A defiant little one - please help I say black he says white!

(12 Posts)
takingawhile Thu 20-Mar-14 15:58:16

I have an adorable little one, nearly three years old. He went through the terrible twos or so I thought, but recently, I went back to work, and he has been staying with his grandparents which he loves. However, recently he has started to be really defiant with me, I try not to get angry, and I'm really trying to to be patient but sometimes it's hard. I'll give you some examples and then please, any advice on how to handle it would be most helpful!

1. I say he has to wait for dinner or snack time for food, he grows himself across the floor and screams, he runs to the cupboard to get some food out (the cupboard has a child lock on it) and he nearly breaks the door off. I pick him up (he is screaming and kicking) and then he bites me, hard. He then wriggles out and runs to the fridge and pulls out a yogurt and opens it before I can intercept. I put him on the naughty step (inside I'm crying).
2. This isn't a biggy, but I say something is I don't know a candle and he says " no it's not it's a lollipop" that's fine but he just says every statement I make is not right. This is a little bit funny, and it's no big deal but I try and explain things to him (we used to chat together and discuss things) but now everything I say he disagrees with!
3. If I start doing work or something in the house, he rips up my paper, or chucks stuff across the room. I put him in time out but he just comes out and does the same thing again.
4, I set up games for him to play and sit and read with him, but he wants me to play all the time with him. This is ok but he has massive tantrums if I don't and stands on the chair (which he has fallen off a few times!), of course I run over and pull him down. It's just tiring.

I've read some books and they say include him in what you do, i.e. let him help with shopping, etc and try all this but he seems frustrated with me.

Last weekend I had driven for 2 1/2 hours and admittedl, it was a long time for a toddler to sit, but he had fallen asleep. When we arrived I was preparing for work the next day, and he threw my stuff in the bin. I played with him for a bit but he kept biting me.

He has cousins that are a bit older than him and they are quite rough with him my husband says I am "overprotective", but they all play tag and they have taught him to find sewer humour funny, I get that boys have lavatorial humour but I completely ignore it but he keeps shouting "poo" and "wee wee" and it gets boring. I just ignore him when he does this.

He still wants cuddles, but when I'm tired sometimes inside I'm going crazy. I shouted at him on Sunday, as he went to the cupboard and took out my bag of breadcrumbs and threw them all over the floor. I knew it was attention seeking, and I did the worst thing but I feel, I know this is selfish, but I'm not enjoying my time with him as much as I did.

I love him dearly but I'm scared inside he is making me feel angry... I don't want to be angry with him. We still have lots of cuddles, but even when I cuddle him he will suddenly pinch me, or hit me. I've been told he his very "very bright" at his nursery, so I don't think it's a learning development problem. I want him, to feel loved but also to be a nice little boy.....

I don't want it to be a battle, and I feel like he is constantly just trying to push every boundary. I was brought up in a very disciplined environment and rebelled so I know being too harsh isn't the right way either. Any advice? please.... he has just recovered from a horrible cold and it seems to have started a few weeks ago when the cold started. But he should be over that now.... Anyone, help... please!!!!

findingherfeet Thu 20-Mar-14 17:32:00

Sounds exhausting confused but I think probably a 'grim phase', my little girl is two and a half so I can't say from experience....but one thing I do know it's not just boys who can be cheeky, my daughter thinks saying poo/bum/wee is the most hilarious thing ever! (I confess to sometimes giggling which doesn't help grin)

TheGreatHunt Thu 20-Mar-14 19:51:59

Put stuff out of his reach. No way would I have snacks in reach.

Stop time out as isn't working. Try more positive measures - show him what he should be doing and remind him how to ask for things nicely. Eg if he screams, get to his level and tell him calmly to talk not scream and wait until he does.

Stop him seeing his cousins so much.

How much sleep does he get? He sounds like my ds when he's tired. My ds still naps a couple of times a week - he's 4 - he was napping daily at 3.

What exercise does he get?

Also if it started with the cold I would get his ears checked as he might still have catarrh which can dull the ear drums making things difficult for him.

chocoraisin Thu 20-Mar-14 20:31:36

I agree, my 3.5 year old DS is just like this when he is tired. What time does he go to bed? DS1 also really needs one-to-one time with me and I don't think it's a coincidence that it has kicked in with you going back to work. Can you do a 'date hour' with him (rubbish terminology but I'm tired, I hope you know what I mean) so that every day you have special time when work is put away, he gets to choose the activity and within reason, you do it regardless? My DS1 loves rough play - chase, the tickle monster etc. I do this with him and his little bro on trying days when I encounter the same problems you describe. Just give up on getting anything done until we've all run off some steam. It tires him out, helps me focus on the bigger picture and gets us all laughing.

I also put myself in time out when the mummy rage is descending! By which I mean I go away and tell DS1 'Mummy is feeling cross so I need a time out. When the beeper goes I will come back and play.' I give him the timer, set it for 5 mins and he understands to come back when it goes off. Evens things out for him a bit, and gives me much needed time to cool off sometimes! you're not alone x

FadBook Fri 21-Mar-14 04:46:32

You're definitely not alone.

A few things that I pulled out of your op:

He's acting up when you don't give him attention? Are you explaining to him what you are doing and why? So:
mummy just needs to write this email minidadbook, how about you get your Lego out and I will come and help you build a big block? I have to do this email first, ok?

