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#1 of 31 Old 05-02-2011, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 3 year old is constantly testing her boundaries. I do countdowns, and time outs. I think I need more tools. She is constantly curious to see if she can call my bluff, and I never give in. I will give a few examples.

 

She runs around the library or out into the halls of the highschool no matter how many times I take her aside and tell her we must walk in the library. Then I tell her, if you run out of the library into the high school, we are going home. So she runs in to the high school. So we go home.

 

When we go for walks she will just stop, and demand to be picked up. I know that she can keep walking. I say "Lilly lets keep walking we are almost there. We can make a game of it, I will chase you." She just stops and refuses to budge. "Ok Lilly, lets go. Do you want me to hold your hand?"  After much coaxing or a time out by a tree I can get her to resume.

 

Restaurants are not even worth it anymore. She just wants to run around and play. She wont color or play with any of the little toys I bring her. One time she was getting up to run around and I told her I would give her a time out. She said "Put me in time out then" So I did. Time out in public is not easy but I did it. She stayed at the table, but I dont know why it had to escalate to that.

 

Leaving any place is a huge chore. She has an emotional meltdown. That is even if I give her some heads up. I tell her 10 more minutes, 5 more minutes. She still flips out. During her flip outs its hard to keep my cool. She scratches, bites, head butts, whatever she can to hurt you. So I put her in her room, which is a safe place. In her smaller meltdowns she just throws stuff or sweeps stuff off the coffee table.

 

She was really tantrummy from 15 months till age 2. Then she got easier and now she is back to being a tantrummy kid.

 

There is a lot of good moments in between these, but when it happens I feel at a loss. It feels like we are having some kind of show down.


Me(33), Mama to a crazy DD (6), Wife to a wonderful mountain man(32) BF my babe for 2 years.
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#2 of 31 Old 05-02-2011, 07:31 PM
 
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I hope someone has some advice since I'm in the same boat w/ my 3 y/o. The weird thing is my oldest NEVER tantrummed. But the behavior you describe--we've got it too and I'm about to lose my mind.

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#3 of 31 Old 05-02-2011, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh and the repeated whiny request when she doesnt like my answer. I was out for a power walk and she wanted to get out and walk. I told her when we get closer to home she can go for a walk. I told her this before we left the house. About half way through she started whining. I wanna walk, I wanna walk, I wanna walk, I wanna walk, I wanna walk. In my mind, I am picturing smacking her upside the head. It was like a cheese grater on my brain. I never said she couldnt walk, I just said she had to wait. I told her if she didnt stop whining she would not get any walk at all. So after awhile she stops and says "Ok mommy, I will stop whining and crying. I will be good." We were already practically home and I was confused as to what to do, so I let her out to walk, and I thanked her for stopping, but she had whined for quite awhile already. I dont know if that was the right thing.


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#4 of 31 Old 05-02-2011, 10:25 PM
 
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lurk.gifWaiting for replies...my 3 year old is acting like this too...

 

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#5 of 31 Old 05-02-2011, 10:30 PM
 
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Ok, I recently found this book, http://www.amazon.com/Your-Three-Year-Old-Louise-Bates-Ames/dp/0440506492/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304400302&sr=8-1 and it has changed my entire perspective on dealing with my daughter.  I swear that woman has a video camera into my house.  And it has some weird time distortion thing that allowed her to publish her book before I was born.  Maybe I need to get out more

 

Anyway!  The stuff you are describing is a tiny bit on the harsh end, but not like way outside the bell curve.  Three is not my favorite.  The best part of the book, and what makes it worth every penny, was that her advice is to hire as much babysitting as you can possibly afford when your child is three because they will be angels for everyone else and devils for you.  I feel vindicated!  winky.gif   Good book.  Worth a read. orngbiggrin.gif

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#6 of 31 Old 05-02-2011, 11:36 PM
 
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Well, it sounds like your discipline isn't effective.  I like to let my kids do just about whatever with basically only one rule: Respect.  If they violate that, well then, I pull my authority card.

 

So, the authoritarian side of me would wonder about the following...

 

1.) It's fun.  She likes the attention and the coaxing, and the conversation.  A time out or going home or whatever is worth it to her.

 

2.) She still gets what she wants.  Again, she'll take the time out to be able to go home, or to do whatever else it is she decides she wants.  I know you said you never give in, but does she get something else?  Attention (sometimes even negative attention is worth it to them)?  A drink? A hug? Anything?

