Disruptive Behavior


My 3-year-old is very disruptive of other children's play. How do I help her respect other people's personal space and boundaries? Telling her not to do something makes her very angry. Also, she seems to have a lot of anger within.

Dr. Greene's Answer

With kids who are disruptive, working on empathy can be very helpful–not telling her what to do, but helping her learn to identify what others are feeling (which can lead to changes in behavior).

It is also good to keep in mind–especially if it runs in the family–that if ADHD shows up at that age, the most common symptoms are the ones you have described. It may be worth an evaluation by her pediatrician.

Last medical review on: January 19, 2011
About the Author
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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