26 answers

Behavior with a Almost 3 Year Old

hi moms im at a loss and lately feel so depressed over this so let me get to this, my daughter will be 3 in March and within the last two weeks has change her behavior to the extreme and there is no reason for it (im at a loss) i go to the gym 5 days a week she goes to their daycare area for an hour the minute i pull into the parking lot she now has me carry her into the gym and now they have to peel her off of me as i walk away to go to class (as she screaming and crying) she NEVER did this and shes been going since she was 5 months old, she has always walked every where with me as a big girl and now to certain places its carry me and she throws such a tantrum, i let her scream it out i have been doing time out some days all day (dont see it working yet)

shes horrible at home, so whiny and doesnt listen (she use to sometimes and liked to help me clean with some things) why is she a different child? it so hard for me, i cancel all our playdates, i dont like to take her out im embarressed by her behavior and these last few mornings i dread getting up and taking care of her. i love her and always looked forward to my days with her and what we had planned, please help they grow up so fast, i dont want to miss it but i feel like im putting up a barrier and now my husband and i fight over this he makes excuses for her (saying shes only 2) but i know she knows better ive seen her do better, oh and we are also potty training for the 3rd time and shes giving us a hard time with that as well, but she did fine with giving up pacify, and moving to big girl bed....

Ok sorry for my book my heart hurts for this i want my sweet little girl back that i cuddle with not the one that beats me up and just screams all the time, so any advice im open :)

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hola A. tienes que ver que siente tu hija porque cambio de repente de acctitud algo le sucede y tienes que ver que es los niÑos cuando no pueden comunicarse bien por su habla que es limitada por la edad su forma de hablar es esa sus berriches sus molestias llantos etc etc recuerda cuando era bebe que llorando te decia que tenia hambre sueÑo dolor etc etc. Que no te de pena sus llantos en la calle eso no es importante lo importnte aca es porque ella esta asi de un tiempo para aca averigua. Algo puede estar sucediendole porfavor no dejes eso asi escucha a tu hija con el corazon de madre y averigua que le pasa

suerte y muchas bendiciones

This sounds like the terrible twos hit her late. My son behaved in similar ways from 18 months until 2 1/2 and I couldn't take him anywhere either. I understand. I saw other children at the grocery store behaving just fine and mine is clearing the shelf with his hand. It's a difficult age. Also, the potty training is an additional stressor and you both are fighting for control. I also was on the 3rd attempt and I must say, my son and I didn't like one another for the last 8 weeks before he finally was potty trained. These are growing pains. She's not going to behave as well as before until she masters potty training and outgrows this stage. I kept outings very short (like 15 minutes in the beginning and started to increase the time) and used the Once Upon A Potty book to help make the potty training click. We were in between attempts when I got the book and we just read it again and again and he decided to get interested. He didn't care about the stickers or candy rewards. That didn't motivate him after a while. I found using time outs and taking away toys were the best in dealing with the tantrums. I also walked away and let him cry it out many times. Eventually, they get tired and wear out. It's a process. Hang in there. It gets better, I promise!

I am wondering if something has happened to her? Has she been in a situation where she could have been sexually abused?

More Answers

Something happened to her- is there someone differernt there? Don't be embarrassed be concerned.
What chanaged? anew person there? a change in diet.
Go back to when she was doing well.
For behaviour we use YokaReeder.com- she is amazing.
How many changes have you required? Pacifier may be needed if there are cranial bone mis alignments, maybe her head hurts now.
Something changed and not for the best.
And what do you mean"she is giving us a hard time"
Maybe you are requiring too many changes at the same time?
Hqave you asked her, I mean really gotten face to face with her, and made it safe for her to really tell you.
You want your sweet little girl back, maybe she wants- well ask her.
best, k

2 moms found this helpful

Right before my son turned 3 he literally lost his mind! Same thing-like he was a completely different kid. Thankfully it only lasted about 6 weeks. The biggest thing was for me to remain calm, stick to our routines, try not to yell. She is going thru a lot right now. Sit back and take a look at what you might be able to back-off of-potty training maybe? You don't want that to be a power struggle. She's still young but one thing that helped my son's behavior is we talked about what was expected. Like on the way to the park I would tell him to do good sharing, no pushing, no pulling, etc. He got where he would repeat it back to me or even say it on his own on the way. But he also was told that he would get warnings but then we would leave. I didn't make a production of it. Just in a low, calm voice told him we were leaving because of x. Good luck! It does pass!

