Parents of 3 yr. olds, post here (support thread)! - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 168 Old 03-05-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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Has anyone noticed that 3 1/2 is a little easier then 3?

Although, he is not getting anymore cooperative and the whining is driving me up the wall. Thank god, he goes to preschool today.

Joy wife to DH, mom to DS1 (4/2005): DD (5/2007) : : DS2 (1/2009 :
I do what works and when it stops working, then I do something else.
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#122 of 168 Old 03-06-2009, 02:38 PM
 
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Has anyone noticed that 3 1/2 is a little easier then 3?
Hmmm... not really...

Mine is becoming more independent. This sounds like a really good thing. And in some cases it is. In others, it's a PITA. She won't let me do ANYTHING for her unless she asks.

It's okay, she wants to dress herself. She wears a blue striped shirt with red flower pants... okay, it's her choice. Shirt's on backwards, that's okay too, if it's not uncomfortable. Later in the day she changes to a rainbow-butterfly printed skirt. Still okay. But when she sits on the potty, I want to help her hold the skirt up in back (for the obvious reasons). It results in a screaming, kicking rebellion because "I CAN DO IT!!!!! I CAN DO IT MYSELF!!!!" I have to let her... and the skirt ends up wet. Now she won't let me change it. I can't let her run around in a pee-soaked skirt, but she runs screeching through the house at the mere suggestion of changing.

Eventually I convince her to pick out something else, take the wet skirt off, put it in the clothes hamper, put the new clothes on, even have to let her put the skirt in the washing machine herself.. you get the picture.

The whole process took about an hour. If I could have just held up the skirt for her, or even been allowed to show her how she could do it herself, it would have taken about 14 seconds.

She's trying to clip her own fingernails right now. Thank goodness for safety clippers.

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#123 of 168 Old 03-06-2009, 04:57 PM
 
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Potty? Ha! What is a potty? All summer DS would go in the morning, at daycare and whenever we were not at home. We were just on the cusp of getting things moving at home..

Now, nothing. He could care less if his pants are wet. Tells me he doesn't need to pee than seconds later crawls up on the couch and pees everywhere and so on. V. frustrating.
really?! i thought it was just me. i swear EVERY parent we know has a potty trained kid. some are younger, some are older but they are ALL in undies. and my kid is doing what you've described here. WHY?
otherwise, he's fairly well-behaved. he has his moments but mostly he's fine. just the pottying. we've been doing this potty learning for SO long (since september--it's now march) and going by HIS cues. why does he keep reverting? as soon as someone rewards him for it, it's like he gets overwhelmed and reverts again.

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#124 of 168 Old 03-07-2009, 01:58 AM
 
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I need this threat today.

My 3.5 YO has become really, really aggressive, mostly to her baby brother. She WAILS on him, really violently. It's totally awful. She gets this really mean face and clenches her teeth and goes after him with her claws and kicks him. She'll grab him by the neck and start pulling and pulling and the baby's screaming. She'll stop at nothing to get him. She's like a pitbull. The only thing I can even do to get her off of him is to pull her hair, which distracts her and she lets go--which makes me feel even more awful.

She says she loves her brother and doesn't know why she does this. She doesn't do this with other kids. Then she feels really bad and cries and apologizes, but this goes on and on, several times a day. I've yelled, I've done time-outs. Nothing works, she just gets angier. Today she started raging toward her brother and I asked her to take out her aggression on my arm instead. She hit and kicked my arm for about a minute and then seemed much better. Other than these brief episodes of complete rage,she's an easygoing kid who is really fun to hang out with.

I don't know what this is...maybe she just needs an outlet for her aggression? I'm signing her up for karate.
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#125 of 168 Old 03-07-2009, 05:12 AM
 
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TeresaZofia - It's scary and unpleasant to see our child hurting their sibling! When I read your post I thought of the book Siblings Without Rivalry by Mazlich and Faber. I was skimming through it and saw ways they suggest to help children lessen their violence towards each other, etc.

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#126 of 168 Old 03-07-2009, 01:45 PM
 
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Today she started raging toward her brother and I asked her to take out her aggression on my arm instead. She hit and kicked my arm for about a minute and then seemed much better.
I've read on a few threads here that some mamas have found it helpful to offer the child a safe object to take out some aggression on like a specific pillow or stuffed animal. It might allow your daughter to get out whatever it is she needs to get out without hurting anyone.

