How do I handle this?(8 Posts)
DS aged 3 seems to be being naughty for the fun of it at the moment. He seems to specifically enjoy winding me up because he is good at nursery and better behaved with DH.
I picked DS up from nursery at 12. He has wet himself 3 times since he came home, refused to eat his lunch, flooded the downstairs bathroom, drenched another set of clothes on top of the ones he's soiled, yanked at my neck numerous times, and smacked me.
For the first few minutes of any incident I am really calm but do tend to explode because he just keeps on doing whatever I've asked him not to do. Asking/telling nicely doesn't work. Saying if you don't stop doing x, y will happen doesn't work, he doesn't seem to like reward charts.
All I seem to do is tell him off and at the moment I just don't want anything to do with him.
So can someone take a step back for me and tell me what I should (not) be doing?
How long has this been going on for? Has he been toilet trained for a while? I only ask because sometimes unusual levels of wetting in a toilet trained child coupled with unusual (bad) behaviour can mean urine infection (DS was/is AWFUL when he has a urine infection, massive tantrums, throwing / kicking etc).
1) Don't let him see he is upsetting or annoying you (that's the really hard bit)
2) If he doesn't eat his lunch and is hungry, that's his look out. Don't give any snacks
3) Physically stop him from doing stuff if necessary - just carry him off to a different room. If my DS hit me I put them in another room and hold the door shut for a couple of minutes until they calm down and can apologise
How much attention are you giving him and positive things to do? I always find with my boys that when that slips, the behaviour deteriorates. You don't have to play with him 12 hours a day but getting out different activities for him to do can help. As can getting outside. Try to limit screen time as much as possible. Things will improve - he will get older and more reasomable (around the age of 24, I've heard...)
He has been 'difficult' since his second birthday. I was hoping his third birthday would mark a change.
He has never been 100% toilet trained. He does however, manage to keep himself dry at nursery and most of the times at the weekend when DH is home. However, today he wet himself 3 times in an hour which is impressive since he had one small cup of water and no lunch.
I probably don't give enough positive attention if I'm honest. He usually gets really hyperactive and disrupts what we're doing so it's pretty thankless.
I'm looking forward to his 24th birthday.
Oh sorry just something I thought of when you said he is wetting himself.
Top tips from me:
Get out get out get out of the house. When DS1 was 3 and DS2 1 I had to be out of the house by 9.30 at the latest. We returned to the house only for food, sleep and CBeebies.
Perfect the bored policeman voice (hard to do but v useful). Pretend you don't give a shit what he does, you are just making him behave because you have to, but you are off shift at 7pm and going to the pub.
Ime reward charts don't do a lot for
boys 3 year olds. Provide quick positive results - time him doing stuff e.g. getting dressed with a kitchen timer and tell him he's the winner, the one who's the quietest gets to press the button to put the washing machine on (or X lame thing he likes doing that you don't really mind him doing).
Loads and loads of exercise for him, particularly if they don't get out much at nursery.
3.5 was big improvement in this house.
That could have been my son, twenty years ago! They do grow out of it, at the time it seems like they never will. Agree with poster who recommends getting out as much as possible. Activities that expend masses of energy (running round fields/parks) are also good!
I agree that at 3 1/2 there can be a big change. Somehow at that age my dcs seemed to finally really understand the concept of consequences. Before this, they sort of did, but not really enough to stop them doing the impulsive thing they wanted to do. Around 3 1/2 there seemed to be some kind of developmental shift that made them easier to reason with.
Frankly, 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 was a bit of a nightmare for us. Sorry. Probably not what you wanted to hear. Agree with getting out, lots of exercise, distract, ignore and time out as a last resort (unless he does something truly awful e.g. hitting, in which case time out straight away.) Also trying to make things into games. Saying things like "Do not eat your peas. DO NOT! If you eat your peas I WILL BE VERY CROSS!!!" tended to be much more effective that "Eat your peas". Oh yes, and a huge glass of wine at the end of the day used to help quite a lot as well.
Why are you asking/telling 'nicely' ?
Why not try telling firmly and meaning it. ?
Threats that something will happen if he does not do as he is told will only work if you carry them through.
Your DS gets a reward every time you explode because he is successfully pushing your buttons, so do try to stay calm. Your DS needs to know exactly what is required of him and the consequences. Don't tolerate him hitting you at all - make it clear its unacceptable and make sure there are consequences for that too.
Not wanting anything to do with him is a sign you feel you cannot cope and he will pick up on this and it will upset him and make him feel insecure and more bad behaviour as a result,.. so try to do positive things with him when things are calm.
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