Is this normal for a 3 yo - Mothering Forums
The Childhood Years > Is this normal for a 3 yo
sarahsmiles's Avatar sarahsmiles 08:39 PM 12-18-2009
I have been posting in Toddlers for so long, I don't know if 3 counts, but DD is definitely more of a child than a toddler, and I'm noticing some 3s in subject lines, so here goes.

DD is going through a lot. New brother. Move to new town. MIL living with us. No friends except kids at preschool. But, even with this, her behavior is just really driving us crazy.

She's always been high needs, and she doesn't sleep enough, but this is extreme. She appears to have no ability to modify her tone of voice, to stop herself from singing loudly or dancing silly at inappropriate times, from throwing things around, etc. She's constantly "revved up" playing some game that involves running around the house screaming. If something isn't right, like a chair that isn't where she wants it, she gets REALLY upset. Crying, stomping feet upset.

She's very verbal and while she had her share of tantrums, this is just really becoming an every day (or several times a day) thing with her. Evenings are the worst, even though she's getting to bed by 7:30 most nights. (She hasn't napped since 18 months.) She just seems to be on a sugar high without the sugar.

Any ideas what might be behind this? It's been 3 months now since the move (and 5 months since the baby) and only seems to be getting worse, not better.

Storm Bride's Avatar Storm Bride 08:51 PM 12-18-2009
IME and imo, almost anything is normal for a 3 year old. When ds2 was 3 (and even since he's been 4, to some extent), the behaviour you describe was the good days. (I'm making the assumption, since you didn't mention such things, that people aren't being hit, things aren't being broken/thrown and you're not dealing with peeing on the floors or in the sink.)

I think a lot of it is just age. But, some of it may be her inability to deal constructively with the upheaval of a new baby and new place to live. Ds2 improved so abruptly after dd2 arrived that I'm sure some of his issue was anxiety, as my previous pregnancy had ended in a stillbirth and emergency c-section and my physical and emotional health were really, really bad for quite a while. Once he knew me and the baby were okay, he improved a lot.

I wish I could give you some solid advice, but "keep your cool" and "this, too, shall pass" are about all I've got.
Surfer Rosa's Avatar Surfer Rosa 08:58 PM 12-18-2009
3 is rough, even without big changes like new babies, new houses, etc. I haven't a clue why everyone says "terrible 2s", because IME, it's the reaaallllly terrible 3s, especially if you have a verbal/high energy kiddo. I barely survived my daughter being 3. I really felt like she was going out of her way to make me crazy at times...and felt like I was barely hanging on at times.

I don't say this to depress you...but just to say it's pretty normal. 3 is all over the place. I can tell you that 4 is a LOT better , thank goodness.

If you do a search in here for 3 year old support threads, you'll find a lot of mamas in your situation. Hugs, hold on, hope it's a quick phase for her.
honeybunmom's Avatar honeybunmom 10:15 PM 12-18-2009
I agree that it's pretty normal. We had a lot of change during this time, too. New baby, move, new school, mama home for 6 mos, then back to work right after starting new school. The sillies drive me nuts. And she's worse with my husband. I'm the one with limited patience, so, she does far less to me than she does to him. And there are no funnier things to her than those things potty related. It's died down some.

The meltdowns, screaming fits, etc. I was starting to keep track of how frequently we were disciplining her. She turned 4 at the end of October and I can say that things have finally begun to mellow out some. She still goes through all of these things, just not as frequently as it once was.
Norasmomma's Avatar Norasmomma 10:23 PM 12-18-2009
I could have written your post-sounds pretty normal to me. 3 y/o's are crazy. The only thing we don't have is a move. FWIW-she's been like this for a LONG time, it's actually normal for her to be kinda out there at times, she's wound up and has been since she's been mobile. I think the lord heard my prayers asking for a mellow child, as my DS is mellow as can be.

We have a new baby too and it's just full on chaos with her sometimes. I think we'll all survive.
LionTigerBear's Avatar LionTigerBear 10:30 PM 12-18-2009
All of that can be the result of the poor sleeping. Add in some stress and BOOM. Have you tried ways to help her sleep better? In my house we have started using a natural chewable amino acid sleeping supplement for the boys, and it has made a HUGE difference. Also, digestive issues/allergies can have the side effect of causing light sleeping, night-waking and difficulty falling asleep, as well as that kind of crazy/silly/hyper behavior.

I found the book "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life" by Daniel G. Amen MD to be very thought-provoking as far as seeing things from the brain's perspective. The brain has a lot of work to do, and when it is damaged, or poisoned, or stressed, or malnourished in some way, even a little bit-- it can't do all it's meant to do-- and that's when we see odd behaviors and moods and so forth. Sleep and diet are huge factors, and stress just adds to the amount of processing the brain is supposed to do.
Norasmomma's Avatar Norasmomma 02:32 PM 12-19-2009
I have to agree with the sleep issues-my DD has been exponentially worse the last few days, and she's been sleeping poorly due to her going to her cousins, grandpa and grandma's etc and being doted on. She's been a complete PITA today and yesterday, woke up waaaaaayyyyy too early and so is tired and cranky. Acting out, waking her brother, etc.....It's so obvious she needs more sleep. She doesn't nap w/out a car ride and even when she goes to bed very early she's a mess. she'd been sleeping well until a few weeks ago and doing awesome, but now it's been bad, ugh.
ani'smommy's Avatar ani'smommy 02:37 PM 12-19-2009
Sounds just like my daughter at 3. She is starting to get over it now. She is, uh, I'm sorry to say it, 5.
Norasmomma's Avatar Norasmomma 02:38 PM 12-19-2009
double post
Tav Mom's Avatar Tav Mom 02:41 AM 12-20-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
IME and imo, almost anything is normal for a 3 year old. When ds2 was 3 (and even since he's been 4, to some extent), the behaviour you describe was the good days. (I'm making the assumption, since you didn't mention such things, that people aren't being hit, things aren't being broken/thrown and you're not dealing with peeing on the floors or in the sink.)

I think a lot of it is just age. But, some of it may be her inability to deal constructively with the upheaval of a new baby and new place to live. Ds2 improved so abruptly after dd2 arrived that I'm sure some of his issue was anxiety, as my previous pregnancy had ended in a stillbirth and emergency c-section and my physical and emotional health were really, really bad for quite a while. Once he knew me and the baby were okay, he improved a lot.

I wish I could give you some solid advice, but "keep your cool" and "this, too, shall pass" are about all I've got.
I totally agree. And it was like this with my 3 older boys. I have one that is 3yo now. He used to be my mellow, go with the flow little guy. Not recently!!
I remember going through this with his older brothers, too.
My boys all get good nights sleep. I think it's just a phase that they go through. Independent but still a baby.
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