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Do things really get better when they get to 3?

(26 Posts)
scampidoodle Thu 16-May-13 16:48:40

People have been telling me this for the past 10 months or so, since DS started being very naughty, so I've been hoping they're right, but he's less than two months off this magic age now and his behaviour has just been getting worse.

He's generally well behaved with other people - "an angel" for the childminder and fine at pre-school (he tells me he's done things and been told off for them, but they've never raised anything with me so he can't be that bad) but at home, and particularly with me, he can be a nightmare.

We've tried everything suggested to us and very little seems to help. I know it's what toddlers are like, but he seems much worse than other people's toddlers, from what I can tell. I try not to do anything with him out of the house on my own, except take him to a toddler group, as I can't guarantee he will be ok (not start throwing things around in a shop/run into the road/start asking to be carried and then just stand and scream when I refuse or explain that I can't carry him - he really is the loudest screamer ever). He's out four mornings a week and still has an afternoon nap, so it doesn't really limit things for him, just for me!

We now have a young baby and he's realised that I can't always deal with him straight away to stop his naughtiness, which makes it worse.

I'm not looking forward to the summer holidays when he'll be at home three full days a week and I'm feeling really bad about this and the fact that I'm looking forward to him going to pre-school for (hopefully) 3 full days plus one full day at the childminder's from September.

Can anyone reassure me that it will get easier?


Bumpsadaisie Thu 16-May-13 17:44:50

IME if they are nightmares at 2 they tend to get better once they are past three. Children who are relatively easy in the 2s tend to become very defiant nightmares in the 3's!

He will get better, gradually, you'll find you don't quite dread his behaviour so much and the good times increase and the rough times decrease. Eventually you'll discover you enjoy spending time with your son again!

And when he is four you will really enjoy him. Of course you will still have to negotiate and he might drive you mad by the length of time it takes him to get dressed, but he will want to please you by this age, which is a great tool to have in your parenting arsenal!

Of course by that point your second DC will be limbering up to the twos, but that's another story (best to bury your head in the sand about that!)

Good luck smile

lljkk Thu 16-May-13 17:50:56

No, sorry, 3 is worse than 2 and 4 is worse than 3 (sorry). They get better at 5.
(hoping OP is not out stocking up on alcohol after reading that)

Tournesol Thu 16-May-13 17:59:12

You can never tell! Sometimes they are angels at 3 but sometimes not. My 3yo is pretty bad at the moment, hitting, shouting, screaming, wetting himself and he was not like this at 2.

Whereas my 5yo was fine at 2 and 3 but has been more trying at 4 and 5 as he suddenly knows how to argue!

Children are sent to test us! My 15mo is already doing the lying on the floor stamping feet tantrums so it's not looking good for an easy life....

Good luck and don't worry, it happens to us all!

scampidoodle Thu 16-May-13 19:11:41

Oh dear. I think I'll just keep reading Bumpsadaisie's post - what I wanted to hear!

I'm consoling myself with the fact he can't get very much worse, so if I can (just about) cope with him now then I should be ok. I'm guessing he might just do different, equally bad stuff.

Unfortunately alcohol doesn't seem to have the same effect it used to after a bad day at work! But I keep trying it just to see...

BeanoNoir Thu 16-May-13 19:14:53

This thread is a bit depressing! They're all worth it though aren't they the little cherubs? Aren't they? Hello?

Manchesterhistorygirl Thu 16-May-13 19:16:38

Terrible twos, threenagers, fucking fours.

Ds2 is 2.5. shock

TheOrchardKeeper Thu 16-May-13 19:18:56

THEY BETTER DO shock !!! wine wine wine confused

bigbuttons Thu 16-May-13 19:19:33

I hate this idea that they are difficult at a certain age and then grow out of it or something. That's just not true. Each 'age' brings its own set of issues. It doesn't get easier it just gets different.

meglet Thu 16-May-13 19:23:45

Not in my experience. 2 is a warm up for 3 and it gets fuckinghorrendous at 4.

DS has settled down at 6.6 but 4.8yo DD is out of control. I suspect she will be like her brother and awful until she's 6yrs then calm down once she's in year 1.

BeanoNoir Thu 16-May-13 19:24:53

It HAS to get easier. I mean in terms of sheer tiredness and lack of free time to yourself. (Dd 21 months and 28 weeks pregnant). I know it will take a few years but still, it HAS to. Even if that's not true please just tell me it is or I'll cry.

