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At the end of my rope...

600 Views 11 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  4Marmalade
My almost 3 year old has been whining, nearly non-stop, for a couple of weeks. I DON'T KNOW WHY SHE'S DOING THIS!!! She's quite vocal, can explain things to us when things are bothering her. But

Just a few examples from THIS MORNING (it's not even 9am yet)

-"Waaah, I want my bear, I can't reach him" The bear was right beside her...
-To Dad "Can I have a popsicle?" She was told yes, but she had to wait until after lunch, and this started a half hour cry-fest that ended with her asking to sit in my lap. She looked at me, patted my face and said "Mom, can I have a popsicle?" I told her yes, but after lunch....and she flipped out again!!
-At one point earlier in the day, she flopped down on the floor and announced that she was stuck, and whined until DH picked her up, but then told him "I don't want to be picked up!"
-She had toast as part of her breakfast, happily ate all of it, and then came in and started whining "I don't want toast, I don't want toast!!" Huh???
-If we tell her no for something, instead of accepting it like she used to, she now breaks down into tears like her heart has been broken, and sobbingly accuses: "YOU HURT MY FEELINGS!"

We're both trying to deal with this as sleep deprived parents, as in recent nights, she's started saying that she's scared of her bedroom because there are bats in her room??? Scary bats. I don't even know where she learned about bats. We've certainly never discussed them. And no, there are no bats in her room. So she's been in our bed, but she sleeps sideways between us and kicks. And snores louder than any grownup I've ever heard. DH and I spent most of the night exchanging bewildered glances about the noise coming out of this child.

I just don't know how to combat this whining. It's stressing us out, because it seems that everything we try, fails. I've even tried giving her a ton of one-on-one time in the past couple of days, thinking she was starting to get some brother jealousy (he's been in my lap non-stop because he's cutting 4 teeth at once). But if I take her to the park for 2 hours, and bring her home, she gets ANGRY that she's not allowed to go back to the park right away. And then yells some more about not being allowed to have a popsicle. Grr.

I think she must be a bit of a mind reader, because yesterday, she yelled at me and said "You called me a brat, you hurt my feelings!!" (We've never used the word brat in this house...but I was definitely thinking it...)

PLEASE tell me this is a phase. A very very short phase that she's almost out of.
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I am so soory...I had to laugh through most of your post. My DS will be 3 in July. I have been thinking he developed some new mutant super power. Your post sounds like a day at my house. I have had minimul results with insisting that he speaks "nicely" to me when he wants something. By saying please and thank you. I just let him throw his fit and say to him, I will gladly get you some juice when you speak nicely to me. Like I said, sometimes he does, but mostly it only adds to the intensity, but I don't do anything for him until he stops whining and speaks to me nicely. Good luck mama, this too shall pass. I can't say anytime soon, but she will stop eventually.

Have you tried staying with her in her room until she goes to sleep? Maybe doing a quick bat search before you tuck her in? Try reading Stellaluna to her, get some bat books from the library, that might alleviate the bat fear. My DS #2 (he's 6) has been terrified of Tornados lately, I had been getting so frustrated at bedtime because he would be up 3 or 4 times telling me that the walls were creeking and he was afraid it was a tornado. I thought, it is totally clear outside, what's the deal? Then a few nights ago he did it again and I promissed him that if there was a tornado coming I would come get him and we would all go into the bathroom where it would be safe. He needed an explanation of why it was safe...but anyway, after he understood it, he has been fine ever since.
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My son did this a couple months before he turned 3 as well
I wanted to rip my hair out, slam my head into a brick wall, squeeze lemon juice into an open really, I was at the end of my rope...and then he just stopped! 3 seemed to be the magic number. Be patient, as hard as it is...stick to your guns, and be consistent with your treatment of her whining. When she tells you that you hurt her feelings, let her know that you don't mean to hurt her feelings, but that there are rules we all have to avide by in life, and though it may not seem fair, you really have her best intrest at heart...and tell her you love her. She's asserting her independance, and (I believe) trying to see how far she can push the envelope. Just my .02
p.s. this was just a phase for my son...hopefully it will just be a phase for your daughter!
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Oh, that's such a difficult stage. It's definitely a developmental thing....have you ever read her Stellaluna? That might help her have a positive bat association
Hang in there, mama. I *try* and keep a sense of humor about the mind-changing stuff, but I know it's hard. Tell yourself, "she's learning, she's not out to drive me crazy..."You're not alone
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Oh I'm so happy you posted this, both for the commiseration and the laughs!