1 mom found this helpful

With both of my children - it was the TERRIBLE 3's!! There's no terrible twos.......it is 3. I am going through the same thing with our daughter who just turned 3 in September.

She doesn't listen. You have to tell her things 5 times before she even looks at you. She isn't picking up and helping like she used to. She is whiny and crying over everything and even reverted to pointing while she whines. She cries over the simplest thing, when she could just ASK for it and it would be given to her.

This is the time where my husband and I feel we have to establish who runs who. Also, this is where discipline needs to come in and is set for the future. She has had spankins more recently, time outs and doesn't get to do things we were going to be able to do. She is learning sllloooowwwlllyyyy.

It's normal. Be strong....this too shall pass. You and your husband have to work as a team. We see some of it as boredome as well - she will do things she KNOWS are wrong - just because she can. Just to see what happens. We've been considering a part time 1/2 day daycare twice a week to stimulate her.

Good luck and know that she is still sweet....she's just testing you. Let her know whos boss and she should start shaping up (mine hasn't yet....but it sounds good!) ;)

1 mom found this helpful

I would be understanding and sympathetic to her changes and developments. Kids don't stay the same as they were yesterday, last week or last year. They are growing and changing physically and emotionally. She is crying out to you for comfort and security during the changes she is experiencing. Ignoring her, forcing her to go to the gym daycare or letting her scream it out are probably the exact opposite of what will comfort her and show support and understanding. She needs you to be there for her, not to push her away. Sometimes just extra mommy time, extra cuddling, carrying her (regardless of if she was willing to walk 2 weeks ago), etc is just the right medicine for a toddler that is developing and wondering about her world. I would bet that if your response changed to loving, open arms with a warm voice and smile, that her disposition and behavior will all change and improve too. Try to put yourself in her shoes.... She is going through emotional and security changes but then her mom is frustrated with her, pushes her away, let's her scream for her and stops taking her out to see friends and play- so she is stuck alone in the house with someone she needs comfort from but that is miserable bring with her. Sounds understandable that her behavior is declining....

As for potty training, I think here too that your expectations are unrealistic. Most kids are not 100%
trained at almost 3. Because of all the other issues, she is probably having even more trouble. I would back off and let her be. Most kids do well with waiting a bit, especially during a time like this. She doesn't need more stress or more people frustrated with her.

I recommend Dr Sears books to look over the typical ages for changes and developmental milestones so you have a good idea of normal issues... It will rally help you stay calm and happy with your little one and she will get the support and comfort she needs! Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

Your husband is right, she is only 2. Stop stressing over it. I think you have a high expectation of her to "fall in line with YOUR schedule" so that things can run smoothly and I don't think that is fair. She is a developing baby that is probably going thru her growing pains. Be patient, she is sensing your irritation which is making it worse. Is there something wrong at the daycare that she may not be able to express?

1 mom found this helpful

You said, that you are open to any advice?????????????????

I am 32 years old and I have three children with my husband. Ages 9, 7, and 3.

I have been through hell throughout my life and because of that I don't trust anyone.

You said something that caught my eye. Something that she does now that I know that I used to do when I was little.
This is not easy for me to say to you or even say out loud.

I was molested as a young child and because that person was around for a long time it lasted for several years.

You said

"within the last two weeks has change her behavior to the extreme and there is no reason for it (I’m at a loss) I go to the gym 5 days a week she goes to their daycare area for an hour the minute I pull into the parking lot she now has me carry her into the gym and now they have to peel her off of me as I walk away to go to class (as she screaming and crying) she NEVER did this before".

