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So sad that my 3 year old is angry and cross esp at the weekend.... what to do?

(20 Posts)
ejbab Sun 02-Nov-08 08:47:34

I'm so fed up and depressed about family life at the moment. At the weekend when DH and I are both around, DD (3) is pretty much constantly whinging and cross and full of 'no no nos' from the moment she wakes up til she goes to bed.
She's usually a happy and sometimes even angelic little person when we're out and about, but at home she seems to be constantly furious, either demanding that one of us does something for her, gets something for her or telling us that she certainly won't do xyz (put on shoes, brush teeth, put away toys etc), accompanied by screaming fits, lots of yelling, tears and tantrums. Our usual response is 'if you don't do x, you won't get to do w' or 'if you don't clear up z, it goes in the bin'... and we follow through (well, toys do'nt actually get put in the bin, they get hidden away for a bit otherwise there would be nothing left).
I know this is probably just the age and a phase, but come Sunday night (which is now - we live in Australia), DH and I are spent, hollow shells of our former selves, both brimming with sadness and just a touch of resentment that the other has probably caused this monstrous child to behave so badly but both at the end of our tether and totally confused as to how to handle it.
As it is, neither of us look forward to weekends at the moment although we're full of optimism every Sat morn that this one will be different. I guess this has been going on for a month or so, although she's always been an, ahem, spirited child.
Is it that she can't handle us together? I'm a SAHM but she gets plenty of alone time with her dad and together time with us both in the week and weekend. Is it that I'm 15 weeks pregnant and she can sense change is coming although my instinct tells me it's not that?
Is it that she's just a total pain in the you know what 3 year old and hopefully this too will pass?
In the meantime, how do we cope without going nuts and hating how stressful and exhausting life as a family has become.
BTW.... there are plenty of tantrums and lots of bad behaviour during the week too, but just not quite as bad.
Thank you for reading my rant!

LadyLaGore Sun 02-Nov-08 08:49:26

have you seen the 'how to talk' book?
v good for this sort of thing. i recommend it on here about once a week blush

oops Sun 02-Nov-08 08:50:24

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mrsruffallo Sun 02-Nov-08 08:53:59

She sounds tired- how is her sleep?

ejbab Sun 02-Nov-08 09:31:51

She's a good sleeper at night - 7 til 7 and in the day she'll have a sleep every other day but always has a rest.
I think one of the things I should say is that I don't think DH is brilliant at dealing with her mood swings (well i would say that!). I feel he gives in to her far too much, then when he reaches the end of his tether he's far too cross with her rather than trying to maintain the keep-it-calm-and-consistant method. But having said that I don't think that's the only reason.
Oops, sorry to hear that you are in the same boat x2. That must be bloody awful.
LadyLaGore - I've not heard of that book. Who is the author?

Acinonyx Sun 02-Nov-08 09:37:40

ejbab - that is probably the problem right there. Dh is like that except he never really gets angry - just overwhemed and helpless at her stubbornness. I've talked to him about being a bit firmer and more consistent.

ejbab Sun 02-Nov-08 09:41:41

You might be right Acinonyx. Somehow the fact that we get along okay most of the time in the week makes me feel like it must be soemthing to do with him being there. We had a big talk about it this evening and as usual it ended up with him feeling like I was attacking him although I really was feeling at that stage that we were both just being held hostage to her crazy 3 year old temper.
Is it the age to be this cross all the time?

LadyLaGore Sun 02-Nov-08 09:51:48

how to talk book smile

Notjustaclevername Sun 02-Nov-08 09:56:58

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exasperatedmummy Sun 02-Nov-08 10:01:39

ejbab, are you me? Or at least my antipodean counterpart??

This is turning into a repeating pattern in our house too. During the week DD is quite lovely, she has her moments but on the whole she is lovely.

Come the weekend its like she moved out and Damien has moved in. You would think wouldn't you that having both mummy and daddy to play with would make for a happy little girl. But no, its whining and demands that daddy pretty much always gives in to - this morning she had pasta for breakfast hmm.

Starting to think a weekend job might be a good plan.

Perhaps it is their age - or perhaps they have just grown used to playing mum and dad off against each other. Thing is, i would like to say it gets better - but i have an 18 yo too - it doesn't sad

bloss Sun 02-Nov-08 10:26:36

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ejbab Sun 02-Nov-08 10:37:13

Right, will go off to the shops and get that book tomorrow. I'm so glad I'm not alone in having a weekend monster, alhtough obv wouldn't wish it on anyone.
Bloss - your DH sounds just like mine - negotiating when a firm command is best etc. That's exactly what happens here. I guess it's hard for them when they're only around 2 full days a week, although my sympathy is wearing thin.
.... thinking about it, quite a few of my friends have saturday jobs - I think we know why.
What are you DC like if you leave your DH/DP with them on their own for a day? I'm thinking it might be worth an experiment just to see how they get along. We're normally only apart for a few hours here and there, but I would be interested in seeing what happens if DH did a 'full day' on parent duty. .... now what would I do with myself from 7am til 7pm?

