Parenting--Toddlers/Infants/Pre-Schoolers/3.5 yr old extremely stubborn

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Question
My 3.5yr old daughter is extremely demanding,stubborn &disobedient.
she is compleletly ignoring me if stop her from doing sumthing.she wakes up early morning ask for milk Iif i say no to it she cries.i want to ween her from bottle feeding..every 5min she demand sumthind ,if sayno to it she cries.also in public she will do something for which i have
to stop.my biggest problem is she never holds hand in outdoor and run heywire.she snatches things from people hands.she dosent understand the word wait.if she sees a dog she try to climb on it instead of just caressing the dog.i feeel that may b i am not assertive enough so that she listen to m,e.i tried smooth talk,time out,threat,but she is not sared of anything.only way i can stop her is physically.or stop taking her out.i am left with these two option one stop her outdoors or using my physical power no other wY is working.please help urgently.

Answer
Hello Raina,
It is very frustrating to parent a child who is demanding, persistent, and noncompliant.
Also, the frustration is compounded if your child is aggressive or a risk-taker.
Passivity is not the best approach for your child. You may be inclined to be passive with your daughter, but you cannot set firm limits and enforce them if you are too passive.
I think the best way to try to make things more tolerable and pleasant for you is to, first, accept that you must take a more active approach to handling her. That means a few things. For instance, it means that you have to make it very clear ahead of time what it is your expect or what the rules or limits are. For example, if you are taking her on a visit and you know there is a dog where you are taking her, you can tell her what you expect: "When we get there, they have a dog. I want you to be friendly and gentle with the dog. You can pet the dog gently, but you cannot climb on the dog." Or, "When we are walking to the shop, you must hold my hand. We cannot start walking until you hold my hand."
Also, you must be firm about rules or limits. That is, when you say that something is a rule or that she must stop a behavior, then you should state this in a firm, authoritative tone of voice (usually a deeper, stronger voice), you must look her in the eye, and you must have a serious expression on your face.
Another thing, is that you may have to use negative consequences for her failing to follow rules. This could mean time-out, for instance, if she violates a rule.
Finally, you must ignore her crying or whining, and not give in if she cries after you have said no.
I hope this helps to get you started in bringing about some changes. If you have further questions, email me again at any time.
Best,
James Windell  

Parenting--Toddlers/Infants/Pre-Schoolers

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James Windell

Expertise

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

Experience

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.

Organizations
American Psychological Association
Michigan Psychological Association

Publications
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 Jimwindell.com includes more information about me, my books and includes many columns I've written.

Education/Credentials
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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