Please tell me your 3 yr. old is making your life hell - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 70 Old 07-03-2010, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't really have a question, but could really use some commiseration. I know three-year-olds are hard, and I know eventually the behavior we'll get better (or at the very least she'll move out someday!), but please, just tell me that I'm not alone in finding this year to be really, really challenging. I don't even think I can begin to list the amount of things that DD is doing that makes me totally nuts.

And this should be obvious, but of course I love her immensely, and she's pretty delightful, etc. It's just... UGH! so much of the time!
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#2 of 70 Old 07-03-2010, 03:59 PM
 
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My 3 year old is incredibly mischievious. He loves doing the opposite of what he's told to do. He tries to make as much trouble as possible. He seems to enjoy annoying his big brother. He was a pretty easy kid until about a week before he turned three. Now he's a little devil!

I'm an incredibly patient person, but this kid makes me lose my patience regularly! And then, when I'm about to explode!!!!! - he'll tell me he loves me, give me a kiss, want a hug, share his cookie, or something else really sweet and wonderful. And I forgive him for everything.

It's a hard year. It was hard with my older son, and it's hard with my younger son. I know 4 will bring more attitude and obnoxiousness and disobedience in his yearnings for more independence. It's not like it gets easier from here. Just different.

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#3 of 70 Old 07-03-2010, 06:34 PM
 
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You're SO not alone!!! Try making it 3.5 yr old twins and an 18 month old thrown in the mix. LONG days. Our first line of defense is to get out of the house - the backyard, the park, a walk. Even if it's hot. Or if it's too hot, someone else's house, the mall indoor playground, anything. Things just seem to go so much better when we're not at home.
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#4 of 70 Old 07-03-2010, 07:23 PM
 
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Yep, DS is almost 3 1/2 and it is very very interesting these days.
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#5 of 70 Old 07-03-2010, 08:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
My 3 year old is incredibly mischievious. He loves doing the opposite of what he's told to do. He tries to make as much trouble as possible. He seems to enjoy annoying his big brother. He was a pretty easy kid until about a week before he turned three. Now he's a little devil!

I'm an incredibly patient person, but this kid makes me lose my patience regularly! And then, when I'm about to explode!!!!! - he'll tell me he loves me, give me a kiss, want a hug, share his cookie, or something else really sweet and wonderful. And I forgive him for everything.

It's a hard year. It was hard with my older son, and it's hard with my younger son. I know 4 will bring more attitude and obnoxiousness and disobedience in his yearnings for more independence. It's not like it gets easier from here. Just different.
I agree with this, DD was a pretty easygoing kid until 3, then she went a little wild and now, at 4, has definitely hit that "Attitude, obnoxiousness and disobedience" phase big time. But 3 was an eye opener for us because before that, she was agreeable, apart from the odd meltdown from tiredness or hunger. We were like "terrible twos, what's that?" Um, yeah, it hit at three!!! And I am NOT incredibly patient! But the affection and love does wipe it all away, thank goodness!!

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#6 of 70 Old 07-03-2010, 09:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
My 3 year old is incredibly mischievious. He loves doing the opposite of what he's told to do. He tries to make as much trouble as possible. He seems to enjoy annoying his big brother. He was a pretty easy kid until about a week before he turned three. Now he's a little devil!

It's a hard year. It was hard with my older son, and it's hard with my younger son. I know 4 will bring more attitude and obnoxiousness and disobedience in his yearnings for more independence. It's not like it gets easier from here. Just different.
Ditto here. Mine is 4.5 now and was the easiest kid ever until his 3rd birthday. It's been so hard ever since. Same things as you said, antagonizing his brother, making repetetive annoying noises, laughing in my face and running away with everything I say. Nothing seems to faze him. Yet under it all he is still so sweet and loving sometimes. Just waiting, trying to hang on, hoping this phase will end soon.

You are definitely not alone!
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#7 of 70 Old 07-04-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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Ack! Yes she drove me totally nuts from almost 3 until, um, a couple of months ago when she turned 6. No really, it's not funny. Preschoolers are rough.

