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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Title says it all, I suppose. I know it's a totally normal phase, but I am getting SO tired of him contradicting EVERYTHING. Contradicting factual statements, contradicting neutral/pleasant/kind observations, in particular, is what is driving me nuts. Expressing his displeasure at requests of him doesn't bother me, that I can deal with and we work through. It's him negating everything else that's bothering me, and others around him. He just turned 3 two weeks ago.<br><br>
A typical example:<br><br>
Grandma: "Ooh, look at DD's rosey cheeks!!"<br>
DS: "NO! They're NOT rosey!"<br><br><br>
Sooo, here's what we've tried so far, and the results...<br><br><br>
"Yep, they're rosey, that's that's what it's called when your cheeks are pink like that." - He just keeps shouting "Not rosy!!" (because he feels like we're not listening to him, maybe?)<br><br><br>
"Not rosey? What are they then?" And he comes up with some kind of response...which is fine, I suppose sometimes, but my GOD, it's irritating about 700 times a day (plus I'm not sure I want him to always be 'revising' facts, you know? Sometimes things just are what they are, and quite frankly I'm just tired of him contradicting EVERYTHING, especially when he does it very <i>rudely</i> in some instances)<br><br><br>
[Ignore him]. He keeps shouting "Not rosy!"<br><br><br>
"Saying what you believe/want to be true doesn't change the facts, buddy." Then dropping it....this almost seems to work the best, as he just stares at us.<br><br><br>
I've sat with him at neutral times and said things like, "You know hon, when you make negative comments towards everything people say, they don't enjoy talking with you." or, "It's more considerate to not say negative things when people say something kind." But I don't know if he's old enough to get that or not. Apparently not. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br><br>
Soo, let's see. I guess the issues are mostly:<br>
- It's irritating and draining to have him contradict every single observation we make, irritating for us, irritating for others around us.<br>
- I don't want to argue with a 3-yo...it's pointless. HOWEVER - as I said before, for whatever reason I'm just not comfortable with doing/saying nothing at all, because he really is rude about his proclamations sometimes...and, it's draining to hear the negativity all day, even if it is from a 3-yo.<br><br>
Writing it out, it *seems* like it's mostly our (me, his dad, other adults around) issue, <b>but</b> at the same time part of what I feel my job is is to guide him into appropriate behaviors - and contradicting everything others say is not really appropriate, especially when they are neutral/pleasant observations, and he comes out with all this negativity. Maybe that's also what is bothering me...it's so *negative*, and I'm a really positive person.<br><br>
I'm out of ideas.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/help.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="help"> !!!!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Two ideas - One, don't make observations. Two, agree with him. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
You can respond by saying something like "Oh, you don't think they're rosy? OK." Just humor him and it will stop eventually. IMO, there are some things that are just wasted effort to try to change because the kids grow out of them pretty quickly. By responding with an open mind to his point of view, unreasonable as it may be, you are teaching him to be open minded by modeling that behavior.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>4evermom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7286193"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Two ideas - One, don't make observations. Two, agree with him. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
You can respond by saying something like "Oh, you don't think they're rosy? OK." Just humor him and it will stop eventually. IMO, there are some things that are just wasted effort to try to change because the kids grow out of them pretty quickly. By responding with an open mind to his point of view, unreasonable as it may be, you are teaching him to be open minded by modeling that behavior.</div>
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That's what we do. We responded with "OK" or "If you say so" It lasted solidly through the 3rd year. But, she's four now and the habit is dissappearing.
 

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Its a decent opportunity to start teaching that different people can have different ideas, beliefs, and perspectives. I would say, <i>"Oh? You don't see rosey cheeks? You see it differently than I do. That's okay! We don't have to agree."</i>
 

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When dd gets in these moods, I usually raise my eyebrows and say "oh?" in a noncommital way. If I'm feeling up to it, and I think she isn't too cranky, I might make a game of it. "Rosey? Oh, you're right! They aren't rosey. Her cheeks are purple!"<br><br>
I think 3 year olds like to express opinions. It makes them feel capable. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: So if dd wants to claim that up is down and left is right and that elephants fly, I'm not going to stand in her way. Unless it is to tell that her she's got it all wrong - <i>tigers</i> fly. The elephants walk on their noses.
 

