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To think 3 is one of the toughest ages?

(27 Posts)
alwaystimeforgin Tue 13-Dec-16 08:07:13

Honestly, baby and toddler years were a breeze compared to having a 3 year old. My daughter has literally changed from a mellow and happy little girl to an absolute pain!

Several problems we are having at the moment but the main ones:

She wants to do EVERYTHING herself. Refuses help of any kind, makes loads of mess trying to do it herself but if I even go near to offer help she screams at me.

She is incredibly bossy, tells me what to do and what to say. Insists I play with her every minute of the day. If I dare try and sneak off to do something like prepare lunch then she kicks off.

Won't leave me alone for more than 5 minutes without whining for me to come and play. Only thing that works is TV but I really don't want her to watch it for more than an hour a day.

I have to constantly negotiate everything down to what colour cup she has to what clothes she wears that day and if I don't let her choose every single thing then she has a complete meltdown. It is very wearing as feel like I am treading on eggshells in case I get something "wrong"

Please tell me this is somewhat normal and I am not raising a complete brat blush I have tried lots of things to try and help her tackle her frustrations but nothing has worked so far. I am really not enjoying being around her at the moment and I feel really bad admitting that. Please tell me it gets better?! Also I should add, I already spend a lot of quality time with her and try and do lots of fun activities such as baking, crafts, days out and she still behaves the same. Also tried reward charts, ignoring and only praising positives, time out. None of those work.

Any words of advice?

afatalflaw Tue 13-Dec-16 08:11:40

That sounds very normal to me. My only advice is to let her get on with it. If you need to make lunch just explain that's where you are going and if she has a melt down just ignore. When she calms down explain that you needed to make lunch and you will play with her later, give her a cuddle etc.

My DD2 is very strong willed and only responds to firm boundaries. Getting cross only adds fuel to the fire.

glitterandtinsel Tue 13-Dec-16 08:11:40

My dcs were awful at 3. They are much better now!

AmberEars Tue 13-Dec-16 08:12:55

Sounds normal to me OP!

The only thing I'd suggest is not 'sneaking off' to prepare lunch. IMO it's better to say, 'Mummy can play with you for five more minutes but then I need to go and make lunch' and then do it. If she makes a fuss keep saying calmly 'you need to let me finish this job before I can play with you'. She's old enough to start learning that she doesn't make all the decisions!

MoreThanUs Tue 13-Dec-16 08:14:22

Firm boundaries and don't give in all the time. It's still a tough age though!

countingdown Tue 13-Dec-16 08:16:42

Everyone talks about the 'terrible twos'. Two was fine. I found three so hard with both my children. It does get easier.

ExplodingCarrots Tue 13-Dec-16 08:18:55

No words of advice but you just described my 3 year old word for word. I was always warned the 3s were worse than 2s and they were right.

I get bossed and demanded of things most of the day. I find ignoring the demands helps. She gives up after 5 minutes and gets what she wants herself.

We get told where to sit , what blankets we're allowed and Lord forbid we give her the wrong beaker or plate. We don't follow her orders so she will throw a tantrum. She gets time out on 'the chair' when she's been naughty. . Right at this second she's barking orders at me 'mummy! Drink ! Please' 'no, not in a minute, now!'

Give us strength smile

Soubriquet Tue 13-Dec-16 08:28:40

We have only just started having problems with the 3 stage and dd is 4 in March!!

Last week she had complete meltdowns almost everyday. She then went to my nans house Saturday morning and refused to come home. Ended up staying there until my nan took her to school yesterday morning.

She wasn't happy when I went to pick her up. Started crying and saying she didn't wan to come home

Touch wood, since she's been home, she has been behaving ok but I'm so on edge

SquedgieBeckenheim Tue 13-Dec-16 08:40:11

This is my DD, at 2.5! I dread to think what 3 will be like, as everyone warns me 3 is worse....
We give into her demands sometimes, but not every time. I don't want her to learn that she ALWAYS gets her way, but I don't want her to think what she wants doesn't matter either. It's so hard.

Enidblyton1 Tue 13-Dec-16 08:41:15

Yep, don't worry, It gets much easier by 4/5.

Paddingtonthebear Tue 13-Dec-16 08:48:01

Ha! You've never heard of the "fucking 4's" then?

Sorry, everyone I know said their kid got even worse at 4. Mine did.

