Jump to content
F.E.B.E

Three going on thirteen

Recommended Posts

F.E.B.E

Posted on behalf of Amity

 

-----------------------------------------------

My daughter is turning 3 in a few weeks and the exasperating and entertaining force that is the 3 year old us coming back to me at a rapid rate.

 

I don’t know where this thing about the Terrible Two’s came from. With both my children I found 2 to be an absolute delight, where they’re still babies but a gorgeous mix of cuddles, chatter and discovery. But as for 3, well I reckon they could give the 13 year old a run for their money in the attitude stakes. Suddenly all that lovely chatter increases to sentences, which they use to tell you exactly what they DON’T want to do.

 

Which, on some days, is everything.

 

For us it starts in the morning, where little Miss’s mood is totally dependent on how much sleep she had. If it was a good night she is adorable, full of pride that she stayed in her big girl bed all night and ready to start the day with a smile. But if there wasn’t enough sleep it all goes downhill from there.

 

The cereal is wrong, her brother annoys her and don’t even start me on getting her dressed, because she seems to have a very strong aversion to wearing pants.

 

So every day is a negotiation about what she will wear, or should I say won’t wear. I’ve tried it all, giving choices, not giving choices, taking her shopping to choose things she loves in the shops and then finding she HATES them when we get home. I’ve tried asking nicely, demanding, making it fun, saying it in a cross voice, counting to 3, walking away, begging, pleading and telling her father to deal with it.

 

But it seems I am rendered powerless by her one little word. No.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I am no pushover. I am absolutely determined and can negotiate with the best of them. If I want something I don’t give up and no one would describe me as being too soft. But the trouble is, my darling daughter also possesses all those same attributes. And right now, she is winning our battle of the wills.

 

And herein lies my problem, if you don’t believe in smacking (which I don’t) or yelling (which I don’t think works anyway) what is your final point?

 

I am a big fan of picking your battles and it’s always seemed to work in our house. Neither of us are overly strict, but we do expect certain things like good manners, treating people nicely and having good behavior. I don’t want to spend all my life being a drill sergeant, so I’m happy to let some things go. But I don’t want to be raising spoilt brats either, so some things are not negotiable.

 

Like wearing pants.

 

I don’t mind if her outfit doesn’t match, if she wears a fairy dress with jeans or even if she paints her nails with yellow nail polish so it looks like she has some weird nail infection. But pants are fairly mandatory, especially when it’s cold outside.

 

And sometimes leaving the house is mandatory too, which is when we come to blows. The other day we had to hold her down and force clothes onto her, while she writhed like a wild animal. Only for her to take them all off again when I left the room. Aaarghhh!!!

 

But it’s not just clothes, some days she loves spaghetti and the next she HATES it. One minute she is showering her brother with kisses, the next she screams when he looks at her. She won’t wear her seatbelt, wash her hair, brush her teeth and she certainly won’t stay in bed.

 

The thing is, a part of me loves that she’s so strong. I love the way she commits to something and won’t back down. I won’t want to break that feisty little stubborn streak because I know it will serve her well in life. But I also want her to know there are some rules you have to follow, and nobody gets there way all the time.

 

So, dear readers, feel free to impart your words of wisdom on me, or perhaps just share your stories of similar 3 year old behavior, so we can all laugh about them together. Because I know we’re not unique. And I also know it won’t last. I only have to read the post I wrote four years ago about my son as a 3 year old and then look at the well behaved, well adjusted, pants wearing child he is now to remind myself of that.

 

Instead I take a deep breath and remember that this too shall pass. And in those exasperating moments I try to just laugh it off. Because honestly, what is cuter than someone trying to leave the house wearing boots, fairy wings, a handbag and no pants. Well, when you’re nearly 3 anyway! 

 

 

 

Do you have any advice for Amity? Comment below

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jenflea

Do what my mother did with my brother who wanted to wear winter clothes in the height of summer. Let her.

If she doesn't want to wear pants, then fine. Let her wear shoes and nothing else and get outside and feel how cold it is.

Take clothes with you for the moment when she realises she's cold.

Let her learn for herself.

We've just put my daughter in her big girl bed, so far she's stayed in it. Her gro clock helps. She knows she can;'t get up till the sun comes out.

 

2 was delightful, 3 I think might be a challenge for us too.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FeralAlpacaWarrior
Do what my mother did with my brother who wanted to wear winter clothes in the height of summer. Let her.

If she doesn't want to wear pants, then fine. Let her wear shoes and nothing else and get outside and feel how cold it is.

Take clothes with you for the moment when she realises she's cold.

Let her learn for herself.

We've just put my daughter in her big girl bed, so far she's stayed in it. Her gro clock helps. She knows she can;'t get up till the sun comes out.

 

2 was delightful, 3 I think might be a challenge for us too.

