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My three and a half year old daughter!
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My three and a half year old daughter!

I want to know what I am doing wrong.  My daughter does not listen to a thing I say.  She in fact does the complete opposite of what I ask her to do.  She yells at me, she tells me no!, she just peed on the floor in her room the other day, and then she peed in the bath tub, when she was not even taking a bath. She keeps getting into my makeup and destroying it.  She said she does these things to make me mad.  I have tried spanking her, I have tried time outs, and I have actually taken almost all her toys away from her.  I have taken all  her movies away.  Nothing is working.  I am at my wits end.  She was just in the dining room with her bottle of water and dumped it all over the floor on purpose. She is very bright for her age, I know most parents probably say that, but she is extremely smart. She is constantly lying to me and my husband, I could go on and on but I think you get the picture.  Please help me!  I don't even enjoy time with my child any more, I love her but I feel like I don't want to be a mom anymore.

Please help me
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It goes without saying that you will require a systematic approach to managing your daughter's behavior. You can see such an approach in Lynn Clark's book, SOS: Help for Parents. However, I'm reticent to advise only the behavior management plan,because I suspect that your daughter's behavior may be symptomatic of a flawed parent/child relationship. If behavior management plans are to be successful, they must rest on the foubdation of a solid attachment of child to parent, and there are indications that such a level of attachment has not been achieved. For this reason, I'd suggest you arrange an evaluation with a mental health professional. Such an evaluation can determine if the attachment is sound. If so, the behavior management plan may be sufficient. If the attachment is not sound, or if your daughter displays a biologically based condition (e.g., mood disorder), behavior management alone might not suffice.
13 Comments
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Prinsess,
Boy do I know where you are coming from. I have almost identical problems with my 4 year old little boy. I feel exactly like you. I don't even want to bring my son with me anywhere. It has caused problems b/t my fiancee' and I and his son. I feel like my family is falling apart because of my son. He was diagnosed with ADHD 4 months ago but was not put on medications because the MD wanted to wait until he started preschool. Well I brought him back today and told the MD that I couldn't take it any more he was out of control and I want my life back. He prescribed him adderol. I will start him on it tommorow. Hopefully I will get good results. GOOD LUCK! I will keep you posted
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I don't think that Me and my daughter don't have a bond, she can be the sweetest thing in the world, she is constantly telling me she loves me and constantly hugging and kissing me, but all the other stuff seems to supersede this. I am a stay at home mom so I am with my daughter all the time.  Do you think that has anything to do with it?
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That in itself would not result in your daughter's symptoms. Be sure to seek an evaluation.
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Prinsess,
I can totally relate to you.  I am glad that I am not the only one going through this.  My four year old is the same way.  She yells, screams, kicks, throws things whenever she does not get her way.  I am completly at my wits end with her. I have tried everything and I do not know what else to do.  My daughter, like yours, is a loving little girl.  We have a wonderful bond.  We are always affectionate with lots of hugs and kisses.  I don't understand why she is doing it.  I too am a stay at home mother.  Just recently I decided I wanted to be with her more and took off work for the summer to be with her.  Well it is not even summer yet, and here I am regreting it because each day is a challenge.  I will admit that she was no where near this bad when I was working and she was at a private sitter.  I do not know if this is the reason why she is doing this or what.  WHen she is with my mother, sister or family friends she does not act like this; only with me!  Several times I have contemplated sending her to pre-school just so she can interact with more children and have other authority in her life.  I am thinking that since I am the only person in her life it is a part of the problem. I may be wrong though!  I have just sat here so many night thinking what I can do to change this behavior!!  Good luck to you and please let me know if you find anything to make the situation better and I will do the same!!
