3 year old scolds me, how to respond? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 11-25-2010, 12:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all! My 3 year old scolds me and does what I call sassy talk. For the life of me, I can't figure out how to respond appropriately.

 

I started saying, Be careful how you are speaking to me.

 

Ex. She doesn't want to get dressed. If I am on a time schedule, I'll tell her we have to do it now, what do you want to wear? She yells, NO, I DON'T HAVE TO... Me all serious, Yes we must go to our doctor appt. please cooperate. She runs away. Me, there is no choice right now, You need to GET DRESSED NOW (strong tone, not yelling). She says, BE CAREFUL HOW YOU SPEAK TO ME. I can't get dressed now because I have to check something (strong tone, her eye brows furled). Me, DO IT NOW or else I have to do it for you.

 

Or sometimes I'll say, no treats today. The next time you ask for a special treat, I will say no because you were not cooperating to get dressed. BAM! she gets dressed.

 

The thing is she'll out of the blue speak very strongly and tell me YOU MUST DO THIS NOW or you'll go to your room! For example, she wants and apple peeled, but I can't do it right that second, she'll scold me or start counting. It's funny cause she'll count to six and say, you need to do it NOW. Of course, I do the whole, How do you ask nicely, and I have never given her anything that she demanded until she asked nicely. She demands, I say how do you ask, she asks nicely and I give it to her.help.gif really does this serve any purpose?

 

I don't know how to stop this kind of speaking. She thinks she is the mom and can say anything. Today I told her to go and talk to her baby dolls like that, but she couldn't talk to me like that. ???? What good did that do? I don't know, but it got her away from me as she ran to tell her baby doll off.

 

FYI for the most part I am a non yelling, say yes when I can, give choices when possible, send to her room(no time limit-just go there, she comes out when she is ready), take away privileges, and occasionally bribe type. Occasionally, I have lost it. Sometime she'll even kick and thrash about to avoid getting pjs or getting dressed. This is when I feel like giving her a little pop on the tush, but I have vowed not to spank (I have broken that vow). She's too big to do that in my book, but I'm at a loss. Please help.


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#2 of 12 Old 11-25-2010, 03:39 AM
 
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I'm sorry, but it does sound a bit like she is talking to you like you talk to her.

 

It has happened to me too that my 4yo DS says things that make me reconsider how I communicate with him. This is one of the ways we learn as parents, isn't it? ;)

 

Threats, time-outs and taking away "priviledges" basically don't work, only respectful communication about boundaries does. And we, the parents, are their examples, good or bad.

 

You wrote: "She thinks she is the mom and can say anything. Today I told her to go and talk to her baby dolls like that, but she couldn't talk to me like that. ???? What good did that do? I don't know, but it got her away from me as she ran to tell her baby doll off."

 

But do you really think moms can say "anything"? She is learning from you, everything you say and do. You can't expect there to be one standard for you, and one for her, where she is the only one that has to talk nicely - that is unrealistic in my opinion. Your way of handling disagreement, and your way of relating to her, is what she learns from.

 

My suggestions would be:

 

"Be careful how you are speaking to me" ==> "I don't like it when you speak to me like that." And then explain how you would like her to express whatever it is she is saying. ("Be careful" sounds threatening, and she needs to learn to respect your boundaries, therefore it is good to inform her of them.)

 

"there is no choice right now, You need to GET DRESSED NOW" ==> I want you to get dressed now." ("I want" is more clear than "you have to".)

 

"DO IT NOW or else I have to do it for you" ==> "If you do not dress yourself now, I will put your clothes on for you." (It should not be a threat, but a calm statement of what is going to happen. "Or else" sound too demeaning, in my opinion.)

 

Her: "BE CAREFUL HOW YOU SPEAK TO ME. I can't get dressed now because I have to check something (strong tone, her eye brows furled)" ==> You: "We actually don't have time for that now because we are going to the doctor. If you don't dress yourself now, I will put your clothes on for you." (Ignoring the imitation of you that she is trying out.)

