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My daughter just turned 3 and while she has always had some spunk to her she's been so easy going. The past 2 weeks she has become a different child. She is really hyper and high strung now. I'll try to calmly get her attention but she seems to have fun ignoring me. I've started shouting at her. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I don't really know what the reason is for this huge 180 in her behavior, and consequently, my own.<br>
She has started sleeping with us once again when she had been sleeping in her own bed for the past year. I really want to her to be her own person and I'm all for her exploring her world and playing but lately she doesn't listen when I NEED for her to stop doing her current behavior.<br>
Example: She likes to help me cook. She usually has a step that she stands on at the counter. Well last night I was preheating the oven and she had put her step right in front of the oven door. I let her remain for a moment and I asked if we could move her step to the counter before the oven got hot. She shouts "NO!" I was like Sophie the oven is going to get very hot and its time to move out of the way. Again she shouts no so I pick her up and move her out of the kitchen. She of course starts crying. I opened the oven to put the food inside and explained how hot things can burn us but I was angry at that point. I just started yelling about how she won't listen and how I can't take it anymore. Which then and only then does my dh step in and then he started yelling at her too which then I felt like total crap because no one deserves to have everyone or anyone hollering at them ya know?<br>
Honestly I just get so flustered sometimes when things that would usually take me 3 minutes get dragged into 15 because I have to explain things to Sophie or try to redirect her.<br>
I've been a nightmare to her lately. I can feel the 3 of us falling apart. I cry. She cries. I yell. I can't stop. I was yelled at a lot as a child and now it just seems to be the only way that I know how to communicate. I feel awful. I suck so bad at raising a toddler. I don't get GD very well. It isn't coming to me naturally at all. I've read the books. I just can't get it to play into our lives. I know this is more of a vent but I need help. Sophie needs help. My baby doesn't deserve this. I'm just lost.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> Three has definately been the most difficult year for us too. What I've noticed with DS is that I'm able to "set up" the response I want from him by phrasing things in a specific way. So, with your oven example instead of asking her to move the stool (which is guaranteed to result in a "No!) I'd say in a dramatic voice "Okay, let's get back it's going to get hot" or you could just redirect her by saying "Let's put the stool over here now to do..."<br><br>
I've found it important to remember that when you ask a three yr old a question, it doesn't matter what the question is the answer is ALWAYS no. So, unless I'm open to hearing a no I just avoid asking DS something, I either tell him directly that this is what we need to do now or else redirect his attention.
 

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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>
hey sweetfeet...i will agree and say that for us, three has also been a challenging age. i too, have struggled with "yelling"...and hear you when you describe how it feels to yell and then feel out of control. i have done alot of my own personal work to talk and think about what is really going on for me, because i have realized that it's about me, not dd. past history (childhood) and my personality and a transition from working full time to staying at home (big switch for me) all made for a challenging time. i like to think of myself now as a "zen mommy"...not always perfect, but much more aware of me, my emotions and my reactions...<br><br>
we do alot of "emotion" talk at our house...for example, when we dd has a meltdown, i might say "wow. it sounds like your really sad. your frustrated that mommy needs to move your stool?" then, as i get down to her level, I might say, "it makes me nervous to have you so close to the stove, becuase you could get hurt and that would make mom really sad". most of the time, this kind of communication works really well, and it has helped her identify her feelings and know that it's okay to talk about them. it is also great for me- it forces me to slow down, not get so anxious and stressed and helps me to identify MY feelings...when i get stressed, sometimes i say "mommy's feeling a little frustrated. lets see if we can have some quiet time together".<br>
