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Need to rant - nearly three year old DD doing my head in...

(36 Posts)
missmakesstuff Sun 17-Mar-13 10:27:19

DH is having his lie in (we alternate) although I am about to call time on it soon as actually he is just pretending to be asleep to avoid the tantrumming downstairs She is bloody tired all the time because recently has gone through a week of not going off to sleep straightaway, wanting to come downstairs and being away until gone 8, however being up at 6-7am every morning. In fact she is tired all the time, it's all she every says, and is sleeping during the day most days too, so I think she is growing and most of this is down to that, but...

This morning we have had a bowl of muesli and yoghurt, asked for, moaned about then tipped all over the floor with a very proud 'Finished!'. We have had screaming over wearing socks, including kicking me in the face. I have got everything ready to go swimming and now she won't go as won't get dressed and says she is too tired. Gone up to her room as she wanted to go back to bed, hasn't slept but has peed all over her bed. Cue more washing for me and another change of clothes, more screaming and wrestling to get her into them - ashamed to say I was a bit rough but just needed to get her dressed.

Now happily playing with a bloody annoying singing leprechaun toy and a bead she found. It's a tiny football apparently. SO obviously love her again now.

But can I just say; GAAAAAAAAAAAH.

Terrible twos? pah, I laugh in your face. Not sure what to call this - Fucking awful threes?

InmaculadaConcepcion Sat 23-Mar-13 13:41:57

2.5 - 3yo was a horrid time with my DD - you have my sympathy. It's really tough to know when to go in softly and when to put your foot down. DD is much better now, having turned three a couple of months ago - although she still has her moments. DH and I found that being more strict helped improve her behaviour - we had to put up with a few monumental tantrums until DD realised we would stick to our guns. She still has her sticky moments, but they are thankfully fewer and she is better company again.

The nap/tiredness thing is tricky - my DD still tends to need a nap more often than not, but will be awake later at night when she has one. I accept that naps are intermittent now, she hasn't quite outgrown them, but doesn't always need one. It's a watching brief!

Nursery school is helping too as they are hot on (gentle) discipline, respecting other children, tidying up toys etc. Although DD's only been going for a few weeks, I can already see the improvements.

Good's not an easy age at all (and I think my DD is probably not as bad as many others!)...

Louise85 Sat 23-Mar-13 13:05:48

Missmakes did you read the book? Find it helpful at all?

So glad I came across this thread - Dd will be 3 in May, but really struggling - glad to know others are in the same boat and its not just me

fluffacloud Thu 21-Mar-13 20:58:08

DD1 (3.3) has always been such a sweet natured, kind and loving girl - until about 6 weeks ago.

We call her a 'threenager', she's grumpy, tired, controlling, defiant and oh my God the whinging!

She even has tantrums in her sleep! hmm

missmakesstuff Thu 21-Mar-13 20:44:58

Hi all, I have the book and it seems good - we will see if DH will do it too though. DD has about an hour at most every day, although the days when she doesn't sleep she is horrendous, too scared to try dropping the nap!

She has an issue with constipation, so we have some Movicol from the docs now, to see if maybe she is uncomfortable too, which might be affecting her.

Good to know I am not alone though!

willowstar Thu 21-Mar-13 16:30:22

This is reassuring! Y little girl is 3.6 and has turned into such a monkey....I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to dealing with her tantrums but as I have a 1 yr old too I can't do much. Sure it will get better....

steben Wed 20-Mar-13 19:56:49

Marking place as going through same with my same age DD she is literally breaking me!!! You have brew and sympathy from me OP!

SecondHandNews Wed 20-Mar-13 14:31:15

Sounds very normal to me! My 3 year old has also discovered how to wind me up recently. Refusing to do things I ask her to do. Doing things I ask her not to do. Lots of other things too. It bloody well winds me up but I know it's her trying to exert her independence and test the boundaries - of course she is an angel at nursery etc. hmm She is also generally very well behaved so I find it hard when she acts up!

I wonder about the sleep thing: yes she is tired but might she need to drop her nap? Mine did at just after 3. It can become a vicious circle with them needing a nap because they are tired (and behaviour terrible) but as a result they then won't sleep until 8/9/10 and then are ridiculously tired the next day and behaviour gets even worse. How long does she sleep for? My friend's daughter was like this and she just dropped the nap - a few weeks of very tired daughter, especially late afternoon but she was fast asleep as soon as she was in bed. My daughter gets up at 7 ish and is in bed at 6:30. No nap. Could be worth considering. Or at least limiting nap to an hour max. Mine now might have a nap once a week, sometimes twice, but never more than an hour. Just to recharge her batteries - and you can see the behaviour gets better too.

I do feel your pain - it is so frustrating sometimes.

Ghostsgowoooh Tue 19-Mar-13 23:43:44

Oh gosh yes the terrible threes. I was actually going to start a thread about my 3 in may dd3 who is horrendous at the moment. Although she is my fourth child and my ds was a handful she seems to be on a different level to all of them.