 

3.) Maybe you are less consistent than you think?  If she was whining over and over, and you were telling her over and over she had to wait, and if she kept it up she wouldn't be walking at all.  Then she stopped in the knick of time AND got to walk.  Mama, she heard you the first time.  I'd say she was totally playing you on that one...she knew how far she could push it, make you miserable, AND still get what she wanted.  I would try talking less, just saying things once, and upping the anty a bit.

 

4.) Maybe you are being confusing?  I know the standard advice to tell the kids what TO do, like walking in the library, but sometimes I think that the effect is to far removed from the issue.  So, you have to stay in the library or we go home is kind of big, and it's hard to remember the consequence from one time to the next.  Instead of dropping everything and leaving (which, by the way, is probably interesting to watch, what with having to put books back, shuffle around, be inconvienced, etc), I would go the route of "I can't trust you to stay with me so we will have to practice."  I would have her hold my hand while I finished, and then spend the rest of the day having her practice being near me.  I would remind her all day that she was practicing staying near me because she couldn't do it at the library.  Not in a shaming way, just very matter of fact.  Then, I'd go BACK to the library the next day to try out her new skill.  Often I think children "misbehave" because the don't have a good grasp on HOW to do what we ask of them.  The part where I am in the minority is that, while I do believe their abilities improve with age, I do think they can do far more far younger than most people on this board, and most books I've read.

 

 


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#7 of 31 Old 05-03-2011, 09:24 AM
 
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Just1more: How do you 'get' theme to hold your hand without a huge scene? I can picture what my kid would do...fall on the floor and yell. Just telling her, okay now you have to hold my hand would be a total disaster. OP. I basically do timeouts, but she absolutely hates them and usually just the threat of a time out will get her moving in the right direction. You have to find what it is that matters to her. It sounds like going home doesn't matter to her much and it is probably more of a punishment for you than her. I also tell her she will lose privileges. For example, I will say if you can't cooperate with mama and do what *I* need you to do, you will lose your (dvd) privilege of doing what *you* like to do later. BTW I have the exact opposite philosophy as the unconditional parenting philosophy. No flames please. I also take treats away. If I had planned to buy her gum at the grocery store, she loses that treat if she cannot cooperate or if she is being mean to me. And as for leaving places without a huge tantrum. As soon as she begins to tantrum about leaving, I tell her lets have a talk so i can explain it to you. She sits on my lap. I explain that if you give mama a hard time leaving the playground, i won't want to bring you back because it is too hard to leave ( I cannot pick her up to leave due to health condition). Do you want to come back and play again? Then you need to leave like a big girl by walking out of here without a huge scene. This usually works. I also tell her what fun thing we can do when we get home like hide and seek. If she doesn't leave nicely then the next time she asks to go to a playground i remind her of the scene she caused and tell her no, not today. Then the next day I will ask her if she would like to go to the playground, but only on the condition that she leave like a big girl with out a scene. Going to the playground means a lot to her so I have only had to do this a couple of times. Basically I believe that it is good for her to learn the give and take that relationships require. I need this and you need that, so lets both help each other get what we need. I want her to do ___________. She wants me to do ______________. Or, you need to to this before you can have that. I really feel this is how real life works for us all. I feel like i am teaching her how life works. I do all this with as much love as i can muster up, as gently as i can, and I give her lots of good attention. Hope this helps.

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#8 of 31 Old 05-03-2011, 09:44 AM
 
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3 is a tough age, no doubt, but rather than see it as defiance, could you maybe try to see it as practice?  Practice for being a grown up?  Trial and error of choice and consequence?  For example: 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lydiah View Post

My 3 year old is constantly testing her boundaries. I do countdowns, and time outs. I think I need more tools. She is constantly curious to see if she can call my bluff, and I never give in. I will give a few examples.

 

She runs around the library or out into the halls of the highschool no matter how many times I take her aside and tell her we must walk in the library. Then I tell her, if you run out of the library into the high school, we are going home. So she runs in to the high school. So we go home.

 

Rather than see it as a disaster when she chooses to leave the library (and ergo go home) approach it from a very matter of fact "hmm interesting choice.  I thought you liked the library...gues it's time to go.  Oh well! Ladeeda..."  Yes, there will probably be tears, and you can and I think should console those tears with a dear dear and there there, but stick to the consequence...we run away = we go home.

 

When we go for walks she will just stop, and demand to be picked up. I know that she can keep walking. I say "Lilly lets keep walking we are almost there. We can make a game of it, I will chase you." She just stops and refuses to budge. "Ok Lilly, lets go. Do you want me to hold your hand?"  After much coaxing or a time out by a tree I can get her to resume.

