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please PLEASE help me with my tearaway 3 yr old DD. Ran right over a busy road yesterday

(40 Posts)
MrsJohnCusack Sun 03-Aug-08 11:05:10

right am putting this in other subjects to catch out all the awkward buggers who probably hide the behaviour bit

has taken me over 24 hours to be able to post this because I am so bloody mortified at my lack of control over her. this could be long and garbled

DD (4 in Dec) has always been <ahem> spirited but is also underneath it a sweet & quite thoughtful girl. But the last couple of months - bloody hell. She goes through periods of bolting but I thought she was OK again.

however, in the last week or so she has entered a period of unprecedented hideousity. (well, her sleep has been buggered for the the last few weeks, she wouldn't go to bed until I came home from rehearsals/cocnerts - think she was worrying I wouldn't come back0. Now am having trouble getting her into bed even when I am here (have managed tonight after a battle). For the last week, she has mostly been just weeing and pooing in her pants. We are now trying to matter of fact about it and not give her attention but it is GETTING ME DOWN

the other day she ran out of the driveway and into a garden 4 doors down, which was bad enough. I kind of thought she would bolt along the pavement but knew not to go into the road. BUt yesterday, we went for a lovely walk, until she decided she was afraid of a butterfly and ran right over our road. COmpletely ignoring me (as usual) yelling stop. and not stopping until I caught up with her. I was furious and upset, but decided to carry on with my weekend thing of spending time just with her, so we went to playground. She wouldn't leave with me, so I was waiting at the gate. suddenly she pegged it towards the other gate, let herself out (a supposedly semi-childproof latch) and then ran straight out into the busy road, in front of cars, ignoring me, cars had to stop, she ran out from in front of a parked car. AS bad as it can be really. I had a complete panic attack once I'd got her into the car.

She just doesn't seem to get it. It's been explained to her. Earlier in the day, she told me not to stand in the road as 'I might get hurt'. SHe doesn't listen to a bloody word I say. So it's back on the sodding lead for her because I can't trust her, even a little bit, and I don't know when I ever will be able to

we think the last weeks bad behaviour is probably down to DS (nearly 17 months) finally starting to walk, maybe she feels threatened. And maybe the last few weeks down to me having been ill a lot of the time - I wonder if I've worried her.

What I want really, is your ideas. We've done sitting in the corner etc. I don't think she cares. I've done screaming (I know I shouldn't but I am at the end of my tether) and TBH she doesn't care. I've tried taking stuff away - I'm not sure she makes the connection. I vaguely looked at some star charts today but again, I don't know if it will get through.

I feel like the world's shittest mother TBH. To let your child run over a main road - I'm in tears again writing about it. I am finding her so, so difficult. And it's me, and close family members, she's hell for. SHe's an angel at preschool (3 days a week). I suspect it's all for attention but how do you strike a balance between ignoring it & imposing some discipline. And I have spent so much time making sure she doesn't feel left out and we do lots of stuff just for her, and I'm not really sure why I bother now.

this is really long, I'm sorry, but actually I'm in despair and I don't know how to get her to listen to me, even just a little bit.

Bronze Sun 03-Aug-08 11:15:05

Reins when you're out til you can trust her. It's not worth the risk and she'll hate losing her freedom, you'll just have to explain why.
You're not the worlds shittiest Mother. You care for a start which puts you ahead of loads for a start. We all go through rough patches and have those moments where we think this is it.

charliecat Sun 03-Aug-08 11:15:37

I think this is a problem really simply solved with reins.

RubberDuck Sun 03-Aug-08 11:16:56

You're not a shit mother, a shit mother wouldn't give a toss. You're a mother who is tired, stressed out with two demanding children (let's face it, when the youngest starts to walk it's double trouble time!) and recovering from being ill.

I don't have any practical advice on the bolting thing - from the sound of it you're going the right route with the lead. Personally, the only time I would smack is if a young child had done something as god awful dangerous as run across a main road (have done so during a "play with electric socket" phase), but only if immediately afterwards (to associate the two) and fully appreciate that not everyone would agree with me on that.

