Parenting--Toddlers/Infants/Pre-Schoolers/Extremely difficult three year old


Ellie wrote at 2012-11-30 13:23:44
I have an identical situation with my three year old - she could be your daughter, Heather!  Since this was posted in 2010, I am very curious if she's come around in the last two years (give me some hope!)  She acts out exactly as you describe, mostly only for me and her sister, is extremely controlling, has special tantrums and wants things done her way, screams a lot, gets violent, but at the same time is very bright, loving and passionate about everything.  I'm also doing my best, but feel defeated daily.  Any hope of what's to come would be much appreciated if you're still reading this blog!!!

Becky wrote at 2013-03-05 17:59:09

Your daughter sounds so much like my own 3 year old son. I see here your post is from 2010 and I am wondering what you found out or what has helped. We have found a lot of comfort in reading "Raising Your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. It's been so reassuring knowing that we are not alone in this challenging battle of effective parenting. Our next step may in fact be behavioral testing. Please let me know if you've found anything out in the last few years. Thank you and good luck! Becky


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Elizabeth Norris


I would like to help you raise children who are respectful and responsible and who seek positive outcomes for themselves and their interactions with others. Each child has their own learning style and each family has their own individual culture. I look for creative ways to address problems or concerns that arise when guiding young children. I am an Early Childhood Special Education teacher and work providing support and ideas to families of young children in the home. I have an understanding of typical and delayed development and can identify red flags in children who can benefit from specialized services. I also teach positive parenting courses to help parents understand why children misbehave and to develop strategies to effectively respond to those behaviors while honoring individual family values. I have a specific interest in children labeled as difficult, attention deficit or oppositional defiant. I am committed to finding ways children can positively participate in family or community activities. I empathize with children who donít feel they are fitting in and for parents who worry and feel criticized. I have a sense of humor and look for ways to reduce frustration and to foster playful interactions.


As a young child I experienced learning disabilities and had trouble fitting in. I was later diagnosed as dyslexic. My own daughter experienced similar issues and we were simultaneously diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. I have enjoyed working with children, especially those with special needs, for over 30 years. I have provided respite care, emergency foster care coached special Olympics and taught adaptive aquatics. I Worked full time as a classroom aide in a high school special education classroom prior to earning my teaching certificate. I have taught 5th grade, kindergarten and both integrated and self contained special education preschool classes. I have consulted to private preschools and Head Start classrooms regarding mainstreaming children with special needs. I currently work as an Early Childhood Special Education Teacher and provide home visits to families of developmentally delayed children ages birth to three. I am familiar with programs available to support families who have special education needs. I am particularly interested in supporting children labeled as difficult and fostering supportive environments for learning. I teach positive parenting courses in rural communities.

Parenting with Love and Logic INC. Special Olympics

Good Day Bad Day an inspirational story published in the book Why I Teach.

BS Elementary Education University of Oregon 1989 45 hours of graduate coursework in Special Education Oregon Educational Association certified in Early Childhood Special Education. Various teaching strategies and programs for language, cognitive, motor and social development. Strategies to assist families with children who demonstrate challenging behaviors. Parenting with Love and Logic facilitator.

Awards and Honors
Graduated University of Oregon with honors 1989

Past/Present Clients
Public regular education classrooms. Children and families with developmental disabilities. Children and families with behavior challenges. Parents who want to learn new parenting strategies. Parents who are court ordered to attend behavior management courses. Consultation to private and public preschool programs. Professional development to teachers.

©2016 All rights reserved.