if these strategies don't work- like she's adament that she wantes to stand on the stool in front of the stove, I say "I'm sorry that moving the stool makes you so sad. I hear that your sad and frustrated (or whatever emotion) that i need to move your stool (move the stool), but mommy doesn't want you to get hurt. sometimes she keeps crying. we try distraction. we try humor...sometimes its okay (as anxious as it makes me) for her to just be sad. she knows i am there for her, she knows i hear and understand her feelings and i know it's okay to walk away because she knows she can come back to me... it sounds like you do a great job doing all of this.<br><br>
it is not easy, and as hard as it is to say it, it's important to talk about it. you aren't alone. i absolutley love my daughter as i'm sure you love yours. thats obvious. it's hard to relearn and learn how to parent in ways that are healthy and sometimes different than we were raised...<br>
hmmm. am i saying what i really wanted to say? i don't know. i think the first thing for me was being able to acknowledge that how i was acting was really terrible and it was hurting my daughter. second, that it sucked for me. i could see the cycle...my tension. her tension. her sadness. my sadness. it was all so intertwined. i have literally had to change the dialoge in my head...what was stressful and anxious and impatient dialoge (to myself) before is and has become something like (don't laugh!!) "it's cool...relax...be patient...she's fine and just learning...let her try...be patient...she's a little bean (our nickname) and deserves the opporuntiy to grow safely...be patient...be patient...be patient". seriously. and honestly, it has made a huge difference for me.<br><br>
you are not alone. i'm sure that sophie is amazing and loves your very much and it's obvious that you love her, otherwise you wouldn't be so concerned and feel so incongruent about your actions and reactions... your not a bad mom.we all have to figure out what it means to be a parent and what that looks like and to do it in ways that are safe and healthy for everyone...can you identify what triggers you have? when you feel the most stressed? can you identify when you start to feel angry or anxious? those early signs are a great time to divert your attention or change your "mommy mantra" (my internal dialoge)...also, i found it helpful to begin to identify my childhood experiences and learn how they were impacting my current relationships, esp. with my kids...<br><br>
you can do it. keep smiling. you are not alone and it will be okay. it's hard work but your daughter loves you and you love her. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Now that my daughter's 3, she's very much in an "I do it myself" phase. She also wants too help with everything and always be in the action. If I said I was going to move something, she would have a fit. In your particular situation I'd say I needed to clean dishes and put soapy water in the sink and some dishes. My daughter would move her own step immediately. That's my best suggestion, and I realize that it might not apply everywhere, but if you make something interesting happen somewhere else she will probably move. Also, giving her time to get used to the idea of moving might help, like telling her a few minutes before hand, and then a minute before hand, and then moving the step. Also, giving her a couple of choices, like, "would you like to help me clean dishes or would you like to help sweep the floor?" My daughter has a little broom and loves sweeping the floor, although she doesn't really clean anything up. LOL
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sweetfeet</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My daughter just turned 3 and while she has always had some spunk to her she's been so easy going. The past 2 weeks she has become a different child. She is really hyper and high strung now. I'll try to calmly get her attention but she seems to have fun ignoring me. I've started shouting at her. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I don't really know what the reason is for this huge 180 in her behavior, and consequently, my own. [/b]</div>
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I hear you. When my son turned 3, he was almost unrecognizable. It seemed to happen overnight. What I figured out (and it took me too long to do so) is that his need for activity quadrupled, at least. He had always been an on-the-go kid, but he needed it even more now. Maybe your daughter is the same? Maybe she needs an increase in physical activity to help her (and you) through the changes?<br><br><b></b>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Example: She likes to help me cook. She usually has a step that she stands on at the counter. Well last night I was preheating the oven and she had put her step right in front of the oven door. I let her remain for a moment and I asked if we could move her step to the counter before the oven got hot. She shouts "NO!" I was like Sophie the oven is going to get very hot and its time to move out of the way. Again she shouts no so I pick her up and move her out of the kitchen. She of course starts crying.</td>
