I've run out of ideas. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 56 Old 10-01-2012, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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I've run out of ideas.

I have officially run out of ideas for dealing with my 3 year old when he gets out of hand. He's insanely well mannered to others in public, and even to us in public for the most part. But when no one else is around, watch out, he's a stinker!! He's a tell it like it is kinda boy, and is beyond stubborn.

First we tried time outs: Now when he recieves his warning (1st they get a warning, then they get the TO), he goes directly to his time out spot, sits for his 3 minutes, does his little "I'm sorry, I won't do it again, etc, etc speech, and 9 times out of 10 he GOES RIGHT BACK AT IT!!!

Next was taking away something of "value": Let's just say I don't need to worry about him ever becoming materialistic. Even if the all important Blankie is taken away, he keeps doing whatever it is that he was doing.

Another is rewarding for good behavior (like an extra cookie at dessert, a little scoop of ice cream, etc.): Well now he's big enough that if he doesn't earn it, he waits until we're not paying attention and gets it himself.

I've tried just plain old ignoring him when he gets naughty (unless of course it's something dangerous). That hasn't really helped any, he just does something else to get attention.

The word 'NO' has little to no meaning to him, if he wants it, he WILL get it one way or the other, with or without your help. I try to use the word as little as possible thinking overuse will make him 'immune' to it. But in truth, he behaves the same if it's used or not.

The whole "girls are easier before the teens" is soo true, LOL

"Just because I don't do things your way, doesn't mean I don't have a clue"
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post #2 of 56 Old 10-01-2012, 03:10 PM
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Nothing helpful to add but I has to say I started reading this and thought you were talking about a horse, LOL. I was confused for a second because I was wondering how you were putting a horse on time out!

How is he reaching the junk food if he's only 3? Maybe you should have just ONE hidden Baggie of cookies or something and nothing else.
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post #3 of 56 Old 10-01-2012, 03:23 PM
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I would say that part of the problem is that you have tried everything - too often we fall into the "throw everything but the kitchen sink" at the problem approach. With kids it almost always gets worse before it gets better and, unfortunately, that is the point at which many people decide, "This isn't working" and abandon the method. What they don't realize is that it IS working, the escalation is a sign of that, and that they are at the pivotal moment where, if they REMAIN consistent with the chosen method the child will realize that their escalation is getting them nowhere, mom/dad really means it, and they will start to come around to it. Even then, they are going to periodically test the boundaries (some more often than others) to see if mom/dad STILL really means it.
Words will have whatever meaning you make them have - including the word NO.
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post #4 of 56 Old 10-01-2012, 03:27 PM
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Yes I thought it was a horse too - I am better with horses !!!
I have raised 4 boys to be well behaved successful young men by being tough with them. If you make threats you have to mean it.
He is 3 years old and running rings around you - what is he going to be like when he's 12 or 15? he will be out of control
First off stop buying all the cookies etc and when you do buy them keep them under lock and key. He isn't old enough to be able to help himself to food of any sort. I wouldn't allow him any treats at all other than after a period of good behaviour - try a day at a time. Make a calendar chart and put it on the wall and each time he's naughty put a black mark on it so he can see for himself that he only gets reward when he has no black marks.
Ignore any tantrums - walk away from them
Do you try to spend time with him doing things? Reading to him, art work, building lego etc, going for walks and looking at things to talk about?
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post #5 of 56 Old 10-01-2012, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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As for the cookies, they are a VERY rare treat in our house, and I only ever get Nilla wafers. Any type of "junk" food (corn chips, the cookies, grahm crackers, etc.) is kept on top of the fridge, anything that can be kept cold is in the fridge, as we don't actually really have any cabinets (long story). He has devised a way to reach the top of the fridge via kitchen chair and swiffer handle. Inside the fridge, he just climbs the shelves.

I guess I should have given better examples of the "treats" in our house. There is NO candy (DH & I always eat it b4 the kids can, lol). Treats are sometimes cereal bars, raisins, grapes, a handfull of cereal, triscuts, string cheese.

I try to keep him as active as I can, outside as much as possible, the park, he goes riding with me quite often, he has a tractor, 4-wheeler, and plastic lawnmowers he "fixes", he builds things, etc. But even with all of those, if he has an idea in his head, he WILL find a way to try it preferably on his own.

From what daycare has told me, he is extremely well mannered and thoughtful. He listens well and follows directions. But the second he gets in that carseat....

I will admit consistancy & patience aren't my strongest traits, but I'm trying VERY hard to to be that way with the kids. They're just smarter than I am:)

"Just because I don't do things your way, doesn't mean I don't have a clue"
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post #6 of 56 Old 10-01-2012, 08:04 PM
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Boys are fun lol. I will share some of the strategies I used with my boy when he was smaller (some of them are still being used lmao).

First of all, Mommy needs to breathe in, and tell herself that she is doing a good job. Kids are HARD! If they were easy, then society would be Utopia.

In terms of the grabbing snacks whenever he wants, my son was the same. He would open the child lock on the cupboard, get what he wanted out, then lock it again. So eventually, I decided to put a bowl on the table that was "free access", kinda like horses with a hay bale. Most of the time, the bowl just contains lots of fruit, but occasionally I would toss other treats in. Anything in the bowl, he was free to grab and eat any time he wanted, without needing to ask. This is still in effect, and my 2.5 year old girls are just starting to grasp the concept too.

