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I stayed home with Gracie yesterday because work has been super stressful (turns out, me and 2 other people on my team thought so too!!!). I decided to take her out of daycare and make a day with her. It started out well and we went to the Y. When it was time to leave is when it started. Lately, she has been so extremly disobedient. I ask her to come to me and she stares at me stupidly, she argues, she says no, shes rude, she always bugs for food but then never eats her dinner. I know she is only 3 1/2, but I am not sure I can handle this if this is how she is going to act when I stay at home with her! Do you think she is trying to see how far she can go since we arent home with her all the time? Chris' hours recently changed so I know that has been hard on her, but she has acted like this before his hours changed.<br><br>
I really hate spanking. I have before and I just did recently as well. I KNOW its lazy parenting. But I get so fed up with her not listening and just blatantly ignoring me. Yesterday at the Y she was walking toward the slide (that was closed). I said, "Gracie, NO! Come back here! (i wanted to give her a chance to come on her own.)..." She looked at me, and KEPT GOING! I had to get up and chase after her. Imagine that scene. I can barely walk the way it is. What are some other ways to get through to her that she needs to listen? That her behavior is simply not ok? What about the meals? I am fine with giving her food (we give her apples, cheerios, peanut butter on bread, bananas) when hungry. But I HATE when she doesn't eat the food I make. Last night she was complaining she was hungry. I said, "Just a moment, dinner is almost done!." As soon as I put it in front of her she said, "That is yucky, Im not hungry"
 

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Sounds like she's 3 1/2. That's a great age for trying to prove they are their own people and can do what they want.<br><br>
With my son, if I get short and cranky, he gets more so. It makes the fits and ignoring me much much worse. When I'm calm, he is as well.<br><br>
With the slide thing, I probably would have distracted before she even headed that way and if she did notice, just saying something like "oh let's go see.....whatever" instead of telling her what not to do, tell her what she can do.<br><br>
As for the food, I think all kids do that at some point. Just keep doing what you're doing. We do have rules at our house against saying something is yucky. They don't have to eat it, they don't have to like it, but they can't say it yucky or gross.
 

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I found going to my dd and helping her follow directions worked well at that age, but it was a very frustrating age with lots of testing. We were not as close as we had been when she was younger because I had set my expectations for her too high and I was stressed out by the break up of my marriage. Kids this age are expected to do a lot and want to do a lot but their abilities don't typically match those expectations and desires. It is a very frustrating age for many families.<br><br>
Things got better for us a couple months before my dd turned three when I reset my expectations and focused on rebuilding our relationship. I used to take half a day off just to spend with her whenever I could and it really helped a lot and continues to help now that she is older. Since your job is stressful, I think that it is important for you to to try to supress your reactions to her behavior that are based on stress and a desire for everything you have some control over to come easily and smoothly. It really helped me when I started doing that.
 

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For me, what helped most was a shift in mindset: what do I want to accomplish? Do I want to raise and independently thinking child, or do I want to control him and make him mind?<br><br>
I realized very quickly that I can't control him anyways... nor do I want to.<br>
So I rely very much on prevention and giving him reasonable choices, although it drives me crazy sometimes to accept his choice... I do my best.<br><br>
I learned that there are three battles I can NEVER win, the ones related to my child's body: eating, sleeping and potty training. The last one was the most difficult to let go, and it was the hardest. Re: meals, I don't feed ds snacks 2 hours before dinner and I just ask him to come sit with us at the table, he doesn't even *have to* take a bite. Usually he starts nibbling at his plate and often he finishes it!<br><br>
If it's not a safety or health issue, I'd allow her to express her independence, to choose what and how much to eat... to go to the slide and see for herself that it's closed...<br>
I know it's hard, especially the negotiations, now that ds is 5! but as long as he's respectful I (try to) let him express his wishes and sometimes I'm surprised to see that he has valid arguments! I'm glad that he's developing good speaking and negotiation skills although sometimes it's a little bit challenging when he tests them on me!<br><br>
HTH, take care
 

