Friday, December 30, 2011

MY Post About Having a Three-Year-Old

Now, I keep reading posts by moms of three-year-olds that say their kids have suddenly morphed from sweet little toddlers into bratty little princes & princesses who are moody and demanding. Yep. I have to concur with these moms - Little Guy is the same. I've really been questioning whether I'm raising a brat or just a strong-willed and independent little boy. The kid seems to create his own tantrum situations.
"I not listen to YOU!"
 Yesterday, he woke up and demanded cake for breakfast. Now, first of all, I'm not giving him cake first thing in the morning and he knows it. Sugary goodness turns him into a bitter devil. Second, we didn't even have cake - haven't had any since October, in fact. I pointed out that we don't have cake (because the "no, you have to eat something healthy" was just asking for a tantrum), in hopes that he'd see how his request would be impossible to fulfill. Tantrum ensued anyway. And his tantrums are no longer just a toddler kicking and screaming for a few minutes before he's ready for a hug. Uh-uh. Now, they entail long periods of crying about unfairness and how I don't like him anymore. They also have toy-throwing, wall-punching, and all kinds of other lovely behavior. I end up putting him onto the bed and blocking his way off because I just won't put up with that shit. Sometimes he'll go on for an HOUR about something like I got him milk to drink rather than the juice that he telepathically told me he changed his mind about while I was pouring the milk he requested.

I don't know what to do anymore. I have read and read on how others deal with this kind of behavior (Aha! Parenting has some great articles) , but the ideas just repeatedly backfire. He's a smart little one and, while a new approach will work the first time, he sees through it the second time. I'm finally getting him to say his feelings ("I'm very, very ANGRY!!!") so I can mimic them back to show him I understand. But it's not helping - instead of yelling and screaming about the problem, he just yells and screams about his emotions.

My husband isn't helping, either. Due to some physical and mental problems, he's not spending enough time with Little Guy to even be able to understand his speech. When he is around, he gives in to the demands just to avoid the tantrums. This means that Little Guy is "the boss of Daddy" and he sure throws his weight around! When my husband just cannot give in, such as a situation like the cake one or something that is dangerous, he goes from weak-willed Daddy to the guy who's threatening to spank. Especially when Little Guy is hitting (yeah - THAT makes sense!) Then Dad leaves because "I can't deal with this anymore." UGH!

The only thing I can think of doing differently is spending more one-on-one time with him. I thought that we already did a lot of it. But, now that I stand back and evaluate our time together, we don't. We might be in the same room, but we are both doing different things. He'll be playing with his cars while I hit up Facebook for the latest news. Not really quality time.

I have a ton of projects that I want to do with him (check out my Pinterest Kids' Crafts and Recipes boards!) but I really need to get my house in order first. So, I've been working on getting our house cleaned out and organized. I've been asking him to help me, which he eagerly agrees to do. Unfortunately, he will help for only a few minutes - then he's into things he knows he should not be playing with, running into the bathroom and tossing anything he can get his hands on into the toilet, or running into my oldest's room and messing with his stuff (our doors don't close correctly, thanks to shoddy carpentry.) After five or ten minutes of cleaning, we end up throwing in the towel for a little while. It just feels like an uphill battle right now and I'm becoming disheartened and frustrated. I'm going to keep up with this, though, because I'm pretty sure that the novelty of it will wear off and he'll (eventually) be able to focus on our "Important Jobs" that I need his expert help to complete.

This kid is busy. He's smart and can see through plans and, I swear, tries to foil them just for the heck of it. He really wants to be helpful and spend quality time together - it's just that he's still at that self-centered age and wants the best for himself first. And, thanks to Daddy, he thinks that flipping out and throwing a huge tantrum is the way to get those things. I suspect that he leans toward the ADD side due to his inability to do anything for more than a few minutes - even the things he LOVES to do. He's got a great sense of self and takes pride in anything he does - especially when he doesn't need help to do it.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I don't do rewards for a good job - I want him to learn to do good things because he will feel good inside, not so he can get a sticker or piece of candy. He is often congratulated when he obviously struggles with something and overcomes it, whether it is getting his pants on by himself or helping me do the dishes without getting down off the chair and running around the kitchen getting into everything. He knows the rules that are unchanging (mainly safety ones) and the rules that can be bent (the "harmony ones" that help us all live together.)  

7 comments:

Kelly said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oh Alicia this sounds so frustrating! I wish I had some great suggestions for you (really I have no idea how I'm gonna deal when we get to that age with Bean!)...but definitely feelin' for ya! And I think you're really awesome for trying so hard to find the 'right' way - Little Guy is lucky to have such a mama! Hoping this stage passes quickly...

