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Old 08-14-2014, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Arizona
1,206 posts, read 2,160,475 times
Reputation: 1539

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Hi All,

I have a 3 year old Grandson and I watch him during the day while his mom is at work. It has been very difficult because he just isn't getting it when you say not to touch or do something. Example: We have all told him numerous times to not take other people things without asking, i.e. cell phones. Well yesterday he came to me saying I don't have anything in my backpack Grandma, and I said really? let me look in it and he was saying, no you don't have too cuz there isn't anything in there. Well my other daughter looked and we found a cell phone that I had told him at least 10 times to not touch. Also, he will be doing something he isn't supposed to so I'll tell him to stop, he will look right at me and do it again. He is much worse with his Mom. He doesn't listen to her AT ALL and our home is becoming a battle ground of her screaming at him, they live with us. I've tried to talk with her and let her know that screaming isn't the way to go, but it's hard to break old habbits.

I know he knows right from wrong, but it seems he just doesn't care and does it anyway. I'm at a loss as what to do. Friends have suggested having him see a child psychologist to see if maybe he has something else going on.

We've tried time-outs, taking toys away etc. and nothing is working.

HELP!
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
1,064 posts, read 1,365,248 times
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If he is caught stealing he goes right to his room for the rest of the day, except to come out for meals, and goes to bed immediately after dinner. Repeat as necessary.

His room should be stripped of toys and anything else that would make it fun or entertaining.
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:09 PM
 
3,735 posts, read 9,552,725 times
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He is 3........ And he has one or more parents that do not know how to parent a very young child. Screaming only shows that the parent has no clue. This is the problem. Until you can get some influence over her and her parenting, not much is going to change.

None of us know anything other than what you have written, but between the lines I bet there is little consistency and follow thru. So it is my personal opinion that he is trying to get attention. I think all should see the child psychologist.
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Old 08-14-2014, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,825 posts, read 17,116,304 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauramc27 View Post
Hi All,

I have a 3 year old Grandson and I watch him during the day while his mom is at work. It has been very difficult because he just isn't getting it when you say not to touch or do something. Example: We have all told him numerous times to not take other people things without asking, i.e. cell phones. Well yesterday he came to me saying I don't have anything in my backpack Grandma, and I said really? let me look in it and he was saying, no you don't have too cuz there isn't anything in there. Well my other daughter looked and we found a cell phone that I had told him at least 10 times to not touch. Also, he will be doing something he isn't supposed to so I'll tell him to stop, he will look right at me and do it again. He is much worse with his Mom. He doesn't listen to her AT ALL and our home is becoming a battle ground of her screaming at him, they live with us. I've tried to talk with her and let her know that screaming isn't the way to go, but it's hard to break old habbits.

I know he knows right from wrong, but it seems he just doesn't care and does it anyway. I'm at a loss as what to do. Friends have suggested having him see a child psychologist to see if maybe he has something else going on.

We've tried time-outs, taking toys away etc. and nothing is working.

HELP!
My God! He is three years old not an adult.

A three year old child does not understand who owns what property the same way that an adult does.

And even if he does understand ownership of possessions to a very limited degree a three year old does not have the restraint and self control that an adult has. Does Mom sometimes let him play games on the cell phone? How would a three year old understand that "yesterday, in the car Mom let me play with that toy (the cell phone) and it was OK but now she says that it belongs to her and I can't touch it" ? Or understand that he can play with some cell phones, some of the time but not other cell phones?

Are Mom's rules appropriate for a three year old child? Does Mom consistently follow through on the rules, expectations and what happens when a rule is broken? Does Mom have an appropriate and consistent bedtime and other routines for her child?

An adult parent screaming at her child? In almost all cases it is the adult that is the problem not the child.

Instead of taking the three year old to a child psychologist how about you and his mother going to parenting and classes on normal child development.

