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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My almost 3 year old is usually a very energetic happy go lucky girl. She loves to play and run outside, do arts and crafts, play pretend...etcetcetc. But lately she has started this...I'm going to use the word phase becuase I pray that it is just a phase....where if we discipline her for inappropriate behavior for instance the first day this happened it was a very hot day and the ice cream man came down our street and I decided to actually buy some for a change. We went and picked ours out. Olivia picked a sherbert push up. And I picked the generic fudgesicle. After we finished our treats she asked if she could have some of mine. When I told her mine was all gone. She started back with "I want some." And calmly I said, "Olivia I already told you it's all gone. Mommy ate her ice cream, and you ate your ice cream...they're all gone now." And she literally got in my face and screamed "GIVE ME YOUR CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM NOW!" And to no avail no matter how much I tried to calm her she kept getting in my face and screaming. And then she hauled one of her dolls at me....of course hitting and screaming are NOT tolerated in our house (which she learned at a very young age...which is why it hasn't been a problem until now) and she got sent to her naughty chair. But this time I had to hold her, becuase I could not get her to stay there, and all the while she kept trying to hit me. And I know this has not been from the sugar b/c she's done this with or without treats since then. But now she does it with everything and for any reason and you never know when it's going to happen. And I'm trying to read PET but I have no time! As I type this I'm trying to keep my 2 month old happy by making animal noises at her.<br>
not working anymore just a minute......allllrighty.<br>
and she now does this at her daddy too, and he's usually more patient with her then I am. And basically...we're both about to lose it. We've tried taking toys away when she hits us with them, time outs aren't working, naughty mat won't work, we've tried sending her to her room so she can be as angry as she wants, tried to get her to hit a pillow, on and on and on....and we're at the end of our ropes and disciplinary actions, and it's not getting any better....just worse. I don't know what to do. Please if someone has an idea. TELL ME! I'm about to lose it! And so is my hubby! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">:
 

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One of my first thought is the sugar and other crap in ice cream triggering bad behavior?<br><br>
My second suggestion is 1,2,3 Magic by Thomas Phelan. I don't agree with this guys attitude, but his method does work. I know some say it is not gentle, I do have to agree in some aspects. He doesn't promote telling the child what they are doing wrong. He doesn't approve of other methods or redirection, natural consciences, or compromises (like having a jumping bed and a no jumping bed). I have used 1,2,3 Magic and still do on occasion, just tweaked it so my children know what they are doing wrong. When I first started using it we were pretty frustrated and in the middle of family crisis and the constancy and calmness helped us all. Then we could reclaim other methods.
 

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Did you mention a two month old baby? I think I may see what is upsetting your older one. New baby in the family can be a very big deal for... well... everyone!~!!<br><br>
I'm seeing you try a lot of methods to redirect her behavior, but I want to suggest you look at the underlying problem... what is upsetting dear girl that is setting her off on this unusual behavior? Is she missing being the superstar of the family?<br><br>
Many of us are now reading Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn... parenting without rewards or punishment. I think there might be a whole lot helpful for you there.
 

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So the two thoughts that jumped out immediately...<br><br>
- new baby. Even if she hadn't acted out before, it still is a big deal, and is probably having an impact.<br><br>
- Age. My dd will be 3 in September... the last month, she has done the whole hair pulling, hitting thing.... runs out of her room at bed time (when she had NOT been), etc. I think they are just becoming more forceful with their opinions and don't know how to appropriately deal with their emotions<br><br>
What I'm currently trying<br><br>
- stay calm<br>
- instead of 'time out', I've started trying to keep her near me.... idea being she may be acting out b/c she needs extra attention.<br>
- remind her she can't hit... she can hit pillows or the floor if she is mad... she can also express she is mad with her words.<br><br>
Just started some of this, so don't know if this will work.<br>
Tammy
 