So far today she has run off twice, smacked me in the face, mooned at me blush. Where the hell that's come from I don't know. Been rude and defiant, had a tantrum over the toothpaste, it wasn't stripy enough apparently. Turned my back and found her standing on the table. Poured water into the PC key board.

I am worried she is showing early symptoms of ADHD/asd like ds as she seems wild to me but its reassuring to read that it's quite normal behaviour. She is great in nursery and playgroup btw hmm

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 19-Mar-13 22:25:42

It's never easy, is it? I am SO glad I knew nothing before I had kids, otherwise i might have been put off.
And between all the feelings of failure and losing my beloved career and the lack of sex, I am deeply in love with both of them. That's why I worry so much about getting it right.

Startail Tue 19-Mar-13 18:47:15

She isn't tired she's three!

Three year olds are just learning to do things for themselves, they are just realising they can wrap mummy round their little finger.

If mum says "ah, your tired" that will be the perfect excuse for attention seeking grumpyness for the next six months.

Get the book, take control and find a bed time that doesn't cause fights (always 8pm for DD1, from 2-6, earlier she bounced up, later she was tired if bored. DD1 was never tired if there were visitors or anything it resting going on).

She'll get better as she gets to 3.5-4 and then be horrid again next time she learns some more skills.

DD2 felt 6 was a good age to be a monster.

brettgirl2 Tue 19-Mar-13 18:34:09

butterfly is right of course its not just about discipline. Being at the end of the threes I would also add:
- Deciding what is acceptable to you and what isnt
- Planning the path of least resistance
- Start to talk about their feelings.
- Praise where it is due.

Piper you dont sound ridiculous at all, we've all done it! Also just in terms of discipline its a balance because much under 3 they are too young and even at 3 it needs to be instantaneous.

A few confessions of mine (pathetic alert)
I helped my daughter put her shoes on till a couple of weeks ago and she's 4 next month (and I still do if I'm in a hurry blush). I let her choose her most recent shoes and before I bought them I made her demonstrate she could put them on grin tbh I couldnt be arsed with her kicking off when we went out. She had to ask me nicely though. I mean as long as they can do it by school it doesnt matter does it grin .

I love talking to her about how things make her feel (happy and sad the only 2 emotions a 3 year old has apparently). We had a breakthrough a couple of weeks ago, I asked her how giving her friend the present would make her feel and she said.... Happy! Previously it was all sad as she wouldnt have it any more!!!

I dont mind if she leaves the table, that she doesnt want to write, if she wears clashing clothes (the more random shades of pink in an outfit the better shock ), that she doesnt like her hairbrushed (just dont let it get too long as she will let mil cut it more shock.) So in lots of ways I'm really very soft.....

Also it would usually be quicker to put her clothes away for her, but she's good at it, so its something to praise her for wink

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 19-Mar-13 15:42:35

DD1 is all about the 'I can't remember" 'I don't know' grin

onceipopicantstop Tue 19-Mar-13 14:56:19

Thanks Panpiper - that's reassuring. I do talk through his behaviour with him - but he agrees it was wrong at the time and then promptly goes and does the same thing again 5 minutes later!! If I ask him why he has done something his current response is usually "I can't remember" - which is probably true as I think alot of this behaviour is completely impulsive and not thought through at all (although possibly not when he jumped on the child's head...).

The hardest thing for me at the moment is remembering to take a breath, remain calm and not shout - all that achieves is upsetting both of us!

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 19-Mar-13 14:47:00

once I may not know much but I can answer the question about not showing remorse being normal - hell yes!

I saw a programme where someone described all small children as sociopaths grin - they are not yet sophisticated enough to understand other people's feelings and frankly why they should care about them.

However they are just starting to be able to put themselves in someone else's shoes. You should be able to talk it through with him - i.e. 'if someone stamped on your head how would you feel?' DD is just starting to get that she has to share - not because she wants to - but because she gets a better quality of play with her friends when she does so. It's an entirely self-centred decision.

butterfly Only you can judge each situation and decide to take control as parent, ignore, discipline or comfort. But I don't feel I can tell sad

onceipopicantstop Tue 19-Mar-13 14:32:26

Can't tell you how relieved I feel after reading these threads - both about other 3 year olds and how you as parents respond!! My DS just turned 3 and I'm finding it really hard at the moment. He is naughty, defiant and I'm afraid knows just how to wind me up!! I try to stay calm but am finding myself becoming more and more of a shouty mum - which I hate and always feel guity about afterwards sad. He is a very loving little boy but recently when we are out he seems to go out of his way to push and be rough with other children, particularly small children - this really embarrasses me, but he shows little remorse even if the other child is upset (please tell me this is normal behaviour for a 3 year old??). Recently he very deliberately jumped onto a small child's head in the ball pit at soft play - just after I had pointed the child out and asked him to be careful.

Interested to hear about the 123 magic book recommended above - might have to give it a go.

butterflyexperience Tue 19-Mar-13 14:26:57

Oh and my big insight into this age is that they want control but also want you to do it all for them too.