BoffinMum Sun 02-Nov-08 10:46:39

When mine got like this I would take them on a trip out that would make them physically exhausted (eg swimming, park). At least they'd shut up for a bit then. Cinema has a pacifying effect sometimes too.

BTW 1-2-3 Magic by Phelan is a great book - slightly cheesy, admittedly, but his psychology tactics for handling kids this age who whine and do the lying on the floor thing are very clever.

BoffinMum Sun 02-Nov-08 10:49:32

Commercial website for 1-2-3 Magic and so on.

exasperatedmummy Sun 02-Nov-08 10:54:03

ejab - you need to leave him for about a week!! A day and she will be his perfect little princess then he will say, ah well, it must be you then dear hmm. Believe me, i know!

tryingtoleave Sun 02-Nov-08 11:27:47

I think weekends can be harder than weekdays because there is less of a routine and the rules (not sure if that is the right word) are slightly different because there is another person involved. Also, I think everyone is expecting a bit of a break so problems get magnified. I'm not sure what the answer is though.

lingle Sun 02-Nov-08 12:10:12

"How to Talk so your kids will listen and listen so your kids will talk" should help both you and (perhaps especially) your DH. It's worth buying for the fab 1970s cartoons alone (hope they've not been updated).

We've got a bit of this at the moment with DS1. Had a minor breakthrough the other day. He hadn't realised how rude it was when he said things like "you have to buy me this" or "I won't do it until you've brought this to me". I gave him some models of things to say which would not upset me and DH but which expressed similar sentiments eg "I hope I'll get one of those one day" and he took to it really well.

ejbab Mon 03-Nov-08 06:54:44

Well all that stuff about it being DH fault is obviously a load of old ******. Have just had a day from hell with DD (it's Monday evening here). Tantrum after tantrum, all starting with her refusal at 9.30am to walk 3 metres from the front of our building to the car but also refusing to get into the pushchair put in front of her for the very reason that I know she won't walk that tiny distance being such a stubborn and lazy bugger. Then general crossness as soon as we got home at midday: don't want sandwich want toast, don't want water want milk, want TV, want dummy, no not that one mummy, blow my nose, pick up that toy, do this, play with that with me, no not like that, want this mummy, now, now, now, more, more, no, no, no etc etc etc. Interspersed with a little bit of screaming, lots of crying, a few time outs for hitting me. What a mistake it was to stay home as we do usual go out to a park after rest time.
But what makes me so depressed is that I really dislike her when she's so contrary and demanding. Managed to keep my cool most of the time and just stayed consistant with my nos and explanations for those nos.
But really, should it be this hard and exhausting? It's 5.50pm and in about 5 mins DH will walk in and take over for bathtime and story, thank goodness. God, can't even drink a glass of wine to drown sorrows.
How will I cope when the baby arrives in April?
Sorry for being such a whinging pom as they still call us here.

Acinonyx Mon 03-Nov-08 09:47:38

I find we have ghastly spells like this - maybe a day - but we had a dreadful 5-6 week spell over the summer which made me totally miserable. It sprirals - dd's impossible, I get a shorter and shorter fuse and so on.

Then it passes and soemtimes I just can't see why. I think it's thier age. Oh - and of course - sometimes it's dh's fault wink

It's the dreaded transitions - out of the house, into the car. We used to have the no walking problem and I just absolutely refused to carry her. Yes, we spent a long time at first getting from the car to the house (about 20 metres) but she now knows that mummy doesn't carry her. Dh does, and she plagues him to be carried - well - that's for him to deal with hmm We've ditched the pushchair - if she knows it's an option we're doomed.

It IS a form of torture and ONLY a mother would put up with this behaviour for a nanosecond!

Moosmummie Mon 03-Nov-08 13:52:37

I have found that weekends are always harder. I always think "oh god it's Friday night" and "yay its Monday morning:/ The trouble is we all expect to have a bit of downtime at the weekends - and clearly not everyone can as meals still need to appear, homework needs to be done, clean school uniforms have to come from somewhere. I spend all weekend in a ferment of resentment and I work far hardeR ON wkends than I do during the week! Consequently me and DH argue a lot which spills over onto kids who squabble - causing more stress etc. DH also tries to squeeze a weeks worth of parenting into two days and then gets pissed off when they aren't grateful enough and then shouts at them. The joy!

My littlest DS is such a whiner - it;s like cheesewire through the brain lol by Sunday night all i can think of is my quiet desk in the living room - then OH announces he's working from home NOOOOOO!

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