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My suggestions is to NOT punish her. Don't take things away or separate her. Bring her in closer, validate her feelings. I'm having some of these issues with my 4 year old and I'm not always successfull at this, but I really try. When I do succeed in responding that way, it works much better. Otherwise you get stuck trying to think of worse punishments to trump the last one you did that didn't work. (Not saying you, specifically, just the general you).<br>
I'll try to use the ice cream example to explain myself. Please don't think I'm finding fault with you or picking your actions apart, just using an example that's familiar and exploring possibilities.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">After we finished our treats she asked if she could have some of mine. When I told her mine was all gone. She started back with "I want some." And calmly I said, "Olivia I already told you it's all gone. Mommy ate her ice cream, and you ate your ice cream...they're all gone now." And she literally got in my face and screamed "GIVE ME YOUR CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM NOW!"</td>
</tr></table></div>
Try agreeing with her by saying something like, "Mommy's ice cream looked good, didn't it?" That might make her feel listened to rather than the conversation ending up being an argument. And when she repeats how she wants mommy's ice cream, repeat her words back "You want the ice cream that Mommy ate." Or something like that.<br>
And if it still escalates to the point where she yells in your face, tell her that you can see how upset she is that the ice cream is gone. You can tell her that you're sad the ice cream is gone too and you don't like to be yelled at.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">And to no avail no matter how much I tried to calm her she kept getting in my face and screaming. And then she hauled one of her dolls at me....of course hitting and screaming are NOT tolerated in our house (which she learned at a very young age...which is why it hasn't been a problem until now) and she got sent to her naughty chair.</td>
</tr></table></div>
It seems that once she got out of control, she had no idea how to get back in control. And any attempts that you made to help her just fueled her. She felt bad and then she got punished for acting out her bad feelings in an inappropriate way that hurt you too.
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">But this time I had to hold her, becuase I could not get her to stay there, and all the while she kept trying to hit me.</td>
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It sounds like it turned into a power struggle at this point. She felt bad. She didn't know how to control those bad feelings so it seems she was feeding off of you and fighting you as a way of venting those feelings. Or maybe she was emulating your behavior and trying to "punish" you.<br><br>
When my son has really bad days and throws things and hits, sending him to his room just creates an even worse dynamic. He calms down in there but the behavior doesn't seem to go away. In exasperation, I tell him that he needs to stick with me. I hold his hand and make him stay with me whether he likes what I'm doing or not. After a little while, we start having fun together and he calms down quite a bit.<br><br>
And I think this may have a lot to do with the new baby. We have a new baby in teh house as well.
 

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i don't have time to read all the pps. sorry.<br>
but from your op, i have to say your punishments are not only not working, but they're making things much worse!<br>
your dd is still so very young, and in addition is also adjusting to a new sibling.<br>
i say tell her what you don't like...that's fine...but then let it go and move on as soon as possible.<br>
all of your time outs, naughty chairs and taking toys away is only getting you deeper into an adversarial role with her. so that each time an issue comes up between the two of you it will be much much worse.<br>
deal with it in the moment and then let it go as soon as possible. don't further clog up the situation with all kinds of punishments.<br>
with love and patience she will learn in time...tho not as fast as you may like...but taking the longer road will pay off in the long run.<br>
it's hard being a child...and it's hard being a parent...give yourself, and her, a break.
 

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I don't know how to put this appropriately. Here goes.<br><br>
Kiddos can feel all kinds of discord in a household, even when Mama and Dad are trying hard not to let it show. They're the FIRST to know, at an emotional level that adults forget about. It's tough to be 3, it's tough to have a new baby in the house, and it's tough to be worried about the family and not know how to verbalize it.<br><br>
Not to say you should totally let it slide, but it's something to take into account, I think. I think when you can imagine WHY a kiddo is acting weird, it becomes easier to handle.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/sulkoff.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="tiptoe"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/sulkoff.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="tiptoe"><br><br>
Good luck, and I hope you aren't angry.
 

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hang in there mama! and listen to the wise replies you got...<br><br>
i have been really making a shift in my discipline methods the past few months and things are improving with my relationship with my dd. really listening, accepting and understanding your dc is the way to go. i would suggest looking into some of the books on the gd list. i just bought about 4 of them!!!
 

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Sometimes when I eat an ice cream sandwich, I get another one and eat that as well. Sometimes I've eaten the last ice cream sandwich in the box and it makes me sort of cranky, and i think about going to the store and getting more. And sometimes I'm just way pissed that I ate the last in the box and i want more, but don't feel like going to the store and I start to wonder who else got into my ice cream sandwiches. Sometimes i sulk to myself. If I weren't an adult, I might cry about it. If i were 5 or 6, I might start yelling a a sibling, accusing him of eating the last ice cream sandwich.<br><br>
If i were 3, I would proabably cry. I am not plauged with new baby insecurities, I am not high from thee sugar, because the sugaris still in mystomach and not in my veins. I just want ANOTHER ice cream sandwich, *righht now*, dammit. If I were 3, I 'd stomp and cry and need my parent to hold me and let me rant and not read anything more into it. I would not want them to let me hit them and throw things--'cause my anger would be scary to me. I just might need someone to say 'It's sad when something good is all over. You can cry. I'm right here", and then I would feel safe (but still angry) and cry and let all that cranky out. I might fall asleep or I might get over it and go on with my evening, learning that even when I angry, i can't hurt people, and that my parents will help me with that part.<br><br>
Sometimes a rant is just a rant with no meaning except "Gosh this particular things is just so dissapointing and really aggravting to me and I am only 3 and just learning to handle dissapointment.:<br><br>
Not that any of this is easy for us parents...but being little is what it is.
 

