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Help me.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

My 3.5 year old is driving me to want to smack her, really. I don't need any flames for this, because I haven't actually done it but she's being so well, frankly, annoying that I can't take it anymore. Every gentle disipline method I do is making her WORSE and she doesn't take anything seriously (time outs, taking things away, etc) 

 

She's being impossible. Even when DS was first born she didn't experience the jealousy because we've made sure she's had plenty of special parent time, we have a lovely babysitter who's engaging, and I make sure throughout the day it's just about her. Crafting, reading, etc. We limit screen time, get outside every day, go for walks etc. But lately this is impossible....

 

DD is just not listening. In the parking lot she knows better than to leave my side but the other day she RAN to a puddle and stomped in it while I was handling DS. I almost smacked her, and she thought it was FUNNY. Yesterday at my moms she was surrounded by family and we were having a blast, and than she went into the bathroom and DRANK SOME PERFUME (a tiny amount..) and she immediatly came and told us. She's putting small things in her mouth (little bracelets, string etc), stealing off the counter to make "potions" putting things in the toilet. I can't TAKE IT. 

 

I am not enjoying her. Not one bit. I know it sounds awful and it certainly isn't all day everyday but I need solutions, now. 

post #2 of 13

These things sound to me like she's looking for attention. Especially drinking perfume. Because you HAVE to pay attention to her if she needs to go to the doc, right?

Sounds like you are trying really hard to give her as much positive attention as possible. Is it possible to give more? Is it possible to find a craft or game that she really enjoys and really focus 100% of your attention into it?

Also, how much is she getting from her dad? I know in all situations it's not possible to get much/any but that could be affecting it too.

When you talk to her do you look her right in the eyes? Do you make enough physical contact? These would be the areas I'd look at most. I hope you figure it out.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey, when DS is awake he's basically hanging out while I do things with her..we bake, she does a craft while I clean, etc. If he's napping we snuggle on the couch with books or she's allowed a movie (she tends to wake him up) and she loves that. Bath time is with both kids but after she gets Daddy-time by herself for an hour, before she comes and snuggles me (DS is already asleep) and has her bedtime milk and a book. AND in addition to that once or twice a week she gets to go out for "girls lunch" or a special play date. I mean she really gets enough attention I think....

 

I do get down on my knees, look into her eyes etc. I also started with a rewards jar (she hasn't gotten anything from it yet) and I have taken away privleges 

post #4 of 13

When DD2 was born my almost 3yo went from seeming so small one day to appearing so big the next.  Sometimes it was difficult to remember that she was still pretty young and still needed supervision.

 

None of the things in your post seemed out of the realm of normal for a 3 year old's behavior.  As impossible as it might seem, you may just have to be on top of her at all (or mostly all) times.  For us, that meant I was often bringing the baby up and downstairs depending on big sister's whims. Or it meant that I had to figure a way to hold the baby and keep one hand on DD1 in the parking lot- even though she "should have known better".

 

Family gatherings are exhausting for me because everyone is having fun, but I am constantly watching the little ones to keep them out of trouble.  Sucks, but it has to be done.

 

Maybe instead of trying to force good behavior out of her, for a while just watch her like a hawk so that she can't do anything wrong.  It's tiring, but at least you won't have that temper boiling up.  After a while you can start experimenting with trust in little ways again.

post #5 of 13

Well maybe attention isn't the problem then. I must commend you on that because it's such an easy area to neglect. Maybe all the things she's doing are just expirementing. Kids like to see what things taste like. Puddles are irresistable. And danger is an afterthought to children. I agree with woodchick that maybe when she acts up she's just worn out from this or that, overstimulated, or has some other need that's not being addressed right away. Could be thirsty even. Hard for us to say. Your guess is better than ours. :)

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

I do think we need to re-work on our bedtime rhythm. Right now she has that special Daddy time I mentioned, but sometimes I think it backfires and she ends up a little overstimulated, making it harder to fall asleep. 

 

I know I need to watch her more closely I'm just so not prepared for this! For so long she's been independent (an angel really) and now she's sort of reverting to baby-ish ways. I am going to supervise her more, thanks guys! 

post #7 of 13

This kind of reminds me of my 3.5 year old daughter.  Lately she's been absolutely impossible at times!  Out of her own character.  Normally she is so sweet and wonderful and amazing and then in a split second being really horrible, crying, or being nasty to dd2, just pure evil sometimes!  Doing things that just shock me, that my normally very reasonable daughter would not do!  I have no advice, just wanted to let you know I think my daughter is going through a similar thing. I can't figure it out either and don't know what to do!

post #8 of 13

hug2.gif  Three is a really hard age.  Consistency and lowering my expectations really helped me when dd was three.  I had raised them way to high and expected dd to act much older than she was capable of acting.  I wanted to smack her many times when she was three but never did follow through.  That was the only year I felt like hitting her, though she is sometimes hard to deal with now.  I wouldn't go back to three for anything.  Hang in there, it does get easier.

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommariffic View Post

I do think we need to re-work on our bedtime rhythm. Right now she has that special Daddy time I mentioned, but sometimes I think it backfires and she ends up a little overstimulated, making it harder to fall asleep. 

 

I know I need to watch her more closely I'm just so not prepared for this! For so long she's been independent (an angel really) and now she's sort of reverting to baby-ish ways. I am going to supervise her more, thanks guys! 



