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A serious question about my 3 year old's sudden rotten behaviour.

I have raved about my little girl her whole life. She has always been a sweet angel. Caring, loving, obedient, fun! Everyone has always commented on what sunshine she is to everyone she meets. They still do, she's still a great kid- a lot of the time!

Her tantrums are getting out of control. Her growing independence is killing me. She wants to do everything herself and that's great- BUT there are things that a 3 year old girl just can't do! Like for example, cut things with knives, wash her own hair without getting soap in her eyes, unbutton certain buttons on her or her sister, lay down on the floor of a store with a blanket and pretend to sleep. If I interfere I get raging screams, kicking, she throws things.

Same thing happens when she doesn't get what she wants, sometimes I don't even know what she wants and she's already throwing a tantrum because I didn't get it for her.

Then her dad is such a pushover and wants to give her what she wants to just make her stop, and I think that is counter productive.

TV and treats are her worst points, even when she is being good and I say let's watch a show for you now because you've been SO good, when the show is over- a tantrum comes because there isn't another show.

They are starting to scare me, she's screaming at the top of her lungs- throwing things and kicking. It's hard to pick up a kid like that. She did this at Ross when it was time to leave the store last night but the kicker was when I picked her up she bit me.

I am humiliated and my self esteem is really taking a toll. I'm a stay at home mom and I get ridiculed by a 3 year old ALL day. ALL day she fights me on everything. By the end of the day I just cry myself to sleep.

I have a 7 week old. She loves the baby, LOVES her. She always comes when baby cries and helps with everything. People say her behavior is jealousy from the new kid but I'm in denial about it because she doesn't show any distaste for this baby. She is always saying they are best friends and when the baby gets bigger they can share toys and eat candy and wear tinkerbell dresses together.

This is becoming long, sorry. I really am so at the end. I have always known what to do with my kids- always. Now I don't.

Answer Question
 
staciandababy

Asked by staciandababy at 12:49 PM on Jan. 19, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 38 (101,419 Credits)
Answers (18)
  • I am not sure anyone's kid can out scream my four year olds "I am on fire with a stick in my eye" rubbernecking induced stares however, it will pass. He is the youngest so far but I am due with another boy in may! You outlined all the things I have fretted about! For us, a very stern chit chat has always worked, along with swift removal for the area to a bathroom or another room...it just makes me wonder how my guy will react when this new guy gets here....good luck mama, hang in there!
    MamaRoberts

    Answer by MamaRoberts at 11:29 PM on Jan. 23, 2013

  • Give her control when/where you can. If you've got a bed time routine, she can't decided when to go to bed, but she can decide what PJs to wear, what books to be read, what towel to use at bath, etc. Give her control where you can. It goes a LONG way. REmember too that kids this age may not have the emotional IQ to *know* what it is they are feeling. Give her the vocabulary to label what she's feeling. "I know you're frustrated." or "I know you're disappointed. It's no fun when something we have enjoyed ends, is it?" Then offer a solution. "What if we draw pictures of {character from TV show she watched} together and make up our own story?" Have an alternative when possible - you can't use a knife, but let me cut this up and then you can mix the ingredients for me. OR, my own personal favorite, "you can't cut with the real knife, but I'll give you a plastic knife and a banana/play doh/whatever to practice on for now."
    ldmrmom

    Answer by ldmrmom at 12:01 AM on Jan. 20, 2013

  • I also know (from a BTDT perspective) that having two young kids in the house can make one tired and overwhelmed at times. Your patience is likely thinner than normal. It's easier to reprimand things you might have previously gone to 'distract and move on' or whatever. This creates an atmosphere where DD feels like she's got no control over her world, esp with a new baby around demanding lots and lots of attention. Add to that, what happens when baby cries? Everyone runs, right? Baby cries. You respond. A three year old may *know* that it's different when a baby cries, but a 3 year old competing for attention at the same time she's pushing her boundaries and trying to grab some degree of independence can, even without specfiically realizing it, go the "well it works for the baby, why not" approach. Praise her when she's being good. Don't give attention when she's tantruming over disappointments.
    ldmrmom

    Answer by ldmrmom at 11:52 PM on Jan. 19, 2013

  • With both of my kids terrible twos had NOTHING on three. Three was rough. Add to that a new baby? It's a recipe for tantrum-frenzy!

    As others have said, just because your dd loves the new baby and dotes on her, does NOT mean her behavior isn't at least in part connected to having a new sibling. My DS adored his sister but he still dealt with an adjustment period and sibling rivalry When DD was an infant, Logan never took it out on her or directed his feelings towards her. It was always towards us. What helped us a lot was carving out time for him as much as we could. When DD napped, DS and I would play - laundry, dishes, whatever could wait. That's also when my parents started their sleepover routine. Once a month each kid gets a night to stay with the grandparents. 8 years later and they are still doing it. This gives each kid time to be the only. DH and I also split up on weekends sometimes to do 1 off things with each
    ldmrmom

    Answer by ldmrmom at 11:47 PM on Jan. 19, 2013

  • when NOT in public
    and she is having a screaming fit
    tell her "is the best you can do?, can't you scream louder"
    she might even try
    or give you a look of 'really?!'
    it might make her try a different approach to get her way

    worth a try

    it has worked at times with mine
    although if mine is way over the edge, she is not even in control of herself anymore- then it will not work
    try when she first starts
    fiatpax

    Answer by fiatpax at 5:20 PM on Jan. 19, 2013

  • Three was the hardest year for me, with my oldest. I was big and pregnant and she was a beast lol i would cry to because until I got pregnant she was the best kid ever I always got compliments, she was respectful I really never had to do much she was easy going and listened. Then three came and the horns came out lol

    I had to lay the law down. It was hard but she had options sometimes I would give here easier options like 3libra said and others it would be you s top this or you get a time out, no park today, no t.v. Tonight, no special snack before bed. It passes. I promise this is normal.
    skinnyslokita

    Answer by skinnyslokita at 4:44 PM on Jan. 19, 2013

  • ^^^that's what I currently do with my 3 yr old. Works like a charm. He's usually over 'it' within a minute or two.
    mommy_jules

    Answer by mommy_jules at 2:34 PM on Jan. 19, 2013

  • I take an attitude of "Scream all you want dear, it's not going to happen," and walk away.
    **********

    Haha- I did that a LOT too. I'd put them in their room and tell them fine- have your fit, and when you are done- you can come out
    charlotsomtimes

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 2:08 PM on Jan. 19, 2013

  • ugh- that second part is all jacked up- *take out the if you are at the store part- it will make more sense (didn't delete that sentence all the way apparently- oops!)
    charlotsomtimes

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 2:04 PM on Jan. 19, 2013

  • She is THREE
    Mine were both HELL when they were 3. I think it's pretty normal honestly.
    if she throws a fit- tell her she gets nothing until she stops, if you are at a store, give her options for things she can't really do- like was suggested
    tantrums at the store S U C K all you can really do is leave, or bribe them
    hang in there...eventually, this will pass
    charlotsomtimes

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 2:00 PM on Jan. 19, 2013

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