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Coping strategies needed please....

(17 Posts)
steben Tue 02-Apr-13 17:27:11

Sorry this could be long - am at end of tether with DD 3. Just feel like worlds shittiest parent - yesterday she had a friend round to play. Knows him quite well - they usually are quite rough and tumble but manageable. It was a disaster after about 5 mins - DD just kept kicking off and crying and tantrumming over nothing in particular. The boys mum just kept giving me embarrassed half smiles along the lines of - " oh ds does this too" but I could tell she was getting fed up of it And couldn't wait to leave. I kept warning her he would go, doing one two three then naughty step. All to no avail she just got worse. They then left and I was so angry I shouted very loudly and sent her up to her to her room to calm down. I was very shouty and aggressive and am ashamed of myself frankly and think if is my parenting which is why she is like this. I just don't know where I am going wrong - every other child on the planet seems better behaved. I don't know - I thought we had turned a corner with a recent horrid whining stage and maybe today has just been a bad day hmm

steben Tue 02-Apr-13 17:27:31

Sorry dd is 3 not dd3.

baskingseals Tue 02-Apr-13 17:43:15

steben you are being too hard on yourself and your dd.

it it NORMAL to behave like your dd did at 3. everybody has off days. i think the issue here is you felt embarassed and out of control in front of her friend's mum, but i am 100% sure that she was telling you the truth when she said her son was the same.

you are doing nothing wrong. the best most wonderful mothers shout at their dc.

don't worry about what other people think. there is no white picket fence sunny summer afternoon normal. to a greater or lesser extent we are all making it up as we go along.

feel confident in yourself and your parenting. enjoy your dd.


steben Tue 02-Apr-13 17:49:44

Thank you basking - I have just kept going over what happened yesterday all day today. I know you shouldn't compare but it just seems like it is always us at the minute...

Jellykitten1 Tue 02-Apr-13 18:06:22

Sounds typical of a lot of 3 yo. They get better. I would try putting her out of the room "until she is ready to play nicely". mixed in with the naughty step. Lots of praise for playing nicely. Try to distract from tantrum wherever possible. A planned activity can go down well with friends coming round, maybe playdoh using household objects like forks and spoons, combs, toothpicks, bottletops etc, to make patterns in (rather than just cutting out shapes or rolling sausages) kids love this.

If you haven't already got one, invest in a wooden train set (the sort that has linked wooden pieces). Tesco sell one for £12. Or get a second hand set on Ebay. Lots of pieces help. Say you are all going to build a huge, massive train track together. (even if you haven't got loads of bits, the thought of building a "massive track" captures their imaginations!). If she has any small dolls or figures they can be the passengers. Build a station or a shop out of a tissue box. You can start the visit off well by taking their interest with something new you can often avert the kick-offs. Then if she squabbles you can advise she will be excluded from play until she plays nicely. good luck. It gets better honestly smile

baskingseals Tue 02-Apr-13 18:24:09

jellykitten - can you come round to mine please? grin

anytime - like right now

steben Tue 02-Apr-13 20:17:33

Thanks jelly kitten and yes please come to my next play date smile

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Tue 02-Apr-13 20:24:50

I agree, do not expect them to play together, I always tried to have something to do, evenif just stickers or similar. If you sit them quite far apart they can't hit each other wink

I think I sense you were a bit embarrassed about it in front of the other mum? Your dd will smell this fear! I don't think you should threaten they will go, rather that she will have to go to a boring place and not play or something. Do not be the least embarrassed about your dd playing up, in your head pretend to be a teacher and be very firm and clear.

Everyone has bad days, if you know the shouting was not good, I am sure you can take deep breaths next time to not do it.

