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I can't take anymore! obviously I'm doing something wrong.

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I have 3 girls, age 10, 3, and 2. My 3 year old, Cecily, won't listen. Nothing works! Time out, yelling, getting on her level, taking away toys and privileges, etc. She just shuts down if you ask her to do (or stop doing) something. If she wants something and I say no she won't acknowledge my answer and keep asking, yelling and grabbing at me, then when I don't give in it escalates to a screaming tantrum where she still won't listen and often dh or I have to physically restrain her to keep her from hurting herself or little sister.


she and little sister (Elli) are both very advanced verbally and can use their words to tell us what they want or need, and understand everything that we say, so its not a frustration or not understanding thing. She just completely shuts down her hearing or something. She doesn't look at me or even act as though she heard me ask her to do something.


what do I do? I tried everything I've heard that is supposed to work. I can't take much more, I'm on the verge of a breakdown. I am so tired of fighting with her and the screaming tantrums. :(

*eta: what would you do if she was fairly calm but kept saying "mom? Mom? Momma? Mom?" I ask what or yes? Or acknowledge every question but she just keeps repeating mom.
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by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 12:24 PM
Replies (21-30):
workoutmom2b1g
by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 11:39 PM

My four year old sounds similar. He's gotten to the point that he tells me he hates me. I feel like I'm constantly punishing him. 

I caved and am working with a parent coach and his teachers from our ECFE. I just hate yelling and that's what it seems to have come to. Good luck Hun!  

Luvmy2babies22
by Platinum Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 12:10 AM

I totally understand, I have more than 1 too.  The thing is that if your 3 year old learns that she can get away with murder because you can't put the time in to discipline her or you don't want the other 2 to miss out on the park or lose toys or whatever the case may be, you lose all credibility and respect.  Parenting multiple kids is tough sometimes but if you nip it in the bud now, you won't have to do this later...   I'm not in your house, I'm sure there are other options but my general point is, regardless of the discipline method you choose, that maybe your life and that of the other 2 kids sucks for a bit but if the end result is that you get your 3 year old in line and the whole house is in harmony then it was worth it.   What's good for the goose...


Quoting 3cutiebugs:

There's been times that I've spent more than 4 hours to get her to do a calm 3 minutes time out. If dh isn't home I can't spend that kind of time working with her. I have to care for the other kids.

Quoting Luvmy2babies22:

Who is in charge?  She doesn't stay because you don't force her to stay.  I'm not saying you HAVE to do timeout, not everyone does but saying "she won't stay" means you are allowing her to run the show and have control over her punishment.  She shouldn't be pulling on you because you shouldn't be anywhere in arms reach of her.  She needs to be in a quiet spot out of the way on her own. 


If you want her to take a timeout then you keep putting her back without saying 1 word to her until she stays.  If it takes 3 hours to have her sit for 3 full mins than that's what has to happen.  It's certainly inconvenient but I promise you it's worth the few days of inconvenience to get her to understand who is running the house.  Just food for thought... 


 


Quoting 3cutiebugs:

I wish I could do time out like that. She won't stay. I get really frustrated when she is pulling on me and screaming while I'm ignoring her and trying to play with and reward sisters for being good. That's when I end up yelling, sometimes even just to be heard. Its making it so hard to have a normal relationship with my other kids, I literally spend 75% of my day dealing with her. I do give her choices in pretty much everything... Her clothes, shoes, she helps pick lunch and dinner, bath or shower.. Maybe I give her too much choice?


Quoting Luvmy2babies22:


Stop yelling.  You are the adult so no need to yell.  What you say goes, period.  She's too young to really take things away as well.  If you ask her to do something and she doesn't comply, put her in timeout.  If she still doesn't comply after her 3 mins, back to time out.  Again and again until she gets the message that it's just easier to listen the first time.  Same thing if she doesn't listen when you ask her to stop something.  If she asks for something and you say "no" or "later" ignore any other requests.  You've already given her an answer so don't engage and play her game.  If she needs to scream, let her scream.  She's not tantruming because she can't communicate, she's tantruming because she's not in control.  Such is life.  When she calms down, validate her feelings "Honey, I understand you were frustrated because Mommy wouldn't let you have that cookie.  I told you you could have it after dinner and yelling at me isn't acceptable."  or "I know you wanted to go to the park but it's raining so we'll go again when it's dry and warmer."  Whatever the case may be.



Give her as many choices about things as you can to try to give her some feeling of control and to head off her fits.  My DD is similar.  She's just a very emotional and verbal kid like that.  I don't play games though and refuse to be emotionally terrorized by someone more than 1/2 my size.  You get your answer and then we are done.  Scream if you want but you aren't going to get an audience out of me.  It's taking time but now that she's 3 1/2 she's calming down a lot.  It's just taken a lot of patience and consistency. 


