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AIBU to wonder what is "normal" and what isn't

(15 Posts)
TheseAreTheDays Mon 08-Aug-16 23:24:53

I've seen a similar thread this evening but slightly different so just looking for opinions. DD1 is 3.6, generally a lovely girl,great for sharing treats with others, looks after her baby sister (as in plays gently, will run to give her toys if she cries etc) ,very affectionate and not too bad for tidying up etc when asked.

However in the last few months in particular she has shocking tantrums/mood swings. She will be playing away happily,then we'll ask her to get ready for bed or come in for dinner or pick up a toy and she will either burst into tears (usually fake tears,ie no water) or shout and scream and slam doors. This could happen anywhere from three to ten times a day,and over the smallest of things. Earlier my dh queried if it could be adhd or similar,I don't know enough about it to be sure but I though up to now that it was normal enough,if slightly extreme, behaviour for a three year old. She's starting pre school soon,which she can't wait for, so I don't want to send her there and have her get a reputation as the awful moody troublesome kid, if it is unusual behaviour and therefore if I should try to address it now.

I feel now like I'm failing her and that I should have been doing something about this all along. I would say I'm a disciplined parent but not overly strict, so I try to explain to her why she can't do something or correct her if she does something wrong but I always make sure to give her plenty of praise and attention too,and she gets lots of love and attention from.both parents. Maybe there is some basic parenting technique I'm missing though? A magic solution?! (Pretty please a magic solution!)

SpecialAgentFreyPie Mon 08-Aug-16 23:35:21

Oh, 100% normal! This is an age where there are huge developmental leaps. People talk about the terrible twos but for me it was the terrible threes!

There's a reason the term threenager was coined. wink

janey77 Mon 08-Aug-16 23:35:32

I wouldn't worry about her. She sounds like my DD who is 5 now, she can be a little swine at home but leave her with other adults such as at nursery, playgroups or pre school and she is fabulous! She doesn't care what me and her dad think of her behaviour, but is bothered about what other "authority" figures think! I'm sure she'll be fine (and have you googled the concept of the threenager? Totally fits!)

TheseAreTheDays Tue 09-Aug-16 14:41:26

Thanks for the replies,it's reassuring to hear that other children can be like this too,and it's not all down to parenting mistakes on my part. I think some of it is because I'm a SAHM and so she gets bored of me all day every day and tries to push my buttons more so than with DH. She is a total threenager, right down to eye rolls and saying "Whatever mummy,whatever you say" and a big exaggerated sigh!

She had about five meltdowns today in the space of a half hour,I'm just wrecked from it. She sleeps well enough,usually asleep by 8 and up about 8.30 next morning, so it shouldn't be tiredness and diet is pretty balanced so hoping it is just a phase and not her personality for life!

TheSparrowhawk Tue 09-Aug-16 14:43:19

Normal. My 3.5 year old is exactly the same. She screamed for nearly 45 minutes in bed last night because she didn't want to go to sleep. Nothing would console her. It is so so tiring but it's just phase and it will get better.

bleedingnora Tue 09-Aug-16 14:44:46

Completely and totally normal! I am a mum and a health professional and I say that on both levels

YokoUhOh Tue 09-Aug-16 14:45:35

OP someone else posted an almost identical thread yesterday, you'll be comforted to know:


BeautyQueenFromMars Tue 09-Aug-16 14:46:44

If it helps, my 3-year-old niece is exactly the same, if not more prone to tantrums, but she is an angel at pre-school and the staff all adore her. It is completely normal behaviour and will improve!

ComedyWing Tue 09-Aug-16 14:47:39

Entirely normal -- I think my four year old has calmed down slightly in the last couple of months, but he's still capable of behaving like the Queen of the Night in a particularly scenery-chewing performance. grin And his pre-school consistently described him as eager to please...

ProcrastinatingNow Tue 09-Aug-16 14:51:48

I thought my eldest had a disorder when he was 3 as he turned into a nightmare. My middle DS was the same. My youngest who is three now confusedis the same.

He answers back, he refuses to apologise, he refuses point blank to do anything we ask when the mood doesn't take him.

(Was quite funny to watch him have a meltdown in Aldi the other day with my DH though as DH has managed to never have experienced the public tantrums) I stood back and watched my DH with a kind of "I told you so" kinda look on my face.

It passes. It's normal. Threes are harder than twos imo.

Floopy21 Tue 09-Aug-16 19:10:14

My 3.5yo is a terror atm, just normal toddler shannigans. I ignore the tantrums, praise good behaviour, explain my reasoning & count down til bedtime!

KeepitDown Tue 09-Aug-16 19:53:10

My usually lovely (with occasional mild tantrums) DS2 turned into an absolute horror of a threenager - constantly emotional, either angry or wailing, tantrums got far worse, wouldn't listen to anything, acted like he was in constant torment.

I spent many an evening wondering just how I had gone so wrong as a parent and googling various disorders that I was sure he must have. Had absolutely resigned myself to the idea that there really was something wrong.

However, he has now turned 4 and about a couple months ago it was like a light switch just flipped. Someone replaced the raging tornado with a lovely, placid little boy who calmly does what he's asked, kisses his little brother, and says "love you mummy" before sleeping without any fuss!

It feels honestly miraculous, and I'm still eyeing him with suspicion wondering if this is how 'invasion of the bodysnatchers' begins. But it's really calm and lovely right now, I intend to enjoy it while it lasts!

Floopy21 Tue 09-Aug-16 21:07:25

DD1 turned back to the good side when she went to school...only 1.5 years to go for DD2!

TheseAreTheDays Tue 09-Aug-16 22:55:05

All these stories from fellow sufferers are making me me feel somewhat better thanks,as are the tales from those who'be made it out the other side.

She also seems to have the selective memory of a teenager, she was at camp last week (just few hours each afternoon) and each day she said she had great fun but had no memory of anything she did there,or who the other children were or anything. But other things that are mentioned once in passing or just in earshot will be remembered for ever and brought up at the most inopportune times.

Right, time to practise my Zen breathing and chanting to get ready to face another day of tears and tantrums.

SarcasmMode Tue 09-Aug-16 23:04:04

Yep have the exact same thing we just have throwing.

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