It's an inner battle in themselves they are fighting

They are not always being 'naughty' and needing discipline

Sometimes comfort can be as effective

Only you can judge each situation and decide to take control as parent, ignore, discipline or comfort.

butterflyexperience Tue 19-Mar-13 14:22:55

I feel your pain

I too have an almost 3 year old and she's driving me crazy

She too is tired and is not eating very well for the past few months since having the nori virus in November

Dd2 is lucky she's cute or I would have sold her to the gypsies by now wink

My only advice is that her big sister was like this too and has thankfully grown out of it (dd1 is 5) so there is light at the end of the tunnel smile

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Tue 19-Mar-13 14:01:29

brettgirl2 I totally get what you are saying but I was in that state where the idea of driving with the screaming was horrendous so I wanted something to comfort her, as it happened I couldn't find the fucking princess pen so the screaming happened anyway. There was a brief hiatus of about 3 mins before she realised we were nearly at nursery when it started again grin. I am embarrassed about how hopeless and weak I must appear when it's written down like this!

I do think I need to reminded that she is not a baby, my issue is that I am terrified of doing it 'wrong'. I almost need someone else (you?!) to give me permission to discipline her as I worry she is too young and I might squash her. My mum says I am over thinking it (of course). I am consistent in what can and can't happen so I avoid a lot of tantrums that way (ie she knows if I say no I mean no and I can't be got round) but once they happen I seem to lose control.

re: nursery: she does 1.5 days and it is a battle both mornings. Though not normally this bad.

missmakes putting myself in her place - exactly. She seems so genuinely distraught.

missmakesstuff Mon 18-Mar-13 21:31:50

Sympathy to you panpiper, I know most of the timeif I didn't have things to do, places to be, work to do, dinner to make and I din't care about the mess then days would be so much easier - but of course this is life and we just have to teach them that they have to sometimes toe the line and do things like wear shoes!

I do sometimes try to put myself in her place - hard to do when she is getting over obsessed about a toy or something though - especially when she is describing something we have no idea exists!

I am trying to take a deep breath and calm myself at the moment - she is in bed and settled for tonight, we had a good day and ok evening although had tantrums - but at my mums! Few tears before bed but just tiredness..So we shall see...

brettgirl2 Mon 18-Mar-13 17:06:29

Just one other thing the nursery. Might it be better to do 2 and a half full days? If you look around you may be able to find one that you can just pay for lunchtime. It is deffo possible round here. That way it is not a battle everyday!

brettgirl2 Mon 18-Mar-13 16:58:13

I think I find it hard to believe that your 3 year old kicked off, demanded a toy then another one while you searched round for them. Why? She's not a baby, but a little girl who is being naughty.

I really think that at around 3 they understand cause and effect perfectly and the tantrums are often staged and controlled.

I'd be taking toys off her not scrabbling round while she screamed at me. If she refuses to put shoes on put dd2 into the car and tell her to follow when ready.

It took a while for this to click in but instilling discipline, putting clothes away, tidying up toys really helped mine.

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Mon 18-Mar-13 10:19:26

I was about to post about my 3 year old's militant tantrums but thought I'd hop on yours missmakes I know it's completely normal and common but FUCKING HELL. But am not sure if I'm handling them right. DD is very passionate and I am naturally equable (possibly stolid!) so I find it a bit baffling and often stand there just looking at her.

This am was a perfect storm - DD1 hates going to nursery (but always comes back having had 'a lovely day' - her words), then DH, who had been away on a business trip came home just in time for breakfast. So that was the catalyst.

She refused to put her shoes on then lay on the floor screaming and kicking. we were running late, so I put her in the car anyway, quite roughly as she was struggling blush sad. Then she wanted Daddy (who gave her hugs and kisses as she screamed and vacillated between 'I love you daddy/I want ANOTHER daddy'.) Eventually I said, 'look you'll just have to go' so he did. DD demanded a toy which I got, then her princess pen, which i couldn't find, then we had screaming for about 10 minutes, which set DD2 off. She calmed down, remembered we were going to nursery and started again. I told her how much fun she would have, it was only until lunch etc etc, but not acceptable. Then I'm afraid I lost it and said, 'you have to go to nursery and now I'm in a bad mood and you won't want to spend the morning with me.' sad

Got to nursery and she clamped herself on me, still screaming and crying which was pretty embarrassing and awful and now I am at home feeling completely useless and wondering if I am doing her emotional damage.

ATeacherWritesHome Mon 18-Mar-13 09:24:46

Hug to you guys. Mine were the same, but I think when you look back it seems smaller than when you're right in the middle of the screamathon. Not sure about different editions of 123.
We totally need a new concept of terrible 3s. They can be worse, somehow!

WorkingtoohardMama Sun 17-Mar-13 23:00:52

I was also going to post about the terrible 3's, so thank you for this post!

The 2003 edition of that book is very cheap on amazon - I tempted to get it, but wonder if I'll be missing out on something revolutionary in the 2010 edition!

missmakesstuff Sun 17-Mar-13 22:53:08

Rating? Eating! Stupid phone.

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