• 9 months ago

    Three year old willful child

    I have an almost 3 yr old daughter who is extremely willful. She says no to everything, she hits just to hit, she thinks it's funny to be mean. We do automatic timeouts for hitting, I point out her hurtful words and make sure she knows she is hurting physically and hurting feelings. Any techniques work for you parents out there battling or have battled a similar situation? Inquiring minds would like to know :).


  • 8 months ago

    RE: Three year old willful child

    Have you considered a reward system? Post a sheet of paper on the refrigerator or wall where she can see and tell her you will reward her with a sticker, star or stamp (whichever she’s known to like the most) if she behaves for a short period of time. As she improves her behavior lengthen the reward period. This method worked well for my daughter and nephew when they were shy of 3 yrs. You can also bribe her with the promise of a reward or small surprise when she gets home if she behaves while outside the home. I hope this helps.
  • 8 months ago

    RE: Three year old willful child

    Encourage her to talk about her feelings, if she's doing it out of anger. I try to understand the why behind my 3 year old's actions. The other day he got mad and threw something, I said "Tell mommy how you're feeling right now." He responded "Tired." It was a breakthrough moment for me.
  • 8 months ago

    RE: Three year old willful child

    This is a common occurrence I this age group as your child is becoming more self aware and hasn't learned how to with frustrations, loss off attention and other feelings.
    Learning to really listen to what your child is trying to say and helping them to learn to use words, helping them truly understand that you love them always and that it is the action not them personally you unhappy with is important.
    Sometimes the bad behavior is simply indicative of the need for a nap. Children require more sleep than many get now with both parents working.
    Having a time out place is often a good strategy but be careful to make the time out age appropriate. What may seem as short time to us adults can seem a eternity to a 2-3 yr old.
    Sometimes having something for the child to hit that is okay like a punching bag or a cardboard box or a specific pillow designated for "I need to hit or bite" purposes is helpful. So is physical outdoor play to let off steam. Always follow up with a conversation showing you care. Tell your child you love them often, hug them.
    Reinforcing good behavior is also important. When everything is going well you can say something like, "your are such a good child to be so kind to your little brother. Look how happy it makes you feel to help . What a nice and kind boy/ girl you are. You're having a good time aren't you." You'll discover your own ways to compliment good actions.
    I truly believe children want to please their parents and feel awful and alienated from separation be it physical or mental. Getting to the why of some behavioral changes can be frustrating and difficult. Children pickup on our own feelings and are always listening and watching. It's important for them to learn that we too have feelings and that sitting down to share is ok. Examples: "Mommy is feeling angry because..... Mommy needs a hug. Is there anyone who could give mommy a hug? Mommy is so tired. Would you tell me a story while I take a little rest? Sometimes big people have their feeling hurt too.

    I hope this is of some help. God bless you. Bringing up children is the most important job you'll ever have. Mr. Rogers was of great help for great ways of communicating with my children when they were young.
    ❤️ Mimi