Is she just being terrible 3s or something else??????

United States
January 30, 2009 10:54am CST
Ok I need some serious advice. I'm about to pull my hair out. I have a 3 year old daughter. She is a good and smart girl, but lately we are having some major issues with her. Her biological dad came into her life January last year. Since then we had issues. She will not wanting to mind, back talk, not following instructions. This has been going on for over a year now. She used to go to daycare, but after I had my son is sept I took her out of daycare so she could be home with me. I am wanting to put her back in daycare once I find a job working from home and income that I can depend on. I know when she is at her dad's house they let her do whatever she wants and when she wants. Well here she has rules to follow and she can't do as she pleases here. I have noticed that she will say I have to go potty and I will tell her go potty, well 5-10 minutes later she hasn't came back from the bathroom. Well when I go to check on her she p uis playing with things in the bathroom. (ex water, make up, hair brushes, etc) Well she like to play in the living room where I am studying and where the baby is. I tell her she can get one toy, with her one toy is like 5 or 6 toys. Then she will stop playing with them and go in her room and destroy it. I will tell her to pick her toys and she will get mad and show an ATTITUDE!!! The past few days has been worse and I don't understand why. When it is nap time I lay her down and I will go in to check on her because I can hear her making noises from the bedroom. She has started getting up and playing with her toys instead of taking a nap. This has happened alot. So I put her back into bed and then when I get her I put her in the corner and I explain to her why she is in there. Then later I will ask her why she was in trouble and she will tell me she doesn't know. She also has started lying. She said she was going to potty and instead she went to her room and started playing. She didn't know that I was following her. She had gotten into trouble earlier that day so she couldn't play with her toys so that is why she did what she did. When she plays in the living room she'll start jumping around and starts acting as if she is going to hit her 4 month old brother. Then this morning I went to get her up and she wasn't in her bed, nor the bathroom, nor her older brother's room. She is in the dining room playing when she was suppose to be in bed. What should I do??? Could she be ADD or ADHD or just her age? Any advice is very helpful....
1 person likes this
12 responses
@rsk721 (41)
• United States
30 Jan 09
Wow, you really have your hands full! I don't have a daughter, but I do have two sons and I must admit that the worst age they ever went through was 3years old. My children are three years apart also and I remember wanting to go crazy! I think at 3 they are just starting to copy others, testing all boundaries, and just starting to figure out what works socially and what doesn't. The thing that helped me most was a support network so I didn't lose my cool and being consistent. I know it's hard to do if she is going to her dad's where everything is different (I had the same situation). My son and I would sit on the couch when he got back and go over the rules like: No lying, Pick up my toys, etc. He also stopped taking naps at 3, but he had to stay in bed and look at books or something quiet for a certain amount of time. I also made smaller punishments so I had more to work with throughout the day. Like instead of taking all of his toys, I would take the favorite of the hour and it woud go up, then when he did something else I could take the next one. Otherwise I was running out of ways to punish. I also made ways for him to earn them back like if he helped with the baby he would get his choice of toy back, or if he picked up when he was told he could get some other reward. That way I wasn't only punishing, but I was rewarding too. I hope this helps!
• United States
30 Jan 09
That is how me and my husband displine the kids. If you are in trouble you get things taken away and if you do something really good or do a chore without us asking you get one thing back. It works but with my daughter it's not working. We actually had to take her toys out of her room.
@GAUCI123 (1042)
• Malta
30 Jan 09
Well I have a three year old too and I know what are you feeling right now. I think all this girls need is some attention, she keeps disobeying you because she needs attention, my childs does it several times and she gave me a hard time in getting her to kindergarden. Try to leave your son with someone you care and spend sometime with her, take her to the swings and play with her , so she feels your presence and she feels loved. Sometimes it is difficult to have time to play with them so that is why children tend to trouble us to gain attention. Your child has to live with two different families yours and her father's family which leaves her uncertain in who she really is.
• United States
30 Jan 09
I have done that. Its too cold for us to go out side and she has ezcema which is worse right now. She has alot of allergies outside. We would color, play board games, read, play the wii, dress up and just whatever else. She is easily distracted. I'm wondering if she is acting out because of her bio dad. He never wanted her only his mom. When I was pregnant with her he told me that the baby wasn't his or that was it. His mother on the other hand wanted her. In my state there isn't any grandparent rights in my state so she couldn't take me to court. So she forced him to take me to court and thinking they could get out of paying back child support. Well he was forced to pay over $16000 in back child support and he isn't paying that now. He never picks her up and when I call to check on her he isn't around only the grandma. He had to be around for the first 3 months because it was limited visitation but after that he isn't around.
@mammamuh (582)
• Sweden
2 Feb 09
I agree with the others - she need some attention! Many 3 y.o doesn't nap. none of my have.... Perhaps she doesn't need to nap - esp. since she's not doing anything during the daysleaving toys *lol* happens all the time - even if they way older. A 3 yo doesn't lie - they are not grown ups - they forget, they make things up and they become real for them. I think she sounds like a perfectly normal 3 yo with way less activites than she needs. Give her some of your time!
