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3year olds

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
When does it get better? As in, when do they actually LEARN from their mistakes? For example, today my ds threw his after daycare snack on the ground, so there wasn't another snack for him (literally, I didn't have any more with me) and he's been screaming bloody murder about it since. That was over an hour ago.

I have about a gazillion other examples of situations exactly like that, and they are a daily occurrence. I've pretty much decided that GD is BS, and that 3yo's are just absolutely miserable humans. Help??
post #2 of 28

Awwwwww.  I'm sorry.  Mine only just turned 2 and still charms the pants off of me most of the time, but I KNOW it's coming.  I just couldn't read your post without responding. 

post #3 of 28

Yes, 3 year olds can be a pain. They want to be dictators, they have no foresight, no idea that you don't actually understand their thoughts, and no impulse control. Just be glad their not in charge of our nuclear arsenal or we'd all be toast!

 

GD works for 3 year olds, it's just different than it is for 2 year olds. Don't despair. They do grow out of it. But I found 3-4 harder than 1-2.

post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

Yes, 3 year olds can be a pain. They want to be dictators, they have no foresight, no idea that you don't actually understand their thoughts, and no impulse control. Just be glad their not in charge of our nuclear arsenal or we'd all be toast!

 

GD works for 3 year olds, it's just different than it is for 2 year olds. Don't despair. They do grow out of it. But I found 3-4 harder than 1-2.

 

How does it work? I'm at a loss. I'm exhausted, my ex is a jerk (and treats his mother like crap - so DS learns from him that its ok to be a jerk), my kid is crazy spirited and always has been so I'm going INSANE. DS also decided to poop his pants yesterday - seriously, he was looking at me and pooped his pants. He's been fully potty trained since his 3rd birthday (he chose to start wearing underwear, and we've had maybe 5 pee accidents since - the intentionally pooping his pants is really worrying to me as this is the second time he has done it)

post #5 of 28

and they are super emotional at that point of time too. i used to be so afraid to give dd ice at taht age. she would make friends with the ice and then scream and cry that her friend was disappearing. 

 

or she mourned for a whole week straight when i threw away her holey completely chewed up straw because i did not it was her friend. 

 

i think they get better right when u have scraped the bottom of the well and decided you have nothing more to give.

 

i hope you take every moment to do whatever it takes to get a break. 

 

also make sure he gets all the golden 3 - food, rest, exercise. that was the age when horsing around was VERY helpful to dd. even now - roughousing helps a lot with dealing with life. 

 

some of it though you have to just plod through.

post #6 of 28

Oh I so know what you mean! My ds1 famous line at the moment is, "It's gone forever!" to which he runs off screaming crying. eyesroll.gif

 

Mine just turned three, and this all started maybe the week before his birthday, so I've got a ways to go .... Hang in there, mama!

 

Oh, and the only thing that is keeping me sane is GD. Like, instead of getting mad at him/yelling at him, I just state or ask how he feels, sympathize with him, and then just let his feelings flow.  I figure that has got to be teaching him something.... I hope. 

post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
I wish GD was keeping me sane. Instead my ds just screams and screams and screams until I lose my temper. Seriously, he'll scream for hours over not getting his way. It sucks, because if his dad didn't just give in to every little thing, he'd probably get over things a lot faster.
post #8 of 28

My second is a screamer.  Wow.  Not that my first was easy at age 3, but at least he didn't scream!!  He was super rational for some reason.  Well, you can't count on them being rational yet...sigh.  I remember reading the boards when my first was 3 and seeing something about zipping up your zen suit.  There is a good book (helps validate what you're experiencing is normal and common) called: Your 3 Year Old: Friend or Enemy, by Louise Bates Ames.  I recommend it, even if just skimming.  Also remember it's not personal.  3 years old are rough to live with in general.  Keep up a rhythm so he knows what to expect and I agree about doing some roughhousing!  It helps get that energy out.  Good luck mama.  Mary

post #9 of 28

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

I wish GD was keeping me sane. Instead my ds just screams and screams and screams until I lose my temper. Seriously, he'll scream for hours over not getting his way. It sucks, because if his dad didn't just give in to every little thing, he'd probably get over things a lot faster.

 

ssmama - while this is a challenge now let me tell you while you suffer through this - it really, really helps our children cope with a lot later. 

 

my dd is almost 10 and the differences between her dad and me sound a lot like you guys. 

