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Old 07-23-2010, 03:49 PM   #1
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How do I do this?

How in the world do I deal with my three year old when he flat out refuses to do anything I ask him to. Right now he is throwing the worlds biggest fit because I told him to pick up the bowel of (dry) cereal he purposely dumped all over the floor.

I told him nicely two times to pick it up. Decided he would rather throw himself on the floor and kick and scream. Half hour later he's still throwing the same fit.

I put him in time out once for three minutes - he still wouldn't pick up and is still telling me NO. I just don't know what to do. It's not so much about the fact that he spilled the cereal on purpose...now it's about this ridiculous fit he;s throwing. I just want him to listen. This happens EVERY time he is told to do something.

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Old 07-23-2010, 05:04 PM   #2
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Re: How do I do this?

When my DD does this (she's 3 and tried this on once or twice), I give her the t.o. then take her over to the cereal and "make" her pick it up. That is I hold her hands and physically "help" her do it. I stay very calm and don't get upset. She needs to know that the behavior is not acceptable without being frightened by my response. Then I thank her for cleaning it up and tell her next time if she makes a poor choice she can expect to clean it up too.
IMO when I give the t.o. it is really for me to relax and get my approach and mind right for a minute before confronting the behavior. Then she has to "right the wrong", so to speak, or next time in her little mind I think it would go something like, "pick up my clothes or have a time out and mommy will pick them up".
The other thing that is really working lately is she has to be "by herself". She does not want to be alone. So if I take her and say, "you aren't listening so now you have to be by yourself", she immediately snaps to. What does your son NOT want to have happen? Then play into that maybe? I'd kind of ignore the snot and tears until it's over. Then I'd say, "I see your having a lot of feelings about this. Would you like to talk about it?"

HTH! GL! Hugs
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:13 PM   #3
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Re: How do I do this?

My DS will sometimes get into these power struggles with me. Lately I have to remind myself to not yell by counting to 10 first. Then....I pick him up and put him on his bed, tell him that he can tell me when he is done, then I shut his door. He finishes his fit pretty soon after that, then he says "MOM! I'm done." I go in and we talk about it for a bit, then he comes out and behaves MUCH better.

Maybe try this. Time outs work well as well, but really only after his fit is pretty much calming down. So....after his time in his room.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:55 PM   #4
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Re: How do I do this?

That's EXACTLY what I do. Time out, both of us have time to cool off and I can figure out the best approach. He says he's done throwing a fit and that he is sorry and I tell him that his behavior is not allowed. He says okay. We walk back to the room where he has to 'right his wrong' and there he goes again. This can sometimes go on for an hour.

I've tried to bribe him saying that he can't go play outside like he wanted to or that I was going to take away his favorite toy at the moment and he just says that he didn't want to go play or doesn't like that toy.

I'm hoping that with my repetitive actions after his tantrums he finally gets it. One can hope.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:25 PM   #5
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Re: How do I do this?

because this sounds a lot like my little terror. Argh! We've had the WORST day!
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:41 PM   #6
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Re: How do I do this?

Yeah today was a bad day for us too. He had over 4 of those little tantrums that wouldn't end, and he did them basically every time I had to sit and rock my 10 month old who has an ear infection and is teething. I think it is his cry for attention, but what can I do when I have to calm down the baby. KWIM? I guess tomorrow I'll have to try to do more fun times with the older 2 whenever I can get the baby calm either on my back on napping. ((SIGH))
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:55 PM   #7
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Re: How do I do this?

I rarely force my 2.5 year old to do anything but I make the alternative or consequence at lot worse than just obeying mommy. I would just leave him sitting by the cereal and tell him he can get up to play whenever the cereal is cleaned up. Wouldn't bother me if he sat there all day. Eventually they will do it and I think it would be better for him to choose himself to obey than being physically forced too. Plus then it is not a battle between you and him. It is just him making a choice and trust me, when everyone else is going about their day and he is stuck sitting on the floor by some crusty old cereal, it would get picked up in a hurry.
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:42 PM   #8
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Re: How do I do this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by doodah View Post
I rarely force my 2.5 year old to do anything but I make the alternative or consequence at lot worse than just obeying mommy. I would just leave him sitting by the cereal and tell him he can get up to play whenever the cereal is cleaned up. Wouldn't bother me if he sat there all day. Eventually they will do it and I think it would be better for him to choose himself to obey than being physically forced too. Plus then it is not a battle between you and him. It is just him making a choice and trust me, when everyone else is going about their day and he is stuck sitting on the floor by some crusty old cereal, it would get picked up in a hurry.
ITA, however I must add that I do this and it backfires a lot. When it does backfire the said person who is not listening goes straight to bed knowing when they wake up the mess will still be there for them to pick up.

so that is what my answer is to attitude....BED TIME!
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:15 AM   #9
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Re: How do I do this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by doodah View Post
I rarely force my 2.5 year old to do anything but I make the alternative or consequence at lot worse than just obeying mommy. I would just leave him sitting by the cereal and tell him he can get up to play whenever the cereal is cleaned up. Wouldn't bother me if he sat there all day. Eventually they will do it and I think it would be better for him to choose himself to obey than being physically forced too. Plus then it is not a battle between you and him. It is just him making a choice and trust me, when everyone else is going about their day and he is stuck sitting on the floor by some crusty old cereal, it would get picked up in a hurry.
I do this too.
Depending on the situation, I will also remove my 2.5 yo to sit somewhere by herself until she can be a "big girl" meaning no whining/yelling/etc. I periodically check up on her and ask her if she is ready to be a big girl now. Sometimes she says yes and sometimes no. When she is ready and calmed down she knows she can come and find me. Hugs and we resolved the situation together. I have found giving her the time to work out her frustration as opposed to setting a 3 minute TO makes her more cooperative and we both feel better.
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:55 AM   #10
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Re: How do I do this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by doodah View Post
I rarely force my 2.5 year old to do anything but I make the alternative or consequence at lot worse than just obeying mommy. I would just leave him sitting by the cereal and tell him he can get up to play whenever the cereal is cleaned up. Wouldn't bother me if he sat there all day. Eventually they will do it and I think it would be better for him to choose himself to obey than being physically forced too. Plus then it is not a battle between you and him. It is just him making a choice and trust me, when everyone else is going about their day and he is stuck sitting on the floor by some crusty old cereal, it would get picked up in a hurry.
I do this a lot and it seems to work pretty well, but what if the child doesn't stay sitting next to the cereal? I know, keep picking them up and bringing them back, right? But then it seems like it becomes a power struggle because dd will play that "game" for a good hour--run off, put back, run off, put back...
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