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My 3 year old is driving me to the breaking point! I need advice, perspective shift, or at least... - Page 2

post #21 of 35

Penny, I'm sorry but your post totally had me laughing. Maybe because I can relate?

 

A few days ago we were visiting DH at work (out of town, so we were in a hotel) and in the middle of lunch, DS stands up in his chair, strips off his pants and underwear, and hops down. I ask him where he is going. He ignores me, climbs up on the (hotel) chair, and starts to pee. This child has been out of diapers since the week of his 2nd birthday. It was so absurd it was almost funny. He also peed on the bathroom floor recently, on purpose. Sigh.

 

I totally agree about getting some to spend one on one with him. It's been hard lately. YDS has not been napping unless we are in the car or he's in the stroller, which means we miss that time together. DH is away for work for 3 months, and we haven't yet found a sitter here since we just moved. I'm hoping that over the holidays with DH home and more family around we can make it work better.

 

I did follow this link that I found in another post and while DS is on track as far as motor skills it said he may need help in terms of his socio-emotional behavior. I think it very well could be situational as we haven't had these kind of issues in the past (before our life went into upheaval) but if his behavior continues once we are settled in I plan to seek out help for him so that he can cope better.

 

http://asqoregon.com/

 

 

dianna, I am sorry your family is going through this and that you haven't been able to get help for your DS (and thus, the rest of your family!) Have you tried seeking the help of an OT? Could it be sensory related?

post #22 of 35

Hi- I don't have any advice or anything, but thanks for this thread!  I came to this forum for some advice on a 3 3/4 year old who is driving me to the breaking point!  But no tantrums, though, so I suddenly feel grateful for that.  :)

 

 

ETA: It's been awhile since I've been here at MDC, and I kind of smiled when I saw my siggy.  In love with Hannah Rose.  I remember writing that.... :)

post #23 of 35

sounds like aspbergers / ASD or sensory processing issue to me.

post #24 of 35

First, you are not alone! My 3 year old is extremely intense, emotional, and sensitive. She sounds so much like your daughter. For example, she too wants to only wear short sleeves, even in the winter. Our agreement is that when she's inside, that's fine. When we go outside, she has to wear a longsleeved shirt underneath the T. My daughter also throws intense tantrums and we often are trying to put out fires before they start. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. We use time outs as a cool down, not as punishment. I stay with her during cool downs because I don't want her to feel cut off. She needs the calming, but not always the isolation.

 

I highly, highly recommend the books The Highly Sensitive Child, and Raising Your Spirited Child. The main message in those books is that this behavior is normal, but it is unusual (in that our kids are EXTRA intense, EXTRA sensitive, etc etc). Seriously, Highly Sensitive Child has changed my life and given me so much insight into my daughter's behaviors. I also signed up for the Highly Sensitive Child listserv on yahoo to connect with other parents whose kids are like this. Go and get this book immediately. I have learned SO MUCH and feel so much better about raising my daughter in a way that will keep all the best stuff about her sensitivity and intensity, but improve on her ways of interacting with our family and being respectful. 

 

If you would like to PM me, I'd love to talk to another mom going through the same thing with a similarly aged child.

post #25 of 35

I disagree with ASD or sensory processing, although I can see what might make you think this. This child sounds like a Highly Sensitive Child to me.  Although the hitting and what seems like antisocial behaviors is upsetting, I don't think it's abnormal for such a young child, especially if she is highly sensitive. High sensitivity would also explain the sensory stuff.

post #26 of 35
So thankful for this thread!
post #27 of 35
smokeylo, that link was very helpful!

And I don't know why I said my daughter doesn't have tantrums! I guess I think it doesn't qualify as a tantrum unless the child is on the floor. She definitely has tantrums from time to time. smile.gif

I just starting the book How to Talk so Children Will Listen and Listen so Children Will Talk (or is it the other way around?) on the advice of a friend and I really like it so far. Seems like it's making a difference in our relationship. smile.gif

PS smokeylo I just ordered the second book you mentioned, looking forward to it as well.
post #28 of 35

I didn't read all the replies so forgive me if I'm repeating things others have said, but it sounds like you're doing all the right things for her.

