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wild child

6 answers
my daughter, paisley will be 3 in august, and lately she has become quite a handful, to say the least. her baby sister is 5 months old, and i understand that she is having some issues with jealousy. however, i have done everything i know to do in order to help her overcome it. i'm a stay at home mother, so i spend as much one on one time with her as possible. even if i'm busy with housework, i enlist her help so she doesn't feel left out. for the past few months, she has become out of control, and i don't know what else to do. i have zero tolerance for whining, which seems to be her favorite past time. i have scoured the internet looking for clues on how to solve her behavior problems, but nothing seems to be working. i often joke to my husband that jo frost, the super nanny needs to come pay her a visit. she begins to whine the minute that i greet her with, "good morning, paisley, what would you like for breakfast today?" i try to give her options when it's appropriate, such as yogurt or cereal for breakfast, pink or purple tutu, green or blue cup, etc. she whines about EVERYTHING. she throws epic, oscar worthy fits over almost EVERYTHING. when the answer is "no, not right now.," i am always met with a flailing, screaming brat. i'm ready to start pulling out my hair, one strand at a time. it seems that we are having more bad days than good at this point. she constantly pesters our 2 dogs, laughing while she pulls ears and tails, pokes their eyes, pries their mouths open so she can yank on their tongues. (all the while, my loving dogs just lye there and take it) i quickly reprimand her, and calmly explain that her behavior is not only inappropriate, but that it hurts, and send her straight to time out. i tell her to sit there and think about what she has done, and when she is ready to behave herself, she may come out. 2-3 minutes later, i let her out, and have a talk with her about what she has done wrong, and make her understand why it was wrong. within minutes, she is right back to the said behavior, or something else she knows she's not supposed to do. she has tons of toys, and books to play with, but seems to want only the things that are forbidden. for a while, i thought she had outgrown that stage, but ever since my second daughter was born, it has been an absolute nightmare with paisley. i know that this is all somewhat normal for her age, and i'm told to prepare myself for the 3's, because it will only increase tenfold then. at this point, i honestly don't see how it could possibly get any worse than it is. help me!

answers (6)

Your daughter is a toddler. This is all completely normal behavior. At this point, don't lecture or get too wordy with you explanations of why certain behaviors are wrong. Kids don't care. If she asks for a reason why, give her a short one. But until she starts asking why, just tell her certain behaviors are bad, or mean, or hurtful, etc. Also, kids of this age don't think about what they did wrong during time outs.If you can afford it, it might be time to get her into preschool. It sounds like she could benefit from more socialization and structured activities.Ultimately, it sounds like you're doing everything right. Paisley is probably just  a strong-willed child who will always be testing her boundaries. There's not a whole lot you can do to change her behavior, it sounds like it's just a part of her personality. Stay consistent with your discipline and know that it will get better.
She's a toddler. Toddlers do that. Just discipline her when she does something bad, and hopfully she grows out of it. I have 2 kids, a 2 year old that my husband had from a previous marriage, and a 6 mnth old. Kids get jelous, it happens. All you can do is try to make sure they know whats good and bad.Try having play dates, it gets her out and she can talk with other kids.Preschool is another option,I think getting her with kids that are her age would benefit her.
she has plenty of structured activities here at home, because i homeschool her. however, it's almost like she is demon possessed. i know that sounds utterly ridiculous. she throws fits like an autistic child. like i said, nothing i do seems to have an effect on her. time-outs, ignoring the behavior, redirecting, removing her from the situation, etc. this all just makes it worse. she does show a few of the autistic signs, but not enough for a diagnosis. it's so incredibly frustrating. i take her to story time at the library every wednesday, and afterwards all the children play together. she has no interest in playing with the other kids. she is perfectly happy just rearranging all the books, and snatching things out of other kids hands. i have attempted to help her engage with the other kids, but i won't force it. if she doesn't want to play with them, i'm not going to push the issue. my husband keeps telling me that i am just over annalyzing this, and claims that she is perfectly normal. i, on the other hand am just looking for answers. life has been an utter nightmare with her for the last 2 years. it's so difficult for me to watch my once loving, sweet little girl turn into this hellion. she has always been high strong and feisty, but she is absolutely out of control.
You should discuss this with your pediatrician and see if you can get a referral to a specialist. If your pediatrician won't listen to your concerns, try finding a new one. If you think there's a potential for an autism spectrum disorder it needs to be addressed sooner, rather than later.
I also want to mention that socialization beyond your family is very important, especially if your daughter has an ASD. Preschool would be very good for her because it is structured. It's also good for kids who act out because kids often behave better when they are in new situations with people other than their parents. Preschool teachers can also offer other methods for dealing with tantrums, etc. Ultimately though, she needs to actually interact with other kisd her age. It will teach her how to adapt to the real world. 
regarding the ASD, if she does have it, i would say she's on the low spectrum range. after scouring the internet for information, i have realized that she doesn't have enough traits for a diagnosis. if anything, she's on that borderline cusp. i have been looking into the p.a.c.e head start program, because i cannot afford to send her to preschool, and i plan to enroll her on wed. she won't be going for a a full day, just 8am-2pm. my question now, is, should i start her out at the full five days a week? i was thinking about sending her 2-3 days a week until she becomes more comfortable, and then move it up to 5 days. i have been getting mixed answers from friends and family. some tell me that i should go ahead and start with 5 days so she doesn't get the idea that if she does not want to go , then she doesn't have to. others are telling me that i have the right idea about 2-3 days to begin with. i know that she desperately needs the social interaction, if nothing else. like i previously stated, i homeschool her, and i will continue to do so until she goes to kindergarden. she's never been away from me for that amount of time, and i don't want her to freak out. i have explained to her that she will start school soon, and she won't be with mommy all day long anymore. i've hyped it up a bit for her and sound excited when we talk about it. she's a superbly brilliant child. i know that a lot of mothers like to brag how "smart" their kid is when really they are just average. at 13 months she spoke in sentences, at 19 months old she would arrange her alphabet flash cards fro a-z on the living room floor by herself. she also began to write her letters at this age. since 2, she has written all the letter, shapes, and number's 1-10. she's obsessive about trying to color inside the lines when i give her a coloring sheet. she sounds out 3 letter words when i write them on our dry-erase board. a few months ago, she read the word 'bat'. my jaw fell to the ground when she looked at it, and said, "bbbb aaaa tttt. bb aa t? bat! mama! mama! bat! bat!" when she began to stack blocks, i showed her one time how to stack 2 blocks, and she turned around and stacked 9. the genius brain associated with the behavioral issues lead me to discover that she not only has ASD traits, but asperger's syndrome traits too.  "you have a long hard 15 years ahead of you, mama!," he says.

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