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My 3 year old loves to challenge me. - Page 2

post #21 of 31

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lydiah View Post

I think kids are capable of remembering a lot more than we give them credit for. My daughter remembers details from hikes we took last September and we havent taken her for a hike in the woods since then. There are old log benches, and old bridges that cross country skiers use, and she would remember around the spots, and ask about them.

 

So I do think she can remember the time we went home because she wasnt listening.

 

I think I just have to remember to not take it personally, provide boundaries, and lots of praise when she is doing well. The praise starts to go out the window when I take it personally.



Of course she can remember the event, but is it enough to create a new habit?  I believe children often misbehave because they have developed a bad habit.  Sometimes the habit can be nothing more than the fact that since they were infants, anytime they screamed they got whatever they wanted.  What a shock it must be the first time that doesn't work!  And, it's no wonder they keep trying it!  So, they need help to create a new habit, and new default behavior, and I think that random outings/punishments aren't enough.  Which is why I do it again over and over on the same day...I think the whole "we'll go home" routine is just that: a routine.  It doesn't say *this* is what we do, loud and clear.  It says that what we do when you act like that is go home.  It doesn't help them learn to act a new way...it tells them they have to conjure up a new way next time on their own.  They may or may not be capable of that.  I would rather help them through a "baby steps" program to create a new habit instead.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shami View Post

what i am saying is that at 18 months old, they are easy to scoop up and take out of the store. At three years old, i would have to literally drag her out if she decided to throw her self on the floor. i don't think any age is too young to learn by your method, but the tactic you mentioned (make them hold your hand) would not work well with my particular 3 yr. old. Trying to make her hold my hand would result in a huge physical battle. It's much easier for me to say, You know what? Mama has to get this food shopping done and later you will want to want ________dvd. If you do not cooperate now with mama, you will lose your dvd privilege. That usually works.


I'm a pretty firm parent, and I expect a lot out of my kids, but I just can't get in to the tit for tat of punishments.  If my kids (as I already mentioned) can't behave appropriately in a scenerio, it shows me that we need to practice that scenerio until they can, not throw out random threats and punishments designed to force them to come up with enough internal strength to do it on their own. 

 

post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lydiah View Post

Sigh. We were at a church rummage sale and I told we were leaving soon. They had the back of the church blocked off with chairs. She ran past the chairs to go downstairs. I told her we were not allowed down there. She would not listen so I took her to a quiet corner for a time out. I told she could leave whenever, as long as she went to the main room. I wanna go downstairs! I told her that we were not allowed to go down there. Not Lilly and not mommy. She started to kick and scream and attempt to bite my legs. So we left. Once outside she says, Ok mommy I will stop crying. I told her it was too late, and the time to stop crying was inside the church. I did not say a word on the walk home. I brought her home put her to bed, with out a word. I was so angry and I didnt want to say anything I would regret.

 

We had plans to go to a highschool play after her nap, but I cant bring myself to take her out again. I plan to tell her we are no longer going because of her behavior today. I dont know if its right or wrong, but I am at a loss, and its the truth of why we are no longer going. I cant do this twice in one day.



I think this is the right thing to do.  If that happened in our house, we definitely wouldn't be going somewhere else that required her to sit in one place.  Not as punishment, but just as a result of not demonstrating that she's capable of doing it earlier. 

FWIW my 3 yr old is and has always perfect in restaurants.  I would feel comfortable taking her to any restaurant, for any length of time.  My 1 yr old, however, will absolutely not sit in a highchair or be held in a restaurant at all.  For awhile I was getting really frustrated with her and upset when we'd have to leave places. 

I've just totally reconsidered her abilities and we now go out to eat much less and to different places and I have no real expectations for her.

I realize that a 3 yr old and a 1 yr old are developmentally capable of different things, but I think I'd really be aware of where you're taking her.  Even my 3 yr old, who is pretty good at sitting in one place, wouldn't be able to make it at a high school play.

 

post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lydiah View Post

Sigh. We were at a church rummage sale and I told we were leaving soon. They had the back of the church blocked off with chairs. She ran past the chairs to go downstairs. I told her we were not allowed down there. She would not listen so I took her to a quiet corner for a time out. I told she could leave whenever, as long as she went to the main room. I wanna go downstairs! I told her that we were not allowed to go down there. Not Lilly and not mommy. She started to kick and scream and attempt to bite my legs. So we left. Once outside she says, Ok mommy I will stop crying. I told her it was too late, and the time to stop crying was inside the church. I did not say a word on the walk home. I brought her home put her to bed, with out a word. I was so angry and I didnt want to say anything I would regret.

