3 yr old daughter has temperment / socialization problems

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by nickncaro, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. nickncaro

    nickncaro New Member

    Hello All,

    I'm new here but in dire need for some advice.

    My daughter is 3 years old, just turned in August. She is a strong willed child with a very strong character (confirmed by a pediatric psychologist).

    Her brother was born in August (2 weeks ago today). She really likes her little brother and helps change his diapers and give him food, etc. We prepared her from the very beginning and took her to almost all the ultrasounds. But they have told us at school that she told a friend that her brother was only visiting for a few days. We corrected that the same day and explained he was staying and her brother.

    The problem we are having is recently at pre-school. She has been attending school since 1.5 yrs. The first year and a half has had some bumps along the way, but nothing really horrible. These last two weeks though have been really difficult. She keeps throwing tantrums at school. The teacher ends up calling us and we have to go get her and bring her home. When we get here we take away her favorite toys, ipad, mario bros. The tantrums have been getting worse and today she had to come home because she hit 2 kids, threw a boot at a teacher and spit in another teachers face. She really does loose it so to speak. Today she was in the mini library they have at the school and she was climbing up the shelves and throwing all the books on the floor.

    The teachers are trying to tell us we are not strict enough at home. But then at the same time tell us that in certain situations they just let her get away with hitting another kid because the other kid was trying to get into her favorite play house.

    She also has her grandparents here and have been here for about 4 weeks. When they first arrived they gave into almost everything she requested, but ultimately now they see that wasn't a great idea. We have got our daughter back in control at home (for a few weeks now) but seems she is really struggling at school.

    Any suggestions as to what we should do? Should we stick to bringing her home when she acts up at school or is there a better solution?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.

    I can guarantee you this is not due to spoiling. That really is a misconception. Some kids are spoiled and they don't run around hitting others. That's a behavioral issue that is usually caused by some sort of inborn disorder so it is nobody's fault (unless child was/is abused or birthmother drank or did drugs while pregnant). I don't think any traditional behavioral methods will help your child. If she is differently wired, like almost all the kids whose parents end up here, these kids do not respond to "normal" behavioral methods and require clever (emphasis on clever) therapists and even psychiatrists who can think outside the box. First you need to get some sort of working diagnosis so you know what you are dealing with. "Spoiled" is not a diagnosis nor a reason for upsetting other kids and teachers. It's a lame excuse given by relatives, some clueless pediatricians, educators, "helpful" friends and others who don't "believe" in childhood disorders. Most of us have gone through it.

    She is very young, but an evaluation can't hurt her. Most likely she will get a working diagnosis that will change over time, but at least you can start the ball rolling.

    Welcome to the board, but sorry you had to join us!
  3. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I don't agree with MWM in needing diagnosis/differently wired kid, not in this point at least. I do agree about it not being about spoiling or taking control. If your child was mostly okay till the two weeks ago, that is her normal behaviour and if that was not the problem, it is very unlikely about anything 'diagnosable' per se.

    But two weeks ago she had a major, stressful life event that changed her life for good. Reacting to that is normal. From her point of view her loved one cheated on her and took in the other lover and gives all that attention to that new lover, so do everyone else in her life. Consider it from your point of view. If your husband would bring home a second wife and tell you to deal with it and be helpful and play nice with new wife, you could be little grumpy at work too ;) And it wouldn't help a lot that you would have been told about plan to take a new wife half a year early. Do understand that I'm not trying to say this is in any way your fault, you have done all the right things to prepare her to the baby. But any preparing doesn't take away it being a huge shock and change. And to that kids react according to their temperament, your kids happens to feel big and show it. Hitting in age of three is not uncommon way to demonstrate feeling bad and conflicted. Not all kids hit, but there is usually nothing wrong in those who do. Yes, of course they need to be redirect but kids do stuff all the time they need to be told better.

    What I would be worried about would be this turning too negative experience for her. Not only has she to deal with the new baby, she has to deal with punishments and everyone being angry at her and being hard for her. When person acts out hurt feelings, being hard on them isn't usually the way to go. They will just feel more miserable. And what should three year old do, when they feel miserable? Write poetry about their suffering? Not going to happen, what you will get, is more acting out. Of course you have to give consequences for biggies, but you can well differentiate between pre-school consequences and home consequences. You don't have to punish her home about something she does in pre-school (it is not likely she will remember much of it when she comes home anyway.) Try to keep any consequence short, she is three year old, she really doesn't remember things long. She remembers she is punished but very unlikely the reason for punishments (other than in her head it may easily turn to 'mom and dad don't like me any more.') Discipline through positive reinforcement, not negative. Give her lots of positive attention, not only related being a good big sister but just being her. Allow her to be babyish too, if she wants to. Grandparents are meant to spoil their grandkids, let them.

    She is having major life changing experience, try to make it positive and not negative for her!