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Maybe he doesn't know how to respond politely? Instead of debating whether or not his cheeks are rosey, you could say "Grandma likes the way you look, please say thank you". Oops, just reread your post-- if he's yelling at Grandma, that's really the issue, isn't it? I would say something like "please don't speak to us like that", and suggest something else he might say (in this case, maybe he could show grandma the toy he's playing with, or talk about something you did that day).<br><br>
ZM
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the reality check, ladies. After I re-read it before I had to leae for a bit this morning, I was thinking it was mostly my problem and not as much his. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I had said, "Whatever" a few times, but then fet like *I* was beign rude, you know? It's just draining. And I think I'm hypersensitive to the negativity because DH has issues with being a pessimist, and I really want to help DS be a more positive person than DH is.<br><br>
OK, so I'll go into non-discussion, minimal acknowledgement mode, and throw in a little humor/playfullness every once in a while. I can do that. We'll see how that goes. I'll address the tone separately during neutral times if I feel the need to.<br><br>
I also think it didn't help that we were at my parents' this weekend, and neither of the kids got enough sleep while there, and started getting pretty crazy by the end of the trip...and you know how it feels beign under the 'watchful eye' of your parents, especially since mine are very gentle parents who raised me wonderfully, but I was a very different child than DS is, I was much more calm and compliant by nature...so they really don't have any experience with gently parenting an "enthusiastic" child. Also doesn't help that mom was a preschool teacher years ago... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
Breathe in, breathe out. Let it go. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">.<br><br>
Thanks again!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamaduck</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7287010"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Its a decent opportunity to start teaching that different people can have different ideas, beliefs, and perspectives. I would say, <i>"Oh? You don't see rosey cheeks? You see it differently than I do. That's okay! We don't have to agree."</i></div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes">:
 

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When I read your post, I knew your son was three before I looked down at your signature. When my dd was 3, her nickname was "Negatron" because she disagreed with everything anybody said. I think it's normal 3 year old behavior but it does get dang annoying after a while.
 

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No advice, just complete empathy! I could have written your post almost word for word (and yes, DD is three).
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> All this reading at MDC must've given me some kind of instinct for these things. I had no idea this was something three year olds did before I read this thread, but as soon as I read the title I thought "hmm, I bet she's got a three year old." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh">:
 

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Thanks for the insight on what's to come mamas! OP, you are right to see what is triggering your reaction. Sometimes it's hard to remember that your DC isn't going to become your DP or you just because they show similar (negative) traits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sapphire_chan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7295979"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> All this reading at MDC must've given me some kind of instinct for these things. I had no idea this was something three year olds did before I read this thread, but as soon as I read the title I thought "hmm, I bet she's got a three year old." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh">:</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh">:<br>
I love it! Thanks again ladies, for the moral support and kick in the arse. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">:<br><br>
I talked to my mom yesterday evening, and we had a really good discussion on DS and the future for DD, and how her experience as a teacher relates to her perception of the kids. And I suggested that she remember when she had kids at preschool, many of them were on their 'best behavior' because they were there and not letting it all hang out for mom and dad at home (you know, that old cliche, "Johnny is such a cooperative, sweet boy in class"; "Are you sure we're talking about my child?" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">). AND, because I was a calm, easygoing, very agreeable child by my own nature, she might not have as much experience with the daily challenges an 'energetic' 3-yo presents at home.
 

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Oh my...am I the only one whose SIX year old <i>still</i> does this? My son drives us all crazy and particularly bothers his three year old sister because he contradicts everything we say. On some days, it literally seems like he has a contradiction for every last statement we make.<br><br>
Dd will say, "Look, he has an elephant statue in his yard."<br>
Ds will say, "No he does not have an elephant statue."<br>
Dd will cry, "Look! Yes he does!"<br>
Ds will say, "No, it's not <i>an</i> elephant statue. It's <i>two</i> elephant statues!"<br><br>
Everything with him is so literal, he corrects us on the slightest slip-up or inaccuracy. It is ridiculous. I can't figure out why he does it, but it's been a part of him forever.
 