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As another person pointed out, you had made it negotiable... and then you disregarded her point of view. It's a safety issue, right, so it's non-negotiable. Not trying to chastise you, btw - this is a trap I think many of us who want to treat out children with respect fall into. It's so easy to do. We have to remember that if we're not open to working with our children's answers, then we shouldn't ask them the question. When I remember this, it helps me control my temper because I'm not putting myself in the position of feeling like my child is working against me.<br><br><b></b>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I've been a nightmare to her lately. I can feel the 3 of us falling apart. I cry. She cries. I yell. I can't stop. I was yelled at a lot as a child and now it just seems to be the only way that I know how to communicate. I feel awful. I suck so bad at raising a toddler. I don't get GD very well. It isn't coming to me naturally at all. I've read the books. I just can't get it to play into our lives. I know this is more of a vent but I need help. Sophie needs help. My baby doesn't deserve this. I'm just lost.</td>
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Are you getting any time to yourself? Getting enough sleep? All of these things are vital for controlling your temper. If these aren't happening then it's imperative that you make steps to do so. Also, if you're not getting exercise, try that. A simple walk or jog to clear your mind and get some good breath going.<br><br>
Other things that help in the moment: Count to ten. Corny but true. Count to ten while breathing deeply. Also, what's helped ds and I is coming up with a cue that I'm losing my temper. We talk about it when things are peaceful - he knows that when I close my eyes and breathe deeply and maybe say something like, "I need a minute... I'm starting to lose my temper" that he needs to give me a little bit of space. He even does the same thing (only he tells me he's starting to lose his "temperature" :LOL).<br><br>
The other thing I do is say to myself, "He's only a child. He's only a child." (Again while breathing deeply, eyes closed... I do a lot of that :LOL). It helps me to remember that my perspective is not his and that there's a reason that he's doing the thing he's doing - that irritating me is not his motivation.<br><br>
Finally, if you have serious anger issues, then you may need to find a third party to help you process what's coming up from your childhood. Don't dismiss its impact on your parenting - it's huge. Yelling is something that needs to stop. It just does. Don't tell yourself that you can't stop yelling - tell yourself that you <b>must</b> stop yelling... and do whatever you need to do to get it done. You don't want your daughter to be dealing with the same issues you are when she parents her own children.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Dragonfly -<br><br>
That is absolutely fabulously written, and excellent information.<br>
Thank you for sharing so well.<br><br>
I use counting as a technique also...it helps me pull back and re-evaluate the situation sometimes. I also remind myself, even during "GOOD MOMENTS" with my 21MO DS, that he seriously cannot help himself. He is learning to grow into the adult he will become - it is my job to get him there safely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've been really really stressed out lately. I had a good cry and got my feelings out with my dh yesterday and it's helped a lot. I'm not stewing in anger anymore. Sophie is calmer. I think that she feeds off of how I feel for sure. I feel bad for shouting at her and I have a lot of sweet talking to do to make it up to her the best that I can but last night was so much better and this morning was great too. I do need to step back and not get caught up in the moment. Thanks for that reminder. She's such a fabulous kid. She is learning so much right now and I think she is having another spurt in her vocabulary. So now she is saying no! and getting a bit sassy. I just wasn't prepared to have her talk back to me or imagine how angry it would make me. I've made a game of her sassy talk. She'll say something bossy like "Don't talk to daddy." I'll say "Daddy who?" and she'll laugh I think that she was doing it to get a reaction and I'm hoping making light of it will help.<br>
Thanks for all the advice. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/happytears.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="happytears">:
 

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Great advice mamas.....I am having issues with yelling as well. Especially with my 3yr dd. I literally took notes in my journal of the wisdom here.<br><br>
Thank you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I am glad you got a cleansing cry sweetfeet. I always feel such a huge release after a good cry.