 

Perhaps here she really just needs a rest. I would say that if a time out by a tree helps her move again, it might be more physical than you think...what gives you the impression that it is just a bad attitude and not a physical strength thing? Maybe she just wants to stop to take it all in.  I brought the umbrella stroller up to age 4 with DS because sometimes he just wasn't up to the speed I wanted to maintain and I needed to get stuff done and he wanted to chill.  It wasn't him being defiant, it was him needing a different pace than I needed.  So the consequence/choice offered was...walk or stroll?  Mommy needs you to walk so if you can't you can stroll.  He usually chose to stroll for a little while and then when he was ready he'd walk again.

 

Restaurants are not even worth it anymore. She just wants to run around and play. She wont color or play with any of the little toys I bring her. One time she was getting up to run around and I told her I would give her a time out. She said "Put me in time out then" So I did. Time out in public is not easy but I did it. She stayed at the table, but I dont know why it had to escalate to that.

 

okay...I am saying this as gently as I can....what is the big deal if she runs around and you get to eat your meal in peace?  I mean...really.  So what?  Why would you TAKE a 3 year old to the sort of restaurant where she COULDN'T run around?  Do you want to eat or do you want to drive yourself batty?  Between the ages of 1 and 5 we never went to a restaurant that didn't either expect the kids to run around or have a designated area for them.  When I did have to, we went at off hours (like 5pm for dinner) and let DS choose two empty table to sit under and play with his trains and yes, run around.  You'd be amazed how fast you get your food and your bill and how awesome the service is when you let your kids be kids in a restaurant.  Tip big and smile bigger...that's the motto. The US and the UK are so stuffy about kids in restaurants...as long as you are choosing kid appropriate places and going at kid appropriate times, RELAX!  No one is going to care if she blows off some energy while you enjoy a nice sandwich.  Honestly!  It's NOT an realistic expectation to have her sit all quietly and plesantly at the table while you wait.  She's 3.

 

Leaving any place is a huge chore. She has an emotional meltdown. That is even if I give her some heads up. I tell her 10 more minutes, 5 more minutes. She still flips out. During her flip outs its hard to keep my cool. She scratches, bites, head butts, whatever she can to hurt you. So I put her in her room, which is a safe place. In her smaller meltdowns she just throws stuff or sweeps stuff off the coffee table.

 

This is also pretty normal.  I find when I met these moments with empathy and hugs we got through them faster.  The "phase" lasted about 2 years.  It still is hard to leave some times.  Partly it's about transition and partly it's about not wanting to end the fun time.  It's just a part of being a kid.  This is not something to get mad about.  Try instead to have a little empathy and let her know you understand how hard it is and how you wish you could play at the park/friend's house/Grandma's all the time and forever, but we have to go...so sad...so so sad...we can come back though, and we can do something else fun later! ETA: and listen to her cry...or don't go back.  I have let DS know, too, that if leaving is so hard we might not go...and sometimes he has promised he won't freak out, but I ALWAYS have to remind him of that promise. It really does get better with age.  I would not want to punish for this behavior because they already feel punished for having to leave...it seems like a case of time served to me. 

 

She was really tantrummy from 15 months till age 2. Then she got easier and now she is back to being a tantrummy kid.

 

There is a lot of good moments in between these, but when it happens I feel at a loss. It feels like we are having some kind of show down.



Take the show out of the show down.  If you see her attitude as defiance and a personal attack against everything you do for her, instead of a normal part of her learning how to make choices, weigh options, and cope with stress, than you will always have a fight with her over these things.  I know, easier said than done.  But for me, it really helped me to understand that DS wasn't doing these things to hurt me.  He wasn't TRYING to annoy me.  He wasn't being defiant.  He was being THREE.  He was doing exactly what he needed to do to learn about the world, and it was my decision as to what I was going to teach him.  Would I teach him to see his consequences as an effect caused by his choices, or as me being the authority and condemning him to a punishment?  Would I ask him to meet unrealistic expectations because I felt he SHOULD be able to do it, or would I look at my kid and decide for my kid what my kid's abilities and skills were and work around that?  Would I take his melt down personally as a sign of ingratitutde for what fun things I had done with him, or would I see his violent outburst as a compliment for having given him such a fun time he never ever wanted to leave?  Would I treat his emotions as a PITA hassle, or would I respect them the way I wish others would respect mine? 

 

Obviously biting and scratching are not okay, and you need to protect yourself, but sometimes, we have to get into the fray to keep them safe.