 

We had plans to go to a highschool play after her nap, but I cant bring myself to take her out again. I plan to tell her we are no longer going because of her behavior today. I dont know if its right or wrong, but I am at a loss, and its the truth of why we are no longer going. I cant do this twice in one day.

It might be too late to say anything now but...

 

I think what you did in the church scenario is fine, but I would not say anything to her about the play.  You have decided she is not ready to handle sitting through a play peacefully (good call!)  but if you tell her that it's because of HER behavior, (rather than a choice you as a parent are making because you realize she is not ready), it not only is framed punitively, but also forms a major guilt trip for a 3 year old.  I mean...it's not her fault she can't behave.  She's 3.  It hard and as Just one more says, they need to learn.  Some kids take longer to learn than others.  Some kids just have to grow up.  But if you tell her "it's because of YOU that we can't go" she would have to be pretty self absorbed, even for a 3 yo to not make the connection that you resent her for it.

 

It's okay to be angry at what happened, to take some time to cool off if you need it, but you can't be any more angry at a 3yo for misbehaving and having impulse control issues, than you can for a puppy that pees on the rug when she is excited. 

post #24 of 31


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

When my older one was between about 18 months and 4, we hardly ever went anywhere that didn't include running around, like the park, and always had an exit plan. Kids that age are still toddlers, still prone to tantrums, still have very limited impulse control, and on top of all that, they've started getting a huge desire for autonomy. I would be careful with where you go and how often you go out, always have an exit plan, and if something is too much for her, don't feel bad about having to leave, and I also wouldn't lecture her about why you have to leave, I'd just say it wasn't going well so we had to leave. As she gets older she'll be able to handle more. But some kids can't handle much at that age.

My second one is an easy child who doesn't tantrum, and if I'd had her first, I might think it was something you'd done wrong, but really, having had a very high needs kid, I think some toddlers just have a hard time with outings.


This.

 

My oldest was totally crazy until he was about 4.5. Nothing "worked." He didn't care about consequences. When he wanted to tantrum, that's all he wanted - to tantrum. The tantrum/screaming itself was the goal. I was so sure at the time that I must be doing something wrong, but in retrospect, no. Some kids are just like that when they're 3. The people who say that if you did everything "right", you'd be seeing much better behavior? I just don't buy it.

 

Many, many parents of multiple children over 3 or 4 years old have experienced the phenomenon of the child who was an untameable hellion before age 4. There's this widespread myth that proper parenting/discipline is highly effective with all neurotypical 3 yo's, but it's not true. You can do everything right and still have "that kid." Some time after turning 4 is generally when "those preschoolers" can be parented into normal human behavior in public.

 

My youngest is 3 now, and she never tantrums. All of that stuff that just didn't work with my oldest is 100% effective with my youngest.

 

If I could go back in time and give myself advice when my spirited kid was 3, it would be this:

 

- Just stay sane. Your primary job is just to survive this phase with your sanity intact.

 

- Let go of the guilt. You didn't do or not do anything to make the kid like this.

 

- Keep being consistent, etc. Just let go of the idea that it will necessarily "work".

 

- Whilst shopping for groceries with a kid who keeps dropping to the floor screaming, and you sense people looking your way, notice that some of the onlookers are just kindly gazing at you with a knowing nod that says "I feel for you. I had one of those kids, too. You have my sympathies."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #25 of 31
Thread Starter 

I am still struggling mamas. *sigh* I lose my cool a lot. I am snappy, and angry, and I just cant seem to renew my patience. I feel like terrible mother at the end of each day.

 

I also realize that her down turn may have something to do with her new glasses. She knows she needs them and probably feels a little powerless about them. This is around the same time her behavior took a nosedive.

post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamakay View Post

 Whilst shopping for groceries with a kid who keeps dropping to the floor screaming, and you sense people looking your way, notice that some of the onlookers are just kindly gazing at you with a knowing nod that says "I feel for you. I had one of those kids, too. You have my sympathies."

 

 

I had three very kind mamas (now grandmas) actually tell me this today and give me a pep talk while I was giving my 3yo DD a time out at the checkout in a store today. It is so nice to realize that not everyone is glaring and wishing you'd stayed at home!