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#3 of 12 Old 11-25-2010, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbitmum View Post

I'm sorry, but it does sound a bit like she is talking to you like you talk to her.

 

It has happened to me too that my 4yo DS says things that make me reconsider how I communicate with him. This is one of the ways we learn as parents, isn't it? ;)

 

Threats, time-outs and taking away "priviledges" basically don't work, only respectful communication about boundaries does. And we, the parents, are their examples, good or bad.

 

You wrote: "She thinks she is the mom and can say anything. Today I told her to go and talk to her baby dolls like that, but she couldn't talk to me like that. ???? What good did that do? I don't know, but it got her away from me as she ran to tell her baby doll off."

 

But do you really think moms can say "anything"? She is learning from you, everything you say and do. You can't expect there to be one standard for you, and one for her, where she is the only one that has to talk nicely - that is unrealistic in my opinion. Your way of handling disagreement, and your way of relating to her, is what she learns from.

 

My suggestions would be:

 

"Be careful how you are speaking to me" ==> "I don't like it when you speak to me like that." And then explain how you would like her to express whatever it is she is saying. ("Be careful" sounds threatening, and she needs to learn to respect your boundaries, therefore it is good to inform her of them.)

 

"there is no choice right now, You need to GET DRESSED NOW" ==> I want you to get dressed now." ("I want" is more clear than "you have to".)

 

"DO IT NOW or else I have to do it for you" ==> "If you do not dress yourself now, I will put your clothes on for you." (It should not be a threat, but a calm statement of what is going to happen. "Or else" sound too demeaning, in my opinion.)

 

Her: "BE CAREFUL HOW YOU SPEAK TO ME. I can't get dressed now because I have to check something (strong tone, her eye brows furled)" ==> You: "We actually don't have time for that now because we are going to the doctor. If you don't dress yourself now, I will put your clothes on for you." (Ignoring the imitation of you that she is trying out.)



Thanks!  Only time to skim right now, will go back and really consider.  Suggestions sound good, but I would have to think hard at every conversation.  I can try. 

Yep she sounds just like me.  except for the yelling part. 

 

Question:  when do you have a serious firm voice?  When I have tried negotiating her into doing what I need and it is unsuccessful I either resort to taking away privileges or I get a scolding tone.  JUst talking this out helps me see that that scolding firm tone doesn't work well with her.

Be back later.


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#4 of 12 Old 11-25-2010, 09:13 AM
 
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I think you have two different questions. One is how to teach her to speak respectfully to others. The second is how to get her to cooperate with you in things you ask, like getting dressed.

 

With my kids, I use a simple "Try again" when the words or tone are not respectful.

 

At first, of course, I taught them how to say things.  So, he would say "I want juice!", and I would say "Mama, can I have juice please?" and then when he repeated it, I would say "Sure, I will get you some juice". 

 

Now I can use "try again" for all sorts of things, and they will rephrase it and/or change their tone of voice.  At this point, endless explanations and threats are no good, and are annoying for me too.  A light-hearted "try again" doesn't offend anyone, doesn't irritate me, and acts as a reminder for them about how we treat others.  I do not start getting the juice until the nice words come.

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#5 of 12 Old 11-25-2010, 09:27 AM
 
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I think it's perfectly normal for her to repeat the same things you tell her.  Obviously you don't feel you're being disrespectful to her, so why would she know that it's disrespectful for her to talk to you that way?

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#6 of 12 Old 11-25-2010, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post

I think you have two different questions. One is how to teach her to speak respectfully to others. The second is how to get her to cooperate with you in things you ask, like getting dressed.

 

With my kids, I use a simple "Try again" when the words or tone are not respectful.

 

At first, of course, I taught them how to say things.  So, he would say "I want juice!", and I would say "Mama, can I have juice please?" and then when he repeated it, I would say "Sure, I will get you some juice". 

