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My DS has become "that" child

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I had always thought that DS (3.5 yrs) was well disciplined and well behaved .....and then he turned 3. I just don't know what to do, I spent the entire day today either redirecting, saying no, or yelling (I've become a yeller and I hate it ) I thought maybe he had too much energy stored up so DH took him to the park for almost 2 hours, I was sure this would fix the problem, nope. He was a nightmare tonight. He talks back, hits etc. His days at schhol are hit (no pun inteded) and miss.

How did I let this happend and what can I do to fix this? Any books suggestions, BTDT advice would be GREATLY appreciated. I WOTH full time and I desperately want to enjoy the time I have with DS.

Thanks.
post #2 of 19
I think you might find it helpful to read some of the 3 year old support threads on here. 3 = drama. It really is a difficult age full of figuring out independence, what happens if I do this vs. that, etc. I'm right there with you. Today while I was picking something for my sister at a store my ds collapsed into a heap and rolled across the floor of the store sobbing. Because he didn't want to go in the store. I just finished my business and picked him up and left. The rest of the day he was sweet as pie. I just never can tell what will set him off! Must be hard to be 3!
post #3 of 19
No great advice for you...just commiseration. My DH and I have said that the "terrible twos" are nothing, three is much worse!
post #4 of 19
Step 1: Take a pregnancy test.

Step 2: Have a plan. My daughter hit this pretty much after my first trimester of pregnancy, when she was only two, but WOW. What a wall. A lot of yelling, freaking out... it's been a year and I'm finally getting more into a groove (and no, she's not getting better, she's three and we have daily tantrums despite my frantic efforts to keep her well-rested, well-fed, comfortable, and with "special" her time...).

What helps more than anything is that I have a plan for alternative discipline that fits my personal style. It is generally "You have a choice. You can do it yourself or you can let me help you." I mean this is for life-and-limb stuff. I've also had to back off on a lot of things and I'm really improving my ayurvedic breathing. The serenity prayer helps me when I just can't believe what she's doing.

The only GD book I've liked so far is Adventures in Gentle Discipline. Real moms and dads, real kids, real advice, no magic solutions, just a lot of tricks for your bag, lots of tools for your toolbox, and lots of empathy.
post #5 of 19
Momma please do not blame yourself. Growing up is not your fault.

I am not at 3 yet, but apparently, it sucks like a hoover with a rocket engine.

Try some different tactics. Look for what unmet needs might be expressed in your DC's behavior and think of ways to meet them.

V
post #6 of 19
3.5 should get it's own forum. It's awful. They're looking for power struggles at that age, and they're really good at finding them.

Don't blame yourself and try to be patient. The park was a good idea - just because it didn't work this time doesn't mean it won't next time. Also, for my dd having some protein always helped when she got like that. AND she has very high protein breakfasts, like eggs, and nothing sweet at all until after lunch. This is a big issue for her - the dietary thing might not be an issue for your ds but it might be worth a shot.
post #7 of 19
A few months ago my son, who is 2 years, saw kids hitting eachother. So for awhile he was hitting myself and DH, not hard, but like swinging his arms back and forth close to us and would make contact a few times. He has never hit other kids thankfully. I have heard this so many times, I think its a phase some kids have. Maybe they see it happen from someone else and pick up on it. When Hunter would hit me, I would say "sweety we don't hit people. It can hurt and we don't want to hurt someone and make them sad". Then he would hug me. It took awhile to get him to truly understand, but constant talking helps me.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank so much for the support, all of this empathy tells me that I'm definitely not alone out there.

The dietary suggestion is GREAT! I definitely feel that DS's diet leaves a lot to be desired. It's very frustrating because I nursed for 3 years and DH and I went without organics so DS's diet could be completely organic. When he went into daycare at 11 months I pumped and kept up the great diet but going into pre-school ruined it. So many parents pack toddler appealing crap food and we actually had a problem with weight gain because he refused his food and wanted the stuff the other kids had. I started backing off and allowing the crap items into his diet. One by one they have completely permeated our home and I hate it.

Thanks again
post #9 of 19
Diet makes a difference. My DD just turned 3 and she's not in pre school or daycare or anything. But we see a huge difference in her behavior if she's had a good, protein filled breakfast. She'll eat 3 hardboiled eggs (no yolks, she hates them), a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese and a glass of milk, and a banana within an hour and a half of waking up. Sometimes she'll have yogurt or oatmeal with fresh fruit instead of the bagel, but she really, really loves cream cheese. Anyways, the rest of the day is hit or miss for food, but since we realized the protein connection as well as the large food-intake early in the day connection, she's been easier for me to deal with. We tend to butt heads.
post #10 of 19
We're going through this.

All we have found that helps is clear expectations. We state what we want from her very clearly and what the consequence (natural if possible, then logical and in some cases artificial) will be. Then we follow through gently and calmly. We've found it helps us to stay calm if we verbalize what we want and what will happen. We don't phrase it as a threat, but more in the same tone as we might say "if you pour water on the ground, the ground will get wet".

