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DD 3 yrs 8 months, is this behaviour normal and WWYD?

(8 Posts)
Arion Fri 24-Jun-11 20:59:01

Hi all, my DD will be 4 in October, DS arrived Feb this year and we are really struggling with her behaviour (it hasn't changed noticably since he arrived, she's always been a bit high maintenance).

Is this normal / are we expecting too much from her at this age?

She has been out of nappies since last summer but still has "accidents". These can be as mild as damp pants as she was too involved in what she was doing to go to the toilet; to a complete flood as she hasn't even moved off the chair she was sat on and tried to go to the toilet (as per tonight). She will often have complete hissy fits when we tell her to go to the toilet as we can see her jigging and know she needs the toilet.

She whinges about the smallest of things and it just feels constant and very wearing, she can bang into something and sometimes not seem to notice but other times the slightest touch will cause meltdown.

We are trying to give her lots of attention so she doesn't feel left out with DS arriving but that doesn't seem to have any effect on her toileting / attitude.

She has a clock that lets her know when she can get up (7:30am) but she is up and down, into the bathroom and then back to bed from about 5:45am somes days. She doesn't seem to need the toilet (each time it's "I need a poo" but nothing arrives) so think she just doesn't want to be in her room. (DS is in with us at moment till he's at least 6 months.)

What can we do to get dry pants (we've not even tried at night yet as her pull ups are soaked in the morning) and a change in attitude? We've tried early bedtimes if she's had a flood / no television next day /no treats next day but nothing seems to help. She has made a comment a couple of times that wet pants are "funny" but then other times seems upset (but not much, just a bit quiet).

DH works away in the week quite often (goes Mon back Thur eve) and her behaviour is often worse when he is here and she gets more attention (but not always - this week, her behaviour with just me, has been particularly bad with her sleeping, 17 week DS is getting me up less in the night!

She wants to be fed quite often although she is quite capable of feeding herself (I can't do it), she runs away round the house when DH is getting her ready for bed, cries if there are balloons around, throws a strop if one of the cats sits where she wants to / comes in her room when she's messing about in the early hours.

Sorry it's a long one - is she normal and what do we do!

Arion Fri 24-Jun-11 21:01:55

(I can't do it) should have been "I can't do it" - it's what she says - about feeding herself, about putting her clothes on, about putting her shoes on - all things she can manage quite capably

julantal Fri 24-Jun-11 21:20:03

god speed right! pick one thing to work on-- seems like alot of issues all revolving around wanting more of your attention-- pick one area that you want to work on-- use reward chart instead of taking things away-- be consistent. pick your battles. i feel i too have a tendency to expect so much from 5 year old and have to gently reminded by my husband that she is only 5.

be simple and straight forward-- time out if that works for you.

be patient-- good luck and i feel your pain

Arion Fri 24-Jun-11 21:44:23

Thanks, have tried reward chart last year but didn't seem to alter behaviour much, will try again though now she's a bit older. The only thing that did seem to work was two smarties each time she went to the toilet and did a wee if she had dry pants. Worked for a bit then she was telling us her pants were dry when they obviously weren't. Also didn't want to get into food as reward as I'm a comfort eater and trying hard not to pass on my bad habits sad

Out of interest, what 'treats' do you do on the reward chart?

Chummybud1 Fri 24-Jun-11 22:56:38

Yeah you are expecting too much.

All kiddies have accidents, do not discipline her, ignore it, bowhead and clean her up with bare miinimum interaction, when she goes to bathroom go over board with praise. She wants attention, even bad attention will do. Same as feeding, do not feed her, put her dinner in front of her, if she does not eat it, do not react, when she does eat it go overboard with praise. She won't starve if she doesnt eat and soon will when she becomes hungry again.

Expecting her to stay in bed till an alarm goes off I feel is to much at this age. Being in bed must feel like a punishment or a prison, not good, as for waking during night take her back to bed again with minimal interaction, big praises next day if she stays in bed.

Remeber she is only 3, still a baby, she may seem a big girl because your new baby is so small but 3 is only just beyond baby stage.

Keep calm and good luck.

Mummyloveskisses Fri 24-Jun-11 23:21:09

Chummybud1 is absolutely right. My DD is 3.6yrs so very close to yours and she has been dry day and night since she was 2.2yrs (totally her choice) but for the past 3/4 months keeps having accidents, nothing worked bribery, punishment, ignoring etc and then after about 3 weeks my mum said to me... she is only 3 and still a baby, because I have a DS who is now 15 months and because she is so intelligent was put at 4.6 yrs at her 3 yr check (no boast just to give background) I was seeing her as a big girl when really she isn't! Now I am more chilled about it and clear up with no reaction, praise when she goes properly and I know she'll soon be 100% dry when she grows a little more xxx

harecare Fri 24-Jun-11 23:40:00

Completely normal. Being unreasonable about balloons, cats, bumps is irritating, but tolerable. Try to listen to these completely unreasonable strops, don't pander to them, but don't shout them down either. Humour her. The same with eating. Don't get cross, praise her when she feeds herself properly, but find an excuse for not feeding her. Make her laugh and agree with her e.g."I can't do it" "I know my darling, I can't either, look" and then try to feed her/you with a fork, but make it keep falling off. Make her the expert.
Accidents happen. It's irritating, but don't make a big deal of it. Keep on top of when she'll need to go and agree with her when she says she doesn't need to go, but "lets just sit on the toilet to see if anything happens... Wow, look at that! You did need to go after all"
You can't change her attitude to wet pants. Of course she doesn't want them, but do you really want her to feel ashamed? Saying something is funny is a default for not quite knowing how she feels. You still need to help her to remember.

Arion Sat 25-Jun-11 07:10:54

Thanks all, lots to think about.

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