Mainly, I would just say to remember the mummy mantra: "And this too shall pass". It is a short lived phase even though it feels like forever at the time. Take each day (hour? minute?) at a time and continue not to trust her for now. And have an extra large G&T once they're in bed.

MrsJohnCusack Sun 03-Aug-08 11:22:42

yes back to the sodding reins again then

I thought we'd sort of come through that once already that's all, am quite gutted that we have to do it all again.

am also gutted about the not going to the loo thing. was a nightmare to get her out of nappies (gave up in the end, had to wait til she decided) and can't believe we're here again.

my mother keeps saying it's just that she's unbelievably wilful, but I'm pretty sure I/we have done something wrong with her <sigh>.

thanks everyone

cornsilk Sun 03-Aug-08 11:25:27

Would she wear reins? She might not at 3/4. My ds1 was like this. I just assumed he would run out in the road/carpark after a bit and just had to be extra careful. Everytime we pulled up somewhere I went through what he had to do to stay safe before he got out of the car. Sometimes he did it, sometimes he didn't. You can train them to hold onto the buggy, but they will still let go if they see something really interesting and unexpected. Ironically he can now get about quite safely by himself on his bike while most of his classmates are still walking with mum / in the car, as they always walked nicely with mum and their parents never had to drum into them how to stay safe on the road at every opportunity.

yawningmonster Sun 03-Aug-08 11:26:28

ohhh mjc, my utmost utmost sympathy. dd is just ds in a different family...I can so would think at almost 4 they would get it by now but have accepted with ds he is just more work than some other kids I know and I have to accept it and try my best. Not that long ago ds ran off in the mall after being talked to about staying with me etc etc, I caught up with him and marched through Hornby mall hefting my flayling, screaming, kicking child back to the car where he was none too politely strapped in and driven home. when I calmed down, I told him that every and I mean every time he runs off I will do this, no matter what and if that means driving home from Granny and Pops then that is what I will do...last 2 weeks he has walked a couple of paces ahead looking back often and asking Im not so far your gonna take me home am I mum? so it may have sunk in. Unfortunately he is still bloody hard work most days and I don't even have a second child to deal with anyhooo...hi and we should get our wee dears together and they can reek havoc together while we drink tea with a shot or two of vodka thrown in for good measure

mamadiva Sun 03-Aug-08 11:27:45

My 2YO won't wear reins but loves the wrist link it seems to make him think he's not attached to anything even though he either holds my hand or the pram.

yawningmonster Sun 03-Aug-08 11:28:34

oh and we still often have undie bombs to deal with too (am sure this is a control thing)

charliecat Sun 03-Aug-08 11:29:09

The wee and the poo thing...hmm, maybe keep asking her every half hour. DELETE all your rage/anger/pissed off ness and race the teddy/princess whatever to the loo. Come on dd who can get there first?
Or make a game of it, just as she gets her bum on the loo say OH NO I need to go, MY turn! My turn! plucking her up, laughing...and she will be CLINGING to the bloody toilet deperate not to let you get on it.

And if she has been in the loo theres less chance of her doing in in her knickers.

But the the reins, just go with it. If she throws a fuss about it just stand still and say you are not walking anywhere till she stops it and you WILL stand there all day till she walks nicely.

ghosty Sun 03-Aug-08 11:30:47

MrsJC ... what a total nightmare! Can't reply now (dinner on table) but will put some serious thought into this and what I would do in this situation and reply in the next day or so ...
<<Gives big hug and sending oodles of sympathy to you in NZ>>

cornsilk Sun 03-Aug-08 11:31:36

She sounds like a strong minded little girl. She will make a fab adult. Stop worrying.

yawningmonster Sun 03-Aug-08 11:40:57

actually cornsilk has reminded me that I do try to tell myself that he actually has pretty good traits just no training whatsoever to use them effectively sooo
he is very decisive at 3 this means he won't bloody budge when he has made up his mind, at 30 it could mean he can make fast decisions
he likes to dictate what those around him do at 3 this means he is bloody bossy and thinks people should not go to the toilet unless he decrees it at 30 it could mean he would make a great military leader
he doesn't care if he craps his pants at 3 this means a smell trail to where ever he is holed up hiding at 30 it could mean he won't care what society expects of him and will be willing to be non conformist
it gets me through some days

