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Avatar wendy...
I have a stubbon and feisty 3yr old boy who scratches me

I have a stubbon and feisty 3yr old boy who scratches me we he doesnt get his own way, i think its out of frustration. eg when i send him to his roon for time out or when his fighting with his 16mth old brother and i try and get him to share the toy. What is the best way to get him to stop, it drives me crazy

Jane ...
Answer: It's important to remember that his brain is quite literally a work in progress and this behaviour is not a snapshot of how he'll be forever more. You're probably right when you say it's out of frustration; three year olds think they want to rule the world and when they become overwhelmed with strong feelings they need to externalise them otherwise they'll combust! Which is why biting, scratching, protesting and screaming can feature so strongly. Gentle, consistent, fair and reasonable boundaries and parents working collaboratively in how they manage this behaviour makes all the difference. Time out is useful but be careful about how often you use it and don't be too punitive. Pick your battles in other words. Catch his good behaviour and praise him +++ when he's being good and appropriate with his little brother. Don't tolerate him hurting you, say NO very clearly and remove him from the same room and stay (externally) calm and determined. From you he will learn how to be a social being and for now, setting up boundaries will be a daily event in patience and consistency. Be mindful too that lots of toddlers very quickly learn how to push their parents buttons and get the maximum amount of lovely attention. So give him more attention when he's being "good" and very little when he's being difficult. Cheers, remember too that parenting is a marathon and you need to look after yourself and put yourself first in order to sustain the long haul. Jane
Answered: 02 Feb 2013