How could I have handled this more "gently" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 12-01-2011, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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DD just turned three and she has entered a stage of not listening/testing the limits.  I try to be patient and realize she is only three, but at times I have no idea how to respond.


Lately, she is very picky about what cups/drinks/plates etc she has.  She wanted milk for dinner but we were out, so I gave her some of my "pregnancy tea" (lightly sweetened herbal tea that she loves) and water.  She sat down at the table and dumped her tea out everywhere.  This was after trying for about 15 minutes to get her to wash her hands and come to the table to eat in the first place so I was already at the end of my patience.


I calmly took her to her room and told her she would have a time out for two minutes.  After I cleaned up her tea, I talked to her about why I put her in time out and that she needs to use words when she is upset about something.


This was obviously completely unsuccessful because as soon as she got back to the table she dumped her water out everywhere.  So I put her back in her room for a few minutes, then she apologized and finally sat nicely with us at the table.


I am really not a fan of time outs - this is only the second time I've put her in time out but her old babysitter used them so she knows the drill.  I just didn't know what else to do. What would you have done in this situation?

Loving wife to DH and
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mama to DD (11/08) and DS (2/12) and expecting another little boy (4/15)
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#2 of 3 Old 12-01-2011, 08:21 PM
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I might have had her clean up the mess (or at least help) & I wouldn't have given her more to drink just then.


We do use timeouts but in huge part it's to give me a break.

Doula mama to dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08) and expecting (Apr '17)
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#3 of 3 Old 12-02-2011, 07:46 AM
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Is she into pouring right now? I would have had her get a towel and help clean up the mess, then explain that the table is not the appropriate place to dump things. After both those things are done I would redirect her to a place/activity appropriate for pouring and making a mess.

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