 

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It's been a trying time for me too...my dd1 will be 3 in July but she started her bout of this about a month ago. I have a hard time controling my temper when she gets like that, but it's gotten better in the last week or so. Not completely over but better. I'm reading the book called Parent Effectiveness Training and the active listening section I just got too has had some good feedback so far. Like today when she was upset that she had to come inside because I had to pee. She got really angry and started screaming "NO I DON'T WANT TO GO INSIDE!!!!" and I got down on her level and said "Wow you sound angry. Are you angry with Momma?" and she said yeah, and I said I am sorry you are angry how about we come back outside after mommy goes potty" And she said "ok" and skipped in the house like nothing ever phased her....amazing. 2 weeks ago she would have smacked me and screamed till her face was red and ended up having "quiet time" (our idea of a time out...but more where she goes where she wants to cool down)
 

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i'm in the same boat. you are not alone.<br>
i just finished a 9 day trip solo with my 2 babes under 3 years and found myself wanting to stab myself in the heart 3 times a day for losing it so hard on my rambunctuous toddler.<br>
and it would always come out of nowhere.<br>
i'd be thinking, "gee, i'm handling this pretty well right now..."<br>
and then just one more thing and boom! off i'd go. those of you who haven't, count yourself lucky.<br>
i'm so sad about it. this toddler stuff is kicking my butt.<br>
i'm going to seek help.<br>
good luck.<br>
this is what mothering is. facing ourselves. ugh. and transforming. even a little.<br>
the best i can do is be on the level.<br>
"why are you crying mommy?"<br>
"i'm so sad i yelled at you. i blew my top. that's not ok. i'm sorry. mommy is a nutcase right now."<br>
pat pat pat<br>
"don't worry mommy."<br><br>
:tandem :homew:
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> to all us mamas with three year olds....you gotta love em! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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I am so sympathethic with you!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> I've been taking it one day and one step at a time. So I've removed the spanking but still have the yelling. I have to focus on the positive as I don't yell from morning to night - usually by the end of the day I'm more prone to it because I haven't had a break and my dh is either not home or not helpful! Each day I try and make a little more progress but getting more time to myself really really helps! As does putting my 3 year old, high spirited, strong willed, high vocabulary 3 year old in the odd activity. (i.e. it was once a week at Gym 'n Swim where I could just drop her off for an hour and a half and now it's Soccer on Saturday that she races around while we all go watch for 45 min). We have regular outdoor playdates and that midday distraction helps her burn off all the extra hyper energy she has and gives her a change of pace and helps break up our day, giving us a fresh perspective on each other! She sleeps over at her grandma's once a month and we both appreciate each other much more after that break for sure. That's one of the reasons that I'm actually looking forward to her starting preschool 2 mornings a week in the fall and she thrives in social situations so much!<br><br>
The other thing that has really helped... I tell her before hand what I expect from her ("we're going to the store and I need you to stay close to me so you can be safe and it's important that you don't scream and yell etc etc - do you understand?) and I wait for her to acknowledge and agree and then I tell her that we can bake, play outside, do puzzles or something she likes together if she can behave that way. If she starts to act up I remind her what we talked about and that I will not play puzzles with her if she continues to misbehave. And then I follow through whether she behaves or not. Why this helps me is that I've already outlined what the reward or consequences will be and so because I have a plan I'm much less reactive as no where in that plan is yelling involved - I simply, calmly follow through.<br><br>
Of course it doesn't always work - sometimes she yells, is lippy or is mean to the baby and she has to have a time out while she's screaming like an animal and while I'm holding her door shut so she doesn't continually run out and slam her door repeatedly while flailing about. And other times she just pushes my buttons and I lose control and yell back or bellow out. But I try again the next time and slowly I'm getting better.<br><br>
If I overstep the bounds for what I think is ok with the volume or tone or what I say in my voice - after we've calmed down I always sit down with her and apologize for my behavior as well and she does the same and then we start over (and often pray about it together).<br><br>
So don't beat yourself up - it is a process I think. And I wish someone had told me that 3 was worse than 2! A huge part is that my dd is very much like me and so while I love all of her spunk and independence and intelligence - we do butt heads and push each others buttons. She will be a fantastic leader when she's older but it's definitely challenging right now - the hardest year so far for me.<br><br>
And definitely remember that you're not alone! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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