If it appears to be a jealousy thing, then she is probably acting out for attention. She has probably been getting less attention since your youngest was born (understandably), and is missing the 1:1 attention she used to get. She's obviously figured out that if she does the right thing, it doesn't get noticed much, but if she does the wrong thing, that gets noticed - and in her mind, negative attention is better than no attention at all.
With kids I work with who are misbehaving for attention, the key thing to do as some PPs have said, is to try to ignore/redirect the misbehaviour (as much as possible) and catch her being good. Then ham up the praise when she does something good, even if it's really small. Positive attention is much more desirable than negative attention, so if she knows a particular behaviour is likely to attract praise, it increases the likelihood of her doing it again. Or focus on one behaviour in particular with a rewards chart - but make sure she understands exactly what 'being kind', for example, actually entails - keeping her hands to herself, only saying nice things, sharing etc.
The other thing you could try is maybe spending some special mummy-daughter time together, just the two of you. Since your DH works, maybe on a weekend when he's home, leave him with the baby and do something special with your DD like go get a hot chocolate together, or take her to the park, or go to the movies. If she gets jealous of her brother, she will probably relish the opportunity to spend time with you 1:1, will behave better and you'll get to see that nice side of her again - and be reminded that she's not a terror all the time!
Good luck being a mum is a tough gig!
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16-05-2015 09:13 #21Senior Member
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16-05-2015 10:11 #22
I feel for you! It's such a difficult age. DD is defiant and difficult a lot of the time. Her first response is always 'no' which is so irritating. We're also still struggling with toilet training (poo) so I am often feeling pretty rubbish at the parenting gig! We just got back from a holiday and I honestly found it so stressful most of the time. Trying to juggle DD's behaviour and DSs naps/feeds, plus he got croup AGAIN at the start of the trip - I was really struggling! I actually smacked DDs hand once while we were away because she was screaming in my face and then whacked me. I'm not proud of it but she just wouldn't stop no matter what I said or did, and it made her stop and realise that she'd really upset me. I don't ever want to do it again, we never use smacking, I was just at the end of my rope in that moment.
I don't have any answers, only sympathy. I don't think you're a bad mother at all, I think we all find it hard and just have to do our best to get through the tough phases.
16-05-2015 10:25 #23
Are 3-4 year olds suppose to be this hard? Help!
Sorry no advice just sympathy! DS is 3 years and 7 months and I had such a bad day yesterday (much similar to yours)
He just doesn't listen to anything 😔 and I don't know what I can do
He just demands everything even things he knows I will never buy and then the screaming and crying starts
16-05-2015 20:30 #24
I only have one child so I have no advice on the sibling issues, but my 3 yr old dd is driving me nuts too. Im a pretty patient person but she pushes me to the limit. I try not to yell as I find it has no effect on her. So now I come down to her level, holding her hands if she is trying to ignore me, and keep as calm as possible. I just use a stern serious voice and explain very simply what I need her to do or stop or what ever the situation is. If she still carries on Ill use threats such as taking toys away etc. Ive recently found that charts help her behaviour. I have one that has morning and evening chores and once she has completed each thing she gets to move the picture to the completed side. She loves this and makes getting ready for the day more manageable. Some tantrums I ignore all together if Ive already explained things to her. I have noticed she gets naughty if she wants attention from me so ill either play for a while or let her help me with things, as painful as that is for me lol.
Hope you find something that works with your dd. But please dont think you're a bad mum. We all struggle at some point and 3 is a tough age for sure!
16-05-2015 23:02 #25
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17-05-2015 16:09 #26
17-05-2015 17:20 #27
I've read all replies thank you so much. I've taken something from each hoping it's a better week 😞
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18-05-2015 21:38 #28
Just to update incase anyone else is going through the same thing 😓
Ok so yelling, naughty corners, confiscating, punishments clearly made things worse for us. Smacking not allowed obviously.
My new approach (thanks to you guys) worked wonders but I have to stay consistent. I praised her all day rather than picked out all the wrong. We put up a sticker reward chart. I spent TIME with her one on one. I rewarded her tonight for reaching all her stars she was THAT good all day. Now I won't reward her everyday forever just this week so she grasps the concept. After she finished her chores as in dinner, brushed teeth, tidied room I allowed her to pick a little wrapped lucky dip that I put together today and she was so happy. She enjoyed the day. She thanked me for the reward and said she was happy to be a good girl today.
Hubby came home and praised her for all the things she did good today.
She then went to bed and slept no dramas. She didn't swear at me once today or hit the baby.
Best day in a long time I just have to follow through. NOW I think my energy was possibly making her angry. I stayed calm all day today and she was calm so it is so true how they say babies/kids read off your energy. Perhaps I was creating the monster because of the monster inside me.
Raising my voice every day was probably the worst thing to ever do. She really listened today with NO yelling.
Ok I'll stop rambling thanks BH members yet again 🎈❤️
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18-05-2015 21:48 #29
Oh yay! Good on you!
Just remember that after the first couple of days she may begin to push boundaries again and it may feel like you're going backwards but it's normal.
And please, please don't think you were at fault before. It's true, she may have been picking up on your energy a little (and you on hers), but she hasn't been an angel. We are all so hard on ourselves.
I just wanted to add a little thing that I do (er mostly) when I hit that point where I could honestly throttle DS but he's not doing anything *wrong* you know, just pushing my buttons. I smile at him and give him a little cuddle. 9/10 times it cheers us both up and saves his bacon for another night.
Keep it up you. Well done x
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19-05-2015 06:35 #30
Wonderful news! x
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