Parenting Toddlers (1-5) Community
need EXREME help with 3 year old child
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need EXREME help with 3 year old child

I family member died about a year ago and Ive taken in her 3 children, in addition to my own 4. The two other children, have adjusted into living with us by now...following the rules at home and school. The 3 year old however, who stays home with me and my home schooled daughter, is constantly getting into trouble. I'm positive shes still not in the terrible 2's. Her mother smoked crack while she was pregnant with her and she has an extreme case of ODD. She is very very intelligent.. shes been able to talk fluently since shes been two.. and understands what shes doing at all times. Her brothers and sisters said that before they came here she ate her own poop.. she shares a room with my daughter...and recently we've found her eating products such as hair grease and lotion. My daughter removed all the products in her room. And then she started digging in the trash searching for things to eat. Now the trashcan is placed where she cant reach. Now shes started eating magazine paper from a huge collage my daughter has on her wall. We've removed that and now shes began eating anything she gets her hands on like the plastic packet for hair beads. PLASTIC! My daughter woke up to find her chewing on a piece of it. I cant trust her to do simple things like use the bathroom without supervision because my daughter found her licking the toilet bowl because she liked the scent of the cleaning products my daughter used to clean the toilet. Shes literally an animal! For discipline I simply isolate her, and tell her that If she can eat things like paper..she can eat broccoli..which she hates..and that is what she eats for breakfast lunch and dinner until she finished the whole plate. I don't know what to do with her anymore.. after discipline she continues the same behavior. I dont know if this problem has something to do with her mothers drug addiction or what..Whats the matter with her & how can I fix it?
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13167_tn?1327197724
First,  why are you making her eat a whole plate broccoli,  for breakfast lunch and dinner?  Hardly any children like broccoli,  and it's cruel and useless to force them to eat it.  To most children,  it tastes vile.   There are other fruits and vegetables she can eat that she will actually like.

The condition she has - of craving non food items - is called Pica.

http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/behavior/pica.html

Bless you for taking in three children that were orphaned.  I hope it works out for you.

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1641357_tn?1322528430
I majored in psychology and I think it also has a lot to do with what she has been through and all the changes she has endured.  I do NOT think making her eat broccolli all day is going to help.  The way I think a child would see it is just a thing you're doing to be mean, which is going to make her behavior worse. Try not to tell her that she is not normal and by far do NOT tell her that she is an animal!!!   It will not help and it will make her feel worse than she probably already does.  I would try to accentuate the good things that she does and steer her behavior that way.  The condition of Pica is very real and I knew someone (teenager) who had it.  I don't know much about it, but I do know that it's not her only problem.  Perhaps she is also missing certain minerals and vitamins that she needs in her diet.  Sometimes that causes children to crave dirt and such as well.  I wish you luck as I don't know much else on the issue, but I do know that you shouldn't isolate her or alienate her for the behavior.  Some conditions such as these children can not control, they just have to learn and understand them and learn how to deal with them better.  Don't give up!!!  Good luck and you're amazing for doing what you are doing!!! :)
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