My youngest seems easier in comparisonthough (almost 3) so maybe there's hope for me...

Banana, doula wife to Papa Banana and mother to Banana One, Banana Two, Banana Three, Banana Four...

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#8 of 70 Old 07-04-2010, 10:42 PM
 
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Oh, yes, I thought that had become his full time job. Hysterical swings of emotion from loving/cuddly one minute to shrill screaming for no apparent reason the next. Sometimes he wants nothing more than to make me happy. Others, he's tearing off through the aisles of the grocery store trying to "lose" me. And he's preferring Dad to me right now, which while it's great for them to spend so much time together, I miss things like reading books at night together.

That book: "Your Three Year Old: Friend or Enemy" is awesome, if you are into parenting books.
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#9 of 70 Old 07-04-2010, 11:19 PM
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You're not alone! My 3 yo can be a major sweet heart, but man can he be a handful. Most of the time it's when I am really not in the mood that he chooses to push all the wrong buttons.
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#10 of 70 Old 07-05-2010, 12:29 AM
 
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My three year old is awesome! it was TWO that was hell. I mean I didn't think I would survive it. And now that he is one week from turning Four he is acting like he is two again. I just wonder if every even year is going to be miserable for us!!

Take heart! The difficult behaviour ebbs and flows.......

mama to L (4) and G (1.5)
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#11 of 70 Old 07-05-2010, 12:32 AM
 
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3 is the new 2! It's bad here too.

Mama of 2 sweet boys, Miles (Jan 3/07) and Avery (Nov 28/09) My fast and furious HBAC
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#12 of 70 Old 07-05-2010, 12:36 AM
 
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My DD made me life hell quite a bit at age 3, up until just after she turned 4. Now, it has gone from me wondering how I could feel so much rage towards such a small person on a daily basis, to her being a fairly obedient, pleasant little person (at least most days ).

It gets better... at certain ages I think it's just about surviving each day.

“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”
― George Orwell, 1984
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#13 of 70 Old 07-05-2010, 01:01 AM
 
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Personally, I'm great with babies and toddlers, but then they hit age 3 and suddenly get smarter than me...and it just gets harder and harder from there!

Tamara: Aspiring doula, partner to Brazilian musician, mom to THREE GIRLIES!
(4/01, 6/07, & 12/09)
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#14 of 70 Old 07-05-2010, 09:51 AM
 
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nak...this thread makes me feel so much better that it s not just me! dd was 3 in april and there are moments when i am so incredibly proud of amazed by her and moments when she reduces me to tears of frustration and wondering where i went wrong!

people say the todler years are an intro to what the teen years will be like...ahhh!!!!!

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#15 of 70 Old 07-05-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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For sale: One Gently Used 3 year old

This was a thread I posted when dd was 3. She's 6, we've still got her .

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#16 of 70 Old 07-05-2010, 03:50 PM
 
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My three year is a hand full. ALL THE TIME. On the weekend she bit her 5 year old sister and drew BLOOD. Sometimes I feel bad for my 5 year....she has to listen to the endless whining and fits....
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#17 of 70 Old 07-05-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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Normal. 3 y/os are kinda a PITA, 2 was worse for me due to pregnancy, but DD was ahead of the curve in many ways. Highly verbal, armed with a challenging attitude at times=pure hell for mama.

She's almost 4, and is getting better daily.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#18 of 70 Old 07-05-2010, 04:01 PM
 
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I have always thought 3yo's were harder than 2's, and my dd was really quite easy, but lately she has been driving me nuts. She's almost 3.5, and she has started talking in this baby voice and saying "wah" all the time. She is quite disobedient and always climbing on things she shouldn't be. She plays with water everywhere and makes messes with scraps of paper and sand out of the sandbox, etc.

I just posted a message similar to yours on the baby forum about my 9mo ds. I am feeling like I have a double whammy of difficult ages right now; they are both very challenging for me right now.