BeanoNoir Thu 16-May-13 19:25:21

Dd isn't 28weeks pregnant, I am grin

calypso2008 Thu 16-May-13 19:26:13

My DD is now 5, just, and a delight. It DOES get easier and it becomes fun and amazing. smile

I was bored, I have to admit, at the 2/3 stage, it was just drudgery. But she never, ever screamed, hit, bit or had tantrums.

Is your DS upset about the new baby? Do you maybe need to spend some time, special time, with him?

It doesn't sound normal to me. I think he wants attention maybe?

Startail Thu 16-May-13 19:28:19

DD1 got better at about 3.5, she began to realise I couldn't chase her with the baby in the buggy and perhaps she need to be slightly less inclined to vanish.

TheChaoGoesMu Thu 16-May-13 19:31:43

My dd never really did the terrible twos or threes. But ds made up for it by doing both. He's three now and still a real handful. I'm hoping he might calm down by the time he's four.

<studies calendar and crosses another day off>

WhispersOfWickedness Thu 16-May-13 19:36:07

Mine did, he seemed to suddenly develop a conscience and become very respectful of 'The Rules', although doesn't always follow them wink He very much likes to inform others when they have broken the rules though, sometimes it is like living with a 3yo policeman hmmgrin
Generally, it is much easier for us as he is a lot more independent and has a longer attention span.
Beano - hang in their, my DD is nearly 21 months and it is a very stressful age... their settings are set to maximum destruction and minimum responsibility!

MsDeerheart Thu 16-May-13 19:58:53

my DCs both were way easier at 3 - but it does depend - how old your baby this can be a difficult time whatever age they are

BabiesAreLikeBuses Thu 16-May-13 22:52:05

I found 3 was easier than 2, 4 easier still, 5 easier still (or maybe my expectations of normal life are lowering grin)... At 4 their reasoning should have developed which makes it easier (and harder when they reason against you) but they're still egocentric til 6 (why would they want to get dressed quickly? What's in it for them?)
Mine still had the terrible twos at 3 but less frequently (although more severe).... There was lots of fun to be had between bouts!

notnowbernard Thu 16-May-13 22:54:49

Ive got 3

First 2 were at their worst between 3-4 (esp no.2)
3rd is rapidly approaching The Dreaded Number... jury's out atm

SauceForTheGander Thu 16-May-13 22:57:54

Terrible twos

Tiresome threes

Fucking fours

nailak Thu 16-May-13 23:02:56

my experience is 2 is the worst age, they are adorable but very hard to manage, and after that they get better!

scampidoodle Thu 16-May-13 23:06:24

Calypso - the baby (DD) is nearly 4 months old. DS seemed a bit jealous during the first few weeks but I've tried to get a routine going where I don't spend too much time with the baby when I would normally be with DS, so he's doesn't feel left out.

He has some odd behaviour, tbh. He's obsessed with throwing things so we've had to remove anything he's likely to throw, from his bedroom. He likes to play on his own but he generally just ends up throwing stuff around, trying to hit certain things with whatever he's throwing, or just moving stuff about rather than properly playing with it. He doesn't want his nappy changing (could not get him to use the potty - going to try again in the summer), hits, kicks, pulls my hair when I do it - he keeps laughing throughout all this; won't use his inhaler which we're supposed to give him twice a day - i can't force him to breathe it in so have no idea what to do about this. He wants to do a lot of things for himself and gets upset if we do them, which I know is pretty standard for a 2/3 year old. The list just goes on... I often feel like one of the families you see in Supernanny where they've completely lost control of their child (and you sit there thinking how stupid they must be to be in this situation).

I'm making a mental list of what we've done with DS so we can do it completely differently with DD!

Looks like the jury is split on whether it gets easier or not...

cory Thu 16-May-13 23:16:37

Perhaps it's true that each age brings its difficulties but I also think many parents find it harder to deal with the difficulties of certain ages. I found age 2 hard, age 2 harder, after that it got quite easy until the pre-teens, teens have been far less difficult.

But it's probably what you mind or don't mind. I can take a fair bit of tantrumming and downright defiance, but I hate, hate, HATE whining- and I found 3 quite a whiney age.

notnowbernard Thu 16-May-13 23:37:38

Cory, yes, I can handle a tantrum but at 3 they are FAR less distractable...

So the whining cranks up a few notches and of course they are more verbally sophisticated by 3-4 so can REALLY go on at you...

notnowbernard Thu 16-May-13 23:39:01

The "OOH, LOOK - a TRACTOR!!!" loses its impact somewhat grin

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