• South Africa
1 Feb 09
I know it may sound crazy but with her dad coming into her life, she may be reacting to that and so I suggest some sort of counselling. It could be her way of dealing with things. Remember that youngsters are sponges and all that happens around them is absorbed in some form and affects them too.
• United States
31 Jan 09
Kids need cosistency structure and routine. Your daughter has gone from a daily schedule at daycare, to being at home all day (with a new baby!) where the routine is probably more relaxed. Then she goes to Dad's which sounds like a free-for-all. Try to keep things at home as consitent and routine as possible and she will adjust. Also remember that 3 year olds like to push their limits to see just what they will be able to get away with :)
• United States
31 Jan 09
please dont be so quick to label her She is only 3 years old I think the biggest part of the problem is the INconsistancy her father lets her get away with everything which is great if you are the child but its not doing anyone any favors to be like that he needs to get with the program you need to have a serious talk with him about how he is effecting you and the child children need consistancy and structure neither of those he is providing
• United States
31 Jan 09
Well i think that her dad isn't on the same page as you and this is a needed thing in parenting. Both parents weather together or separated need to have bounderies and rules. and if one has and enforces the rules and the other one lets her do what she wants when she wants then it confuses the child and she starts to see the difference of the parenting structure. And so she acts out and challenges the bounderies and rules. what she needs is structure and bounderies from both sides other wise she will continue to act this way. My advice is to talk to her father and some how work something out. You need to stay strong and you and your ex need to work together for your daughter. Let him see how she acts when she is home with you. that way he has the idea and both you and him can work on helping your daughter with everything. Remember you and him are doing this for the child not each other.
• United States
31 Jan 09
I would just think that she may being having trouble adjusting to her real father being in her life I went through this with my son at this same age and it took him a long while before he could tell that things were different here at home than at dads house I set my son down and talked to him about it its amazing what a 3 year old can understand I would say that it is a mix between this and her age instead of punishing her try to sit her down and talk to her to where she may understand you and ask her why she is doing this and try to get her to talk consulting a doctor of course would not hurt! good luck hun with this
@izathewzia (5142)
• Philippines
31 Jan 09
Try to seek professional help. Your child might need special therapy to correct her behavior. The specialist could help you better. They know what to do for certain situations. For sure, they will be of big help and your child will grow normally.
• United States
30 Jan 09
I think it just may be her being used to getting her way at one home and not at the other. Plus, it just seems like she's pushing buttons to see how far she can get. Keep in mind, lying with children really isn't lying. They don't see a lie as a lie. They honestly feel that what they are telling you in the truth especially with the younger ages. For example, they may spill a glass of water or something and when you ask them if they did it, they'll say no because they don't think they've done it. Let's say, they bump the table and knock the glass over, they didn't actually touch the glass to knock it over, the table did it. They did not, therefore they are not lying in their mind when they 'lie'. I hope this at least helps you a bit.
@fordka (5)
• United States
30 Jan 09
I have a 3 year old as well. It is not abnormal for her to do the things you discribed on a regular basis. She like to get into stuff in the bathroom every time she goes, we supervise her in there, In fact she refuses to really even go unless one of us open the door and stand in there with her. Normally she is very independent, but the bathroom is something we do with her. It works, but it does become tedious. She really never puts her toys away and I have to do it or tell her she can't do something unless she picks up. SHe never just gets 1 toy. WOW, that would be a shocker. Naps are another thing. I very rarely get her to lay down for one. We have "quite time" that works okay. She does take them at day care just not for us. I guess I just thought this is the way all 3 year olds were. She is really starting to listen to us. Seems like we only have to tell her a couple or one time to do something and it will get done. With the exception of picking up her toys. ;( Good luck with your little one. When Biological dads get involved behaviors can change drastically. GOod luck.
@mjaelaws (26)
• United States
30 Jan 09
First of all she is not ADD or ADHD it is however very normal for you to have that thought run through your mind. My son is five and it has run through my mind thousands of times since he was old enough to understand me and follow instructions. Basically since he could talk at about 2 1/2. Even to this day I want to pull out my hair with him. I read that someone else mentioned that 3 was the worst age for them too and I have to agree. It seemed like the whole terrible two things is a fraud and that it should be terrible threes. The best thing you can do is keep your routine at home and don't deviate from it. I know with a baby it's hard I have a 1 year old daughter too and our routine got thrown off so bad when she was born we are still struggling to get it back on track especially since she is such a hand full. You may want to ask her dad to establish a similar routine at his home let him know you are trying to get a good balance to help her listen better. I'm sure this is a little confusing to her to have him come into her life and going over there where there is no discipline it automatically sets you up to be the bad guy and of course she will act out. And at this age they are figuring out how to test their limits and how far you will let them go before you will put them in time out or give them a swat on the butt. I could go on forever on advice but the first thing you should do is get on the same page as her dad. I really believe that is the source of the problem. Give her a little more independence when you are able to since she is exploring right now. Make sure that when you threaten discipline you have to follow through otherwise they pick up on that and they will test you a lot. Maybe you can let her help with the baby that helped a bit for us. He didn't feel as if he was just having to compete for attention all the time. Good luck.