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advice needed discipline for 3 year old

(13 Posts)
bobbetybob Wed 17-Dec-14 14:51:32

Ds is 3. An angel. Almost all.the time, polite bright, preschool feel he is above average in his development. Not meant to be a brag just painting a picture of my little boy. The terrible twos were tough, sudden tantrums hitting and kicking - only me not his dad teachers or other children. They did settle though has been more normal, we still get frustrated tantrums but they are easily managed and thinks calm quickly. During all of this I have been struggling with what I think was postnatal.depression and also having treatment for ptsd triggered by traumatic birth of ds.

Anyway, the point...the last couple of weeks have been tough I've been tired and low and ds has been 'naughty'. He suddenly lashes out kicking and hitting, shouting at me when I ask him to do/not do stuff.
I know its likely normal behaviour on.his part but I get more more frustrated and he gets worse and worse. This morning was awful.we both ended up in tears after I shouted at him. I feel like a failure. I've tried reward charts, treats, denying things counting to 3 and.resorted to time out but nothing seems to bother him enough. Please help, in need of practical advice.

holeinmyheart Thu 18-Dec-14 00:05:28

First of all I would like to say that what you are doing is not easy. If you have been struggling with PND and the trauma of birth, then you have been having your very own hard time.
However, a three year old is just not old enough to rationalise, as in .. If I am a good boy, Mummy will like me. He just can't see that far ahead. He is just reacting with passion and feeling to what is going on around him. The more worked up you get the worse he will get.
Unfortunately as you are the adult in this relationship, it is only you who can modify your behaviour at this point. It is you who have to remain calm and be patient as he cannot help but react to what you are doing.

Just imagine that you feel great, happy and healthy, it affects how you feel about things. It makes you feel tolerant and easier going, doesn't it? But you haven't felt great, you have felt miserable and your little boy has been in your company. It is bound to affect him. He will pick up on your moods etc.

For you to be in tears as you described, shows me that you are not coping well. I feel sorry for you shouting at him and sorry for him being shouted at.

To shout at a small child is really quite a violent act, so if you could please try not to, as you will make him afraid.

I suggest you contact Homestart in your area. They are a fantastic organisation who help families with under fives. Also maybe you need to see your GP about how you feel.

bobbetybob Thu 18-Dec-14 03:17:32

Thank you. I know you can't rationalise with a 3 year old. That's why I was asking for help with how to deal with his behaviour. I feel dreadful and recognise that it's not the way to do things. I am under the care of the gp and have had private counselling. Today was a bad day

Daisy17 Thu 18-Dec-14 04:41:58

I'd say cut yourself some slack, bobbety. Getting wound up by a three year old until you shout and then cry because you feel bad is quite normal in my book. Three year olds are freakin' annoying (I have one grin who sounds very similar to yours) and unless you have the patience of a saint you're going to crack sometimes. You're both human, despite the age gap. Apologise sincerely but briefly, explain why he upset you, have a massive cuddle while you both cry ( don't forget his tears are a mixture of upset and remorse too) and both agree to do better next time. Hugs.

Daisy17 Thu 18-Dec-14 04:48:31

Bah, wrote a long reply and lost it! The gist was - DON'T put yourself under pressure to always be the calm patient adult and cut yourself some slack. We're all human, some of us might be younger than others, but we're all the same underneath. Three year olds are flipping annoying (I have one that sounds a lot like yours) and sometimes they push too far. You're not going to scar him for life with the odd shout. I doubt that his tears are tears of fear - they are like yours, anger and remorse combined. Have a massive wet and snotty hug together, apologise sinceerly but briefly, and make friends again. It will teach him what human life is like. Messy but repairable if you both climb down. And he will still love you fiercely as you do him. Hugs.

bobbetybob Thu 18-Dec-14 04:48:47

Thank you.

Daisy17 Thu 18-Dec-14 04:49:05

Ha, now you have both!

Daisy17 Thu 18-Dec-14 04:51:01

And sorry you're awake too! I've just eaten a whole chocolate orange in bed which I'm not sure is going to help....

Daisy17 Thu 18-Dec-14 04:53:11

Also feel I failed on the practical advice bit,hopefully someone wiser wwill come along later. I just didn't want you to be beating yourself up over something so understandable. Violent act my foot.....

sh77 Thu 18-Dec-14 10:13:58

I feel your pain. We had a similar day which ended with me in tears. Please talk to your health visitor who will advise on support available to you eg parenting classes to help with strategies during tough moments. I have a tough time with my 3 year old and spoke to my HV who was amazing. Straight away she said I don't have enough support and she will look into help. Good luck. 3 has been truly tough.

bobbetybob Thu 18-Dec-14 12:51:37

Night shift daisy! sad ds at nursery who are very good and have asked for advice on what to do when he kicks out. Often good distraction means we don't get tantrums but I let is both down yesterday. I will try and speak to health visitor. We've moved since he was born so not sure who they are here but will find out. Thank you.

Cedar03 Thu 18-Dec-14 13:08:19

In my experience of small children they go from being lovely (so that you relax and think smugly what a wonderful job you're doing) to being horrible. And there may be no obvious rhyme or reason to it. Just be consistent, stick to what has worked in the past. Don't worry about the occasional shout - three year olds can be very very annoying and do need to know that grown ups do shout. But do apologise afterwards as you can't expect your child not to shout at you if you are shouting back.

I used to adopt a zero tolerance policy with my daughter when she had her horrid days. If that meant time out followed immediately by another one then that's what happened. They push against boundaries and they have to learn that you still have them. They can be told in simple language 'no kicking. We do not kick in this house' for example. But also remember to praise the good behaviour - every single inch of it on a bad day. Also try to get him outside in the fresh air no matter what the weather is doing. There's nothing like being cooped up indoors to make bad behaviour seem worse.

ch1134 Fri 19-Dec-14 16:41:15

Have you tried ignoring negative and praising positive behaviour? Give options e.g: shall we walk to the car or run to the car? A choice which results in the same outcome.

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