Defiant 3 y.o. & Displine Techniques - FamilyEducation
Defiant 3 y.o. & Displine Techniques
01/21/2008 at 13:37 PM

My wife and I need some help.  We have a 3 year old daughter who is extremely smart and seems to use this "smartness" against us.  She is only 3, but it seems like she is going on 14 in terms of her vocabulary, her actions, her interactions with adults, etc.  My wife recently delivered twin girls who are now almost 4 months old.  We know she is going through a tough time with the new additions, but she absolutely adores them and is very protective of them.  The problem lies in the fact that she does not listen to ANYTHING and has a very bad problem of talking back and throwing severe tantrums.  I have read what seems like an endless amount of disipline books which all say the same thing...get to her level, be firm, don't yell, don't spank, time out minutes per age, etc.  None of it works and she seems to be outsmarting both of us.  She is extremely energetic and loves attention, but we are struggling on how to effectively get her to listen and understand direction as she is going a mile per minute.  We are worried that this controlling behavior is going to be a problem when she starts preschool in the fall.  She controls her playmates and is very "protective" of her things, but is not aggressive (hitting, scratching).  Most of the time she is treated like a princess, but her defiancy can change in an instant and go from laughing/giggling to a screaming tantrom (example: playing to bedtime).  I know this is is a very vague post, but does anyone have any advice on specific disipline techniques or techniques to get her to listen better?  I hope this is just an age thing or twins sister thing, but any advice (or good reads) would help!  We just want to know if this is normal for her age or something we should look more into.

My daughter was having some similar problems with her child.  I know this seems so simple, but, she began enforcing nap time and it made a world of difference.  I remember that it can be difficult to actually get the child to fall asleep, especially if the child is wound up about something, like you telling her it is naptime.  Hope this helps!


What we tried with our 5 year old, and it seemed to work ... was explaining to her that the 'good' things come as a reward for good behaviour. If she would watch cartoons in the eveening is a 'good' consequence, a REWARD, following a day of 'nice' behaviour from her part. Trying to put it as a 'good consequence' for good behaviour, instead of punishment, really worked. Our daughter would 'earn' the evening desert or the cartoons watching, or the bed-time reading if she had NOT done any bad things over the day. It took some time but now she herself would tell us that she doesn't deserve the cartoons for tonight because she told a lie in the morning, or had a tantrum at lunch time etc. Do you think it might help?