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I am so glad I am not the only one going through this.  My son just turned 3.  He is destructive.  He throws things, he hits, he kicks, he bites.  He knocks over book cases and tables,  He is completely out of control.  The doctors keep telling me he's just a normal boy.  He's NOT normal.  I'm so sick of everyone telling me he's normal, it's just the way we raised him.  I have a 5 yr. old girl and a 16 mth. old girl who are very sweet little girls.  Other than whining, I've had no problems with my girls.  My boys are my problems.  I also have an 11 yr. old who lies, steals, starts fires.  I am scared to death that he or my 3 yr. old are going to hurt someone.  I've tried everything.  My 11 yr. old sees a counselor 4 hrs. a week.  He is on strattera for ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, conduct disorder.  I am open to any suggestions.  We have tried time-out, 1-2-3 magic, spanking, taking toys and priveleges.  What else can we do?
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My 4 Year old daughter is having potty regression. She tears up the house, she destroys things.  I understand completely your position. But we have tried something new. She will be attending pre-school in late October. I thought in order to prepare her we would do a trial run at home to see how she would react to a schedule such as 7am wake up, shower, potty, breakfast, brush teeth. We then either walk around the block or drive around the block. When we return to home, I state that we are now at school. We have basically turned our dining room into a classroom. From 9am - 11 am we work on abc's & 123's and then ther is snack time, naptime (if only for 10 minutes)(sometimes I have to lay down with her to get this to happen) then there is activity time, I print off crafts, and activities from kid friendly websites ( I could get these for you) and we work on 1 or 2. then there is lunch time which i have her help prepare. we clean up ( as incentive to get to the next project) and thne we do manual dexterity (tying shoelaces, etc). There is a period of playtime, when we either take out her bicycle, or go to the nearest playground. Then after "school" we pop in a video if she did well.
This has had a tremendous change in her . I believe it is the schedule and the "abc time, 123 time, project time" when announced gets her motivated. she is less likely to become destructive, and she can focus on each item. I believe that kids are like adults, they need a schedule. This is also a way to give your child the extra attention they need without spoiling them. They feel excited about the change because it revolves around them, (as most changes revolve around our choices as parents and usually are for the benefit of our position and not thiers - at least not entirely).
If you are as frustrated and to the end of your string of your rope as I was, dont get depressed. Get smart about it and change your childs life & yours. Yes, I know with what little energy we have left after the tantrums and the psychotic grocery episodes, the defiant potty mishaps, there is little or no energy left, but seriously, try this. I am a full time student. my husband works full time in the evenings, but if we make time for anything, we make time for this. Your childrens minds are expanding & they need a way to express it. PUt it this way, I'd rather my child did a hand painting under my supervision, with my encourgement, than she get into the house paint & redecorate the living room. Parents make the best teachers.
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This issue is exactly what brought me to this forum!
  I have a 3 year old daughter who is very loveable as well but also is extremely defiant (yelling no, spitting, hitting, pushing, etc.) when something doesn't go her way.  She is very independent and strong willed.  There has yet to be an effective punishment found.  Time-outs, spankings, removal of toys privleges, etc., NONE of it works for us.  I am very contienscious of acknowledging good behavior in hopes that will encourage more good behavior.  
  I am a stay-at-home mom, but my daughter attends Mothers Day Out (for 2 years now) once a week and gymnastics twice a week for two hours (this is only a summer thing; during the school year we go once a week for an hour; she has been in this for over a year now).  The 'bad' behaviors occur mainly at home and at gymnastics.  Her school says she does fine.  We have had her hearing and speech tested, almost hoping that would be the problem, but she is OK and on track developmentally.  We discuss these problems with her pediatrician regularly but have not been able to identify or resolve anything. I am ready to seek therapy for her and myself.  Unlike some of the other moms I do feel it is an issue between my daughter and I.  She doesn't seem to be quite so defiant with her daddy.  I feel this is a control issue for the two of us and I have to be the one to adjust my behavior and thinking or my daughter never will!
  Words of wisdom from a friend:  Our children will never be followers and will always be leaders so if we can just teach them right from wrong maybe thats the best we can do for them!!
  I hope she is right because at times that is all I feel I am capable of doing.