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#127 of 168 Old 03-07-2009, 09:45 PM
 
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TeresaZofia - It's scary and unpleasant to see our child hurting their sibling! When I read your post I thought of the book Siblings Without Rivalry by Mazlich and Faber. I was skimming through it and saw ways they suggest to help children lessen their violence towards each other, etc.
Thanks, I'll order the book!
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#128 of 168 Old 03-09-2009, 07:25 AM
 
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I've read on a few threads here that some mamas have found it helpful to offer the child a safe object to take out some aggression on like a specific pillow or stuffed animal. It might allow your daughter to get out whatever it is she needs to get out without hurting anyone.
I've also suggested this idea to someone who has real difficulty in finding a good way to cope with one child's tantrum while keeping everyone else safe too, and while needing to be able to offer attention to all needy ones in such a moment.
However, I suggested without ever having done it myself.

She said it would definitely not work for her child, since the anger and energy/violence of the tantrum was acted towards HER, or siblings, because that's the way for the child to get himself 'understood' in that moment. So no use to try and redirect the energy. She tried to say the violent tantrums are more like needing to feel heard (and as a last 'solution' for the child) and therefore directing him/herself TO SOMEONE, and that it so wasn't about getting energy out.

And well, I must give her right. It's the same for my DS2, and also DS1 when he has an occasional 'tantrum'. Trying to redirect the energy would likely make it worse since they would feel it as rejection to 'listen' from my side. They attack me, or each other because they want to be heard.

I still have no wonderpotion for children not getting wild/violent/hurting others during rage. But I think the best thing you can do, in the long run, is try to help them in wording their frustration verbally to the other person. And be present, even when getting attacked. And THEN maybe the 'hitting pillow' may become an additional help, for some.
Walking away from a tantruming child triggers them even more, and I don't blame them for that, it's likew being rejected when feeling VERY angry, and that is very hurtful too.
I would only walk away when I feel that I myself may be loosing it because of the loud 'tantrum' and have one myself... I do try to word that need for space to my child and hope he'll eventually get this.
But it's a very last solution for myself, too.

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#129 of 168 Old 03-13-2009, 06:32 PM
 
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Subbing so I can find this again!
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#130 of 168 Old 03-13-2009, 06:46 PM
 
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I'm only on page 2 of the replies, but I feel like I am home! My 3-year-old girls are lovely, smart, funny little people. Until something doesn't go the way they want it to go, then all is lost. New fears (loud noises, darkness, the doorknob...) appear daily, and some disappear almost as quickly. They ask to wear panties,then pee in them with abandon. I see someone pooping in her diaper and ask if she wants the potty, and I get a resounding no. But then we're in the car, one has to poop, and I tell her we can go to the potty in the airport (we were going to catch a flight) and she holds it for 15 minutes and poops in the airport bathroom like she's done it all her life.

They bite each other, hit, pull hair, and screech so shrilly that I'm amazed we still have windows. Then as I am trying to talk to them about the altercation and how not to have that happen again, they run off hugging and kissing, oblivious to me.

My friend read a book called something like "Your 3-year-old: Friend or Enemy" which said that preschool was basically invented to stop people from killing their 3-year-olds.

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#131 of 168 Old 03-13-2009, 06:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by funkymamajoy View Post
Has anyone noticed that 3 1/2 is a little easier then 3?

Although, he is not getting anymore cooperative and the whining is driving me up the wall. Thank god, he goes to preschool today.
I don't know if it's easier, but it is at least different. The struggles now, as compared to in December, are around going to the bathroom when she needs to go. She simply does not want to go. We will be welcoming a new baby in a few weeks and I wonder how much of her behavior is connecting to the impending event.

She's also very big on manners right now. "You have to say excuse me!!!!!" She's constantly admonishing my husband and I for speaking while she is. Or when we're in conversation and I speaking passionately, she asks me to please not be mad at Papi. Or to not fight. When we're not.

And she's screaming at my husband for touching her. I swear those two are like two children. I have had to remind him that my concern is that, as the most important man in her life, that, even though he loves touching her cheeks, what he is teaching her is that she must endure touching from a male if it brings him pleasure no matter how many times she has asked/told him to stop. I cannot even believe I've had to repeat this to him more than once. At least he immediately apologizes to her for not respecting her boundaries.

