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Needs the help of a child psychologist. Three year old tantrum at 1am as she wanted to go to the toilet in the bathroom instead of the potty brought into her bedroom..

(14 Posts)
gigismummy Thu 11-Aug-11 02:12:33

OK here is a blow by blow account. Sorry it's so long. I am upset.
How should I have dealt with it?

She said she wanted to do a wee wee. So I started to go with her in the bathroom. She wouldn't come and just howled. So I turned on the light and said come. She howled. So I brought the potty into the bedroom. Then she really lost it and said she wanted to go to the toilet in the bathroom not the potty in the bedroom. So I just got back into her bed and turned over. Then she came over and hit me. Then I held her hand and said to stop otherwise mummy was going to leave the room (mummy was in bed with her because she had been unsettled and we usually let her sleep in whichever bed she likes). That made her even more angry. So I left the room and closed the door. And sat outside. She was absolutely screaming blue murder (it was not dark in the room as there was a nightlight). Then I went back in as she was crying she had to wee wee. Then she started screaming again that she wouldn't use the potty but had to be taken to the toilet. So I got pissed off and just put her in bed and left. My partner came in and calmly took her to the toilet as she wished and it was all fine.

Help. Boo hoo. I am feeling so awful I can't sleep and I'm not sure what I should have done.

I am often in conflict with her. My partner says I should compromise more. She is very willful and he does most of what she tells him to do. As a baby she screamed for the first year or so and I did a lot of running around after her. sad

nykxx Thu 11-Aug-11 02:25:48

believe me you need to show her now who is boss or she will be like this forever. as for the episode tonight. i would have just picked her up, took her to the bathroom, plonked her on the toilet and when she was done and wiped told her to come back to her bedroom. or she could stay on the toilet all night screaming if she liked. then go back to you own bed and dont let her in yours again.

i should have asked first how old she was though!!

i cant sleep either

TanteRose Thu 11-Aug-11 02:28:17

well, first of all, you don't need a child psychologist...

she is 3, its the middle of the night, and its not the end of the world smile

I know it feels awful, but its not really such a huge deal. She is right at the age, when she wants to do things herself, but sometimes can't. Even deciding where to go and wee can become a big thing FOR HER. But its your job to help her realise its not such a big thing.

however, at 1am, everything is going to get blown out of proportion, isn't it?

if the answer is for Daddy to do night time toilet visits, then that is what you will have to do.

by the way, when they are babies/very small, its the nature of the game that you run around after them. They can't do much themselves. She is growing up and exerting her will and her choice. It can be tough, but yes, compromise is important, as is setting reasonable boundries, so she feels safe.

you're doing great smile go and give her a cuddle, and then get some more sleep

BlooCowWonders Thu 11-Aug-11 02:42:42

Agree with Tante. She's little , it's the middle of the night. No one is at their best and most of us are confused and grumpy. Just cuddle and go back to sleep.

Absolutely no need to 'show her who is boss' (as above); just get through tonight and start again in the morning.

And be kinder to yourself. smile

Notquitegrownup Thu 11-Aug-11 04:35:05

Absolutely agreeing with Tante too. I could have written this post a while ago. It's haaard work looking after a strong willed little person and I always felt as if I got so much wrong, so much of the time.

However as Tante says 'When they are babies/very small, its the nature of the game that you run around after them. They can't do much themselves. (Some people have more support, and make it look easier than it is, but don't be trapped into envying them/feeling you should be the same/feeling inadequate. Just do your best, and when it all feels a bit stressful, try to post on MN, or have a game of tickle and make your dd giggle. You can muddle along together, showing your dd lots of love and having as much fun as you can along the way)

She is growing up and exerting her will and her choice. It can be tough, but yes, compromise is important, as is setting reasonable boundries, so she feels safe. (So clear boundaries, but don't be afraid of compromising to survive - and to teach her that compromise is an OK thing to do too. She will get the idea in the end)

Best of luck. Hope you get back to sleep OK

TheFrozenMBJ Thu 11-Aug-11 05:06:59

TanteRose is right. It was the middle of the night, everything wa blown out of proportion for the both of you.

whyme2 Thu 11-Aug-11 06:17:37

The thing I picked up from your post Gigi is that you seemed quite doubtful as the whether you were doing anything right. I think that often children need some strong leadership. A child waking in the night may be disorientated and sleepy. When mine have woken for the toilet, there is little chat, just physically taking them to the toilet, putting them on and then swiftly back to bed. I don't think there needs to be discussion or compromise in this situation, just a little more confidence in yourself - you are the adult here.