 

Now I can use "try again" for all sorts of things, and they will rephrase it and/or change their tone of voice.  At this point, endless explanations and threats are no good, and are annoying for me too.  A light-hearted "try again" doesn't offend anyone, doesn't irritate me, and acts as a reminder for them about how we treat others.  I do not start getting the juice until the nice words come.


 

That's what I do to except mine is, How do you ask?

 

She speaks fine to everyone but me.


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#7 of 12 Old 11-25-2010, 11:02 AM
 
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Well, after I got done laughing (because I would totally recognize my voice), I would do what others have suggested: Model directly the words directly for her "Is that the same as, "Mommy can I please have some juice?"" "Can you say it that way please?" I have also used the line "I don't like to help people when their voices are rude."

 

Several other suggestions/questions:

Why does her tone push your buttons so much? What's your fear behind what you're hearing from her?

 

Second, kids do through stages when they start trying out the power of words. I find it easier to assume that she doesn't understand the implications of her tone/demands on you and view it as a teachable moment, rather than viewing it as a child wanting to take over the world. Just like 1 year olds are discovering cause-effect by throwing things, 3 year olds are discovering social cause-effect. "Mommy orders me around, what happens when I order her around? Wouldn't it be cool if she did what I told her to?" She's most free to experiment like this with mom.

 

My recommendations would to read "How to Talk to Your Children so Your Children Will Listen (and Listen so that Your Children Will Talk)." This is the age when those ideas started to work with my kids. It also focuses on "I" statements, and other things people here have suggested.

Quote:
She doesn't want to get dressed. If I am on a time schedule, I'll tell her we have to do it now, what do you want to wear? She yells, NO, I DON'T HAVE TO... Me all serious, Yes we must go to our doctor appt. please cooperate. She runs away. Me, there is no choice right now, You need to GET DRESSED NOW (strong tone, not yelling). She says, BE CAREFUL HOW YOU SPEAK TO ME. I can't get dressed now because I have to check something (strong tone, her eye brows furled). Me, DO IT NOW or else I have to do it for you.

 

She's got the patter down, doesn't she! The way we deal with this in our house is: FIRST we set the timer for a 'warning'. "When the timer beeps, it'll be time to get dressed." No one really likes to have to jump up in the middle of things to do what someone else (YOU) had planned. This was often met with a "no!" which I ignored. When the timer beeps (usually about a 5 minute warning), I'd say "it's time to get dressed now." No matter what they said, I repeated as calmly as I could, "It's time to get dressed." After about the 2nd protest I would add "Do you want to do it or will I do it for you?" "OK, you didn't choose, so it's time for me to help."

 

The other thing that might really help is Playful Parenting. Honestly, it's my favorite book. In situations like this, you can easily make getting dressed a 'game'. "Uhoh, you'd better put your pants on or the great sock monster's going to get you.. (put a sock over your hand and use it like a puppet)." Or get her 'dressed' and put her pants on her arms. 3 year olds find this hysterical, and they love telling you where the pants are supposed to go. It doesn't take any longer than fighting with them.

The other thing you can do is play games with her where she does get to 'boss' you around. You can be the 'kid' and she can be the 'mom' and order you around. That can help her get it out of her system in a safe way. Playful parenting has some interesting ideas for this too.


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#8 of 12 Old 11-25-2010, 10:20 PM
 
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It sounds to me like you are in a hurry with things.  Hurrying doesn't work well with children.  When we are in a hurry I get snippy and my kids get slower than molasses.  I think planning two or three times as long to get some things done might take the edge off for you and your child.

 

As far as the sass - I also use "try again".  

