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Please reassure me...
Old 03-19-2013, 03:56 PM
  #1

That I am not psychologically damaging my three year old. DS got in trouble at preschool today for calling another boy stupid, screaming at his teacher that he didn't have to do what she said, stomping his feet and just generally behaving badly. This happened a few times over the past weeks. My normally happy, sweet, loving child has morphed into a gremlin.

As I write this, he is laying his bed sobbing hysterically. After supper tonight, we told him that he would have a bath and go straight to bed. Since we told him that,he has kicked, hit, screamed and told us to shut up as loud as he could manage. So we bathed him, dried him off, got him dressed for bed, stuck him in his bed and said goodnight and walked out.

We don't spank, because of the abuse I went through as a child with my mother. Any suggestions on how to handle my three (almost 4) year old terror? I am trying so hard to stay in control and not lose my temper the my mom did, but man is it hard!


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Old 03-19-2013, 04:02 PM
  #2

I think you did it perfectly! We often do that to DS.

3 is the worst...keep strong.
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I think you're handling it just right.
Old 03-19-2013, 04:02 PM
  #3

It's very hard to stay in control and patient when our kids act like that, but you are doing great. Three year olds often throw temper tantrums, and it can be really awful, but it does end. My granddaughter used to throw some horrible tantrums when she was 3. It almost got to where DS and DIL wouldn't go out because of it. But she's 4 now, and hasn't had a tantrum in several months. They need to see that you aren't going to give them any attention for that behavior, and that you will not accept it. He WILL grow out of it. I'm almost positive of that. He's testing the water, and when he sees that it doesn't work to throw a tantrum, he'll quit.
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:07 PM
  #4

Yeah, you are doing alright. And when you think you have this one under control he will change tactics to something new!

Hang tough. They grow out of it fairly quickly, although it doesn't seem like it at the time. I don't know how many times I would like to go back and hug that little cutie that put me through the wringer so many times. Those little hugs and kisses from that age just are never the same.

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3's
Old 03-19-2013, 04:10 PM
  #5

I thought it was the terrible 3's rather than the 2's. I think you did fine. Did he stay in bed? Is he getting enough sleep?


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When my daughter used to do this, one of us
Old 03-19-2013, 04:11 PM
  #6

would get down on the floor and do the exact same things she was doing. It usually made her laugh and get over it more quickly.

Or we would start complimenting her on what a great tantrum thrower she was and sometimes ask her to keep doing it. Ha ha. If he can talk and process language, that will confuse him enough to pull him out of it.

Or put on some really loud Beatles music and start dancing with each other, totally ignoring the kid's behavior.
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just want to say
Old 03-19-2013, 04:18 PM
  #7

knowledge is power....I too was abused by my mom and don't worry about going down that path. You are aware of what you are doing and it seems like you have a good handle on it and your dh is supportave. Keep on doing what you are as far as your son is conserned, maybe add a sticker chart---so many checks or stickers a treat. It does get better--my stubborn, pig headed daughter is quickly approaching 21 and I can say if she made it your son will too! Use us whenever you need.
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Well done standing your ground!
Old 03-19-2013, 04:31 PM
  #8

I agree, terrible twos have nothing on the theatrical threes (what my mama called it!).

Hang in there!
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Old 03-19-2013, 04:32 PM
  #9

I think you handled it perfectly! If he is still going at it, ignore him. Just be consistant and do the same thing each time you get a bad report from his teacher. You could also consider setting up some type of reward system. Maybe he gets an extra story or can stay up a few minutes later when he has good days?

Nancy
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Agree
Old 03-19-2013, 04:46 PM
  #10

I think you did the right thing!

Ignoring the bad behavior and reinforcing the good behavior is always a good thing. I would just (as much as possible!) say "I like it when you say nice things. It hurts my feelings when you say mean things." and then continue to ignore.

I think the key is to "catch" him being good and REALLY praise him for it!! Kids just want attention and will do whatever works to get it. Also- I think that just like adults, kids have bad days too, so a little bit of grace is nice too Just be consistent and firm, yet positive! You're doing great!


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Old 03-19-2013, 05:00 PM
  #11

I think you did great. Stay calm and consistent.

Just a thought if this behavior is new. My son would get ear infections, and evidently had a high pain threshold until he got really ill. He would go out of control like this - and it was always a clue that he was sick.

Could your son be getting sick, and that would be making it harder for him to stay in control?
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:25 PM
  #12

I wondered if he could be getting sick- but this behavior has been building for 2 or 3 weeks. I wish there was an explanation.

He will be 4 in May. We have had our share of the tantrums and small problems at school here and there, but tonight hit a whole new level.

Thank you for support- I had to go scrub the tub so I wouldn't hear him sobbing and crying for me. He fell asleep about 45 minutes after it started. Now I am nervous he will be up all night- he just started sleeping through the night a couple of months ago. Geesh- this mommy thing is not for the faint hearted.
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:00 AM
  #13

I used to throw temper tantrums as a child. My mom had asked teh doctor what she should do when I did this. The doctor told her to put me in a room (away from anything I could use to hurt myself) and ignore me. Most kids have these tantrums for attention. My mom said it worked like a charm. I think you're doing the right thing.

I would also take away things that mean a lot to him (ie no cookie after dinner, can't watch his favorite TV show, etc.)
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3s
Old 03-20-2013, 07:27 AM
  #14

The 3s were so much harder than 2s for both of my boys. My boys seemed to build steam to an explosion of fits. We would deal with them then the fits disappeared for a while, but they always came back. In the middle of a fit I would take a blanket and wrap him tight and hold him close. Take him to a quiet dark room and rock him. I could just watch the tension melt from his little body. He loved the alone time with mommy and then we could talk about his behavior. 3 year olds don't have the mental ability to understand why they are misbehaving so we talked about not screaming or not hitting. We talked about fun things we could do when he would talk to us and be a good little boy.

My opinion is that little boys throw fits when there is too much (stimulus) going on that they can't control. Too much noise, too many people, someone not listening to him, another child not doing what he wants...sometimes they can be creating the havoc and not know how to stop themselves. I taught my boys to respond to my voice instantly, no matter what. I told them I had to trust that they would stop running if a car was going to hit them. This helped when they were getting wound up and I could say their name to stop it before they got to crazy. We practiced by me calling their name randomly while they were playing, using a voice that meant business. When they looked up at me I would softly say I love you! But they showed me that they would stop and listen to my voice.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:05 PM
  #15

He had a great morning- I called the school to check. Then he started up with the bad behavior again. Guess we are in for another doozy of a night
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