For timeout, we still do the 1-2-3 warnings, then time out. At 2, I add in something like "You need to make a choice here, BoyChild, because if you choose to continue behaving this way, you will get timeout. But if you choose to stop, and start behaving like you are supposed to, you can keep playing." Then, once he has done his time, we talk about the choices he could make next time. Next time, refer back and tell him "remember what choices we talked about? This is a time you could try one of them".

I try to avoid "No" as much as possible. Kids have a very extensive vocab that they may not be able to say yet, but can understand when someone else says it. In that vein, I have always overexplained things to my kids. Instead of "No", I generally say something like "Please don't play with that hot stove BoyChild, I would really be sad if you burnt yourself, and it would really hurt!" Even as a newborn I would over talk lol.

Kids are HARD. And I don't want to sugar coat it for you - whoever said "terrible twos" for the first time, never ever had a four year old. However, it does get different, with rebellion in other areas. Just remember that this acting out is a natural instinct for kids, and what he really is after is not to drive you to jumping off a cliff. He wants you to establish clear boundaries, and stick to them. Kids NEED boundaries to thrive, it's natural for them to test the boundaries, but they don't want them taken away. Stick to your guns, I hear it gets a lot easier once they move out LOL!

Mods, grant me the serenity to see the opinions I cannot change, courage to change the ones that should change, and the wisdom to spot the trolls.
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post #7 of 56 Old 10-01-2012, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Tonight wasn't to bad. He mouthed off pretty bad soon after we got home, so it was right into the timeout spot. Telling me to "shut it, he WILL ride the snowmobile" doesn't get a warning, does not pass go, does not collect $200. Once he stopped kicking the door (the spot faces a closet door), and stopped yelling at me, he sat for his 3 min., said he was sorry, and went out to play.

The rest of the night he's been pretty good. Only a few close calls with getting to sassy, but it's only taken 1 warning to get it to stop. Following direstions tonight has gone quite well.

Right now he is "grilling supper" with his play grill and being very silly. He was such a gentleman and blew on my grilled bbq ribs (wooden blocks), and tucked my napkin into my shirt for me, LOL
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"Just because I don't do things your way, doesn't mean I don't have a clue"
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post #8 of 56 Old 10-02-2012, 01:48 AM
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Some great parents on here! I really dug all your advice. I raised two boys. My first has Aspergers Syndrome, but we didn't know it when he was 3. He was, however, perhaps the most challenging boychild I've met , ever. He would resist almost any place of authority, becuase, well, because that's what he did. eventaully, when we began to be cued in to the fact that he was not a "typical" child and he needed to be evaluated, the psychologist assigned this as part of his "diagnosis": Oppositional Defiant Disorder. And to this day, he still is often more interested in fighting a battle that will be detrimental to him, and he knows it, than to seeing the good sense of going along with "authority".

However, I must say that as he got older the thing that worked best in general was avoiding a win/lose type of confrontational situation. If he thought we, his parents, were going to "win", he was ready to fight to the death. But, if I could find ways to avoid even the mention of the results that would befall the loser, then he was more willing to go along with the flow.

I mean, like this. "it's getting late. Brushing your teeth now will mean we have more time to read together". very neutral.

I tried not to push him against a wall. I made many, many mistakes and used spankings and lashed out and hit him many times, and of course, he hit back. My husband did so, and eventually, at the age of 18, they got into a pretty ugly fight and he called the police and it was one hellish night.

But that's another story. your son is 3 and it seems so very challenging. It gets easier because YOU become a better parent. It gets harder because just as soon as you've figured out how to deal with what ever they dish out, they grow, and change and are outthinking you again. But, fear not. God provides just enough stamina and patience to get you to the next change. and not an ounce more.
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post #9 of 56 Old 10-02-2012, 03:52 AM
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9 times out of ten he goes right back at it,,,,

Yeh thats cause you didnt beat his rear end the first time, put down the Dr spock new age liberal crap and smack his butt.
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post #10 of 56 Old 10-02-2012, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
9 times out of ten he goes right back at it,,,,

Yeh thats cause you didnt beat his rear end the first time, put down the Dr spock new age liberal crap and smack his butt.
Joe, for what it is worth, I have never read Dr Spock. I have, however, nearly completed a teaching degree focused on early childhood. I am not saying that a smack is bad, because I know that everyone gets pushed to extremes, and sometimes, it may well be what fits best into that parent's parenting style. Through my degree, I have studied many ways of behaviour management - it's pretty much the bare bones of any teaching course - how to teach the kids (content), and how to make sure they learn(management). However, there are plenty of ways to effectively parent without resorting to physical discipline. Most of them work far better toward creating a well rounded child with social manners.

Kids are like horses - you should NEVER hit them out of anger, only as a planned response, and if you can't find another way. Losing your cool and lashing out at a child, who is smaller than you and physically weaker, is childish, in a relationship where you should be the adult.

Mods, grant me the serenity to see the opinions I cannot change, courage to change the ones that should change, and the wisdom to spot the trolls.
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