 

And Lydiah, I completely am with you. My DD is doing the same things as yours, and feeling impatient and snappish is a completely reasonable reaction. It's hard to be pushed and tested constantly. I hate feeling that way, and I hate being short/yelling at her--but we're humans, we're not perfect. Be forgiving of yourself!
 

 

post #27 of 31


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamakay View Post


 


This.

 

My oldest was totally crazy until he was about 4.5. Nothing "worked." He didn't care about consequences. When he wanted to tantrum, that's all he wanted - to tantrum. The tantrum/screaming itself was the goal. I was so sure at the time that I must be doing something wrong, but in retrospect, no. Some kids are just like that when they're 3. The people who say that if you did everything "right", you'd be seeing much better behavior? I just don't buy it.

 

Many, many parents of multiple children over 3 or 4 years old have experienced the phenomenon of the child who was an untameable hellion before age 4. There's this widespread myth that proper parenting/discipline is highly effective with all neurotypical 3 yo's, but it's not true. You can do everything right and still have "that kid." Some time after turning 4 is generally when "those preschoolers" can be parented into normal human behavior in public.

 

My youngest is 3 now, and she never tantrums. All of that stuff that just didn't work with my oldest is 100% effective with my youngest.

 

If I could go back in time and give myself advice when my spirited kid was 3, it would be this:

 

- Just stay sane. Your primary job is just to survive this phase with your sanity intact.

 

- Let go of the guilt. You didn't do or not do anything to make the kid like this.

 

- Keep being consistent, etc. Just let go of the idea that it will necessarily "work".

 

- Whilst shopping for groceries with a kid who keeps dropping to the floor screaming, and you sense people looking your way, notice that some of the onlookers are just kindly gazing at you with a knowing nod that says "I feel for you. I had one of those kids, too. You have my sympathies."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thank you for this. My husband and I have been taking our 3 year-old DS's behavior very personally. We feel like we have failed at something...we just don't know what. DS doesn't listen, follow instructions, pay attention. He hits, kicks, and screams at the top of his lungs. I really hope you are right, and that this is just a phase and not a monster we created. he he. :D

 

post #28 of 31
Thread Starter 

She cut us some slack today and I think thats what I needed to get some patience back. Thank goodness for small miracles.

post #29 of 31

Thank you for this thread.  My 3.5 year old dd is in the same testing stage.  Sometimes I just really don't like her very much, and I end up parenting in a less-than-compassionate/patient/gentle way because it is just so hard to struggle with her over every. little. thing.  But hakeber's (from page 1) and mamakay's advice are both really good.  I totally end up taking her personally, and I really shouldn't. 

post #30 of 31
Thread Starter 

So we were walking home with our friends from the park, and when it was time to part ways she had a melt down. I calmly picked her up and carried her the rest of the way home. I decided to start singing, because I didnt want to lose it on her. I sang some bob marley songs. lol. She continued to meltdown. She pushed chairs over and started to try and break stuff. So between picking up after her, and singing I told her that she needs to cool off in her room. I closed the door, and made her a snack and poured some juice. I went back upstairs. I said Lilly, when you are done picking up all the books you have thrown around, you can come have a snack and some juice. So she did and she even apologized without me implying she should.

 

I kept my cool, and I did not feel like melting down with her. I did not feel hostile. I just accepted the situation.

 

Progress!

post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lydiah View Post

So we were walking home with our friends from the park, and when it was time to part ways she had a melt down. I calmly picked her up and carried her the rest of the way home. I decided to start singing, because I didnt want to lose it on her. I sang some bob marley songs. lol. She continued to meltdown. She pushed chairs over and started to try and break stuff. So between picking up after her, and singing I told her that she needs to cool off in her room. I closed the door, and made her a snack and poured some juice. I went back upstairs. I said Lilly, when you are done picking up all the books you have thrown around, you can come have a snack and some juice. So she did and she even apologized without me implying she should.

 

I kept my cool, and I did not feel like melting down with her. I did not feel hostile. I just accepted the situation.

 

Progress!



That is FANTASTIC!!!  How great.  I am glad to see this update.

 

DS used to be the WORSTabout leaving places.  I remember once we had to leave this train museum and he was awful and it was infront of my whole family who only see him once every two years anyway so I mortified...but singing through the chaos has always helped me, too. 

 

The worst for him was 3, it got better and better as he got closer to four and now he leaves places with grace and calm.

 

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