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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a newly-turned 3 year old DD. She and I have always had a really sweet relationship. She was my helper, my shopping partner, my little sweetie who would snuggle at a moments notice.<br><br>
She started screaming at me in the last few months, demanding her needs be met instead of asking politely, just plain being controlling and demanding ALL DAY LONG.<br><br>
She really has the ability to wear me out by 9am. We have ruled out food issues, allergies, sleep problems, abuse, etc. She is really only with me unless dh takes her and DS on the weekend to do something. As a family unit we are very divided, dh does very little parenting and I know she detects that. Could she be angry at me? Could she possibly think that she can control me by treating me so badly that I actually start crying in front of her? Because that is what usually happens at this point because I'm very pregnant and hormonal and never get a break. She just makes me want to run away sometimes.<br><br>
I don't know how to explain to her *consistently* that this isn't ok. I repeat over and over "You need to respect mommy and use your polite words", etc. but she just continues with the yelling. She literally screamed/cried/yelled for almost 3 hours about going to the park when I said we could not do that. How do I parent a child that refuses to listen to logic? Or to even respect my position as her parent?<br><br>
When did my 3 year old turn 13? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:
 

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I'm in a similar situation with my 3.5 year old. When I remember to do this, it works and I think it rocks DS off his boat. I tell him honestly and genuinely how I feel when he talks to me that way. If he's too busy yelling, then I repeat myself and try to make eye contact. How I truly feel sad/upset when he shouts at me and that I don't like it at all. I mean, I sound like I'm telling my best friend and not a child! I just say it and look sad/upset and wait...<br><br>
DS can tell when it's real and this usually stops him in his tracks. He might shout some more (about what he's not getting, insisting he wants his way) but if I stay quiet and keep my sad face, he comes around. His sensitive side comes out. When that happens, it works best if I remain quiet and let him do the talking. He usually ends up agreeing with what I've been saying all along and then preaches back to me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Hmmm, this is a tough one. Part of it is the age, I think. Three year olds can be very demanding, assertive, whiny, controlling. Not that its a bad thing -it's just a phase, part of growing up and testing their limits and learning how to interact with people.<br><br>
You say that she is with only you most of the time? Are you a part of a playgroup or a nursery school, or anything like that? I only ask because you said she was screaming and screaming that she wanted to go to the park and you said you couldn't right then. So maybe she's feeling like she wants to separate a little and socialize and get to know some other people (which is also a normal developmental thing for her age) I know that's really hard to do when you are pregnant and hormonal and doing it mostly by yourself (hug).<br><br>
Anyway, that's my only advice. It sounds like you are being really gentle and consistent with her. Try not to blame her. She's learning how to be a person! I guess you could try taking her out and distracting her, letting her interact with lots of people. Maybe she's more extroverted? Maybe she has lots of energy? I dunno.<br><br>
Also, when my kids are acting like that (and I can only tell you what I do) I try not to let them see me cry, or tell them that they're hurting me. I feel like that gives their negative actions too much meaning and power, if that makes sense. For instance, if my 3yo says "I hate you!" I would say, "that's a very hurtful thing to say. Why do you feel like you hate me?" rather than. "that hurts my feelings!" or "that's not nice!" I try not to take it personally, because well, he's three and three is pretty little and I don't think he really knows what he's doing.<br><br>
Also, with battles, I've found that it helps if I give choices versus asking questions. For instance, instead of asking "what would you like to do?" and then having them ask something ridiculous that we won't be able to do, and then them having a huge meltdown because I have said no to said ridiculous request, I would say "we can go upstairs and draw, or we can go take a bath". If ds said "I want to go to the park!" I would say, " we can go to the park tomorrow. would you like to color right now, or take a bath right now?" and then try to get him actively involved in getting out the crayons. I try to keep moving before the emotions break down, because then his attention is diverted and he doesn't really have time to have a big meltdown....if that makes sense.<br><br><br><br>
Hugs <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> As a mom of three, I can tell you, it WILL pass.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Cathi</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6486645"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">As a family unit we are very divided, dh does very little parenting and I know she detects that.</div>
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I think this is a part of it.
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Cathi</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6486645"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Could she be angry at me?</div>
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She might be not angry at <b>you</b> specifically. She is angry with a situation and being a 3 year old can not analyze or pinpoint the root of this anger. And you are there and she trusts you - hence, you get the most of her anger <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">: And... I wish I had a suggestion other than "rubbing it in" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, I thought about it all night and read your replies this morning. Good suggestions here, thanks guys. I'm going to try a few different things today, the main one being increasing positive time with her. My mom is going to come over this afternoon and handle the house and DS and I will do something special with DD. Maybe I'm inadvertantly neglecting her/ignoring her because all I get back from her is negativity?<br><br>
I'll post again and update on the situation. Thanks for the support. When I told dh about our horrible day and asked him what I thought I should do he just looked at me and said "I don't know" and walked away. I felt so defeated I came here to try and get HELP or SUPPORT or SOMETHING that would ease the pain. I do truly understand that dh is part of the problem, I just cannot figure out how to solve that part right now.<br><br>
I make a great wife, I make a great single parent. I make a terrible married single parent. It is very frustrating <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> Great idea for a special day with her. I hope it goes well today. Power and identity is a big part of this age. They are trying to sort out how to act, how to have some power and trying on different identities. So much of what you are experiencing is normal. However, with the baby coming I am sure she is feeling a lot of additional pressure that she can't even begin to recognize or express positively. She just sees things changing and you being less available and she feels even more powerless. I empathize with your lack of help from your dh because this really would be a good time for him to be helping give more attention to the kids in support of the new baby on the way.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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I think a pow-wow with your dh is in order to. There are times that I have to hit my dh over the head with the foam mallet to get his attention<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
Basically I have to let him know that I am married and parenting comes BEFORE everything else. Showers, grocery shopping, using the restroom alone, laundry, lawn work, reading, cooking, dishes, etc. This goes for him as well. I think you dd can most definitely feel the lack of daddy involvement.<br><br>
I can, also, only tel lyou what I do in my home as well. When ds throws a kicking screaming fit, I tell him that he can scream ll he wants but he cannot disrupt the whole house. When he is ready to use his words he can come out of his safe spot (during this talk I carry him to his room, where he can kick and scream, throw whatever and not hurt anything or anyone-by biting or hitting). Normally within 2 minutes he has calmed down and comes out of his room and says he feels better and is ready to talk.<br><br>
There have actually been times where he offers to go into his room because he is stressed. The reason I started this goes to basic animal behaviors. I treated his room like a 'den'. Wild animals retreat to their den when in danger, for sleep, when in need of security, etc. He seems to really respond to this method, it's gentle because I am with him as he starts his fit, as well as when it ends. He seems to need to solitude to figure out his emotions. The tantrums are much worse if I am right with him, we tried many forms of working through the tantrum before this came out the winner in our house!
 

