Observations of 3 ~ Support group for parents of Three Year Olds! - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 134 Old 10-28-2004, 08:10 PM
 
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on the issue of pets.. how to keep him from bothering the cat?? sometimes he goes up to the cat and screams at him for no reason, other times he wants to chase him around the house, especially chase him w/ w truck and crash into him. i keep telling him that our cat doesn't like it, that we need to be gentle, etc. still happens. i try to prevent/stop as much as i can, but it's hard when i'm busy nursing/washing dishes, whatnot

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Acting as a Gestational Surrogate for my cousin, EDD Jan 17th
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#62 of 134 Old 10-29-2004, 02:45 AM
 
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I am so, so, so glad I found this thread.
Sid will be 3 in November and he's doing all the things everyon here is talking about.
Like another mama here I have a newborn to take of also. I feel like I'm missing out on a lot of moments with her due to being stressed.
DH has a long commute so I'm the only parent until about half an hour to bed time. So morning to about 8pm I'm a single parent all week. I'm so absolutely pooped.
And then my angel boy turned into a rotter! :LOL
I'm so happy to hear that it seems to be a 3 year old thing. I just couldn't figure out what the heck I'd started doing wrong.
But I have to admit it really hurts my feelings when he acts out like he's been doing. The ignoring what I say, throwing things, saying mean things. I've tried ignoring his actions, I've tried getting down to his level and talking gently, I've tried time outs so he can gather himself back together, I've tried sounding really cross. It seems nothing gets through to him these days until he's darn well ready to stop.
At least I know I'm not alone in this. Though I wish I could find the magic key.

~Daednu
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#63 of 134 Old 10-29-2004, 04:45 AM
 
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I have been thinking about this thread/idea a great deal and while I have no profound thoughts....I find that my biggest dilemma with this stage is my complete inability to fix anything. I am not by nature a "fixer" however when dd was smaller I could DO something to help, I mean she needed food, cuddling, sleep, a distraction etc but now there is nothing that I can do that seems to have a consistent effect.

I try distraction when a power struggle comes up...it works once, then I try the validating approach it works not at all, the old standby of outdoor activity works occasionally. I am not making any sense here, argh! I am not really referring to "discipline" or anything more just coping. Does this make any sense to anyone but me? I am not able to put this well into words.

My dd seems to have run into real life issues and as her universe expands she is investigating everything. This is not just physica anymorel but ideas, emotions, control, making decisions as to her own opinions, the "big" things if you will, etc. I think she is experiencing the world on a multitude of levels now and the process is in flux between discovering and establishing some peace with her world.

At least I tell myself that there is something really big and important going on in that horribly adorable little brain of her. It helps when she wakes at 4:00 am and informs me that her day is going to be ruined unless she gets breakfast immediately.
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#64 of 134 Old 10-29-2004, 04:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! Checking in here. Not much to add but I do have a request. Someone mentioned that they read that "AP" kids tend to do the independence (terrible twos) thing later. Could anyone find me some resources for this?

I'm interested in reading some child developmental theories on the emotional challenge of being three. Yea, there are lots of guides and discipline stuff out there but that doesn't usually help me as much as a developmental text.

We are 'okay'. One of the things that helped was *me* dealing with the major melt downs differently. I've actually distanced myself a little by asking DC if she wants me to stick around or go in the other room (often she'll tell me she doesn’t want me there ~ great! :LOL )

Also, I've stopped trying to 'fix' it like the last poster mentioned. I'll offer a few reasonable options and then wait for the frustration, acceptance to evolve and resolve.

Somehow, accepting that this is something that she has to do that isn't really a part of me is very helpful. It's like practice for adolescence, right?

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#65 of 134 Old 10-29-2004, 05:19 AM
 
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This is my third time round with a three-year-old, and no, it doesn't seem to get any easier...but one thing I've found that helps is the "serenity prayer"... Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change... especially when DS responds to a request with a: "Shut up you stupid idiot!" (He's a gentle soul, really, and we do NOT speak to anybody like this in my house)...but, no amount of GD-speak has cured that so I'm opting to ignore it these days. Maybe it'll just go away eventually...I hope. Any suggestions?
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#66 of 134 Old 10-30-2004, 02:28 AM
 
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Hi Identity Crisis Mama,

I really like "I'm Three, by me! (as told to Jerri Wolfe)" by Jerri Wolfe. She writes the book from the perspective of your three year-old and it covers many normal 3 behaviors that cause difficulties between parents and child . Each short chapter covers one aspect/behavior. It is very well-written, easy to read and even funny. My husband actually read most of it as well!

