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Parenting--Toddlers/Infants/Pre-Schoolers/Sudden change in my 3 year old girl's behavior


I'm very worried about this sudden change in behavior in my 3 year old child.

She s been  perfectly potty trained for a year, and her teacher tells me that she s been wetting herself everyday for a week.

Also she told me that for the past week she has been regressing significantly at school, not finishing her schoolwork, not answering when they ask her question.

This is very sudden since she is normally very outgoing and never has trouble at school.

Something else that i have noticed is that she has been suddenly refusing that her nany bathes her. Which has never ever been a problem before. They get along really well.

I have to say that i have been away for the weekend and left her and her siblings with her grandparents.

But the potty training regression had started before i left. Also, i came back at the beginning of the week and that was when her schoolwork changed so i doubt it has anything to do with me.

How can i find out what has caused this sudden regression in my child? what could she be struggling with?

Please help.

Hello Val,

 Besides asking those people who have been with your daughter for the past few weeks, there is perhaps nothing you can do to determine why she has experienced a regression.
Often, young children have regressions and you can't figure out why it has happened.  However, you can deal with this period of regression by being patient, loving, and supportive until she gets over it and returns to the approximate level at which she was before,

Any questions?

James Windell


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James Windell


I can answer questions related to normal child development, disturbed behavior and how to provide appropriate guidance and discipline.


I've been a clinical psychologist in a juvenile court, worked in school settings, been a child psychotherapist in a private psychiatric clinic and consulted with schools, courts, hospitals and daycare centers.

American Psychological Association
Michigan Psychological Association

I have been a columnist with the Oakland Press (Oakland County, MI) for 21 years writing a weekly column called Coping With Kids, which is also published weekly in the Staten Island Advance. I have been a mental health columnist with the Detroit Free Press and a columnist for Working Mother Magazine. In addition, I have published articles in professional journals. I have published 16 books, among them are "8 Weeks to a Well-Behaved Child" (IDG Books), "Discipline: A Sourcebook of 50 Failsafe Techniques for Parents" (IDG Books); "Children Who Say No When You Want Them to Say Yes" (IDG Books), "What You Need to Know About Ritalin" (Bantam Books) "6 Steps to an Emotionally Intelligent Teenagers" (John Wiley & Sons), "The Fatherstyle Advantage" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) and "Defusing High Conflict Divorce" (Impact Publishers). My latest parenting book (2012) is "The Everything Child Psychology and Development Book." Articles about my work with parents has appeared in the New York Times, the Chicago Sun Times, the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. My website at includes more information about me, my books and includes many columns I've written.

B.A. in Psychology from Wayne State University
M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Oakland University

Awards and Honors
Best Educational Program by Juvenile and Family Court Judges Association (National award for the development of a parent training program for parents of delinquent teenagers. Beth Clark Service Award from the Michigan Psychological Association.

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