Two was a breeze.
Three is kicking our butts.
To the point where I’m throwing up my hands and saying “What am I doing wrong!?” I spend all day every day with this child and that is certainly not the behavior I am modeling for him.
Justin is the most laid back, easy going person I’ve ever known. Even he is overwhelmed. This secretly makes me feel better.
Just this week, we’ve packed up most of his toys. After telling him to pick up his toys 436398 times, I finally just picked them up and took them away.
I’ve also taken the TV out of his room. I never agreed with that decision anyways, as I feel the TV doesn’t belong in a child’s room. It didn’t seem to bother him though.
We are experimenting with a few diet changes, eliminating a lot of the sugar and junk from Bryson’s diet. Instead of chocolate milk or sweet tea, he can choose either plain milk or water. Once a day, he can have a cup of half water and half sweet tea. He isn’t allowed to snack as freely either. My main goal here is to help with bed time. Lately, he has been super wired at bed time and I’m not sure if the diet changes have anything to do with it, but the first day I started them, he went to bed with no problems. Here’s to hoping!
I don’t want to spank. I’m not against a swat on the butt with my hand, but I feel that there are better ways to discipline. It just doesn’t make sense to me to hit my child and then try to teach that same child not to hit.
A Google search for “positive parenting” brought up PositiveParentingSolutions.com. I signed up for the free 14 day trial and I’m hoping it is beneficial. I’ve worked my way through the first 4 videos and I have already learned a lot.
He no longer listens. He’ll flat out tell you no. He screams and shrieks and yells. He gets on to ME for not listening to him. He tells me that I’M being mean. I feel like I’m already raising a teenager when he says “Fine!’ or “I don’t care!”
He’s very unappreciative of his things. I think that is one of the hardest parts for his dad and I.
I was spoiled growing up, but I took care of my things and appreciated them. I still have tons of my toys and books, simply because I made sure they were taken care of. I was the kid that didn’t want to share for fear that someone else would break my things.
On the other hand, my husband had 4 siblings. He says that our kids have gotten more gifts in their combined 5 Christmases than he received the entire time he was growing up. So to him, it stings when Bryson doesn’t care that he has so much.
I know that it may sound like we are expecting a lot out of a three year old, but we want to raise a nice, polite, and well mannered child. We had that child until about 2 months ago, then BAM.
I think a lot of his acting out stems from Bella getting more attention lately. She can walk and while she can’t talk, she can communicate. She wants to be right in the middle of whatever is going on. She can go long periods of time without nursing, which means that she gets to spend more time with Bryson and Justin. The time that was just “their time” – just a dad and his son- now involves baby sister. I think he feels like he has lost his place in our family and is trying to get the attention back- even if it’s negative attention. (Yes, this comes from the Positive Parenting Solutions course.)
That had totally went over my head until I thought back to when this change in Bryson occurred. As a result, we are each going to spend one-on-one time with him daily. We will rotate on the weekends- Justin will take him out one weekend and I’ll take him out the next.
So, those are my thoughts and a little bit of our current plan. I pray that we see noticeable change soon (in him and us) and that our kind little boy returns. I pray that we are able to learn and grow as parents. I pray that we become more understanding and less quick to be angered.
If you made it this far, thank you for allowing me to vent my frustrations and work through my thoughts. I’ll leave you with one final thought, which is a basic principle of Adlerian psychology.
All people (including children) deserve dignity and respect.
I nannied for 6 years and in that time I “raised” 5 different kids. Three was always the most challenging age. I always wondered where my sweet sweet nanny babes went and who these little monsters came from. lol. hang in there.
Thank you for commenting, Molly. It makes me feel better to know that I’m not alone!
Girl, I am right there with you. My three-year-old can be a holy terror! She throws tantrums like nobody’s business and can cry at the drop of a hat. It’s freaking HARD to deal with! I am trying to not give in to her “demands” and instead just put her in her room and let her freak out until she calms herself down. It’s the only thing I can do if I plan to keep my own sanity.
We were putting him in his room, but now, he’ll just open the door and LAUGH. As bad as I hate it for you, thanks for letting me know I’m not alone!
I’m such a mean mom – You know those baby locks they make for door handles to keep kids from walking out the front door? I put it on the INSIDE so she can’t get out of her room until her timeout is over or she’s cooled down. I check on her regularly while she’s in there, but she’s not able to decide when her timeout is over.
Raising kids at that age is hard. They aren’t sure what to do with themselves because they aren’t really toddlers but not big kids yet. You are doing the right thing and your plan sounds great. A note on the food. It can really change behaviors. Keep healthy good snacks around instead of sugary ones. This too shall pass.
You are right on it. Thanks for your comment!
Thanks for sharing this, my DD is three and a half and wow… I can’t believe how she has been acting…. Hopefully something will help!!!
Try the Feingold Diet. Don’t buy the book through their site, get it through Amazon or somewhere else cheaper. I tell you, it’s what set us on the all-natural/organics when we saw what the chemicals were doing to our kids’ bodies, behavior-wise. My oldest son literally had a physical tick when he’d ingest certain fake ingredients! The doctors had him evaluated for seizures because of it!! Turns out, it was just chemicals, and my kids can cope better, relax more, and with all that’s out there today, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg like it used to.
Thank you, Lisa! My husband and I have talked about the chemicals in our food quite often, but I think this is the push we needed to start making real changes. Thanks for the suggestion!
I have a 3 and a 4 year old at home right now and despite raising two older daughters,I can’t for the life of me remember it ever being this hard with them (who funny enough didn’t begin their nightmare stage until the tween years).
I think part of the problem is that my son (4) and daughter (3) are super close in age and that makes them kind of like partners in crime, so something that one of them may not have done while the other was there is fair game when they’re together, tonight I called them Bonnie and Clyde lol.
My son really just began the terrible fours, and I thought I was safe when years 2 and 3 flew by without me losing my hair. My daughter on the other hand is crazy at 3 and I honestly believed that 2 was her at her worst…not even close!
It’s definitely a challenge and even after 4 kids, I’m no closer to figuring it out! Sorry for the LONG comment lol
You are so SO not alone. Three is so hard! My daughter (who will be 4 in May) is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. lol She’s happy, positive, and empathetic for a couple weeks, then is a total nightmare for the next two. They go through stages – I think it’s because they’re growing up into little people and more is expected of them as they get older. Then I have a little boy almost a year and there is definitely some jealousy there, though she’s very good to him and they get along well in general. Right after the holidays she was sooo off, I think just overstimulated and overtired. She’s finally doing better now, after a lot of work on my part, rest, and consistent disciplining.
Our kids are SO smart at 3! We will survive it, that I know. lol
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