Worried about my 3 year old(16 Posts)
First of all I'm sorry if this is long but I want to try and get it all down and be clear.
My 3.5yr old daughter has always been a happy little thing, outgoing I and confident. She went through a stage when she was about 2ish when there were lots of tantrums (mainly to do with wearing shoes and having to go in the buggy) but after a few months this stopped.
Recently she just seems so unhappy, she's really clingy (she doesn't even like her dad doing anything for her), she aggressive towards me, screaming and hitting me. She doesn't like going out and just wants to stay at home. Things she used to enjoy like her ballet lessons she now refuses to do and gets really upset and worked up about if mentioned. She has terrible tantrums if things don't go her way.
It seems to me like she craves sokme
She craves control which I try and give her in terms of things like choosing clothes or lunch. Obviously though there are things she's got to do that she doesn't want to which result in huge tantrums.
I can't think of anything that has caused this apart from a recent spate of bugs and illnesses. She just seems so miserable and unhappy and I'm really worried.
Any advice would be greatly received.
Firstly, when you say you give her choices, do you ask her what she wants or say would you like cheese on toast or pasta?
Secondly, is she tired?
Choices are limited because I don't want to overwhelm her, so in the morning I would ask her to pick between two dresses for example.
She might be tired, she doesn't nap and hasn't for almost a year. She goes to bed at 6.30 and sleeps through until gone seven most days. I think at the end of the day she's probably physically tired, I don't drive and we walk a lot (no buggy anymore but I am thinking about getting our old sling out which she could use) yesterday for example my Fitbit recorded over 15,000 steps and she walked at least three quarters of that too.
I wouldn't worry too much. I know everyone talks about the terrible two's but I found both our DC's really kicked off at 3! Angry, contrary, tantrums etc.
I found lots of structure helped - explain what's going to happen in advance so she doesn't feel rushed and can decide on shoes etc if that's important. Don't offer too much choice maybe - we adults like it but can be overwhelming for little ones. Sure she will be fine x
Thank you, I never experienced this with my eldest, she was always very placid and wanted to please so this is a whole new kettle of fish and I don't really know how to deal with it.
Limited choice is good
If she's tired, are yiu giving her some downtime in the day? A could of books and a cuddle after lunch maybe?
My three year old (ds) went through a phase of this; full-on tantrums, refusing to go anywhere, horrible moods. It got to the point where I really didn't like him very much (which is a horrible thing to think about your own child). Looking back it did coincide with a spate of winter bugs and tonsillitis but it took a good few months to come out of. Have there been any other changes that have prompted a change in her behaviour? Nursery room change, etc.,? DS started school nursery in January and his behaviour was partly linked to this too.
It will pass!
Preschool hasn't changed nor has home life, I can't seem to pin it down to one thing. I've decided not to push the ballet as she woke in the night crying about it. I think she probably does need some more down time after preschool and if I'm honest a little less to too.
I recall carrying my rigid, screaming 3 year old under one arm, back to the car with the baby in his car seat in the other. She then lay in the footwell and refused to get in her car seat.
I was absolutely beside myself at the time and wish someone had said to me, "stop reasoning with her. She is safe. Get in the front, ignore her and look at your email." Plus, I wonder if people saw me crouched next to the car with the door open and thought I was having a wee! xx
I find three the hardest age as they are so articulate you tend to think that they're older than they really are and forget that they are just babies in many ways.
When tired and hungry they are always worse.
What time is she at preschool?
I find that half an hour of telly after lunch helps reset the day
I think she's having a phase. I remember my youngest being really hard work as he approached four. After that he became much more straightforward.
He started school in Sep and has been a dream child despite the new routines, tiredness and so on, I could hardly believe my luck. Until the last couple of weeks that is. He's now having another of his little phases, contrary, moany, fussy, and a complete unwillingness to get with the programme, regardless of whatever the programme is! Sigh.
He will snap out of it soon and then enter a new phase of maturity and we will all remark how grown up and delightful he is !
I'm sure your little one will come through soon.
Are you feeding her anything with E numbers in?
Long shot but when my DD started behaving similar to yours I cleansed her diet (as best as I could) it did make a difference and even now if we are off out somewhere I will only give them clean foods (just to reduce the risk of tantrums etc
Could she be in pain? Have the bugs and illnesses left her with an ear problem for example? I would be tempted to take her to the GP for a thorough check up.
Could she be developing a food intolerance?
I was also going to say have you ruled out a physical problem? Can she hear properly?
You could also try cutting out sugar to see if that is a factor. My friend's DD has an intolerance to dairy and really suffers if she accidentally eats any.
But it could equally just be a phase.
Shout out to whoever mentioned ear problems, she woke up this morning with her ear literally pouring with pus. In the last month alone we've dealt with chicken pox, scarlet fever, a bad case of worms (which really affected her sleep) and an infected thumb and now an ear infection. I really hope this is the root cause of everything and she perks up and gets back to her usual self soon.
We've been doing lots of reading, puzzles and board games over the last few days as well as lots of extra love, cuddles and reassurance, she seems to have relaxed a bit although hunger is still a major trigger especially after preschool.
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