VERY challenging 3yr old- out of idea!!(14 Posts)
My daughter has always had a bit of a diva side to her, but always manageable. Sometimes incredibly stressful, but I could alway mange it. Now she has decided to have these almighty tantrums, screaming, hitting out, and nothing is right. During the day I can deal with it. She gets sent to her room, has to calm down, eventually she will come back down. Sometimes this can go on and on and on, but eventually we get there. Recently she has started waking in the night screaming at us, "put my blanket, take it off, don't say shhh," etc. she will tell us one thing, then throw a huge tantrum because we have done it and apparently she doesn't want it. She tells us to go away, we go, she wants us back. The list could go on and on and on. Neither myself or my husband really know how to deal with this. Any advice- or people telling me this is normal 3yr old behaviour is very much appreciated!!!
Oh, I should add that this is disturbing my 4 month old, who is now back to waking through the night because of all the commotion. I am on night 5 of no sleep and finding it all very hard to cope
Holly I can't help but I can sympathise. DS1 is just 3 and is the same. In fact I'm currently lying on his floor holding his hand trying to get him back to sleep after another ridiculous tantrum. He says one thing and is enraged when we do it. Or when we don't - it doesn't seem to matter. Random things set him off. Bedtime is now a regular 2 hour battle. We are exhausted.
DS2 is 3 months and everyone says it's because of the new baby but we've tried everything it feels like - DS1 gets attention, praise, etc. We remove toys for hitting. I veer between thinking it's just a phase and he will grow out of ut, to wondering if we have somehow caused it. He seems sad and angry so often it upsets me too but there is (obviously) no reasoning or logic with him. I'm hanging on for a miracle!!!
So I can't help but you aren't alone!!!
Oh the ridiculous tantrums have started here too with just-3 yr old and new baby in the house. No advice but I have found that anytime I can spend proper time with the 3 yr old alone her behaviour improves dramatically. Usually I have to achieve this by putting the baby in a sling for a few hours. Dh also spends a lot of time with the 3 yr old which has been great.
At night i try to really treat 3 yr old as a baby and if there are meltdowns I just try to pick her up and cuddle her and not engage in discussion...ha easier said than done i know.
The best tip I ever got is that when young children act up in the middle of the night it is almost always because they need to go to the toilet. So we put dd on the loo before anything else.
Also I must admit I'm counting down the days till spring and better weather is here so we can be outside much much more...I honestly think this will solve a lot of problems but maybe that's naive!
DS1 is 2.5yo and everything we say or do is wrong. He'll ask for something then not want it/change his mind. He's also constantly tellind DP and I t I stop talking or don't do that or don't sat that etc. it's like living with a control freak tyrant
DS (14) used to have ridiculous tantrums until quite recently. We ended up calling them serial tantrums, because he would get all worked up about something, and once he was in a state, everything, but everything was wrong. We fixed one thing, he would immediately fuss about something else. Quite fascinating at times with an older child who could quite clearly articulate what was wrong, but still had the emotional maturity of a toddler. I was a Bad Mother who used to end up giggling at him, which made things ten times worse.
In the end, nothing helped other than just sitting quietly in the same room, waiting for him to cry it out and then offering a hug, which was usually followed some time later by a spontaneous apology.
Think of it as a spot of stormy weather - it will blow over. No amount of attempts to pacify by doing what she wants will help (sorry!)
Thank you all for responding! I'm glad we aren't the only one in the situation! I feel like such a terrible mother sometimes, like I'm causing it, but it seems like it could be a fairly normal thing. I think lack of sleep makes everything seem so much worse for all parties!! Fingers crossed they all grow out of it soon!!
Have you tried really implementing a strict routine with her and boundaries. Some kids just keep pushing it because they are craving a routine. I wouldn't bow down to her demands. She is 3. She can pull her own blanket off etc. it does sound like jealousy about the baby too.
A child of that ages behaviour is reactionary not deliberate.
I really feel for you, I'm not sure if this helps but we had this with a 3 yr old & a 6 month old...it was probably the most stressful period of my parenting life to date!! She'd hit, kick, scream - and this was first thing in the morning and it lasted months. All I can say is I tried to stay consistent (ie don't hit & scream back!!) and finally 1 day she just snapped out of it & returned to the sunny child she was before. It was awful, I cried most days as it feels like you're giving everything & all that love is making not one scrap of difference, but it does, it's going in big hugs x
What a relief to read this thread! I too have a 3 year old dd and a 4 month old and I'm having exactly the same with her. I'm sensing a pattern here! I have no wisdom or tips to offer, but I'm relieved to know I'm not alone! If I find a way of coping and/or managing I'll let you know...
This is reassuring. I am pregnant with dd and ds is a lot like this. He is currently sleeping in our room - either on a mattress or in our bed as we find he just doesn't want to be alone and we all get more sleep if he can be quietly shushed without even getting up. It's not ideal and dh and I worry we are setting a bad pattern. Bit we have also had some bereavements in the family recently and we think this, combined with the new baby coming, is having an impact. The tantrums feel like tests that we constantly fail.
We try to commiserate with him when he's upset during the day but not give in. But it is very tiring and stressful and upsetting.
Totally relate to this thread, and guess what.... I'm also in possession of a 3 year old and a 4 month old!!!!
No advice though, nothing I try seems to be working
Thank you all for responding! We have had an incredibly hard two weeks. Lots of tears and tantrums, but I think we have got through the worst! She seems to be responding to a reward chart and a fun activity at the end of the week. Struck routine and ignoring the bad behaviour has worked a lot. I think the weather doesn't help, with all the sickness bugs that come along with it. One of the fun games of being a parent I gues!! Thank you everyone!!
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