I don't agree with a naughty step (personal preference) as I don't believe it reinforces good behaviour, just punishes bad. Don't get me wrong, I suggest time out etc. but like a previous poster, I'd be firm, down to his level and explain consequences of actions: eg only grown ups get snacks out of the fridge, it is dinner time in 10 minutes and you will get full up from these snacks and not eat the lovely dinner I've made

I definitely agree with mum and DS time. Phones away and no distractions, full on attention but tell him. I call our time together <name> and mummy day / hour. She understands she's got 100% attention from me at that time.

It's normal I think.

FadBook Fri 21-Mar-14 04:49:16

I read this yesterday

www.ahaparenting.com/_blog/Parenting_Blog/post/What_will_you_do_with_your_child_today/

Very enlightening and some really easy things to do to help your relationship and become less frustrated

You're doing great, don't beat yourself up smile

WelliesandPyjamas Fri 21-Mar-14 05:07:34

Sounds a lot like my ds2, who is 5, and quite frankly, drives me crazy inside most days with the same kind of defiance, ignoring my instructions, and always being 'right'. He is in Reception now and is a superstar there, according to his teacher...maybe, like mine, your ds is 'releasing' at home after being lovely for everyone else?

I use plastic tokens in a jar (gaining them for specific good behaviour, losing them for bad, each explained in detail, with the aim of a present if he fills it). It is currently empty sad ...he's just had tonsillitis and the antibiotics he is on make him uncomfortable...but I feel like I'm always seeking excuses for why he can't just behave!

estya Fri 21-Mar-14 16:45:48

Another aha parenting article springs to mind. It's called parenting your strong willed child. A Google search will bring it up.

007licencetostandonamolehill Sat 22-Mar-14 16:40:56

Make sure you follow through with any threats. Try cnd keep the naughty step for hitting and anything physical. Then have a little chat once he's calm.

But also have fun and be totally silly with him. When he says a pencil is a candle, tell him it's a snake instead then make it move and sound like a snake. Them change your mind and tell him it's something very random like a finger, then add it to your fingers and try and tickle him. He's basically trying to challenge you but it's easy to stop it being a stand off with some distraction. You could include him in what you are doing but make it daft 'lets make a magic witches brew' when cooking and pretend the Hoover is a dog.

I also think he needs more attention then he's getting.

Rosa Sat 22-Mar-14 16:48:12

Biting - a sharp no and walk away from him from and whatever you are doing together. Especially if you are having a cuddle.
Move all snacks out of reach . Put locks in all cupboards . He is not allowed to get anything from the fridge - remove with a No and no explanations. When he has finished his tantrum calm talking and cuddles. Don't give him any attention when having a tantrum My sink used to get the best clean ever during tantrums - still does every once in a while!!

takingawhile Wed 26-Mar-14 09:52:21

Thank you all so uch. Licensetostndonamolehill- the making a joke of defiance has been a great strategy! thank you.

Rosa, yes my sink is now looking sparkly. I'm actually trying to not have many snacks in the house now, as he is being a pain about eating his "proper meals". Unfortunately the fridge is a low down (who designed this kitchen wasn't thinking of children... it's a small fridge and all the shelves are near the floor- madness).

Welliesandpjamas, funny you should say that y parents say my son is as good as gold with them, however nursery say when he goes regularly he starts to play up. I'm so sorry your money jar is empty it did make me laugh slightly- I'm sorry. Illness is a pain and my lo is a million times worse when ill or tired. It's hard to judge but I'm noticing, despite having naps etc, days he has been super naughty, he has later been falling asleep in his dinner! I've also read that boys have testosterone rushes.... maybe it's just naughtiness! I just read your post and your point about making excuses as I was just thinking I'm always looking for reasons. It always surprises me though, as some days he is good as gold, generally, when it's just me and him he plays up though. I'm trying to give him more of my exclusive time like another poster suggested and that is working - but hard when I have things I have to do, i.e. like expenses and work.

My little one's latest thing is to shout "sham pooooo" he finds it hilarious... then he says to random strangers "have you done a smelly poo" I can honestly say I've never said anything like this to him. It's slightly funny but I don't show any reaction. what is it with sewer humour ???!

I am yet to read the links suggested, but I plan to. Thank you all so much for posting, i was reaching the endif my tether. I am hoping to join him up to lots of clubs. My husband and I were quite rebellious teenagers - but I was brought up in a very strict household and I certainly didn't understand when my parents punched me for things I saw them doing, I can remember thinking at a young age (obviously I wasn't a toddler) that I would get into trouble about things, yet it didn't make sense why, so I was really naughty and would just hide my naughtiness... I don't want him to be like I was - it didn't do me any favours. I had a brief look at one of the links above (thanking you poster above) and it made a brilliant point, that we should be teaching to not just do what we say... but to understand consequences. I found that interesting.

Any way, I digress. Thanks all x

Chocolatestain Wed 26-Mar-14 13:30:06

You may find the Positive Discipline books helpful. I've been reading Positive Discipline: The First Three Years and it's been an absolute godsend with 15 month old DS. The next one is Positive Discipline for preschoolers. It explains why 'punishments' are ineffective in the long run and aims for discipline through respect and cooperation instead. It's based on a lot of psychological and developmental research so is pretty grounded.

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