 

i know this is not very helpful now - but it really helps our kids to figure out the world 'easily' (if i could put it that way) later on. dd coped with changes after 5 much better than her friends. at 5 her behav. was the worst (that was the beginning of her prepuberty so she and i both had a really, really hard time, but once she came out of it, oh she was so mature and accepting and grown up right out of the blue). there is something v. different about her - that others tell me. she really really knows how to interact in public and how to handle other people - even bullies. 

post #10 of 28

I was hoping someone would have an answer to your question b/c mine's 4 and still doesn't learn from his mistakes. And the drama is HUGE right now. He doesn't even ask for/say what he needs in a normal voice. He often goes right to whining and hysterics. It's ridiculous. He was much more "mature" when he was 2! I think it's probably even harder when there are two parents and two sets of rules. DH frequently tells me I didn't give enough "chances" before I went ahead and "helped." But seriously, I'm losing my mind and some good advice I got on these forums was "Talk less, do more." It's working a bit better, so far....

post #11 of 28

Oh god.  My first child was the easiest. kid. ever.  Which is unfortunate because I could've used at least a little resistance for his siblings!  I mean literally I remember ONCE dealing with a public meltdown--on a no-nap day at a park where we had to stand in line for stuff, at 7 PM.  

My daughter had stuff-throwing tantrums at nearly four.  A phase I am thankful she's outgrown, but I wasn't sure then we'd survive it.  Seriously.

 

My 3rd child is now 3.  Will NOT poop in the potty.  He's trained--to get himself a diaper.  Literally the kid will put a diaper on himself.  And I can't stop buying them because they are also for his 17 month old brother.  He screams.  Even his normal talking is often a loud voice.  And even when he is relatively happy, he is making NOISE--driving trucks around.  LOL.  He's a total comedian.  Oh and just for added joy, he hits and swears if he doesn't like how his life is going.

But...the fact that he is a total comedian saves us all.  :D  Oh and he does things like today---he got mad at me and I had just told him he needed shoes on to go out.  So he throws off the jacket he was wearing and says "I goin' outside without my 'tuff on!"  aaaaaaaaaaggggggghhhhhhhhhh.

oh and if we get food for takeout other than pizza, count on him to not want whatever you bought for him.  I now plan this into the order.  Like today--an entire chicken basket the same size as mine intended for 5 yr old DD and a cheeseburger.  This is so that at the moment we sit together to eat, he can have a "sandwich" or chicken--whatever he decides in THAT MOMENT and we all are going to get enough food.  because I guarantee if 5 minutes ago he said he wanted chicken and I'm eating a 'sandwich', he is going to change his little mind.  (and actually the only thing I ordered too much of was fries.  7 and 5 ended up sharing the chicken, 3 ate half his dad's burger, baby ate a quarter of 7 yr old's cheeseburger.)

post #12 of 28

I have one of these too, he is sooo dramatic. when he gets angry we have this ritual:

 

him: i hate you, i am no longer your son.

I :okay.

he: mmh. are you sad?

I: I would be sad if you don´t want to be my son anymore.

He: Okay, I'll be your son.

 

We have this conversation every time he gets angry. which is like 20 times a day eyesroll.gif

 

last weekend he started crying about bambi, because "these things on his head that won't go away" - he was hysterically crying about bambi growing antlers ... 

 

and i's the same here about mindchanging ... "this is not what i wanted!" is one of his favourites...

post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 

Keep the stories coming mamas!!! I'm so glad I'm not alone, and before my ds comes back from visiting his dad, I'm going to print this thread to hang on my refrigerator (well out of reach....).

post #14 of 28

DS just turned 3.  I yell a lot. greensad.gif  I'm trying hard to stop.  I have 10 books checked out from the library on different discipline strategies and the like.  I've read 5 now and not one trick is working - on to number 6.  They all mention empathizing by saying "I know you wanted _____" , and then they are supposed to be able to accept reality.  Ha!    Problem is - I have no idea what he wants!  And neither does he half the time!    And he can't stop screaming long enough to get it out in words, or hear what I'm saying.  then, If I am able to hit the nail on the head and empathize, the reality I'm speaking IS NOT the reality he's willing to accept.  He wants the world to be the way he wants it, um NOW!  Forget discipline and teaching him to live within the bounadaries I set.  He is having a hard enough time living within the boundaries of reality (like, Me: "I'm sorry honey, the sun is not up right now."  DS: (sobbing) "I want the sun to be up! Make it come up!"  Me: "The sun will be up in ___ hours.  I cannot control the sun or the spinning of the earth." DS: "WAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!")