We've taken this approach too. DD1 says she can't pull her pants up after going to the toilet? I tell her she will be in there for awhile then. She refuses to get dressed? I tell her she will be cold when we go out (we live near Canberra). She won't eat dinner? She will be going to bed hungry.

 

And yes, 3 is proving to be much more of a challenge than 2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZombieFerretOfDoom

Love the term "threenager". Sums up my DD perfectly.

 

I fully expected to have stand up screaming matches with my daughter when she hit puberty. I didn't expect it at 3.

 

Like Amity, a part of me is so proud and so happy to be raising such a strong willed daughter. But OM*G I want to throttle her sometimes...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
*Finn*

Well I have a threenager son that is also the most determined human being I know. And what a memory he has. He will remember if 6 weeks ago you let it go about something in particular and today don't want him to do it. Meal times drive me absolutely batty. The two year old is just as bad. They change their mind daily what they will and won't eat.

Sadly the 2 year old girl is rather precious too. God give me strength.

Edited by *Finn*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wendylady

I am here too with my 3.5yr old DD.

 

She was such a sweetie at 2, and i must admit still is most of the time. Helpful and polite.

 

But these days if something sets her off - lack of sleep, not getting her way over one thing - then its down hill from there.

 

If I hear "my feet are too tired to do xyz..." or "but, mummy..." one more time... GAH!!

 

We also have the same issue with pants. I have had to pick my battles and insist on undies at a minimum after that she can do what ever, even if I think she should be wearing something else because its cold outside.

 

We had 3 changes of clothes this morning and argued over each piece of each outfit then were late for daycare/work.

 

Glad I'm not the only one with a three-nager! I was worried it was because we have another one on the way.

 

Guess it serves me right for being a little bit smug that we had bypassed the "terrible twos";)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KirstenMc

I totally agree, the "terribly twos" monkier seems completely misplaced to me. Three is much harder. Three is when whining sets in, and the changeableness, like yesterday I only wanted to eat vegemite but today I *hate* vegemite. What?

 

Mind you, there's still cuteness at three too. I personally think four is harder (though I haven't got there with Miss Three - so I live in hope that it will be easier with her than it was with the other two!).

 

A great article I read recently on the three year old is at http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/01/...ior-challenges/ - it covers the three-year-old (supposedly in a period of equalibrium) and the three and a half year old (disequalibrium).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DannaKass

Yep 3 year olds can be quite a handful! My 2 girls didn't like wearing pants or shorts either, but they were happy with wearing tights or leggings under skirts and dresses. Would your little girl consider this?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rumply

So are there any helpful hints out there for managing this age? I am pulling my hair out with my just-turned-three-year-old. Two was pretty full on as well, but OMG this is worse now.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sayerley

 

 

So are there any helpful hints out there for managing this age? I am pulling my hair out with my just-turned-three-year-old. Two was pretty full on as well, but OMG this is worse now.

 

Drink :shrug:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bluenomi

Ahh yes the f*%king awful 3s. DD refuses to wear pants or leggings, it has be tights with her dresses or skirts. She has to wear dresses or skirts otherwise she 'doesn't look like a ballerina'.

 

Time out doesn't work, yelling doesn't work, the only thing that works is finding something she's attached to that day and threatening to take it away. Mind you, that quite often ends in a tantrum so it's not much better ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TotesFeral
Drink :shrug:

 

:lol: Yes!

 

DD is currently going through a phase where she has to wear 3 pairs of undies. No trying to talk her out of it will work so she has a padded butt all day :p

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Justaduck

That's why I loved my 2.5-3yr olds who I had in childcare, they weren't as dependent as the toddlers, but not as "wordly" as the kindy aged kids (all 3+). The 2yr olds weren't quite up to the stage of backtalking & when you could sense trouble ahead they were easy to be re-directed with something like "Hey lets go and build with the trucks and diggers!" The 3yr olds are a bit more cluey and didn't response as easily to this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cat Burglar

My 2.5 yo is mostly like this. But lots of experienced EB members have told me when Ive posted about it that shes 'too young to behave like that' - cos, you know, all kids are exactly the same :rolleyes:

Edited by Soccer Mum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KirstenMc
DD is currently going through a phase where she has to wear 3 pairs of undies. No trying to talk her out of it will work so she has a padded butt all day :p

 

:rofl:

 

I love this!

 

And for the several people who's girls will only wear tights - what?! my girls won't wear tights at all! Which actually is fine with me, they seem so impractical, since they're always taking their shoes off. But it's odd to hear some girls prefer them, LOL.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Genabee

I could have written Amity's post...

 

DD has just turned 4. She does my head in. And she has an answer for everything!!!!

 

Often DH and I just look at each other and say 'Where do we go with that?!'... She has a way of getting the last word, all the time.

 

I just hope it gets better when she turns 5 or I am going to be committed :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...