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aargh - 3.5 yr old being a horrible brat and p***ing me off!

(37 Posts)
miranda2 Mon 14-Mar-05 19:43:26

Is this normal?!
We didn't seem to really have 'terrible twos', but the last few weeks my 3 and 8month old has been really pushing the boundaries. He's been hitting other children at nursery, and running into roads etc. I got tough this evening - he'd said in the morning he wanted to make popcorn and we were planning it all morning before nursery, and on the way home, but then he started really messing about while we had tea - snatching food off my plate and giggling madly etc. At first it was funny, but he KEPT ON doing it, and when I told him off he hit me. He thought this was hilarious, so I told him if he didn't sit down properly it wuold be straight to bed. He hit me again laughing, so I marched him off to bed. He kept saying he wanted to make popcorn, and I explained that I was upset too that he had chosen not to do so by deciding to mess about rather than do what I said when he was given the choice. He is now screaming in bed.

He is so lovely and adorable and affetionate and funny most of the time - why does he have to ruin it all sometimes??
Do you think this could be playing up because ds2 is due in 6 weeks? He is very keen on hte idea of his baby brother turning up, but maybe this is all internalised into bad behaviour? But then I think that is daft and far too over analytical, and he is just acting his age - after all, the baby is still not actually here and hasn't changed anything yet.
And how do you all deal with wilful faffing about?? Silly things like stopping walking to run into someones front garden on the way home from nursery, or finishing a plate of food and then throwing hte plate on the floor rather than putting it on the table - nothing major, but I just don't have the patience for it. I get angry - i can feel myself seeing red when he is pissing me off - and I can be so close to just bashing him or really screaming at him. I don't do the former but do sometimes do the latter, which is just as bad - it terrifies him and I feel awful, but I just lose it.

Frizbe Mon 14-Mar-05 19:47:17

sounds like a job for the pasta jar, or a star chart to me! I guess they all have to test the boundaries, like you say, at some point, and they keep pushing until you firmly set them, not good for us, as we have to be hard, but good for them in the long run, you've done the right thing IMO, so don't beat yourself up.

Twiglett Mon 14-Mar-05 19:48:32

Sorry to say this to you but it gets worse
Boys get a hormone burst around 4 that turns them doolally

I think you are doing the right thing, but personally I might have warned him there would be no popcorn making if behaviour continues then taken him to bed if it did

Draw a clear line between action and consequence, always carry out any threat, and forgive and forget quickly

When you find yourself losing it, pick him up and put him on the naughty step (try to warn him first) .. the act of doing so might stop you reacing in a worse way

Take deep breaths

Twiglett Mon 14-Mar-05 19:49:26

I think I might go upstairs and tell him that if he calms down and goes to sleep you can make popcorn tomorrow, tell him you love him and say goodnight

Merlin Mon 14-Mar-05 19:50:43

Miranda2 - I can sympathise with this, but sure what advice to offer. My DS is 4 and he has his moments like yours - throwing plates on floor and food seems to be a fav at the moment.

I too am expecting no2 in less than 4 weeks, and I have thought it probably is down to that. I just try and tell him off and send him to the naughty step or his room, but often he just goes off laughing or will try and hit me! I know what you mean about ending up just screaming back at them in frustation. Not sure if there is a quick solution - think we just have to keep going, saying and meaning no and carrying out the punishment and hopefully when the babies arrive things may start to improve ..... or then again that's probably a whole other thread!!! Is your partner/dh around to help with the discipline bit and back you up - I do find that DS tends to respond better to Dh telling him off than me!!!

miranda2 Mon 14-Mar-05 20:11:39

Twiglett - I did warn him! And I did go upstairs to him and say that we could make popcorn tomorrow, and that I loved him! I even read him a story as usual etc. I explained several times that it was sad that we couldn't make popcorn but he had made that choice by deciding to be silly when I had warned him, and there was nothing I could do abuot it. I'm calmer now he's stopped screaming! Part of the prob is just that i get so tired in the evenings now (am 34 wks pg), so my patience is very thin.
Thanks everyone. just read the 'you know youre not an earth mother' thread that was linked to on a similar thread to this, and it has made me feel much better!!

Twiglett Mon 14-Mar-05 20:15:10

IN which case you have done everything perfectly (IMHO .. very humble .. anyway)

good for you

pregnancy when you already have a child is hell .. it gets so much better when the baby is here though, you will be surprised at how much more you can love your DS when you see him in his new relationship as big brother to your new baby .. aaah

kid Tue 15-Mar-05 17:30:09

Twiglett - Please tell me it isn't true that boys get a hormone burst around 4
Or maybe my DS has had it early, he is 2.11
(I hope thats the reason for his behaviour anyway!)

PuffTheMagicDragon Tue 15-Mar-05 17:36:37

Twiglett, tell me more about this hormone boost around age 4 - ds1 is 4 in a couple of months -forewarned will be forearmed!