"If that toy is too frustrating for you, you will need to take a break to calm down" is very common in our house right now. At first this would normally evoke a really violent response and we would say "It looks like you need help taking a break from that you, let me help you," and we would take her to the stairs (in our house they are connected to our living area, but separate from the playing area). Then we would sit her on a stair and then sit on one below her so our heads were at about the same level. Sometimes she would tantrum and cry, but she'd always calm down. Then we'd talk about how sometimes things are frustrating and we need to take a break. Then we'd ask her if she was all done with that toy or if she wanted to try again. (If this repeated more than a couple times we'd decide that she was all done with the toy).

Now? If we say it looks like she needs a break and suggest maybe going to the stairs to calm down she goes on her own and comes back calmer. Sometimes she goes there on her own.

If she hits us at any point, she goes to her room. She has a cousin who hits and we needed to put a stop to it. We don't hit her and so we don't let her hit us. We carry her to her room and close the door until she's calm enough not to hit us. It's our big issue.
post #11 of 19
I have that kid too! Don't worry, I hear they turn 4 eventually.

I'm 38 weeks pregnant and that has compounded every. little. problem in her 3 year old world. The worst is just getting her to go where we need to go. I cannot pick her up like I used to and I can't just let her play on a playground or even in our backyard when I really really need to go to the bathroom.

According to daycare she's great. (I've asked them, "seriously, I need to know if she's like this all the time.") She's their embasadore when new familes visit the center since she's so friendly and nice to every other person on the planet that isn't me.

We had a tiny bit of success last night reminding her over and over again that she is in charge of her body and she can control what she says and does. It was still a horrible tantrum and I was left crying at the end of the evening.

I think I'd concentrate on the hitting since your LO's right to be three ends at someone else's body. That is one of the few things we use time out for. I sure you can find some good threads about hitting here.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Love_My_Bubba View Post
Thank so much for the support, all of this empathy tells me that I'm definitely not alone out there.

The dietary suggestion is GREAT! I definitely feel that DS's diet leaves a lot to be desired. It's very frustrating because I nursed for 3 years and DH and I went without organics so DS's diet could be completely organic. When he went into daycare at 11 months I pumped and kept up the great diet but going into pre-school ruined it. So many parents pack toddler appealing crap food and we actually had a problem with weight gain because he refused his food and wanted the stuff the other kids had. I started backing off and allowing the crap items into his diet. One by one they have completely permeated our home and I hate it.

Thanks again
My child has about a 70% organic diet (rice and some other grains with husks are not organic) with almost no processed sugar and absolutely no food dyes.

She still tantrums.

So, while I agree that every child needs a healthy diet, diet may not solve all your problems.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
My child has about a 70% organic diet (rice and some other grains with husks are not organic) with almost no processed sugar and absolutely no food dyes.

She still tantrums.

So, while I agree that every child needs a healthy diet, diet may not solve all your problems.
For my dd, it isn't about organics as much as having protein for breakfast and nothing sweet, or even a grain-based, breakfast. But yes, all kids are different. As I said, though, I think it's worth a shot.
post #14 of 19
I am commiserating with you. Mine will be 3 in December and he has been sooooo difficult lately! We are always redirecting, taking things away, or using time-outs. Not pleasant. I know it will pass, though.
post #15 of 19
Yeah, we are dealing with this, too.

My DS is six weeks shy of three, and it's like all of a sudden he realized he's two. Or that he will be three soon. He's been deliberately defying requests/rules where he never did before and bursting into tears if we deny a request. The latest trick is running away giggling in the supermarket. When I pick him up, he starts crying, "You hurting me! You hurting me!"
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
3.5 should get it's own forum. It's awful.
Best. Idea. Ever. It's such a brutal age. I keep saying it's like A Tale of Two Cities - the best of times, the worst of times. At their best, they are the cutest, funniest people in the universe. At their worst, it seems very clear that they are out to destroy your sanity.
post #17 of 19


this is a thread that I posted when dd was about 3 1/2. For sale: One gently used 3 year old. It's a tough age.

Things to think about:
1. SLEEP! Not enough sleep makes life much worse
2. Regular snacks with protein/fat. If you're going to work on improving diet, remove artificial colors first.
3. Connection time DAILY. 30 minutes when you come home from work can make a huge difference.
4. Regular routine. My irregular child needs much more of a routine than my regular one. She doesn't have the internal clock that helps regulate her.
5. Deep breathing (for you!) and time for YOU to recharge.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post


this is a thread that I posted when dd was about 3 1/2. For sale: One gently used 3 year old. It's a tough age.

Things to think about:
1. SLEEP! Not enough sleep makes life much worse
2. Regular snacks with protein/fat. If you're going to work on improving diet, remove artificial colors first.
3. Connection time DAILY. 30 minutes when you come home from work can make a huge difference.
4. Regular routine. My irregular child needs much more of a routine than my regular one. She doesn't have the internal clock that helps regulate her.
5. Deep breathing (for you!) and time for YOU to recharge.
That is a really fabulous thread! Why is it that it is not only acceptable but fully welcomed to come here and revel in the fact that others are in the same pain that you are ?
post #19 of 19
3 is a super difficult age, for sure.

I totally agree to keep diet and TV/screen time in check and heap on the quality connecting time together. Also SLEEP!

Also take the time to stay firm. Sometimes I'll find if I check a child on something inappropriate his attitude really improves.
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