Mary said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I was one of the lucky ones. Never had this problem with my son when he was little, but each child is different. He's definitely getting wrong signals due to inconsistencies. Does your husband see a counselor of any kind? If so, GO as a family unit and I think your husband will listen to the counselor, even if he won't listen to you. The first thing a counselor will tell you is be consistent. Your precious little boy will be starting preschool soon, unless you are planning to home school. They won't tolerate this type of behaviour, so you have to find some answers and fast. He might just need a playmate around his age. You said he's smart, so he's probably bored.

Alicia C. said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Mary
Yeah, I was lucky with my oldest - he had exactly FIVE tantrums ever (and they each over not buying something in a store - nothing major.) He was so easy that I am completely blindsided by Little Guy's behavior.

And, thank you for your suggestions. I have attempted to get my husband to do a family or even just marriage counseling session, but he refuses. I have a couple of posts about his previous drug abuse and some of the problems he's having right now. I have the feeling he's not giving his therapist the whole story and it kills me. He knows that, if we were to have a session together, I'm not going to lie, tell half-truths, or withhold information.

Also, I have spoken with him on the subject of being consistent, etc. and he wholeheartedly agrees with me. It's just that he can't seem to get himself to actually do it. It's so much easier for him to give in, threaten, or run away from these situations.

oakleyses said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, nike roshe, longchamp pas cher, prada handbags, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton, oakley sunglasses, polo outlet, oakley sunglasses wholesale, ugg boots, polo ralph lauren, longchamp outlet, burberry pas cher, ugg boots, sac longchamp pas cher, tiffany jewelry, tiffany and co, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, michael kors pas cher, jordan pas cher, polo ralph lauren outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, gucci handbags, longchamp outlet, nike free, replica watches, louis vuitton, air max, nike outlet, jordan shoes, louboutin pas cher, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin, chanel handbags, christian louboutin outlet, oakley sunglasses, kate spade outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin uk, nike free run, uggs on sale, nike air max, christian louboutin shoes, replica watches, nike air max, tory burch outlet

oakleyses said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

coach outlet, guess pas cher, michael kors outlet, converse pas cher, ralph lauren uk, hogan outlet, north face uk, true religion outlet, michael kors, nike tn, burberry handbags, uggs outlet, true religion outlet, sac hermes, nike air max, hollister uk, michael kors outlet, nike free uk, abercrombie and fitch uk, mulberry uk, nike air max uk, true religion outlet, north face, new balance, ray ban pas cher, true religion jeans, timberland pas cher, oakley pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, michael kors outlet online, nike air max uk, vans pas cher, michael kors outlet, nike air force, michael kors outlet online, coach purses, nike roshe run uk, replica handbags, hollister pas cher, michael kors outlet online, nike blazer pas cher, kate spade, michael kors outlet online, burberry outlet, lululemon canada, michael kors, ray ban uk, coach outlet store online

oakleyses said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

nike huaraches, celine handbags, chi flat iron, baseball bats, nike air max, instyler, wedding dresses, hollister, hermes belt, mont blanc pens, babyliss, nike air max, north face outlet, iphone cases, oakley, vans, converse, hollister clothing, gucci, herve leger, giuseppe zanotti outlet, reebok outlet, insanity workout, timberland boots, asics running shoes, ghd hair, nike roshe run, p90x workout, ray ban, north face outlet, mac cosmetics, hollister, new balance shoes, nike trainers uk, longchamp uk, lululemon, bottega veneta, louboutin, ferragamo shoes, soccer shoes, converse outlet, mcm handbags, ralph lauren, beats by dre, valentino shoes, abercrombie and fitch, soccer jerseys, jimmy choo outlet, nfl jerseys, vans outlet

oakleyses said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

moncler, canada goose, pandora uk, montre pas cher, toms shoes, ugg, moncler, ugg uk, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, canada goose uk, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, barbour uk, juicy couture outlet, moncler uk, hollister, thomas sabo, canada goose outlet, canada goose outlet, moncler, pandora jewelry, lancel, louis vuitton, moncler, doudoune moncler, canada goose, swarovski, moncler outlet, ugg pas cher, louis vuitton, karen millen uk, marc jacobs, canada goose outlet, canada goose, canada goose jackets, wedding dresses, pandora charms, supra shoes, replica watches, coach outlet, juicy couture outlet, links of london, swarovski crystal, barbour, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, moncler outlet, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton