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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone else ever feel like this? My 3-yo DD still nurses, uses a binky, sleeps with me, and is about half potty trained. I feel very supported here and by my family, but sometimes I feel like maybe I should be pushing DD more in some of these areas. In my logical moments, I know that she'll conquer these in her own time and that I'm probably just beating myself up for nothing.

After all, she's incredibly confident, has a first-grade vocabulary, has conquered a crippling strangery anxiety to the point that she loves meeting new people, and is right on track with all her physical development.

She said she didn't like being 3, and since her birthday in April, still insists to everyone that asks that she's 2 years old. :LOL I get the feeling that she's torn between wanting to be a baby and a big girl. I truly feel like if I push too hard in any of the above areas, she'll just regress.

Do any of you with preschool-age kids experience this???

TIA,
Nichole
mom to Marlena born April 2002
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by 4evermom
I am responding to my ds's needs and am sure you are doing the same.
4evermom, I think you've isolated the issue perfectly. When I doubt myself, I'm worried that I'm putting *my* need to have her stay little ahead of *her* eventual need to be older. You see, I really like sleeping with her, and don't mind the binky or nursing. I really do want her to potty train, but she and I are are kind of butting heads about it. She does great on the potty for my mom!
:

I've also not had good luck with limiting nursing. I had to be on antibiotics for a month (whole other subject!) to try to avoid sinus surgery. I didn't want her getting that much medicine, so I cut out her naptime nursing. I explained why to her, but it didn't fly. She cried and screamed and fought me the whole month! I read about moms cutting out a nursing every few days for MLW, and thought that she'd eventually get used to it. Not my little stubborn child! I finally decided maybe she's just not ready to give up that nursing, so now that I finished my medicine, I'm letting her nurse at naptime again.


I guess I'm going to make it my goal to keep responding to her needs, while also creating an atmosphere where it's safe for her to be as big as she wants to be. These "3s" are tricky, I'm finding! :LOL

Thanks!
Nichole
 

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DS is turning 4 in 2 weeks. He still sleeps with us (he chooses to go to sleep in his own bed every night--with one of us--then joins us in the family bed later), still uses a paci (I hate it but I keep reminding myself of how much it helps him cope), weaned last fall (my choice), and is terrified of being left in childcare without a parent or grandparent. We don't push any of it. But sometimes I wonder if he "could" sleep longer at night, go without a paci, be happy in childcare at church on his own, if I weren't so....whatever. Like, am I making him more of a baby than he needs to be?

And then I remember that this is a kid who wanted a real chainsaw for his 2nd birthday, and who spends all day pretending to be my Uncle Darrell, driving trucks and running heavy equipment. He can also identify all the plants in our yard and a few more, and knows what a catalytic converter does. Who knows what effect our parenting has....but he is certainly growing fast, and wanting to grow faster, in some areas.... I don't think I'll meddle.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AuntNi
My 3-yo DD still nurses, uses a binky, sleeps with me, and is about half potty trained.
At age 3, my DS still nursed (until age 4 and 3 months actually) and then, went back to sleeping with us after having slept in his own room since 2 1/2. He potty trained over the course of this year also... all good.

Quote:

Originally Posted by AuntNi
I feel very supported here and by my family, but sometimes I feel like maybe I should be pushing DD more in some of these areas. In my logical moments, I know that she'll conquer these in her own time and that I'm probably just beating myself up for nothing.
Your logical moments are speaking truth! Go with them! If you are supported? All the better.


Quote:

Originally Posted by AuntiNi
After all, she's incredibly confident, has a first-grade vocabulary, has conquered a crippling strangery anxiety to the point that she loves meeting new people, and is right on track with all her physical development.
Looks like this is where her efforts have been concentrated and she sounds just great! Kids aren't able to tackle things all at once, verbal and physical abilities are true accomplishments and take mucho brain power. And overcoming something as intense as "crippling stranger anxiety" shows just how well she's doing (and how well you're doing mama!).