Is it possible to get a second pair of her favorite PJ's? Some might see that as indulgent, but she need not know there's a 2nd set, just that she never has to get upset about them ever being in the wash winky.gif

I like to call time outs "taking space" and not putting time limits on them. Explain that she needs to take space to collect herself and that when she's ready she may come out (or as she already does, calls out to be held).

Have you considered that she may have food allergies or sensitivities? I've seen a lot of kids have "crazy/intense" behavior because of food issues. One mama on MDC referred to her otherwise lovely child as a devil-when the child ate wheat, just to give you an idea. Feel free to PM me if you'd like support on the food front.

Hang in there!! hug2.gif

post #29 of 35


Just wanted to say that I totally understand where you are at! My DS is much the same. Right now he only wants the Christmas PJ's. He is known to repeat phrases literally for an hour. "I just miss dad, I just miss dad, I just miss dad.." "I want milk, I want milk, I want milk, I want milk". Not having any older siblings, he certainly can't come up with things like "i hate you" or "i hope you die" but he does the worst he can think of - "You are a bad Mom. You are mean." "I don't like Jee-Jee (my 11 mo DD)". I let him throw his fit in his carseat if we're out.

 

And though I endlessly avoided timeouts the first 3 years, I am now using them. When he decides he's upset, he just starts swinging. And he won't stop hitting til he's done. So that means he has to be in his room hitting the wall. Because otherwise he will just stand there hitting me or trying to hit DD to no end. 

 

It's a strange mix  of exhaustion and guilt and helplessness. He got a new sibling this year. We moved away from our whole family, I became a SAHM and DH started in a new career which has had him away more than usual. I know that for a 3 year old, it must feel like too much to take. But the behavior that comes with that feeling also makes ME feel like it's too much to take. 

 

I quoted Just1More here because I think it's dead on - they get out of control when they feel their situation is out of control. And since everything has felt 100% out of control for DS the last 6 months, this has been my life. I'm really quite certain of it, because when we visit our hometown/family, he goes right back to the normal sweet kid he's always been, no breakdowns. 

 

I was actually glad to read your DD does well in preschool, I have been terrified to start DS for this reason. And since he finished potty training he has been begging to go to preschool, knowing that he's allowed now that he doesn't wear training pants. 

 

hug2.gif Hang in there.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Just1More View Post

I have 4dc, and have found that they are the most out of control when they feel their situation is out of control.  Like, if I am not clear on what goes on around here, or what is going to happen next, or how you may and may not talk to you brother, it's like they just don't know and have to try everything, and they feel wild and uncertain. 

 

We spend a lot of time traveling, and are frequently in new places, at odd times of day, and with strange food, etc.  It has helped all of them tremendously to be told where we are going, what we are going to do when we get there (in annoying detail), and how they are going to behave.  I don't mean that in a controlling forced sort of way.  Just a "this is what people do in these situations" kind of way.  They seem to always be grateful for the advice, and usually heed it.  I include things like, for ds, "There will be lots of people, and some of them will want to talk to you.  It will be getting close to bedtime, and you probably won't feel like talking, so you could just smile or wave.  If you don't feel like doing that, then you could just stay close and sit on my lap."  It helps them SO much to know how they are going to potentially feel ahead of time, and options for dealing with it.  THEN, when something comes up, and they start reacting, I can gently remind them, "Mama told you that you would be tired, and there would be lots of people.  Would you like to just sit with me for a while."  Sometimes, ds especially, turns into a grump and I just have to tell him what he's going to do.  Because, when we are talking about NEEDS, that's why my parent role comes in.  I'm not being controlling or authoritarian, I'm just meeting a need that he doesnt' yet have the experience to handle.  Even though he doesn't always like my solution.

 

Anyway, just a thought about how some kids really crave knowing what is going to happen.  The options of figuring it all out on their own is just too much.  Maybe some more structure will help her?  Maybe that is why she doesn't have issue at preschool?  There are no surprises there.



