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dd (3.4) starting to wear me down

(7 Posts)
MrsDeathOfRats Thu 12-Nov-15 10:36:24

She just does not listen. Or if she some how does listen she just blatantly ignores me.

And things she has learnt, ie how to use the toilet and when to go, are things she now has stopped doing.

She potty trained easily. We have the very very occasional accident since I trained her (usually at parties or other exciting occasions) but now it's almost daily. Cos she just won't go. It's not a fear of the toilet or anything. It's that she doesn't want to stop whatever she is doing to go. This morning she had the iPad and instead of pausing whatever she was playing and going to do a wee she just stayed sitting on the sofa and pissed herself.
Then when I told her to get down she shouted 'no' at me and ignored me when I said it again.

I say 'let's do X' and she just flat out ignores me. You can tell that she is either a)not listening or b) simply ignoring me.
All the time. All the motherfucking time.
Day in day out and it's getting worse.

It's seriously starting to wear me down. I hate being ignored. I feel it is the height of rudeness and ignorance and I won't accept it. But I've no idea how to tackle it anymore. Time out doesn't work. Taking toys away doesn't work. NOTHING works.

I'm going crazy here now

holeinmyheart Thu 12-Nov-15 11:01:09

Aw, sorry you feel so miserable. We have all felt like throttling our DCs on occasion as being with them 24/7 can be boring and wearing.
However a 3.5 DC is really only a baby. They are too young to rationalise their behaviour as they are not adults. They respond to stressful or frustrating situations with raw emotion. They are not capable of thinking' how can I make my DMs life miserable today. They are entirely focused on them selves.
So please don't think that they think like an adult and should know that their behaviour is upsetting you, because they can't.
The more exasperated and upset and shouty you get the worse their behaviour will be. We are also not at our best with young children as we are sleep deprived. Lack of sleep turned me into a irrational bitch, with very little patience.
However, we as adults are responsible for giving our children the upbringing they deserve. That is, behaving with patience towards them and respect. Indeed, just how we would like to be treated.
If you find yourself losing the plot, then perhaps a Mindful course would help you or a visit to your GP, so that you are able to put your situation in perspective and feel calm and able to cope.
What is the alternative? Your are bored and tired, your DD does somethings that you perceive is naughty, you lose your rag and start yelling, she yells back and you both end up very upset and in tears.
You need to count ten, use diversion tactics, make sure that you are as fit and as well as possible, and try and give your little girl a childhood that she remembers with happiness.
Believe me when your DCs grow up, they will remember their childhood and you will be repaid in shedloads for your behaviour.
Her behaviour seems entirely normal for a 3.5 year old. They regress, go forward( as we see it) and then regress etc etc.
Hugs, you are a good Mum but tired out probably.

CultureSucksDownWords Thu 12-Nov-15 11:21:32

Are you at home with her all week? Is she at pre-school/nursery or similar at all? If not, then maybe for you to have a break, one day a week might help. You'd get your 15 free hours so it wouldn't necessarily be too expensive.

In terms of the actual behaviour, everything sounds like a battle and a confrontation at the moment. Do you get many opportunities to praise her, and to be silly and funny with her? Just to have fun? She's only very little still, so try not to think of her behaviour in terms of rudeness/ignorance. She's just turned 3 and is still learning! If she's forgetting to go to the toilet, then take her regularly even if she says she doesn't want to go. Don't ask her, just tell her it's time to go and try for a wee. Praise her for any small bit of good behaviour - aim for twice as much praise than corrections. I know it's hard work but you have to try and fake it if you're struggling with staying positive with her. Decide in advance what you're going to do if she doesn't listen to you, so if it's turning the iPad off for example, then tell her that if she doesn't do it after you've asked her again then you'll do it and it will go away for a while. You don't need to get angry or cross, if she doesn't listen, follow through calmly with the consequence, repeating yourself if necessary. Don't engage in any argument, if she tantrums then you can recognise her emotions but don't get involved beyond that. So you might say, "I can see that you're very cross, dd".

Have you read Toddler Calm, or How to Talk so Children will Listen...? Both might be worth a look to see if there's anything there that might also help.

CultureSucksDownWords Thu 12-Nov-15 11:22:09

Are you at home with her all week? Is she at pre-school/nursery or similar at all? If not, then maybe for you to have a break, one day a week might help. You'd get your 15 free hours so it wouldn't necessarily be too expensive.

