3 year old ds draining the life out of me

(14 Posts)
charlmills Fri 06-Jun-14 06:56:23

My ds is just 3 and his behaviour is so draining at the moment. His tantrums are off the scale, he is physically lashing out, shouting and will NOT Listen.
at the moment we are going through a really stressful time as a family. My dh is in the process of tests etc for MS and this has been going on for a few months now.
Needless to say life is very hard and I know the kids are reacting to a certain extent.
I am finding it increasingly hard to keep my cool with ds and I am shouting more and getting very upset.
ds is also quite obsessive about things like his clothes and getting a drop of water or something on him will send him into meltdown.
He is also up at night and into our bed. This morning I took him back to bed at 5am and again we had a meltdown for an hr until we all got up. Now we are all going to be tired today.
I am at such a loss of how to handle the situation. I have really tried to stay calm but the extent of our family stresses at the moment are huge and ds just seems to be pushing and pushing.
I am just wondering whether his behaviour Is just a mix of a reaction and being just 3 or something more? Or is it just me and how we are reacting to him.
I am not sure if any this makes sense but I am desperate for some advice really.

CaramellaDeVille Fri 06-Jun-14 07:02:34

I've no advice I'm afraid - just sympathy as my 3 year old is equally difficult. I'm putting it down to age having witnessed friends children of the same age. It's very tough, and in your situation I can imagine it must be unbearable at times.

mummytime Fri 06-Jun-14 07:04:08

If you really feel you cannot cope, then go to your GP and ask for a referral to a paediatrician.
It could just be he is picking up on the stress, and having no other way to express it, it is coming out in his behaviour. It could be that you are so stressed that you are struggling with normal 3 year old behaviour. It could be a SN or even a medical issue. Or it could be a combination of factors. A paediatrician should be able to assess and help/give advice.

Is he going to pre-school? Or other child care? How is he there? If not, do try to get some breaks from each other by some kind of child care.

charlmills Fri 06-Jun-14 07:57:30

Thank you. He is perfectly fine at nursery and my mum has him one day a week and is fine then too. So it is definitely at home.
I do think it's a mixture of me and him reacting off each other.
Usually I find a way through these things as my dd used to have terrible tantrums too but I just feel completely overwhelmed this time with everything else going on.
I scare myself sometimes with him!

mummytime Fri 06-Jun-14 11:23:34

Go to see your GP and tell them how you feel. They might be able to recommend a counsellor. Be kind to yourself.
You could try a smiley face chart (for you), make a timetable of when you have him, and every couple of hours record if its been a smile, neutral or frown - see if it is as bad as you think? Or a star chart, where you have to spot 10 good things he's done each day and praise him for them, then give yourself a star for each one you spot - it makes you spot and praise good behaviour.
Finally be kind to yourself - try to get enough sleep, food and exercise.

charlmills Fri 06-Jun-14 13:46:25

Thank you mummytime they are really good ideas I will definitely try the chart.
I have discussed with dh this morning and we are going to get a chart in place for him too this weekend.
I have also booked myself in for some counselling .I have been twice before in my life and I think it may be time for a revisit. I need to also arm myself for the coming months with dh and any diagnosis that we get and how we are going to cope with the kids etc.. so hopefully this will make me feel a little stronger.

JimmyCorkhill Fri 06-Jun-14 13:54:52

My DD was like this. It's very much a feature of 3 year olds grin We are sort of coming out the other side now she's 4.

This book really helped even though I only read half of it!

I had to force myself to be nice to DD at times. A bit of advice from a parenting book (we bought many!!) was that whilst their tantrums/upset might seem trivial to us, it is important to them. Once I started agreeing that <insert disaster here> was really sad/unfair/upsetting I found DD calmed down as I 'understood' her rage. We could then sometimes come to a compromise.

JimmyCorkhill Fri 06-Jun-14 13:57:10

My neighbour has done a parenting course and they had a 'family' star chart. Basically a piece of black paper (the night sky) and a sheet of gold stars. When anyone in the family was spotted being kind/well behaved/helpful the person who spotted it put a star on the sky. This way it was focused on them all and the children got to monitor the adults. She has found it really successful.

mummytime Fri 06-Jun-14 14:08:32

It is hard to parent 3 year olds. Being a parent is a tough job.
Waiting for diagnosis can actually in some ways be the hardest time. Be kind to yourself.

birdofthenorth Fri 06-Jun-14 23:23:29

Sorry you are having a hard time all round. I think most three year olds go through very testing phases and what you describe probably rings bells with a lot of parents. However, for peace if mind and to access any necessary services, I would have a chat to your GP. I couldn't possibly generalise from your brief post but I thought it worth mentioning that my DS has an autism spectrum disorder and also gets very stressed when slightly wet etc. Infant obsessions are perfectly normal in non-SEN children too of course and most will pass but it can't hurt to nip to your doctor... hopefully s/he will be a helpful listening ear. Good luck, and all the best with your DH.

sh77 Fri 06-Jun-14 23:45:37

Really sympathise. My 3 yo went through a phase which drive me to shouting him a lot. I was getting louder and louder and almost hit him. That scared the life out of me. I realised my anger and tone of vouce was, in part, causing him to misbehave. I took a big step back to analyse my own appalling behaviour and completely took charge of my emotions and started to just be gentle with him every time he played up. I cuddled him when he tantrumed and upped my physical affection and encouragement. I am firm when i need to be but my changes have improved his behaviour massively. I am enjoying him so much more. I do hope you get through this difficult phase.

sh77 Fri 06-Jun-14 23:48:46

Really sympathise. My 3 yo went through a phase which drive me to shouting him a lot. I was getting louder and louder and almost hit him. That scared the life out of me. I realised my anger and tone of vouce was, in part, causing him to misbehave. I took a big step back to analyse my own appalling behaviour and completely took charge of my emotions and started to just be gentle with him every time he played up. I cuddled him when he tantrumed and upped my physical affection and encouragement. I am firm when i need to be but my changes have improved his behaviour massively. I am enjoying him so much more. I do hope you get through this difficult phase.

LittleLionMansMummy Sat 07-Jun-14 08:09:37

I think his behaviour probably is a mix of just being 3 and what he's aware is happening to his family. I could be wrong, but would imagine if I were in that situation, that your DH is needing a lot of your emotional support which inevitably means that your ds will have seen you 'withdraw' from him, perhaps physically as well as emotionally? At that age, every little inconsistency in their routines is a very big deal. Are you still putting aside some time where he's the centre of your attention? It's so hard for you I know, but they thrive on positive attention. My ds is 3.5 and has been through some very challenging phases since turning 3. We have found his behaviour much more manageable getting out and about with him and introducing him to new things and experiences. It also tires him out so he sleeps well. As I said I know it must be hard with everything you have going on but it sounds like he needs a bit of 'normality'. Good luck.

charlmills Sat 07-Jun-14 18:42:53

Yes I think you are right littlelion.
I am trying to give him ad much attention as possible but at the moment it is so hard as dh, who is such a hands on dad, is not 'really there's I feel like it all falls on me. Almost like a single parent.
mummytime this is definitely the hardest part waiting for a diagnosis - it's unbearable.
I just want some normality back and the kids to feel secure with life.
I am sure that insecurity has contributed to the obsessive behaviour too.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now