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do you find yourself really losing your cool with your 2 or 3 year-old? how do you stop this from happening?

My daughter's almost 3. She's really well-behaved, listens pretty well, is respectful and polite. But she's all the sudden a mess at nap and bed time. I have a 16 month old as well, and I need a half an hour in the day to do the dishes and have a minute or two of "me" time -- so while I know I can't force her to sleep, I do require that she has a rest time in her room. Lately she doesn't want to give me that and she gets very revved up very quickly about it. Today I was calm for about 20 or 30 minutes of this "negotiation.".. but soon after that I found myself overcome with anger. My strategies went out the window, I found myself yelling, threatening... I ended up carrying her downstairs really roughly and covering her mouth so her yelling wouldn't wake her sister. We grabbed her DVDs (they're a really special treat for her -- she only gets a show a couple of times a week) and walked them out to the garbage can. (cont'd)

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:24 PM on Jan. 19, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (8)
  • (OP here) -- from the outside I knew that was an utterly ridiculous moment. I though, what kind of mother am I? Do these things happen to you? Please, no advice on how I need to be more strict or spank or on the sleeping thing... I'm looking for any suggestions about dealing with MY behavior. Thanks.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:26 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • You could try taking her outside and letting her run all her energy out before her nap time, or make sure that she doesn't eat or drink anything to sugary for at least a few hours before her nap time, or you could make a deal with her that she'll get more tv time or some sort of reward in exchange to behaving the way she's supposed to at nap time, or you could just throw in the towel and stop requiring a nap time.


    Answer by Anonymous at 3:38 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • Yeah, I've tried all that... She's tired and does usually eventually go to sleep (often for 2-3 hours), but like I said, I'm not requiring the sleep, I'm requiring the quiet time. That she should be able to handle. And like I said in my post, too, I'm looking more for advice on how to manage my own frustrations.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:53 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • there are times where i feel like flussterd with my son but i just stop and remember that when i start to loose the cool that my son knows it too and acts on how i'm acting. The advise that i would give is don't let yourself get to where you were even if that means just counting to ten or as high as you need to and just tell yourself that she is going to respond to the way your responding to her which could result in upsetting you more. Try even putting on some soothing music or what ever you find calming for a few min. when you feel yourself getting upset before going back to having her lay down or whatever the issue at the time might be. i hope that this helps some.

    Answer by haley128 at 3:54 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • Everyone loses their cool sometimes- as long as it isn't happening like this regularly and you aren't reacting with verbal or physical abuse try not to be so hard on yourself. I don't think this incident will scar her for life. Maybe sometimes tell her that you need a Mommy time-out. But thebest thing I can say is to try to resolve the things that really set you off- like nap time. Don't negotiate with your toddler either- she will win because she really doesn't understand how to negotiate- her strategy will always be to just hold out for what she wants, not to give and take and compromise. Ok, sorry, I know you didn't want advice- I just can't help myself! :) But everyone loses it and has moments we wish we could take back or that make us feel that we are behaving as children, so don't worry. You are not alone. When you start getting worked up maybe step away, even for 60 seconds, take some breaths and then start over. GL!

    Answer by MaryMW at 4:35 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • Its understanding that moms lose their cool... I dont know if your a reglious person but when I found myself acting that way with my daughter I would just pray to god for more patience and ask him to forgive me for how I acted just pray thats what I do.

    Answer by Princesaof1 at 5:07 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • I cannot tell you how much I understand. I have lost my cool with my 3yr old so many times, it got to the point where I realized I needed to change things before they got worse.

    Here are the new things I use to keep myself on track:
    1. I started eating a better breakfast - eggs, whole grains, etc. Keeps my blood sugar level for a few hours, which helps a lot!
    2. When my toddler really starts freaking out, I stare at the wall above her head, take deep breaths, and talk to the wall. I continue repeating my request (like "It's naptime. Please get in bed.") while not looking at her. If I look at her or listen to her screams, I know I'll freak out. Eventually when she realizes I'm not paying attention, she stops.
    3. If things get really bad, I go in the other room and do a few push-ups. The frustration dissipates almost immediately from the physical exertion.

    Don't be too hard on yourself, you're not alone!!

    Answer by aliceryannesmom at 6:14 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

  • HELL yea man parenting is frustrating...u dont want to wwhoop em but its wut the hell else am i supposed to do! expecially when ur doin it alone..sometimes i get frustrated with my 4 yr old and do him the same way...its just hard shit...i wwork full time and so i understand the me time thing..but i dnt get that either..i get off wrk late and get home at 9 and when i get home i have to feed them bath them and play...then wen i get done im i end up going to sleep tryna put them down..sometimes i just put my son in his room and close the door and let him cry...eventually he comes out and says mommy i stopped cryin now and go bk to business as usual..i also have a 14 month old but she coo

    stay up sweetie..breathing helps...

    or try walking away, grab a pillow n scream n it, then act like nothn evr happnd lol

    good luck babe

    Answer by thelook151 at 11:31 PM on Jan. 19, 2010

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