But everything seems 10 times worse at 1am believe me.

WomblingUpsideDown Thu 11-Aug-11 06:22:46

You sound utterly exhausted, you poor thing. Toddler logic has no pattern to it at all!
She is 3 though, so a huge congratulations to her for being able to wake up at night when she needs a wee.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 11-Aug-11 06:28:49

Oh, three year olds. I have said to friends that the hardest part for me about parenting this age is not her behaviour but mine, in the sense that I second guess mine all the time.

You did wonderfully. You responded to her, offered her two logical choices, when she didn't want either (and remember she was tired and irrational too) you gave her space to work it out herself without getting in her face. When that didn't work and she escalated, you gave her a warning (stop hitting or I'll leave the room) and then followed through on it. Perfect parenting. Then your partner coming in broke that nasty little cycle small children get into, where they're upset and then they're upset about being upset and can't break out of the emotion. So that was great too.

All in all, I award you an A+ for parenting.

FellatioNelson Thu 11-Aug-11 06:28:56

My DS1 used to this kind of thing regularly in the middle of the night, only with him it was about beds. He'd wake up, want to come in with us (always fine with us) then, no, Daddy had to go in his bed with him. Then hang on, no, he wanted Mummy. Then it would be our bed he wanted but only with Daddy, and I had to go elsewhere, and round and round we'd go, with all of us screaming our heads off all the way!

It's incredibly stressful when you are very tired and confused, but it's normal, and like all things, if you try to stay calm eventually it will pass. smile

mummytime Thu 11-Aug-11 06:39:09

Okay, when my kids have woken in the middle of the night; they are normally not fully awake. Therefore although they want/need the toilet, they don't know this, may not even be seeing what you see. I would just take them to the toilet, sit them on it. They would normally go, and usually calm down at this point. Then I would put them back to bed and go back to bed myself. If you don't take them to the toilet they normally would have an accident (either in bed or the middle of the floor).
In the middle of the night no one is there best, so its usually better to just get on with it with the minimium of communication/negotiation.
At 3 I would be encouraging them to sleep in their own bed to be honest.

Fortunately its not long and they will be able to take themselves to the toilet on their own in the middle of the night (although sometimes they then decide Mummy and Daddy's bed is nice to return to).

mathanxiety Thu 11-Aug-11 06:59:41

I agree here that she probably wasn't fully awake and maybe didn't even really need to go to the toilet that desperately... Maybe if you had praised her for knowing she needed to go to the toilet when she said she needed to, and then brought her to the toilet? Best not to turn on a light and say 'come on' when someone is 3 and it's night and already refusing and showing signs of confusion and disorientation though. Nightlights are more gentle for everyone's eyes. Sometimes a distraction like a promise to peek out and see if the moon is still there can give you the breather you need to get someone going in the direction you want -- confrontation with 3 yos is dicey even at the best of times and the wee small hours are not the best of times.

Middle of the night is not the time to have a full blown parenting philosophy crisis. But you all survived. Well done to you and your DP -- I think 3 is actually much harder than 2 as those years go. One day at a time is the best way to approach 3 year olds.

GreenTeapot Thu 11-Aug-11 07:30:51

Ugh, 3. I breathed a sigh of relief when DS turned 4 and that year was behind us. It was way tougher than 2.

I think sometimes there is no right thing when they're like this. But if anything I wouldn't have put the light on, just for the reason that if you take them really quietly and without too much light then they barely wake up and get back to sleep more easily - I'm the same.

Don't beat yourself up. Just give her a cuddle and have some fun today. Also nodding in agreement to "running round after her" as a baby - what else can you do, when they're babies they need that! smile

gigismummy Thu 11-Aug-11 07:40:11

thank you tante rose, and tortoiseinthehalfshell and all you others offering such kind support, it's really made me feel stronger. And I did get to bed afterwards. Yes and that's a good idea mathanxiety to be positive, kind and praise her. Why didn't I think of that one :-) exhaustion, bad humour, and also after a long day of FOUR major tantrums!!!!!

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