We have been going through some transitions here the last month or so, and I'm hoping that things will settle down soon!

Of course, both of my children are actually pretty easy kids and very delightful most of the time; parenting is just such a huge and challenging job!
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#19 of 70 Old 07-05-2010, 04:11 PM
 
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I have always thought 3yo's were harder than 2's, and my dd was really quite easy, but lately she has been driving me nuts. She's almost 3.5, and she has started talking in this baby voice and saying "wah" all the time. She is quite disobedient and always climbing on things she shouldn't be. She plays with water everywhere and makes messes with scraps of paper and sand out of the sandbox, etc.

I just posted a message similar to yours on the baby forum about my 9mo ds. I am feeling like I have a double whammy of difficult ages right now; they are both very challenging for me right now.

We have been going through some transitions here the last month or so, and I'm hoping that things will settle down soon!

Of course, both of my children are actually pretty easy kids and very delightful most of the time; parenting is just such a huge and challenging job!
Did it start with your son becoming mobile? My DD went through a phase a couple months ago with DS's new mobility, she started acting like a baby, and being super difficult. For us we had to do a reward chart to help get her behavior under control.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#20 of 70 Old 07-05-2010, 08:43 PM
 
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Did it start with your son becoming mobile? My DD went through a phase a couple months ago with DS's new mobility, she started acting like a baby, and being super difficult. For us we had to do a reward chart to help get her behavior under control.
Yes, I think it did. Thanks for the idea.
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#21 of 70 Old 07-05-2010, 10:58 PM
 
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My little one is still pretty easy going and hasn't hit a hard stage yet...BUT my future MIL keeps a little girl every weekend that I can't stand to be around. It's to the point that I won't go and visit when I know she's there. MIL tells her no and she says "yes" and does whatever she wants anyways..hits, cries, takes fits, throws things...she's a pain in the you-know-what.

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#22 of 70 Old 07-06-2010, 09:52 AM
 
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...glad I'm not alone. I am so so so struggling with DD right now. We're a couple months shy of 4 and I'm hoping we'll turn a corner then...(HA!)

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#23 of 70 Old 07-06-2010, 05:20 PM
 
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My ds was a sweet little guy until two months before his 3rd birthday. I thought it was rough until about 3.5. Just as soon as things smoothed out and he was easier to work with......here came his 4th birthday. I would generally say that this was the toughest year ever and it's still ongoing with his 5th birthday just around the corner. May sound a fair bit heartless, but I'm quite excited to send him off to kindergarten this fall!
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#24 of 70 Old 07-07-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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Aw man, 3 IS tough. My daughter is really well-behaved most of the time, but when she wants to be difficult UGH. I rely on getting out of the house for my sanity. Being at home is much more difficult.
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#25 of 70 Old 07-07-2010, 11:39 PM
 
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LOL. I am do in all of your boats. I have a 5/07 little boy. Before he turned 3 he was difficult, but handleable. Now, all bets are off. I've cancelled camping trips with the grandparents, etc to prove to him that his misbehaving will result in revoking of "the good things." One of my wise old friends said to me more than once to appreciate each phase because it will be gone soon and something more challenging will replace it....as she laughed. She is on round two (her is raising her 3 grandkids who are teens!). Have to say that she is right so far. But the hugs and kisses more than make up for the frustrating moments.

Got any idea what to do with a 3 year old with endless energy when it hits 115?? Let me know.
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#26 of 70 Old 07-07-2010, 11:41 PM
 
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Today, we were the people in the grocery store that everyone stared at and thought "What an awful mom, how can she not control her kid" . . . I'm so freaking sick of tantrums, contrariness, not listening, and disobedience. I think I've tried every parenting technique and my little girl finds a way around each one. She is so smart and at times so loving. Other times, yeesh! Since she turned three, I really feel like there is this wedge between us and it makes me so sad.

What I've tried with her . . .
Gentle communication=total ignoring of me.
Take away privileges like stories=screaming at the top of her lungs or continuing to do whatever she wants.
Yelling=Total ignoring of me.
Time outs=Pitching a fit and total ignoring of me.