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I just wanted to say that 90% of parenting a 3 yo. is pure survival! Its a tough age.<br><br>
But also -- the last month or two of my 2nd pregnancy was a rought time for my older son. He was off the wall for that period of time. I think a large part of it was anxiety about the prospect of a new baby.<br><br>
Just wanted to throw that out there in case it applies -- I see that you are due in a few weeks.
 

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This little lady senses the changes that are about to come - you being very pregnant at all - and she is making sure you aren't replacing her for attention. Unfortunately she is really going about it the wrong way. Reward her good behaviors with compliments and attention and try to not praise or react too much at all to the bad. When she acts appropriate, praise her with attention - read a book, etc. Pretty soon, she should start to adjust her behaviors to win the praise.<br>
L
 

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I wanted to add one thing to everyone else's words of wisdom. I find that occasionally my relationship with DS will get a bit off kilter or something. He'll be more demanding and whiny; I'll be impatient; and the cycle goes on and gets worse and worse. What finally gets us out of it (so far, knock on wood<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ) is to really make a concentrated effort for a few days to just have a really good time with him. It's easier when he's in a demanding phase for me to have a good time with him if we go out and do something he'll enjoy. So for a couple of days, we'll go to the zoo, the children's museum, an amusement park, the beach, a train ride, apple picking, whatever he'll enjoy. I often just choose something myself if I know he's feeling contrary, but I choose something that he will definitely like. I also make more of an effort to accommodate his wishes. If he wants to sit in his car seat and not get out, so be it. If he wants to "drive" the car, ok.<br><br>
A few days of this really helps. It helps reset me to be more accommodating of DS, and it always seems to help reset our relationship so that DS is more accommodating toward me. We really have so much fun on these days, and we end up feeling much closer. Then when I have to pick up more of real life and do that tower of laundry, we can have more fun doing those kinds of things together instead of battling.<br><br>
Now that I think about it, it's time to do it again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok, so update time. I did two things that helped tremendously. I spent the day with DD doing things SHE wanted to do (ie go to the mall and walk around, look at books, play dolls, make cookies) and spent that night being very very affectionate with her. Once she and I were on a better level I gently asked her about her feelings, was she sad or upset about something, etc. Eventually I got from her that she is mad at daddy for being mean to her and she doesn't like when he comes home. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
So now it seems my situation is not about discipline at all but should be moved to Partners as Parents. Ugh. I'm sick over this. I really do not know how to be between my child and my spouse. It's literally between a rock and a hard place.<br><br>
So I'll take this over there, but wanted to say thanks for the support and advice. It really helped me and helped DD for sure. Thank you!
 

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Spending time, addressing other issues like Dad and new sibling, helps.<br><br>
But just wanted to say, everything else could be absolutely perfect, and she may still have these moments.<br><br>
You are not doing anything "wrong". She is just 3, and 3 is hard. ((hugs))
 
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