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Thread: Whats happening to my 3 year old?

  1. #1

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    Default Whats happening to my 3 year old?

    I dont know what Im askingor if I am just venting. Ok so the terrible 2s werent so bad. The tyranical 3s are posing some problems. Attitude, rudeness, hitting... and then theres the nice side of it... great conversations, independence, being a great help.

    It hit me today at dinner time that the past few weeks we seem to be going backwards in some areas. Meal times are one... it dawned on me that DD1 who is 3 and 4 months, has for the past few weeks been wanting/demanding 'help' to eat her meals, otherwise meal times end in tantrums and screaming unless she is fed. Today she had about 2 spoons of breakfast and I realised that I ended up feeding her the rest, otherwise she wouldnt have eaten it. Then at dinner time, she had another few mouthfuls and insisted on me helping her coz she 'cant do it'. With dd2 being 20 months old and requiring some assistance and dh at work, I flat out said no you need to eat your own food by yourself. Well it went down like a lead ballon and an hour later she still hadnt eaten most of her meal.

    The other thing also over the past few weeks has been bed time. She went through a stage of being kissed goodnight and falling to sleep on her own.... now we have to lay with her otherwise its mega tantrum time. Also when she wakes during the night (still) its much the same and you dont want to hear that screaming at all hours. Plus she shares a room with dd2 so often its easier to keep her quiet and lay with her.

    I am due to have dd3 in about 11 weeks and I just cant really be doing this for her. I dont do this much for dd2. I know dd1 is much higher maintainence, but this is rediculous. I need to sort it out before the baby comes along.

    I suppose I am just asking is this something that 3 year olds do? Is it a part of the 3 year old stage? What do I do? Its a hard one... shes our first and to be honest we have no idea what we're doing when it comes to her behaviour.... I look at it as an apprenticeship! Thanks for listening... any tips would be truely appreciated.


  2. #2

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    My DS1 has times where he says he 'can't do it' when I know perfectly well he can and he chucks some doozies of tanties. I'm trying not to argue with him 'cause that doesn't do any good. I say well you try & I'll help you if you have trouble. He seems to be getting better of late (touch wood) so it may be a matter of riding it out and pre-empting the trouble if you can (having said that I'm not very good at that). Hopefully someone else can offer better advice.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Whats happening to my 3 year old?

    This is only our first bub but I've worked with kiddies for 10 yrs, not that that's anything like having your own. But from my experience giving into the challenging behaviour encourages it. When she gets out of bed I'd put her straight back to bed, over again until she realizes she isn't getting what she wants. Same with eating, if she is hungry enough she will eventually feed herself, she's not going to let herself starve when she knows how to feed herself, ignoring the tantrum when it happens. As for her waking bubs by carrying on, that's a tough one, I don't have any advice for that one besides moving the little one for a while or something along those lines. I think the more you give in to her tantrums though the more she will learn tantrums mean I get what I want.
    This by no means is right, just my point of view hun, hope things settle before bub 3 comes along
    Good luck

  4. #4

    Default Re: Whats happening to my 3 year old?

    Another idea could be encouraging her to be a good example for her younger sibling. Maybe she could help by feeding the little one. You could ask her if she could be a really big help and give bub her breaky. I find with alot of kiddies they love helping & redirecting does wonders for challenging behaviour!

  5. #5

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    DS has always been a bad eater so I can't help you there, but he has gotten worse with eating, so it could be a developmental thing? Trying to get control of his surroundings (which is what they do) and this is one thing he can control? Who knows

    And he is the same going to bed at night too. DH has to lie beside him or else he just cries and screams - and its just horrible. It can take up to 2 hours to get him to sleep though, which sucks.

    The two girls go to sleep on their own, which makes it even more frustrating that he won't.

    So - I hear ya

  6. #6

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    Mel - three sucks doesn't it?
    It will pass. My DD did exactly what you are describing and I did exactly what you are describing...and she's OK. I find the 1/2 year mark to be the most challenging. I am a preventer rather than a curer so picked stuff I knew she would eat. I often found that growth spurts made them really tired at night and less likely to eat much other than a sandwich so sometimes when I feel it coming I give them their main meal in the day time and something lunchy for dinner that's easy to eat. I'm not really a strict parenting routine type so this works for me and my little free spirits
    SOme things that helped us were occasionally picking fun stuff to eat (homemade pizzas, fajitas, homemade hamburgers - scaled down for the wee one) that she could help construct her own often made her forget about the whole "I can't" thing. As does lots of encouragement. Heck she still pulls it out of the bag.
    Bedtimes well we have night terrors here so I'm still often in three different beds every night. I did start to stress when DS was really little and demanding too so I totally understand that worry. I also find that the keeping them calm and not building up a battle works much better.
    I found that comparing the kids (ie look DS is doing that..) did not go down well and only made the situation worse.

    Wow that was a disjointed ramble but just wanted to offer some support

  7. #7

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    Thanks girls. Am on my own tonight so bed time was a little tough but not as tough as I have had before. DD1 eventually climbed into bed without me because dd2 was being a pita going to sleep. So I sat on the floor and counted to them... up to 100 then backward. dd1 got to about 80 before she was asleep.... It just seems everything with her is a real struggle! I know we need to be tough with her but we are pretty tough and then sometimes we let our guard down and she knows it! She has been really clingy towards me of late, I dont know if its an age thing or because I am pg. I cant seperate the girls coz we only have a small house. I know giving in only encourages her so I need to be strong!

    This parenting thing is really tough at times.... trial and error!

  8. #8

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    Kim... we posted at the same time!

    Its funny the girls were at day care today and I was talking to the worker there and she also mentioned about the 1/2 year thing! That they are inbetween ages and... then I zoned out but yes, shes almost 3.5 and its getting tricky!

    Olivia is and has always been a good eater, so its not actually the food thats the issue, because if I sat there and spoon fed her she would eat it all up. She just seems to have taken this helpless role on or maybe shes just lazy? I dont know? Shes also been saying that shes not a big girl and that shes a little girl.

    I have tried the 'look your sister is doing that all by herself' but she doesnt really respond to that.

    We have a fair few night terrors here too and sometimes it will take up to an hour to console her and get her back to sleep. I should be thankful that most of the time when she wakes me at night, she wakes me to go to the toilet. In saying that the past 2 nights she has wet the bed. No changes in routine either. Only a few weeks ago i was mentioning how well she was doing with holding her bladder overnight. I think that lasted a week!

    I try and not wind things up, but I also am aware that she shouldnt be getting what she wants because her scream can wake up a whole post code! It just has me in tears at times. I dont want to cry infront of her, I dont want to cry because of her. I dont want to yell at her either. I am just finding it all a bit trying. I think my hormones dont help though and am just about cranky at everyone and am getting fairly emotional!!!

  9. #9

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    Aricyn's sleep has gotten much worse in the month since he's turned 3.5... so there may be something in that for sure!!

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