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Plarka View Post

This kind of reminds me of my 3.5 year old daughter.  Lately she's been absolutely impossible at times!  Out of her own character.  Normally she is so sweet and wonderful and amazing and then in a split second being really horrible, crying, or being nasty to dd2, just pure evil sometimes!  Doing things that just shock me, that my normally very reasonable daughter would not do!  I have no advice, just wanted to let you know I think my daughter is going through a similar thing. I can't figure it out either and don't know what to do!


 

No advice, either.  Just wanted to say that I feel your frustration. 
 

My daughter is doing all of this, too.  She'll be 4-years-old in 2 months and this is the first major problem(s) I've had from her.  We don't have a new baby though.  She does the baby-talk and it drives me nuts and I don't allow it.  If I call her "honey", she gets upset and demands, "Call me BABY!".  I picked her up after work one night and she said, "Ma-ma!  Ga-ga Goo-ga."  She'll purposely put yogurt or porridge all over her face and she laughs this incredibly annoying fake baby-laugh like "whoopsy!  Baby got all messy.  Giggle, giggle."  It's sweet and annoying all at once.  I can't stand it.  Sometimes she'll "babble" and I play a guessing game of what she's trying to say.  I put an end to it though.  Sigh.  She's always been advanced--walked, talked early.  She can write her name, count to 20.  She acts older than she is.  But then she turns around and plays these baby games.  I've been battling with if I should play into her baby-games or go against them. 

 

My daughter has also been an ANGEL.  An almost perfect kid.  At 18 months old, she would stop on a DIME if I told her "stop".  The other day, she kept running heading right for the road.  My angel all of a sudden turned into a terror and I'm at a complete loss of what to do, too.     

 

post #10 of 13

Have you tried being honest?

 

I told my kids when they're being annoying, and explain when someone does that it really doesn't make me want to be around them very much. (Also, that was pretty handy because then they could tell me what annoyed them, too.)  Then I'd ask them what they wanted (a hug, some attention, ect).  Three year olds are just annoying sometime though.  It made me feel better to give voice to my feelings, though.  (And sometimes DD would say, "No, I don't really want a hug or anything, I just want to annoy you, I like being annoying because it's funny."  Oddly, I found it easier to take when she said that!)

 

Now, you have to be careful that you're not doing it in a punitive way.  But since we often model for our kids how to express feelings and help them express theirs, I think it's good to explain to kids that if they do (insert behavior here) then many people will probably find it annoying. 

post #11 of 13

I just want to echo what OneGirl said -- 3 can be very, very challenging!  I'm on the third kid, who is 3.5 right now, and this has been the hardest age for me each time.  Two can be frustrating, older kids can be complicated, but no age is more downright aggravating than 3!   Laughing at your attempts at discipline?  Check.  Refusing to cooperate, especially when you are in a hurry or busy with the baby?  Check.  Putting small things in their mouth which they haven't done for over a year?  Check.  It's all totally, completely and insanely normal.  This must be why God made 3 years old the cutest age -- otherwise no one would live past 3!  The good news is that it will turn around soon.  IME, 4 is much, much easier and 5 is easier still.  5 and 6 year olds are positively delightful! 

 

Honestly, in addition to the other good suggestions you've gotten, the best thing I can offer is to adjust your expectations a little.  I have had less trouble (which is certainly NOT to say *no* trouble) with my 3rd child, simply because I knew better what to expect this time around.  Expect the lack of cooperation and look for ways that she might be more willing to go along.  Be careful with making too many things into a game (because 3 year olds will never want to end the game!) but do recognize that yelling and getting frustrated doesn't help either.  You'll probably find that you need to start being firmer now than you were in the past. 

 

I've got to run, but one more suggestion:  Check out the "Your ___ Year Old" series.  Your library may have them.  (The subtitle for Your Three Year Old is "Friend or Enemy?"  That about sums it up, lol!)  I have found them to be very helpful, especially at the difficult ages.

post #12 of 13

No advice here, but I feel your pain.  My 3.5 yo son is absolutely impossible sometimes (at least a few times a day), and it drives me batty.  Glad to know that it is normal at this age.  I have been feeling bad about my realization that I am not really enjoying him right now when he is acting this way.  My only coping mechanism is that I try to focus on the positive moments we have and on all his good qualities and not dwell too much on the times when he makes things unpleasant ... that's just a mental exercise for me, going over his good qualities and the funny/bright things he says and the times when he is cooperative and unselfish, nice to his little brother, etc., and letting the more difficult times go as quickly as possible.  It helps me refresh and get my positive attitude back after he causes a kerfuffle. 

post #13 of 13

Another one here with perfect angel turned terror.

 

I have one trick these days that helps, just one. Not sure if you can do it with the babe too - but if the babe will agree to being put down for 15 minutes... we go into our "lair" which means we get under the blankets of a (preferably well-made?!) bed and we pretend to be wiggling worms, or whatever. I try to give him as much skin to skin as I can during this time, offer massage, etc. Something about the warm dark privacy of being hidden under the covers really helps, because then I can go back to some chores, and he's content again for 30 minutes with a safe game before he tries to pull the cat's tail or something.

 

You're clearly making sure she gets lots of attention time, so I'm not suggesting this as an add-on, but maybe instead of something. (Like right now he'd rather be wiggleworms than read, and that's sayin' something for my kid.)

 

 

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