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What a 3 Year Old Should Be Able to Do!!!

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My 3.5 year old still has trouble with his shoes and still can't put a shirt on. She is being extreme, but I don't suppose that matters. The fact that you are in the right won't matter I'm afraid. I can't believe she isn't thankful for your help! My mom does two days a week for not as long and I can't stop thanking her because it is hard work!! I think maybe you could sit down with her like another poster said with a print out of what some typical 3 year old milestones are and what not to expect. Sit down and say you work on this stuff, but the yelling at you has got to stop or she can find daycare. Since she can't afford it, she should listen I hope. It sounds like he is getting 3 different treatments on a weekly basis and that needs to stop. It is just confusing him and setting him back. The 3 of you need to get on the same page. Good luck!

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Have heart, C.. At least your daughter is speaking to you!! Neither of mine do. As a result, I haven't seen my grands for years. I am at peace with this, because I feel that, if a person has anger, s/he has to display it somewhere. Better that than suppressed. And where better to display it than with one's Mom, who can't go away! It is so safe for them. So I keep my peace, knowing that it will change one day. Focus on taking care of yourself. If you don't want to go to your daughter's house, make a good excuse.

Your grandson will not be pooping his pants or not tying his shoes in a few years anyway. The fact that he is well behaved is the most important thing. Keep doing what you're doing, because you're doing it right. Keep up the good work, Grandma!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.,
IMHO (In my humble opinion) all kids learn differently.

My son wasn't potty trained until almost 3 1/2, we let him take the lead on that. We figured he was the only one that would know when he had to go.

The day that he started using the potty we took him out of diapers. We carried a portable potty with us and I reminded him that he wasn't wearing a diaper and to let me know if he had to go.

I also reminded him as we would get in and out of our car. He only had two accidents.

Instead of carrying diapers with me I carried an extra set of clothes for just in case.

One of the luxuries of him staying home with you is that he can learn to potty at his own pace. IMHO it's better to do it this way, because when he does learn, he will really recognize his signals.

I've heard that when you train a child too early, or any time you potty train, they regress and have accidents or they don't learn to pee and poo on the potty at the same time. Basically because they are not ready to learn. My son never went through any of that because we let him tell us when he was ready to learn.

We bought an it's my potty for boys and we kept it in the living room, and on this particular day we let him run around naked. He sat down on the potty and went pee all on his own. I praised him up and down and stayed home that day and every time he had to go he went in the potty.

We took him out of diapers that day, right into underwear. We put him in a pull up only at nap and night time. I think that if you put them in a pull up during the day instead of regular underwear it can confuse them.

When daddy got home he was so excited to tell him about using the potty, we were going to Orlando that evening, and I thought oh no there is bound to be an accident. We put him in underwear and took off. 90 minute drive, no accidents, we stopped when he told us he had to go. It couldn't have gone any smoother. He was ready to learn and it was real easy.

Another plus of him being older, his bladder was more developed and he could hold it longer. So if we were in the car 2 minutes away from home and he told me he had to go real bad, I could ask him can you wait til we get home or do you need to stop now.

I think your daughter may be getting caught up in the whole "my child was trained at 18 mo" conversation at work. All kids learn at their own pace, there are things we can teach them, but when it comes to potty signals it's their body and only they know.

Another added, problem could be that not everybody has the same expectations for her. When she's at mom's, dad's or grandma's, the rules should be consistent, otherwise it will be very confusing to her.

Sorry to run on and on. Hope this helps!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi C.,
Believe me I can so relate to what you are going through! I have fought much of this same fight for many years and I would like to share what some of my thoughts have been and what I have come to.
When we love our children and Grandhildren as we so & when we only have their best intrests and want to help as we can it is sooooo hard that our help is rejected and we are attacked. My answer has partly been in deciding that I had to back off some or loose the family and partly in tryung to remember what my emotions and mental state was at that age.
Most of the problem really lies in your Daughter's immaturity and posseviness of her Son. Maybe things will loosen a little aafter her marriage but probably not much. She will open some as she & her family grows older and begins to go through what you have. Then she will begin to inderstand but she may well mot be willing to admit all of it. When it happens I just am happy for what understanding she is willing to admit and know that there is most likely much more practical understanding under the surface than she will admit.
My GrandChildren and I have shared much when we are alone that we can not when my Daughter is around. The kids will begin to catch on as they get older and those awkward moments when they want you to do something she doesn't want will disappear.
Just hang in there, do your best but I always found that it was a tremendous help to remember that I am the peacemaker. I have much more understanding because of my age & experience. Above all, I will not loose my family!!! I try to always hold in mind that no one really wins in a power play even when it appears that they are the winner. Just think of the future consequences!!
Good luck & let me know how things go.


You're doing a great job! I agree with the mom who said she (your daughter) probably just feels badly about herself. I would do anything just to have my mom in the same state, let alone babysit!! You are a great mom/grandma! Please don't personalize when your daughter acts this way. Keep up the good work. He's very blessed to have you!!!

