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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1768
Experience:  Parenting Workshops, Teacher, PHD Clinical Psychology, 30 yrs. Exp. 4 Children
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i have a 3yr old and 16mth old twins and im 20weeks preg i

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i have a 3yr old and 16mth old twins and im 20weeks preg i have been having troubles with my 3yr old son with his behaviour im just wondering if there is anything that i can do to get him to behave himself more approateally
Hi, one of the best ways to get a child to cooperate is to let them help you. He is only 3 and testing his environment looking for attention (that is all they really want) You have a lot going on and three young children. With the oldest child busy parents usually assume, or by necessity, believe that they can entertain themselves, and listen. They don't. There is a book called 1-2-3 Magic, you can find it on You will soon have four children and this book will be your best investment. It's for parents to teach their children discipline but in a very kind, easy format. If you are consistent with the program (it's very easy) you will see wonderful well behaved children. It's geared for those age 2-12. If you use it for your son now by the time the twins are 2 it will be part of your routine. I started by saying let him help, let him throw clothes in the washer, let him put the dinnerware on the table (one at a time of course), ask him to pick a book to read to the twins. By involving him in your work he will be gaining your attention as well as learning some excellent behaviors. I know it's hard, probably the hardest job you will every have but the rewards are priceless (well most of them). I would also suggest, although you may not feel you have the time, you make sure you take some time out of every day for you. That means, if the kids are napping you sit and have a cup of tea, read a little, sit quietly. Don't feel you have to rush to get things done while they are quiet, you need that too. Yelling, and negative reinforcement doesn't work, he is still getting your attention only with negative consequences.
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Edited by Dr. Keane on 5/21/2010 at 1:50 PM EST
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
ok i understand wher your comming from but i have let him help he quiet often helps hang out the washing, bath the twins, get the twins forks and spoons out for dinner and give it to them. i know deep down that he is a good kid and most of the time he is. he acts out by hitting pushing and kicking the twins i even give him 1 on 1 time with him while the twins are asleep i take him to the park or play outside if its not raining. could this be a way he is dealing with the stresses what we have going on what i mean by that his father and i have recentally split and he no longer lives with us and can not come around to our house. and with that he is not allowed to spend time with his father by himself it has to be supervised visits.

Hi. he could be reacting to the stress and changes going on. I am sure once life settles a bit he will too. Kids respond to stress the only way they know how, he is too young to cognitively be able to express his feelings in words so he uses his behavior which can be frustrating to all. I would suggest some family therapy for you and him . That way he will learn how to act when things are tough or he is feeling stressed. It' s more for you than him but everything helps.

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