OMG.... I can't take this anymore!!! (Rant + need advice!)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-06-2012
OMG.... I can't take this anymore!!! (Rant + need advice!)
10
Tue, 09-18-2012 - 12:45pm

My daughter just turned 3 on the 10th of this month. She has turned into a MONSTER. We give her PLENTY of attention and do fun stuff with her ALL the time. During the day I do activities with her as much as I can ( I am in school, but take online classes for now and just actually go to my school for tests) During the time I need to be doing homework or studying, I have her play in her room or read or color, something like that.

She has started acting out SO bad, but not so much when my husband is around, just around me. She SCREAMS and CRYS at the TOP of her lungs when she has to take a nap or do ANYTHING she doesn't want to do. She has started talking back, Like if I ask her to pick up her toy or to be a little quieter she just looks at me and says " I don't want to" and keeps doing whatever she wants. If I try to make her go to time out for any reason she wont go and turns her body into what seems like a giant noodle so its really hard for me to get her to time out. I had to go to the health department the other day to get a copy of her birth certificate, and even tho I told her not to go in the big playhouse they have, because she was in trouble for SCREAMIN the WHOLE car ride (about 30 min) she RAN into it anyway before I could grab her and went to the very back of the house so that I couldn't get her out, another mom ended up having to help me then she SCREAMED like she way dying all the way home. On top of that, she also does this thing that makes me SOOO irritated. Ill say "Amora leave that alone/ get your feet off the couch/ etc.." and she will just look at me with this blank expression and KEEP DOING WHAT I SAID TO STOP DOING WHILE LOOKING AT ME!

She is also getting mad at me and peeing on herself and not telling me she has to use the bathroom sometimes, and she has been potty trained during the day for a long time.

We live in an apartment until we find a house we want, and the neighbors have knocked on the door several times and even called the police about the noise and I had to explain to them what was going on.

She NEVER use to be like this. We have tried every kind of punishment/reward system we can find and nothing works.

She is good for the most part when my husband is home. Other than talking back and the blank expression thing. We have also noticed she seems to be jealous of me and my husband. Like if my husband comes home from work and hugs me she runs up and try's to hug him too. Or if he is going to give me a kiss, she will start trying to talk to him to try to get him to pay attention to her instead.

Her behavior is so bad sometimes that after my husband gets home, I go in our room and close the door and cry from all the stress from the day. I can't get anything done, I feel sick a lot due to it, I get a lot of contractions on really bad days. My husband is trying to help me all he can, but we really don't know what else to do.

We even tried taking her to daycare so I could have a break sometimes and she cried and screamed so much at daycare I had to go get her cause she was disrupting all the other kids.

Im at a loss and I feel like I can't deal with all this anymore. My husbands mom takes Amora for the night when she can, and my parents live about 45 minuates away in the next state, and they dont get her that much because she is so horrible acting when she comes back that my mom feels bad for me.

Anyone have any other ideas we can try?????

Thanks for listening.

P.S.

She IS going ot daycare when the baby gets here, we found one willing to work with her and they know how she acts right now, but it is a little pricey so we are waiting till the baby is here to send her.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2007

Little ones sure can be frustrating at times, can't they?? I don't have a whole lot of advice to offer, but I do completely understand what you are dealing with. My youngest daughter was terrible at that age, but hers had a lot to do with developmental issues. Regardless, I remember calling my husband at work several times, in tears and not knowing what to do with her.

My son is almost two, and he has his bad days too. He behaves so much better for my husband, and my husband doesn't understand how overwhelming and frustrating it can be when he just refuses to listen. The one thing I have found that works for us is sticking to a pretty regular schedule. It's not like every minute of our day is planned out, but I do try to do activities with him at home during certain times of the day, or take him to the park to run off energy, etc. Since the older three went back to school, he seemed bored a lot of the time and I think he acted out sometimes because of it. I've also noticed that when he knows what's going on and what's coming next, he seems to do a lot better. (like a certain time during the morning I have to clean the house, so he can help me or keep himself entertained, he knows when snack time and lunch time are, the time when we usually go outside, etc) If I deviate too much from his regular schedule, he starts getting a little cranky about it. That's not to say that he's an angel all of the time, though! I try not to take him on too many long outings or to places where it's going to be a big deal if he's crying. Short trips to Wal-Mart for milk, or to the post office to drop off a package are fine, but I try to do the rest of my running when DH can be home with him because you never can tell what kind of mood he'll be in halfway through a major grocery run or something!

