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Really struggling with my 3yo-Please Help

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Paddy is growing more and more challenging by the day it seems. He just turned 3 this month and I feel like some days are just hopeless. He is so mean to his brother sometimes, stealing toys every five seconds, pushing, shoving, hitting, etc etc... He also tries to "wrestle" with Henri but Henri screams and cries and hates it, but Paddy just laughs and keeps squashing him. I've tried explaining to Paddy over and over again that Henri is too little to play rough and when Henri cries that means he doesn't like what you're doing. Paddy just either doesn't get it or doesn't care. When I tell him to stop doing something, he laughs and keeps doing it. If I try to redirect he thrashes and tells me no and throws a huge fit, sometimes getting himself so upset he starts to hyperventilate or even pee his pants (although he's been notorious for "peeing in anger") I've tried my best to be patient and gentle with him, but its getting harder and harder. At some points I don't know what is even normal for a child his age. Peeing your pants over not being allowed to eat a whole bag of chocolate chips seems extreme to me. But I deal with things like this every day now. (And no, I'm not just giving him the bag to keep the peace or keep him from throwing a fit. ) sigh. I'm just really upset about this because it seems like Paddy's behavior is deteriorating and I do not enjoy spending time with him when he acts this way. Is he normal or is he just really stubborn?
post #2 of 17
Fro me and (from what I've read) 3 is the hardest age. Now top that 3 year old with a new sibling and wow life is hard.

I'm sure he feels jealous of the baby so can you help him help you with the baby. Let him be your helper so he feels important.

I don't know if you can end the behavior or just live through it as best you can and he will grow out of it.

you need to be as vigilant a you can when they are together b/c he doesn't understand the significance of hurting of baby.

He may be doing it out of curiosity...he may be doing it out of jealousy and he may just really be trying to play and he just can't gauge what is gentle and fun at the same time.

3 really is very hard and I know my advice is proobably worthless but when he is he is 4 (possibly even 3.5) you get a sticker that says, "I survived 3"
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
He's fine with the baby, its his 2yo brother he's picking on. They fight a lot, which is to be expected, but when I tell Paddy to leave his brother alone he won't do it! I know he understands me. If I tell him "Paddy, go upstairs and get your shoes, they're next to your bed" he can do that. He tunes me out CONSTANTLY. : I know he's jealous, and I try diligently to include him in everything, but most of the time when I offer him to snuggle with us when Henri and Fleur are nursing, he refuses or goes and does something destructive or throws something at me! Tonight at the playground he stole little hair bows from somewhere, and we made him put them back on a picnic table. Well he didn't want to put them back and he said "NO!" and BIT DH!!!

He also likes to collect things and organize things. I have a little jewelry box on my vanity that I keep loose change in, and he likes to sit there and line up the pennies while I'm getting dressed. But when I'm done, its time to leave the room and put the pennies back in the box-and he'll scream and thrash!!! I tried letting him carry the pennies in his pocket but he inevitably gives them to Henri who is 2 and will put them in his mouth (and so will Paddy!) The word "no' just sends this kid over the edge.
post #4 of 17
Oh sorry..I thought his full name was Paddy Henri.
post #5 of 17
When my ds turned three, it was like oh holy heck, what are we in for! And I realized that his 2's were pretty mellow... things we could handle. But the 3 transition was different because he was emerging as his own person with his own wants and desires and realized that he could say no and understand the limitations of what I could do.

Also, even though your oldest is ok with the baby he could be taking out frustrations about the baby or the transition with the baby on your 2nd child. I would say that your dc is normal, and perhaps a dash of stubborn... but really just keep loving him and nurturing him... Perhaps get him some extra alone time for a while to see if that tapers things off.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaidymama View Post
When my ds turned three, it was like oh holy heck, what are we in for! And I realized that his 2's were pretty mellow... things we could handle. But the 3 transition was different because he was emerging as his own person with his own wants and desires and realized that he could say no and understand the limitations of what I could do.

Also, even though your oldest is ok with the baby he could be taking out frustrations about the baby or the transition with the baby on your 2nd child. I would say that your dc is normal, and perhaps a dash of stubborn... but really just keep loving him and nurturing him... Perhaps get him some extra alone time for a while to see if that tapers things off.
This was Paddy. He was an angel at 2. We counted ourselves lucky because he was so easy-going. He'll be getting plenty of time away from his siblings when preschool starts. He went for a month in the summer and loved it, and all of his teachers give him tons of one-on-one time and its "all about Paddy" when he's there.

He's definitely asserting his identity. He says "No, I don't want that/it" , "No all done!" He'll stop at nothing to get someone's attention. He's such a drama queen sometimes Yesterday at the playground he went up to a total stranger and demanded they take him to the restroom, and when they didn't he promptly pulled his pants down!

I had a Siamese cat that was like this. If you didn't pet Kiku, he would meow louder and louder and then bite your hand or arm until you gave in!
post #7 of 17
Things have been dicey at times (to put it mildly) with my 3yo recently. Our family has been going through a stressful stretch (DH's company is in bankruptcy, we just moved to a new house, we have a new baby on the way, & just experienced a shocking death in the family, all in the past two months), so I cannot discount those things being multipliers to the already difficult 3yo angst. Still... my mom told me yesterday that "DS1's behavior is a problem." She apologized later and clarified that his screaming at and disobedience toward me is what upsets her. I'm trying to keep it all in perspective, but it's still so helpful to find threads like these...
post #8 of 17
*phew* I am sooooo glad I'm not alone. I popped into this forum to see if there was any advice for dealing with a nearly 3 yo DD who is currently testing limits. She's a great kid most of the time but reminds me of that old nursery rhyme..."there was a little girl...and when she was bad she was horrid."