Having seen 5-7 year olds kicking off and tantrumming on a regular basis I'm not sure when it gets easier. Maybe 9 or 10? And then downhill again for the teenage years grin

Soubriquet Tue 13-Dec-16 09:40:39

I was worried you was going to say that paddington sad

missyB1 Tue 13-Dec-16 10:33:21

They are all different to be honest, not all 3 year olds are like that. Some kids are stronger personalities, some are laid back, some have a quick temper, some are more independent etc...

My eldest and my youngest were very easy at 3, just wanted to please me all the time. My middle one was just in mischief all the time and I had to watch him like a hawk!

I would say you need to make it clear who is boss, stop trying to please / placate her so much. If she kicks off ignore her and walk away or pop her in her room if you don't want to hear it.

FrickOnAStick Tue 13-Dec-16 10:50:27

Come back when they hit 14 hmm

Soubriquet Tue 13-Dec-16 11:17:29

Yeah but at 14 they can get their own drinks and food etc and if they really wind you up, you can go out and calm down or shut yourself in your bedroom

neversleepagain Tue 13-Dec-16 11:31:41

3 was shit. My twins are 4 now and things have improved, not massively but enough for life to be bearable.

motherinferior Tue 13-Dec-16 11:37:57

Both of mine were total psychos at three. They are now 13 and 15 and nothing compares to three.

FrickOnAStick Tue 13-Dec-16 11:41:17

True, soubriquet.

MI - Mine were dreams at 3 and 13-16 were/are challenging (now 2 in their 20's and one mid teens). They were obviously saving the evil up. Hopefully the satanic 3 year olds will have got it out of their systems come puberty.

missyB1 Tue 13-Dec-16 13:21:19

Ha ha Frick I have been through the evil teen years already, eldest two are in their twenties now. Oldest breeezed through it, middle one was total bloody nightmare! Youngest is seven so hoping he takes after the eldest!

alwaystimeforgin Tue 13-Dec-16 18:27:04

Thank you very much for all your words of advice. I guess it's just a case then of putting my foot down more and just letting her get on with it and worry less about her getting upset and kicking off. It's really shocked me as up until a few months ago she was practically an angel! Guess she is getting me back now wink

Sunshine59 Tue 13-Dec-16 18:33:21

I have 3 DS, they are 9, 6 & 3, I hate to admit it but I absolutely hate age 3, it has been hard with all 3 of them, but it does get better x

Cosmicglitterpug Tue 13-Dec-16 18:40:43

3 has been pleasant so far, more independent, sleeps well and long, sort of interesting chat. My other child (22 months) forget it. She's not really verbal, cries if she can't get her own way, still wakes at night sometimes. I guess it depends on temperament.

Ellieboolou27 Tue 13-Dec-16 19:44:29

3 was bad, 4 is hell, I'm hoping 5 might be the year

Bagina Tue 13-Dec-16 19:51:41

You just described my 3 year old dd too!! She was the same at 2 though and has actually mellowed!! I can give her all the time and attention in the world and it's still not enough. I've started being very strict now as I found I was getting quite anxious and always walking on eggshells and dreading her company. If she screams or shouts now she is on the naughty step or in her bedroom. No messing around. I also say, mummy has jobs to do now please stay in the front room. I actually think it's working!! I actually feel better as I have strategies. She's getting good at saying sorry too. She's at nursey all morning being busy so I don't mind if she has the TV on in the afternoon, she still plays. It's about survival.

BellyBean Tue 13-Dec-16 21:57:00

My 2.5 was described as the most strong willed child my childminder had ever encountered.

There was one incident where there was a row of compliant little children lined up with their wellies and coats on but DD refused to leave the house, so they didn't! Because usually v in control cm couldn't face the tantrum the walk would become!

I've had to instigate some very strict and sometimes seemingly arbitrary rules to stop her constantly fighting for control. So no playing in the car ever, because sometimes it doesn't suit to keep an eye on her in the kitchen for 10 mins, so never is better than sometimes not. Only milk after dinner because a banana sometimes became a fight at 3am. I sit where I like, like it or lump it, I play when it suits me (I'm not heartless, this is often!), most choices offered are within limited parameters, if I don't think to offer porridge for breakfast, and she asks for it I'll say it's not on offer today.

The fights have definitely reduced, she knows where she stands more.

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