Extreme Defiance In A 3 Year Old
My 3 year old son, who made it through the ''terrible twos'' without throwing a single tantrum, seems to have suddenly turned into a different child.
He is aggressive, disrespectful, and prone to throw fits at the slightest hint that he won't get his way! I am a stay-at-home Mom now, but I was a kindergarten and first grade teacher before he was born, so I have a lot of experience with young children and do not feel that the problem is my expectations or lack of consistency, boundaries, etc.
I have read many books, and tried everything that has worked for me with other children, with no results. The most worrisome part for me is that he seems to be completely unaffected by discipline. For instance, he recently picked up the word ''dumb-ass'' from an older cousin and calls my husband and I that word whenever he gets mad. Today I explained (for the millionth time) that this is not a nice word and it hurts my feelings when he says it...to which he responded by sticking out his tongue and calling me the name again. So I gave him a warning that he would be sent to time out if he did it again, which of course he did. After he had done his 3 minutes, I came back to talk to him and he repeated the whole scene again.
Each time this happened I explained that I was leaving the room again, but that I would be back to get him when he was no longer screaming and able to talk to me without calling names. I would return again, and the process was repeated. Each time I left the room, he would scream bloody murder, as if he had no clue that his behavior would result in my leaving him in time out, even though I had specifically told him it would and experience had repeatedly shown him I meant it.
This went on for 45 minutes before my husband arrived home and was able to get a half-hearted apology out of him. I wonder how a child who is so bright seems completely unable to connect the dots when it comes to discipline.
Any advice anyone could give me about this would be wonderful! Also, I have read a lot of posts related to this issue, and I love the explanations being given, but I feel unable to explain things to my child in the way so many parents have suggested, because as I said, each time I try to talk to him about bad behavior, he immediately launches into a fit, or name calling, or some other type of aggressive behavior that trumps everything I was trying to talk to him about in the first place.
I have yet to be successful at even giving him a warning that he listened to, much less a discussion. If nothing else, I would love to have some advice on how I can get him to listen to me long enough to hear what I am saying!
Thanks for your help!