Hi C.,

Keep doing what you are doing!! Your grandson obviously needs you. I was a single mom at 25 with a 13 month old. I did pay for daycare, but my mom watched my son sometimes. I was the same as your daughter. Looking back, it was me who had the problem. I felt guilty that I couldn't be the one teaching him those things, that I HAD to work and couldn't change things and that his father left us for someone else.
Now, fast forward several years. My son is now 17 and I have 3 other children. My youngest is 5 and is super smart. With that comes the slow potty training, he was 3 1/2 when we started and he was 4 when we were done, but even now there are still accidents. He puts his shoes on, but still needs help. He is fine, but he has other things on his mind, so doing all of this isn't as important. You really can't gauge children, they all do their own thing when they want to. I see your daughter as being unreasonable but I think the feelings are more than just being mad at you.
It sounds to me like you are doing all the right things and since you have your grandson more than his mom does because she is working, then you need to keep up with what you are doing. Maybe getting engaged will help her calm down a bit. I totally understand her side, it is hard being a single parent. She will see how blessed she was to have you, but she will be a little older when that comes. Hang in there and stay tough! That's what we moms do, isn't it:-)

Happy New Year!!



The problem you are having is this: YOUR DAUGHTER IS LAZY!!!!!!! 3 year olds are not supposed to be doing things on there own. They do need help and the potty training dilemma you are having is she is not doing it at her house. I am sure you have a routine with him and it sounds like she just doesn’t have the time or want to make the effort to have the time to do this. Now please don’t get me wrong, I used to have those hours too. It is very hard between getting dinner ready, eating dinner, bathing and getting them to bed. It can be overwhelming most of the time but the thing is you have to suck it up and make the time. I am not sure if her boyfriend lives with her but if he does he better step up to the plate. He needs to know that he is responsible for him, also. I really think you both have to do is sit down and discuss your routine with him and talk about his routine at home. Then discuss how you both can stay on the same page and stay consistent. It is like having another spouse, if you both have different ways of doing things he is getting mixed signals. It sounds to me that he does better with you then your daughter. I understand her side of it too, since my Mom lives with me and also helps me out with the kids. She is great with my daughter but is terrible with my son. We are trying to work on with her to understand that yelling at my son does not work and talking in a firm voice and following through on discipline does work. (My son has ADHD and other special needs so you have to approach him in a different manner than you would my daughter) I will admit it is very frustrating to me and she does give me hard time, so don’t take it personally and she might be jealous that you get to spend all the quality time with him and she doesn’t. Also, there is another equation-boys are a lot slower in doing things than girls. If she has a friend that has a girl and she is more independent then your grandson that could be the cause, but there is one thing she has to keep in mind; all children are not the same. My son is 5 years old and my daughter is 2 years old and she is so much more advanced the he was at her age but then again she does not have the special needs situation, so you can’t compare the two of them. My son did not speak until he was almost three and we are still having problems with that and my daughter you can have a total conversation with her and she understand everything. It sounds to me that you are doing a great job and I wonder if we could trade. LOL I would make it your New Years’ Goal to both of you to sit down and get on the same page or you could play hard ball if she doesn’t want to do that and say you won’t watch him and see how fast she appreciates all that you do for him. Good Luck!!!!!!

Happy New Year!!!!!

K. P

I believe, in psychology, it is called "projection". You are doing all the right things, then he comes to you on Monday and he's back to square one? Either your daughter or your grandson's father or both are exceptionally lazy people that sound as if they can't be bothered by the needs of their child. Your daughter maybe knows that either she or Dad aren't doing the right thing (just the easy thing... God help that child someday when he's old enough to argue and need actual discipline.) so it sounds as if she takes it out on you.

On the other hand, I find it hard to believe that she and dad together can't afford some sort of childcare. My son was in a pre-k 1/2 day program at 3, and it was maybe $280 a MONTH for it. Children learn well from their caregivers, but it's amazing how quickly they learn social/play skills from children their own age. You love your grandson, but 11 hours a day of taking care of him is A LOT, especially when your daughter doesn't sound like she even says thank you. I would highly recommend you approach her and dad either together or seperately. Google "Milestones for 3 year olds". Tell her that these are the skills that you are working on. Every person in this child's life should be on the same page and AGREE with what he's learning. You could also look around for a 1/2 day three year old program so he could at least have 3 or 4 hours a day with his peers. If mom can't pay for it, so be it, but it's in his best interest all the same.

I was a first-time mom at 20, so it's not necessarily an age issue with your daughter, but sounds like a real maturity issue between her and the father. I'm willing to be there is some guilt there, too. I mean, look at it this way, if you're watching your grandson 11 hours a day, then by the time your daughter picks him up, they have dinner (unless he even eats that meal with you) then it's probably bedtime. Then he spends the weekend with his dad. She probably doesn't know ONE thing about her own child. What quality time does she ever have with him?? It's very sad really. I feel so blessed I was able to be a stay-at-home mom, with my husband working really hard for me to do so.

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