My 3 year old is constantly testing her boundaries. I do countdowns, and time outs. I think I need more tools. She is constantly curious to see if she can call my bluff, and I never give in. I will give a few examples.
She runs around the library or out into the halls of the highschool no matter how many times I take her aside and tell her we must walk in the library. Then I tell her, if you run out of the library into the high school, we are going home. So she runs in to the high school. So we go home.
When we go for walks she will just stop, and demand to be picked up. I know that she can keep walking. I say "Lilly lets keep walking we are almost there. We can make a game of it, I will chase you." She just stops and refuses to budge. "Ok Lilly, lets go. Do you want me to hold your hand?" After much coaxing or a time out by a tree I can get her to resume.
Restaurants are not even worth it anymore. She just wants to run around and play. She wont color or play with any of the little toys I bring her. One time she was getting up to run around and I told her I would give her a time out. She said "Put me in time out then" So I did. Time out in public is not easy but I did it. She stayed at the table, but I dont know why it had to escalate to that.
Leaving any place is a huge chore. She has an emotional meltdown. That is even if I give her some heads up. I tell her 10 more minutes, 5 more minutes. She still flips out. During her flip outs its hard to keep my cool. She scratches, bites, head butts, whatever she can to hurt you. So I put her in her room, which is a safe place. In her smaller meltdowns she just throws stuff or sweeps stuff off the coffee table.
She was really tantrummy from 15 months till age 2. Then she got easier and now she is back to being a tantrummy kid.
There is a lot of good moments in between these, but when it happens I feel at a loss. It feels like we are having some kind of show down.