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Parents of 3 yr. olds, post here (support thread)! - Page 8

post #141 of 168
My ds turned three in November and we had our third baby beginning of March and since then it's been non-stop tantrums and misbehavior. All of this on top of trying to potty train (notice I said trying). I'm trying to keep in mind that he's going through a pretty trying time adjusting to have a little brother and not being the baby anymore, but sometimes it's hard to keep my persepective. Especially when he's outright being defiant. I know that most of his misbehavior is a way to get attention and I feel horrible because there are some days when I just don't have enough to go around and he becomes the typical middle child. We're homeschooling my dd so she's getting extra attention. It's a struggle to say the least
post #142 of 168
Three has been a pretty intense and exhausting age for us. I came searching here yesterday for SOMETHING to give me some hope. This thread actually made me and my dh feel better. It's not us and it's not our ds. It's the AGE. I knew this, but my goodness, sometimes you just need to know you are not alone in the madness.
post #143 of 168

I am so glad to have found this thread! My little boy is 3.5 and I am so relieved to read so much that sounds just like him!

post #144 of 168

lokismama - I also just found this thread, even if it is a couple years old! DD#1 is 3.5, and this thread describes her to a T! DH and I were just talking last night about how to better manage ourselves with her, how to just be at peace with the fact that this is a phase and how can we best draw boundaries and coach her through it. Because it sucks for all of us! It doesn't help that her little sister, 1, is really turning into a person who demands attention, competes for attention, etc. DD#1 is a great big sister, and they do play together sometimes....but the rest of it?


Loving kindness. Loving kindness. Loving kindness. Loving kindness. That's my mantra....

post #145 of 168

Oh man, it's really hilarious that this thread has been revived. Hilarious and (actually) a bit depressing, too. When I first contributed, back in 08, my ds was 3 and his sister was a newborn. Now she's 3 and I'm back in this crazy, exhausting, adorable, whiny, bossy stage. At least I'm able to LMAO at some of the posts this time redface.gif

post #146 of 168

Wow, I'm also totally appreciating this thread!  Such a relief to hear others describe normal 3 yr old behavior, in addition to seeing it IRL among DS's friends.  My trust in my own parenting really needs a boost right now after two aweful visits with my family:  my mom says DS is a tyrant because we're too permissive and tries to take over parenting for us - the best is when he's loosing it over something (crying from frustration, etc) and she tries to tell him "you just stop that right now, that's enough", making him more upset, since now he's getting yelled at. Anyway, trying not to just rant about my family....


Patience, compassion, and reminding myself that I can change my own reactions .....


Thanks everyone!

post #147 of 168

Thanks for this thread. DS is 3 and can be the most delightful person. Tonight he was a sweet, engaging, cooperative angel. This afternoon, he needed a nap and, as sometimes happens, became unmanageable. After a few minutes, I calmed him down with being really sweet and nice with him, but I did have to constrain him a few times, because he was hurting me. Those are trying times.


We engage DS in our daily lives, discuss things with him, give him choices, he has a voice in this household, and we let him be his person. Since about two months, we have reverted to bringing him to his room for a few minutes when he truly misbehaves. It mostly gives us parents a few minutes to switch gears and not be angry with him. I'm not even sure if this approach works and am actually planning on ditching it. In any case, we love him dearly.


We had a family holiday and my mother was seriously not impressed with him, me, and how I was raising him. She's pretty old-school and thought that he had too much power for such a little boy. In the end, she disowned him and we cut our holiday with her short! I am so sad for DS, not to mention sad that he has been judged on his behavior as a three-year old. I'm heartened to read the comments, because this event has chipped away at my self-confidence as a mother. Reading the comments, I am reassured that he is just being a 3 year old and we'll continue raising him as respectfully as we possibly can.

post #148 of 168

Love this thread! I'm another who appreciates hearing that mine is not abnormal :) but boy...I remember when she was 2 and I would think "if only she could express herself, this would be easier!" now everything is a debate/argument!


