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    jill smith

    Hello, it been a long time since ive been on this site. We are still doing as much CM as possible but in the midst of school the past 3 years we have adopted a child. He is a bit of a challenge somedays and getting him to obey and pick up toys and such is getting to my nerves. He is spoiled and has a lot of toys. How old is laying down the rail for? He is all boy and very curious. love him but there are days i think about putting him in preschool. None of our children entered preschool but its hard for the older ones to concentrate and reading the bible and read aloud time is crazy. Im always being interupted by his loudness or just plain disobedience. Help!!! IM an older mom so may be a little to relaxed. lol!


    Go with the super nanny technique. It’s easy and works well. Takes a while to take effect, but in time it will work for sure. The only thing is, you have to implement this technique coolly and calmly or situations escalate.

    jill smith

    What? Do I need to buy something?


    You can find many free videos online. Just search “Super Nanny” and watch a few episodes. She always repeats when and how to put a child in ‘Time Out’. Just follow her explanation to a t, and your child will shape up quickly. You have to be firm, but loving, and especially consistent.


    3 can be a pretty intense age for some little ones. I have multiple friend that have adopted, so my first question would be does your little guy have any past trauma or experiences from his past that could be effecting him. My friends that have adopted have a mix of biological and adopted children, and all have found great support in adoption communities as they gain support from others in similar situations.

    Some children do just need modifications to discipline tactics, but some children, and parents, need more assistance to find what works. Some children struggle with their own mental/emotional feelings that they truly need different methods. I have a dear friend whose youngest was different than her older children in his responses (as young as a toddler you could tell he was struggling) and as she started to research she realized he was responding as a child who had been through a traumatic situation as an infant/young child. He had not been through any experiences, but as she modified how she responded, his behaviour started to change. At 10 he has come so far, but still work in progress (aren’t we all 🙂 )

    I say all that to just bring different ideas. It could be he is just being naughty and choosing to not obey and a change in methods will work, or it could be that he truly can’t obey as instructed because of other things going on in how he understands and processes information.

    Keep looking and asking for help and ideas. You are doing a great job!! Busy 3 year olds are a handful for sure.

    I just thought of something someone suggested on this forum years ago that I implemented with my youngest. They said to “fill their cup first” so before starting school with the older kids take time to sit and read or play with the youngest, some one on one time, could be 10 min or 30 min what ever the little one needs. When their “cup” is full they are not seeking attention as quickly as feel important too. I know the days that I gave that attention to my littlest first, he did seem a bit less attention craving, and then every hour or so I would take about 10 min to just hang out with him. He saw me helping the big kids, to him it was not school, they were getting one on one attention and he wanted that too.


    I have a soon to be 3 year old (who’s the youngest of 7 year old twin boys and a 5 year old girl) that, on medical forms, I put her occupation as “Terrorist”.  They laugh until they meet her.

    Honestly, I just read Ginger Hubbards “Don’t Make me Count to Three” and have implemented her principles.  It was not a lot of new information to me but a renewed vigor to implement the discipline all of my children desperately needed.

    Within a week I saw a MAJOR difference in all of my kiddos.  Specifically, my toddler went from, quite frankly, a brat to a fairly well behaved child.  She still has her moments but life is a LOT better and she understands life a lot better.  She also has a strong desire to do “school” so I have a little table that she sets up on her own and hand her a bag that has playdough, playdough accessories, coloring books, and about 5 crayons and this keeps her occupied for about an hour.  By this time, my youngest is done with her school and goes to play with the toddler and I’m able to finish my older kids lessons.  My role is literally that, give her supplies in the same room we are in, and walk away.  I also started a snuggle time about an hour before bed when each kiddo gets 5-15 minutes of just mommy time.  Giving her that 10 minutes plus structured discipline, has made such a huge difference in our lives.  Mind you, this child hasn’t slept through the night….EVER and is currently on a two week streak of sleeping through and being such a pleasant, happy, and loving child.

    Three is just a tough age!  I’m positive you are doing AMAZING and it feels much worse than it really is.  Outside of others suggestions, here’s what I’d add:

    -Have the older children take a break between lessons to entertain your toddler.  Even as  young as mine are, they understand that for lessons to get done in a timely manner, help is needed by everyone.  On our worst days, we do things one on one and just roll the best we can no matter how bad it gets.

    -Give him chores to help him own his part in the house and give him a sense of responsibility.  Boys need purpose and enjoy work and helping.  My boys have always been happy to help whether it was washing baseboards, walls, showers, laundry, dishes, whatever.  Now at 7, they ENJOY chores (still not sure if this is a mom win or not but I’ll take it).  Have an older child oversee the chores while you work on lessons with the others.

    -Do you have any grandparents/friends/homeschool friends that can help with him one to two days a week?

    -I took a HARD approach early on with my kids that if *I* had to clean up toys, they went in the trash.  One time, I loaded them all up in a laundry basket and the boys watched me place them inside the trash can (ok, I put the whole basket in and hid them in the basement for a month) but that was enough to get them in line.

    It’s hard.  It’s annoying.  But you will make this work!


    One small suggestion to address the messes/pick up issues: Box up all the toys by type. Get one box out and put the rest in a closet/attic. Any 3 year old can be overwhelmed by too many toys to pick up. Switch the box of toys for one in the closet every other day or every week.

    I’m on my 10th 3 year old (I have 7 boys and 3 girls) and there is a lot more I could say, but it all boils down to setting them up for success (less toys available) and giving them lots of appropriate ways to get energy out (heavy work like pushing/pulling a loaded laundry basket, running, jumping, bouncing, climbing, and lots of time outside).

    jill smith

    Wow! Thanks for all the advice! I have started with the toy box and brining out one at a time. Thanks for that info. Less mess to clean up for sure. Now to implement the behavior. He has no medical or trauma. We picked him up at 6 days old. Very blessed to have him in our lives.  I feel on overload somedays and other not so much.  We don’t have many people here that we do a lot with or homeschool connections. Family all lives out of state which make it harder as well. I need to get hooked up with kids around his age but then I see kids out there and they are so much lack of respect and I feel I’m better off just keeping him home and close by to help with the behavior. He goes to the nursery at church and Sunday school and those boys are so naughty. I will try these suggestions and let you all know the progress. Thanks for responding and giving tips and ideas.

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