It Takes A Village

by mommahasapottymouth

I am reaching out here. In hopes that someone else is going thru what I am. I  am at my breaking point with my little princess, and I honestly do not know how much more I can take.

Before any of y’all call me a bad mother, remember that I have exhausted every avenue in discipline I can think of ( hence the fact that I am reaching out for help now) and nothing has worked.

So far, I have tried taking things away (example; when AM does not pick up her toys when it is time, I take them away). I have tried reasoning with her ( this is like arguing with the captain of the Debate team) I have tried a swat on the ass ( not a beating, but a touch to let her know I mean business, in which she laughs off) I have tried sending her to her room ( she always finds something to do in there so it’s not really a punishment) and I have tried time out. I am all out of options, and she is wining!

I can not live in a house where the three-year old child runs the show. Daddy doesn’t get to witness much of the things she does, because he works graveyard and has to sleep all day. Its her way, or everyone will pay for it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my girl. I think she is the most intelligent little girl I have ever met. But that is not always a good thing. She out smarts me, and is very sneaky. She knows the words to use to get her way, every time. And she knows that she is cute and works it to her advantage.

Most times it just makes me white-hot mad. Other times, it is mortifying to hear the things she says or see the things she does. Just today, she told me she was going to shoot me in the face. She has never heard me or Matt threaten to shoot anyone! I have no clue where this is coming from!!

Pretty Please?

So, from one parent to many others, does any one have any advise?? Is my child lost forever? Is it too late to change her ways? Or, will she end up one of those mean girls??

(If you are going to bash me or my daughter in any way, don’t even try to comment. I also do not need help from someone who doesn’t even have kids, but thank you anyway!)

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8 Comments to “It Takes A Village”

  1. Sounds frustrating. Catch her doing something good and make a fuss. Reward her AFTER she’s done something good but don’t tell her you’re going to. Surprise her with the reward though don’t give her anything if she says “do I get a reward?” if she’s done something good.

    Be firm with her and walk away when she is disrespectful or misbehaves and let her know your expectations. Not easy with a 3 year old (not easy with a 10yo!!)

    Try and be consistent and pick your battles. The big ones.

  2. Ah HA! Watch out mama . . . she already knows how to get a rise out of you. Can you imagine this behavior at 10, 13, 16? Ya, I didn’t thing so. My best advice, stay calm and unflappable. When you’re in control of your emotions, you’re in control. For me parenting by principle always worked best. And one of my top principles was R-E-S-P-E-C-T, you got it Aretha! Getting your point across to your 3 year-old princess may take repeated attempts but be firm and consistent. Don’t wait for the next episode. Sit her down after her favorite breakfast and tell her, “it’s a new day my dear and we’re doing things different from here on out”. Let her know that it’s not OK to be disrespectful then explain in simple terms, what that means for you. Tell her the consequences of her behavior AHEAD of time and then follow through. Give this some thought before you launch into it as consistency is key to follow through. You may be late for events, miss things you want to do, etc., but in the long run there’s a big pay off . . . you’ll like spending time with your daughter and she’ll like knowing her boundaries.

    I never spanked my son, he learned quickly that mouthing off to me got him nowhere fast. If he gave me lip everything stopped. I did the bare bones basics, nothing more. And I didn’t allow him to just launch into a conversation, he needed to apologize to me and then we were back on track never looking to the past. He’s now a 16 year-old gentleman who opens my doors and apologizes when he says something ‘off color’. Apology is HUGE. Even if they don’t mean it practice is good, and besides, it gets old having to apologize, it’s much easier to behave nicely.

    Stay grounded and calm above all else. Kids can sense when you’ve lost your power and will exploit your anger and frustration. If you don’t want your kids to hit or shut down I would recommend not “swatting” them. You are more powerful than you realize. AND when dad is around, he needs to back you up and be on board 100%.

    One last thing, kids will do negative things to get your attention. I agree with Lisa, catch her doing something “good”, kind and let her know that you appreciate her . . generosity, helpfulness, etc. Don’t withhold love or affection even when your little charmer has you gritting your teeth. I remember fretting about things and then when I shifted my behavior my son’s behavior shifted. That’s something to remember throughout her life.

    OH! and check into James Lehman’s ‘The Total Transformation’. Excellent information to support you on your quest. You can get the program for free (they offer this often) if you fill out a questionnaire and return it in 90 days.

    OK, this is a lot, I’m sorry. Good luck.

  3. My kids are 18 and 14. I also worked as a toddler teacher for 10 years and received my CDA. I have read numerous books, listened to other parents who claim to know more than me….etc. So take this advice for what you feel it is worth. This is based on years of experience, NOT what everyone else says to do because let’s face it, EVERYONE is an expert…at least they think they are, including me! =)

    #1) Most important….your needs come first. Sounds selfish, I know but it really isn’t. If you don’t make YOU important and you are always struggling with your own feelings, you are not going to be present for your babies. Take time for you. Walk away. Take a bath in the middle of the day. Go out without worrying about how things are going at home. if you do things for you, you will have more patience for your kids AND your kids will see that you DO deserve to be treated with respect.

