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I am having a very rough time with my 3 year old daughter. The problem is the crying, whining, and tantrums seem to be constant these days. I do want to respect her right to express her feelings however she so chooses, but when that way disrupts someone else...how is that too be handled? For example if she is crying at the top of her lungs until she gets what she wants(be that a piece of candy, a drink or snack right when she wants it and not a moment later, not to take a nap etc) how is it fair to me to have to listen to her when it feels like nails on a chalkboard to me?? I have had way too many non GD moments with her the last two weeks and need to get some answers because I am not pleased with our current relationship. I feel horrible even saying this, but at times I just want her away from me because the constant crying, whining, and tantrums really make me want to scream! I feel like our relationship is damaged and needs mending and I need to find a way to curb the tantrums and also handle them better. I horribly even swatted her a couple times this week for the first time ever and though i didn't do it hard I still am very uncomfortable with doing so and do not want to continue doing it and it didn't change her behavior anyways. I have a hard time saying no to anything for fear of a tantrum and even if I just say hold on for a minute a tantrum ensues. HELP??
 

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My first bit of advice would be to stop "swatting" immediately and never do it again, ever. You've probably already come to the same conclusion after you did it. I will never forget that day that we started spanking our son, and we stopped the <span style="text-decoration:underline;">very same day</span> because we could see how brutal it was. It never happened since, nor will it. [That was back when we were so clueless as to how our own authoritarian upbringing had affected our parenting, and our child's needs (behavior-wise, development-wise) were not even on our radar screen....ugh.....such dark times]<br><br>
Once that's out of the way, I'd say, look closely at her tantrums and see what benefit she derives from them. You've given a tiny bit of a clue when you say that you have a hard time saying No to anything for fear of a tantrum. Perhaps, to her, they are a way to get what she wants? Perhaps she senses that you won't hold your ground?<br><br>
I read some great stuff recently. Someone here in this forum referred to an article that was very enlightening to me, so I will copy the URL here for you:<br><a href="http://www.continuum-concept.org/reading/whosInControl.html" target="_blank">http://www.continuum-concept.org/rea...InControl.html</a><br><br>
I found it fascinating! And helpful. The title of the article may be a little off-putting, but if you stick with it, you may find some great insights. Good luck!
 

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i think a lot of it is an age thing... really up until this point we have had very few tantrums. but yeah 3 has been a crazy new world.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
3 is a tough age...there are so many posts. What stinks is 4 is even harder (so I hear).<br><br>
Let go of the disappointment/anger/whatever emotion you have about losing your cool. Remember every day is a fresh start and no one is perfect.<br><br>
Whining.....<br>
Take a time out for yourself if you need it. Just step in the other room or turn away, just enough time to take some deep breaths, regroup. I was coming home from Target the other day (DS 3.5 cuts me no slack on errands, major whine fest) and I was in the car coming off the freeway and it just dawned on me that I needed a time out and I let myself zone out and think about Bora Bora and it only took two minutes for my whole attitude to change. So freeing.<br><br>
tantrums.....<br>
I respected the fact that he was bummed about not getting what he wanted, so if he pitched a fit I was fine with it. I mean I am a grown woman and I have thrown a few myself. So I empathized and sympathized and made sure he was fed and not tired and that helped a lot.<br><br>
But the fake crying....<br>
this video changed my life...<br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpSfThUv_pc&feature=related" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpSfT...eature=related</a><br><br>
Develop a thicker skin and ignore it. Now if he starts the fake crying, we can look at him and simply say Ollie, just tell us what you need. And it works for us.<br><br>
I do not get into power plays or power struggles.
 

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My DD is only 2 (almost) so I am not sure how different it will be with a 3 year old, but my theory is that just because she's having a tantrum, doesn't mean I need to be a part of it. While she does not have tantrums all the time she definitely is feeling them more often. My reaction usually depends on why she is tantruming. If it is b/c she can't have something she wants then I voice how I think she might be feeling-"It semms you are mad/frustrated b/c you can't have xyz right now." I then tell her I love her and if she wants a hug or snuggle or to talk about it she can come get me and I walk away or go about my business (not necessarily out of the room or very far, but just enough to let her know that it is okay for her to voice her emotions, but that I am not going to give in to her tactics. I am pretty nonchalant about it. Usually within a few minutes she wants to engage with me either through snuggling or talking about how she feels or what she wants (She has really awesome communication skills for 2). Occasionally, if we talk about it and I may have said no without really thinking it through, I might change my mind, but ONLY once we talk about it and only if I can see a good reason. If she is tantruming b/c she is overtired, hungry, overstimulated, bored or such I do engage more with her offering comfort or finding something to do with her. I also encourage her to talk to me about what is bothering her instead of just crying, writhing, etc, but at this age I don't expect her to do this without a lot of support from me. My DD also generally likes to be left alone a bit with her feelings to work them out and then wants support, which I also do if she tells me to "leave me alone." Mostly in any given situation, whether I engage with her during the tantrum or not I try to remain nonchalant and matter of fact and not feed my emotions into hers.
 