Angelik Tue 02-Apr-13 20:40:42

DO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT! All children do this at some point. You sound like you were embarrassed but you shouldn't be and the other mum is probably thinking thank goodness it's not just her LO that shows off. My DS did this to me a couple of months back (just turned 3) when a friend and her 2.5 year DS popped round. My DS was really showing off. I tried all the things you did, counting to 3, naughty step etc. it climaxed with DS hitting me and my reaction was to physically deposit him in his room for a few mins. Obvs he tried to get out so I held the handle so he couldn't at which point he really ramped up the tantrum and humiliation by screaming 'help me sue (my friend), help me' repeatedly. I was mortified and felt like I was scarring him for life. Fortunately sue saw the funny side. They are little terrors sometimes.

Iggly Tue 02-Apr-13 20:47:42

My DS gets like this when he's overtired or about to get ill so he's under the weather but cannot tell us.
I dont bother with trying to use traditional discipline as makes it worse. Just keep it simple (e.g. DS how doyou ask for things nicely, how do you play nicely etc etc). Usually works. if not, taking him aside and holding him until he calms down usually works.

QTPie Tue 02-Apr-13 21:13:10

Oh goodness, honestly, they (3 year olds) ALL have days/times like this.

Personally, DS (3 years 2 months) generally choses when we are out somewhere nice, the grandparents are here or some other situation where I REALLY don't want him to be be on his worst behaviour...

The best thing you can do is try to get them away to their rooms so that BOTH of you can cool off before one of you explodes. BUT we have all had those exploding/shouty moments too - they do know how to push it.

Just learn from it, forgive DD and yourself and move on. I always try to use those instances where I am not proud of myself or my parenting to make myself better for next time smile

steben Tue 02-Apr-13 21:18:39

Thank you - I can't tell you how much better these posts have made me feel. I was embarrassed - this mum is a good friend and I would hate her to think my dd is a nightmare and it doesn't help that the comparison between my dd and her calm well behaved ds is growing ever more obvious. Don't get me wrong he can be difficult but seems much more in control than dd! I don't think she is judging me more that I am judging myself in another parents eyes.

baskingseals Tue 02-Apr-13 21:52:38

steben she doesn't think your dd is a nightmare, honestly she doesn't.

also they all go through different stages at different times - he might be calm now, but in a years time it might be a different story.

you are doing a good job.

Elizadoesdolittle Tue 02-Apr-13 22:44:33

You've just described my afternoon. DD1 age 3.3 was an absolute nightmare. After a fraught time with much shouting from her and to my shame, me, I packed her off to bed at 6:30 as I couldn't take anymore. I hate being a shouty parent but we are only human. You are not alone, and I've taken comfort in the thread too knowing its not just me! I will hope for a better day tomorrow.

QTPie Tue 02-Apr-13 23:23:08

Honestly, those "embarrassed half smiles" are actually meant to be "I feel for you, you have my complete understanding". There is never a right thing to say (one parent to another, right infront of the DC) on those occasions, instead it is an understanding look.

They all have their moments, I bet your friend's DS does too.

I hate to say, but I think that behaviour is a "long haul" investment and this age seems to require a lot of input (re-enforcing boundaries, being consistent, consequences etc). It just takes a hell of a lot of patience - more than I ever thought I have (and don always have...).

Just keep at it and try and keep sane along the long, repetitive journey. Hopefully, one day, our kids will turn out in a way that we are proud of it (and we will still have our sanity and our hair ;) )

mummy2benji Tue 02-Apr-13 23:42:09

Even the best behaved child morphs into Godzilla on occasion - always in company, usually in public, and just when you want them to behave well and appear nice. Anyone who is a parent should understand that and have sympathy. Tantrums at 3 are to be expected, and I wouldn't think badly of a child or mum for that happening on a playdate. Ds1 had a playdate a while back at the age of 4 where the other boy lost it completely on leaving, lashed out at anyone and everyone within his grasp, and his mum had to literally carry him out kicking and screaming under her arm - it made pleasant and polite goodbyes a little awkward. And don't feel bad re shouting - we all lose the plot and shout. In fact I have just commented on another thread about shouting and admitted my guilt.

steben Wed 03-Apr-13 16:41:29

Thanks - mumsnetters are amazing in situations like these smile

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