Gransnet forums

Stubborn 3yr old Granddaughter

(78 Posts)
Popalina Wed 11-Jul-18 09:24:15

Morning all. I’m just wondering how you cope when your daughter talks to you about her very stubborn but gorgeous 3yr old daughter.
GD just wants her own way! She goes into a temper tantrum and Mummy and Daddy stand with her trying to reason and explain but still she cries in temper for her own way (which she often gets in the end).
I find it very frustrating to see all this reasoning and explaining and just wish they would say “we said no and no is what I mean. End of conversation”
When my daughter asks for my advice, I have to tread carefully as her idea of discipline is very different from mine.
On the plus side, my GD is well behaved and has perfect manners when she is with me.
She is also a good girl most of the time, it’s just these “temper moments”I find difficult to watch, I have to walk away, incase I say something to upset my daughter.
Thanks for listening. 😊

Eglantine21 Wed 11-Jul-18 09:29:12

You’ve got the right idea, Popalina. Just say nothing and walk away. Any third party interference , particularly if it’s a different approach is just undermining the parents.

MawBroon Wed 11-Jul-18 09:29:40

Sounds about par for the course to me!
Mine is just the same and I suspect someone knew what they were about when they wrote
There was a little girl, and she had a little curl etc.

Walk away, take a deep breath- she’ll grow out of it! (By about 25)

Luckygirl Wed 11-Jul-18 09:43:50

she cries in temper for her own way (which she often gets in the end)

The words in brackets are the key to the problem.

If your DD asks for advice again, then tell her:
1. Pick your battles - no point inducing a tantrum over something very minor.
2. Use distraction.
3. When you've picked your battle and distraction has failed, walk away and ignore her.
4. DO NOT give her her own way in the end - that way she is being taught that the more fuss she makes, the more likely she is to get what she wants; thus worsening the problem.

Beau Wed 11-Jul-18 09:48:52

Yes, just stand back as you are Popalina - if she sometimes gets her own way after all that reasoning and explaining then it's a successful strategy for her so why would she give it up? 😉

pollyperkins Wed 11-Jul-18 10:00:13

I agree with all the replies. I also have a 3 yr old GD who can be stubborn and has temper tantrums -par for the course I think. And yes the curent thinking seems to be to reason with them which I'm not sure works. I would do the same and say No and dont give in - you do get a huge tantrum which is wearing but its impwrtant not to give in as they will just learn that that is how to get their own way. But I wouldn't interfere unless asked! Even when asked I tend to say :Well this is what I would do but you must do what you think best. I'm aware that I was a far from perfect parent and made lots of mistakes but somehow they seemed to have turned out ok!

stella1949 Wed 11-Jul-18 10:06:24

I used to have a stubborn 3 year old.....now I have a stubborn 41 year old . Same girl, same approach - I still pick my battles and if my tactics fail, I walk away. Some things never change.

Bathsheba Wed 11-Jul-18 10:22:14

My 3 yr old GD is another stubborn one. And so is her mum, so all the ingredients are there for a battlefield, which does happen at times (particularly when her mum's hormones are raging once a month!). The latest episode was a refusal to tidy away her toys, mum would not give an inch, resulting in a temper tantrum, which turned to extreme distress and ended in cuddles and lots of 'sorry mummys'. But the toys were still not tidied away, so the battle achieved nothing very little. I suggested (when asked!) that next time she stays calm but removes one of the toys, and keeps doing that each night until and unless little one tidies up - and then each time she does tidy up, to return one, just one, of the removed toys. You do have to pick your battles - there is no point in allowing a situation to escalate to the point where parent and child are both exhausted and distressed.

Jane10 Wed 11-Jul-18 10:39:50

I well remember watching my nephew and his wife (both lawyers) trying to negotiate with their 3 year old boy. Didn't work. After a while I just casually suggested that he might like to see the cat and he was sufficiently distracted that the situation moved on.
It's so easy for us from the sidelines to comment and so difficult for the poor parents. We have no trouble with the DGSs. No means no and that's it but we love them and they know it.
Poor DD is always complaining about how they're OK with us but not her. Not being smug. This is an age old problem!

M0nica Wed 11-Jul-18 11:09:54

No problems with DGD, but DD from birth, almost, didn't bother with tantrums, she was just determined at all times and in all circumstances to have her own way. She was un distractable, and if thwarted, would seem to comply but come back later and have another go. If we didn't do as she wanted she would 'punish' us by, in one case, running out in the road because she knew she shouldn't do it.

The only way to deal with it was to say no or yes firmly and stick to it. If necessary pick the child up or take her by the hand and make her go where she should be. We didn't have a naughty step, but she would be sent up to her bedroom for specified periods of time.

To limit conflict we tried not to have any rules for her behaviour that were not essential for security or the proper conduct of life - not being rude to people, or disrupting the lives of others. Unless other people were involved we did not ask for apologies. Compliance with requests was taken as sufficient. It wasn't easy, but we won through and she is a caring and loving adult, although still with that very strong will and uncompromising personality, which she recognises.

glammanana Wed 11-Jul-18 11:42:53

I can remember someone telling me about "naughty two's" but I have never experienced this it has always been "naughty threes".
I realised it is because they are frustrated at not being toddlers any more and trying to be a wee bit more grown up but just can't manage it.
Walking away is the answer and distraction works wonders,never ever tell parents how to manage tantrums it just doesn't work well.

