I hope I didn't make you worry! I may have worded my post poorly. Sorry. 😟 When I say "struggling to cope" I don't necessarily mean with something big and worrisome. I think sometimes kids just struggle to cope with their own emotions, with not having control of their own lives, with being 3!
Does that make sense?
I know none of that makes their Jekyll and Hyde mode swings any easier to deal with but I guess it's just a way of looking at it that helps me not go straight to anger and frustration.
My dd isn't quite 2 so I'm definitely not a 3 year old expert by any means. However, I can imagine how with all of the behaviours you've listed you'd be having a rough time! Feel free to disregard this next suggestion, as I have no idea if it works, but I was reading somewhere the other day about acknowledging feelings for kids as way a of deescalating situations. To use one of your examples, if he's really upset at Childcare drop off, saying "I can see you're really sad that mummy has to go to work." before moving onto reassuring. I think I can see the logic in the theory because it helps them to feel that, even if they don't have control of the situation, they have been heard.
Ugh, I don't know if any of this helps at all. I think I'll just bow out now before I add more confusion to things.
Good luck @harvs. You're honestly one of my parenting heroes so I don't doubt that you'll make it through the threenager phase!
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18-04-2016 13:02 #11
18-04-2016 13:07 #12
I need insights about DS
Edit: double post. Definitely not worth reading twice. 😜
18-04-2016 13:49 #13
Our kids are roughly the same age, and my daughter is similar. It started pretty suddenly a few months back, where all of a sudden she was just SO much more stubborn/oppositional/angry etc.
I've mostly put it down to a developmental stage. It didn't seem to be in response to anything specific here, but was a really dramatic change in both her behaviour and language use. It's happened numerous times in the past (different kinds of changes) and I've figured that all of a sudden she's started to see the world somewhatdifferently, and that's changed the way she responds to it. Man it's hard work though!
18-04-2016 14:12 #14
Sounds exactly like DSs at the same age...almost to a tee. My youngest DS is 4.5 and fairly similar...A little better, a little easier to reason with and understands the disciplinary process a bit better so easier to manage. It sounds to me he is just working towards the "f**king fours"...I think 3.5-4.5 is by far the hardest year! He sounds completely normal to me!!
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18-04-2016 14:16 #15
Actually reading your post makes me feel a bit relieved! My son is 3.5 too and I've gone through a very challenging time with him which I put down to him losing his afternoon sleep. I was really starting to lose my shiz with him as EVERYTHING was a battle and the whinging and contradictory demands were doing my head in. I am UTD with number 2, suffering fatigue and beginning to wonder how I was going to cope. He's done most of what you described in your post except my boy sounds less angry but he's always been quite passive. I have noticed that my son is a lot more in tune to being told off now, it is starting to upset him instead of being oblivious for the most part.
Thankfully, my son seems to be coming out of it now and the relief is immense. We still have bad days, this weekend wasn't great but I will be glad to say goodbye to the age of 3. See ya stinktown!
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18-04-2016 14:21 #16
Literally the day my dd turned 3 she started doing most of the things you mentioned and it lasted 6 months. I dont have much advice but I just had to keep reminding myself that it was developmental and she was just trying to find her place.
She learnt what behaviour was acceptable and what wasnt during this time.
Then all of a sudden she stopped and now she is 6 and at school I am facing new behaviour issues.
All I can send is big hugs. Every time she would say something hurtful I would tell her how that made me feel to hear those things
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18-04-2016 14:21 #17
Our boys are almost the same age @harvs and much of what you've said is happening here as well. In particular -
Lashing out in anger/frustration. He will throw toys, books any object really.
He will hit me, try to head but me.
Insist something is one thing when it is clearly another (like your red/blue car example)
Refuse to say please, thank you or sorry when he hurts me
It is exhausting and worrisome. I have noticed a definite link with being tired. Like your DS if he has a nap he will be awake until all hours of the night. So I feel stuck there.
I do think it is mostly normal behaviour although DS1 was nothing like this at the same age so I don't know.
I try to acknowledge his frustration/anger which sometimes works but sometimes doesn't.
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18-04-2016 14:32 #18
18-04-2016 14:51 #19
I forgot to mention on the nap thing, I would try to make a nap happen on a day when we can sleep in the next day. So DD's swimming lessons are late Sat morning so DS will fall asleep in the car trip home (30 min drive) and if he's really pooped will transfer to bed easily. If he doesn't really need the catch-up sleep then he wakes when I take him out of his car seat.
Then I know Saturday night he will be up late, but somehow knowing and accepting it will happen makes it easier for me to cope with.
18-04-2016 15:19 #20
Big hugs @harvs, that all sounds like my DD who turn 4 a couple of months ago.
I think it's just the age / a phase. I always thought DDs behaviour was sooooo ridiculously abnormal and over the top because all of a sudden it hits. There's no notice and it hits with a vengeance and your left wondering WTF is wrong with my child!
I think maybe the monsters and other negative talk would come from child care. DD is all of a sudden talking about farts and bums and poos and it's not come from us, so maybe it's the same for your DS?
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