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  1. #11
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    Miss 3 has a major meltdown if I stir the porridge that I have made her or I put the sugar on wrong or if her brother strokes her hair. At this age they are trying to have some control over their lives and they just don't know how to negotiate. I guess your dd has the added issue of a new baby. I find it easier if I 'don't get sucked in'. If I view my dd's behaviour in the 3rd person, believe she will not be driving me batty for the next X amount of years and that this is just a phase. Maybe youtube some clips about development at this age- it kind of helps me feel a little sorry for my dd which lowers my levels of stress and anger.


    Also I am not passing judgement on you but thought I would mention it. A mum I know is constantly telling her child off in a high pitch screechy voice. She picks him up on everything so it's constant yelling, telling off etc. Being at her house for an hour does my head in so I can only imagine how it is for her and her ds. I'm not sure if her parenting tactics are causing him to act out or if his antics are causing her to parent in that way. She asked me if I am always yelling at my kids and I said no. I did say that I don't pick my kids up on everything and if I do pick them up I try to 'redirect' rather than 'tell them off'. Hope you don't think I am being awful, just wanted to share that.

  2. #12
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    3 was the worst for us. She started to improve at 4 and was brilliant at 5. I used to doubt myself as a mum every day when she was 3. I actually went back to work to get some breathing room.

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    DS is 2 and 8 months and already starting to display behaviour like this. Nothing works, naughty corner, explaining nicely, taking things away, smack on the bum. It either ends in him doing it more or a screaming crying tantrum. He will turn 3 a few weeks after his sister is born, and the amount of people telling me that 3 is worse than 2 scares me....! I can barely manage him on his own some days let alone with a newborn. Anyway, no advice really just that I'm sure you are not alone and not to feel bad. The fact you made this post at all shows you are not a crap mum, a crap mum wouldn't even think about it.

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    Something I find that really improves my 4 year old DD's behaviour is heaps of praise. So instead of feeling like I'm being critical of her all day (which it does seem like, some days!) she gets that boost of me rewarding her, just verbally, for all the things she gets right. Even tiny things like thanking her for sitting still to eat breakfast, or bigger things like being helpful to her little sister (2). She literally glows when she's praised and it seems to bind us together better, rather than making her feel I'm against her, IYKWIM. Hope things improve quickly for you both.

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  6. #15
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    Hugs xx I have a 3 year old DS (he turned 3 in January) and he is seriously challenging at the moment!!!! Nothing seems to work with him either (time out, consequences etc) which makes it even more frustrating when he does something wrong and doesn't care. I found myself nodding along as I read your post-I can relate to so much of it. I have no advice as most days I am totally at a loss as to how to deal with this little person (plus his little brother who is starting the terrible twos!) but just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. xx

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    I hear you I have a total Threenager - the biggest thing for me is she does not listen to me at all.

    I'm so sick of the sound of my voice sometimes. I also have a 5 month old who DD has bitten a few times.

    When I ask her how she would like it if someone bites her.... Her answer "do it mummy bite me..." Geez that backfired on me didn't it!

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    Default Are 3-4 year olds suppose to be this hard? Help!

    Hi again sweet, was just thinking overnight about your OP, and a little along the lines of what @BbBbBh said - when I have a student that I struggle with that I feel I'm kind of on at them all the time, the strategy I use is to choose one behaviour at a time to change and ignore/redirect the others. It's tough and counter-intuitive, but it takes a bit of pressure off of everyone.

    So with your DD, I would probably start with hurting people. What does she love? Stickers? Little Easter eggs? Woolies dominoes? Whatever it is, I would sit her down and tell her if she can go until lunchtime without hurting her sister (or even you could call it being kind to her) then she can have a reward. And then again until bed time. After a few days in a row you extend it to a full day etc and she can aim for something bigger like a special morning tea out with just mummy or something like that. And they can support you at kindy. If she hurts her sister, you ignore and lavish attention on the baby. Don't even punish her, eye contact, anything.

    The tricky bit is ignoring the other behaviours, but think about it. If you're an adult with bad habits, can you give them all up at once, or do you have to pick one and focus on that? So, if she throws her food on the floor, draws on the walls, calls you a bum head or whatever, but she doesn't hurt her sister, she still gets that sticker. Have them in full view so she knows what she's aiming for.

    I don't know if that helps or is ridiculously obvious or whatever, but it would be what I would try. Hope you have a good day today x

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    Default Are 3-4 year olds suppose to be this hard? Help!

    Huge hugs!! I have been where you are. I haven't read all replies so sorry if I am repeating anyone but wanted to say my now 5.5 yr old was exactly like your dd. We still have a lot of difficult days but he is so much better now than what he was.

    Have you looked into her diet? A hubber once suggested to me to look into Sue Denegate's failsafe diet. I haven't done the full diet as it is full on but have incorporated some changes into my sons diet and it's been a huge help. We have gone totally additive, preservative and colour free and the difference is amazing. He is so much calmer.

    Also look into the positive parenting program. Df and I are currently doing it and it's great too. We both used to yell all the time at the kids, focus too much on the negatives of their actions which was making the whole household upset. Focusing more on the positives and everyone being calmer is having a huge different too. As I said before, we still have a lot of difficult days but overall things are getting a bit easier.

    Hugs again. You're not a crap mum and you will get through this
    ❀️

  11. #19
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    I want to add, ds can be rough with dd. I always praise him for being the best big brother and I always say things like 'wow, look at the way dd looks at you/admires you/copies you. Dd thinks you are awesome. She must be really proud and happy to have you as her brother. I love it when you are kind to her and when she is kind to you. etc etc'. It does make him stop and think before he does things and it also makes him want to be even more loved by dd. Not sure if it's a strategy useful for you but as a result my 2 crawl into bed together or sit close together on the couch and they hold hands. It's too cute

  12. #20
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    It's totally normal, you are not a bad mum!! My DS was difficult at that age and my DD is 3 now too, though she's not too bad at this stage. She is a cow when she's tired or hungry though! I reckon it's one of the most challenging ages.


 

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