One of our biggest struggles right now (she's 3.5) is the not listening. Basically, I have to tell her something 5 times in order for it to get done and half the time it still only gets done by ultimatum (which I hate doing). For example, its bedtime and its time to brush teeth. Toothpaste is on the toothbrush, water in the cup, etc. And yet she just fiddles with something, anything (sometimes, she decides its the perfect time for a heart to heart, which I hate to interrupt but these can go on and on ROTFLMAO.gif) and doesn't brush. So it becomes, Ok, brush your teeth. a little bit later. Please, just brush your teeth. Etc. Until finally I have to be like "if the toothbrush doesn't get in your mouth, I'm going to brush for you." And then finally she does it.


Some days, it feels like this with everything irked.gif and I hate that it gets me SO frustrated!

post #149 of 168

Thought all you long-suffering parents of 3yos would appreciate this:



post #150 of 168

Oh man so glad to see this thread alive....


DS has me just at the end of my ropes. And it doesn't help my Mommy guilt that my 6-month-old DD is in my favorite stage ever... babbling, smiling, I love my Mommy, can't quite get anywhere too far... while DS (who turns 3 Wednesday) is roaming around with OCD brain correcting my cleaning! Refolding his clothes! And screaming if I move something in just.the.wrong.way. I picked an interesting stage to become a SAHM irked.gif


I can so relate to the ultimatum thing. "Please put your underwear back on". "Not right now." "Yes, dear, right now." "Maybe not." "Put your underwear back on, please sweetheart." "No." "We have to wear underwear to go out to the store." "No, I don't want to." "Okay, sweetie, come here, I can put them on for you." "NO, you not put them on. I can do myself." "Okay sweetie, go ahead". "No, mom." "PUT YOUR UNDERWEAR ON or it's naptime (or other nonsensible things like we're staying home today (no we're not) or no book in the car (uh? I need him to have his book so he doesn't drive me nuts...))".....  I HATE it but I just can't seem to avoid it!



To you other struggling mamas to 3 y/o's... how do you cope with all the built up CRAP?  All day it's all I can do not to SCREAM at him, or hit him, or do timeout or what-have-you. There are moments where I TOTALLY get why mainstream parents discipline the way they do!!!!! And then after holding it in all day, I end up freaking out on DH about how hard my day is, and shutting down completely. It's not his fault he doesn't understand. redface.gif I hate feeling so resentful, especially about my own kid! Where'd my little sweetheart go?

post #151 of 168

My DD will be 3 in October, but all the stuff that's being mentioned in this thread started with her about 6 weeks ago. The defiance, the attitude, the constant bossing around. Yikes. I work full-time outside the home & I save up every bit of energy that I can to get through my evenings with her.




At my best, I'm able to bring some humor and playfulness into things, and that helps. But I'm not always at my best.


Someone mentioned that this is a glimpse of what the teenage years might be like. Double yikes.


post #152 of 168

It has taken me a couple of days to read through all the posts but they have been so helpful.  I just feel so terrible after using ultimatums and yelling to get my dd to do something or stop something.  My dh and I are both at the ends of our rope.  We definitely need to employ some new tactics because what we are doing is just not working for everyone.  I think I may need to read a book about this but I am just so exhausted and already reading 3 books for other things all while being 35 weeks pregnant with twins, ugh!  Thanks for listening:)

post #153 of 168

I am in very much need of support right now. DD turned 3 in july and it was her birthday things seem to be sliding down hill and i'm at the end of my rope clinging to hopes of a 'good' day. DD never had a tantrum until her birthday and now we have one at least once a day. I still can't figure out the triggers. I keep her well fed and she always has access to snacks. Some times the day just begins with a tantrum, so it's not being tired. I try to keep her busy so she doesn't get board too. I stay home with her more now because i just don't want to deal with her constant screaming, crying, running around in public. anything i give her to do, she has no interest after a few minutes, some times she will just sit and look at books for a while but that's only for 30 mins or so.