Our issues are similar in that DD will often lay on top of her brother (9 mo), push him, bite him (though this is rare), and just overall be just a little too rough. Getting her to stay in the big girl bed is a struggle too but I think that has to do with attention.

My mom told me that 3 was far worse than 2...now I believe her!
post #9 of 17
I agree, 3 is worse than 2. I ask DD not to do something, and she'll look at me defiantly and do it again. If I ask her to do something and she doesn't want to do it, she screams no. Sometimes she even throws stuff.

I can use all the help I can get too.
post #10 of 17
Whoa, I look back and wonder how I am alive after 3. It doesnt' seem so bad now, but I remember our grocery budget going pretty steep from my wine splurging

Seriously though I think the only advice I could give is just do your best and try to keep up. No matter what we as moms "should" do to handle a situation perfectly it just isn't always possible. The day comes when it gets easier but until then you just have to try the best you can. Wish I could offer help!
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Poot View Post
Peeing your pants over not being allowed to eat a whole bag of chocolate chips seems extreme to me.
This cracked me up. Sorry Mama P. Three is hard. Really hard. If it makes you feel any better, my 2 yr dd also loses her mind if we say no to things that are unreasonable sometimes, too. My 4 yr old does it very rarely now, but a yr ago it was a different story.

I like LisaMarie's advice. Just get through it, do the best you can, and it will get easier. A lot of the really awful things have been very short in duration (scary aggression, for example.)

Has anyone suggested reading about age-appropriate behavior? Most of the things that drive us insane as parents are perfectly appropriate for the child. I think it was Becky Bailey's book, Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline, that make a wonderful point about recognizing that virtually every behavior is coming from a good place, and we should try to recognize that. Kids don't have bad instincts so much as they have limited tools for coping with difficult situations.

Good luck mama.
post #12 of 17
It's nice to hear other moms with children on the other side of 3 saying they went through this too.

My son is recently three and he can be just so incredibly unpleasant sometimes. I'm there for him with all of his tantrums on the theory that they are feelings he needs to let out, but the tantrums happen more and more frequently, and in between the tantrums there is such grouchy behavior. And he is such a sweetie pie that I just miss his happy self so much! Sometimes my husband and I look at each other and we can't believe how mean our son is being. Yet, deep down I know he's not mean, it's just developmental. Oh but it's so hard!
post #13 of 17
I am literally weeping as I read this - my son is almost 4 and he is pretty alright with my dd, but other kids are another story. He really wants to play with other children but he is unable (unwilling?) to keep his body to himself! He squashes other kids, pulls their clothes until they topple, etc. The other kids are afraid or just stare at him like he's an alien. I have set expectations about how to play, if someone says no, to stop - etc.

I am so worried he won't have any friends and neither will I if he keeps this up. I just feel some relief that other people are experiencing these issues, too....but I still worry that he is not 'normal' or 'ok'.
post #14 of 17
I should have found this before I started a frustrated with my 3 yo thread LOL
I am SO there and she just turned 3 this past week!
I just keep thinking of the advice of a dear,older friend with grown kids~ deal with it now, it is way harder at 14 LOL
post #15 of 17
I am in the same boat. HELP! Its like my son turned 3 and went crazy. Tantrums, these unbelieveable screams, throwing, hitting, biting. This morning had a complete fit to get into the kitchen and finally broke the gate. He won and was rewarded by being in there. Short of a non stop fight to keep him out I have no way to stop him. I cannot fix the gate. So he is happily in there making a mess. I HATE open concept homes. I want doors. I really am beyond knowing what to do. Two days ago he would not get into his car seat. Flipped out in the store and then sat on the floor of the car. I would have hurt him trying to force him into it. I locked the doors and left him and his older brother in the car and went inside the store to cool off. Small store in the middle of nowhere and I know the owners. The wife offered to help and came outside and smiled at my son and said "hi honey, can you get in your seat so your mom can move the car. I need the parking space" and my son says "sure" and climbs right into it. Sigh. And to think I complained about our older sons spitting. That was a walk in the park.
post #16 of 17
screaming, thrashing, head-butting, throwing and never satisfied. that is ivan. where did my dream-child go? nak not to mention the constant bogger smear across the face that he will not ket us wipe w/o a fight and the bucking bronco act during diaper changes. Awful poop parade.
post #17 of 17
I'm right there. Colleen is 32 months old. She'll be 3 in December. I'm looking forward to next December. DH and I were talking last night and he mentioned he didn't remember the other two acting like this. I asked like what? He mentioned the screaming, the refusing to do what he says (he says go to the bedroom and she goes to the living room), etc. I looked at him amazed and said, "That's normal!" LOL Doesn't mean I like it though.

I need a way to deal with her (for a lack of a better word) with out DH thinking I'm letting her get away with stuff. I'm working on him, but he still looks at it a lot like we need to "be in control". Two was so much easier.
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