January 01, 2011,
M.G. asks from Miamisburg, OH on December 30, 2010
My 3 Year Old Little Girl Has an Attitude and Thinks She Is the Boss!
My daughter is 3 years and 4 months old she is an extremely smart and a happy child. But she has an attidtude and trys to run the house. My husband and I have tried many different forms of discapline from taking away a certin toy to putting in her time out chair for 2 miniutes. When she starts acting out and talking back almost screaming it. For example tonight she was laying in her room during bed time. She hears me on the computer and says I am trying to sleep turn it off! Is this just a girl thing where they get an attitude and think they are a diva/boss? Any advice on how to disapline or get a 3 year old like her to listen and not try to boss people around would be wonderful. Thanks
1 mom found this helpful
K.L. answers from Philadelphia on December 30, 2010
I have a 3 yr old too-and an older child and can tell you that this behavior is fairly normal at this age. However, that doesn't make it acceptable. I let my little guy know that it is not ok to speak to me that way or to act that way. One thing that seems to help the most is to point out his good behavior. When he is acting the way I want him too, I try to let him know and praise him for it. It seems to help the most for me.
3 moms found this helpful
S.H. answers from Honolulu on December 30, 2010
You either let her act that way, or you don't.
Many kids, at that age, are like that.
Mine included. They are both very bright imaginative outspoken articulate and wise kids.
But NOW is the time... to teach them MANNERS, how to talk, boundaries, right/wrong, and if they can or cannot "boss" YOU around.
Once a child is older, say 5 years old... this type of behavior... is NO longer "cute" nor.... excusable. And, by this age they are in school.... acting like this or not, too.
So... you choose... what to teach your kid at this age juncture and phase... picking your battles etc.
Being a "Diva" at any age... to me... is NOT cute. Nor an indication of how successful a child or adult is.
You show your kid limits/rules/consequences... and do it consistently.
No yelling needed. Just consistency... and follow through.... keeping things... age appropriate.
all the best,
8 moms found this helpful
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S.P. answers from Los Angeles on December 30, 2010
Wow. I haven't read the other answers yet.
I don't think the 2-minute time-outs or taking a toy away is working here.
When you have a nice quiet everything-is-fine moment,
you need to sit down with her for a BIG GIRL CONVERSATION.
Before you do this, you'll need to think/plan ahead of time w/DH
just WHAT you want, what needs to change, etc.
So, in this BIG GIRL CONVERSATION,
you're going to tell her that from now on
this kind of screaming (and whatever other behavior)
will no longer be tolerated in your home.
Your home will be a quiet, well-mannered home
where everyone treats everyone else with respect and dignity.
You understand that this will be a big change for her
so you're going to give her opportunities to learn new ways
to speak and behave.
And, in this BIG GIRL CONVERSATION, you will demonstrate
various ways of speaking politely, asking for things (please and thank you), etc. You will help her learn this new way of being.
Also, you'll explain to her how much happier everyone will be
from now on after you have all switched
to this new way of treating one another.
And then, still in this BIG GIRL CONVERSATION,
you'll do a little practice session.
Set up various situations and have her practice with you.
I think I'll stop here and see what the other moms have advised.
8 moms found this helpful
L.A. answers from Austin on December 30, 2010
You could ask her to use "polite words." Please. thank you, etc.. we do this in our home for every transaction. it comes naturally to us, because we have always spoken this way..
Also a "smarty pants tone" can be treated like whining.
"I do not understand your tone."
"Please say that again using your regular voice.. "
"Please go to your room and find your regular voice."
If your sounds bother her, close her door, or purchase a sound machine for her room.. She sound like a hoot!.. I am sending your strength..
7 moms found this helpful
P.M. answers from Portland on December 30, 2010
Mmmm, exceedingly common in the age group. Kids are little tape recorders, and they record what they hear from the god-like adults in their lives and play back their own childish version thereof. It ends up sounding sassy and bossy and loaded with attitude. It can be sobering to realize where they got that from in the first place.