She still wants certain things just so. Mostly when it comes to her asking you to draw something. She'll pitch a fit if you haven't managed to peer inside her head and draw the image that she's created there. Thank goodness we're moving on to some crafts that she's enjoying. I've told her I don't enjoy being yelled at so, I do not want to draw for her. Plus, I don't enjoy drawing. She'll promise not to yell at me even if she doesn't like it. Or better yet, not scribble all over my efforts just because I've failed to meet her standards yet again. Again, though, I think we've moved beyond the drawing requests.

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#132 of 168 Old 04-01-2009, 07:13 PM
 
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I am really struggling with this age, and struggling with my own reactions to ds's behavior. It's really hard to explain to others (without 3-yr-olds) what makes the days so difficult. It's like every single thing you do during the day is questioned, challenged, rejected, changed slightly, subjected to complaints or whining...after a while you just feel sort of worthless, from being pushed around all day. At the end of the day, I just wish I could hear ds say, "ok, Mom" to something, anything.
YES! Thank you!!!! I could have written these exact words about my current relationship with my dd. She will be 3 next month. Your words are so empathetic with my situation that they brought tears of gratitude to my eyes. I didn't know that anyone could understand how hard it is to deal with.

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#133 of 168 Old 04-02-2009, 06:18 AM
 
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I am really struggling with this age, and struggling with my own reactions to ds's behavior. It's really hard to explain to others (without 3-yr-olds) what makes the days so difficult. It's like every single thing you do during the day is questioned, challenged, rejected, changed slightly, subjected to complaints or whining...after a while you just feel sort of worthless, from being pushed around all day. At the end of the day, I just wish I could hear ds say, "ok, Mom" to something, anything....Oh, man, I am just burned out! It does help to have somewhere to vent.
Hmm yeah. That brings a light on my sometimes 'defensive/offended/cranky' reaction, when dh comes home while I'm (still struggling cfr. watching kids and preparing dinner and he (occasionally, not always) has to comment on the way I prepare the food or on anything else. It's often not meant as negative criticism but it is just so what I do NOT need after al the struggles and negativism from 7 in the morning untill past 7, evenings! Doesn't set a good vibe for us for the rest of the evening...
By communicating about it, it helps for both of us to recognise the need for not saying things at certain moments if you have the presence of mind to think about that , or to see that your comment/reaction was not perceived nicely and correct/appologise for it as soon as you realise this.
Also, focussing on having dinner ready and eaten by the time dh comes home works better than preparing it towards the time he comes home (some days my kids get hungry early sometimes late, depending on their activities during the day and their snack food intake in the afternoon), being able to determine when to set dinner earlier or later is also an evening life-saver during the challenging childhood years.

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#134 of 168 Old 04-02-2009, 10:47 PM
 
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My 3yo has been out of control lately...he is trying to give up his nap, but cycles through being tired a couple of times before he finally gives in and just goes to sleep. I guess that I will appreciate the earlier time for him to be asleep, but it is like living in hell for the afternoon.

I have been in therapy just trying to cope with everything that has been going on(we had ds2 in october and I have some PPD to deal with). I just keep telling myself that someday he will be grown and gone and I will miss him.
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#135 of 168 Old 04-03-2009, 12:04 PM
 
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Oooh, so glad I stumbled onto this thread. Subbing! Nak, but I'll totally be back.

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#136 of 168 Old 04-04-2009, 11:54 AM
 
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We've had a great couple of days. I think the only tantrum yesterday was right after his nap when I didn't cut his bread right. But he doesn't wake up pleasant and never has.

I'm trying to take my mom's advice: "you can't change him, but you can change your reaction to him." Specifically, I'm trying to control the yelling and power struggles.

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#137 of 168 Old 04-04-2009, 04:48 PM
 
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We've had a great couple of days. I think the only tantrum yesterday was right after his nap when I didn't cut his bread right. But he doesn't wake up pleasant and never has.

I'm trying to take my mom's advice: "you can't change him, but you can change your reaction to him." Specifically, I'm trying to control the yelling and power struggles.
Yes. I am actually gettig pretty good about this! Not so much less tantrums, loooool. But a mommy that has the partience to deal with it respectfully even when it's hard on her (understatement!). Sometimes failing, but mostly not.

