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This is a vent more than anything. He is so oppositional, argumentative, disobedient and impulsive. Yes, I know I just described pretty much every 3 year old but he is driving me crazy!!! Everything is a battle. In the last half hour I had to stop him from pulling all the clean folded laundry out of the basket, jumping over his baby sister, opening the dishwasher when it's running, climbing into his dresser drawers plus field a huge tantrum when I wouldn't read a story to him at that precise moment. Everything out of his mouth is either an argument 'No it DOESN'T' or 'Yes you DID' or a debate 'yes, but......'. He won't stay at the table to eat and has suddenly become picky. He has dropped his naps. He has no understanding of consequences so as much as I try to be consistent and follow through with discipline it seems to have no effect. I take away his toys regularly because he is throwing them or whatever and I always give a warning but he just does it again. If I try to ignore it he does it more and more until I can't ignore any more. Sorry if this doesn't make much sense. I'm trying to type with a wriggly 3 month old on my lap and I'm feeling pretty upset. He is in his room right now for the 100th time today.<br><br>
REading this over I can see that he probably need more exercise and outdoor time. We did go out earlier but the trouble is the baby really needs to sleep in her own bed for naps. Also it is pouring with rain and I feel so tired it's the last thing I want to do. Still, it would help, I'm sure.<br><br>
He just came downstairs and said sorry and gave me a hug so that makes me feel a bit better. He is very sweet, just SO strong willed, stubborn and sure of his own opinion!<br><br>
Although this is a vent I would welcome any suggestions but please be gentle with me!
 

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There are always some very helpful mamas over in gentle discipline. I have gotten lots of good advice there.<br><br>
I hear ya, though. My 3yo is the same way. Everything has to be his way right that second. He argues about EVERYTHING. Even if I'm telling him something he knows is true, he will contradict me.<br><br>
The only thing that has really helped me has been having a sense of humor. If I let the arguing get to me, I feel like I want to scream and run away. Sometimes he is just confused about the way the world works and wants me to connect with him, so if I can steer the argument to a conversation about something else, we both feel better.<br><br>
Also, you have a new-ish baby in your house, so make sure to be gentle with yourself too. Get breaks when you can. I know it's hard to do, but just 15 min can make a huge difference in how I deal with the chaos. And really, my DS did not start to adjust to having a sibling for nearly a year (but he was 2 when his was born <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">).<br><br>
Hugs, mama.
 

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have you considered pre-school or an organized playgroup where they get to use their large motor skills a lot (and someone else does the shepherding!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> )? my DS1 went to a (sort of) pre-school at 2.5 until he was 3.5. then he was in a summer program that runs at our local park. now that he's 4, he's in kindergarden. i think it's great for him-he gets to have time for running and playing (play time, gym) and learning (sit down learning, circle time etc.) and he has nap time after school. he gets to see his friends too, which is always fun <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> and he's in ball hockey, which he loves. gotta keep these little people busy...and get help from others while doing it so we don't keel over ourselves!
 

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For my three year old sometimes that warning is like a challenge "oh really? You WILL?" So....INTERESTING.<br>
Mine WON'T stay in her room for me. She WILL for daddy. (but daddy has also never backed down, I, being the full time one at home with a younger baby, have, just out of necessity--the knowledge, for example, that life will improve if I just finish making dinner and get them fed.)<br><br>
I have better luck with consequences involving *things* than consequences involving *her* for the most part--other than coming inside or leaving somewhere if she is not acting appropriately and not changing her behavior. Things like taking away toys that are being thrown, or her bike if she rides it in the road. Or time-out for a toy that's being fought over.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> it is hard. I too expect things to get a little easier if she goes to school this fall. (it'll depend, they take 4 yr olds first and dd will not be 4 until Jan.)
 