 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lydiah View Post

Oh and the repeated whiny request when she doesnt like my answer. I was out for a power walk and she wanted to get out and walk. I told her when we get closer to home she can go for a walk. I told her this before we left the house. About half way through she started whining. I wanna walk, I wanna walk, I wanna walk, I wanna walk, I wanna walk. In my mind, I am picturing smacking her upside the head. It was like a cheese grater on my brain. I never said she couldnt walk, I just said she had to wait. I told her if she didnt stop whining she would not get any walk at all. So after awhile she stops and says "Ok mommy, I will stop whining and crying. I will be good." We were already practically home and I was confused as to what to do, so I let her out to walk, and I thanked her for stopping, but she had whined for quite awhile already. I dont know if that was the right thing.



I think that what you did was fine.  You laid down the ultimatum, and she acquiesced and you lived up to your end...anything else would have been really unfair.  For the future I would either leave her at home with DP where she can play, Power walk around a park where she can run around while I walked, or stop my power walk early to have a stroll with my kid.  Either that or get headphones and ignore her...but that seems a little harsh.  I have done it though when DS' whining is just too much, I have turned the music up really really loud in the car until he just can't compete...and I sing to drown it out, too.  I understand that the whine is painful, but kids whine because they have a need that is not being met.  I mean, to see it from her POV, why was your need for exercise more important than her need for exercise?  That seems a little unfair to me.

 


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#9 of 31 Old 05-03-2011, 10:54 AM
 
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Right now when I get into situations where my daughter is starting to defy me I am trying a new approach.  I am totally okay with the parent as authority model and I have decided that consensual living is not something I want in my house, just to give that warning.

 

Right now if my daughter starts pulling back/resisting/whining/whatever I stop what I am doing and I look at her.  I tell her that she has two choices right now, she can be polite or she can go to her room.  And she sometimes says she doesn't want to be polite (at top volume).  My response is, "That's fine.  Then you may go to your room.  You may either walk calmly by yourself or I will carry you and I don't care if you kick and scream.  Your choice."  9/10 times she walks.  She also gets really upset when I yell.  It really bothers her.  It's intense.  So when I can feel myself starting to yell I try to choke it off and say, "Ok.  I've been polite several times and you are ignoring me.  I don't really want to escalate because then I will feel bad and you will feel bad.  Please listen."  Then we start the going to the room speech.

 

It's a process.  She's at a period where things are out of whack for her.  She is going to be wild and crazy.  I feel that my job is to provide her a safe space to explore and learn about boundaries.  That means I have to have them.  It's a struggle but I'm hoping it pays off.


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#10 of 31 Old 05-04-2011, 12:20 PM
 
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I'm patiently waiting for more responses...in the exact same boat here, OP.  I love the info already given.  There's so many posts that revolve around this issue that it seems like there should be a separate forum entitled "PITA 3 yr olds!" 


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Quote:
I think that what you did was fine.  You laid down the ultimatum, and she acquiesced and you lived up to your end...anything else would have been really unfair.  For the future I would either leave her at home with DP where she can play, Power walk around a park where she can run around while I walked, or stop my power walk early to have a stroll with my kid.  Either that or get headphones and ignore her...but that seems a little harsh.  I have done it though when DS' whining is just too much, I have turned the music up really really loud in the car until he just can't compete...and I sing to drown it out, too.  I understand that the whine is painful, but kids whine because they have a need that is not being met.  I mean, to see it from her POV, why was your need for exercise more important than her need for exercise?  That seems a little unfair to me.

 

 

I wasnt even going to bring her. I was going to leave her with DH. I told her mommy needs to go for a run. You can come only if you agree to wait until mommy is done before you get out and walk. I normally like to go by myself, but since she really wanted to come, I let her know the deal before we left the house. I probably wont allow her to come with me again, as its one of the only ME times I get. Which probably made her even more irritating, because I felt the time for myself was completely lost.


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#12 of 31 Old 05-04-2011, 10:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Shami View Post

Just1more: How do you 'get' theme to hold your hand without a huge scene? I can picture what my kid would do...fall on the floor and yell. Just telling her, okay now you have to hold my hand would be a total disaster.


 

One day at Walmart with my oldest, it took about an hour to get the message across.  I think she was about 18 months, but highly verbal.  Just for perspective, she was talking in full and abstract sentences by then.  Anyway, I would say, "You have to hold my hand or I will carry you."  She wouldn't let me hold her hand, and wanted to throw a fit about being carried.  So, I carried her outside and we calmed down.  Then we went back in the store with the same speech.  Over and over. After a while we were walking nicely hand in hand, enjoying our shopping trip, admiring toys, playing in the mirrors in the shoe department, etc.

 

I do believe there is a time for redirection and distraction, but I think that it can really hurt our relationship with our children sometimes.  Sometimes a child needs to be allowed to experience the same situation repeatedly, in a short period of time, to be able to experiment with what we expect from them. 

