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Parenting Toddlers (1-5) Community
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What Could Be Causing A Sudden Behavior Change In My Toddler?

Hello all,

I need some help and some guidance.

I am a single mother of a 3.5 year old daughter. She is bright, intelligent, inquisitive, friendly, happy-go-lucky, and has even achieved some recognition for being advanced in certain areas of learning. She is polite and uses her manners. All around, I probably couldn't ask for a better or healthier kid.

My daughter attends a small preschool. Her class has 4 boys and 4 girls who are all 2-3 years old. All of a sudden she went from being a "Joy to Have in Class" to a "Royal Pain". This all started just before the 2017 Christmas Break. She sort of misbehaved on the last day before break and everyone chalked it up to being excited for vacation. On Christmas break she sort of went through a "testing the waters" phase of trying to challenge who was in charge. Usually, she will listen to reason, believe it or not, about why we do/don't do certain things. She-was-not-having-it on some days. She just changed to outright authoritarian anytime someone told her to stop doing something harmful, messy, etc. It sort of tapered off just before school started back up.

She was fine the first week back to school and then she started throwing (nothing short of postal) tantrums in school over trivial things (sharing, sitting, walking, listening). She has started screaming at the top of her lungs, stomping her feet, telling everyone no, hitting other classmates, hitting teachers, spitting, and just becoming generally defiant!!! She does it at home but I have more of a handle on it than the teachers. She goes right to time out until she calms down and then she apologizes and tells me what should could have done instead of speak/act a certain way. Unfortunately, at school the poor girl receives nothing short of a note/message home almost every day! I was even called in to a meeting with her teacher.

I am at my wits end and I have exhausted all my options and brain cells. I started doing a daily behavior chart at home (lots of ideas via pintrest) so that maybe she can understand her actions better (since they live in the moment). There are prizes if she has exceptional behavior. I have tried taking toys away, taking away visits with friends/family on the weekend, taking away tv/movies, early bedtimes, more time out...just about anything that you can think of. The teacher and I are trying to work together to figure out WHY she is doing this.

She has had no super recent changes. Schedules are all the same and there are no new people in her life. She is doing things that "she knows" are not allowed on purpose just to get attention or something (coloring walls, painting herself with food, etc). We moved to a new house, in the same town, just after Thanksgiving. She LOVES it and loves everything about it. I thought it was the move but I have serious doubts now. What am I going to do? I fear that she may get kicked out of preschool if this keeps up. I already hear her talk negatively about herself because she believes that she is bad because of all the notes sent home. Please someone help!
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