I am also the one who mentioned that I had heard that AP kids have their terrible two's later. It could have been in Katie Allison Granju's book, or possibly "Mothering Your Nursing Toddler". I can't remember , but I'll check.

Good Luck!
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#67 of 134 Old 10-30-2004, 11:17 PM
 
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I'll jump in, too.

DD will be three in Feb. and she has just shown signs of everything talked about here, except the checkout line shenanigans! :LOL
IdentityCrisisMama - I, too, have decided to just let go the things I can't control, as previously mentioned, and understand that she just has to go through them. What a relief once I figured that out. Thanks for saying it so nicely. DD has always been very sensitive and shy, and now all the other stuff she's processing...

Until a week or so ago I never heard/saw her:
-shrieking
-screaming
-hitting both of us
-hitting her dolls
-the NO/yes/NO/yes indecision and frustration, accompanied by tears and yelling and crying
-hunger and fatigue as triggers to meltdowns

And not seen since 18 months ago:
-inability to stay asleep at night without my sliding into her bed (next to ours)
-difficulty getting to sleep
-difficulty napping and staying asleep in the nap


Or on the amusing, happy side:
-Wild stories about everyone she knows, from parts of her life.
-kisses for mama
-kisses for her dad
-kisses for her babies (dolls), cats, babies she meets, whatever
-"I love you"
-Willingness to take significant physical and emotional risks on her own
-learning explosions
-pronunciation explosions


You're right, lula, my coping strategies change a lot, and never consistently work for the same situations. I am stretching as a parent!

Please post the references when you find them, lllmomma.

Thanks, OP, for starting this support thread!

rural mama to DD1 DD2
unschooling, non-vaxing, writing, gardening, co-sleeping, critter-loving family :
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#68 of 134 Old 10-31-2004, 12:04 AM
 
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Hi ladies!!

I have a 3.4 year old daughter and a 7 week old son. My dd seems to have gone completely bonkers since the new baby has arrived---understandably so, but its hard to manage her and the baby at the same time sometimes.

She has never written on the walls of the house but just within the last week she has scribbled crayon on the walls and pen on my newly painted bedroom walls. (any idea how to remove the pen but not the paint?).

Yesterday was the ultimate disaster. I was lying on the couch nursing the new baby and she somehow managed to get a hold of the baking cocoa and took it into the formal living room, took the cushions off the couch and played IN the cocoa on the couch cushions!!! There was cocoa strewn from one end of the room to the other. It was a complete nightmare.

Luckily my dh came home from work early just as I discovered it and he vacuumed it up. Believe it or not, most of it came up with the vacuum, however the vacuum parts need to be cleaned out. UGH

Before the baby she never did those kinds of things. She would have meltdowns and was wild sometimes and even hit me or pulled my hair but that was the extent. Now she ransacks the place sometimes when she is mad and screams at the cats and tried to throw one of them down the stairs.

Thankfully the hitting of me has stopped BUT has transferred to the baby. She likes to hit the baby on occasion. It doesn't happen if we are out and about and busy. It happens when I am nursing the baby. My 3 year old is nursing too but I don't nurse them both at the same time. Its just too cumbersome, so sometimes she gets annoyed that I am constantly with the baby and not with her.

I've tried giving her attention too when the baby is nursing and having her help me with the diapers, and his clothes etc. I've even read books and colored with her while nursing the baby but sometimes she just wants to get a reaction out of me and hits the baby.

I am glad that there are others moms out there going through similar things but I wish this age would be OVER already! LOL!