 

I think that just leaving the store for the day will eventually work, or the child will eventually grow out of it or stop caring, but the space between times is too long for the child to really learn anything meaningful.

 

So, I find that I stick to one thing, like this, until we have it down.  I don't care if it takes all day.  We'll just keep doing it and eventually we'll come to terms on what needs done.

 

 

 


 

 


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#13 of 31 Old 05-05-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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Quote:
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One day at Walmart with my oldest, it took about an hour to get the message across.  I think she was about 18 months, but highly verbal.  Just for perspective, she was talking in full and abstract sentences by then.  Anyway, I would say, "You have to hold my hand or I will carry you."  She wouldn't let me hold her hand, and wanted to throw a fit about being carried.  So, I carried her outside and we calmed down.  Then we went back in the store with the same speech.  Over and over. After a while we were walking nicely hand in hand, enjoying our shopping trip, admiring toys, playing in the mirrors in the shoe department, etc.

 

I do believe there is a time for redirection and distraction, but I think that it can really hurt our relationship with our children sometimes.  Sometimes a child needs to be allowed to experience the same situation repeatedly, in a short period of time, to be able to experiment with what we expect from them. 

 

I think that just leaving the store for the day will eventually work, or the child will eventually grow out of it or stop caring, but the space between times is too long for the child to really learn anything meaningful.

 

So, I find that I stick to one thing, like this, until we have it down.  I don't care if it takes all day.  We'll just keep doing it and eventually we'll come to terms on what needs done.


 

This is what I did with my oldest when she was in the 18ish months range.  It doesn't work anymore. lol


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#14 of 31 Old 05-05-2011, 01:20 PM
 
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Yes I can see doing this with an 18 month old.  Maybe it's just me since i cannot pick up my three year old anymore, but i could not do this with my three year old.  Mine was very verbal early.  Now at three I don't engage in physical struggles with her unless i really have no way around it.  I use positive things to motivate her or i threaten to take away a privilege for that day.  i say threaten because I  usually don't have to actually do it.  Usually she ends up cooperating.


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#15 of 31 Old 05-05-2011, 02:20 PM
 
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My kids are 6, 4, 2 and 7 months.  If I had a 3yo doing that, I would do what I said above.  If I couldn't carry her, or didn't want to, I would take her outside to the car.  If there was screaming or whatever, I would stay outside of the car.  I just don't do that.  Then, we'd try it again.  Until it worked. 

 

I just can't see saying "Well, they are too little," as a good idea.  I truly believe that children can be taught to be cooperative and respectful, and that we can be firm but nice doing it. 

 


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#16 of 31 Old 05-05-2011, 07:45 PM
 
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what i am saying is that at 18 months old, they are easy to scoop up and take out of the store. At three years old, i would have to literally drag her out if she decided to throw her self on the floor. i don't think any age is too young to learn by your method, but the tactic you mentioned (make them hold your hand) would not work well with my particular 3 yr. old. Trying to make her hold my hand would result in a huge physical battle. It's much easier for me to say, You know what? Mama has to get this food shopping done and later you will want to want ________dvd. If you do not cooperate now with mama, you will lose your dvd privilege. That usually works.

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#17 of 31 Old 05-05-2011, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think kids are capable of remembering a lot more than we give them credit for. My daughter remembers details from hikes we took last September and we havent taken her for a hike in the woods since then. There are old log benches, and old bridges that cross country skiers use, and she would remember around the spots, and ask about them.

 

So I do think she can remember the time we went home because she wasnt listening.

 

I think I just have to remember to not take it personally, provide boundaries, and lots of praise when she is doing well. The praise starts to go out the window when I take it personally.


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 The praise starts to go out the window when I take it personally.



Tell me about it!

 

It's hard to stay cool when they can be so sweet and calm one minute and then totally disrespectful the next and at this age they DEMAND that you respect what feels like thier every last whim and yet they never seem to say thank you,...ever!  It's enough to make even the most sane person want to scream like a loon!  

 

The key for me is definitely not to take it personally.  To detach and stay calm and cool and centered and loving when all I really want to do is throw him in his room, shut the door and go out for a walk...I would never do that, but I can totally understand.

 

Does it help to know that she'll be five soon and not a toddler-child anymore?  They are so much more reasonable as they grow up I promise.