MrsJohnCusack Sun 03-Aug-08 12:06:37

that's EXACTLY what I tell myself, she'll be a great strong adult (that's if I can manage to get her there without her meeting with some godawful accident). Strongminded she most certainly is

she seems to quite like the wrist strap thing so she'll go with it. she'll throw herself down on the floor at some point and have the screaming hab dabs but hey, we're used to that. One of my biggest problems is she is very tall and heavy for her age and so the obvious thing to do - just remove her from the situation - is bloody difficult. I praise her like mad when she's good.

SHe loves DS really, and is getting better about not beating him up. and they are playing otgether more and more which is nice. But I do think that underneath all the bravado there are some worries going on in that little head and I can't make head nor tail of what's going on with her at the moment. on the wee/poo front we are just making no fuss at all. She did get out of her bath and poo in the loo and I made a big old fuss. I think we'll get there on that. She won't go if you ask or if I say I'll go too, but I'll try some of those games thanks Charliecat

thanks everyone. And YM, we should DEFINITELY get together some time and let them sort each other out! (they do sound very similar)

(i have had such a shitty week, yesterday was just the final straw.)

MrsJohnCusack Sun 03-Aug-08 23:25:38

little bump for evening crowd

we are going to use the strap etc. for now and I am sticking to her side like a burly bodyguard

just looking for some long term ideas on how to start working on getting her to listen to me. Is she too young for that how to listen so children will talk bla bla bla book?

I don't feel like she's enjoying life very much at the moment TBH sad and it feels like it's going to get worse if i can't let her even run round a playground FGS

BoysAreLikeDogs Sun 03-Aug-08 23:37:59

Strap for a short while is a good idea.

It may feel like a step back, but safety is paramount yadda yadda.

I think that she may be too young for the book.

I have used the follwing techinique very successfully with my DSs over the years for when it's time to go/leave the park/pack up the picnic:

I give a five minute warning, then a two minute warning, then we leave, any dissenter get stuffed under my arm, the buggy could be steered with just one arm.

This helps the child to understand that the fun will be over, but not straightaway, IYSWIM.

(was thinking of your playground scenario then)

Sorry if too waffly

JulesJules Sun 03-Aug-08 23:45:59

Well Mrs JC, you could be me writing about my DD2, age 3. She is so so strong willed, a screamer, a biter and a bolter! She also has started weeing in her pants again and saves up poos until she is in pull up and jimjams... and the other day she ran away - along our road, round the corner and across the next road. I too have just had the most awful weekend (is it the eclipse to blame??) and just sobbed last night, furious with her and with myself for not being able to cope with her. Large amounts of wine needed.

I feel better knowing that I'm not the only one! I'm still putting her in the stroller on school run as we have several really busy roads to cross. I've got a backpack with attached lead, but if she's not happy she just lies down and screams... and she can take it off. She starts at school in the nursery class in Sept and I'm terrified she will be expelled!! Keep telling myself she'll grow up into a fab strong woman, but tbh, feel it could go either way - she could be President or Psycho!!

So you are not alone, and these things will (probably) pass... and at least you are married to the gorgeous JC...grin

Tortington Sun 03-Aug-08 23:46:59

they understand 'no' and consequences at that age.

they can understand that doing 'a' means forfeiting 'b' - as long as it's not a long drawn out affair.

i think this may be clouded becuase you want to spend the time yu have together reassring her that you are there and being a fun mummy. but its just tough, becuase mummies - whilst they can be fun - its not their role - their role is to bring up a functioning adult - and that means rules and consequences - even at 3 - i believe.