Yesterday started out okay but we were getting ready to go out for the day and the dog always comes. she was so upset that the dog was going to be in the car with us, it was a 45 min car ride of crying about the dog. DH and I couldn't talk because every time we tried to she would scream more. Then we dropped the dog off at my brother's and took DH to work. I took her to the splash pad for about 2 hrs and it was fine. We planned on going to a movie in the late afternoon because it's just too hot to be outside all day. getting into the car to go to the movies took a good 20 mins then 10 mins to get back out to see the movie. after about an hour she starts running around the theater and trying to talk to other people. i took her out and asked her to be quiet or we have to leave if she can't sit quiet and watch the movie. well, within 10 min she was at it again so we left, the movie was almost over anyway but that was another big tantrum about not being able to watch the end when she wasn't watching it at that point any way. then we go to DH's work for his lunch break and it took a good 20 min to get her out of the car and another 15 to get her into the building. I was bit a few times yesterday (this is new something she NEVER did before now) and she's hit me a few times in the past, things she only does to me.


I'm so done at this point. I feel like I'm being a bad mom because i'm growing just numb to the screaming. I don't know if it's just best to not respond or talk to her about how she's feeling because nothing helps. Yesterday I was in tears it was just such a bad day. She can be so loving at times, for me she's just this monster and for DH it's another story, she's mostly well behaved with a few minor issues. for any one else she's super sweet doesn't have tantrums and i'm starting to think i've done something wrong for her to act the way she does with me.


I just keep telling myself it's a passing phase but i don't know how i'm going to get through it.

post #154 of 168

Oh goodness, I just found this thread. I feel relieved that people are going through the same thing is me.  I'll go back and read through it all when I get the chance, but from what I've seen -- whoa! I was starting to feel so alone - my friend's kids seem so well adjusted. I was shocked that DD had be acting more difficult lately and throwing even more tantrums. She'll be 3 in October, so I thought that we were almost through with the terrible twos, which began at about 18 months for us and more or less lived up to their description. I'm not ready at all for this. I feel like I'm spending nearly all of my energy trying to keep her from flipping out, or getting her to do the most basic things like get dressed or eat. And god forbid working on the delicate dance of potty training (which is required by the time she starts school in November). And my 10-month-old DS doesn't get nearly as much attention as I'd like to give him since I'm always just trying to deal with her. I'm a SAHM and my days are sooo long. It's really hard to get her going on a task -- "Do you want to do this?" "NO!" I've been letting her watch TV lately since I don't know what else to do. Usually not more than 45 minutes a day, but one day last week I let her watch for an hour and half. I hate it, but I don't know how to deal otherwise. I feel like such a crappy mom. She's also such a picky eater; sometimes I just worry that she's flipping out because she's hungry, but it's not by lack of offering. Sigh. 

post #155 of 168

My son just turned 3 and I feel like everything is a constant battle with him.  It's exhausting!  And then the littlest thing can set him off, like giving him the wrong cup or putting some food on his plate that he didn't pick out.  Then he'll cry about it for 20 mins. 

We were doing well on the potty-training, but now he says he doesn't like the potty anymore.  He's back to pooping in his diaper, which then he fails to tell us about it and then when we notice it, he doesn't want a diaper change.  It turns into a game of chase.  He'll use the potty at daycare though.  Glad to see it's not just us going through these battles.

post #156 of 168

Yeah - so there with you. We did the no-potty-I-wanna-be-a-baby game 2 weeks ago here. I'm on the move, out of the house all the time, and have a 7 m/o... I wasn't cleaning up accidents all day everyday, so he went back to diapers. Advice - go with it. After a few days, I said he could be a baby. Not just diapers - but he also got to take 3 naps/day in the crib (okay, my baby doesn't actually nap in the crib but you know....), play with baby-safe toys only, not help in the kitchen - you get my drift. I was very nice/funny about it, and he thought it was really fun for like 5 minutes. It only lasted a day and a half after that, and we've been more than a week back in underwear with no issues. 


The random yelling is what's killing me right now. Like everything's cool, we're sitting there playing, and then "MOM!! I HUNGRY I want a SNACK RIGHT NOW PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

angry.gif Why is everything SO intense with a 3-year-old?





