Practical advice for setting limits - Feisty 3 year old - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 10-25-2013, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

 

As per title - I'm wondering if anyone has any links/suggestions for practical, interactive way of setting limits for our three year old.

We need to limit some things - e.g. video's per day. Sweet foods per day. Etc.

I want to do this in a way where she both understands, but also in a way where we can make the rules together and she can 'see' or interact somehow? (Marbles in a jar...that kind of thing? I have no idea).

 

If anyone has read or done anything like this and can share info of specific examples, I'd be really grateful.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

G.

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#2 of 8 Old 10-25-2013, 03:25 PM
 
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I had good success with using tickets for tv shows at that age.  She got three tickets per day.  There was no losing tickets for bad behavior or anything.  When she asked for a show, I said "Do you have a ticket?"  She had to get the ticket (in a little plastic thing taped to the wall) and hand it in.  This totally eliminated tantrums over "no more tv."  After a while we stopped doing it.  If she started fussing over "no more tv" again, I would ask if she thought we should go back to the ticket system.  We never had to go back.


-Marisa, ecstatic mommy to amazing DD Sidonie, 2/07 :
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#3 of 8 Old 10-27-2013, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had good success with using tickets for tv shows at that age.  She got three tickets per day.  There was no losing tickets for bad behavior or anything.  When she asked for a show, I said "Do you have a ticket?"  She had to get the ticket (in a little plastic thing taped to the wall) and hand it in.  This totally eliminated tantrums over "no more tv."  After a while we stopped doing it.  If she started fussing over "no more tv" again, I would ask if she thought we should go back to the ticket system.  We never had to go back.

 

Thank you so much for that.

 

We're on day TWO of trying tickets.

It's funny that she's enthused about them so far...as she obviously hasn't quite realised they are a LIMITING thing.

Day one: She spent all her tickets straight after breakfast. We just told her the tickets were gone for the rest of the day...and she was fine with that.

Day two: This morning she chose to spend two tickets, and save two for later - which is cool.

 

We'll see how it all goes, thanks!

 

Now we just have to figure out something we can do about food. She demands/eats too many sweet foods (e.g. dates, figs, grapes, strawberries) Mostly fruit...but obviously I don't want her having too much of it as it gives her a squitty tummy.

 

I thought maybe I should make a 'snack box' each morning and put it somewhere she can access. But I haven't bothered yet as:

a) I know she'll just demand something that's not in it, or everything that's not in it.

b) I fear she is snacking too much generally and not eating proper meals.

 

G

x

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#4 of 8 Old 10-27-2013, 02:30 PM
 
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Haha! Grover - you and I seem to be in the exact same place right now with our little ones. (I'm the one that also posted about the tantrums/rages in my 3.5 year old). We just started tokens to use for TV/computer two days ago too! Also to avoid battles. So far it's working well and gives him some control, which he likes.

 

As far as desserts/sweets, my husband had an idea...I meal plan for the week and print it out to put on our fridge, so my husband suggested giving our son 3 stickers (or however many you want), and letting him put a sticker on the days he wants dessert. That way, if he ever asks for it, we can point to the meal plan and look at the day - if there's a sticker there, he gets dessert. If not, we tell him when the next dessert day is. Or if you don't meal plan, you could just print out a little calendar of days each week to put stickers on. It would give him some control and also make the battle less focused on mom/dad because it's determined by what days he's put the stickers on. We never ended up doing this, because sweets have become less of a battle recently, but I thought it was a good idea!

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#5 of 8 Old 10-27-2013, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Haha! Grover - you and I seem to be in the exact same place right now with our little ones. (I'm the one that also posted about the tantrums/rages in my 3.5 year old). We just started tokens to use for TV/computer two days ago too! Also to avoid battles. So far it's working well and gives him some control, which he likes.

 

As far as desserts/sweets, my husband had an idea...I meal plan for the week and print it out to put on our fridge, so my husband suggested giving our son 3 stickers (or however many you want), and letting him put a sticker on the days he wants dessert. That way, if he ever asks for it, we can point to the meal plan and look at the day - if there's a sticker there, he gets dessert. If not, we tell him when the next dessert day is. Or if you don't meal plan, you could just print out a little calendar of days each week to put stickers on. It would give him some control and also make the battle less focused on mom/dad because it's determined by what days he's put the stickers on. We never ended up doing this, because sweets have become less of a battle recently, but I thought it was a good idea!

 

You're laughing hysterically there right? Heh heh.

 

I really like that idea, as the ticket thing is working for us so far (ahem) - but we'd have to figure it out for snacks really, as here she has pudding every day. It's always healthy - fruit and yoghurt (actually, about once a month or something she gets icecream) - so we'd have to let her have choice for during the day instead.

Though having said that, the last three nights I've found myself saying (yelling??) "No, you can't have your pudding - you haven't had any dinner!!!!!!" 

 

GAH!!

 

G

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#6 of 8 Old 10-27-2013, 03:03 PM
 
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Yes. Laughing because your recent posts are what we are experiencing almost to a tee, and I find myself wondering "Was it me that wrote that post? Did I just forget out of sheer exhaustion?" Definitely not laughing because any of what you're dealing with is funny! :)

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#7 of 8 Old 10-27-2013, 08:17 PM
 
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Have you tried offering a serving of fruit with the meals rather than as snack? This way it is still available but not to fill up on. Leaving a water bottle out may also help. Sometimes when we think we are hungry it is really just thirst.

Setting meal and snack times with her may also help if you have a clock she can see because then you can just point and tell her it isn't time yet. If you can be busy out of the house a lot when you first do that it should help take her mind off the food. I found that spacing meals three hours after snack time is the best way to get my DD to eat.
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#8 of 8 Old 10-27-2013, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for those suggestions One_Girl.

 

It's a bit like all our issues at the moment, in that we seem to be starting off at 100, and are needing to get back to zero - or at least 50 or something. What I mean, in terms of the food, is that coinciding with her recent over tiredness, and atrocious behaviour (so, surely a growth spurt? / developmental?) - we have actually let her snack on stuff all day long, without really meaning to let it get like that. Now I'm confused as to whether she's really hungry or not. Sometimes she'll wolf down dinner on top of everything she's already had, other times....not so much.

We need to get it sorted somehow or rather, as I'm worried we're setting up bad habits.

 

On the plus side - she almost never snacks on things that are unhealthy (maybe too much bread) - nuts, fruits, rice crackers, bananas etc. We have the odd showdown about biscuits or chocolate, but she's allowed one biscuit a day...and chocolate only a couple of times a week (and very little).

 

I guess I've been letting it all go because I thought she needed it....and we have bigger problems! But now that she's generally acting weird (aka: awful) - food has become yet another thing to struggle over whenever she wants it...which is apparently all the time (!?)

 

Hmm.

 

Thanks again. Food for thought.

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