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3year old really pushing my patience. Help!!

(9 Posts)
Becka87 Thu 09-May-13 14:20:51

My DD was 3 in march and I have a baby boy born at the end of January. DD was an absolute dream from birth so easy going never had the terrible twos etc. but just lately she has been horrendous and I am losing my patience and as horrible as it sounds I really don't like her at the minute.

She has been potty trained for well over a year and never had accidents when baby was about 5 weeks she just started wetting herself and not saying anything and if I say why are your clothes wet she says "cos" rarrh it just makes me so cross. She has lost the ability to say I need a wee- she never poos in her pants she says that she needs the toilet if she needs that.

She developed funny little " tics" such as blinking her eyes excessively and biting her cheeks. I have been told to ignore these but they are so annoying. Everything she does just drives me mad and I just can't be bothered to do anything with her because I know she will do something to irritate me. Please don't judge me I feel awful as it is.

Does anyone have suggestions?

Sleepwhenidie Thu 09-May-13 14:29:58

Re the wet pants, my DD was exactly the same, potty trained at 2, started weeing (never poo) in her pants nearly a year later, it is infuriating, but she is looking for a reaction. Don't give her one, just put her back in pull ups for a while - be nice and sweet about it, its not a problem (it will actually make your life a lot less stressful) and it won't last once she realises it is entirely up to her whether she wears pants or pull ups!

I don't have any experience of the tics, but suspect that is also part of attention seeking, you have to ignore it!

3 year olds are very perceptive and she will be very aware of new baby's imminent arrival and what it might mean for her, she probably is torn between wanting to be a big girl and still stay as your baby, very confusing for her. It is a 3 year old's job to test your patience, it will pass, it will pass...

Good luck smile

EarnestDullard Thu 09-May-13 14:37:06

My two are a similar age (DD1 also turned 3 in March, DD2 born last October). I can sympathise with the 3yo awfulness, 3 has been much worse than the so-called "terrible twos", and DD1 was such a sweet and biddable child when she was younger. It makes it so much more frustrating knowing how lovely she used to be!

I think a lot of it is just typical 3yo behaviour; they're learning how to be independent and rebelling in a way. So they push boundaries. But they're still very little, really. It's easy to forget how little, when you're comparing them to how they used to be (and compared to a new baby who's fairly helpless the seem huge!). I find it helps to keep reminding myself that she's not being deliberately difficult (even though it can seem that way at the time). She's just learning how to behave and turning into a proper little person.

It could also be attention-seeking in reaction to the new baby. So by avoiding her the problem may get worse rather than better. Can you spend some quality time with DD, leaving the baby with DH/DP or another relative? I know it's so hard with a young baby, I'm sure the older sibling always gets a bit neglected. The pants wetting especially sounds like attention-seeking; I'm no expert but I think the best thing would be to change her and clean up quietly without a fuss, and conversely really really praise her for using the potty or toilet. So she's not getting attention (positive or negative) for accidents.

As your DS gets a bit older he'll be able to entertain himself a bit more, he'll develop a more predictable routine and you'll be able to spend more time engaging with your DD. I've definitely noticed everything getting a bit easier in the past couple of months (although DD2 has just started crawling now hmm), and when I spend time doing something nice with DD1 she behaves better, and I feel less guilty so it puts me in a better mood too.

CreatureRetorts Thu 09-May-13 17:44:57

It will be the new sibling and she will also pick up on your feelings too.

Plus I'm guessing that you're tired so it feels much much harder.

And your 3 year old will feel quite old compared to the baby - but actually she's only 3. So little really.

First of all - ignore the tics. Just carry on as normal. It could be a nervous habit, it could be boredom whatever but please don't punish your daughter by not wanting to do things with her.

Why are you so angry with her?

Secondly the wee thing. Just remind her to do a wee. I made a game of it with DS - told him to do a sneaky wee to see if any were hiding. Works a treat. Remember, she's 3, she gets distracted. It probably is a way of getting your attention as, by the sounds of it, I'm not sure you're giving her much. Do you praise her for good behaviour, do you make time during the day to listen to her, to play with her on her terms and to involve her in looking after your baby?

Becka87 Thu 09-May-13 18:47:47

She gets ALOT of attention I spend most of my day drinking pretend tea and eating pretend cake, cards dominoes out in the garden soft play swimming. the poor baby only gets picked up if feeding or changing. Luckily he is pretty laid back.

I think I find it so hard because this is a total opposite to what she was like and I'm struggling with the change in her as well as learning to look after 2 pretty much on my own.
I knew 2 would be hard but I was not prepared for this.

I make such a big fuss when she goes on the potty/toilet but I feel I'm wasting my breath because the next time she will wet herself when I ask why she just ignores me. I say go have a wee she sits on the potty doesn't do anything 2 minutes later she's wet.

Thanks for your commentd

gottogetdressed Thu 09-May-13 19:04:51

I am in a very similar position too (ds was 3 in february and dd born in november), and can totally sympathise (especially after today's 'fun')!

We had a similar potty training regression about 2 months after dd arrived. I found that a reward system knocked it on the head better than anything else. If he stayed dry for a whole day, he got a sticker, and once he had 10 stickers, he got to choose a new toy (not a big or expensive thing, he's into trains so he chose a new wooden one).

We haven't had tic's, but he has developed a developmental stutter, which is slowly going now, so just try not to let it get to you. Easier said than done when you are shattered, I know.

If you can get any help, as suggested by others, just to give you a break and some rest, its probably the best thing you can do for you both. Good luck!

CreatureRetorts Thu 09-May-13 19:20:55

Maybe really really try the sneaky wee thing. Ignore her if she gets wet - just change her and leave it at that.
Is she napping or getting early enough bedtime?
What about free childcare - have you put her down for her 15 hours? The break will help.

Becka87 Thu 09-May-13 19:59:25

I will give it a go anything is worth a try. She does her 15 hours- she's an absolute angel at nursery and very very rarely has accidents!

She is in bed for 7.30. She hasn't napped for nearly a year if she sleeps in the day now it's knocking on 10 when she drifts off. She used to do a good 12 hours now she barey doing 10- maybe I should get her to bed earlier.
Thank you for all suggestions its also reassuring to know its not just my child.

CreatureRetorts Thu 09-May-13 20:33:48

It is hard! I have a 3.6 year old and 17 month old. I didn't like my eldest at times but took a step back and tried to put things in perspective.

It does get a lot lot easier!

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