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I swear we need a support thread for parents with three-year olds. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> This is one tough age!<br><br>
I'll address the contrariness and "not listening" issues because I have a very headstrong DD who, despite me asking her or trying to direct her to do something multiple times, just doesn't pay attention. Earlier this week, DD ran off from me while I was trying to get our newspaper. She ran to the pond in our backyard and giggled about it. We've had multiple conversations about the dangers of the pond, but she keeps going to it. I basically had to drag her inside and put her to bed because this is such a big issue. To me, disregarding something so dangerous is just not acceptable. . .<br><br>
However, I talked the situation over with DH. More and more I've been trying to get her to do something and the harder I try, the less interested DD is. After talking to DH, he pointed out that all of our talking to her obviously isn't working. I'm wasting a lot of breath when there is no way I can get her to listen. DH suggested that we save our energy for the big issues like running toward the pond and quit worrying/obsessing about the little stuff. So what if she doesn't get dressed or pick up her toys. We are the ones getting frustrated, not her. Talking to her repeatedly about little stuff hasn't worked. I'm practicing letting go. It is tough, but I think it is healthier for our relationship if I only try to instruct her on the big stuff.<br><br>
Maybe this tactic might help with your DS?<br><br>
As for being contrary, whenever I say we need to do something or go somewhere, DD's response is "I can go (or do it) all by myself." I just let her say those things, admire her independence, and then tell her it is time to do whatever. If I don't argue back, she doesn't get upset.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Shazer</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15456230"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I swear we need a support thread for parents with three-year olds. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> This is one tough age!</div>
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No kidding. Mine has sensory issues to boot, but it sure seems like they're trying so dang hard to figure out how the world works and how they can control it. Such a tumultuous time.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I'll address the contrariness and "not listening" issues because I have a very headstrong DD who, despite me asking her or trying to direct her to do something multiple times, just doesn't pay attention. Earlier this week, DD ran off from me while I was trying to get our newspaper. She ran to the pond in our backyard and giggled about it. We've had multiple conversations about the dangers of the pond, but she keeps going to it. I basically had to drag her inside and put her to bed because this is such a big issue. To me, disregarding something so dangerous is just not acceptable. . .<br><br>
However, I talked the situation over with DH. More and more I've been trying to get her to do something and the harder I try, the less interested DD is. After talking to DH, he pointed out that all of our talking to her obviously isn't working. I'm wasting a lot of breath when there is no way I can get her to listen. DH suggested that we save our energy for the big issues like running toward the pond and quit worrying/obsessing about the little stuff. So what if she doesn't get dressed or pick up her toys. We are the ones getting frustrated, not her. Talking to her repeatedly about little stuff hasn't worked. I'm practicing letting go. It is tough, but I think it is healthier for our relationship if I only try to instruct her on the big stuff.</td>
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This is so true for us too. I've found that, by the end of the day, I'm just so tired of arguing about everything. I just want to be RIGHT and be IN CHARGE for once. If I can let go of that, joke with him, let him have some control in places where it doesn't matter as much, we do a lot better.<br><br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">As for being contrary, whenever I say we need to do something or go somewhere, DD's response is "I can go (or do it) all by myself." I just let her say those things, admire her independence, and then tell her it is time to do whatever. If I don't argue back, she doesn't get upset.</td>
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Yeah, we're going through this too. I usually just say, "Yeah, you <i>could</i> do it by yourself, but I'd really like to go with you. Would that be okay?" It mostly works, I think, because he's making the choice to have me along. Sometimes it doesn't work and I have to strong-arm him, but usually not.
 

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Do you have a yard where he'll happily play in the rain and mud? If it's not too cold I'd dress him for rain and let him at it. But a play-based preschool with a good big outdoor area and that sort of thing probably would be good, too. And then I'd lavish attention on him (considering the new baby) when you have a few minutes.<br><br>
I've observed my now-3yo DD getting a lot more physical and "wild" in her play lately. Buckling my seat belt... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies. It helps just to know I'm not the only one. Today was better as we had a lot of busy time and he actually napped!!! He is going to preschool in September for 2 mornings. I'm really looking forward to that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"><br><br>
Here's hoping 4 is easier!
 
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