She is just simply amazing though with her knowledge of things and is a wonderfully kind and loving child despite this crazy behavior!!

ugh I hope things get better!
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#69 of 134 Old 10-31-2004, 12:52 AM
 
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I feel better just seeing how many other people find their sweet babies transformed, overnight, into 3 y.o. aliens! I just find that 3 y.o.'s are SO VERY. Just that. They have very strong feelings, fears, reactions, love, hate....and these new feelings are undoubtedly so scary in such a little person with such a brand new sense of the world around him. And for the record, my 7 y.o. DS was worse at 4 (but maybe that was because of the arrival of his brother?) and I found it got easier at 5. just the growth in language skills alone is a huge help - no matter how much you rehearse loving gentle scripts with a 3 y.o., they may just not be mentally prepared to understand the language or the feelings or the sensory overload of the independence they seek. Anyway, thanks for this thread, because I find it helps me to stay calm with my son just knowing there are lots of other great mamas out there struggling with the same challenges!
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#70 of 134 Old 10-31-2004, 12:03 PM
 
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lovemygirl-
When I had my baby, my oldest was 2 y/o and went through much the same reaction your dd is going through. We had it all . . . wall writing, hitting the baby, jumping on the baby, getting into things he shouldn't and total destructive spells. It's just the child's way of dealing with the new arrival of the baby. It DOES get better, although for us, it was a slow process. Now, a year later, the boys play together suprisingly well. We do still have problems with hitting or pushing but they do seem to enjoy each others company. So, have patience. You sound like you are doing a great job!
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#71 of 134 Old 10-31-2004, 12:12 PM
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I hear what you are saying about understanding what they are going through developmentally making it easier to deal with certain behaviors appropriately.

Every once in a while I run up against one of my own assumptions. This is where I start to loose patience. I think, she's 3.5, she has words and can communicate very clearly. She's out of the "terrible twos", so she shouldn't be acting like this. As it turns out, she really should be doing this. She's learning what to do with all these intense emotions. She's learning how to cope in the big wide world. she's learning that she doesn't always get her way. These are tought things to learn, and there is bound to be some clashing of wills here.

Knowing this has made it easier for me to remain calm and measured. If I feel my patience slipping, I hand her off to DH, leave the room for a minute to regroup, or send her to her room to regroup.

There's a user here that has a fabulous sig. It has become part of my mantra and part of how I cope when things are getting to me.

Quote:
What is happening now? Are you seeing with a clear mind?
Stop. Breathe. Listen. Are you paying attention to what is?

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#72 of 134 Old 10-31-2004, 01:15 PM
 
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I can't post much, because my head is pounding and I'm exhausted after a few morning hours with a whining, screaming 3 year old, but all I can say is - thank GOD it's not just happening in our house. I was beginning to think something had gone terribly wrong here.

And one other thing - why didn't anybody warn me? I thought that, once we got through the 2s, that we'd be moving towards independence and into an easier stage. Yet, now, all the moms I know confirm that 3 is MUCH harder than 2. : What a nasty surprise!
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#73 of 134 Old 10-31-2004, 02:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beth568
I can't post much, because my head is pounding and I'm exhausted after a few morning hours with a whining, screaming 3 year old, but all I can say is - thank GOD it's not just happening in our house. I was beginning to think something had gone terribly wrong here.

And one other thing - why didn't anybody warn me? I thought that, once we got through the 2s, that we'd be moving towards independence and into an easier stage. Yet, now, all the moms I know confirm that 3 is MUCH harder than 2. : What a nasty surprise!
No, it isn't just in your home and I second the not being warned thing. What is up with that???

Yesterday was a tough day here. Joe was terribly whiny and didn't want to do anything he has asked. He actually did just the opposite of everything!! So frustrating!! Throw in no nap for that extra measure of 3 y/o angst and you know the kind of day I had yesterday.
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#74 of 134 Old 10-31-2004, 03:03 PM
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Ah, DH just took them both away! Katie wanted to wear her costume (Bo-Peep) out today. I had no problem with that. So I got it on, and was doing her hair (again, she begged me to do it), but started freaking out when I did the bows! I don't get it.