 


 


 

Lcherniske
by Bronze Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 12:46 AM
2 moms liked this
Try to get out of the "power struggle" and keep a positive outlook. Use preventative techniques- routine, picture schedule, reward chart, making a "game" out of racing to clean up etc., pick your battles, keep track of common times for tantrums and see how to prevent. Instead of "time out" in chair try going to room. Try reading "raising your spirited child" it also has a workbook you can buy. I am a behavioral therapist for children on the autism spectrum and use a lot of these ideas.
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jesarcher09
by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 12:57 AM
I COMPLETELY understand where you're coming from. My son does the exact same things as your daugher, I mean word for word!!! I wish I had encouraging words, but I'm completely lost as to what to do as well. However, he's my first and only child, I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water on a daily basis. My husband, however, acted the exact same way as a toddler. I tell him regularly that he shouldn't have been so bad, because I pay for it on a daily basis.
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jesarcher09
by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 1:22 AM
Daughter**
Also I know I don't have multiple children, and I'm not sure if more are in our future. I have to applaud every mother of multiple children. As for my son. While he is our only child, his temper is not due to lack of discipline or being spoiled. He still gives respect when it is due and well-mannered to all others. Its at home where he becomes temperamental or just a point blank BRAT. And I hate yelling because it seems like its the same thing over and over, but if I can't hear myself over him throwing a fit, I know he can't hear me. Oh, also I tried(still do) time-outs with him, it was pointless and tantrums only got worse. Not all discipline techniques work for all children. Unless I'm doing it wrong
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ejsmom4604
by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 1:35 AM
1 mom liked this

To the origional post you put up, the advice on getting down to her level and doing eye contact is great. A very firm, strong, NO!, is needed. If she chooses to have a tantrum, she can just go to her room and have it there. With the door closed. Tantrums suck when there is no one actually watching. When she is in there having the tantrum, her sisters are NOT allowed in there. If she messed up the room during the tantrum, then she is responsible for cleaning it up (I would say jump in and help once she shows she is doing it). 

As to the info below, if she has a fit over who turns the tv on, then it goes off and stays off. Let her sisters be upset with her because of her attitude. With the situation like with the monkey, if hubby said he gave it to her and she threw it down, well I guess monkey stays on the floor, or it becomes yours for a while. 

Tantrums are had for various reasons, either they can't express themselves (not your situation), tired/not feeling well (which is understandable, but easier to deal with), and to get what they want/attention (this would be more likely your situation). Consistancy is key. 

Make sure that when she does behave, you praise her. "Thank you for listening, that makes me proud of you." or "You didn't have a tantrum, you must be becoming a big girl now. I am so proud of how you are handling this." type thing. 

Having an advanced speaker with a massive vocabulary, does not mean they can easily put into words what they are feeling, because feelings are overwhelming. Especially when there is more than one going on at a time. No matter the amount of vocabulary, I would still put the feelings to words. "I know you do't like my answer and you feel hurt and are angry/upset/mad and or frustrated with me, and that's ok, however tantrums are not acceptable." Etc. I still have to do this with my almost 9 year old whom was and is still very advanced verbally. He is also gifted, yeah they can be a trip lol.

Quoting 3cutiebugs:

Oh and I forgot to put this in: she will have a tantrum if a certain person doesn't do something, like I turn on Diego and she throws a fit because she wants to turn it on, or she wants her monkey and daddy gets it because he is closer and she will throw it on the floor and make me come in from a different room to hand it to her. Yesterday she screamed for an hour while trying to drag me by my pants because I was cleaning up but she wanted me to stand (not sit) in her room.


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3cutiebugs
by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 4:06 AM
I, apparently, was the awful toddler for my parents. I call my mom occasionally to apologize. 😊

Quoting jesarcher09:

I COMPLETELY understand where you're coming from. My son does the exact same things as your daugher, I mean word for word!!! I wish I had encouraging words, but I'm completely lost as to what to do as well. However, he's my first and only child, I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water on a daily basis. My husband, however, acted the exact same way as a toddler. I tell him regularly that he shouldn't have been so bad, because I pay for it on a daily basis.
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jesarcher09
by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 4:46 AM
It's funny you say that, because I do the opposite to my mom (all in good humor) She decided to have another with a 16 year gap. I'm the youngest(24yo)of step-siblings(26&31yo), aside from my now 8 yr old half-brother. We are all now grown and out of the house while he's basically an "only-child". Now when I say my sons bad, he can't hold a candle to my little brother, I love my baby brother.. But he is the EPITOME of someone with "only-child" syndrome (what I call it) selfish, doesn't listen, no respect for others.. My mom hates it, so I'll every so often kindly remind her of how she said I was a "horrible preteen/teenage girl" and then I say " bet you miss those few years, compared to Keaton's(baby bro) next 20... She agrees
Karma will get ya everytime


Quoting 3cutiebugs:

I, apparently, was the awful toddler for my parents. I call my mom occasionally to apologize. 😊



Quoting jesarcher09:

I COMPLETELY understand where you're coming from. My son does the exact same things as your daugher, I mean word for word!!! I wish I had encouraging words, but I'm completely lost as to what to do as well. However, he's my first and only child, I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water on a daily basis. My husband, however, acted the exact same way as a toddler. I tell him regularly that he shouldn't have been so bad, because I pay for it on a daily basis.

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Basherte
by Bronze Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 7:10 AM

Call her doctor and see if you can set up something with early intervention. 



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Laulaulu321
by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 7:13 AM
My4 year old is the same way, it's so frustrating.
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