Originally Posted by Skippy918 View Post

My son just turned 3 and I feel like everything is a constant battle with him.  It's exhausting!  And then the littlest thing can set him off, like giving him the wrong cup or putting some food on his plate that he didn't pick out.  Then he'll cry about it for 20 mins. 

We were doing well on the potty-training, but now he says he doesn't like the potty anymore.  He's back to pooping in his diaper, which then he fails to tell us about it and then when we notice it, he doesn't want a diaper change.  It turns into a game of chase.  He'll use the potty at daycare though.  Glad to see it's not just us going through these battles.


post #157 of 168

Ah... Disequilibrium of Age Three is what I call it.  I think we should get t-shirts after we survive it.


The good news (and what carried me through) was the reassurance that it was a normal part of the developmental process and NOT an indicator that I was doing anything wrong.


Here's a short article from the same group that publishes the Ames & Ilg books: http://www.gesellinstitute.org/pdf/DevelopmentalPOV.pdf

post #158 of 168

Wow, I'm glad I found this thread. So many of the descriptions match DD1 (3.5).  I had my second DD three months ago, and I was wondering if the new baby was just too much stress on her--but now I'm wondering if it's mainly just her age?  She has these tantrums that come out of nowhere, and it's really hard to calm her down once she gets going.  And everything becomes a power struggle--her new favorite saying is "that's not fair!"  Meals are catastrophes.  I WOH and miss her all day, but then I get home and I never know if she's going to be the sweet girl that hugs and loves on me or the "other one" who fights me at every turn.  She was a very high needs infant; then around ages one and two things became so much easier--until recently!  I'm blessed that DD2 is a relatively mellow baby; otherwise, I'd be completely underwater.  Some days I hate myself for getting so angry at DD1.  I try not to yell (but usually fail). I try to figure out what's bothering her and address it so she knows that I really do care--but nothing seems to work if she's really worked up.  It hurts my heart that she gets so miserable sometimes--part of her is just defiant but then at other times I can tell that she can't help how she feels.  I just want to make it better. 


On the positive side, it's amazing to watch how quickly her speech, play, and imagination are developing.  If I'm not paying attention, she will get on my laptop and put cartoons on the Netflix queue :)

post #159 of 168

Recently DS has been procrastinating everything, from getting dressed in the morning to going to bed at night.  And then today, he refused to eat with utensils. 

post #160 of 168

I'm hoping someone can give me some insight on this...


DD has become incredibly picky about what she wears, and I can't deal with it. The weather just cooled significantly here, so it's time for her legs to be covered. There are literally only 2 pairs of leggings that she'll wear, both size 2T (which is too small...she's in a 3T-4T now). She's always been picky about pants (she won't wear jeans) but we have a drawer full of nice comfy knit pants that used to be fine...until about 2 weeks ago. Now only the leggings will do. My partner bought another 2 pairs at a consignment store yesterday, but nope, those won't do. Only the 2 pairs we have.


I try really hard to give her choices & let her pick out her own clothes. I don't care if things "match" or look good by my standards. But I do want her to be dressed appropriately for the weather. On Monday, she refused to put on a pair of pants and both pairs of leggings were in the laundry. I wasn't going to send her outside in 60 degree weather with bare legs. She had the biggest tantrum of her life. I had to cancel a play date (we were going to meet her friend at the park). I felt like a hostage in our house until the laundry got done and she could put on the leggings. Then we were able to go out in the afternoon.


This morning was another huge battle before school. Luckily I did laundry last night so one of her "acceptable" pairs of leggings was clean. She rejected all the shirts I tried to put on her because they weren't "cute." What the heck? I don't understand why one thing is "cute" and another is not. I feel like I have a 13-year-old.


Can anyone relate? How do I deal with this? I can't have a battle over clothing every single morning. There's a big consignment sale in town later this week, and I want to buy some new things that she'll wear. But I don't even know what will work and what won't. HELP!!!!



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