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I have a little girl who just turn 3 years old. She can be the best behaved child sometimes, while other times she can be terrible! I think that you should ignore them when they aren't acting too bad. That way when you do get on to them, it's a big deal. Don't just always yell at them, because they may have already forgotten why they are in trouble. Then its a lost cause. To shasheff, I really don't believe that you should put your 3 year old in therapy. I mean really! She's only 3. She won't even know why you and her are even there. Much less what therapy is! You may want to go to therapy, but you should not take your child with you!
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My daughter is 5 years old, and since she was 3, she has been impossible to keep happy.  I dred when she wants to do something and I have to answer with a no, because I know it will send her into a fit.  It seems like nothing pleases her, she is very uncooperative with almost everyone, including her pre-school teachers.  She is very defiant.  She rarely gets along with other children. I feel we are not welcomed at some of our families homes because she will not abide by their rules.  I have tried everything from spanking to time-outs(which, unless you sit on her, it doesn't work), taking favorite things from her for a period of time, and nothing seems to phase her. On the other hand, she is very affectionate towards her father, brother and I. I am also a mother who is at wits end and cannot seem to enjoy being around her.  It really makes me sad to say this, however, I just cannot seem to enjoy my daughter.  I have taken her to a Family Consortium for approx. 2 years now, and the therapist is excellent in giving me tools to handle the episodes my daughter goes through, but I am not sure if this is enough. I have alot of friends and family very apposed of any type of medication, and this is not my first choice either, but I just cannot for the life of me figure out if she is going to grow out of this, or if this is just a 'taste of what's to come'(please pray for me!!) Any advice or suggestions is greatly welcomed!!!!
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When I say therapy, I don't mean inkblots and straight jackets!  I think a counselor who can watch us interact with one another will be able to point out areas where I create or encourage our control struggles.  We are also going to see a behavioralist in two weeks who will hopefully have some insight for us. What some who read this may not understand is, it is MORE than normal three year old behavior. While I do agree that I need therapy in a classical sense, my daughter and I also need something to improve our relationship and interaction with one another.
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I also have similar problems with my Daughter - but I have a one year old son who is the victum of her anger.  She is constantly taking her aggression out on him.  I don't know if it is because she is jealous, or if it is just the age - she turned 3 around the same time he was born.  Her behavior was perfect prior to then.  With the birth of my son, I became a stay at home mom, I was counting the days to be home with my daughter, and now can't wait to find a pre-school to enroll her in.  I am also at my wits end...no punishment works, I try to show her how to act, don't give her what she wants when she SCREAMS for it.  She doesn't act this way with others, or when she is playing with other kids.  Her behavior is far worse when she is tired.  I've often felt that age 3 is worse because they give up their naps that year.  It's hard for kids to control themselves when they are tired.  If I give her a nap then we have a BIG bed time struggle.  I've changed bed time to 6:30 - 7:00pm to give her that added sleep she needs.  My daughter is also VERY bright.  I wonder if that is the problem - boredum?  I think I'll try the strict routine mentioned earlier and see if that helps, I'm not sure what to do with my one-year old during that time?  Any suggestions?  Any good books on the subject?  Her behavior is destroying our household as well.
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my little boy just turned three in june and im at the end of my rope! he has always been a little strong willed, and at times tempermental; but here recently it has just been hell. he bites, hits, sreames at the top of his lungs, breaks things, dunps things out on purpose. Just yesterday he poured sprite in his uncles vcr...We gave my uncle our vcr, and my son replied "so what." He curses, calls people stupid and tells children at the playground to go away. Is there A possibility that my son is adhd? i almost hope so. that sounds horrible but at least i would know that there was a way to fix this problem. like some of the other mothers i have tried everything to dicipline him. 123 magic, spanking(he just hits back), time out (he wont stay in the room so i end up putting my self in time out because we play tug of war with the door), i have even tried not yelling, ignoring and everything! someone please give me some advise. Im embarrest to take him to family gatherings, much less out to eat or something of that nature. he is such a sweet boy at times...i just wish other people could know this!
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