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Hi! I'm so sorry you are having a rough go. My daugher is just hitting that stage too - I've noticed the tantrums picking up signifagantly. I agree that swatting her probably isn't the best way to deal with her, but I definatly understand the frustration behind that - we all do things that we look back at and go "Well that wasn't the greatest #1 Mom moment I've ever had!!". If anything, find some comfort that you aren't alone, I think most parents go through this.<br><br>
I think your honesty about not wanting to say no, is admirable. I have a lot of friends who do the same thing, but make excuses, and then their kids don't get any better. It just gets worse. I guess the best thing you can do is try and find your resolve and say no when there is no other alternative - she needs that from you - it's hard for you, but essential for her. She has to learn boundaries, and she needs you to show her. You said sometimes you just want to walk away from her - well, dont feel bad about that! You may need to do that - show that tantrums aren't acceptable, or recognized. You not responding, no matter how loud she gets might be the 'light bulb' moment she needs - but you will have to be consistnet with it for a while before she gives in. I read a book a little while back that my mom bought for me off the internet called Ruling The Roost - 6 steps to establishing early childhood discipline. It helped me a lot with my baby girl, and I actually feel a little better about facing it with my newborn when she's at that point too. I looked up the link <b><a href="http://www.infanttoddlerdiscipline.com" target="_blank">www.infanttoddlerdiscipline.com</a></b> It's cheap too I think (probably why my mom got it for me! Hahaha! I do love my Mom! She's pretty fun!)<br><br>
The book talks about how early you can start a discipline process (no hitting, yelling, or any kind of harsh methods) and it's actually really easy once you go through the explination of the steps. There's even a chart that tells you how many tantrums kids at different ages throw daily! They have them ALOT!! Especially at this age. One of hte trick with my daughter is asking her to leave the room if she is going to have a tantrum, and telling her she can come back when she's ready to behave. It takes her like a mintue to figure it out and stop, and it saves my sanity, and keeps my little one from going over the edge with her. maybe you could try that!<br><br>
Hold your ground Momma! It will get better if you hold your ground!! Good luck! I know you are doing your best! Thanks for your honesty - it makes it easier for the rest of us to be so open too!
 

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Is she 3.5 by chance? I had a couple weeks when dd was right at 3.5 when I thought our relationship was broken too. She just flew off the handle at any little thing and it was driving me insane. The good news is it lasted about 3 weeks to a month and then she magically morphed into the most easygoing, cooperative, cheerful kid ever. Just keep remembering all of your kid's great qualities that you know are in there somewhere and do your best to ride out the phase. Good luck!
 

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We had problems with our 3 year old a few months back. Terrible as it was, we did hit the "dark phase" as one PP called it, and spanked. We haven't since, and what we have done has helped enormously.<br><br>
1st, with tantrums, my basic assumptions are: 1. It's not going to stop just because I want it to (as in, he will need to run his course through it and come out the other side) and this gives me at least a little resignation - I won't call it patience!. 2. He's doing it because he wants something he can't have, for whatever reason, and he's trying to either get control of the situation or express anger.<br><br>
Either way, my response is the same: time in the room, with me, in the dark (not totally dark, more like lowered-sensory-input dim), and I sit with him, in front of his door, and we don't leave until he's calm again. I speak soothingly and let him know when he's done we'll go out again. It's not a requirement to apologize or anything like that, but once he calms down we do hug "because we feel better now." We choose something different to do, if it was about the activity, or he's ready to try to eat dinner, if it was about not wanting to stop playing when it's time for dinner, or something like that.<br><br>
2nd, I have noticed a significant decrease in tantrums since we've been really focusing on building his empathy for others. The more he feels like a portion of the family, and not the center of attention all the time, the better off he is. So resultingly, tantrums are rare, and typically the result of overstimulation, missed rest time, or something sensory like that. And I think those kind of tantrums happen to the best of us sometimes! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
Good Luck! And the "continuum-concept" link was great - we do a lot of parenting like that, and our DS loves to imitate and model, and we just go about our daily duties most times! We get stuff done and he has fun too! Of course, it doesn't work all the time, and we do have time focused just on his level of activity, say, a floor puzzle, but the general vibe in our household is one of a whole, of which each person is a part and not the center. Works for us.
 
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