    #2) Consequences are important and anyone who tells you that you should only discipline by doling out rewards has not been a parent long enough or is looking at parenting through rose-colored glasses. The trick is to be sure that the consequences are NATURAL consequences for their behavior. For example, if your child slams the bedroom door in your face, she loses the privilege of having a door to slam. Take it off the hinges and make her earn it back. If a toy brakes because she mistreated it, it gets tossed and NOT replaced. Ever. If she throws food on the floor, she must clean it up. Yes, this will be more work for you than if you did it yourself and it will possibly cause a bigger mess….of which she must clean up! If potty training and she poops in her pants, she must change her own clothes and clean herself up. She WILL make a poop mess on the floor and toilet doing it. You WILL want to take over. But she pooped in the pants, not you. It is her mess to clean. (It works…I have potty trained 150 children in my life). You must be patient and not take over. If she takes something that doesn’t belong to her, she must return it, apologize and then she loses the privilege of her own items. I took my son’s mattress, lamp, and blankets away after he stole 50 cents from my room. I told him that because he didn’t feel he needed to respect my property, he no longer has his property. He had to earn it all back.

    #3) Very hard to do….but very important….DON’T ENGAGE IN LONG CONVERSATIONS. If you give a direction and she argues, walk away. She always has an answer because you allow her the opportunity to answer then you add to it and now it has become a game of debate with you two. I know…the “pros” say to explain to the kids, allow them time to share their feelings. That is true to a certain extent. But only to a certain extent. Sometimes, it is what it is and that is final. Done. End of conversation. My son will go on for hours with me, my husband, his teachers, etc. He is lawyer material!!!! However, when I tell him, “this isn’t up for debate. I gave you a direction. End of conversation.” then I WALK AWAY..PHYSICALLY REMOVE MYSELF so they can’t argue with me. If I can’t walk away, I completely ignore…no talking, no eye contact, no loud sighs of frustration.

    #4) Like Beach Mama said, your husband needs to be on board. Have a private talk with him. He needs to support you IN FRONT OF THE KIDS 100% UNLESS YOU ARE PUTTING THE KIDS AT RISK OF HARM. If he disagrees with you, he needs to support you in front of them and then tell you privately why he disagreed. Again, my kids are 14 and 18. They try to play us against each other all the time. It used to get really bad. My husband and I fought and the kids got their way. Now, when my kids bitch about me, my husband tells them, “do not disrespect my wife to me.” The kids say it is unfair that he takes my side but they are learning a valuable lesson about partnership and marriage and commitment…and respect.

    Again, you can take this for what it is worth. There are no easy fixes but with patience and consistency, you will get through this! =))

    • I really appreciate this!! Thank you. You have given me alot to think about.
      I think it is easier to listen to a complete stranger who is not in my face telling me what I am doing wrong than it is someone who knows my daughter and calls her a heathen or out of control.
      And, you are right, everyone thinks they have the answer.
      thank you for your help!

      • No problem! And I wouldn’t be offended at all if you told me to stick my advice up my arse! Because really, Mommy does know best and you are the mommy here! =)

  4. As I don’t have a defiant 3 year old girl, I am not (I repeat – NOT) an expert. This just sounds like a whole pile of not fun times… So my probably terrible advice, turn it into a drinking game. Every time she gets a time out, you get a shot. You really will need the support of a partnering parent in this case – especially until the number of times out (and shots) decrease in frequency.
    Seriously though, best of luck. Kids are tough. Whatever you decide to do, consistency is huge (and hugely difficult).

  5. Ugh, that sounds frustrating. My boy is not defiant, but he’s clever and he will use every trick he knows to get his way. Bed time is like a marketplace at our house – the haggling is quite impressive. I just recently read “Connected Parenting” (http://connectedparenting.com/) – it’s not a new book, but I liked her approach. I got it from the library, so there’s no need to spend a fortune on advice books 🙂 Basically, what she says is that you have to put your agenda aside when you want something to get done. The most useful thing I found was the “mirroring” – you basically describe your child’s feelings for her. So with my toddler, when he was dawdling (he’s doing that a lot, especially in the mornings), I would say something like “you don’t like it when I tell you what to do. You want to decide for yourself what you are going to do next.”. For us, that was the issue, or at least that was what I think was the issue (if you’re not sure just try something – there’s a big difference in the child’s reaction if you hit the mark). So after that he would nod or say “yeah”, and then I’d say something like “but we need to get ready and go downstairs to have breakfast. So why don’t you pick your clothes and then we can dress and brush your teeth and go have breakfast?”. That gave him a sense of control, and especially knowing what’s going to come next. Mind you, those may not be issues for you anymore – my son is 2.5 – but the method is similar. It worked like a charm, but he’s not very defiant so maybe that’s all he needed. I can’t say I’m an expert at all, but I would suggest you read the book, she has some great suggestions.

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