I do not know much about gentle discipline but I am hoping that you might provide me with some help.
My daughter is 3.5 years old and she has became very defiant recently. It is coincided with her moving into new preschool and immersing herself into English language environment three months ago. She will behave normally for some period time and then she will get this glazed look in her eyes and will start laughing and that is when hell breaks loose. She will storm through the house breaking things, climbing on furniture, pulling curtains down, breaking glass dishes on the table, hitting me, spitting at me and laughing and laughing and laughing.... I can never predict when she will do that; one minute she is fine and next she turns into a laughing monster.
Here are the things I tried to do to make stop:
1. Explaining to her why what she does is wrong and why she needs to stop
2. Redirecting her attention to something else.
3. Simply asking her to stop.
4. Yelling at her to stop.
5. Hitting her occasionaly which is very wrong but I get this rage built up, when I can hardly contain sometimes.
6. Telling her if she does not stop we will not do XYZ. And I ALWAYS follow through with that but that does not hep one bit.
7. Throwing her favorite toys away.
8. Bribing her with candy and etc, which only helps temporarily.
9. Trying to hold her and stroke her gently and asking her to stop.
10. Time - outs. Never done them but saw the Supernanny suggesting them on TV. Big disaster. I would put her in the corner, she will esacpe laughing. I would her back again, she escapes again, and again, and again, and again..... Today I spent 1 hour 10 minutes!!!! fighting her to make her stay or sit still in the corner. All the while she was just laughing and after that I got tired of putting her back into the corner and I just gave up. That Supernanny on TV would put a kid in a time out for like 5 minutes and then kid just quiets down and sits still. Does not work for me.
11. Dressing and going out. She will continue this behavior when she is out on the street.
12. Ignoring her.
Things that do work but come with heavy price tag.
1. Close her in her room for long stretches of time.
2. Putting myself in time out (retreating into the basement) for at least 30 minutes.
3. Hitting her (I get this rage I did hit her few times on her bottom ). She comes crying and then calmes down. I know that all these things are wrong but I just do not know what to do with her. Should I make appointment with psychologist? I have never done any traditional means of discipline like time-outs. She was always a "difficult" child, colicky, not sleeping, horrible tantrums, not sitting in one spot for more than 5 minutes. Did I spoil her? What do I do besides taking her to a doctor?
Forgot to add: she only eats healthy homemade food, sleeps well, spends fair amount of time outside, does not have any screen time (TV or games or computer) and is very healthy. Being sick only twice in her life. She was also EBF and is selectively vaccinated if that makes any difference.
Edited by anechka - 5/6/12 at 12:16pm