--------

Yes, there can be defiant and even emotionally disturbed three year olds (I used to assess and teach Early Childhood Special Education and have a Masters Degree in normal Early Childhood Development) but in almost all cases of problems like you are describing it is because the adults in charge either have unrealistic expectations of what a young child is capable of doing or else the adults do not have any rules at all or the adults are not consistent in how they deal with the child's behavior and sometimes all three things.

If you are really concerned refer your grandson to your local public school. They will provide free assessment of his behavior and free, appropriate educational services if he truly has special educational needs (but, from what you have written it is probably a parenting problem and not a problem with the child having special educational needs).

Please give us specific examples of how you know that the three year old "knows right from wrong" but "just doesn't care"? I don't want to make light of his problems if you are truly concerned. Yes, there are very young children, perhaps 1 in 1,000 that truly have a mental disorder where they do "know right from wrong but don't care". But from what you have written I doubt if your grandson is part of that tiny, tiny percentage of children (they tend to be the children that deliberately kill pets and hurt younger children). Has he killed small animals? Has he attacked others and tried to hurt them on purpose? If not, than either he is too young to really understand and "know right from wrong" or he really does care or probably both.

Last edited by germaine2626; 08-14-2014 at 05:49 PM..
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Old 08-14-2014, 04:44 PM
 
1,961 posts, read 3,739,945 times
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My 3 year old also consistently does things she is told not to. She is 3. It happens. It goes with the age. I just consistently remind her that she is not supposed to do X or take X. If she continues there are consequences: she does not get to enjoy a special treat, she has to sit in time out, she misses out on doing a specific activity - what the consequences are depends on what exactly she did.

3 year olds and be impulsive, and are not always thinking 3-4 steps down the road. As a parent or guardian it is our job to help guide them through this. Setting boundaries, positive reinforcement, show them by being an example.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Colorado
546 posts, read 1,481,133 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easternerDC View Post
My 3 year old also consistently does things she is told not to. She is 3. It happens. It goes with the age. I just consistently remind her that she is not supposed to do X or take X. If she continues there are consequences: she does not get to enjoy a special treat, she has to sit in time out, she misses out on doing a specific activity - what the consequences are depends on what exactly she did.

3 year olds and be impulsive, and are not always thinking 3-4 steps down the road. As a parent or guardian it is our job to help guide them through this. Setting boundaries, positive reinforcement, show them by being an example.

I have a 3 year old (almost 4) boy and I notice a big difference in his behavior just in the past year. When he first turned 3 it seemed everything was a battle. I remember at his 3 year well check the pediatrician said, "just hold your ground mom" and this popped in my head so many times over the past year. He would often repeat the same unwanted behaviors but I just kept at it, was consistent and he is now finally starting to "get it". We used time outs or taking away an activity just as the above poster mentioned. At some point it finally will click. I think both you and your daughter need to be sure you are on the same page and consistent about discipline and redirecting unwanted behaviors.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Arizona
1,206 posts, read 2,160,475 times
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specific examples of him know right from wrong are: He was put down for a nap, he got into his Mom's closet and took out a bag of make-up. I went to check on him and he immediately dropped the make-up on the floor and said sorry even before I knew what he was doing.

Another thing is the phone in the back pack. He specifically told me that there was nothing in the back pack and I didn't need to look in it. When my daughter did, there was the phone.

I have just not dealt with this before, my daughter was easier, so I'm not sure how to handle these situations. By the end of the day I'm exhausted from constantly reminding him not to touch things, or putting him in time out for taking/touching something he has already been reminded not to take/touch.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:42 PM
 
Location: Arizona
1,206 posts, read 2,160,475 times
Reputation: 1539
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winter01 View Post
I have a 3 year old (almost 4) boy and I notice a big difference in his behavior just in the past year. When he first turned 3 it seemed everything was a battle. I remember at his 3 year well check the pediatrician said, "just hold your ground mom" and this popped in my head so many times over the past year. He would often repeat the same unwanted behaviors but I just kept at it, was consistent and he is now finally starting to "get it". We used time outs or taking away an activity just as the above poster mentioned. At some point it finally will click. I think both you and your daughter need to be sure you are on the same page and consistent about discipline and redirecting unwanted behaviors.
That is one of the problems, she isn't consistent and her dad and I keep telling her that the rules need to be the same all around.

