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Is it OK that I've left my 3 year old to cry (+ other problems)?

(8 Posts)
LMonkey Mon 18-Apr-16 20:08:07

I put my 3 year old to bed without a story and he is currently screaming in his room while I breast feed DD to sleep. It feels horrible but I just don't know what else to do. I feel like I have to threaten to do something like this and really follow it through in the hope that he might actually listen in future when I tell him not to do something naughty. He just completely ignores me......I must have really gone wrong somewhere with parenting skills.

The kids were both having a bath, I took DD out first and put on her pyjamas. When I was about to take DS out he started flinging a wet flannel at her so I asked him to stop as he would get her pyjamas all wet (although she seemed to enjoy it), he carried on and did it again....and again...and again. Each time I got more cross and spoke in a more firm tone. I then ended up REALLY which he hardly took any notice at all, probably because mummy shouting is such a regular thing so who cares?? I hate the fact that he doesn't listen or obey and that shouting doesn't even have any effect at all. I also worry that eventually I'm going to have these exact same problems with DD then I will be stressed out with 2 crazy kids whereas at the mo DD is 13 months old so isn't naughty as such and she kind of cushions the blow of having a nightmare 3 year old!

Was i too harsh to put him to bed without a story and let him cry (although having said that since i began writing this its all gone very quiet)? Any advice would be gratefully received as I feel like I'm going insane sad

PresidentCJCregg Mon 18-Apr-16 20:11:06

Oh OP flowers

It sucks doesn't it, hearing them upset? I would go back in and have a nice chat about how you'll all do better tomorrow and it will be much nicer because everyone will be less grumpy.

I've out my 3 year old boy to bed without a story a few times for similar stuff; I end up going back in and talking to him or maybe singing. I don't do a story though; I may be a softie but I'm not 100% of a pushover. Yet.

LMonkey Mon 18-Apr-16 22:38:59

Thanks for your reply, yes it does suck. I have since gone back in and tucked him in and given him a little kiss but he was asleep by that point.

Just been reading a separate thread from a mum who recently lost her 3 year really makes you think and realise how trivial it all is....think i will make more of an effort tomorrow to be a good mummy and stay calm.

mineofuselessinformation Mon 18-Apr-16 22:41:27

It will all be forgotten about tomorrow - and that's a useful thing to remember when you feel at the end of your tether.

JuxtapositionRecords Tue 19-Apr-16 07:04:52

You did the right thing following through as he has to know you are serious - but I know it's horrible when they go to bed crying. So hard to know the right thing to do isn't it?

Is it always bedtime he plays up? Could you try doing bath etc earlier as perhaps he is acting out as he is overtired?

BotBotticelli Tue 19-Apr-16 19:42:02

My 3yo boy sounds very similar. It's very hard work.

We have had some success with threatening to lock his favourite toys in the garage for the day. So for example I would have said "stop throwing that flannel at Dd" and when he didn't do it I would say: "stop now, or your lightsaber goes in the garage for the whole day". If he still carried on I would start a count to three and say the lightsaber goes when I get to 3....he usually stops dicking about when j get to 2 (his favourite dinosaur and Yoda have both recently spent a day locked in the garage so he knows it's no idle threat).

We have also had some success with a star chart. When he gets a full row of stars he gets a small sweetie (multipack from Lidl!). The threat of removing stars for naughtiness seems to work. And "stop throwing that flannel and get out the bath like a good boy and you will win a star" might have worked in our house in that circumstance.

minipie Wed 20-Apr-16 11:17:15

I have two a similar age and it's exhausting !

I read in a parenting book that you shouldn't ask them something more than twice, as after that they stop listening. So in this case "don't throw the flannel DS" then "I said, don't throw the flannel DS" then consequence if he does it again. In this case consequence could be as simple as taking the flannel away. Ideally you would say from the start "don't throw the flannel or I'll take it away" so he knows what the consequence will be and can make the choice by himself that he will stop, iyswim.

Counting to three also works quite well... again it seems to help if I say the consequence upfront eg "put that flannel down by the time I say 3 or I will take it away".

For bigger stuff I agree that reward charts/losing favourite toy for a period can help.

Basically you need to find some form of "escalation" that isn't shouting.

By the way... my eldest is a bit older than your DS (she is 3.5) and I've noticed a big difference in her understanding these last couple of months. I can now say to her things like "do you want to be helpful and have a happy mummy and more time for fun, or be unhelpful and have a cross mummy and no time for fun" and she will quite often magically decide to be helpful for the next 10 minutes anyway. Hope that gives you some hope!

Kariana Wed 20-Apr-16 17:35:10

minipie has made a really good point. You should never ask more than twice, after that there needs to be a consequence. Be really strict with yourself in making sure you don't ask more than this and you should see a difference fairly quickly if you are consistent with it and enforce the consequence. Children are good at blocking out background noise and if you repeat yourself over and over you just become background noise, even if you get louder.

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