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How to parent a VERY stubborn 3.5 DS2??

(15 Posts)
scotgirl Fri 21-Oct-11 20:41:03

Everyday and everything is a battle....

Getting dressed, brushing teeth (invariably has to be pinned down). Won't go the toilet unless desperated.

Strong willed doesn't do it justice.

It is getting me and my DS down - we fight about how we react - I think DH gets too aggressive in his tone which I think just wind DS2 up more.

It is a control thing and tbh he is a little shit at times and bully's his brother 5.5 a lot. He can't stand DS getting any attention. Basically he has an ego the size of a planet.

Bizarrely he is only like this at home - at nursery he is a model child - very sociable, great at sharing and joining in and basically just doing what he is told and what is expected of him. I can tell that he is well liked and contributes a lot.

He has always been incredibly articulate and there is very little between him and his older brother language wise.

I've tried a sticker chart for getting dressed an brushing teeth but after a couple of days he wasn't bothered about it anymore.

Any suggestions gratefully received....

scotgirl Fri 21-Oct-11 21:16:22

Shit - does everyone else have angels!

Where have I gone wrong.....!

Byeckersiambloodyscarylike Fri 21-Oct-11 21:19:39

I believe what has happened is you came round to my house and mistook my son for your own....

<watches>

<unhelpful>

MelodyPond Fri 21-Oct-11 21:20:50

I've got one of them. Waiting patiently for good advice too! Mine is a bolder, leaving the house panics me beyond belief.....

Mine is great for everyone else too. I'm convinced its because I work and he wants more time with me...

scotgirl Fri 21-Oct-11 21:27:17

See, I took redundancy when pregnant with him and have always been there.
He has been doing 3 morning a playgroup (without me there) since Jan. Since August, however, he has started school nursery every afternoon too. I have started working part time from home (only about 8 hrs a week max) and I need the morning.

I've been worrying that it is too much away from me after having me at his beck an call his whole life.

Is this the backlash (though he has always been a handful)? He is perfect when he gets 1-1 attention from me but he wants is all the time

twolittlemonkeys Fri 21-Oct-11 21:27:18

My DS1 is like that - everything is a battle. He isn't as bad at school. His Autism Outreach Support Worker (he has Aspergers) suggested a big timer so he can see the numbers and challenge himself to get dressed and ready for school in record time. I plan to try it after half term. Currently we have to physically pin him down to dress him for school, which is ridiculous as he is 5.5 and perfectly capable of dressing himself when he wants to. It's definitely a control thing for him. Can you try giving him an element of control over each step of the process eg, do you want to wear this jumper or that one? Would you like to brush your own teeth or would you like me to help you? etc etc. It's frustrating and you have my sympathy.

liger Fri 21-Oct-11 21:32:02

I have one of these just emerging, his older brother was the same.
I find humour and irony a very useful tool, his eyes light up and he is curious and a bit more engaged with what im saying when i use humour And if he's being too much the little dictator he gets seriously tickled which reasserts the authority but in a loving way.
I don't always manage this but it's more effective than getting frustrated with him. The other thing that seems to get through is a reflective heart to heart about behaviour, and feelings ( his and mine) during a quiet time at the end of the day. He remembers it the next day and I can see him trying much more.

scotgirl Fri 21-Oct-11 21:33:39

If I give him 2 choice he just says "none of them". He does respond well to a challenge though - but sulks if he feels he hasn't won...

Funnily enough I was in the park the other day and there was a group of kids there from school. The teachers had a giant egg timer with them and the kids had until the sand ran out!

LoveBeingAWitch Sat 22-Oct-11 15:17:33

If I give him 2 choice he just says "none of them".

If my 3.5 yr old does that I tell her to pick one or mummy will choose for her, as soon as I reach for the one I've picked she rushes to the one she wants.

Ineedalife Sat 22-Oct-11 17:57:59

I have been parenting one of these for 16 years!!

My advice would be to choose your battles, if it is really not important let it go and save your energy for important things.

My Dd2 is sooo stubborn she once had a choice to change her really dirty trousers and go on an outing or stay in the dirty trousers and not go. She stayed in the trousers and I sat and put my feet up while the rest of the family went. She was 7 then but she is still the same now.

She can be lovely toosmile.

kblu Sat 22-Oct-11 18:04:04

I have a 3.5 year old who is extremely wilful and when he starts I use the "Rabbit Foo Foo" method telling him I don't like his attitude and he has three chances to change...blah blah. If he doesn't sort himself out then I take away his toys one by one and don't give him them back until the end of the day. Now this works for me but I had tried various other things before which didn't. I think it's all about finding your child's "thing". With my son it's his toys which he adores. He's a little angel most of the time since i've been adopting this technique.

MogTheForgetfulCat Sat 22-Oct-11 21:39:55

Good grief, there must be a parallel universe, as you have described my DS2 to a tee - even down to the age gap between him and his older brother, his articulacy, how well-behaved he is at nursery. Weird! I think I was teetering on the brink of despair between the ages of about 3.0 and 3.6 with him - he is now 3.8, and I can see light at the end of the tunnel (and for once, it isn't an oncoming train).

No magic answer, though - just dogged persistence with a few key techniques (giving choices and following through if he refuses to pick one - I choose and it's tough if he then decides he wants to choose after all. Lots of tantrums, but ignore ignore ignore) and rules (no hitting and speaking nicely). Plus squeezing in as many cuddles and as much one-to-one as I could - even when I really didn't want to do either, as he was being such a bugger. Don't know if this is relevant to you (and apologies if not) but I also found I had to work extra hard at being fair between him and DS1, and not to scapegoat DS2 for every squabble etc - tempting though it was...

Anyway, am pleased to report that things are slowly starting to improve - partly as a result of the above (plus consistency from me and DH), but mainly, I suspect, through simple passage of time: I think that DS2 is just calming down a bit as he is maturing, like DS1 did (who went through a similar phase, although he lacked DS2's intensity and tenacity in the face of a challenge grin).

Much sympathy - it is emotionally draining parenting a child like this, and I have been driven to tears and rage on various occasions by DS2's behaviour. It is lucky that he is so very cute, otherwise I might have left him on a wolf-ravaged hillside by now...

RandomMess Sat 22-Oct-11 21:42:52

My friend has a dd like this, I adore her I really really do, but very grateful my most willful is more compliant then hers smile

mycatsaysach Sat 22-Oct-11 21:45:46

dd was like this

it was fab when she went to school

we used the buggy up until age of 4
also lots of songs humour and distraction

i also used to ignore her requests sometimes if she was playing up - a bit of their own medicine works wonders sometimes

scotgirl Sat 22-Oct-11 21:55:48

Mog thank you so much for your post - yes we must have parallel lives and DS's -mine is also very cute and so is easy to forgive (though DH was threatening to leave him by the side of the motorway today!)

You are right about the scapegoat - he gets it in the neck a lot when, in all fairness, I never saw what had happened. I believe DS1 more...

You have made me feel a lot better. I need to be stronger with him and stand my ground. It is funny as there are things (safety mainly) that I am very strict about - bike helmets etc - I need to transfer how I am then into more normal things...

We had a big talk yesterday about how sad I was feeling and I told him that when he did what I asked, I was the happiest mummy in the planet. All day today when he did nice stuff he asked me if I was the happiest mummy in the planet - I said yes and he was so so chuffed with himself.

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