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I agree entirely with kavamamakava. In the ice-cream example, I would say "You wish you had another icecream. I wish I had 2 ice-creams big as a tree" And she will say "No big as a house".. and so on. Defuse tension.<br>
About the hitting I posted myself about my daughter hitting me a while ago. I have come to learn that:<br>
- repeating that hitting is not tolerated does not work<br>
- acting angry at her about hitting me does not work<br>
- stopping her hand mid-way does not work<br>
.... so I just hug her real close. Here is what I do. I sit on the floor and I sit her on my lap chest to chest, letting her arms and feet loose behind me. This way is real hard for her to kick or hit me. I just say nothing. After awhile (a good 5 min) I offer some distraction... This works a lot better.... Good luck... Try to offer her as much one-on-one time as pox... This is not easy but it is a phase, it really is ....
 

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AWWW UUMom, that was beautiful.<br>
We got two books from the library that my son loves. One is called "Sometimes I feel Bombaloo" and it's about a girl who calls herself Bombaloo when she gets mad because she puts on an angry face and forgets to use her words and smashes stuff (like knocking down her block tower). But when she feels better, she knows her mother loves her and she helps pick up her mess.<br>
The other is called, When Sophie Gets Mad (I think). It's about a little girl who gets mad when she has to give up a toy for her sister's turn. It has really colorful pictures about what it feels like to be mad. And then Sophie runs around the backyard and finds her favorite tree and calms down and comes home and tells everyone she loves them.<br>
My son seems to have a hard time dealing with his anger. He gets really explosive. These books helped him see that it's ok to feel angry. It's ok to want to smash stuff, but there's a safe way to do it and it's important to clean up after. And above all, he is loved.
 

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How sweet are you? thank you. And thanks for those book titles. I am always interested to know what's out there. One of my children needs redirecting and support at overwhelming times as well. I know the calmer and more supportive I am, the safer my child feels, and the easier the child can 'come back'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you to all of those who gave uncriticizing advice. After all I am human and don't know all the right answers. I am not god, I do not pretend to be god. I raise my dd's to the best of my abilities. I am here for advice not criticism...I get enough of that from my in-laws.<br>
From the way most of you are sounding it's like I'm making her life hell and beating her or something. Yes, I am sure most of this is coming from the new baby, but we always make her a part in helping with the baby. I get alone time with dd1 EVERY DAY and so does my husband. We try to make being the bigger girl seem so much cooler than being a baby. I have tried be loving and patient and holding her before CONSISTENTLY. It didn't work. I am so patient with her sometimes when my husband is dealing with it he'll ask me how I do it everyday. This is the hardest job any of us signed up for. We (parents) are not perfect. We don't have all the answers all the time. That's why I came here for advice becuase evidently the books we're reading aren't helping either, and I KNOW that there are other people on this forum who are in the SAME position I am with there kids. I don't hit, spank, shove, talk down to her or call her names, scream bloody murder, or anything of the sort. And she also doesn't do this every day. Most days are absolutely blissful. But then again she is almost 3 and the S*** will hit the fan. Everyone has bad days. Even the "good parents" and from the sounds of most of these replies I'm not even one of them. Now I am going to burn....
 

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I'm very, very confused.<br><br>
I didn't think you hurt your child....<br><br>
or might burn ....<br><br>
I think you need a giant hug and some rest, sweetie.<br><br>
Seriously. Iif I lived near you, I'd go over and spell ya some.<br><br>
Hang in there.<br><br>
Nobody, from the thread *I* read, means you any ill at all.<br><br>
It all seemed pretty helpful...but then, i am not pregnant and exhausted.<br><br>
BTDT it really does get better...at some point.<br><br>
(((hugs))))
 

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I agree with the PP, you're doing EXTREMELY hard work as a parent, and we're here to support you and give our outsider point of view about what might help you to solve the problem!<br><br>
Hang in there buddy, and please know we support you here!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks guys....I'm just having a bad day on the other hand. I have a crazy neighbor who decided to dig up the fence we put in over a year ago and let our dogs loose, and had to call the cops on him for trying to hit one of the dogs with his shovel (It could have been one of my kids ! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: ) And it's been a heck of a day and I came on here trying to find some peace, and felt like I was just being bombarded. But dd1 has been an angel all day admist all this chaos which was a good thing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> She even told me "He's just a mean ole man who don't know better." And that made me smile. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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