Hopefully you guys find something that works for you and her. Have you looked into the morning out programs that some of the churches offer? Most of them are just a few hours maybe three days a week, and it's more of a school setting than day care is. The classes there are usually a little more structured and less overwhelming than a day care class, and the teachers seem to be pretty good at dealing with kids who don't handle separation well. Nothing against day care (I worked in one myself), but it can get pretty chaotic with the kids in the class sometimes, and some kids don't respond well to that kind of environment. Just a thought for something different that may work for her. The church we took my other son to for preschool last year was a 3-year-old class, 3 mornings a week, and it was $90 a month. I'm sure the prices vary, depending on the area where you live, but it was much cheaper than day care, and it gave him some time to get out around other kids and gave me some time to just have my youngest one home. Again, I'm not sure if something like that would fit your needs, but it wouldn't hurt to look into it if you haven't already.

Good luck! And just remember that this WILL pass and you both will survive it, although you may end up with a few gray hairs after it's all said and done :smileywink:

--Heather-- proud mommy to five amazing kids and one more on the way!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2012
So sorry to hear about this. It may (or may not) make you feel better to know it sounds like completely normal 3 yr old behaviour. I really don't know why no one ever talks about it - the 2's are a breeze in comparison to the 3's because they can communicate and they want to exert their will and have control and will resort to exerting control over potty behaviour (I am currently going through this regression as well).

All I can tell you is have as much patience as you possibly can, pick your battles wisely, and stay firm to the rules. I try to use positive reinforcement and time outs for my 3 yr old as well as giving her a choice. She is a very strong willed child and functions better when she thinks she has some control over the situation. i.e. eat what is for supper or nothing, cooperate with the bedtime routine in a timely manner or lose options such as a story (phrased in a positive manner). My youngest is finally starting to come out of this and the worst of it was about 4 months or so.

I would recommend putting your dd in daycare before the baby arrives so she doesn't see it as her being replaced or pushed out. You want to establish the routine well before or the behaviours may get allot worse.

Best of luck - it will get better, time heals all things!
Proud Mom to Annika (4), Jamie (3), and 4 angels. Anxiously awaiting Baby #3!
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-2002

I agree 3 is worse because like what was said, they can communicate so much more. My daughter will be 3 on Oct 1, and she has already been getting much more testy with me. They do want that control. I know you have to be frustrated, and maybe something like the mother's day out will help. I also agree you might want to try before the baby comes, but I know that expense is not cheap! Good luck and KUP on how she is doing!

 

Lilypie Maternity tickers
Avatar for thesunshinekid
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-2001
ITA - Three just sucks. Just keep the consistency and NEVER let her get away with incorrect behavior. It's tough and it's exhausting, but you'll be glad when you make it to 4!

Jules - Happily married and Momma to DS, DD and expecting our Caboose Baby 11/24/2012


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2008
I will write more later because I have to run, but had to post that at 3 years of age, this is a completely normal stage of testing your authority. It was awful for us too. I was at wit's end so many times. I know it must be unbearable during pregnancy. Just stay firm. If you start giving in because it's easier than dealing with the fits, it gets worse. Just try to keep your calm yourself and model the behavior that you want her to exhibit under stress or pressure. Put on your all-business face and try to get her to understand ways to manage her anger and frustrations too. You can work on it together. But don't accept the rudeness. We are finally getting out of that phase, but some of the rudeness remains though she knows now that it's not tolerated. We still have to give consequences for it, and she'll still test a little, but not as badly as a few months ago. She'll be 4 in the end of October.
Lilypie Maternity tickers
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Registered: 01-15-2008
Back again! DD was like this at the beginning of the pregnancy when I was nauseous all the time and exhausted. I found that the more worked up I got over her behavior, the more it fed the same behavior. It's not easy, but just being consistent and as relaxed and seemingly "in control" as possible and repetitive in your responses to her actions will go a long way. But I think it's just one of those phases and you'll just have to be patient until she gets it, that you're not giving in. It may get a little worse with the baby's arrival, but maybe the new school will help too. It sounds like the other one just isn't adequate for her needs, maybe even contributing to the problem. It sounds like they don't have their act together if they can't deal with typical 3 year old behavior. In my experience, typically kids act better for teachers or sitters than for their parents, so if that's not the case, maybe something is wrong at the day care center or with a particular care giver. Just a thought...

I've also done the counting to 3 thing to get her to think and decide to make the right choices. I let her know in advance that I'll give her to the count of three to make the right choice or face the consequences (time in her room or time out, usually, or giving up a favorite toy or activity for some time).

