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and he seems to be impervious to gentle discipline. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banghead.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banghead"><br><br>
Everyone tells me how patient I am with little ones, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> but my own ds is making me a raving maniac. He's been "challenging" from day one, but the past few months have been SO bad. Nothing's new in his life, and I give him tons of time and attention, but it's never enough. Today, for example--<br><br>
He woke and wanted to nurse, as usual. I nursed him for more than an hour, giving him a gentle countdown to when I had to get up and get dressed (for my little daycare guy's arrival). When I tried to get off the bed, he jumped on me, grabbed me tight around the neck, and started screaming that he wanted to nurse. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><br><br>
I told him I could get him a drink in a cup, and breakfast if he wanted. He kept screaming and clinging as I carried him to the kitchen. He drank a cup of milk, but just ignored my repeated q about breakfast.<br><br>
I asked if he wanted to go play in the playroom or come to the bedroom and play quietly while I dressed (dp and our older ds were still asleep). He responded by screaming and grabbing at me. I told him if he didn't stop screaming, he would have to stay in the playroom until I finished dressing. I carried him down there, and could hear him screaming for me the whole time I was upstairs. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
This kind of thing happens constantly lately, and NOTHING works except to put him in the playroom and forbid him to come up until I say so (when he's calmed down, and/or agreed to stop a behavior, such as hitting).<br><br>
I don't know what to do. He threw another huge fit today because I made him get out of the bath-- after an hour and a half! And, it's not only the big stuff, he's acting out in little ways all day long-- testing behavior about everything!<br><br>
I need some advice, and some extra sanity, because mine is almost gone.
 

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

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It almost sounds like it's the transitions that he has trouble with. My 3 year old also finds transitions tough. I actually switched preschools at the beginning of the year because of it. (The first one we tried had way too many).<br><br>
Anyway, what works (or at least is starting to work) is to give my ds as much warning as possible when we're going to have to switch gears. Like 10 minutes before he has to get out of the bath, give a warning. Set a timer too, if that helps. Some kids seem to do well with a timer (my oldest did, but it doesn't help my current 3 yr old). Then, give a five minute warning, then three minutes and one minute.<br><br>
My ds also likes it when I give him a task to do as part of the transition. It's his job to flip the drain switch when the bath is over. When we are getting ready to leave the house, it's his job to make sure the TV is off.<br><br>
And, I need to keep my ds on roughly the same schedule most days. I'm not super strict about it by any means, but when we do change activities, it helps to follow the same pattern. Like bedtime is always the exact same way though we are flexible on the time. He still fights it at first, but once we get into the routine, he settles down pretty quickly.<br><br>
Maybe I missed the mark entirely here - lol. If so, just ignore my post.
 

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Is your ds closer to 3.5 than 3? I would recommend reading "Your 3 yo: Friend or enemy?". Many children go through a period of disequilibrium between 3.5 and 4 that is very difficult. My ds is hitting his early at 3.25. As of a few weeks ago, he is SO difficult to manage. He was always fairly easy to get along with, though he was intense, but getting him to go ANYWHERE or do ANYTHING that I want is nearly impossible lately. I was proud of the lack of power struggles in our relationship... and now I'm being humbled!<br><br>
One thing it says in the book, is that 3.5 yo's are most difficult for their mothers, and are usually delightful for babysitters and other people. They are both extra clingy with Mom, and also hostile and combative with Mom. They are also physically more awkward and clumsy, and easily frustrated. Maybe enroll him in a Mommy-not-involved class and take a well-needed break from each other!
 

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Three was a terribly difficult age for my kids (and me, by extension.) I think a lot of it is just survival.<br><br>
One thing I was thinking of while reading your post, which sort of echoes Twocoolboys, is to create a loose routine and stick to it. For example, always nurse for the same amount of time in the morning. Tell him at the beginning, <i>"We will nurse for 30 minutes. I am setting a timer now."</i> Then give 10, 5 and 2 minute warnings. And do it for the same amount of time, with the same predictable routine, every morning. Decide on a time-frame for bath, and do the same thing.<br><br>
I really think some kids are more dependent on predictable routines than others. If he feels unsure of how long any given activity may last, then he is more likely to feel he is being cheated somehow, or at the very least that there is lots of room for negotiation. But if its the same everyday, then he will eventually internalize a sense of what to expect and transitions will not come as such a difficult suprise.
 

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I have no advice, but the behavior sounds just like my 3 yr, 1 mo old son; EXCEPT there was no way in h*ll my son would stay anywhere he didn't want to be. You'd have to lock him down to make him be somewhere unless he agreed to it.<br><br>
I wish I had advice for you....instead, I have <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I too found 3.5 very hard. Amazingly it passed. Tasks are very important tools to help kids feel in charge. I personally feel the more work children can do the easier life is, even if it takes them 3x as long to do the work, that is that much time they are busy.<br><br>
I interepreted all the frustration of 3.5 as a dawning awareness that things just didnt make sense a lot of the time ... everyone around me seems to have accepted it and I am the only one still questioning this, and the only way to get along in this world is to accept this like everyone else, and I REBEL against that ....
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Twocoolboys</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10323170"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It almost sounds like it's the transitions that he has trouble with. My 3 year old also finds transitions tough.<br><br>
Set a timer too, if that helps. Some kids seem to do well with a timer (my oldest did, but it doesn't help my current 3 yr old). Then, give a five minute warning, then three minutes and one minute.<br><br>
And, I need to keep my ds on roughly the same schedule most days.<br></div>
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Mine too (almost 4 yo) yep, and yep. Timer has worked wonders. Constant testing of boundaries, but if I am firm and strong about them, he is a much different child. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Sounds very much like my DD at the moment, everything has to be just so or we have 1/2 hour of screaming and tears.<br><br>
For DD making some things more visible seems to help.<br><br>
eg one of our issues was wanting us to come and play while we are still eating and DD has finished. Now we have a candle on the table which stays lit until DH and I are ready to leave the table. DD is welcome to get down as soon as she has finished but does seem to have grasped that we don't come with her until the candle is blown out. The bonus is that she likes to come to the table to watch Daddy light the candle.<br><br>
Sometimes the timer works well, other times I just get the tantrum when I let her know I'm setting the timer.<br><br>
The biggest problem for me is keeping my own temper. The screaming gets me wound up and I end up shouting back many more times than I should. I am getting better and just stating again what has to happen in a calm voice and letting her know I am not going to talk about the subject any more. Also leaving the room works quite well to end things, I guess screaming is not so great when there is no one listening.
 

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I don't know if this has anything to do with it but--my kid's have meltdowns if they don't eat soon after waking up in the morning. Could he maybe need more to eat within that hour?
 

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I'm up, nearly 2 AM, eating super unhealthy Ramen noodles and totally sympathizing with everyone.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>cheery</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10340642"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
I interepreted all the frustration of 3.5 as a dawning awareness that things just didnt make sense a lot of the time ... everyone around me seems to have accepted it and I am the only one still questioning this, and the only way to get along in this world is to accept this like everyone else, and I REBEL against that ....</div>
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This is a great thought. I need to commit it to memory. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I need to get that book that KBChavez mentioned in post 4, also.
 
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