My 3 year old was generally not a fuss. I describe him as a tinkerer. He likes to build things & play with cars like most kids, loves outside, & in May learned to ride his bike without training wheels while still in a cast. He now rides a 20" BMX bike. Over the past month, he has become almost very defiant, & gets frustrated easily. He has never been a great eater, throwing huge tantrums at dinner. I spend most of my evening (I work full time) correcting him, repeating myself numerous times just to get him to complete ONE task. I can tell he purposely ignores me, because when I say "stop ignoring me", he gives me an attitude and "but I don't want to". He tried to slap at me one day & I told him not to. He immediately responded with, "I wasn't slapping you I was slapping at the pajamas, bad pajamas!" And he proceeds to swat at the pajamas, as if to cover his actions. Time out almost always leads to a trip to his room until he can stop crying and yelling. Then he will come back and be completely insistant to get or do the thing he was in time out for. I do my best to ignore the tantrum & not to appease him. The only time I don't have to use unending discipline is when he is exhausted, as in he had swimming all day and has BMX racing. He's too tired to fight me. His defiance at 3 years old is what I can't understand. I know kids are like this to an extent, but the level of cognition he shows stuns me. He knows he's doing wrong. After correcting him once, he stormed off into the kitchen ( I think he had said something not nice and hurt my feelings, this is how I described it to him) I could here him talking to himself saying "I'm going to go back & tell mommy I'm sorry!" Which he did, & I explained why I was upset with him. He understands the difference between right and wrong. Recently, his father was diagnosed at 33 with severe combined ADHD. Knowing that he is exactly like his dad, has me even more concerned. Is this defiance normal?
It is not unusual for toddlers to be defiant. What is needed is an organized way to respond to the behavior. If you read this Forum, you know that i often recommend Lynn Clark's very good book about behavior management. It is titled SOS Help for Parents and I highly recommend it to you.
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