Almost 3 year old making me crazy... LONG... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 12-01-2006, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
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My ds1 will be 3 in a couple of weeks. My ds2 will be 1 in a couple of months.

I am having a nightmare of a time with ds1. I can't really say it got worse when ds2 came along, it's just been getting worse for a LONG time. I really believe in GD and AP but I can't seem to make it work for him. I always had this dream of the perfect *hippie* family. Just hanging out all the time, babies rolling around on the floor with me, snugglie, going on field trips, showing them everything, you know, the works. It's not like that though. I feel like I prepared my ds1 right. We still cosleep, I wore him in the sling constantly until he wanted to be down a lot (after he started walking he didn't go into it much) I've always tried to be pretty child led in what I do. I'm pretty flexible and my kids can experiment and do MANY things that other moms in my area have a fit about. I don't know why my ds1 is such a monster. Don't get me wrong, he can be very nice and he has his good points--he is awesome at sharing! He always has been. If someone asks him for it he will give away the last bite of cookie. (Don't take anything without asking though *ouch*) Anyway, he just has his HORRIBLE moments and lately they've just been turning into bad whole days/weeks. Instead of being good with bad spots, he's bad with fewer and fewer good spots.

It's gotten to where last night I probably screamed at him for a good 2 hours before I got him to go to sleep and I totally cut out his nursings because I can't stand to be around him. Last night I told him that if he can't be good then I won't either and I won't let him have any more nursies. When he could start behaving then I would think about letting him have nursies/do things he wants to do.

Here's some examples:

He constantly throws things--since about 6 months old I've tried everything I can think of to get him to stop. Just yesterday we were playing at a kid place and he was building with blocks by himself and just chucks a pretty big block at a little girl just sitting the the play basinet. For absolutely no reason that I could see. When I'm shopping I can't keep food in the cart. I can't keep his shoes from becoming projectiles. I have been just picking them up/making him pick them up when I can. It's getting really old, picking up my groceries off the floor and trying to catch them before they hit someone with the 10 month old in the sling. Tonight he was throwing his spaghetti. 1 strand at a time like 5 times. Then he got up and ran to the living room laughing like *what are you going to do to me now?* Then my husband made him come back and sit at the table (mind you he hasn't eaten anything yet and he likes spaghetti for the most part(he doesn't like food unless it's junk)) He throws his bowl. I tell him he has to come and clean it up so he comes and acts like he's going to clean it up then he throws it again.So tonight he went to sleep with no supper and he kept crying for nursies. I reminded him that he couldn't have them if he couldn't behave. I was sorry that he was hungry. His spaghetti was in the floor. I almost didn't even feel sorry for him.

He pours out everything--It's not that he spills things, he has pretty good control for a 3 year old. He pours. I think he does it to make me mad. He gets a drink of my water bottle, after he's done out it goes. He pours his food out of the bowl at just about every meal. He usually just slowly pours it onto the table then smears is around until it's all over the floor. That is when I can keep him at the table long enough to get that far. He poured a whole glass of grape juice on the carpet like 2 days ago. I can't get one mess cleaned up before he's made another one.

He won't listen to me at all unless I'm screaming. It makes me wonder if he really can't hear me. I know he can hear just fine. Just not me.

We go out to eat a lot, my husband would rather take us out to eat than watch at least 1 kid so I can cook. I would say that half the time he pours a drink in the floor. Everytime we struggle to get him to sit at the table as opposed to climbing on the table, running out the door, running to the buffet and grabbing food to throw in the floor, throwing his food on the floor. He almost never eats more than a couple of bites.

I've tried explaining things to him et nauseam. I've tried time outs. (I've tried spanking) My husband tried alternatives like putting his face in the grape juice on the floor like you do a dog. Nothing changes anything.

I know he's smart. I know he understands what he's expected to do. I say things like You know you're not supposed to do that and he replies I don't know. I say Did you hear me he says I not hear you.

He can be playing really nicely and then all of a sudden just mess it up with some meanness. Throwing, pushing, running into the road, pushing the cart at walmart like a big boy then just push it straight for a car and laugh, be painting and dump the paint on the floor and laugh, be helping his brother walk with the push toy then jerk it out from under him. It's like he knows he's not supposed to and he knows he's going to get into trouble, he just can't help himself and he has to do it anyway. I think that sometimes he just needs the violent attention of my wrath. I've tried a LOT of positive reinforcement but it just can't carry the same level of emotion as anger. I just don't get it :

I'm ready to give him up for lost. I have no idea why he acts this way. It's not like I don't play with him. I play all the time. When I do my chores I try to get him to help. I'm constantly interacting with him (I feel to the neglect of ds2)

Any ideas? The longer it goes on the more guilty I feel about not letting him nurse... It was easy last night to not let him nurse because I was sooo mad at him. Tonight it's going to be harder when he wakes up crying for it.