 

Now if anyone has a cure for grabby little hands grabbing everything and poking everything before asking I'm all ears... :)

 

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#9 of 12 Old 11-25-2010, 11:01 PM
 
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If I'm in a hurry (and, face it, while we'd like to take 3x as long it's not always practical), I try to appeal to their sense of "I want to do it myself!". I'll say, "do you want to get your boots or should mommy do it for you?" If necessary I'll set a time limit on the decision - "I'm going to count to three and then *I* get to choose". Another example: (after several alerts that the TV is off when X program is done I say, "do you want to turn off the TV or should mommy do it? You have till 3 to decide." Often they leap to do it themselves but I sometimes end up doing it, too. I don't mind - at least it's done and we can get out the door!

 

Love "try again" - totally going to use that with my 4-year-old!!


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#10 of 12 Old 11-26-2010, 11:19 AM
 
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I just wanted to commiserate.  I have a 2.5yo who has been repeating back what I she hears from me, and it is really making me rethink the way I am speaking.  Most notably she has been using my "RIGHT NOW!" as in "Get down from there RIGHT NOW!"  I know I use it a lot since I have a house full of toddlers who are full of curiosity and mischief and low on impulse control.  So I will get stuck doing something like changing a diaper while the others are jumping on the couch.  So they get "Sit down please.  (jump jump) If you want to jump you can jump on the floor.  (jump jump giggle) Get off the couch.  (jump jump jump jump) Get down RIGHT NOW!" 

 

I know... not at all great.  But I am stuck when I can't physically remove them and have to rely on my voice.

 

The flip of this is that my daughter is now repeating it.  "Mommy I want some juice RIGHT NOW!" 

 

I know the solution is to model polite speaking and remove this phrase from my own vocabulary... but it is really hard!  I am working on it, every day.

 

And OP, I know how you feel.  I don't know why, but back chat really pushes my buttons.  I think that is why it is so effective, from the kid's point of view.


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#11 of 12 Old 11-26-2010, 03:16 PM
 
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My daughter does this too, she will be three in January. We have been spending some time at grandma's house, and grandma likes to yell at everyone for everything, so the habit has gotten worse. Also, grandma has a cat, and the cat hisses a lot, so now my DD is hissing at me like the cat.

 

It has definitely had me look at the way I am speaking to her, because I know that at least half the problem has been the example I've set. I used to be impatient and talk rudely. Now, I am working on fixing those behaviors.

 

Sometimes I scoop her up and nurse her, and while she's nursing I explain to her that we don't talk to each other like that because it's not nice, and I tell her that I love her. Sometimes I ask her "Why are you angry? Did I hurt your feelings?" to which she sometimes says "Yes, Saddah (what she calls herself) angee" and then we sit and talk about it. Sometimes if I ask her if she is angry though, then she just looks at me a little sad and says "I sawwy mommy, I lah woo too."

 

Then, sometimes, the back-talking and hissing at me continues. If she won't nurse and asking her "why are you angry?" or "did I hurt your feelings?" doesn't change anything for her, then I simply tell her I will be ready to play with her again when she is ready to be nice to me, and I will start to either color or read a book out loud. Usually that interests her enough that she wants to sit with me and she starts talking nice again.

 

 

As far as getting the child to do what I want her to do...I will ask her. Ask again. Tell her she has to because XYZ (she needs her clothes on before we get in the car, for example).If she still doesn't do it, I start walking toward her. She knows this means I am about to help her do what I asked her to do, whether she likes it or not. At that point, 9 times out of 10 she will hurry to do what I asked her to do. 1 time out of 10 I have to make her do it.

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#12 of 12 Old 11-26-2010, 07:53 PM
 
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When my son (age 4.75) does this, I think back to how I've been speaking to him. I inject a bit more playfulness into the situation and turn it around on him. On occasion when I am D-O-N-E DONE, I ask him, "Is that how you want to talk to your Mama?" or "Are you sure you want to speak to your Mama like that?" or some variation thereof. Sometimes it is as simple as "Rea-lly?" with an arched eyebrow.

 

I have learned that the stern voice only aggravates the situation with my son. The sterner I am, the more unhappy we both are; the playfulness and laughter ease the tension and make the situation much more pleasant.

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