A 3 year old with power.


Three questions!

FIRST: Our 3.5-year old daughter is very independent, smart, and stubborn (best and worst qualities of the two of us!). She started preschool in the fall. She has two twin baby brothers that are 1 year old.

The two of us have certainly had our share of verbal arguments around her (just the stress of all three kids), and she's witnessed it (though we really try to limit it).

She loves her brothers and hasn't shown any outward signs of jealousy or lashing out against them, though recently we have noticed that she's vying for attention a bit more.

We instituted time-out for her a year or so back. We limit her TV usage.

Typically, when she starts a meltdown, we'll say no more TV or some other thing she wants and then elevate it to time out. A few weeks ago, she was uncontrollable and we spanked her (one swat on the buttocks), which resulted in immediate correction. We did it again last night (so two swats total over a period of a month). So we think we're reserving spankings for the worst of the bad behavior, if that makes sense.

We don't like spanking her, and we don't know if doing so is productive or beneficial (or not).

But when she gets into meltdown mode, it's tough to communicate with her--and she screams, stomps, etc.

So I suppose we're trying to find a way to better correct her behavior.

SECOND: Our daughter shares a bedroom with her twin bothers. Recently, she's been saying she doesn't like her bed--for whatever reason. But we have no where else to put her. She's always liked it, but recently, it's been a bit more difficult to get her to go down. Any thoughts? We were thinking of taking her out to the store to pick out some fun sheets, so that she might have a sense of security/ownership in the bed.

THIRD: Daddy has frequent night meetings (one or two per week). Daddy is always the one to lie down with daughter at night (which takes about 10-15 minutes of lying with her, rubbing her back, etc.). When daddy is not home, daughter will not go down to bed for mommy. She used to, but not any more (after a couple of very upsetting nights where mommy tried to have her stay in her bed). So, to keep the peace and not wake up baby brothers, we've let her stay up until daddy gets home, or let her lie in bed with mommy until daddy gets home. Once daddy gets home, he goes in and lies with her/puts her down or, if she's already asleep with mommy in bed, daddy gets her and puts daughter in her bed/lies down. Just trying to see what the best way forward is with this issue, since she doesn't lie down for mommy. Should mommy lie down with her more so that she'll go down when daddy is not around?

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