16 answers

Help! Need Discipline Techniques for 3 1/2 Year Old!!!

I have a very active 3 1/2 year old little boy who is really testing our limits. He is a very happy child until he is told "no" or is instructed to stop doing something. He will either pretend he didn't hear us or will argue with us. His teachers at preschool told me to be on the lookout for behavioral changes at home because he is learning bad behavior from some of the other kids at school and she was right! We have tried everything we know! Time out, spanking, taking away things he loves when he misbehaves, long talks about his bad bahavior, giving him check marks toward a treat when he behaves well...everything! Does anyone know any great discipline techniques or books on discipline? He is getting older and I don't consider him a toddler anymore. Our home has become a war zone and I desperately need help! I have a sweet 1 year old daughter who is constantly seeing this and I'm afraid she will think this is the correct way to behave! Please help!

1 mom found this helpful

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Have you tried Love and Logic? The parents who have used it love it and I have heard there are classes to learn the technique. Also, you can order CDs.

Since you were forewarned by the pre-school teachers, that's where I'ed start. How many children is he learning bad habits from and how many other children are also having these problems at home. It might be that a serious talk with the director of the pre-school is in order. The director may not be aware that there are trouble makers at the school. If you don't get results there, you might want to look for another school.

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A friend of mine was having the same problem with her 3 1/2 year old boy. He was "hanging with the wrong crowd" at preschool and learning to say nasty things and just be downright disrespectful. She bought some hot sauce and told him if he kept talking like that, she was going to put some on his tongue. She calls it naughty sauce. she only had to do it once...now, all she has to do is say "do you want some naughty sauce?" and he shapes right up. It sounds a little cruel, but one little drop on the tongue doesn't hurt them at all (I think it's just regular old Tobasco sauce), but really gets their attention. I am not having this problem yet, so that's all the advice I have for you. Whatever course of action you take, you just need to be consistent with it so that he knows what to expect. Good luck! I hope you get some advice that works for you.

1 mom found this helpful

Since you were forewarned by the pre-school teachers, that's where I'ed start. How many children is he learning bad habits from and how many other children are also having these problems at home. It might be that a serious talk with the director of the pre-school is in order. The director may not be aware that there are trouble makers at the school. If you don't get results there, you might want to look for another school.

My favorite book on discipline is Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline, MD and Jim Fay. I think they have a website, too.

I only have one suggestion, my little man 35 months old has just started acting like a monster. He doesn't seem to care how I punish him, but if Daddy does it he cries and cries even in a simple time out. So now we write a note for Daddy when he is bad and Daddy sits down with him to talk about what he did wrong.

I kind of felt like I was copping out at first, but I am with them almost 24/7 and Daddy is only home evenings and most weekends and when Daddy get's mad it is a huge deal for them.

It seems that he tries really hard to behave all day so that he can play when Daddy gets home and not have "Bad Boy" time.

We also just implimented that if he goes the whole day with no bad notes then he gets a quarter for being so good. If he helps clean everything up before bed he gets another quarter. When his piggy bank is full he knows he gets to go shopping and buy something.

Hope you find something that works for you guys. It can be rough!

R.

Sounds like my kid (also 3.5). We found "Parenting with Love and Logic" works - to a degree. After trying pretty much everything out there like you have, I've discovered there's no "magic bullet." There's not one single technique that will turn your little hellion into a perfect child. BUT - you can make things more bearable. L&L works more for the parents than for the child. It gives you a response to every action the child does. So you never, ever lose your temper, you maintain control of your household, and your younger child sees that there are consequences to poor choices. My kid is a lot better behaved with L&L, but he still has his moments (or days). But on those days that he's out of control, *I'M* not. And I think my calmness helps him calm down faster.

S.

Hi M.,
Here are some books that helped me with my active 3 year old. This one was easy to read and had some great information, Between Parent and Child by Haim Ginott. Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman is great! Also look for books by Alfie Kohn.
I hope these help!
D.

Have you looked into "1,2,3 Magic" or "Love and Logic"? I was able to check out "1,2,3 Magic" DVD's from the public library for free, and they were good. Many of my friends swear by "Love and Logic."

Have you tried Love and Logic? The parents who have used it love it and I have heard there are classes to learn the technique. Also, you can order CDs.

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