So what techniques do you mothers use for your kids? It isn't like I'm trying to get her to do something outrageous, just things like not pitching a fit because we have to go to the grocery, not running away from me when a whim strikes her, not screaming about her bath.

S & J . DD 2/8/7. DS 4/25/10. Natural foods eating, sleep deprived, gardening WAH mama.
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#27 of 70 Old 07-08-2010, 02:55 AM
 
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^^^ I think nothing really works in the moment. Sorry! Maybe leave them at home with daddy if possible

And make sure they are fed and well rested. DS had 13 hrs of sleep last night and our day was beyond amazing. Of course tonight he is complaining of growing pains and doing every little thing possible to not go to bed. sigh.
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#28 of 70 Old 07-09-2010, 04:08 AM
 
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IT"S NOT JUST ME!!! WHOO-HOO!!!!

My 3 yr. old DD ran and hid from me tonight because I was trying to have her come with me inside the house because she was being mean to the other kids while playing outside.

(I'd already talked to and warned her outside.)
'
Then she ran out the door and hid again.

Can't keep chasing the child, it just makes me more mad and she thinks it's funny.

It appears *that* is what she wants because when I STOPPED chasing her, she calmed down and played just fine, thanks. (don't know if it was me actually bringing her into the house that clued her in that I was serious or what)

And it seems unfair to me to make the baby come in because his sister can't behave with the other kids....so I really hate to say or enforce that. (and as she showed me tonight i can't always)

I was NOT willing to have her go to bed at 6-7 PM either...my other 'consequence' is to end the evening by having her come in, eat, bath, bed, nothing else, when she misbehaves outside.

oh she also likes to talk back. I've been trying to ignore it but when Grandma gives her the reaction she wants (and I once in awhile forget) it doesn't stop. (attempts to explain why we don't talk this way result in repeated use of the unwanted word/phrase or a new, but not improved word/phrase)
I've decided since I can't stop her reaction, I CAN stop mine and refuse to give it any power over me.....

lovin DH since 1/04, SAHM to 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), and one 13 wk (10/13) just your average :ha ng multigenerational living family!!
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#29 of 70 Old 07-09-2010, 08:07 PM
 
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Today, we were the people in the grocery store that everyone stared at and thought "What an awful mom, how can she not control her kid" . . . I'm so freaking sick of tantrums, contrariness, not listening, and disobedience. I think I've tried every parenting technique and my little girl finds a way around each one. She is so smart and at times so loving. Other times, yeesh! Since she turned three, I really feel like there is this wedge between us and it makes me so sad.

What I've tried with her . . .
Gentle communication=total ignoring of me.
Take away privileges like stories=screaming at the top of her lungs or continuing to do whatever she wants.
Yelling=Total ignoring of me.
Time outs=Pitching a fit and total ignoring of me.

So what techniques do you mothers use for your kids? It isn't like I'm trying to get her to do something outrageous, just things like not pitching a fit because we have to go to the grocery, not running away from me when a whim strikes her, not screaming about her bath.
We've tried all of these things too, to no avail. Oldest dd is 3.5, and I swear that I'm going crazy many, many days. I sometimes don't remember what her normal voice sounds like because she whines, screams, and yells all day. I try to console myself by saying that at least she won't ever be a people-pleaser...
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#30 of 70 Old 07-09-2010, 08:38 PM
 
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I am so so so glad I'm not alone, and so happy to come accross this thread right now- I'm currently hiding in the computer room because ds is driving me beyond crazy this afternoon. It doesn't matter what I say, he has to argue with me. He whines about everything, and he spends all day asking questions then arguing with whatever my answer is. Is there a tearing-my-hair-out smilie?

He'll be 4 in a couple of months, and I don't know whether it'll be better or worse. He's always been fairly high needs, sensitive, and difficult, so I'm really hoping I finally get a bit of a break once we hit 4. Hey, a tired mama can dream, right?
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