 


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Sigh. We were at a church rummage sale and I told we were leaving soon. They had the back of the church blocked off with chairs. She ran past the chairs to go downstairs. I told her we were not allowed down there. She would not listen so I took her to a quiet corner for a time out. I told she could leave whenever, as long as she went to the main room. I wanna go downstairs! I told her that we were not allowed to go down there. Not Lilly and not mommy. She started to kick and scream and attempt to bite my legs. So we left. Once outside she says, Ok mommy I will stop crying. I told her it was too late, and the time to stop crying was inside the church. I did not say a word on the walk home. I brought her home put her to bed, with out a word. I was so angry and I didnt want to say anything I would regret.

 

We had plans to go to a highschool play after her nap, but I cant bring myself to take her out again. I plan to tell her we are no longer going because of her behavior today. I dont know if its right or wrong, but I am at a loss, and its the truth of why we are no longer going. I cant do this twice in one day.


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#20 of 31 Old 05-07-2011, 11:45 AM
 
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When my older one was between about 18 months and 4, we hardly ever went anywhere that didn't include running around, like the park, and always had an exit plan. Kids that age are still toddlers, still prone to tantrums, still have very limited impulse control, and on top of all that, they've started getting a huge desire for autonomy. I would be careful with where you go and how often you go out, always have an exit plan, and if something is too much for her, don't feel bad about having to leave, and I also wouldn't lecture her about why you have to leave, I'd just say it wasn't going well so we had to leave. As she gets older she'll be able to handle more. But some kids can't handle much at that age.

My second one is an easy child who doesn't tantrum, and if I'd had her first, I might think it was something you'd done wrong, but really, having had a very high needs kid, I think some toddlers just have a hard time with outings.
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Originally Posted by Lydiah View Post

I think kids are capable of remembering a lot more than we give them credit for. My daughter remembers details from hikes we took last September and we havent taken her for a hike in the woods since then. There are old log benches, and old bridges that cross country skiers use, and she would remember around the spots, and ask about them.

 

So I do think she can remember the time we went home because she wasnt listening.

 

I think I just have to remember to not take it personally, provide boundaries, and lots of praise when she is doing well. The praise starts to go out the window when I take it personally.



Of course she can remember the event, but is it enough to create a new habit?  I believe children often misbehave because they have developed a bad habit.  Sometimes the habit can be nothing more than the fact that since they were infants, anytime they screamed they got whatever they wanted.  What a shock it must be the first time that doesn't work!  And, it's no wonder they keep trying it!  So, they need help to create a new habit, and new default behavior, and I think that random outings/punishments aren't enough.  Which is why I do it again over and over on the same day...I think the whole "we'll go home" routine is just that: a routine.  It doesn't say *this* is what we do, loud and clear.  It says that what we do when you act like that is go home.  It doesn't help them learn to act a new way...it tells them they have to conjure up a new way next time on their own.  They may or may not be capable of that.  I would rather help them through a "baby steps" program to create a new habit instead.

 

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Originally Posted by Shami View Post

what i am saying is that at 18 months old, they are easy to scoop up and take out of the store. At three years old, i would have to literally drag her out if she decided to throw her self on the floor. i don't think any age is too young to learn by your method, but the tactic you mentioned (make them hold your hand) would not work well with my particular 3 yr. old. Trying to make her hold my hand would result in a huge physical battle. It's much easier for me to say, You know what? Mama has to get this food shopping done and later you will want to want ________dvd. If you do not cooperate now with mama, you will lose your dvd privilege. That usually works.


I'm a pretty firm parent, and I expect a lot out of my kids, but I just can't get in to the tit for tat of punishments.  If my kids (as I already mentioned) can't behave appropriately in a scenerio, it shows me that we need to practice that scenerio until they can, not throw out random threats and punishments designed to force them to come up with enough internal strength to do it on their own. 

 


"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

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Sigh. We were at a church rummage sale and I told we were leaving soon. They had the back of the church blocked off with chairs. She ran past the chairs to go downstairs. I told her we were not allowed down there. She would not listen so I took her to a quiet corner for a time out. I told she could leave whenever, as long as she went to the main room. I wanna go downstairs! I told her that we were not allowed to go down there. Not Lilly and not mommy. She started to kick and scream and attempt to bite my legs. So we left. Once outside she says, Ok mommy I will stop crying. I told her it was too late, and the time to stop crying was inside the church. I did not say a word on the walk home. I brought her home put her to bed, with out a word. I was so angry and I didnt want to say anything I would regret.

 

We had plans to go to a highschool play after her nap, but I cant bring myself to take her out again. I plan to tell her we are no longer going because of her behavior today. I dont know if its right or wrong, but I am at a loss, and its the truth of why we are no longer going. I cant do this twice in one day.



