My 3 year old upset me today(42 Posts)
Hello, new here so apologies if this is in the wrong place
To cut to the chase, collected DS from holiday club today and staff said he'd been wonderfully behaved all day. Walking out towards my car down a busy Street and he fights to let go of my hand but I explain that it's dangerous and he must walk with mummy. Screaming and shouting at me to go away and that he hates me. Passers-by looking and I want to die....calmly telling him that we will be at the car soon and that he must walk sensibly because of traffic. Continues to shout I hate you, I love daddy not you. Tears in my eyes, pick him up to get to the car, he kicks me and refuses to get in, have to manhandle him into seat to strap him in. Bites me. Kicks hell out of passenger seat back. I drive off and all the way home he tells me I'm an awful mummy, he wants to kill me and I can go and get lost'!!!
Fight once again when we get outside house because he doesn't want to come in doors. Screaming on grass verge near house. Neighbours looking. Want to die!! Grab him by hand and get him to front door, he sits down. Get into house and he's saying awful things to me. I slapped him as a last resort and now he's sobbing. I feel like a terrible person. I actually love him like all the world and beyond! He has everything he desires (I don't mean spoilt but he is very well cared for and we dote on him iyswim) and I know I'm a devoted mum to him so why does he do this to me?
He's always been strong willed and is hard work at times. Generally well behaved and always polite to other people. Have had a few behavioral incidents at nursery with him biting and hitting other children during squabbling over toys etc. staff say he's well on track for his age with his learning so no worries there.
I just don't know why he has these awful outbursts, please help!!!!!!
My initial reaction is I assume he desires not to be hit by an adult. I have a 3yo and know exactly what their meltdowns are like but that's no excuse for you losing your temper and hurting him physically I'm sorry.
He has these outbursts because he is 3. He isn't in control of his emotions and has very few ways to express himself.
Threenagers are hard.
I don't condone smacking I'm afraid, as you're just teaching him that that's what you do.
However I never hit my ds and he would punch, kick and bite me (and only me! Nursery wouldn't believe me when I told them!)
He's now 8 and he's fucking fab. He was just a particularly difficult 3yo.
He was probably tired after a full day of organised activities.
I have two grown up children and have worked with children for over 30 years.I have learnt through time not to take tantrums from tired toddlers personally.
I have a vivid memory of dd at same age slapping me and squeaking "you're a stupid mummy!" In a compete rage because, I don't know, I'd suggested she might clean her teeth or something.
It happens at that age and it's not done to "upset" you. It's not about you at all. A slap is not the answer. Laughing at it is what I did - it is quite funny and it takes the wind out of their sails (eventually).
I would think if he's been delightful all day when he see's you he knows he's safe enough to have a shitfit. It's only personal in that you're closest. Don't hit him tho, if you feel rage try to remove yourself.
I slapped (or more like tapped) his leg towards the end of the outburst after being butted and bitten by him repeatedly. There was no reason for this outburst from him, I simply arrived to collect him at home time. Yes he's only 3 and I know they don't know how to control things like emotions etc.
It's not like I hit him and lost it at all. I'd rather die first than hurt my child. I wanted him to understand that biting,butting and saying such vile things is unacceptable but yes he's 3.
99% of the time he's a lovely, kind, helpful boy.
Same here I hold them from behind with their arms tucked in across their body and swing them across me like a rugby ball so they are facing down kicking air. Generally this merges into a flying game and they forget what the problem was, or we get where we are going and I put them down to carry on with the tantrum.
Its all pretty normal at this age and they arent trying to hurt you really. Just angry/sad/confused/tired etc and lashing out at someone they can trust.
Just caught up with the replies, yes I think he was tired!!!
He was much easier at 2 years old!!
It's hard not to take it personally I know. He didn't mean a word of it I'm sure.
Thanks for the replies and help x
You can't really show that hitting and biting is wrong if mummy does it can you? You lead by example. I know what it's like, I have a 3.5 year old who is lovely in preschool but as soon as we leave he's in total meltdown mode until bed. He's tired, he's had a long day and I think it's actually because he's missed me. I cuddle, soothe, let him know I understand and get on with my afternoon around him. He usually perks up once he's fed as I'm sure hunger after a long day is also a factor. It's not personal and they really have no control over the big emotions.
