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MY Ds is 3 years old and I am having such a hard time with him. We *use* to spank but not very often and i am happy to say i have not spanked him in a long time. The problem is i feel like i have lost all control as a parent. HE does not listen to me, he talks back to me, he tells me i am not his friend anymore (which i ALWAYS say back to him i do not need to be his friend but i need to be his mommy right now) and on and on. It is a contant struggle to do anything. Dinner, bed, bath, in the car, out of the car, whatever it is he fights me on it most of the time. I tell him he is doing good when he is doing good but it is not very often. I dont know what to do. I feel like i am failing him and he is only 3 years old. I dont want him to grow up to be the child nobody wants to be around. Anyway ... please if anyone has any suggestions on books or how i can help resolve this problem i would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you ...
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Becoming the Parent You Want to Be is still my favorite, and I read about two parenting books a month. Once I was able to understand (or quickly look up in the book) WHY he was acting the way he did, I was better able to cope with it. It helped me see that some of his behavior is not about me. He has bad days, bad months, bad moments just like I do. What was I expecting? Once I was able to identify age-appropriate behavior and how to use that to take him to the next developmental stage, I could relax. Now I can say, "This is just part of it. It is temporary. I am not ruining him for life."
 

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my ds is 2 1/2 and I could have written your post, every word of it. No advice from me. I look forward to reading what people have to say.
 

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The 'How to talk so Children will Listen and Listen so Children Will Talk' book by Faber and Mazlish is great - I highly recommend it. A lot of the techniques seem as if they are for older children, but I think the earlier you put them into practice, the better.

For a three year old, instead of trying to get him to 'obey' you, I would try making things that need to be done really, really fun! That still works much better around here.

For example, I used to beg and plead and nag and (you get the picture) to get my girls (ages 5 and 3) to get out of the bath when it was time to get dressed and get to bed. And they used to ignore me, and I'd count, and they'd yell at me not to count, etc., etc. - nightmare city.

But then we discovered 'rub-a-dub-dubs' and getting out of the bath is easy now!! 'Rub-a-dub-dubs' happened when I was being silly with them one night - I'd been saying 'rub a dub dub when drying ds off, and I'd then picked one of the girls and swung her around in circles while saying 'rub-a-dub-dub...'.

She loved it! Now, when it's time to get out of the bath, I just ask 'Who's ready for rub a dub dubs?' and both of them jump out of the bath (whoever is out first gets swung around first).

Then, once they are in their pajamas with teeth and hair brushed, we have 'dropping rub a dub dubs' - which is just me holding them cradled in my arms and then pretending to drop them while saying 'rub a dub dub' - again, they love it and it has made getting ready for bed (relatively) painless.

As much as possible, we try to use this technique around here to elicit cooperation.
It can be hard to be in the mood to be silly - but it's a lot better than being totally and completely frustrated by the fact that you are being ignored, ykwim?!
 

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Mommiska, we love that one too! In fact the authors were students of Dr. Ginott and they do a great job of showing real-life examples of how to use his methods.


And you're right - a little silliness goes a looong way around here too. I swear we might as well change our last name to Goofy. (We have a game called Oops Dropped the Baby where we pretend to drop him, and he cracks up every time - alot like your gameof dropping rub-a-dubs!) But it helps a lot with our 2 year old, and even our 13 year old responds to humor.
 
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