I WOULD CHECK ON THIS, YOU NEED TO KNOW WHO IS TAKING CARE OF HER IN THAT DAYCARE. YOU NEED TO CHECK HER BODY FOR ANY SIGNS. YOU NEED TO WATCH HER CAREFULLY AND SEE IF SHE COPYS ANYTHING THAT YOU MIGHT QUESTION.

I could be off here, maybe I am wrong.
Maybe someone (adult) in the daycare treated her real mean.

BUT, because of her behavior and I know the signs, my head and heart would lead me in this direction of what I was talking about.

PLEASE, I AM BEGGING YOU. LOVE HER WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART. DO NOT RUN AND HIDE AND WISH TO BE SOMEWHERE ELSE, INSTEAD OF BEING WITH HER. SHE NEEDS MOMMY. SHE LOVES MOMMY MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE. YOU ARE EVERYTHING TO HER AND SHE IS ONLY 2 AND SHE DOES NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO. SHE HAS ONLY BEEN IN THIS WORLD FOR 2.5 YEARS.

WORK WITH HER ~ NOT AGAINST HER.

Happy Thanksgiving.
God Bless and take care.

= )

1 mom found this helpful

i would definitely say welcome to the world of 3yo's :). i have 2 kids 5 and 3. my little girl acted like this from the time she came out of the womb :) so it was pretty normal for her, screaming and being mean to her little brother, etc. my boy (who is now 3) was a good baby, but when he turned 2.5yo i started to call him my little demon. he started hitting and kicking, calling names like heiny, stupid, etc..it doesn't matter what i do, time outs, spanking, taking away his favorite toys, he doesn't care. he is still very loving and will kiss and say he loves us but he has a horrendous temper. he also went thru a separtation period where i couldn't even leave him with my husband w/o him screaming. and also did the whole carry me, and feed me. which my daughter did as well. i think it is probably a phase. my daughter got out of it by the time whe was 4 and my son is SLOWLY learning to control himself if you tell him that he needs to calm down. they say the terrible 2's is just 2yo. it starts at 2 and ends at 4. good luck. i would say just be consistant with punishment. when i would go shopping with my daughter and she started to cry i would drop everything or give my husband the list and then just walk out of the store with her and sit in the car until he was done. that stopped that behavior pretty quickly. that way instead of not going anywhere she will learn that behavior has consequences.

Hi A.,

Maybe you should take a break from the gym for awhile and do some other fun activities with your daughter. She's probably just going through a phase, but maybe she just needs a little extra attention from you right now. Take her to a nature center, movie, zoo, etc. The change from your regular routine might just be a needed break for both of you.

Good luck!

I agree with Mrs Billi Jo. You need to talk to her and ask her if someone or something is bothering her. Children understand alot more than we think. If nothing is bothering her, then i'm sure she's just going through a phase. Just remember that when she turns 5 or 6 shes going to want to help you and others all the time, she'll have your back, and she'll be a little sweetie pie again.

I feel for you - kids go through very tough periods.
But I agree with your husband.
Not only that - this drastic change in behavior could mean something is really wrong.
Maybe something is going wrong in that daycare - a kid or adult could be doing something wrong.
Its a crazy world full of crazy people.
Also - have you brought her to the Dr. - maybe something is physically wrong - sometimes they are to little to tell you.
Anyway - I wish you luck and patience and wisdom with this.