Blencathra Wed 11-Jul-18 13:25:33

I think you just have to carry on doing what you are doing. She knows where she stands with you. She also knows that she will get her own way with her parents- not anything you can do there - best not to give advice.

Deedaa Wed 11-Jul-18 16:31:47

Pick your battles is the important point. There are times when children must obey for their own safety, but if you say "no" about something that doesn't really matter it can lead to an exhausting battle which you will lose because it wasn't that important to begin with.

Melanieeastanglia Wed 11-Jul-18 18:04:30

My children both went through a phase of this sort of behaviour when this age but they grew out of it. Apparently, I used to have terrible tantrums too when I was little. I assure you I don't have them now.

The expression "pick your battles" is a good one.

I think you are wise to walk away and say nothing. Least said, soonest mended.

Jalima1108 Wed 11-Jul-18 23:01:31

The Thunderous Threes can be worse than the Terrible Twos.

And, of course, three year olds Know Everything - well, nearly everything, as usually they need to be about six or seven before they know Absolutely Everything.

pick your battles is a good idea - some things should be non-negotiable like teeth-cleaning, a reasonable bed-time and not pulling the cat's tail.

But I have seen parents in despair trying to reason with three year olds over things that, in the scheme of things, do not matter that much. It's a waste of time and energy.
And all she is learning that, if she does have a tantrum, they will give in.

However, she is their child and it's best to say nothing and just enjoy her lovely company when she's with you.

Jalima1108 Wed 11-Jul-18 23:03:28

and holding hands crossing the road (teaching road sense) is non-negotiable too!
She must learn that No means No for her own sake in situations like that.

absent Thu 12-Jul-18 00:12:10

My daughter maintains that three has been a much more difficult age to cope with than the infamous "terrible twos" – and she has six children, one of whom is currently three years old and flexing his metaphorical muscles with all of us.

BlueBelle Thu 12-Jul-18 07:19:52

Nothing absolutely nothing conpared to 15 😂😂😂😂

Madgran77 Thu 12-Jul-18 07:57:15

The behaviours par for the course for a 3 year old. They cant reason and talk when tantrumming anyway so pointless exercise. I personally think that sitting quietly whilst they yell until they calm down enough is best ...then ask "would you like a cuddle" ...the answer is usually yes because the have scared themselves with their anger ...tgen once settled cuddle the a bit, then talk gently about a) understanding they were angry and upset b) why you said no/they couldn't do whatever c) suggest alternative if they want it! Some I know will think it is rewarding them. I don't, I believe it is developing a child's emotional resilience and teaching them over time how to manage their anger. As they get older, conversations can be more specific and longer but still acknowledge their feelings! And as they get older the more they are able to make choices for themselves (which clothes, which coat etc) they more they feel they have some control , but feel safe that adults also have control. You might be able to suggest some of the to your daughter if the opportunity arises but ofcourse only if asked ...such a sensitive area! I also use tho system when looking after grandchildren and it works as well as it did with my own ...but obviously, I'm only going this when the are with me and the parents aren't there as I would never interfere in their methods.

Madgran77 Thu 12-Jul-18 07:58:28

Sorry about typos!

Grandma70s Thu 12-Jul-18 08:16:07

It is normal. I’d be worried about a child who didn’t question/rebel against her parents’ rules and decisions.

One of my sons had the most uncontrollable tantrums at that age and up to the age of about 6. Now, at 46, he is the calmest, loveliest parson you could wish to know, and has been since he was about 7.

The other son, who didn’t have many tantrums at all, is the more temperamental one now.

pollyperkins Thu 12-Jul-18 08:30:40

I agree with Madgran about handling tantrums. Also agree about pucking your battles. It really doesnt matter that much if they refuse to wear what you want and pick some bizarre outfit for example. But safety eg holding hands to cross the road, hygiene like washing hands after loo and good manners/respect for others (not hitting Grandma for a joke!) should be non negotiable.
I also believe in distraction where they have got into a loop of wanting to do something they shouldn't.
I do think a lot of parents give in as they don't like to see a child upset (none of us does) but it is building up problems for the future.

PamelaJ1 Thu 12-Jul-18 08:37:46

Ha ha I remember walking away from myDD in Woolworths in Tunbridge Wells and watching from behind a counter as she lay on the floor stamping her feet etc. When she’d had enough I went back picked her up then went back to the car without whatever it was she wanted.
Now I feel so sorry for the other shoppers😔
She is now a great negotiator but still has a tendency to dig in her heels sometimes- just more quietly.

harrigran Thu 12-Jul-18 08:44:44

My DC didn't have tantrums. I hate to see parents trying to reason with toddlers they are just letting the child know that it is open to discussion.

Grandma70s Thu 12-Jul-18 09:26:24

I wish we could edit. My son is not a lovely parson. He is a lovely PERSON.

To post you need a valid nickname and password. Log in if you are a returning member, or join for free.

If you have forgotten your nickname or your password, you can get a reminder.