Do all the other moms with kids like him just not go and do things? Or do you think there could really be something wrong with him?
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#2 of 5 Old 12-01-2006, 03:42 AM
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For whatever reason (maybe he has special needs; maybe he doesn't... his behavior sounds normal for almost three but perhaps more intense) he isn't ready yet to be able to not do the things he is doing (throwing, it sounds like, mainly). Nothing is working to get him to stop and you are getting into a lot of battles which can't be won and both of you feel disconnected and angry.

He's not able to be in restaurants right now. It sounds like an absolutely miserable experience to be there. Can your DH bring take out home for the family if you are unable to cook?

He's not able to not throw his plate, and dumps out the rest of his drink after he's had a sip (our DD does this too). We eat only over the linoleum, which is easier to wipe up afterwards, and sometimes I sanitize the table and place her food directly on the table (not on a plate). I also give her very small amounts of liquids at a time instead of a full cup.

Shopping with two is hard. Can you put him in the stroller while you wear your younger child? You can't fit as many things under the stroller but it might help to keep him out of stuff while you shop.

Toddler-proof as much as you can, keeping your drink always out of his reach.

If you can re-arrange the environment to prevent as much of the unwanted behavior as possible, the two of you might have many more positive experiences together and feel better about nursing, etc. Try to let go of the "shoulds" you have for him ("He "should" be able to eat and not throw his food!" for example) and just accept him where he is at. He is not able to interact with other children when there are toys that can be thrown, so it might be better to have playdates at the park or very limited playdates right now. Don't go to places/activities where you know he is going to fail.

Try to provide structured activities where you throw things together. He really seems to have a need to throw things. Go to the stream and throw rocks in the water, or throw nerf balls at each other at home in a playful fight.
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#3 of 5 Old 12-01-2006, 09:51 AM
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It sounds like you have a very active 3 yo.

3yo's can be difficult under the best of circumstances. I had some bad times as well.

I really don't think your ds is able to control himself.

The only thing I could suggest is to structure everything as much as possible so he can do the least damage.

FE let go what you can. Keep him away from situations if it's too much for him (I know that's hard). If he's with other kids you may have to shadow him.

When I took 3 yo's grocery shopping FE they had to ride in the shopping cart seat with the seat belt on. There was no other way. There were a few times they protested (very loudly) but that was the rule. Otherwise they would go completely wild. I had a baby in the sling too so I know what that's like.

If he's not ready for a cup without a top would sippy cups help. The cheap ones are not spill proof but they are more spill resistant.

I also might limit drinks to the table for the time being.

Even though he's almost 3, your son is still really 2. I would expect 2 yo behavior YKWIM

Good luck!
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#4 of 5 Old 12-01-2006, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your replies. I am feeling much better this morning. I know that if I can stay calm and objective I can deal with his behavior better.

I'm glad that other parents have the same experiences. It seems like all the kids I see are much better behaved than my ds. They cry and such but aren't soo agressive so it's not as noticable or disturbing to everyone. People don't mind if your baby cries as long as he listens to you and doesn't hurt other kids. When they are so agressive they look at you like *your parenting methods are obviously not working try this etc.* Then they kind of stop hanging out with you. That is NOT what I need. I can't ever get away from the kids so they have to be able to hang out with me sometimes.

If I could strap him in a stroller or cart I would.... The problem is that he can almost always undo the buckles and if he can't he get chlosterphobic like (sp) He has always had a very hard time with being held/controlled... If that would work it's a great idea.
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#5 of 5 Old 12-01-2006, 12:31 PM
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I feel for you!! My boys (twins) just turned 3 and many days, I feel like I just can't handle it anymore. ALL of the things you listed, my boys do! Both of them!! And they are very loving, share, and can play together nicely, BUT they have some really upsetting behaviors as well. For the past 3 weeks, anytime we go somewhere, I get to the car and cry from embarassment while going back home!! Yesterday, it was the library. We have gone to the library every week (1 to 2 times) since about 1 year old. They are very comfortable there. They were wild yesterday and I acted in a way that was very embarassing for me. I don't know what to do when neither child will listen. I give warnings (we leave in 5 minutes, we leave in 2 minutes, we are going to the bathroom before we leave) and yesterday it didn't matter. I had 2 kids running through the library, hiding from me under the couch, and swinging a toy at me so I couldn't pick him up!!!!!!!!

Mostly I don't like the way I've been handling my boys behavior. I feel like they are doing something to me personally. But, really, they aren't. I think every night that I will not yell so much the next day. I'm reading books about GD and it always helps me to have a good book with good ideas.

This is, by far, the hardest stage for me. I've been wondering if they need to be in preschool (maybe they are bored). I'll be watching this to get advice for myself. You're not alone. My children are doing the same things. I told my dh last night that I didn't feel comfortable going in public alone with the boys anymore.

SAHM married to with twin boys  and a girl .  
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