Friday, March 13, 2009

The Punisher

LLB is three ... forget the terrible twos, this three year old business is much worse. There are days when I feel like I'm at my wit's end and can't deal with it anymore. My biggest complaint is she won't listen, shocking for a three year old I know! But seriously, I find myself repeating things at least 5 times and it KILLS me!

I'm efficient, I'm a multi-tasker and I HATE repeating myself. DETEST IT! So herein the problem lies ... even if I recognize that her doing something on the first shot isn't necessarily realistic, I cannot take having to repeat myself that many times. Timeouts are a regular in this house, for a kid who used to see the timeout chair once or twice a week at most, she's now averaging 2-4 times a day!

The part I hate the most is I'm fairly certain that I'm not setting a good example. It can't be good that I give her a million chances to do something I want her to do. And it especially can't be good when I threaten her with punishment (for example: "if you don't pick up those toys" -- on the 5th time of asking -- "I will throw them out" -- then as I pick them up to trash them she freaks out and actually snaps to it).

I know I'm not the first, and not the last, to go through this. And I know that what she's doing is right on par with her age. But I need some help with how to punish her properly and effectively because at this rate she's going to be on timeout until she's 12.

If you have punishment or even parenting tips for how to handle this please, please, PLEASE share them!

Three Is Not Company,


David Niall Wilson said...

Not certain it will help, but the thing is - at 3 her comprehension of things is transient. She may know what you want from her, but if you are just telling her over and over to do it she may think that is acceptable.

It might seem difficult, particularly when you are multitasking, but what has worked best for me is, when I want Katie to do something (she's five now) I stop what I'm doing, tell her once, and then - however long it takes - I see it through until that thing IS done.

The repetition will become a habit if you let it...good luck (lol)

Bronwyn said...

Thanks David for the tip! I will try that. I know part of the problem is my own expectations as well as my general multi-tasking lifestyle, as she can't realistically keep up with it!

El Cheese said...

that is the age. Hadley just hitting it now. I'm like you and want to tear my eyes out having to repeat the same damn phrase 50 times before she does it. KILLLLS me. but just have to remember, they are young, and move slower than us and think slower than us. Tell yourself that each time. BUT, that doesn't mean she shouldn't listen. Put her in time out as many times as it takes, and if threatening to take the toys and throw them in the trash works, then do it. I do the same thing. It's just the joys of the age :)

Courtney Swierczek said...

I was just reading about disciplining toddlers yesterday as Jacob now throws temper tantrums and the main take away I found (since time outs are not so encouraged at his age), is to try and focus more on positive reinforcement rather than negative. Easier said than done I am sure.

Another good highlight was to outline expectations and consequences in advance. For example, in ten minutes we are going to clean up your toys to go to bed and I expect you to help clean up or we will not read a book before bedtime.

Good luck; although I read a lot, I by no means practice yet so I have book knowledge, not street knowledge : )