How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Cher Your Own Question

Cher
Cher, Teacher
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 18887
Experience:  Extensive Experience working with Children/Teens; M.A. Teacher/Tutor 40+ yrs.; Parent of 2
1470369
Type Your Parenting Question Here...
Cher is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My grandson is 3 years old and has behavoral problems. He is

Resolved Question:

My grandson is 3 years old and has behavoral problems. He is a sweet good natured fun loving child. He is generaly happy. But he has these fits of meaness like throwing things at people and kicking and hitting people when he is unhappy with where he is at or what you are doing or when he is told no he can't do something. Is this just a faze or does he have a real problem? I wish to know how to handle it we have spanked him scolded him made him go to his room yelled at him nothing changes his behavior. Please help us we want to do what is best for him. Thank You Grandma Martie Henderson
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Cher replied 5 years ago.
Hello Grandma Martie, and thanks for your question.

If your grandson is not speaking well or able to express himself to his satisfaction at this age, it may be part of why he acts out when he feels frustrated as that's the most effective way (to his 3 year old mind) he can express himself.

First, I would recommend no more spanking, yelling, pleading, asking why--because he can't tell you why, and any physical punishment is not going to be effective in letting him know why you are displeased with his actions.

Three year olds are also likely (as two year olds) to exhibit what you describe as 'terrible twos' behavior. Partly, it's out of frustration of not being understood, re: language development, as I mentioned above, but also because they are first learning about their world, how they fit into it, and how they can get what they want. If you give in, and give him what he wants, he learns that this disruptive/aggressive behavior 'works'. If you don't give in, he becomes frustrated and uses physical actions (kicking, hitting, etc.) because he can't understand why you won't give in and why he can't express to you what he wants.

In this case, instead of sending him to his room, put one of his chairs (a child-sized plastic or wooden chair) in a corner of the room you're in, facing the wall, and take him by the hand and bring him to the 'naughty chair'. Tell him he has to sit there for 5 minutes because he's not behaving properly. Set a timer which will count down and 'ding' at the end of the 5 minutes. Tell him calmly, he's not permitted to hit, kick, scream, or hurt you. Don't respond or have a conversation with him while he's sitting in the chair. If he asks calmly, how much more time, or asks you something not having to do with his behavior, you can answer, calmly. After 5 minutes, take him out of the naughty chair, ask for an apology (I'm sorry) from him, kiss him, tell him you love him and lead him to do an activity you know he likes.

If he won't stay in the chair and keeps getting off it, calmly walk him over to it as many times as he gets up, until he eventually will sit there for 5 minutes. Consistency is key with children of this age, and keep doing this every time he acts inappropriately. Soon, you should see a positive change in his behavior.

You can also set up a board with rewards (gold stars/activities he likes) and he can earn a star for each good behavior. Once he gets a pre-determined number of stars (5?), he gets his 'reward'. Try not to reward with sweets, but wholesome treats, if he likes them, can be a reward, but activities would be preferable. You don't want to make him a food oriented child.

If you feel he may have some significant developmental delays or learning disabilities which are causing his present behavior, having him tested by a child psychologist would be a good idea. If he's found to be a normal 3 year old, with common 3 year old behaviors, that would be great, and you will continue to deal with the behaviors until he learns the proper way to express himself, with words an not physical violence, to get his message across. This is a difficult age, due to the lack of communication skills, but he will soon become more proficient with his words and, unless he's speech-delayed, for which you can get him therapy.

I hope things improve soon for you all.

Cher
Cher, Teacher
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 18887
Experience: Extensive Experience working with Children/Teens; M.A. Teacher/Tutor 40+ yrs.; Parent of 2
Cher and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    108
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    108
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jhollo77/2010-2-6_651_Avatar.jpg Jennifer's Avatar

    Jennifer

    School Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    77
    Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VO/vodkas25/2012-1-29_16528_P1010831.64x64.JPG professional_Alison's Avatar

    professional_Alison

    Child Care

    Satisfied Customers:

    77
    Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    40
    Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/KaterB1270/2012-5-2_17226_016.64x64.jpg KaterB1270's Avatar

    KaterB1270

    Teacher

    Satisfied Customers:

    18
    BS Family Consumer Sciences Ed. and Masters of Art in Teaching
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kansastherapist/2012-6-13_171911_4upon20120220at14.64x64.jpg KansasTherapist's Avatar

    KansasTherapist

    LSCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    17
    17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg NormanM's Avatar

    NormanM

    Author, lecturer and psychotherapist.

    Satisfied Customers:

    17
    ADHP(NC), DHP, ECP, UKCP Registered
 
 
 

Related Parenting Questions

Chat Now With A Parenting Counselor
Cher
Cher
Parenting Counselor
18887 Satisfied Customers
Extensive Experience working with Children/Teens; M.A. Teacher/Tutor 40+ yrs.; Parent of 2