or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Life with a Toddler › What happened to my sweet girl?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What happened to my sweet girl?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

DD is almost 3 - she is very easygoing, agreeable. usually listens well (for a toddler), cuddly, and has had few tantrums.


In the last few weeks, her behavior has changed - she has bursts of anger where she yells and throws things, gets angry and has tantrums easily, and just doesn't listen.  She has even hit my arm once or twice (I have never hit her).


There are a few things I think may be going on:


 - it's just normal 3 year old behavior and I need to stop worrying about it


- I'm 7 months pg and getting to the point where my body is changing more, my back is hurting, i'm exhausted all the time, i don't have as much patience with her - so I'm wondering if she is already reacting to the new baby


 - she has not been sleeping well so maybe she is just chronically overtired


 - she started going to a new babysitter in sept - a SAHM mom with 2 boys - I haven't spent much time with her boys so I don't know if she is imitating their behavior and if this is the way they react to frustration.  I know she spanks her boys occasionally and I don't know if she every spanks them with DD there.  I know she has never hit DD or anything and DD behaves well there so I don't think she has ever had to discipline her yet. 


 - She has also had bad separation anxiety lately so I wonder if this is one way of acting out her frustrations


 - DH has been really stressed and frustrated with his job and borderline depressed - I wonder if she picks up on our stress and this is her way of acting it out.


Any thoughts?  Anyone who's been there who can help me handle this new behavior?  I really want my sweet little girl back!!

post #2 of 13

I vote she's 3only because it sounds exactly like what ds is going through here. I just had a baby &: know that is also affecting things but it seems most people I know who have had 3 year olds remember this delightful time.

post #3 of 13

My DD is almost 3.5 years old and she exhibits the same behaviour you describe. She went from being a happy, sweet 3 year old to...a little monster who sometimes makes me lose it. The constant "No's", the demands, the freak outs...it's very tiring, and I'm not 7 months preggo like you. I've spoken with other mamas in my old DDC and we all agree that 3 is a very trying age...worse than 2 because they now have the words to reason WHY they should get what they want all the time.


*hugs* to you. I'm right there with you. 

post #4 of 13



It sounds like it could be any of those reasons. This is a big transition for everyone.


I know you don't spank but you might want to outline that with your caregiver. Witnessing that might also be equally intimidating. Not to add to your worries but your daughter might benefit from time spent with someone with a similar parenting philosophy. If you take care of that now it might be one less thing to worry about.


In general, I'd tackle one issue at a time. Taking care of your back and managing the separation anxiety would be at the top of my list. IMHO.







post #5 of 13

I literally have been saying the same exact phrase lately ''what happened to my sweet girl?'' Yes, the attitude is killing me. When she doesn't get her way, I get ''I don't like you'' ''You're mean!'' And even my personal favorite ''youre an asshole.'' angry.gif Ah, so sweet. I have never even had to give her a time out in her life because she was always so eager to please and now, I feel like I am putting her in her room several times a day. Hang in there. I too believe its the age.

post #6 of 13

I have to say also that the change is that she's THREE. Such a difference was seen in our sweet, passive, always mellow baby girl when she turned three. Two was no biggie, three has been challenging!! You're not alone though as most my friends with three-year olds share the same sentiment.

post #7 of 13

Yes welcome to 3! My toddler is 2.5 but it very much 3 in all ways.  He does all of the things yours is doing and it's such a PITA!  I also wonder where my sweet DS went......sometimes he's fine......many times he's so 3 I want to scream and throw a massive tantrum too!

post #8 of 13

Y'all are scaring me...my 2 yr old (2 yrs 1 month) is acting the way you describe your 3 year olds.  You mean to tell me it's gonna get worse?  My sweet little girl is constantly doing things that she KNOWS I don't want her to do.  And she also comes in my lap and tells me she loves me and wants to rock me to make me feel better.  She is SO sweet and yes SUCH an imp ALL day long.  I don't know if I can handle things getting worse.  :(


post #9 of 13

I'm so sorry. DS is not yet three but my niece who is just told my sister she 'wants a new mommy'


I'm hoping boys will be easier? praying.gif


My Mom always said God made children cute so we won't kill them. biggrinbounce.gif

post #10 of 13

dakotablue - if boys are easier I dread when dd hits 3!!

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies...it helps to know that it's developmentally normal.


I'm definitely a perfectionist so when dd starts acting like this I overanalyze my own mothering because I'm sure it must all be my fault or if I can figure out how to do things right then she will go back to being sweet and easygoing all the time again.  I'm sure I gave too much credit to my mothering for her former good behavior and am blaming myself too much for her current difficult behavior.


She has been having some good days recently and is not difficult all the time, so I'm grateful for those times.


Any suggestions on how to handle discipline when she just doesn't listen?  It drives me crazy and I don't know how to address the issue well. 

post #12 of 13

Redirect redirect redirect.  Toddlers have zero impulse control.  They know they aren't supposed to do x - but the impulse to do just that is too much and they do it anyway.  Major source of conflict between DS and DH.  I keep reminding DH zero impulse control.  Also, my DS has a major tantrum right before a big developmental mile stone or a growth spurt - so there may be a pattern to it.  Also, more tantrums are likely if the kiddo is have a carb crash.  We barely eat grains at this point because of it.  Lots of meat, veggies and fruits.  Another thing that we do is let's say he's hitting at me because he's angry because I said no to something, I hold his hands firmly and say, we only use gentle hands.  I'll hold you until you settle down and can control your hands.  That seems to help.  In terms of hitting his brother, I just put him off with a stern no hitting! and pick up the baby and walk out of the room and ignore the behavior.  Sooth the younger and let the big one realize he doesn't get rewarded for hitting with attention.  If he follows I say, it's not safe for your brother to be near you right now and I need to be with him because you made him sad.  HTH

post #13 of 13

My little dude is only 2.5 but seems to be doing the 3 yo thing a little early. My best advice is pick your battles and don't feel like you can't change your mind about the rest. 


I have a couple of hills I will die on (no throwing food while we're eating or you're totally done and down; no hitting; no doing something that endangers life and limb (like running onto a busy street); no sitting in a poop diaper for a long time; outside shoes come off at the door). The rest is seriously negotiable. For the hills I'll die on, I'm very calm and matter of fact and there is no arguing.


Am I thrilled that he likes to push the button for the light in the dryer on and off a million times while I'm trying to put our outside shoes and coats on? Nope. Do I tell him to stop? Nope...not a hill I want to die on. Do I think that cheese bunnies are a great thing to want to eat 15 minutes before the dinner that his papa and I have worked to prepare? Not so much but I give him a tablespoons' worth and tell him he can have more after dinner if he wants them. It's better then a long drawn out battle over whether he will eat dinner or "snacks" and it means that he will actually eat dinner instead of digging in his heels and insisting on a "snack". Stuff like that. And when he presents his argument about why he should be able to do/eat/play with something, I consider it and sometimes I'll say "that's something I didn't think about, and I think you're right, so go ahead and do it". I don't feel like my job description as a mother says infallible.


Hope that helps.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Life with a Toddler
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Toddler › Life with a Toddler › What happened to my sweet girl?