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How are 3 yr old boys supposed to act?

Posted by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 1:59 PM
  • 21 Replies

I really need some help.  I had never been around kids before I had my son and knew nothing about  them.  My husband says I expect too much from DS.  I expect for him to do what adults ask him to do.  My husband says I look for reasons to get on to DS. Example;

Last night it was past normal bath time DS refused 4 times to get in the bath even though I had filled the tub. He kept going back to his room telling me he was tired.  So I finally say ok lets get jammies on.  So jammies are on and he is in the bed...then he insists he wants a bath a proceeds to pitch a fit crying and screaming.  I ask DH to back me up and tell him its to late go to bed.  Instead DH yells at me that I should just give DS a break and stop trying to make him unhappy.  So I end up having to give DS bath anyway.

DH and I argue constantly about behavior and manners.  We were raised on opposite sides of the spectrum.  My parents were involved and his were not (to put it nicely).  What do normal 3 year old boys do?  Are they supposed to be uncooperative and I am being to difficult.  Please someone tell me what kids his age do.  I have anxiety issues so I get stressed when I feel like he is not listening.  Maybe it is me.

Thanks,

Carol

by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 1:59 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Kathy489
by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 2:10 PM

The part about the bath and bed is where you made your mistake. Kids this age try their boundaries and they need guidance and consistancy. When you said, "Ok, let's get jammies on," he won. Then he did the same thing again when he changed his mind to take the bath. You need to be like a rock and not let him have control.

This isn't to say it's easy. I have wrestled my son into the tub once or twice, myself. He is 6 now. But it's easier to psych him out. For example, if he wants ice cream or whatever the bedtime snack is, I'll say, "After your bath," and let him decide. (No bath, that's ok, no snack.) It's his decision, either way, and I'm off the hook. Missing a bath is no big deal, and it is teaching him something more important than the bath, at that point. The main key is that you have to do whatever you say, so be prepared. Once you say that he is going to take a bath, he has to take it, no matter what.

Good Luck. (Try to take control and leave your husband out of it. They are usually no help.)

fingers crossed

DaniWright
by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 2:14 PM
1 mom liked this

Every child is different, regardless of age. My 3 year old would never act this way, however we are a "strict" family, "yes ma'am, no ma'am, only takes twice to ask" don't get me wrong, my 3 year old has his days to be defiant, but it is short lived. I don't give in to my kids, I'm the parent not them. I'm not a mean mom, but I also practice POSITIVE re-enforcement, you do as asked, you get rewarded. Time outs are always a good way to punish for misbehaving or not listening. Very short lived as well. I'm very pro-positive re-enforcement. I don't want to be the mean-ol-mommy, but they must respect, and the parents must teach and enforce proper behavior.

Stevensmomma
by Bronze Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 2:17 PM
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That sounds like normal kid behavior they will test what they can get away with . But you need to just tell him he is getting a bath and that's it that's the rule don't let him think he can get away with it bc then he will keep trying

Carol_H79
by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 2:37 PM
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Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer me.  I guess what makes it harder is DH always steps in and gives in to what DS wants.  He can't take the crying and fits.  I have begged him to show our son a united front but I always end up being the bad guy.

collinsmommy0
by Silver Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 5:27 PM
That sounds like normal 3 year old behavior stuff.

Basically in our house I'm in charge of behavior. However, DH gets a say in a lot of it. If DH says no, ill back him (usually), then if I disagree we talk about why later (when DS isn't around). DH backs me too. That is important!

If you are having issues, then determine a plan together and stick with it, whether its a reward chart or how to handle tantrums (if you have a plan that you both agree on before a situation happens, then it's easier to say 'remember our plan? We agreed to....' Then to just give in)
CLEKate
by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 6:26 PM

I think that you need to enforce things.  When it's bathtime---it's bathtime.  Allow him a couple of chances to get into the tub, then you put him in there forcably.

You allow your child a choice in certain things (food, clothing, etc.)  Other things don't get a choice.  Start getting this into his (and your husband's) head now.

Yes, your husband is a huge part of the problem.  And you need to discuss it with him again.  And again.  And again.  Until he gets the point.  You are right on this, he is wrong. 

Molimomma
by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 9:22 AM
1 mom liked this

My son is 3.5 when he pulls the not wanting to take a bath thing I know it is because he doesn't want to go to bed which he knows is next after bath. I usually look at him and say he has a choice,no bath and straight to pjs and bedtime or he can play in the tub. He always chooses the tub. I do the same with meals he can choose between to 2 fruits but he's got to choose 1 of them. He thinks he has some control but really I don't care either fruit is a good choice so I still win. Most important is to always offer two choices that either one you can live with. If I am trying to get him to do something and he's being ugly often I say you can choose ______ or you choose a time out. Works every time. Basically though consistency is key because if you give in (or give up) they will constantly test you to see if they can beat you and win again or "wear you down'

mammabear413
by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 1:09 PM
1 mom liked this
That's normal I would have just said no bath after put on Jammie's . My sons only two but he's very independent wants things his way. We're not a strict family very easy going and don't get mad much. Just relax n breath don't give in
.Angelica.
by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 3:05 PM

sounds like a normal 3 year old. wish I had some advice for you though

PEEK05
by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 3:58 PM

I agree.

Quoting Stevensmomma:

That sounds like normal kid behavior they will test what they can get away with . But you need to just tell him he is getting a bath and that's it that's the rule don't let him think he can get away with it bc then he will keep trying





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