My 3 year old daughter has been great up until now. She continues to pretend she isn't capable of going to the restroom and is peeing everywhere for some reason. She keeps saying "I can't do it" when we tell her to do something.

She all started acted out when her father(ex to my girlfriends) came over. At first she got in a bad mood when getting the news of him coming over and was being bad. I don't know if his coming over is causing a bad affect to her. This ex has left a bad impression on them both I think which is why they left because the situation was bad.

I don't know what the heck is going on. She was a sweet heart and would listen, now it just all backwards. The daughter really loves me and always asks for me. I wonder if it could be she is acting our because I am not there, but I am unsure.

  • 1
    Can you clarify the relationships in her life? It sounds like you might be the stepfather. Relevant would be the ages she was living with each parent.
    – Shawn C
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 1:45
  • A 3-yr-old reacting/behaving/responding like an adult... really?
    – Maulik V
    Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 7:01
  • 4
    What you have asked contains far too little detail for anyone to provide any sort of reliable answer. A fully-detailed question in this regard may very well be beyond the scope of what one ought to post in a public forum. The essence of the answer is "address the core issue". Identifying that issue is the challenge. If it continues, seek a psychologist or such to help you in addressing the root cause. Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 2:48
  • It seems like she's asking for your attention - she's trying to make you listen to how she feels. Or she feels endangered (I heard stories about children regressing when a second child is born and the first one suddenly stops getting attention he had before. They need to feel that they are still important in the world. And to be listened.) Commented May 14, 2014 at 23:02

2 Answers 2


First off, your daughter is still great. The worth of a child is not measured by their behavior.

I can't address the peeing with the information provided. Is she potty trained already? Is she in Pull-Ups?

If she's refusing to obey you, for whatever reason, I have a hard time believing it's the first time. Regardless, the solution is discipline. If she won't pick up her toys, for example, then there should be an immediate negative consequence. Such a consequence as a timeout, turning off the TV if it's on, removing whatever else she is playing with until the job is done, etc. Likewise, positive encouragement should be used simultaneously. "Please pick up your toys from the floor so I have room to sit down and play with you/read you a book." Ideally, the positive encouragement is all you'll need, supposing the incentive matches your daughter's interests.

Often, children will exhibit behavior they know we don't approve of simply because it's the only way they can consistently get our attention. Give her more attention, spend more time on her level (including physically getting down to her height), and direct her to the behavior you want with her (and not as someone giving commands at her).


When kids feel under pressure it's common for them to regress to acting like a younger age. At 3 they very much live in a world of emotions, so even how you are behaving or when you are stressed they can sense this.

Like @tomas said it seems like she's wanting your attention or the attention of her father (but we need more details as your info here was a little unclear).

When young children are acting up it usually falls into a couple of camps.

1) They are tired/hungry and just need to be fed/put to bed.

2) They are testing boundaries

3) They are dealing with emotions

When they are doing No 2 you need to be more clear on boundaries (eg stricter) when they are doing No 3 you need to focus on warmth and connection and showing them they are safe.

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