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Teachma, once again, I think our kids were stamped from the same mold! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I think 3 year olds like to express opinions. It makes them feel capable.</td>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy"><br><br>
very well put! yes, i could tell the kid was three.<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;">I had said, "Whatever" a few times, but then fet like *I* was beign rude, you know? It's just draining.</td>
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we are going through EXACTLY this and the funny thing, reading the OP made me much more "understanding" than I have been while going through this myself with my own dd. 700 times a day - atdt (am there, doing that)! i guess what i am not sure of is - if i just say, "ok, if you say so" does she get the msg that if she says (e.g.) white is black then we will just go along with it to avoid a scream?<br><br>
actually i think there is a deeper question she is trying to ask, which is essentially WHY are things the way they are and not some other way. sometimes there is an answer, sometimes there isnt. the latter is somewhat <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy"> ... is "angst" the word i am looking for?<br><br>
i remember once when she was saying these kinds of things i said, "so is that how it is in your language?" and she said no, that is how it <b>is</b>. But then another time when she said a similar thing, she cheerfully added, "in my language."
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ACK! He's baaaaaaaaack....I dug up this post because I knew I posted about it. He got out of the negative thing for a while, but he's back to it. I am SO over it. He'll be 4 at the very end of January, so it's not the "6 weeks from a birthday" thing.<br><br>
He was congested and struggling with being plugged up while trying to go to sleep last night. So after I kissed him, I very gently and casually said, "babe, if you lay on your side you'll probably have an easier time breathing because one of your nose sides will open up."<br><br>
"No, I don't WANT to breathe easier." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banghead.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banghead"><br><br>
This is just one of many interactions that happen each day. If this was once in a while, it would be one thing. But this is just about every other thing I say (and I'm really not exaggerating much), he contradicts or turns into a negative in some way. Wanna know what I said back to him?<br><br>
"Ok bud, fine. You want to struggle breathing, that's your choice. I was just trying to help you because I care about you."<br><br>
And wanna know the worst part? I'm starting to not want to try to help him out anymore, because almost every suggestion I come up with is met with the opposite, or a negation. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: and THAT'S not cool of me. I'm the adult here, I'm just getting so drained emotionally with everything being met with a sour puss.<br><br><br>
Ideas? Is this within the range of normal, or is it a little beyond? Being SO negative and opposite? I have no idea - I just know that it's a real drag to be living it on my end, and not have any idea how to respond to it. I'm up for ideas for me, any ideas for me to help with his interactions with other adults in his life (daddy, grandparents, teachers, strangers being nice to him...basically anyone but me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">), as they probably are not quite as understanding. Actually, I know they're not as understanding - my dad was so exasperated yesterday, and I know DH is exasperated, too. I guess I'm also looking for some suggestions on how to discuss this with kiddo to help him understand that people try to be helpful because they care, and if you don't want to follow their advice that's fine, but you don't have to openly contradict them every time they say something. And/or a quick broken record response I can give him when he does this to remind him of that. I know he's only 3-3/4, but that doesn't mean I can't try to help him navigate it, especially when it's impacting negatively on our relationship, and his relationship with others...and I think he's starting to get out of the time where I can rationalize everything with "he's only X" age, and need to start helping him more with his social interactions and interpersonal relationships. Nobody wants to be around someone who contradicts them all the time, and I want to help him through this as much for him as for me and others. I am totally out of ideas and emotionally drained from every other thing I say being negated. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:<br><br><br>
**I tackled the issue of him being overwhelmed with someone giving him a gift and him saying, "I don't WANT that" or "I don't NEED that" by reminding him beforehand if I know someone is bringing him something that even if he feels like he doesn't want something right now to just wait a few minutes and then see how he feels before he says anything, and that works really well - he's stopped insulting gift givers <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">. Maybe I could use a similar kind of thing with this, too? I'm guessing now that I wrote that that this is kind of related, him not being sure of how he feels about someone being nice/helpful to him...which boggles my mind, why would a kid be overwhelmed by niceness? It's not like we haven't been kind ot him his whole life... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br><br>
Sigh. OK, I'll stop writing. Thanks for reading if you've made it this far.
 

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Whatever else is going on, it sounds like there are (probably normal) control issues going on, asserting his independence and HATING being told what to do...even if it's helpful.<br><br>
I don't know if this has been mentioned, but with congestion combined with mood swings, that makes me wonder if you've checked into environmental or food sensitivities. There is a book called "Is this Your Child?" by D. Rapp and she also has a web site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks, I'll check it out. I've also read <i>Sleepless in America,</i> and I'm sure he's got a little sleep deficit going on, but we're tried so many suggestions in the book to get him to sleep later in the mornings (he already goes to sleep by 7:30pm every night) but nothing is working, the kid is up almost every morning by 6am because daddy gets up then to get ready for work and he doesn't want to miss daddy - he gets REALLY upset on the occasions he does sleep later and misses daddy in the mornings. So, I'm sure the sleep deprivation isn't helping, but I have NO idea how to get around that aside from him going to bed at 6:30pm (which would mean only having about 15 minutes a day with daddy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> )...which who knows, maybe we'll try for a while to see if it helps at all. Sigh, again. I'm just really exasperated right now as things are seeming to get "worse" despite what I'm trying to do with him to be more understanding.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>teachma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7296744"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh my...am I the only one whose SIX year old <i>still</i> does this? My son drives us all crazy and particularly bothers his three year old sister because he contradicts everything we say. On some days, it literally seems like he has a contradiction for every last statement we make.</div>
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You're not alone! In fact, I was just going to post the exact same thing about my 6 yo!<br><br>
So, okay, good advice re: contradictory observations, but my ds contradicts EVERYTHING! eg., Me: "Hitting hurts; don't hit." DS: "It doesn't hurt me." Me: "It's time for bed." DS: "No it's not." Me: "The teacher told me you pushed classmate at school." DS: "I did not. That's a lie." It annoys me, but okay, I love him anyway. Now, it's annoying relatives and teachers (so I'm thinking it's not just the age). Ok, the above statements by me are all worded as observations -- it's one of my favorite GD techiques. Anymore suggestions?
 
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