I my oldest two boys went/are going through this. When my oldest was about to turn 3 it was like the terrible two's amplified! Now my 2nd son is 3 and it's the same thing. One day good, next day child from hell. And that's a hard thing to handle when you are used to happy playful content child. My second son, Nick is highly emotional right now, throws a fit about anything, screams when he's frustrated. We don't even like to go out to eat. My advice to you is this: drop the potty training. One of the earlier posts said something about being molested so a good thing to check out would be if anyone new is working in your childs class at school. If no, then I would just take it as it is. Be patient, but if she is being irrational or throwing a fit, toss her in her room and shut the door. Tell her when she's done with her fit she can come out. It may take a few times of putting her back in when she's screaming but it will begin to work. Now when I toss my son in his room, he wails and screams and falls to the floor, but he stays in there and after a minute or two (sometimes up to 30 minutes!) he'll start to get quiet. Then he'll either come out on his own, or I'll go in and sit with him for a minute and then ask him if he's ready to come out with me.
Best of luck,
Jen M.
Mom of 3 boys ages 6, 3, and 1

Hi... I totally know the feeling... I don't like to take her anywhere either. Although, sadly I think your husband is right that its a 2 thing. My daughter just all of a sudden will not sit in her stroller. She's also clingy right now...
I try to keep a go-with-the-flow schedule and pick my battles... she's trying to test her limits and mom! Good luck! and its true that we need to remember to enjoy every moment, stage and age! They're growing up sooo fast!! :)

Hi,

You can see from all the responses that you got that she sounds pretty normal for 2.5. There is a pretty good series of books called Your <insert age here> Year Old by Bates and Ames. There is one for 2 years old. The authors say that around half years 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, etc, there is a period of disequilibrium in development so you get a lot of those behaviors you mentioned. I can tell you that 3.5 has been especially rough for us personally and I thought 2.5 was bad! It's not unusual for things like separation anxiety and other anxieties to occur at half years. Regressions on things are normal too. You know, it's hard to grow up and sometimes that scares them and they cling to babyish behaviors like wanting to be carried. Even though the Bates and Ames books feel a little dated in the tone, the behavior described is soooooooo familiar! For instance, my daughter went through a face where she would yell things at me like, "I don't love you anymore!" And the 3 Year Old book addressed it specifically. LOL I was able to quit taking it personally after reading that.

Anyway, how to cope? It's hard to be calm, but that's the best thing to do. I know that if I wake up in a bad mood or I'm having a bad day, my attitude affects how she acts. When I make an attempt to be positive, it's sets the tone for a more amicable day. Focus on the positive things she does as much as possible. Along with that, I would resist the urge to complain about her in front of your husband; do it after she goes to bed. I was guilty of that a lot until I made the effort to stop. Instead of listing all the challenging behaviors she gave me when my husband got home from work, I would try to say something positive like, "Daddy, guess who helped me fold the wash cloths today? She did a great job helping me with the laundry." I don't like focusing on bad behavior because I feel like it sets up an expectation for that bad behavior to occur.

Listing your expectations when you go somewhere is also an excellent tool. I used to do this for things like the grocery store or a restaurant. Remind her of the way we behave at a place. For a restaurant, some of our expectations were that we stayed in our seat and didn't run around and that we didn't yell in the restaurant. Have her repeat the rules back to you. Try not to be embarrassed by her behavior. Really, your friends with 2.5 year olds will understand! The weather is getting nice now. When she's getting under your skin, take her to the park. A change of scenery often works wonders.

I would back off the time out as well. We hardly ever use it. In our house, it's reserved for serious offenses like hitting. (You hit, you sit.) Otherwise, we use more direct consequences. Play with a toy inappropriately (like throwing hard toys around the baby), then that toy goes in toy time out for a while. Splashing water out of the bath when you've been reminded not to, then bath time is over. Stuff like that.

As for potty training, back off for a while. Maybe she is also resisting because she is having anxiety about growing up if you are repeatedly telling her that babies use diapers and she needs to use the potty like a big girl. She may be clinging more to being a baby because being a big girl is scary. You're home with her, so is it very important that she be potty trained immediately? She'll get there when she's ready. My daughter was day potty trained very close to 3 and more consistent about it a bit after 3.

She will get easier again as you approach 3 in my experience. And then she'll pull a Jekyll and Hyde on you again as 3.5 rolls around! Hang in there!

http://www.amazon.com/Your-Two-Year-Old-Louise-Bates-Ames...

