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3 year old child started behaving strange. What could be the reason?

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Pediatrician, Neonatology
Practicing since : 1970
Answered : 891 Questions
Our 3yr old daughter has recently been behaving very out of the ordinary. We acknowledge a lot of changs have occured recently, we have moved interstate and my 10yr old step daughter has come to live with us, we also have a 10month old and due to moving interstate, changing daycare centres.

Recently she has been extremely defiant when asked or told to do something, will scream and throw tantrums when forced to do it and generally anytime she has to do something she doesn't want to do, like go to bed, shower, teeth.

She was throwing tantrums when being dropped off at daycare, however has stopped this behaviour now thankfully.

Today she woke up early this morning and started complaining of a sore cheek and ear, but when questioned about it would change the side of her face that it was sore. Then would say she has a sore tongue or some other part of her body.

We admit she is quite tired today and when at childcare did not interact with the other kids like she would normally and then the teachers ended up offering her a chance to sleep which she did. Later this afternoon she then got upset again and in the process of having her tantrum made herself sick due to sticking her hand in her mouth.

We have checked her throat, ears and cheeks etc and found nothing wrong or out of the ordinary.

Any advice about her behavior would be appreciated. At the moment my wife and I believe it just to be a little bit of attention seeking mixed with fatigue and exacerbated by the changes.
Posted Sun, 24 Feb 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Uma Rajah Ananth 26 minutes later

Welcome to HCM!

I fully agree with your view.
I think it is attention seeking reaction
So many changes in her environment within a short period must be making her react like this.

Just show her compassion, show her that you care, and when the mother is occupied with other two,you can devote some time specially to play with her!

It is a good sign that she started to accept the play school and that shows that she can be convinced to obey.

School phobias are quite common in kids ! They will get over it by time,

Sibling rivalry takes some time to get over.

Let the play school teacher be aware of her new behaviour,so that they will also know how to tackle her.

However,you can just get a medical examination done if you decide the situation is out of control,to rule out any organic illness that she may have.

You can try some small rewards for good behaviour like stickers,stars,scratch books etc!

Good luck
God bless
Dr Uma
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