Could he have struggled at holiday club and venting at you? Ya can't always trust nurseries etc to know everything that's happening. Most have too many kids and give very generic answers when sometimes the truth is they haven't a clue how that child's feeling or that some other kid has been picking on them.
He's 3. He's tired from day care. Just pick him up under your arm, legs facing out, and get him home. Nobody is watching you, what's all this 'want to die' malarkey? nobody cares that a three year old is having a tantrum. Don't take what your DS says personally, he's just little and tired.
I think "there was no reason for this outburst" isn't fair. He had a reason, even if you think it isn't valid or worthy of his reaction. They see the world differently and what's minor to us can be massive for them (and vice versa). Whatever he felt angry about is valid, and with age he will learn to control his responses and his emotion will become more relevant to the scale of the situation. But you need to help him by modelling calm behaviour. Toddlers say and do some awful stuff but they don't mean it and they don't mean to hurt you physically or emotionally so try to remember that
^^apologies for that sounding patronising, that's not at all how I meant it
He's three, he's tired and emotional after a long day. You getting stressed and hitting him will just wind him up more.
Yes, completely understand. Our DD is 3 and does a bit of Jekyll and Hyde, as we like to call it, after getting picked up sometimes. We hope it's just a phase. She'll usually have to go to her room after something like this and we let her out when she's told us she has calmed down (3-5 minutes). She'll say sorry for saying rude and hurtful words, then we'll hug, and life will go on.
He doesn't do it to you, its not about you. He had a long day at holiday club probably making sure he did behave and at the end of the day he was tired and hungry and could finally relax and out came the emotion
Nothing in your post is unusual for a 3 year old in fact I would be surprised if it's not every three year old they still work on instinct. Not biting kicking out in anger is not innate behaviour, it's learnt that in society you don't do it
Upperlimit "I wanted to die" meaning that there were lots of people around on the pavement where we were and they were looking (probably not taking as much notice as I thought, guess I worry too much what other people think).
Merkin I meant that because he said he liked holiday club and staff said he'd been good all day I couldn't see any reason why he would suddenly turn into a major tantrum. If he'd had a bad day there I could have understood it more. But yes, where 3 year olds are concerned there's sometimes a lack of logic and sometimes three doesn't have to be a reason at all.
As others have said he is 3 years old and probably exhausted after a full day at holiday club. You just get him home quick as you can and in bed. I wouldn't be embarrassed, everyone knows 3 year old tantrums. I have a 3 year old myself and know they can be hard work however you do need to toughen up and not take it all personally. Kids will pick up on it. Most parents have heard I hate you at least once from their kid.
DD1 - now 15 - was like this. DD2 just battled me about getting dressed everyday.
DD1 was like it for a loooong time. It is not personal. As a child I knew my mother didn't like me so I never misbehaved like this as I couldn't trust she wouldnt just leave me. I think when kids push the boundaries like this with you it is because they know you love them no matter what.
I remember one incident very well when DD1 announced to the whole queue in sainsburys that I was not her real mother, I had stolen her from her real mother who was now very sad. I also treated her like a slave making her do all the housework and she was going to run away at the first opportunity. I am surprised no one called social services.
I am her real mother by the way!
I found I needed to smile through gritted teeth and say I was sad she felt like that as I loved her very much, always would and would be sad if I didn't have her.
It will get better.
Thanks, yes Merlin, he's had his dinner and a quick bath and now asleep. Over tired I think!
I went to view a nursery for my 18 month old a little while ago and the very nice manager showing us around explained that their first reaction after having fun all day is to remember that you left them and get upset, so they often burst into tears upon seeing you!
So I think you are hugely misinterpreting his emotions even though it must be very distressing for you to hear that, but you must remember that he is 3, he is tired, he has missed you, he cannot process the fact he is tired and has missed you, and you need to just ignore the tantrum and give him some love.
Please don't ever smack though I'm sure you realise that though, it's really not the answer ever and cannot be condoned.
Screaming and shouting at me to go away and that he hates me.
where has he got this language from? Could it be nursery or the club? It seems a bit extreme for a three year old. ( I have a four year old before anyone asks)
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