In terms of the actual behaviour, everything sounds like a battle and a confrontation at the moment. Do you get many opportunities to praise her, and to be silly and funny with her? Just to have fun? She's only very little still, so try not to think of her behaviour in terms of rudeness/ignorance. She's just turned 3 and is still learning! If she's forgetting to go to the toilet, then take her regularly even if she says she doesn't want to go. Don't ask her, just tell her it's time to go and try for a wee. Praise her for any small bit of good behaviour - aim for twice as much praise than corrections. I know it's hard work but you have to try and fake it if you're struggling with staying positive with her. Decide in advance what you're going to do if she doesn't listen to you, so if it's turning the iPad off for example, then tell her that if she doesn't do it after you've asked her again then you'll do it and it will go away for a while. You don't need to get angry or cross, if she doesn't listen, follow through calmly with the consequence, repeating yourself if necessary. Don't engage in any argument, if she tantrums then you can recognise her emotions but don't get involved beyond that. So you might say, "I can see that you're very cross, dd".

Have you read Toddler Calm, or How to Talk so Children will Listen...? Both might be worth a look to see if there's anything there that might also help.

MrsDeathOfRats Thu 12-Nov-15 12:41:05

She has nursery 2 days a week (15hours) as I have a ds (14 months) and felt I needed some alone time with him and she would benefit from nursery. She loves it.

I am worn down. DS has never slept through and I link a fair bit of Dd's 'bad' behaviour to jealousy.

I try to do so much with her. She doesn't nap everyday (usually if yesterday was a busy/exciting day then she will nap today IYSWIM) so on days she doesn't nap we do craft/games/cooking/baking/reading etc whilst ds naps. And it's wonderful magical and oh so heart warmingly satisfying.
Then ds wakes up and it's just like a fucking nuclear bomb went off sad

She is quite astonishingly stubborn. And I know she doesn't do it on purpose but dear god it just feels like I'm being tested and pushed for 12 hours a day. Then bedtime is a battle and everything results in all 3 of us her laying on the floor screaming and kicking. Which she never did as a baby/toddler. Ds tantrums in the full on stereotypical way but dd never ever did. She does now, cos she's copying.

I'm just worn down. I need a break. Even a couple of hours off would be magical.

We went to the allotment just me and her at the weekend and it was great. Less then 1 second back through the front door and she was screaming. Ive no idea what she was screaming about!

MiaowTheCat Thu 12-Nov-15 17:16:06

It is a fucking awful age. They lied about the terrible twos - piece of piss compared to three-year-old strops and boundary testing! The age combination probably doesn't help (I have 11 months between mine and they can bloody spark off each other and snowball bad behaviour quite splendidly).

Things I've found that work to varying degrees of success - DD1 earns beads on a string for good behaviour and then gets one of those crappy little my little pony minifigures both my kids are obsessed by. Time outs work well now - but I ditched any step or corner and she gets sent up to her room to the sound of a kitchen timer... keeping her on a step or corner just led to things escalating to no end and the removing her from the situation stops a lot of the playing to the younger sibling audience. We still have a lot of battling at the moment but it seems to go in fits and starts.

NorthEasterlyGale Fri 13-Nov-15 13:30:48

You have my sympathies - I have a 3.5 year old and a 20 month old. Certainly, two was a much easier age for our elder; three is the devil's own age.

We have days where the not listening from the 3.5 year old drives me to distraction and I become short-tempered, snappy, frustrated mum. The days are getting less though, so it does seem to get better; a month or so back, DH and I both felt completely unable to cope and seemed to spend most of our time being angry with him (lack of sleep makes everything so, so much worse).

I tend to ignore tantrums for the most part, use timeouts on a bad day and if he wakes up in one of 'those' moods, I ask him outright if we're going to have a nice day or a day where he spends most of the time in timeout. He usually decides he's going to have a 'good boy day' (his words) and the rest of the day progresses bearably.

His behaviour is noticeably worse when he's overtired or coming down with something (when his behaviour deteriorates badly for two or three consecutive days, it's guaranteed he's coming down with a stomach bug or cold) so I'm trying to get better at seeing when that's the cause and cutting him some slack.

It is so hard when you don't get a break - is there a way you can get some time for you? In the last six months I've taken up yoga and music lessons for a new instrument as a way to get some time when I feel like me instead of a harpy grin. My DH also has a hobby that gets him out occasionally. It has definitely helped - we don't have any family near us so don't get any breaks from the kids so had to do something to keep us sane.

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