I am a certified Homeopath, natural remedies, I would tell you go online and check out Chamomile (homeopathic remedy or Pulsatilla). Sounds like she is just going through some behavioral issues. Also check out some bach flower remedies online for her. Good luck, this too shall pass.

1) Maybe something happened to trigger her new attitude. Or, 2) She's just getting in that independent stage.

My 3 1/2 year old son will talk to children and say "hi" to them but won't acknowledge adults. He doesn't go to daycare. We've exposed him to playdates and we have a babysitter and he loves to go over to her house to play with her little girls. No problem with adults there. Just problems with adults in public. If anyone looks his way, he gets carried away. We went on a Disney cruise last week which was wonderful. Only bad thing was at dinner, just because the waiter tried to talk to him, he stayed under the table. Anyway, this isn't about me or my child, just giving you an example of their independence and that they change their attitudes so often. Sometimes, you just have to not let them know you're making a big deal about it and maybe she'll snap out of it. I do sympathize. My own "flesh and blood" family will having nothing to do with my child because they won't even give him a chance to get to know them. It's very sad.

I am wondering if something has happened to her? Has she been in a situation where she could have been sexually abused?

When something does not feel right, it's probably not right. Take her to be evaluated by an occupational therapist who specializes in Sensory Processing Disorder. She may also be delyed in some areas that you are not aware of. Another thing that comes to mind is huge food allegies. I would let her stay in a diaper for now, she is still very young to even be trained. This added stress makes children behave out of bounds.

Strap yourself in and hold on...this is the next year or so of your life and it is anything but fun. Run, dont walk, to the nearest bookstore and buy "Easy to love, difficult to discipline" Read it and apply it asap. Try to give her what she needs but on your terms. The next year or so is about compromise. Like a mule, the more you dig your heals in the worse it will get, so find a common ground now. Your new mantra: This too shall pass. Somehow, most of us make it through loving them more.

My son went through a horrible phase like this around 3. I was actually insulted by someone in the daycare at my mothers group and had to quit going. It was awful. I cried a lot. I wondered what I could do better. So I can sympathize. I did my best to stay consistent with how I treated him. When he threw tantrums, I stuck hin in the corner or on the couch. And if he got up, I put him back and ignored the fit. Over and over. You don't see it working, but eventually it does if you are consistent. If we were out, I would warn him. Then I would tell him what his punishment was going to be when we got home and I would then ignore the fit. If he threw himself on the floor, I would tell him that I didn't like that behavior and walk away (just to the next aisle where I could still peek at him.) Honestly, it was hard. Sometimes he would scream all through the store and I could feel people staring. But I sucked it up and did my best to act unaffected. Denied him the attention for the fit. I was once told by a stranger at Wal-mart that I was a bad mother because my son was screaming. But people like that simply don't understand reality.
Looking back, I'm not sure when it ended. But it did. My children are all well behaved in public now. The one I was talking about is now 9 and my youngest is 3. It's been years since the last public tantrum. My husband and I have actually received compliments from strangers on our children's behavior! My 3 year old does have to be peeled off of me to go into the nursery at church, but when I come back he's always been happy and playing. I think part of the problem was that at the time I also had a 15 month old, was 8-9 months pregnant, and my husband was deployed. Kids pick up on stress and are easily affected by busy schedules. In your case, it could be the daycare or something else about your schedule. Have a talk with her and find out if anything is going on at the daycare that shouldn't be or if there is something she isn't handling well. I know that's not easy with a little one, but if something is bothering her, you might be able to figure it out. Also, if she is stressing for some reason, it might be better to put off potty training until she calms down. Waiting is no big deal, I have never met a child over 4 that wasn't completely potty trained. I was adopted at 2, so my parents put off potty training for a year. And I was potty trained just fine before school. And she may just want more "me" time with you. I've found that my kids each need to have time alone with me or my husband at some point throughout the week. I understand completely how bad it can be and how horrible it can feel! But hang in there and I promise you'll make it.
And a suggestion, I know the gym is a great place to work out, but maybe you could try something new that she might like. We have a park that we go to three days as week with a mile track. I walk around it with the kids while my hubby runs around the outer track. When he's done, he walks with the kids or takes them to the playground so I can walk faster or run. I do weight lifting and yoga at home the rest of the time. They enjoy the fresh air and even the exercise "because it will make us strong like daddy!" Maybe there is someplace like this you could go.