My 2 1/2 year old has been whiney and demanding lately too, and just impossible to please. She asks for food 20 times a day, and then abandons it. It's making me nuts! She is still not verbal enough to reason with much either. I'm pretty sure she understands ME, but I can't understand her a lot of the time still.

I sure hope it's just a phase!
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Originally Posted by ~Nikki~
And snores louder than any grownup I've ever heard. DH and I spent most of the night exchanging bewildered glances about the noise coming out of this child.
Have you had this checked by a doctor? She could have a physical problem that is interrupting her sleep - snoring is one of the signs. If she is sleep deprived, that will make things worse (not that any of what you describe is truely odd for a 3yo).
My son will be 3 in July and he does exactly the same thing. It does make me crazy too! Anyhow, the only thing that seems to help at all is to keep acknowledging his feelings while he is tantruming. E.g. from today "I know you want to have 2 people on the trampoline but the gym rule is one at a time" "It does look like it would be fun with two people" "It makes you sad that you have to take turns" - Repeat, repeat, repeat. For me just repeating also helps me with the anger/frustration that I experience when he is having a fit.

My son went through a "something scary" is under the bed stage a few weeks ago. I mixed up a magic potion in the kitchen with his help (ginger and vanilla and water), put it in a spray bottle. We spray it as needed at night. He tells us where it goes. It seemed to help a lot. Also telling him that we put the scary things in the trash can, slammed the lid closed, and put it FAR AWAY!

I have noticed that his imagination has suddenly become a lot more vivid - with imaginary friends, scary elephants (also under the bed), concerns about creaks in the house, etc. I think the tantrums and the fear are related to cogntive development - being able to see posibilities and alternatives, but still attached to 2 or 3 y/o logic (unlogic) systems.
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I'm SOOOO glad you posted this, ds is doing the same thing and I was seriously thinking there might be something really wrong with him! Especially with the "I'm STUCK!" and "I can't reach it" when it's right there, aaaahhhh! And he's been saying "I can't pick it up, my hands too tired" and just going generally bezerk at the drop of a hat. So WHEN does it get better????

This is so my child! He turned three in January. He is normally very happy, social and verbal. Lately, he pretends he is a "baby" and whines, cries and throws fits. He hardly ever did this when he WAS a baby! Today he was throwing things at me when i said no more tv; he tried to bite me when he had to go to the bathroom, and has crying fits if he can't have what he is demanding at that moment.
He has sort of phased out naps, and he only slept 1/2 hr today but even still, this is not normal even for him being tired. And it is so difficult to cope with - I try to take a step back, and ask him to talk nicely when he is ready. And then i hope that tomorrow is easier!
"I can't pick it up, my hands too tired"
YES! We get this too. "Me can't use my fork, me's too tired." Or "Me's can't go up the stairs (two steps), me's tired tired tired!"

I'm glad to see that I'm not alone, and that it's normal.

DH has found a good way to deal with the fake sleepiness. He'll just flop down on the floor beside her, all dramatically, and say "I'm too tired, too! I can't get up! You be the daddy, you help me up!" And she totally goes for it, because it's a fun game. It seems to get her out of her rut. :p

I like the idea of the spray for getting rid of scary things. I think we'll try that.
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My son still does this and he is 3 1/2 I am hoping the magical age is 4 .
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Originally Posted by alley cat
My son still does this and he is 3 1/2 I am hoping the magical age is 4 .

Me too
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