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I think whoever coined the phrase 'terrible twos' has a lot to answer for because it sets up the expectation that the worst is over by three! Actually, since my ds turned 3 a month ago I've discovered that it's a well kept secret that 3 is, in fact, harder than 2. My ds is just like your dd. It's hard. He's so argumentative and stubborn. Every time I say anything he comes back with 'why' or 'but'. I sometimes think it's a mistake to get into too much negotiation or explanation as he doesn't really seem mature enough to handle it, but the old 'because I said so' doesn't work either! Occasionally I will get a glimpse of a reasonable human being and that keeps me going.<br><br>
You asked for advice, and I don't really have any. Just this - look after yourself. When I'm tired and stressed I CANNOT deal with ds.<br><br>
By the way, I'm a SAHM who spends all day with him so this has nothing to do with being a working mum.
 

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Oh I know it doesnt, Boot. I plan on being a SAHM though in July which is why I made the reference. Yeah. Twos were cake. Threes...I feel like I was hit abruptly with a 2 x 4.
 

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I found 3's to be very difficult. I *try* to take a deep breath and ask if this is a hill to die on.<br><br>
Some things I try to get them to comply (like when we NEED to leave somewhere)<br>
Make sure there is plenty of notice. (I like 5-3-1)<br>
Turn it in to a game (do you want to hop like a bunny or wiggle out to the car? Can you carry Mama?)<br>
And sometimes, I will need to (gently) pick up my child and bring them to where they need to be.<br><br>
Eating - I am not a short order cook. I make one meal. I am however, understanding if someone doesn't like something. After all, I don't eat things I don't like. Say I make baked chicken, steamed broccoli, applesauce and rice (typing that just made me hungry<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> ) That's what they can chose from. They don't have to take everything, and they don't need to clean their plates. But they do need to sit with us. Oh, and I don't "allow" a child to say "yucky" or "gross" to something someone puts in front of them. They CAN say "No Thank you." But I'll tell them it hurts my feelings when I work hard to put healthy food on the table and they say it's yucky. Repsect is a two way street.<br><br>
It's hard - yesterday I had a really scratchy throat, and realized it was because I was speaking loudly to/at the kids. I just kept thinking that maybe they couldn't hear me and *that's* why they weren't doing what was asked<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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I second the thought that it has nothing to do with you working. I SAH with my three kids - ages 5, 3.5 and 1. My 3.5 year old is, generally speaking, stubborn, obstinate, and fighting against me on everything. He can make me incredibly crazy and mad. He is very loving, cuddly and sweet...but when he wants something or doesn't want to do something, he is very, very hard to deal with. How do I deal? Well, I take deep breaths a lot. I tell myself that it's not personal...he is just doing what he needs to do to learn boundaries, etc.<br><br>
I think he is a bright kid and seems to know exactly how to talk back to me. For example, he unbuckled his seatbelt on the highway the other day and climbed out of his seat. I freaked....screamed for him to sit down, buckle up. etc. I exited, got into the back of my minivan and said, "That is very dangerous, if you EVER do it again we are turning right around and going home so you can sit in your room alone and think about what you did." (not the best way to deal, but I just didn't know what to do <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">). His response? "That's okay Mommy...I like sitting in my room" with a giant smile on his face. That's when the deep breaths come in handy.<br><br>
Good luck - just get through it. My 5yo was rough as a 3yo and is just better now. He understands consequences and he has more impulse control.<br><br>
Edited: I just want to add that I agree with a PP about giving some independence helps. My 3.5 yo picks out his clothes every day, because he wants to, and it is often not what I want him to wear (an Ironman costume, for example). But that is his choice and gives him some feeling of independence. He also chooses his own breakfast and lunch (one of three choices generally). Dinner, though, is non-negotiable.
 

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