Quote:

Originally Posted by AunitNi
She said she didn't like being 3, and since her birthday in April, still insists to everyone that asks that she's 2 years old. I get the feeling that she's torn between wanting to be a baby and a big girl. I truly feel like if I push too hard in any of the above areas, she'll just regress. Do any of you with preschool-age kids experience this???
Oh, might want to get used to this kind of talk, at least for awhile. DS was wild about this kind of thinking/pretending and spent much of his fourth year as "a baby." Of course, he was about the most articulate baby I ever knew!
At any rate, your instincts are right on. This is a year of wanting to be big, but also lamenting the passing of being a baby. HUGE transition and they feel it for sure. And you said it yourself, pushing will likely have a more regressive effect rather than reverse. And the regressing she's doing now (talking about wanting to be 2, etc) is TOTALLY normal and just her way of saying, "Getting older can be a little scary." With your support and patience, she'll work it on through, no doubt!

It bears repeating I think: your instincts are totally right on here. Go with them and enjoy this great year! Four is a whole other world and perhaps it will help to know that since becoming four, DS tells everyone he meets, "I'M FOUR!"
Add to that, he can't WAIT to be five... never stops talking about it... he just keepings going, and going, and going... What a huge leap from "I want to be a baby" to "I want to be big." Honestly, it scares me a little.


The best to you!
Em
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks so much, everyone, for your thoughtful replies!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Embee
This is a year of wanting to be big, but also lamenting the passing of being a baby. HUGE transition and they feel it for sure.
It's so interesting to hear you say this. I had no idea, until we got here, that she would be so self-aware of what a big transition this age is. Truthfully, I always thought this "baby/big kid" push/pull only happened due to a new baby coming into the family. I didn't know that only children went through it to such an extent.

Thanks again, mamas! I love it here!


Best,
Nichole
 

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You know, the other thing that I noticed is that with my first child, I always felt like she was so much older, and treated her like she was capable of so much more. Now that I have a second child, I tend to baby Tiegan so much more, and whenever I look back at photos of Kea at 3, she looks like such a baby and I can't believe how young she was. I weaned her at 2 1/2 as I was pregnant with #2 and going to school full-time - at the time it seemed like she was more than old enough, and now I see that she was still such a baby. I imagine that in a couple of years, you'll look back and see your 3 year old as a baby, needing all this love and attention!!!!! I also find that kids do want to be independant at some stage, will definitely let you know, and you'll miss these days immensely!!!!!!
 

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Great responses, everyone. I just wanted to chime in my own experience. I have an almost 5 y/o son, who is also a mix between a baby and a big boy


He nurses, sleeps with me, is very loving, but also is very independent in ways. He dresses himself, plays well with his sister, talks to familliar people (like our male librarian and other male relatives) and is generally self directed. He is only 4....he is still a baby in many ways. There will come a time, maybe at6 or 8 when he will have more friends, want more space, etc., that will be that time, and this is this time....ya know?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AuntNi
It's so interesting to hear you say this. I had no idea, until we got here, that she would be so self-aware of what a big transition this age is. Truthfully, I always thought this "baby/big kid" push/pull only happened due to a new baby coming into the family. I didn't know that only children went through it to such an extent.
What's more is that my two closest friends who have first children DS's age and they are all playmates, had their second babes when the "older" kids were about 2 - 3 years. My DS, the only, went through the baby role play period MORE intensely then did his two "siblinged" pals. Then again, when it comes to pretend play, he is always the most intense of the three of them so personality could very well play a role here, and also just how aware they are of how much their own bodies are changing. Kids are intuitive, perceptive and amazing, yes?


The best,
Em
 

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My 4 yo twin DSs are much like the kids you all describe here. In many ways, they are quite independent, but in others, are babies. They still sleep with us, are quite attached to us, are very demonstrative and loving, often wary of the bigger world. In our society we complain that kids grow up too fast, but at the same time, want them to grow up and leave us alone already!! I think parents are much to blame--it's easier if they are independent and don't need us to sleep or help them navigate the outside world. It's easier to plop them down in front of a movie, etc. It's cool if they learn what the "real world" is like early on; people are numb to all the subtle messages of violence in the media, they are numb to the idea that if kids aren't forced to become independent too early, they develop a better sense of security and self assuredness. Instead they are proud that their kids don't need them. I agree with all of you, our kids need us, we should respond to their needs, let them be babies as long as they need to be; they will grow up soon enough. But of course, my DH and I do get the same doubts. . . are we babying them? Are they OK?
 
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