Also, my DD would resist going to the potty before bedtime for a while and my DH gave in one time and she wet the bed, of course. I had to start counting to 10, and if she hadn't gone potty yet, I told her she'd have to wear a diaper to bed. She started going potty every time, by the count of 2 or 3 (didn't even have to get to 10). She doesn't like diapers at all, so just the threat of having to revert back to the diapers was enough for her to get back on track. Might not work if your DD doesn't care if she wears diapers, or not, or if she stays in wet undies by choice.

Good luck!!! I know it's a tough time.
Lilypie Maternity tickers
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Registered: 01-15-2008
P.S. We have gotten to the stage now that all I have to do when she acts up is say, "Mommy doesn't like it when you act this way. It makes me unhappy. Do you want me to be upset? I don't like to be upset or punish you, it makes me very sad to do so because I love you. Do you want me to be upset?" She says, "No, I want you to be happy," and gives me a hug usually, in response. It's been quite the 180 turn from just a few months ago. I cushion the consequences conversation with reminders of my affection for her and it seems to work for her (not always, but most of the time).

She still talks back sometimes and that is the biggest thing we're really having to deal with now. She has a friend at school who is very disrespectful to her mother and sometimes to the teachers. Often, the peer influence has a lot to do with their behavior at home. I have to constantly remind her to show respect, particularly if she wants respect in kind. I think closer to age 4, the empathy link to fairness is really starting to make more sense to them. They have a sense of fairness earlier on, but more in a selfish way ("it's not fair when I don't get my way or if someone gets more than I do"), but as they get a little more mature, they begin to realize that to be respected or rewarded, you have to be respectful too. Also, if you're extra sweet to adults, you'll be rewarded more often. :smileyhappy: I can see that in my daughter already. She also has started giving other kids lessons in good behavior (trying to be like mommy... which is cute, but I hope she doesn't become one of those goody two shoes that the other kids despise... hahaha).
Lilypie Maternity tickers
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Registered: 02-24-2012

I second everything hopes4little1 said. Steady and calm are key! Try not to let them see you getting upset because they seem to feed off of that and it sparks some strange flame.

When my youngest started in this aweful phase it affected her behaviour (including sleep problems), emotions, she just got glasses to correct a heriditary lazy eye and refused to wear them, and she went from day trained to completly unreliable with potty training. In my case I couldn't handle all 4 isssues at once so I reverted to stage 1 potty training (sitting her on the potty frequently) with understanding that it might not work (which it didn't) and cleaning messes instead (diaper threats didn't work for her and I didn't want to go back that far) and focused all of my efforts on the other 3 issues because they were far more critical and fixable in my opinion.

I also want to mention that these issues only existed with me - daycare and dh had no issues at all which I assumed is because I am her primary care giver and she spends 75% of her waking time alone with me (ie they are special). If daycare can't handle your dd then there may be another issue as hopes4little1 suggested.

My first had some minor behaviour issues at that age but mostly emotional. She has always been an emotional child and at that point she didn't know how to handle her negative emotions - boy could she ever curdle the blood with the screams that came from her toes, she sounded possessed! Talk and time outs until she felt better controlled were my lifesavers with her.

Someone told me that when their kids would act in these manners that they had a special area of the house (chosen by the child) where the kid would go and play with a special toy (one kept in the special place for this time only).  I think the thought behind this is that it minimizes sensory overload and allows them to calm down in a safe spot. I think that one of their kids chose under his bed with a truck and apparently they had great success with this method.

Proud Mom to Annika (4), Jamie (3), and 4 angels. Anxiously awaiting Baby #3!
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2012
hopes4little1 wrote:
She also has started giving other kids lessons in good behavior (trying to be like mommy... which is cute, but I hope she doesn't become one of those goody two shoes that the other kids despise... hahaha).

LOL! My 5 year old is like that and I feel the exact same way. She chases down kids to tell them what playground rules they are breaking. I hope it works out for her at school...

Proud Mom to Annika (4), Jamie (3), and 4 angels. Anxiously awaiting Baby #3!
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2008
Tabatha- That's funny. Maybe it's normal and they'll all be doing it eventually then. hehehe... I know teachers don't like tattling, but kids have a hard time understanding that adults can give them behavioral pointers but they can't do it to the other kids. I've overheard her telling kids, "I'm going to tell my mommy," and "You need to be careful, that's breakable," etc.
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