I have a love/hate relationship with Halloween. I love her getting dressed up, she loves it, and we have a good time planning her costume and everything. We have a great time with the pumpkins. And she loves trick-or-treating. But all the sugar and junk over the course of the week is enough to make me crazy! And now that she is going to preschool, and invited to halloween parties, it is impossible to avoid it, without seeming like I'm punishing her. So what do you all do about Halloween and the candy


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#75 of 134 Old 11-01-2004, 01:22 AM
 
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Ah this is the place for me! My 3 yr old although wonderful is the most excellent at pushing my buttons.. I can hardly believe how fast and how strong he does it. I will post more later.. tonight he has worn me out!
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#76 of 134 Old 11-01-2004, 05:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We went ahead and cut sugar intake in the last few weeks. I was resistant to diet changes because we just don’t have any food sensitivities in our extended families but I thought her sugar intake was creeping up. We are down to one ‘treat’ a day. For us, this is candy or cookies but she also gets some sugars in jelly and stuff so I wasn’t that extreme. The crazy thing was how willingly she accepted this after I would point out a bad day that had too much sugar ~ enter Halloween, LOL! We don’t live in a very Halloween dominated area so it’s really limited to only one evening, which is easy but the winter holidays are coming up ~ scary. Actually, DC was wonderful all day but had a really hard time sleeping so we went back to one candy, again perfectly willingly. So, I do recommend cutting the sugar if you have some to spare in their diet. Also, I would maybe ask your child to help limit the sweets ~ it actually ‘worked’ for Aya....well, for two weeks, LOL!

Also, is anyone having big issues with naps? I posted another thread a while ago because DC is in the very long process of not needing a nap ~ hard but I got some help from that thread and I’ll link it if anyone needs it.

THEN, we’ve been having some new separation anxiety issues, which are really disappointing to me. I’m just feeling like this time with Aya requires so much of me that I would like a little extra time to myself. Besides, things like shopping are no fun with her so it’s best for me to do that without her. But, she’s been getting SO upset when I say I’m going out alone. This is totally new for her ~ never really had significant problems with me leaving for a short time. Any suggestions?

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#77 of 134 Old 11-01-2004, 10:09 AM
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You know, I think this is another round of separation anxiety for 3 year olds. Mine is going through the same thing.

We gave up naps some time ago.

Gotta go, the kids are self-destructing


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#78 of 134 Old 11-01-2004, 10:55 AM
 
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#79 of 134 Old 11-01-2004, 12:43 PM
 
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I have a nap 3 y/o too. On the very rare day I get him down it is a struggle. Most days I don't even make an attempt.

I third the speration anxiety. My ds seems to be going through it as well as far as missing me. He'll go nutty after a while if I am gone too long.
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#80 of 134 Old 11-01-2004, 12:59 PM
 
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Wow Im glad to find this thread.
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#81 of 134 Old 11-01-2004, 01:54 PM
 
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Yesterday was a big day for us, and it went really well, when it could have gone really poorly. We attended a neighbor's halloween party (do you all actually hire entertainers for your children's parties? it was bizarre) for 3 hours and then went trick-or treating. By the time we went trick-or-treating, DS had had to eat: 1 doughnut and 1 heavily frosted cup cake . We live in a resort town (this was our first halloween here) and trick-or-treating consists of a mass of children and their parents going from store to store in the pedestrian-only outdoor "village". The weather was great and there was a HUGE turnout. It was a mad house. DS is pretty big for his age, but he was so dwarfed by the crowd and overwhelmed by the whole scene. Every 10 minutes or so, I would pull DS out of the crowd and check in with him. I think that made him feel pretty confident, because he was comfortable to say, when he had had as much as he could take, that it was time to go back to the car. What a kid! No meltdown, just an acknowledgement that it was really crowded and he was ready to go. DS fell asleep in the car on the way home, stayed asleep through supper. He ate pretty much no supper and went to sleep late (9:30-ish). Our night was rough though (for me) - at 2:57 he had to go potty; at 3:30 he was sad because he couldn't sleep; at 3:40 I was in the kitchen making honey-milk and warmed up whole-wheat pasta while DS played with his halloween toys; at 4:20 we were back in bed; at 4:47 DS had to go potty; at 5:05 DS was pretty much back to sleep. And then DD woke up to nurse at 5:20. URG. Still, all was accomplished with no tantrums or meltdowns or other forms of drive-the-parent-crazy behavior. And DS is WAY more interested in the halloween toys he received (especially a wiggly-rubber mouse) than any of the candy he got.

