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Old 01-29-2014, 04:01 PM
 
4,176 posts, read 3,896,513 times
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Need some advice here. My 3.5-year-old, more often than not, is an absolute monster in the morning. It's reached the point at which it's strongly and negatively impacting my quality of life. I normally am the one to bring her to pre-school (my wife picks her up). She enjoys school, but obviously doesn't enjoy getting ready.

She'll do things like refuse to get dressed, or pull off the clothes we've put on her. She will hide under blankets, she'll hit, scream, throw things. We're in Minnesota so there is much more to wear this time of year, which just gives her more opportunity to object. She'll unzip her coat, throw her hat off, throw her mittens. It's not until I have everything on her and she's strapped into the car that I have control. By this time I've generated a massive headache that doesn't go away for several hours. I feel terrible and guilty for yelling at her, often right in her face.

I realize that threes are terrible and worse than twos. Is her behaviour typical? Can anyone offer any words of wisdom for this situation?
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:04 PM
 
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Screaming at her in her face does not accomplish anything.

Pick her and her clothing up, strap her in the vehicle and take her to pre school, clothing and all.
Then tell her she either gets dressed properly in the vehicle before you take her in or she goes in school wearing nothing.
Then wrap her in a blanket and carry her and her clothing inside, it is doubtful she will want all of her friends to see her wearing nothing.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSD610 View Post
Screaming at her in her face does not accomplish anything.
Agreed, which is partly why I feel bad. It's just a reaction though.

Quote:
Pick her and her clothing up, strap her in the vehicle and take her to pre school, clothing and all.
Then tell her she either gets dressed properly in the vehicle before you take her in or she goes in school wearing nothing.
Then wrap her in a blanket and carry her and her clothing inside, it is doubtful she will want all of her friends to see her wearing nothing.
Interesting idea, though I wonder what the school would think about putting on a performance like this. My sense is that would generate a lot more humiliation for me than for her.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:08 PM
 
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My daughter was a nightmare in the morning at that age. Turns out she just wanted control of everything. We got her an alarm clock, laid out her clothes the night before, and gave her plenty of time to get ready.

You may want to try it.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Back at home in western Washington!
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Talk to the school ahead of time. Let them know your struggles and what you are planning to do. Trust me that they have seen parents struggle before and it will not shock them, nor will they think you less of a parent. Without a doubt, being told "You cannot come to school without your pants and shoes on" by her teacher will make a huge impression on her.

This is the beginnings of a power struggle...and you need to nip this in the bud right now. It will get worse if you don't. By not participating in the struggle, you take your daughter's power away. Shrug and be indifferent when she refuses to get dressed...and then do what CSD610 said - take her to school.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:16 PM
 
3,153 posts, read 2,868,013 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Globe199 View Post
Need some advice here. My 3.5-year-old, more often than not, is an absolute monster in the morning. It's reached the point at which it's strongly and negatively impacting my quality of life. I normally am the one to bring her to pre-school (my wife picks her up). She enjoys school, but obviously doesn't enjoy getting ready.

She'll do things like refuse to get dressed, or pull off the clothes we've put on her. She will hide under blankets, she'll hit, scream, throw things. We're in Minnesota so there is much more to wear this time of year, which just gives her more opportunity to object. She'll unzip her coat, throw her hat off, throw her mittens. It's not until I have everything on her and she's strapped into the car that I have control. By this time I've generated a massive headache that doesn't go away for several hours. I feel terrible and guilty for yelling at her, often right in her face.

I realize that threes are terrible and worse than twos. Is her behaviour typical? Can anyone offer any words of wisdom for this situation?
My son was the same way about getting dressed. It was awful. I was able to gain more cooperation by counting to three and taking things away. For example, if he wouldn't let me get his clothes on him, maybe was hiding under the blankets, I'd say, I'm going to count to three and if you don't come out and start getting dressed by the time I get to three then you're going to lose X (usually some treat or dessert - never anything that I couldn't easily enforce). The first time I made really sure he understood the consequences, and he clearly did. After a couple of times of losing things, he got a lot better. Occasionally he'd test me to see if I'd still do it, and I always did. bribes also worked, but not as well (I'll give you a cookie, but only when you're in the car). I generally don't argue about things like mittens and hats - if he wants to be cold, he can be cold. Yelling definitely is the worst thing, though - once you are clearly angry, it only seems to feed their own bad behavior.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:17 PM
 
3,153 posts, read 2,868,013 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Globe199 View Post
Agreed, which is partly why I feel bad. It's just a reaction though.



Interesting idea, though I wonder what the school would think about putting on a performance like this. My sense is that would generate a lot more humiliation for me than for her.
As a former teacher, I'm afraid we'd have to discuss calling child protective services if someone put on a scene like that in our school. I don't recommend it. It's just too dramatic.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:22 PM
 
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Put her to bed in the clothes she's going to wear the next day. Better happy and wrinkled....
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by reebo View Post
Put her to bed in the clothes she's going to wear the next day. Better happy and wrinkled....
Also not a bad idea. I had a roommate in college who used to do this for her early classes. Kinda gross when you're 20 not so much when you're 3
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:28 PM
 
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We've tried taking things away, but it doesn't seem to have a huge effect. Maybe I need to try it a different way or something. I refuse to bribe her with food because that just enforces bad eating habits.
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