I think this is the right thing to do.  If that happened in our house, we definitely wouldn't be going somewhere else that required her to sit in one place.  Not as punishment, but just as a result of not demonstrating that she's capable of doing it earlier. 

FWIW my 3 yr old is and has always perfect in restaurants.  I would feel comfortable taking her to any restaurant, for any length of time.  My 1 yr old, however, will absolutely not sit in a highchair or be held in a restaurant at all.  For awhile I was getting really frustrated with her and upset when we'd have to leave places. 

I've just totally reconsidered her abilities and we now go out to eat much less and to different places and I have no real expectations for her.

I realize that a 3 yr old and a 1 yr old are developmentally capable of different things, but I think I'd really be aware of where you're taking her.  Even my 3 yr old, who is pretty good at sitting in one place, wouldn't be able to make it at a high school play.

 


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Originally Posted by Lydiah View Post

Sigh. We were at a church rummage sale and I told we were leaving soon. They had the back of the church blocked off with chairs. She ran past the chairs to go downstairs. I told her we were not allowed down there. She would not listen so I took her to a quiet corner for a time out. I told she could leave whenever, as long as she went to the main room. I wanna go downstairs! I told her that we were not allowed to go down there. Not Lilly and not mommy. She started to kick and scream and attempt to bite my legs. So we left. Once outside she says, Ok mommy I will stop crying. I told her it was too late, and the time to stop crying was inside the church. I did not say a word on the walk home. I brought her home put her to bed, with out a word. I was so angry and I didnt want to say anything I would regret.

 

We had plans to go to a highschool play after her nap, but I cant bring myself to take her out again. I plan to tell her we are no longer going because of her behavior today. I dont know if its right or wrong, but I am at a loss, and its the truth of why we are no longer going. I cant do this twice in one day.

It might be too late to say anything now but...

 

I think what you did in the church scenario is fine, but I would not say anything to her about the play.  You have decided she is not ready to handle sitting through a play peacefully (good call!)  but if you tell her that it's because of HER behavior, (rather than a choice you as a parent are making because you realize she is not ready), it not only is framed punitively, but also forms a major guilt trip for a 3 year old.  I mean...it's not her fault she can't behave.  She's 3.  It hard and as Just one more says, they need to learn.  Some kids take longer to learn than others.  Some kids just have to grow up.  But if you tell her "it's because of YOU that we can't go" she would have to be pretty self absorbed, even for a 3 yo to not make the connection that you resent her for it.

 

It's okay to be angry at what happened, to take some time to cool off if you need it, but you can't be any more angry at a 3yo for misbehaving and having impulse control issues, than you can for a puppy that pees on the rug when she is excited. 


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#24 of 31 Old 05-09-2011, 10:33 AM
 
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When my older one was between about 18 months and 4, we hardly ever went anywhere that didn't include running around, like the park, and always had an exit plan. Kids that age are still toddlers, still prone to tantrums, still have very limited impulse control, and on top of all that, they've started getting a huge desire for autonomy. I would be careful with where you go and how often you go out, always have an exit plan, and if something is too much for her, don't feel bad about having to leave, and I also wouldn't lecture her about why you have to leave, I'd just say it wasn't going well so we had to leave. As she gets older she'll be able to handle more. But some kids can't handle much at that age.

My second one is an easy child who doesn't tantrum, and if I'd had her first, I might think it was something you'd done wrong, but really, having had a very high needs kid, I think some toddlers just have a hard time with outings.


This.

 

My oldest was totally crazy until he was about 4.5. Nothing "worked." He didn't care about consequences. When he wanted to tantrum, that's all he wanted - to tantrum. The tantrum/screaming itself was the goal. I was so sure at the time that I must be doing something wrong, but in retrospect, no. Some kids are just like that when they're 3. The people who say that if you did everything "right", you'd be seeing much better behavior? I just don't buy it.

 

Many, many parents of multiple children over 3 or 4 years old have experienced the phenomenon of the child who was an untameable hellion before age 4. There's this widespread myth that proper parenting/discipline is highly effective with all neurotypical 3 yo's, but it's not true. You can do everything right and still have "that kid." Some time after turning 4 is generally when "those preschoolers" can be parented into normal human behavior in public.

 

My youngest is 3 now, and she never tantrums. All of that stuff that just didn't work with my oldest is 100% effective with my youngest.

 

If I could go back in time and give myself advice when my spirited kid was 3, it would be this:

 

- Just stay sane. Your primary job is just to survive this phase with your sanity intact.

 

- Let go of the guilt. You didn't do or not do anything to make the kid like this.

 

- Keep being consistent, etc. Just let go of the idea that it will necessarily "work".