One example is, she would let him pee outside all the time, even at home where there are plenty of bathrooms for him to use. I spoke with her about this and said she needs to stop letting him do this because when he goes to pre-school he will think it's ok to drop his pants outside. So I and her Dad have said no more peeing outside, go in the potty. Tonight he asked if he could pee outside and she said yes, well my husband told her that that isn't ok because she also has to be consistent with the no peeing outside. She just said well it's night time and no one will see so she didn't think it a problem. We just don't know what to do/say to make her understand that her inconsistency is not doing him any good. He knows, with me, that bad behaviors have consequences and I am consistent with him. I just feel some days he is in time-out so much.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,825 posts, read 17,116,304 times
Reputation: 40512
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauramc27 View Post
specific examples of him know right from wrong are: He was put down for a nap, he got into his Mom's closet and took out a bag of make-up. I went to check on him and he immediately dropped the make-up on the floor and said sorry even before I knew what he was doing.

Another thing is the phone in the back pack. He specifically told me that there was nothing in the back pack and I didn't need to look in it. When my daughter did, there was the phone.

I have just not dealt with this before, my daughter was easier, so I'm not sure how to handle these situations. By the end of the day I'm exhausted from constantly reminding him not to touch things, or putting him in time out for taking/touching something he has already been reminded not to take/touch.
Is the house "child proofed" or are you just expecting him not to touch the breakable knick-knacks on the low shelves, the cell phone sitting out on the coffee table, the pill bottles on the bathroom sink, the candy next to your chair, the cleaning supplies in the cabinet? Remember that he is only three years old and a three year old does not comprehend things like an adult and also has a short attention span and very poor impulse control. What kinds of things are you telling him that he can't touch?

The make-up and cell phone had to be where he could easily find them and get them or he wouldn't have found them. Or did he get out a ladder and climb to a tall shelf? Or unlock a door? Or get them from out of a purse on top of a tall entertainment center or dresser?

Or were they sitting at child's height right out in the open?

Can part of the house, perhaps just the living room be child proofed so that he does not need to be constantly told "No"? My son, was constantly "into" everything at that age as well but we put the unsafe things out of reach and used cabinet door latches and other things like that and very rarely had any problems at all.

Last edited by germaine2626; 08-15-2014 at 12:01 PM..
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,825 posts, read 17,116,304 times
Reputation: 40512
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauramc27 View Post
That is one of the problems, she isn't consistent and her dad and I keep telling her that the rules need to be the same all around.

One example is, she would let him pee outside all the time, even at home where there are plenty of bathrooms for him to use. I spoke with her about this and said she needs to stop letting him do this because when he goes to pre-school he will think it's ok to drop his pants outside. So I and her Dad have said no more peeing outside, go in the potty.

Tonight he asked if he could pee outside and she said yes, well my husband told her that that isn't ok because she also has to be consistent with the no peeing outside. She just said well it's night time and no one will see so she didn't think it a problem. We just don't know what to do/say to make her understand that her inconsistency is not doing him any good. He knows, with me, that bad behaviors have consequences and I am consistent with him. I just feel some days he is in time-out so much.
It is probable that her allowing him to urinate outside "one more time" put back his use of indoor bathrooms back several weeks if not several months. And if she allows him to urinate outside again, it probably would "reset the clock" again and take even more months before he totally stops urinating outside, or at least asking to urinate outside.

Multiple this with every rule that she is not consistent about and you have a pretty sad and confused little boy, who probably does not understand why something was OK last night but not OK today. And why he is getting a time out for something this morning when Mom let him do the very same thing last night or last week.
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