 

Sigh.  Please tell me again that he will grow out of this. 

post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
(like, Me: "I'm sorry honey, the sun is not up right now."  DS: (sobbing) "I want the sun to be up! Make it come up!"  Me: "The sun will be up in ___ hours.  I cannot control the sun or the spinning of the earth." DS: "WAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!")

 

I have had this exact same conversation SO many times!! Literally, even the subject (the sun) was the same. It usually happens around bedtime, when ds doesn't want to go to bed, so he starts talking about how its morning time and the sun is coming up. Umm....not so much!

 

 

Quote:
They all mention empathizing by saying "I know you wanted _____" , and then they are supposed to be able to accept reality.  Ha!

 

Ummmm yeah. Truth. Accepting reality doesn't seem to be within a 3yo's ability. At least not my spirited son's ability.

post #16 of 28

LOL! I so needed this thread when my DD was 3. She literally had me in tears several times. There was a commercial where the friends on a show were trying to help someone get un-stuck, and when they all fell backwards a stuffed animal of one of the characters flew off of the screen. "Nooooo!!!! He fell down! He fell down and I can't see him! Nooooo!!!" Or she would literally cry over spilled milk. "I spilled milk! I spilled milk and it's a mess! I spilled milk and I need more! I made a mess and now I have no milk! Ahhhh!!!" Plus there were times when she was super sneaky, and got to things that I don't even know how she got to.. glitter paint on top of a bookshelf, a sharpie that I swear was in a locked room. Oooh. Fun times.

 

At 4 1/2 not all of the behaviors are totally gone yet, but it is SO much easier to handle. All through age 3 I did several things that would occasionally work, but with little to no consistency. But, it seemed like the day after her 4th birthday all of the techniques just *clicked* and just about all of them work now unless she is super super tired. I'll share in case they could help you guys out now, or in the future.

----------------------

Side to Side - I shamelessly stole this one from the show Ni Hao Kai Lan. I'd have her sway side to side repeating "Side to side, side to side" until she calmed down. Usually I'd use this in conjunction with the next one.

 

BREATHE! - I'd tell her to take a deep breath, in and out and in and out until she could calmly talk about whatever was upsetting her.

 

Say "It's OK!" - In my brightest cheeriest voice I would tell her to say "It's OK!" over and over again until she did it with a smile on her face. Then I would explain why it was OK. (ie. We'll be able to do that tomorrow/we can get another one/you can try again/etc.)

 

High Five! - This one is more of a distraction than a soother. I'd tell her to give me a high five. When she did I'd move my hand out of the way. She'd laugh and laugh, and then we'd "try again." Finally when she was laughing too hard to remember whatever little incident had her spun up, I'd let her high five my hand. She'd get all excited that she did it and run off to go play with something else.

 

Sing me a song - "Please please! I love the way you sing!" Another distraction, but a little bit of a longer one and usually used in the car when I couldn't directly look at her and confront the issue.

 

Visualization - "Can you lean your head back and close your eyes? I want you to think about something." Then you invent something fantastical that calms their mind and makes them happy. For DD this started out as "imagine you are playing with the butterflies. You're spinning around in a field full of flowers as all the butterflies are fluttering by." Occasionally we've had to implement other elements to keep her interest, so now it's "Imagine you're riding on a beautiful unicorn through a field of flowers when you see a rainbow. You and your unicorn ride up the rainbow to a beautiful castle in the clouds surrounded by butterflies." This one is AWESOME at bedtime when she won't settle down, and also works well in the car on long trips.

----------------------

Now, like I said, at 3 a lot of times these would backfire. I would do some of these things and she would say something like "I'm too upset! I can't right now!" or like with the "High Five!", she'd get SUPER mad that I wouldn't let her high five me the first couple of times. Or with "It's OK!" she'd say "But it's NOT ok!" So, I'd have to backtrack and start something else. But, now at 4 and 1/2 most of these work just about all of the time. And, honestly I usually can start out with just plain attempting to reason with her about the situation before I even resort to one of these techniques.

post #17 of 28

3 was so hard for us. 2 was a piece of cake. 3 was terrible. She was so mean. It seemed like she just dug so deep to try and hurt me. 4 is so much better. She can be reasoned with now. I was afraid to leave the house for about 6-7 months because her behavior was so bad. I stuck to my guns, stayed consistent, and now she is pretty good. I did lose my shit a few times, dont get me wrong, but I didnt give up on her. Now I dont think twice about going anywhere.

post #18 of 28

Oh mamas, I think I just found where I belong -- here with you guys!!