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#138 of 168 Old 04-05-2009, 02:51 AM
 
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I just got this link from a local columnist.
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#139 of 168 Old 04-05-2009, 03:00 AM
 
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How does everyone get their 3yos into their carseats? This takes a good 5 minutes including all the "no no I do it myself!", "don't look at me!", fighting with her sisters, and becoming interested in something besides sitting down. Our car trips are short and quick. It takes as long to get her buckled as it does to arrive at our destination.

I'd love some ideas. She always ends up in tears.

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#140 of 168 Old 04-05-2009, 03:24 PM
 
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DD is three will be four in August. After reading some of the posts here I feel better about her behavior. I'm so thankful that we aren't the only ones. I get so much pressure from family to spank/force my will upon her I miss the connection we used to have. I find that if we cook together, give her time to nap/rest/nurse, let her get her grumpies out at the park things go so much better. I just don't have the energy to keep her engaged all day. Lately, we have been trying some playful parenting but I haven't read the book yet. The spitting and biting and hitting she does really gets to me. It is mostly focused on her father. She is sweet one minute then the next she bites or hits him. Always being on alert is exhausting. She is also very sweet and thoughtful. She loves saying thank you and excuse me and helping with her little brother. I wish she was able to ask me for what she needs rather than getting attention in negative ways. Sometimes I just feel controlled by a little terrorist and I don't feel like giving her the unconditional love she needs. It's good to hear others dealing with similar behavior. It's better just to think of them as little savages and not expect to much.

Kimberly, Mama to DD (8/22/05) and DS-UC! (8/10/08)
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#141 of 168 Old 04-06-2009, 03:39 AM
 
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My ds turned three in November and we had our third baby beginning of March and since then it's been non-stop tantrums and misbehavior. All of this on top of trying to potty train (notice I said trying). I'm trying to keep in mind that he's going through a pretty trying time adjusting to have a little brother and not being the baby anymore, but sometimes it's hard to keep my persepective. Especially when he's outright being defiant. I know that most of his misbehavior is a way to get attention and I feel horrible because there are some days when I just don't have enough to go around and he becomes the typical middle child. We're homeschooling my dd so she's getting extra attention. It's a struggle to say the least

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#142 of 168 Old 04-08-2009, 05:23 PM
 
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Three has been a pretty intense and exhausting age for us. I came searching here yesterday for SOMETHING to give me some hope. This thread actually made me and my dh feel better. It's not us and it's not our ds. It's the AGE. I knew this, but my goodness, sometimes you just need to know you are not alone in the madness.
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#143 of 168 Old 07-24-2011, 09:55 PM
 
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I am so glad to have found this thread! My little boy is 3.5 and I am so relieved to read so much that sounds just like him!

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#144 of 168 Old 07-29-2011, 08:27 AM
 
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lokismama - I also just found this thread, even if it is a couple years old! DD#1 is 3.5, and this thread describes her to a T! DH and I were just talking last night about how to better manage ourselves with her, how to just be at peace with the fact that this is a phase and how can we best draw boundaries and coach her through it. Because it sucks for all of us! It doesn't help that her little sister, 1, is really turning into a person who demands attention, competes for attention, etc. DD#1 is a great big sister, and they do play together sometimes....but the rest of it?

 

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#145 of 168 Old 07-29-2011, 02:29 PM
 
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Oh man, it's really hilarious that this thread has been revived. Hilarious and (actually) a bit depressing, too. When I first contributed, back in 08, my ds was 3 and his sister was a newborn. Now she's 3 and I'm back in this crazy, exhausting, adorable, whiny, bossy stage. At least I'm able to LMAO at some of the posts this time redface.gif


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#146 of 168 Old 08-07-2011, 03:56 AM
 
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Wow, I'm also totally appreciating this thread!  Such a relief to hear others describe normal 3 yr old behavior, in addition to seeing it IRL among DS's friends.  My trust in my own parenting really needs a boost right now after two aweful visits with my family:  my mom says DS is a tyrant because we're too permissive and tries to take over parenting for us - the best is when he's loosing it over something (crying from frustration, etc) and she tries to tell him "you just stop that right now, that's enough", making him more upset, since now he's getting yelled at. Anyway, trying not to just rant about my family....