Hola A. tienes que ver que siente tu hija porque cambio de repente de acctitud algo le sucede y tienes que ver que es los niÑos cuando no pueden comunicarse bien por su habla que es limitada por la edad su forma de hablar es esa sus berriches sus molestias llantos etc etc recuerda cuando era bebe que llorando te decia que tenia hambre sueÑo dolor etc etc. Que no te de pena sus llantos en la calle eso no es importante lo importnte aca es porque ella esta asi de un tiempo para aca averigua. Algo puede estar sucediendole porfavor no dejes eso asi escucha a tu hija con el corazon de madre y averigua que le pasa

suerte y muchas bendiciones

Dear A.,
My first reaction to your story is: What has changed at your gym daycare? Are you sure someone is not abusing her? A new employee for instane. I would start there, and then take her to your Pediatrician. Good luck.
J.

maybe something is happening at the daycare....or maybe she needs a little more attention, mommy and her time and positive reinforcement when she is being good. im sure she can feel ure tense towards her and that makes her tense as well. good luck! def a tough situation to be in.

almost all day doing time outs??!!!

forget it. she's being NORMAL.

read here and click away at all the links!
http://joanneaz_2.tripod.com/positivedisciplineresourcece...

check out the daycare- anyone new there? any new kids? anything different?

HOLD HER. CARRY HER.
please don't dread being with her.
she's TWO.

give her many LIMITED choices. ex: blue cup or pink cup? apple pieces or slices? this shirt or that shirt? all LIMITED. this gives her some power...

ENJOY that baby! and forget toilet training until she's 3...

This sounds like the terrible twos hit her late. My son behaved in similar ways from 18 months until 2 1/2 and I couldn't take him anywhere either. I understand. I saw other children at the grocery store behaving just fine and mine is clearing the shelf with his hand. It's a difficult age. Also, the potty training is an additional stressor and you both are fighting for control. I also was on the 3rd attempt and I must say, my son and I didn't like one another for the last 8 weeks before he finally was potty trained. These are growing pains. She's not going to behave as well as before until she masters potty training and outgrows this stage. I kept outings very short (like 15 minutes in the beginning and started to increase the time) and used the Once Upon A Potty book to help make the potty training click. We were in between attempts when I got the book and we just read it again and again and he decided to get interested. He didn't care about the stickers or candy rewards. That didn't motivate him after a while. I found using time outs and taking away toys were the best in dealing with the tantrums. I also walked away and let him cry it out many times. Eventually, they get tired and wear out. It's a process. Hang in there. It gets better, I promise!

It is just the "terrible 2's" stage. With my first daughter it happened right about the same age as your daugher is now. My 2nd daughter got the terrible 2's at about 20 months of age. It will pass, it's just an unavoidable stage. There is nothing you can do to change this behavior except try to change yourself to be able to handle it better.

Good luck :-)
R..

A....sweetie...she's 2 and a half...she sounds like she's entered her "terrible twos" a bit late. She sounds like she's also got a good case of separation anxiety combined with trying to figure out her own power & place in life so far.

I know this is hard, but don't shut her out. Somehow she may have started to understand that ppl die, go away, etc., & this confuses & scares her. She needs to know that you will always love her & be there. Do not pull away; spend mom & daughter time exercising together --n show her at home some of the stuff you do. Maybe you can try leaving her with a sitter or her dad instead of the gym nursery bec something there might be upsetting her.

I hope the 2 of you get thru this phase quickly & with your relationship intact.

Peace,
Syl

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