 

I suck at GD.  This 3 year old business is really proving to be challenging for me.  I don't hit, but I do find myself yelling.  Part of what I need to do is just accept that its going to be frustrating and maddening, and try hard not to take out my frustrations on HER.   Easier said than done.

 

I'm such a work in progress.  I wonder at times if I'll ever BE the parent I want to be, or if I need to accept who I am now and just keep at it.  And not be so hard on myself.  I printed out the list of things to do instead of yelling and I'm trying hard to stick to it.  I feel like every day, every tantrum, is a chance to be who I want to be, as long as I try.

 

I get the most out of control when it comes to hitting/keeping hands to yourself.  I think that's my one big hurdle to overcome.  I know what to do and what to say, but then she punches me or hits me, or hits her baby brother (or kicks him in the head with her shoe...) and it's all out the window!  I need to try harder.  But beating myself up over it isn't going to help her either.  I think what's key is admitting my mistakes, taking her aside at times when she's in a nice calm mood and explaining to her that even mommy makes mistakes.

 

Then another part of me wonders how much I really need to worry about all of this, and maybe just survive and get thru -- and she'll figure it out as she matures.

 

post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hi Baby_Cakes!! I remember reading your threads after your 3yo was born, because I was still preggers. And now you have 2! Brave woman - I'm done at one and this 3yo nonsense has convinced me that one is all I can handle!

post #20 of 28

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

Hi Baby_Cakes!! I remember reading your threads after your 3yo was born, because I was still preggers. And now you have 2! Brave woman - I'm done at one and this 3yo nonsense has convinced me that one is all I can handle!

 

Hiya, mama!

 

I admit, I love my son, but man -- I sure do constantly remind him he's not allowed to turn 3!  He needs to stay my squishy baby forever! lol.gif

 

I also wanted to say, as I tread these murky waters, choosing my battles is saving my life.  If she wants to wear a tutu, silly glasses, and sneakers to Target, so be it.  I'll have a jacket and pants ready in case she's cold.  I've long since given up caring what other people think!  

 

Another thing - learning from their mistakes - I don't think they really do. ( I don't even know if *I* do half the time)  

 

I'm not sure GD is a complete joke.  I'm not going to just all of a sudden give up and start screaming and spanking and parenting with fear.  But I do think that using time outs is going to save my sanity.  Even if it's just to remove her from the situation so I can get a handle on myself before continuing on.  Even if the time out isn't for her, it's something, you know?

 

Re: the poop in the pants on purpose...

The other day, Nora and I had a bit of a fight.  She threw a HUGE tantrum about wanting to go to Ritas.  I'm going to just c/p this from my FB group post...

 

So, on the ride home from school she was ecstatic and elated, and had had a wonderful day. She asked to go for ices and I said sure but after dinner. OMG you would think the world ended. She dug in her heels and threw the BIGGEST fit for the rest of the ride home and for like 10 min straight, screaming, crying, stomping mad that she WANTED RITAS. I kept telling her over and over, we were hungry, lets eat a quick bite, then go. I even said SHE HERSELF could eat when we got back, but no. She was a maniac. Finally, got her settled, and eating and for the most part agreeable when she runs to the bathroom. She sits on the toilet fully clothed and wets herself!! WTF??? Apparently I'm such a "meanie" that she decided to pee in her pants to "make me laugh". Mamas I just about lost my shit. I kid you not it took all I had not to raise my hand to her. I am SO so so so so trying to use GD but it's terrifically incredibly difficult when she maddens me to the point that I see red. She isn't even doing things that are all that out of the ordinary for her age or what could/should be expected, yet still. Why would she for a minute think that would make me laugh?? Let me tell you. After we both calmed down and she got dressed in clean clothes, we had a LONG talk about the things she could do that WOULD make me laugh. Peeing in pants? Not one of them!!! GAH!

 


Edited by Baby_Cakes - 4/25/12 at 6:18am
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