 

- Whilst shopping for groceries with a kid who keeps dropping to the floor screaming, and you sense people looking your way, notice that some of the onlookers are just kindly gazing at you with a knowing nod that says "I feel for you. I had one of those kids, too. You have my sympathies."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#25 of 31 Old 05-10-2011, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am still struggling mamas. *sigh* I lose my cool a lot. I am snappy, and angry, and I just cant seem to renew my patience. I feel like terrible mother at the end of each day.

 

I also realize that her down turn may have something to do with her new glasses. She knows she needs them and probably feels a little powerless about them. This is around the same time her behavior took a nosedive.


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 Whilst shopping for groceries with a kid who keeps dropping to the floor screaming, and you sense people looking your way, notice that some of the onlookers are just kindly gazing at you with a knowing nod that says "I feel for you. I had one of those kids, too. You have my sympathies."

 

 

I had three very kind mamas (now grandmas) actually tell me this today and give me a pep talk while I was giving my 3yo DD a time out at the checkout in a store today. It is so nice to realize that not everyone is glaring and wishing you'd stayed at home!

 

And Lydiah, I completely am with you. My DD is doing the same things as yours, and feeling impatient and snappish is a completely reasonable reaction. It's hard to be pushed and tested constantly. I hate feeling that way, and I hate being short/yelling at her--but we're humans, we're not perfect. Be forgiving of yourself!
 

 


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This.

 

My oldest was totally crazy until he was about 4.5. Nothing "worked." He didn't care about consequences. When he wanted to tantrum, that's all he wanted - to tantrum. The tantrum/screaming itself was the goal. I was so sure at the time that I must be doing something wrong, but in retrospect, no. Some kids are just like that when they're 3. The people who say that if you did everything "right", you'd be seeing much better behavior? I just don't buy it.

 

Many, many parents of multiple children over 3 or 4 years old have experienced the phenomenon of the child who was an untameable hellion before age 4. There's this widespread myth that proper parenting/discipline is highly effective with all neurotypical 3 yo's, but it's not true. You can do everything right and still have "that kid." Some time after turning 4 is generally when "those preschoolers" can be parented into normal human behavior in public.

 

My youngest is 3 now, and she never tantrums. All of that stuff that just didn't work with my oldest is 100% effective with my youngest.

 

If I could go back in time and give myself advice when my spirited kid was 3, it would be this:

 

- Just stay sane. Your primary job is just to survive this phase with your sanity intact.

 

- Let go of the guilt. You didn't do or not do anything to make the kid like this.

 

- Keep being consistent, etc. Just let go of the idea that it will necessarily "work".

 

- Whilst shopping for groceries with a kid who keeps dropping to the floor screaming, and you sense people looking your way, notice that some of the onlookers are just kindly gazing at you with a knowing nod that says "I feel for you. I had one of those kids, too. You have my sympathies."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thank you for this. My husband and I have been taking our 3 year-old DS's behavior very personally. We feel like we have failed at something...we just don't know what. DS doesn't listen, follow instructions, pay attention. He hits, kicks, and screams at the top of his lungs. I really hope you are right, and that this is just a phase and not a monster we created. he he. :D

 

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#28 of 31 Old 05-12-2011, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She cut us some slack today and I think thats what I needed to get some patience back. Thank goodness for small miracles.


Me(33), Mama to a crazy DD (6), Wife to a wonderful mountain man(32) BF my babe for 2 years.
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#29 of 31 Old 05-13-2011, 05:32 AM
 
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Thank you for this thread.  My 3.5 year old dd is in the same testing stage.  Sometimes I just really don't like her very much, and I end up parenting in a less-than-compassionate/patient/gentle way because it is just so hard to struggle with her over every. little. thing.  But hakeber's (from page 1) and mamakay's advice are both really good.  I totally end up taking her personally, and I really shouldn't. 


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#30 of 31 Old 05-14-2011, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So we were walking home with our friends from the park, and when it was time to part ways she had a melt down. I calmly picked her up and carried her the rest of the way home. I decided to start singing, because I didnt want to lose it on her. I sang some bob marley songs. lol. She continued to meltdown. She pushed chairs over and started to try and break stuff. So between picking up after her, and singing I told her that she needs to cool off in her room. I closed the door, and made her a snack and poured some juice. I went back upstairs. I said Lilly, when you are done picking up all the books you have thrown around, you can come have a snack and some juice. So she did and she even apologized without me implying she should.

 

I kept my cool, and I did not feel like melting down with her. I did not feel hostile. I just accepted the situation.

 

Progress!


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