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Dealing with an aggressive ignorant 3yr old. How?

(12 Posts)
Bellared Fri 09-Sep-11 15:45:09

Hi all, he's 3.5 and over the past few weeks has started hitting, kicking, answering back, being ignornat and shouting. He's also eating very little even though we sit at the dining table with no distractions. He used to be rather well behaved and it's as if a switch has gone off in is little head. I've found him climbing on windowsils trying to get out and we have to hide the door keys from his as he gets out of the house. I don't know if this is part of it but I think his speech is behind for his age, the therapists aren't bothered about it but he rarely puts more than 3 words together, whispers and still babbles like a young baby. His routine is still the same and I've moved bedtime back as he'll not go to sleep til gone 9pm. DS 2 is due in 3 weeks and We do speak about it to him quite a lot and am worried that he'll be aggressive towards the baby.

I've taken all the toys out of his bedroom and will be fixing some sheet perspex to his window to prevent him climbing on the sil and banging on the window.

How did you deal with your toddler in a similar situation?

I know that it's probaby just a phase and I try and give him as much positive attention as possible but he's too busy shouting and running all over the house. Luckily I'm on ML atm and he is in nursery 3 days a week so we can spend more time together but so far it's not working.

Bribery is not working either! hmm

Kirstle Fri 09-Sep-11 19:02:24

Hi there, not having any kids myself, I dont know how helpful I can be, but I used to nanny and have three god kids, so here goes... You mention that DC2 is arriving soon, perhaps with all the talking/preparing, DC1 has suddenly realised that he wont be centre of attention anymore and is acting out? The best way for a child to get their parent's attention is by playing up. That's the only thing I can think of, really. Know it sounds silly, but have you actually tried asking him why he's so cross? I know you say his speech is very good, but you can lead yes and no questions to him when he's having a quiet moment. Just simple things like ''Are you happy today'' goes a long way. Good luck though and good luck with baby.

Bellared Sat 10-Sep-11 10:31:41

Thanks Kirstle, I ask him why he is acting in this way and that the way he is behaving is making me sad but I'm not sure if he understands what I'm saying as I get no reply from him or if I do I cannot make out what he is saying. We've told him from the start (December) that he was going to be a big brother and that it would be really grown up of him if he helped me if he wanted to. He's at nana's house today and will be the model child for her! blush

mrsgboring Sat 10-Sep-11 10:39:43

This must be so exhausting and worrying for you.

TBH 3 year olds can have periods of being nightmares which you just have to ride out, but to me, what you say sounds quite extreme, and the sudden change in his behaviour and sudden stopping eating could signify something is amiss. I would consult a doctor - could he have some kind of ear infection or something that's making him feel horrible and also stopping him from being able to respond to you?

I would take what Nana says about his behaviour with a pinch of salt too - children have different challenges in different houses, and sometimes people don't want to let on if bad behaviour has gone on because they feel it's some kind of reflection on them.

PublicHair Sat 10-Sep-11 10:46:58

he sounds bored. is he in nursery\doing his 15 hours a week., do you take him out and 'run' him. he can only shout and argue if you do it with him.
try not to engage.
you sound at the end of your tether. he will get worse when the baby arrives.
you need to find a coping mechanism, fast.

Iggly Sat 10-Sep-11 18:13:54

Maybe he's getting anxious because of the new baby? You said you talk about it all the time - so it's being built up as a big deal for him. I'd suggest giving him plenty of reassurance and attention so he doesn't need to act negatively to get attention iyswim?

JarethTheGoblinKing Sat 10-Sep-11 18:15:46

DS always gets like this before a growth spurt, something to do with a surge of testosterone apparently. It also seems to cause selective hearing hmm grin

Bellared Sat 10-Sep-11 19:33:59

Thanks all for your replies. We went to the audiologist last week as an ongoing thing as he used to suffer (up until December) with alot of ear infections (MrsG) but will get him checked over anyway if my mother dearest says he's not eaten much at hers. He was full time in nursery but is now down to 15 hours a week as am now on ML (PublicHair) I've given up raising my voice to him as it made things worse and wasn't achieving anything. We've just moved back into our house after a fire 4 months ago so we've been trying to get unpacked and everything back to normal so I've not really been able to take him out as much and give him as much 1 on 1 as he would probably like. I try and have mum and boy time especially before bed time and am always telling him he's my best boy and my little mate so I think I'll cut down on the baby chat with him (Iggly) as I thought that telling him from the start might've made it easier for him but it hasn't. I think also once DH has recovered from his surgery and back at work I can ignore DS's behaviour alot more and let him get it out of his system then he'll get the message that I'm not going to react to him. Jareth, I never thought about a growth spurt.

fuckityfuckfuckfuck Sat 10-Sep-11 19:37:41

It sounds like you've all been through a stressful few months and I think we often think children are oblivious. They're not. He's been moved out after a fire, that's difficult for anyone to deal with. I have a difficult 3 year old too and the one thing that strikes me is that his bedtime is far far too late. When do you ever get time to yourself if he is up til 9? My ds is in bed by 6.30, he might play for a bit with his trains but I don't mind that, by dd's bedtime at 7 he is always asleep. I'd really try and bring bedtime forward, he could be massively overtired.

fuckityfuckfuckfuck Sat 10-Sep-11 19:38:53

One more thing, and I'm not getting at you. 'Ignorant' is a horrible way to describe anyone, let alone a 3 year old. I think you mean defiant.

PublicHair Sun 11-Sep-11 00:52:32

i think the 'stuff' that has gone on(although it's nobodys fault) has unsettled him. our house fell down when dd2 was a year old, we spent 3 months (me and her) at my parents while dp stayed at the fallen down house and dd1 was at my sisters. we all reacted badly!

Bellared Sun 11-Sep-11 16:22:53

Ffff, Defiant yes. Ignornat is too harsh a word I agree with you blush, I used that as he does ignore you when speaking to him and couldn't think of anyother word at the time. Bedtime was 8-8.30 after I moved it later but didn't go to sleep til after 9 and he was still awake at my mums til 10.30 last night after she put him to bed at that time. So will move it back to 7-7.30 and see where we go.

PH - house fell down? My god that is awful. We've just finished sorting this house out so hopefully now it's back to normal ish we can all get back to normal.

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