Punishing a 3.5 year old. What do you do?

posted 3 years ago in Parenting
Post # 5
663 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’m not quite where you are as my son is only 2. But he has starting throwing his food so he goes straight to the wall with a timer set for a minute for their age. After about 4 days he stopped the throwing food. He did it again about a week later so he went to the wall and its been a week ago since he’s done. I don’t think any child is the same and you just have to try until something works… 

Post # 6
567 posts
Busy bee

@Waitingbee57:  Hello:) So I took a lot of child psychology in college and may go back to grad school to become a child psychologist.

First of all my advice is stop with the bootcamp like punishment:) As only spanking. I totally see your frustration and a lot of parents including me would do the same things you are, but you gotta try to remember when you were a kid and what your parents made you (putting your nose to the wall) or being locked in your room, or being spanked..how did that really make you want to be a better kid?  I am sure if you can remember it didn’t make you want to obey your parents but instead made you want to act out even more.  I mean really when you spank kids or yell at them, they pretty much zone out and don’t listen to you and then all they can think is Mommy’s a mean mommy and she hurts me and why is mommy and daddy hurting me.  You want to MAKE SURE they KNOW what they did wrong:)

I know a great mom, who when her son acts out ( he is 2) she says in a very calm voice, do you want to leave the table go over and talk about it (in a very nuturing supportive voice) usually the kids stops crying or stops making a fit because he doesnt want to leave the table at the restaurant and go sit in the car.

Another great tip is accountability.  If you tell your son he will not be able to play with his favorite toy or watch his favorite movie if he keeps acting up, and he doesn’t stop, then make sure you live up to your word and take away things he enjoys.  Taking away things kids enjoy is ther best way I think, to get them to take some sort of responsibility for their actions.

Also when your kid acts up, one of the #1 things I remember my professor harping on is, do not talk to your child like they are a child, do not belittle them and make them feel like your are the general and they are a slave.  If you need to tell your little one that they are going in time out for writing on the walls for the 5th time… then grab their hand gently and squat down to their level (always squat down to their level, as if you are respecting them and treating them like a human rather than just a kid) then say, “now do you know why you are in time out?” “they will say no or yes or ignore you and make sure they look at you” and  gently say “It is because Mommy told you not to draw on the walls and you still did it” …Then give the child and option…. say “you can either sit in time out for 8minutes or you don’t get to play with (whatever his toy is) for the rest of the night”  the kid will hate choosing but will be forced to and will learn that it doesn’t want to have it’s toys taken away. 

Always always explain in a gentle way why the child is being punished and always get on their level and look them in the eye when telling them, maybe even give them a supportive hug before they have to sit in time out.  Then when the time is up, say okay, you can come out of time out now.  Maybe even test them and say ok, not what did Mommy said you shouldn’t do from now on to the walls?  & if they get it right they get rewarded….with say a cookie or something small they would want.

So Making sure the child knows what they are doing wrong and also using postive reinforcement will solve your problems:)  Watch some 911 Nanny episodes…They have a lot of great extreme examples of dealing with bad behaviors and kids:)

Post # 8
856 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

My 4 year old is a handful. She just is head strong and mouthy! She doesn’t say bad things but if you say sit and be quiet she will say but moooom I’m trying to tell you something and you won’t even listen. We don’t do back talk so she gets in trouble every time.

Be consistent. Find what works and don’t stop. Caylee gets sit to her room and stays for 5 minutes until she has to come and listen to what she did wrong and say sorry. If she does it again I take her ipod or a toy.

I don’t really spank her bc she hasn’t done much to warrant it but I’ve smacked her hand lightening fast and that seems to work if she keeps doing something. Just be consistent!

Post # 9
975 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta

@Waitingbee57:  Reinforce good behaviour. Almost all bad behavior is for attention, if he doesn’t get any for being bad and lots of good attention for being good he will want to behave. Bad behaviour is ignored, like when he has his nose to the wall don’t talk or look or give him any attention at all. Do you explain why he has his nose to the wall? Do you make him apologize after? 

Post # 10
856 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

One thing that works wonders for my DD is as soon as she does something wrong I grab her and just calmly say “caylee, do you think what you just did is ok” or “did you hear me say not to do x? Why did you do it anyway”? She stops and actually thinks about what she did and usually that stops the behavior.

Post # 14
293 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

@Waitingbee57:  My FI is a teacher and he recommended looking up Harry Wong and his classroom management techniques – they are generally used with kids a bit older than your son, but they are very good ways for ensuring that there’s respect on both sides and create a discipline structure that is 100% fair for both of you.

I second the suggestion to stop corporal/boot camp-type punishments except in extreme circumstances (he’s hurting others or himself, basically), especially ones that take away your son’s bodily autonomy. Those sorts of punishments teach your kid: (1) that his body is not his own to control (and, as a correlary, that other people’s bodies aren’t their own to control), and (2) that coercing someone to behave in a desired manner via bodily control or some relational power is ok. These early lessons could completely undermine anything you try and teach him about respecting others’ bodies and personal lives later.

Post # 15
810 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Don’t feel like a bad mom! Kid’s are a challenge and every mom feels this way at some point or other.

Obviously, I don’t know your particular little one, but for my step daughter I figured out that she acts out just to get a rise out of me or her dad.

Being cool calm an collected works like a charm with her.

Another thing: we went through a phase with her where whenever she would cry at the fall of a hat to get attention. The crazy kind of cry where she checks out of the real world and you cannot even start to get through to her. The VERY effective policy that we came up with was that if she burst into tears an was unable to communicate that she was allowed to cry but needed to go to her room to calm down and then let us know when she was calm enough to talk through whatever it was she was feeling. (Our line “we want to help you feel better but can’t if you don’t tell us what’s wrong) This did two things. 1. Extra crying for the sake of attention stopped because it wasn’t as fun for her anymore. 2. She got exceptionlly good at vocalizing her emotions, which has proven SO helpful.

Part of his acting out is probably that it gets a rise out of you. Maybe tell him that if he is misbehaving that you will leave and that he can come get you when he is ready to communicate more effectively.

Just food for thought.

Kids love attention, positive and negative sometimes. Don’t let them learn that acting out is an effective way to get attention

Post # 16
454 posts
Helper bee

@Waitingbee57:  you need to do a little more spanking then. It sounds like he has too much freedom for my taste.

also, standing at the wall can have detrimental effects, but then again, so can spanking.

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