luckylady74 Mon 04-Aug-08 00:02:34

My ds1 did this at 3 and I put him on a wrist link for months I felt crap, but tons of people don't hold their kids hands next to busy roads and you didn't even do that. I had to leave my baby twins in their pram and pelt after him many times - I spent lots of times in secure indoor places (not stupid playgroups with open doors) and big parks with playgrounds far from the road.Now at 6 he is brilliant and would never run off.
She will not do this at 5 I would think - I do know a 4 yrold who does it.
dd is 3 and will wet her pants because she can't be arsed to go to the loo - I either bribe her to go or point out we're not leaving the house unless she's been - she then storms upstairs. She is a very strong willed child, but also spooked easily - which helps remind me she's a baby still. I think you're in a spiral of doubt - be firm and be nice - I think you're doing that already tbh.

zazen Mon 04-Aug-08 00:26:21

I have a bolter. She is just gone 4 (july). Sympathies.

If my Dd bolts I limit her treats. For example if she bolts and runs the full length of the park - up over a bridge (first loss of visual contact), round a corner (second loss of visual contact) and past (or maybe not the fountains) towards (thrid loss of visual contact) and into the playground (fourth loss of visual contact) I tear after her like a dustdevil and march her right out and we go all the way back to where she ran off and we go home. Straight home, no argument.

Children born in 2004 are born in the year of the monkey in the Chinese Horoscope - and those born in December are the tail of the monkey!!my Dd has a cousin also 04, but in december and bad as Dd is at bolting - or just running off, without heeding me or anything, her cousin is a lot worse - sympathy to you as your Dd sounds like this.
I understand the trying to get it across without scaring her about the world, but my heart is in my mouth when she just disappears out shopping or somewhere...

I will be trying the (hand/wrist) reins if DD keeps this bolting off behaviour up. I'm fortunate enough to be able to ditch anything I'm carrying and hare after her, but usually I'm in a city centre park of a capital city and it had thousands of people to navigate round (push asideshock) and so send you my sympathies.

Maybe tie a bit of cloth to the buggy and tell her to keep holding on to that if she wants to go to the playground etc - and if she doesn't - don't go to the playground with her. Make a deal, and stick to it.

And please enough about being a terrible mother - if you were a terrible mother you wouldn't be on here looking for advice. And empathy!! which you get in shed loads from me - another mother of a long distance 04 sprinter.

How proud we shall be when they win gold medals!!!!!!

MrsJohnCusack Mon 04-Aug-08 00:31:42

yep I do agree Custardo
believe it or not I do try to be quite strict. we do the consequences, and I keep doing it even though she doesn't actually appear to care! she is brilliant on please, thankyou, asking me if she can do things a lot of the time - she just seems to have this blind spot about bolting

BALD, I always do the warning thing before we leave the playground or similar. 5 mins then 2 then one more go on the slide or whatever, i try to never spring it on her. then if that hasn't work I tend to start leaving and usually she then follows - obv this all went tits up on Saturday. I would merrily carry her, it's just she is flipping MASSIVE (I am pretty large and strong myself but even so, it is hard work hefting her about)

jules I am GLAD I am not alone. and thankyou luckylady.

i shall stick at it muttering 'this too shall pass'. tahnks everyone. feeling slightly less crap

zazen Mon 04-Aug-08 00:33:52

BTW - I really never thought I was in charge of DD - we have a negotiated deal type of relationship - so don't be embarrassed about not being in control of your DD "I am so bloody mortified at my lack of control over her" you never were in control of her, and never will be!!

We all try and do the best we can - I've found that deals work with my DD, she has that kind of mind - that is until the wind lifts her ears and she's offski! but she is only just gone 4, so that's the deal I suppose smile for where we are.

hope you are feeling better!

MrsJohnCusack Mon 04-Aug-08 00:38:57

zazen, thanks!

she has been good at holding on to the pram. both this times at the weekend, we didn't have DS - was just me and her on foot. so much for qualidee time for her and me together. I am getting quite fit though!

i wonder when it will end. DH was even saying he was worried about the school she'll be going to when she turns 5 being on the main road. I rubbished him but now I'm beginnning to wonder myself....

Califrau Mon 04-Aug-08 00:41:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JulesJules Mon 04-Aug-08 00:41:31

Oh year of The Monkey - of course, never thought of that now it all makes sense See you all at the 2024 Olympics!

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