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Old 03-13-2005, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I have been struggling with GD for the entire 3 years that I been a mother. I have tried and tried and read alot. I believe in it and I want it so badly. I truly am working towards it, but it has been hard, so please be gently with me.

Now my sweet daughter is will be three in May. She is very bright, verbal and active. Alot to keep up with.
The last few months I have noticed that certain ways she asks/responnds to situations make me frustrated. I find I tell her not to do it that way or that I don't like it or that it isn't allowed but I keep wondering if it is normal for her and if i am just reacting out of my own issues.

For example she has a really big attitude. Everything that comes out of her mouth is sassy. She typically talks like that caillou cartoon, even though we don't watch him. She will stand with her hands on her hips witha pouty expression and demand things, or even just to talk about her day.
Often times she will respond with a jibberish word along with her sassy attitude when we aks her a question or talk to her.

It's very frustrating, especially when we have company or are out visiting. I can sense that other people are uncomfortable around her and don't know how to respond to her.

She is also very physically aggressive when she is playing. She doesn't just give a kiss, she growls and pushes her face right into yours until it hurts, she will jump and climb on my back everytime I bend down to pick something up, she will screach into the phone when she talks to her Nanny.

Just this morning she had her toothbrush and she wanted her bothers ( he's going to be two in May), but he was using it so she threw her snack cup that was filled with sunflower seeds and proceeded to knock everything off the coffee table. She refuses to clean it up. It is still sitting there and I just don't know what to do.

I am to the point where I struggle with myself to try and enjoy her company. I feel like I spend a better part of time together avoiding her.
I can also see her behavior rubbing off on Her little brother. He follows ever move she makes and I just don't think I can handle two times the attitude.


please help me, I am so exhausted and wish to be a better mother.

TIA
-Amy
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Old 03-13-2005, 07:57 PM
 
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First of all... Being a mom of a toddler can be a trying experience to say the least. Don't be too hard on yourself. It's terrific that being gentle is your goal even in the midst of being so frustrated. That's when we find out how gentle we are isn't it?

She is at an age where they start to make so many connections that just weren't there for them, weren't so obvious before. The world becomes a much bigger place for a 3 and 4 year old than it was for the 2 year old. They see more, understand more, want more, and verbal skills are something they get to use more at that age too. It can be alot to take in and process for them I think. Emotions run close to the surface for many a 3 yr old. If they want something they just want to take it. If they can't have it, they get mad. IMO, it's a very necessary phase. They learn from us how to handle themsleves when they are mad now (as little ones) so that they are much better at it by the time they are 13 or 16 lol.

I would start talking alot about how her behavior is affecting people around her, in language she understands of course. Things like "When you kick/hurt/scream at your brother/me it makes us feel very bad. We do not scream at you. Let's find another way for you to show you are upset." The "attitude" she has could just be her trying on a new character in herself. I would ignore it as much as possible. If she says something very rude or hurtful then I would address that with "I don't really like the way you are talking to me right now because it isn't very nice. Is there something wrong that I can help you feel better about?" or something like that. With wanting her brother's toothbrush and knocking everything over I would say "It's not polite to knock over things that are not yours. I know that you are angry/upset right now. We can talk about that while we clean up the mess." If she refused to clean up the mess I wouldn't stress much on that because that could just make the situation worse. I would express my feelings about it in a calm and gentle way though. "I don't like to clean up a mess that you made because you were angry."

Try not to worry about what other people are feeling about her. I've been there with my son, and I know how peoples' reactions were stressful for me. Just focus on her and you, and let them worry about their own stuff Best wishes!

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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Old 03-13-2005, 08:08 PM
 
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Amy

My older dd is almost the same age as yours and I know EXACTLY what you are going through. She is totally not pleasant to be around most of the time. She has a constant "scrunchy" face on- where she just looks snotty and disgusted by everything. Unfortunately, I have no advice for you. I'm going to keep an eye on this thread for ideas, though.
UnschoolnMa, I like your advice, but I bet I have the same question with it as Amy: if they don't have to clean up the mess, if they just hear that it bothers us, will they learn not to do it in the future? This is something I struggle with. I don't believe in forcing a child to do something, nor could I force her if I wanted to, but what do you do when they simply refuse indefinitely? Is it just something you deal with for a while and eventually they will grow out of it?

Amy, for what it is worth, I do find that if I let Mabel cool down for a while, I change my attitude as well, and then we do something fun, she will usually help clean up her mess later. Usually. And, if you aren't already doing this, I *always* help her clean up the mess. She will not do it by herself, which I understand, but will help me, especially if I try to make it fun.

Amanda, mom to dsd (16), dd (11), dd (8), and ds (born 11/12/11).
 

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Old 03-13-2005, 08:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MabelsMama
UnschoolnMa, I like your advice, but I bet I have the same question with it as Amy: if they don't have to clean up the mess, if they just hear that it bothers us, will they learn not to do it in the future? This is something I struggle with. I don't believe in forcing a child to do something, nor could I force her if I wanted to, but what do you do when they simply refuse indefinitely? Is it just something you deal with for a while and eventually they will grow out of it?
I think they will learn, and much of it is by example. I think when we model what we want them to do, and if needed if we call their attention to it in a casual way, it can send a pretty powerful message. When my kids were younger and I would be cooking in the kitchen I might say "I need to clean up the mess I made in the kitchen. It's my responsibility. Then we can go for a walk/some other activity, etc." Or I would help them pick up toys or put laundry away and say "Thanks for letting me help you out. I really like it when people help me too." Of course positive reinforcement is such a cool tool as well. When you see her helping to pick up, or do something and you say "Thank you very much for cleaning your mess/helping us clean up. It's so helpful!"

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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Old 03-13-2005, 08:37 PM
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"be the change you want to see"

I love that quote...I realize it must be so hard dealing with a toddler at times, due to so many factors, if nothing else, it seems they have endless energy!

I am starting to really really respect and like unschoolma's advice for things, as we seem to agree a lot in this area...

I don't think you should be expected to be someone's personal maid, however, modeling is probably one of the most effective tools to teaching....I have never met a toddler who didn't want to "help"...NEVER in my whole life, seriously...okay, now you might not see some things as help, especially if their way of "helping" tears up the house even more!!! The point is, their aim is true, and they just need a bit more guidance and direction....also, being overwhelmed can stop a toddler RIGHT in their tracks....for instance, if the room is a mess, saying "we need to clean up this mess!" might be owverwhelming, so perhaps break it up..."we need to pick up the blocks, can you pick up the red ones and mommy will pick up the blue ones?" Super! Then move on to the dolls, then whatever else...taking it tiny task, by tiny task, helping and modeling as you go along can sometimes be more effective then like, looking at a whole room and saying "we need to clean this up"...know what I mean?

It also helps to come from a place where you know that deep down the toddler is *good* and strives to do the right thing and their aim isn't to make your life hard or be "naughty" or whatever....that they just don't have the tools yet....even a change in perspective like that can be helpful...

Good luck to you, I hope you can find a resolution that suits everyone involved!
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Old 03-13-2005, 10:51 PM
 
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Thank you unschoolnMa and our veggie baby- I really like your advice.

Amanda, mom to dsd (16), dd (11), dd (8), and ds (born 11/12/11).
 

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Old 03-14-2005, 12:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the warm encouraging words. They were just what I needed.
Such wisdom.

I am looking forward to tommorow when I can start acting more gently.
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