Help with My 3 Year Old

Updated on August 02, 2007
S. asks from Birmingham, AL
6 answers

My soon to be 3 year old is out of control..He throws stuff, he just started biting, he tells me to shut up, he lays, sits and whatever else on his little brother and sister,he is just so rough with them..I am at wits end with him..I have tried everything I can think of to do..He has sat in time out for long periods of time, and I have popped him quiet a few times..Nothing works..THe minute he gets up from time out he is doing the exact same thing he was there for..I am afraid he is going to hurt the twins if he doeesn't calm down..Please any suggestions..And is this somewhat "normal" behavior for a 3 year old..

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K.S.

answers from Macon on

Hi S., My 3 year old is the same way now. He learned it from daycare the 2 days he goes. (I think) I put him in time out but only until he calms down and promises he won't do it again before I let him up. You have to remain calm also when talking to him. Another thing I have found that works reallywell is when he does throw things, they go direclty in a trash bag. I keep them there for a few months and then maybe bring them out vs going to the store for a new toy. That seems to work and saves money on new toys

Praise when he does something good is very key. Find something he really likes and let him have it or do it when he is good. I use the pool and the park as special treats for my boys being good. Whats funny is my 19 month old is catching on to the rewards and punishment and he is the best baby because he know the consequences.

I hope this helps.

K.

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M.G.

answers from Tuscaloosa on

In your "about me" it says that he is diabetic. Is he on new medications? You should probably talk to your doctor. If its extreme enough and uncontrollable it might be related to his diabetes or his medicine. If not it may just be a crazy phase.

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S.H.

answers from Huntsville on

I'm sorry to hear you are having such trouble with your son! Is there any way you can keep him playing separately from his younger siblings? Perhaps when he misbehaves, tell him he has to play by himself in his room with a baby gate on the door? Or maybe take away a favorite toy, and tell him he can have it back when he shows that he can behave?

That's all I can think of right now! Good luck!

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L.G.

answers from Hattiesburg on

S.,
This sounds to me like a classic case of act-out for the attention it brings. It must be very challenging to be three - knowing exactly what you want, yet not knowing how to communicate it well AND not being in control of your life. Have you tried "catching him being good"? It is hard. Much harder than time-out or spanking. You really have to be hyper-vigiliant, seeking out those small things he does well and praising them.... but it works. Small children NEED their mother's approval and will do anything to get it. It may also be helpful to spend some one-on-one time with him everyday. Time you spend cuddling him, racing cars, knocking down blocks, just really making a special time for him and telling him often how much you love him.
A repeated behavior is a rewarded behavior, and even negative attention is better than none.
L. G

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S.K.

answers from Birmingham on

I had similar problems with my son who is now very close to 4, all I can say is be patient, keep calm, and THIS TOO, SHALL PASS. Try distraction and rewarding him constantly for the things he does NICELY....lots of praise for the small things done right, focus on the good and try to make a big deal when he follows directions, maybe that will inspire him to want to be a GOOD BOY more often...I don't know the answers, what am I saying, my son STILL struggles with "fits" but I can tell you they are not NEAR as frequent as they were. Does your son talk well? My son's behavior got much much better once he was able to speak clearly. I think he was frustrated a lot of the time, and took that anger out in his behavior. Email me directly if you want to talk more...I am local to you. P.S. Time out NEVER worked for mine either. AT ALL.

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M.L.

answers from Montgomery on

I have 3 kids, girl-6, girl-3 & boy-3 months. I think "terrible-two's" is a myth. Sure, they are into everything and destructive, but not defiant. My oldest was a nightmare at 3, now a well-mannered 6 year old. My three year old is currently a nightmare, my mom thinks that something is wrong with her, but I remember when Mia was 3 and I was going through the same tantrums, stubbornness and defiance. It will pass. The good news is that four is a magical year. They seem to get control of there feeling and begin to communicate instead of meltdown.

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