 

post #30 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeylo View Post

 

 

I highly, highly recommend the books The Highly Sensitive Child, and Raising Your Spirited Child. The main message in those books is that this behavior is normal, but it is unusual (in that our kids are EXTRA intense, EXTRA sensitive, etc etc). Seriously, Highly Sensitive Child has changed my life and given me so much insight into my daughter's behaviors. I also signed up for the Highly Sensitive Child listserv on yahoo to connect with other parents whose kids are like this. Go and get this book immediately. I have learned SO MUCH and feel so much better about raising my daughter in a way that will keep all the best stuff about her sensitivity and intensity, but improve on her ways of interacting with our family and being respectful. 

 

 


Love these books - I have one of each (older Dd is sensitive; younger Dd spirited) and picked both up at a yard sale.  Funny thing is, when you are asked to evaluate your own temperment I realized I certainly qualify as spirited/intense in the same way as my younger DD - the subject of this post!

 

post #31 of 35
Thread Starter 

So, it has been a while since I last posted - I think I started this thread a month ago when things felt they could not get worse.

 

Since last posting, things have gotten so, so, so much better!  It really affirms the thing I know, intellectually about parenting, but have so much trouble internalizing when things feel overwhelming - that so much of this child-rearing business is a stage and that this, too, shall pass.

 

So here is the update -

 

Temper tantrums, which used to occur multiple times (3 - 4) per day, now occur 4 - 6 times per week.  And they seem to have lost their intensity - 45 minute ones have been replaced by 3 - 4 minute ones where she very quickly blows her anger out and begs me to hold her ("hold me!" has always signaled the end of a tantrum).  She has more or less stopped saying hateful things.  She has wildly branched out food-wise.  She is now getting dressed on her own in long-sleeved shirts (under the beloved short-sleeved dresses).  She no longer insists on only one pair of pajamas and happily is mixing up what she wears to bed.  (To the PP who suggested I buy an extra set so one is always available, my own frugality has bitten me on the bottom in this case - her PJs all belonged to her older sister, and were thrift shop finds 6 years ago, so no dice there.)

 

IN short, this is a changed kiddo!  Don't get me wrong - she is still MORE of everything - more intense, more loud, more energetic, more talkative, more thrill-seeking, more active, more quick to protest and to fuss than most kids.  She is still very challenging and I feel I need to stay one step ahead of her much of the time.  But the balance has really shifted and she is so much sunnier, so much less volatile.  I am so grateful.  I know it can easily shift back, but for now I am savoring this phase.  To those still in it, remember, this too shall pass.

post #32 of 35

I just wanted to say a big thank you for the book recommendations. I've taken both out from the library and "Raising Your Spirited Child" in particular has really resonated with me. It describes my DS (and me, actually!) almost exactly. I am just about finished and will be having DH read it next. I can already see how helpful it will be.

post #33 of 35

I'm glad people have found those books helpful. They have been game changers for our family!

post #34 of 35

Glad it's getting better! I was going to suggest that we have found multiple short sleeve shirts a good compromise to the not wanting to wear sleeves. I have a 4.5yo DD who at one point bagged up all her long sleeved clothes and was headed out the door with them, telling me she was going to donate them. But she will wear 3-4 short sleeve shirts at the same time, which I figure is better than nothing.

post #35 of 35

Who said the twos were terrible?! I had terrible threes for both my children. Can totally relate, like so many of you - my 3 yo (turning 4 this month, signalling a change I hope!) daughter has the same sort of clothing drama as yours PennyRoo except hers is dresses *rolls eyes*. I have struck a deal with her for one day on, one day off and to my shame, I do sneak in things that look like dresses a couple of times in the week (longer shirts, "dress shirts" we call them!). I agree with the poster that talked about structure - I think if they know what to expect, there's a little less drama - they want to know that they have some control and so we need to find a way to give them some level of choice and keeping our sanity :-)

 

Good luck to all you wonderful mommies out there! 

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