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Tue 15-Mar-05 17:40:26

I remember DS1 turning 4. He was such a quiet little boy. He was wearing glasses and looked like a butterwouldn'tmeltinhismouth boffin. Then came 4. Huge testosterone rush and this mad football crazed boy screamed into our lives. Not sure if he was replaced by the fairies because we had been bad, but all I know is that the sweet boy took some years to come home.

PuffTheMagicDragon Tue 15-Mar-05 17:41:46

Oh bloody hell .

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Tue 15-Mar-05 17:45:24

Fret not Puff. My gorgeous, affectionate, loving, kind boy arrived back home. (He was 11)!

PuffTheMagicDragon Tue 15-Mar-05 17:47:52

Funny thing is, most of the boys I taught in primary schools were little darlings, on the whole, I had more problems with girls behaviour.

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Tue 15-Mar-05 17:49:16

That was at school puff.... <<evil laugh>> It's when they are at home that you have to worry. lol

kid Tue 15-Mar-05 17:52:15

I've made an appointment with a child psychologist for my DS, I can't cope with his behaviour anymore. I don't even know if his behaviour is that bad. I only have DD to compare him to and she never had any tantrums and she is 6 now. Why couldn't I have been lucky enough to have 2 angelic kids???!!!

rogan2001 Tue 15-Mar-05 21:24:16

my ds, 3.3yrs is exactley the same after nursery, i think it's because they have a more stricter regime there, that when they get out they have freedom again and get a bit cheeky, plus they are a bit excited. your walk on the way home from nursery is exactley the same as mine, has to walk in everyone's gardens, messes about. Luckily i have a lot of patience and will only get tough when he does something that will put him in danger.

dot1 Wed 16-Mar-05 09:31:26

another loopy 3.5 year old ds here..! Has always been good as gold, quite quiet, extremely well behaved, and mostly still is, I have to say, but over the last month has started to like fighting (where on earth did he get that from?!) and everything magically turns into guns and swords - we're completely gobsmacked because obviously being PC mummies we've never bought him anything remotely resembling guns or swords...!! I'm definitely blaming it on testosterone!

katierocket Wed 16-Mar-05 09:35:21

we're going through exactly the same thing at the moment. DS is 3.6, was no trouble, no "terrible twos" to speak of but over the last few weeks he has turned into a monster. It's really dfficult isn't it.

GeorginaA Wed 16-Mar-05 13:25:04

Tell me, does this testosterone surge result in sulkiness, moodiness, answering back, argumentative behaviour? I've just described a mini-teenager haven't I? It has to be hormones.

And you say I have to wait until 11 before I get my darling boy back?!!!!


hewlettsdaughter Wed 16-Mar-05 13:30:44

There's more on testosterone surges in this book if any of you are interested...

hewlettsdaughter Wed 16-Mar-05 13:32:52

Though the author has quite strong views on caring for boys in the home rather than nurseries etc, so be warned!

katierocket Wed 16-Mar-05 13:34:39

georgina - you could be describing my ds at the moment!

elliott Wed 16-Mar-05 13:38:05

Just to say, yes we are getting episodes of very challenging behaviour at the moment (3yr 3m) and I know of others havign a hard time with boys this age! often when he is tired and/or hungry but that doesn't make it any easier to cope with. I can very much relate to your tendency to 'see red' as this happens to me too - makes me feel really crap - I do find time out (for us its in the porch) helps me to calm down, if nothing else!
Only things I find help are being very consistent (i.e. no backign down once you've made a stand) - I find that once I have laid down the law once it is easier the next time. The hard thing though is the low level naughtiness - suspect this may be best ignored and that it is important to limit the battles, but this is easier said than done!
I'm afraid you can probably expect things to get harder once the baby arrives for a while - we had a period of playing up then - and you do need to be a little more lenient at that time and try to give lots of positive attention.
Its hard though!

miranda2 Thu 17-Mar-05 09:49:56

Phew, well... so the bad news is this is normal and will probably get worse...the good news is it isn't my fault!! I only hope this is his testosterone rush now, and I'm not due another one in 4 months time. He certainly has been getting quite into swords (for chopping down trees or monsters)!
I've been trying to pay him more attention in the times before and after nursery (no more reading the paper while he watches the bedtime hour - now I watch with him or suggest we play with playdough or read a story) and it does seem to be having an impact I think. So I can cope with it I've moved my lunchtime nap to just before I pick him up from nursery so I have a bit more energy! I'm in a good mood with him today though as he has been waking up v.early, and yet again woke up at 6 and came into our room; but today I told him to go back and play quietly in his room until we got up at 6.30, and bless him he did exactly that, even (we discovered later) went to the potty and did a pooh on his own (took off his own night time nappy)! So fingers crossed...
Though I must say I'm reassessing the idea of having them both in the same room if this early morning waking is going to continue - but that is a whole other thread!

elliott Thu 17-Mar-05 10:02:28

well miranda you can join me on that other thread - we are about to try yet again (third time) to put them in the same room but I don't hold out hopes of it working

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