him, is to put him into time out.

    For me it's a great, easy tool to get them to calm down. It's gentle, no one is getting physical and it also allows the parent to calm down.

    At age 3 it's only a 3 minute time out. It can be in the corner a few feet away from where you are standing. It doesn't have to seem like a punishment, rather, a chance to stop crying and try to think about what they are feeling. You can finish it with a nice chat, saying sorry and a big hug. It doesn't have to be punitive.

    I hope that helps. I was someone who got smacked too.

    Anyways, please don't take offence, I wasn't trying to tell you that you're not doing it right, rather that when they get older, then they can start to use time to reflect and understand how being naughty can also be disrespectful to others.

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    I'm having a lesser version of this with my girls at the moment. I'm trying to explain in quiet calm happy times what i will do as a consequence so that when a tantrum begins i can remind them of what we discussed and show them that i WILL follow through. Eg: "you know this morning when you shouted at mummy when i was doing the dishes? Shouting hurts mummy's ears and i don't like it. Next time if you shout mummy will take you to the other room until you can talk calmly." Then when a tantrum starts i say things like "remember mummy spoke to you about shouting? If this keeps going mummy needs to take you to the other room until you can talk calmly" I am stern but not loud when i talk. The initial conversation is done with cuddles and loss of agreeing to what is fair and why it is happening. In the tantrum moment there is faaaaar less discussion as she isn't listening well at this time. Afterwards we debrief again and remind why the consequence happened. I'm finding it is working. This one is just an example. It might be"mummy loves it when you choose your clothes (from two possible choices! ) but if you are not getting dressed well in the morning mummy will just have to choose" I only bother with this sort of discussion when they are calm. No point doing it in the moment!

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    hi jro3, you are doing a great job. Truly, if you have the time to think about what your reaction is going to be, and try to be respectful of your child, you are already miles ahead of most people, including me, when I was dealing with a three year old. My children were so close in age, 4 under 6, I think I more often smacked first and asked questions later. Often times the job has to be done and that is what matters, then you can deal with hurt feelings or upset, later. hugs, marie.

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    I think you are giving her too much power. It's fine to pick your battles but when it comes to safety it should be no argument.

    I'm with @Sonja and BRV on this completely.

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    Just adding @JR03 I had one 3 year old and parented her VERY differently to how I dealt with her siblings. I was similar to you. It's easy for us with a few kids to say we just ignore it or move on but I know how hard it is when you have only one and they know they have your full attention.

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    Default Respectfully parenting a threenager

    Just wait till she hits the f'ing 4s 😜
    Ha. Seriously though no tips. My DD was hard. 3yo DS is a breeze compared.
    Each are individuals so what worked for 1 doesn't always work for the next x
    Last edited by Mmumm; 04-03-2016 at 11:40.


 

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