 

Patience, compassion, and reminding myself that I can change my own reactions .....

 

Thanks everyone!

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#147 of 168 Old 08-08-2011, 10:00 PM
 
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Thanks for this thread. DS is 3 and can be the most delightful person. Tonight he was a sweet, engaging, cooperative angel. This afternoon, he needed a nap and, as sometimes happens, became unmanageable. After a few minutes, I calmed him down with being really sweet and nice with him, but I did have to constrain him a few times, because he was hurting me. Those are trying times.

 

We engage DS in our daily lives, discuss things with him, give him choices, he has a voice in this household, and we let him be his person. Since about two months, we have reverted to bringing him to his room for a few minutes when he truly misbehaves. It mostly gives us parents a few minutes to switch gears and not be angry with him. I'm not even sure if this approach works and am actually planning on ditching it. In any case, we love him dearly.

 

We had a family holiday and my mother was seriously not impressed with him, me, and how I was raising him. She's pretty old-school and thought that he had too much power for such a little boy. In the end, she disowned him and we cut our holiday with her short! I am so sad for DS, not to mention sad that he has been judged on his behavior as a three-year old. I'm heartened to read the comments, because this event has chipped away at my self-confidence as a mother. Reading the comments, I am reassured that he is just being a 3 year old and we'll continue raising him as respectfully as we possibly can.

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#148 of 168 Old 08-09-2011, 11:37 AM
 
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Love this thread! I'm another who appreciates hearing that mine is not abnormal :) but boy...I remember when she was 2 and I would think "if only she could express herself, this would be easier!" now everything is a debate/argument!

 

One of our biggest struggles right now (she's 3.5) is the not listening. Basically, I have to tell her something 5 times in order for it to get done and half the time it still only gets done by ultimatum (which I hate doing). For example, its bedtime and its time to brush teeth. Toothpaste is on the toothbrush, water in the cup, etc. And yet she just fiddles with something, anything (sometimes, she decides its the perfect time for a heart to heart, which I hate to interrupt but these can go on and on ROTFLMAO.gif) and doesn't brush. So it becomes, Ok, brush your teeth. a little bit later. Please, just brush your teeth. Etc. Until finally I have to be like "if the toothbrush doesn't get in your mouth, I'm going to brush for you." And then finally she does it.

 

Some days, it feels like this with everything irked.gif and I hate that it gets me SO frustrated!

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#149 of 168 Old 08-10-2011, 11:02 AM
 
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Thought all you long-suffering parents of 3yos would appreciate this:

 

http://www.rantsfrommommyland.com/2011/07/top-ten-reasons-why-3-is-worse-than-2.html

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#150 of 168 Old 08-11-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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Oh man so glad to see this thread alive....

 

DS has me just at the end of my ropes. And it doesn't help my Mommy guilt that my 6-month-old DD is in my favorite stage ever... babbling, smiling, I love my Mommy, can't quite get anywhere too far... while DS (who turns 3 Wednesday) is roaming around with OCD brain correcting my cleaning! Refolding his clothes! And screaming if I move something in just.the.wrong.way. I picked an interesting stage to become a SAHM irked.gif

 

I can so relate to the ultimatum thing. "Please put your underwear back on". "Not right now." "Yes, dear, right now." "Maybe not." "Put your underwear back on, please sweetheart." "No." "We have to wear underwear to go out to the store." "No, I don't want to." "Okay, sweetie, come here, I can put them on for you." "NO, you not put them on. I can do myself." "Okay sweetie, go ahead". "No, mom." "PUT YOUR UNDERWEAR ON or it's naptime (or other nonsensible things like we're staying home today (no we're not) or no book in the car (uh? I need him to have his book so he doesn't drive me nuts...))".....  I HATE it but I just can't seem to avoid it!

 

 

To you other struggling mamas to 3 y/o's... how do you cope with all the built up CRAP?  All day it's all I can do not to SCREAM at him, or hit him, or do timeout or what-have-you. There are moments where I TOTALLY get why mainstream parents discipline the way they do!!!!! And then after holding it in all day, I end up freaking out on DH about how hard my day is, and shutting down completely. It's not his fault he doesn't understand. redface.gif I hate feeling so resentful, especially about my own kid! Where'd my little sweetheart go?


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"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. " - Japanese Proverb

 

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