Have you guys read Playful Parenting? I'm working on it right now, and I'm already making some new connections. For instance, I'm looking at behavior that previously made me (or DH) crazy as being a way for DS to show us that he needs to connect ( or reconnect) with us. I think it's going to open my eyes to DS in new and really good ways.
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#82 of 134 Old 11-01-2004, 11:34 PM
 
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About candy...I provide organic, no artificial sweetener alternatives, carob does better with dd than real chocolate, and letting her choose one treat out of a pile and then hiding the rest. It was tough the first few days, but after the sugar and artificial everything left her system, she is actually reasonable about it now! Also, if it's a treat day (like Halloween) where they aren't our usual treats, we hold off on any other sugar, even juice (I mix it with water, so that it's mostly water).

About naps, dd didn't nap without dh or myself holding her until about 2, but she had quit taking regular naps by 20 months! We find that having some quiet nursing time in the rocker at her old nap time (or other very quiet activity) really recharges us both. We both were much happier when I just accepted it as a developmental milestone and stopped trying to force it.

Good luck to everyone!
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#83 of 134 Old 11-02-2004, 12:11 AM
 
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I am so happy to come upon this thread!!!

Dd is 3.5-will be 4 in March, and *someone* please tell me that 4 is better :; is that too much wishful thinking? Anyway, it seems that as soon as she turned 3, she forgot how to say please, whines for *everything*, and thinks she can behave like her 20 mo brother .

I will read what has been posted thus far, and will await patiently for any wisdom for a mother of 3 yo!!

Emily SAHM to four unschoolers Olivia (9), Brian (7), Jack (6), and Liam (5)
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#84 of 134 Old 11-02-2004, 01:14 AM
 
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What about potty learning?? Did your dcs change once they were pt'ed?

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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#85 of 134 Old 11-02-2004, 01:45 AM
 
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IOF - I think my DS's behavior did change once he potty-learned 2 months ago, but not necessarily for better or worse. It definitely heralded a new era of "no, I can do it". Actually, this behavior is an improvement, I think, because I was wondering if he would actually ever want to dress or undress himself . I'm seeing quite a lot more independence from DS, which maybe makes things more confused for us, because then DH and I expect it more, which we shouldn't, if YKWIM? Tonight DS would only eat his dinner sitting on my lap - which I think means he was looking for more cuddles and reconnection with me (see, I read a little bit of Playful Parenting and I'm dangerous :LOL ). I have to remember: he's just a little boy!
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#86 of 134 Old 11-02-2004, 01:52 AM
 
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We had started pl-ing a few months ago and when he started to get the hang of it I noticed he bcame more independent. He would walk away from me when we were with friends. He was more likely to play with others without encoragement. He was jsut different.

I didn't know if had anbything to do with the pl-ing or what. He completely freaked out at pooping on the potty so now we're still in diapers and he refuese the idea of anything else. So, I guess I have to wait

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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#87 of 134 Old 11-02-2004, 02:58 PM
 
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I have to share, because we all know that amongst the angst of 3, there are some real gems...

A few minutes ago, DS shared his chapstick with me. Then he asked: "Mom, can I marry you with this?" Me: "Well, what does that mean?" "Marry means to take care of with love" Sniff, sniff...

IOF - DS didn't potty learn until he was a full 3.5 years old, and all the encouragement prior to that fell on deaf ears. However, once he made up his mind to be a "big guy", he was done.
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#88 of 134 Old 11-02-2004, 04:08 PM
 
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For us, potty learning has led to earlier mornings. DS immediately started waking up at around 4-5 a.m. to go and can't fall asleep again afterward. Needless to say we're all pretty sleepy lately...
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#89 of 134 Old 11-02-2004, 04:42 PM
 
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so, how to not forcefully encourage potty learning?? i really don't want to push and make it a big fight, but i'm soooo ready for half of the diaper laundry to be gone!! do i just have to wait? or is there anything i can do?

Momma to K ('01), E ('03) and A ('07)
Acting as a Gestational Surrogate for my cousin, EDD Jan 17th
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#90 of 134 Old 11-02-2004, 05:45 PM
 
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For us it was a matter of time and DS's decision. Pushing leads to power struggles. I think it's best to offer opportunity, encourage, praise for trying, that kind of thing. We read stories about the potty; talked about it a lot; let DS watch us go; let him pick out underpants he could wear once he learned how to use the potty, etc.

The actual success comes only when the child decides it's time. After going through it twice I can tell you that just when it seems like it's never going to happen, they'll surprise you
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