3 yr old not listening, temper tantrums, and says no - FamilyEducation
3 yr old not listening, temper tantrums, and says no
02/13/2009 at 20:07 PM

My 3 year old son will be 4 in April. He is currently acting out with bad behavior. He is not listening, temper tantrums, and says no when I instruct him to do something he doesnt want to do. I do know that whatever discipline I do. It needs to be consistant, but sometimes it seems like the negative behavior will never go away. I need to make sure that I am doing the right thing in the meantime, so I wanted some advice and suggestions on if I am doing the right thing or should I try something else. Should I continue to do time out? (which in time-out he screams and says no time-out)Im just lost to which ways to discipline and him understanding the concept of what he done.

I think you are doing the right thing by staying strong - be consistent. I think timeouts are appropriate or also try diverting to something positive. As long as you give him a quick explanation of what he did wrong and why then the timeout is good. --CPC

First of all, erase NO from your vocabulary and he will eventually stop saying it to you. Replace it with the positive: We clean up after ourselves, you may have a cookie after you eat your good dinner, TV time is at 4:00, etc. At a calm time soon after an incident of inappropriate behavior, explain the expected behavior and then role play that behavior. Example: refusal to clean up toys. Explain why the toys need to be cleaned up: so they do not get stepped on and broken, parts may get misplaced or lost, the dog or cat or younger sibling might chew on the toys, whatever is appropriate to your situation. Most children love to role play. Say to the child, "I'll be you and you be the Mommy or Daddy", then you (as the 'child') refuse to cooperate or act the way your child did in the situation. Coach him if he needs help. Do this consistantly and you will eventually cover most negative situations. Your child needs to see the value and reasoning behind what you are trying to get across to him in order for the negative behavior to go away. Give him the opportunity to explain respectfully to you why he does or does not want to do a particular thing but let him know, also respectfully, that you are the parent and there are times things won't go his way. I am a professional nanny and and Therapeutic Mentor and have used this technique with my own children and all of the children for whom I have cared through the years. Proof this works: When my son was around 7, I noticed it had been months since there had been any inappropriate behaviors. When I asked him what had occured to effect this positive reversal, he stated "Oh, I finally figured out that if I'm mostly cooperative, you won't explain everything to me all the time". It works!!!!!! Good luck and let me know if I can be of any more help.