Parents who are polite toward their children usually hear politeness back. But many of us just parent the way we were parented ourselves, flinging demands and snapping out orders to our kids and expecting instant compliance.
If you'd like to try an approach that has lots of positive research behind it, you can probably eliminate diva attitudes from your house in a few weeks at most, and replace it with thoughtful kindness. I'm NOT advising pushover parenting, but rather a practical, empathetic approach that takes your needs AND your child's into account. If this interests you, find a copy of the book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Faber and Mazlish.
This workshop-between-covers is oozing with real-life examples of how real, everyday parents made positive, empathetic connections with their children and got unexpectedly great results. By the end of each chapter, you'll be equipped to put the lessons to work in your own family. I can't recommend this gem highly enough.
6 moms found this helpful
A.S. answers from Bellingham on December 30, 2010
Oh boy is this part of the age! It isn't just your daughter, it's most kids, especially around this age. I think it's because they're learning what they can and can't control. They have this huge amount of emotion rolling in them and they have yet to acquire the tools necessary to deal with and acceptably express those emotions.
I've got a daughter working her way through the same stage, and while I don't have wise words of easy answers I will say - be patient with her and with you! Remember that while she's learning to cope with those emotions (and you're trying to teach her that) you're learning to cope with her! One of the things we do with our daughter is that we expect to receive and to give respect. We all have feelings and whether it's a Mommy talking to a kid or a kid talking to a Mommy there is a measure of respect that is imparative for a healthy relationship. Something we find that works most times is we refuse to resond to any rude demands eg "Mommy, turn of that computer RIGHT NOW!" is ignored completely, however "Mommy, could you please stop until I'm asleep" is met with praise and often a "yes". If we can't answer yes, we praise for the words and explain the answer. It takes a lot of reminding but it's helping us both. In return, I do my best not to demand things of her "Put your toys away now" and instead, "please put your toys away" to show the same respect.
At the end of the day (when I'm often haggered and exhausted from praising, helping, punishing and loving) I want to raise children who are strong, willing to voice their opinions and stand up for what is right, who know how to respect those around them and who, in turn are given respect back. I remind myself of that as I bang my head against the wall and it all feels a little better :-)
Good luck! Hang in there, it's just a phase and remember, no matter what you do, if you love her and we know you do then that makes you a GREAT MOM and you're doing your best!!!!
5 moms found this helpful
S.B. answers from Redding on December 30, 2010
I'm not sure it's a girl thing. Kids are either given the chance to think they are the "boss" or they aren't.
I know a little boy who was so bossy that his grandmother called him "The Judge".
That kid thought he needed to tell everyone what to do, where to sit, when to eat. It really wasn't cute.
His parents allowed it though and couldn't really figure out how he became that way.
Your daughter is still little. There's time for you to teach her that her job is to worry about what SHE is doing and not telling others what to do.
It's her job to be in bed asleep and it doesn't matter what mom and dad are doing. It's not her problem or worry and she doesn't get to say what you do. It's not nice.
If your daughter is really super smart and I have no doubt she is, a two minute time out might not be enough for her.
5 moms found this helpful
B.E. answers from Las Vegas on December 30, 2010
I'd say it's a learned behavior... Most of what my boys do and act If I really think alot of times is something I've acted out or done, however it is still no acceptable and the child needs to know it's role no matter the gender! You called your daughter a diva, I've called my the man of the house, lol but I have had to set boundaries. And I would never let either of my children or neices speak to me that way, I do too much for them and sacrifice too much to be treated poorly by them, I want to enjoy them. Honestly your not doing her any favors by letter her act that way, if it bothered you enough to ask ab it here, think ab how society will like her-not that we are completely adapting tonplease society BUT you don't want to train her to be a menace to society either...
5 moms found this helpful
E.W. answers from Cleveland on December 31, 2010
I noticed you posted 3 posts today. Be careful how you balance both her abilities with her attitude. A good book is Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr Kevin Leman. I think we all want a kid with good character, behavior and attitude. Those are the one's that will go far and can handle any types of situations. We all want the best for our kids we just need to be careful how we do it.
4 moms found this helpful