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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2010/01/11

Am i a bad parent

I am a single parent of a 3yr old. Her father left us when she was a few months old. His family is also not involved in our lives. My family is also not close as they reside in another city. I work very hard to give my child a good life and so far I have succeeded, I think. People comment on her good manners and also her friendliness. My daughter does get disciplined, when she steps out of line she will get a hiding on her behind. I dont hit her for no reason. I will warn her 3 times and try other alternate methods like taking away tv, luxuries etc but if the bad behaviour persists she gets a hiding. She is generally a good child and does push her luck but I suppose thats all 3year olds. I will not tolerate her being rude to me or any one older for that matter. When we are in a shop she will ask in a polite manner if she could please have something etc. She will generally get a hiding for spitting, and she has a tendency to leave my hand when we in public and I keep warning her of that. Also when she is with people that she likes she will not listen to me when I tell her that I am tired and want to go home and then I have to drag her away. I have now noticed that as soon as we get near our flat, she will start telling me that she does not want a hiding and that she will behave. The thought of a hiding to her is very scary. Whenever she gets a hiding a few minutes will pass and she will come and say sorry mummy. I wont ask her to do it but she does and when she does so I tell her that its not nice to be rude but I still love her and all is forgotten. Am I a bad parent by instilling this fear in her. I just feel that if she is ill-mannered then people will point a figure at me for being a single, young mother and i dont want people to dislike her.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

She sounds like a normal 3-year-old. But there are better and more effective ways of maintaining discipline than giving hidings. You are also teaching her that violence is an acceptable way of getting what you want.
Maria's suggestions are sensible and practical.
As she says, emphasize praising and rewarding her for her good behaviour, so she behaves because she understands why good behaviour is good, and finds it rewarding.

And as Anon says, emphasize not just that spitting itself is always unacceptable, but that it may be understandable that she feels angry in some situations, but that she should express such anger calmly and verbally, rather than physically.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2010/01/11

Your girl sounds like a typical three year old, and they can be extremely challenging. When you want to leave somewhere and she is having fun, warn her. Tell her we will be leaving in five minutes, in one minute, we' re leaving now. Also give her choices where it is age appropriate, e.g. do you want to wear the green or the orange t-shirt? Do you want a sweet or a biscuit? That way she will feel that she has some control over her life.

When you have given her a hiding, let her sit on your lap, hold her tight and explain why her behaviour was wrong while reassuring her that you still love her.

If she misbehaves, do you wait until you get home before you punish her? Is that why she is almost scared of going home to your flat?

Make sure you reward good behaviour. If she held your hand from the car into the shop, thank her for doing that so that you didn' t have to worried about a car running her over.

Raising kids is difficult, there is no doubt about it. My daughter is 7 and I' m still struggling to find the balance between insisting on discipline and good behaviour vs. acknowledging that she is only 7 and will not behave like an adult.

Good luck, and enjoy your little one. Don' t be too hard on yourself or on her, she will grow up so fast. Teach her the right way because that' s what you want to do, not because of what other people will think.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Anon | 2010/01/11

HI

Just some information that may help in situations like when you want to leave friends homes and she wants to put up a fight.
Acknowledge that you can see that she has had a good time, but it is time to leave and that she must please go to the car now. It works wonders. Same when she spits aknowledge that she might be angry at the fact that she had to go to bed , but that type of behavior is not acceptable and she should rather tell you verbally that she is not happy. Since i changed to this with my kids I dont have th fight or the fact that I have to tell them 3 times to stop the behavior. You are reinforcing the positive and aknowledging that they also have feelings and emotions that they have the right to express , however dont have the means to express in the right way so need to be guided.
Hope this helps

Reply to Anon
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/01/11

She sounds like a normal 3-year-old. But there are better and more effective ways of maintaining discipline than giving hidings. You are also teaching her that violence is an acceptable way of getting what you want.
Maria's suggestions are sensible and practical.
As she says, emphasize praising and rewarding her for her good behaviour, so she behaves because she understands why good behaviour is good, and finds it rewarding.

And as Anon says, emphasize not just that spitting itself is always unacceptable, but that it may be understandable that she feels angry in some situations, but that she should express such anger calmly and verbally, rather than physically.

Reply to cybershrink

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