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Can’t cope with my 3 year old

(14 Posts)
Threeislikeaprisonsentance Fri 17-Nov-17 16:35:56

NC as don’t want it to be linked to my usual username.

I’m bloody exhausted, 30w pregnant and working practically FT but today’s my day ‘off’ I.e with my toddler.

She just doesn’t listen, deliberately winds me up as much as she can. For example I tell her to eat at the table, she gets down with the food I tell her to go back or she’ll get it on the floor so she looks at me smiling and drops bits one by one on the floor.

She screams that she doesn’t want water she wants juice I eventually give in and get her juice, she screams at me that she wants water now and doesn’t stop till I give in; pushing her juice over.

I try to eat my lunch and she comes over and hits me and takes my sandwich off my plate and throws it on the floor telling me I can’t eat cus I need to play a game with her.

This is all since lunchtime. I’ve put her on the naughty step, tried reward charts but just now I lost my temper as she once again ignored me and threw her pens with the lid off over the floor, I told her if she didn’t put them back on the table she’d go to her room. She pretended to pick them up and instead just took them in her hand and went to draw on the carpet with them all.

I just saw red and grabbed her and marched her to her room and shut the door with her in there and just let her scream and sat outside of it crying. Now she’s trying to get me to play with her because she’s incapable of playing alone for 5 bloody minutes and I’ve told her to go away because I need a minute to just sit and be by myself. She said ‘mummy you’re horrible’ and is now just stood in my face and I’m ignoring her typing this.

I would never hurt her, I love her to pieces but I really can’t cope with her when she’s like this. She’s an angel for everyone else, nursery say how well behaved and clever she is. I find myself dreading my days with her and when dp is working over the weekend (she’s fine if he’s here) and I feel I’m failing her because tbh I think I just don’t like her at the moment and I’m worried she’s sensing it.

Any advice? I’m so drained and I know I’m a shit mum god knows why I’m having another one

gamerchick Fri 17-Nov-17 17:34:10

Erm you are not a shit mum so stop that right now! flowers you just have a 3 yr old and they're all like atilla the hun at that age.

The juice thing. Give her what she wants and if she changes her mind then take it away, same with food. No comment needed just ignore the demands. Same with pens, if she misbehaves with them then take them from her and put them away.

Usually I would say that 3 yr olds are like dogs, they need to be walked twice a day but it doesn't sound as though you're up to it.

Putting her in her room was the right thing to do. Sometimes it's handy when we need a time out.

I'm bumping in the hope someone who is fresh with a 3 yr old (mines 10 it's been a while) might have some suggestions.

KaliforniaDreamz Fri 17-Nov-17 17:41:46

The irritating thing about kids playing up is that they do it when they need more connection. At precisely the time you have NOTHING left to give.
I feel your pain. Mine are older now but i remember that feeling so well. It's tough.
Give yourself a break push the guilt aside as it serves zero purpose. You're a good mum doing her best.

If you can summon the energy have a look at hand in hand parenting. there are some good tips on how to connect with your child.

I hope you can get somet rest. Next "day off" (ha) would she be willing to play picnics on the floor, then duvet and cbeebies for a while so u can close your eyes behind her head while she thinks your're watching?

I am sure you've done all the ususal things. Tbh i think disciplining and time outs etc don't work. Connect with her, she'll be much nicer to be around.

Good luck x

Oh, and i promise you will feel so much better once the baby is out.

PrimusInterPares Fri 17-Nov-17 17:49:04

To me (and I'm not an expert), it sounds like you're giving her too much attention when she is being difficult or provocative.
I would try ignoring her more when she does this and just "weathering" tje bad behaviour for a bit, however unpleasant you find it.
I find that if I do this, my toddler eventually stops bothering to wind me up and is more compliant.
I dont give him any actively "nice" treatment when he's being naughty (i.e. I dont try and distract him with nice things). I simply carry on as normal, ignore him (but without allowing him to get into danger) and wait. I rarely have to wait long

PrimusInterPares Fri 17-Nov-17 17:51:26

Kalifornia OP's toddler may want more connection but she's first got to learn that bad or deliberately provocative behaviour is not an acceptable way to try and get it

Blink188 Fri 17-Nov-17 17:54:16

I assume she is your eldest?

My youngest is exactly the same but after going through it twice before and they are all under 6 I cope by ignoring what I can and using nursery wherever possible!

I find it such a hard stage and do feel terrible in admitting I cannot wait until my youngest gets to 4.5 / 5 .

BrioAmio Fri 17-Nov-17 18:00:10

In a similar position, if I get wound up he gets worse so this afternoon when he screamed at the top of his lungs and hit me, instead of getting cross, I pretended to cry. He stopped, hugged me and said he loved me, I’m working really hard on not losing it with him, so far this afternoon has gone well!

I’m also finding that being more organised is helping, if I’m not rushing, I’m less stressed.

MrsPussinBoots Fri 17-Nov-17 18:01:53

Well you just described my daughter perfectly. She’s 4 now and much better. The only punishment that I use is “go to your room”. There have been 2 times when I’ve held onto the door handle while she’s screamed and tried to get out. She very quickly learned that the door wouldn’t open until she was over her tantrum and playing nicely alone. I used this time to stay sane and have a cry over a cup of tea.

My only tip is to stay calm. If you get angry you’ll feel much worse than if you calmly take her to her room.

GruffaloPants Fri 17-Nov-17 18:08:52

I agree with @KaliforniaDreamz

To me, timeouts etc just exacerbate the problem. Increasing the feeling of connectedness (eg through cuddles, silly play, "rough housing") improves behaviour. 3yo olds are too impulsive to handle a staged approach to discipline involving getting them to comply, then offering increased availability!

Hand in hand is good for this stuff. Don't be too hard on yourself. Everyone has shit days and no harm done by it.

lightcola Fri 17-Nov-17 18:17:43

3 years old are tough. Being heavily pregnant with a 3 year old is bloody awful. I know because I did it last year. You did the right thing sending her to her room. Try not to show too many emotions as this is what she wants. I find the more calm I am when he’s playing up the quicker he Gets bored of it. Good luck.

KaliforniaDreamz Fri 17-Nov-17 18:33:16

Thanks Gruffalo - i just wish i had learned this when mine were really young!

There are also good tips on how to control yourself when u feel u may lose it. We have all been there. Parenting isn't pretty. xx

sureitsgrand Fri 17-Nov-17 18:53:56

I'm in the same boat if it helps. I'm suffering with anxiety on top of it and just feel useless. Best days are when we are up and out early doing something but it's hard.

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Fri 17-Nov-17 19:06:57

I agree with most of the above. Make life easy for yourself - give her what she wants but take it away immediately she starts playing around or being deliberately naughty.

And if she’s in nursery or childminder when you’re normally at work, DONT cancel that when the new baby comes!

BellyBean Fri 17-Nov-17 19:21:24

3 is old enough to be told what the rules are, so tell her she can have juice, but that means water isn't on offer any more so it's not a surprise.

Sometimes when DD starts kicking off, I scoop her up and say how she seems really angry, what can I do to make her feel better.

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