E.S. asks from Conroe, TX on February 28, 2010
What to Do? - Conroe,TX
My daughter is 3 and is so independent. My question is, Is this normal behavior? If she is trying to get dressed by herself and can't or if she messes up, it ruins the time that we are getting dressed. If she is playing basketball and misses a shot or is playing t-ball and misses the ball, she gets so upset and says she is not good and will just sit down. She is upset everyday because she can't read. She does not have low self esteem or anything like that, but when she cant do something it upsets her. I always tell her as long as we try it is ok, but it is not ok to her. Does anyone have any suggestions or is this normal behavior?
C.M. answers from Houston on March 01, 2010
I know this may sound wierd, but have you had her tested for Irlens syndrome. It can affect the reading etc. Just please look it up. It has saved my friends daughter. All is requires is a blue cover sheet or another color possibly depending on the student. This is something real so don't ignore it. It has helped a lot of people. Please keep going with this idea. It is great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
L.A. answers from Austin on February 28, 2010
Only child? Not that it matters.. Our daughter was the same way. She walked at 6 months, talked in full sentences at 1 and never has slowed down. She is not always a risk taker. She wants to get it right the "First time". We realized this and started showing her that we made mistakes, or did not know how to do everything so that she could learn this was ok.. Sometimes we did these things on purpose so she could see our reactions. "Oops. I I do not know how to do this. I am going to go and ask for help." "Oh no, I forgot my jacket!" "oh well, I will remember next time." "Please help me remember my grocery list. I cannot always remember what we need."
Help your child see that nobody gets it right every time and everybody needs to ask for help sometimes. Also remind her that it takes a few times or sometimes many times to learn a new task..
2 moms found this helpful
R.M. answers from Portland on February 28, 2010
I'm a parent coach and have worked with toddlers/ preschoolers for most of my 16 year career. Three year olds try very hard to express their indepenence, it's their next stage of psycho-social development. Allowing her to try is great, but it's also important to teach her how to allow herself to fail. If she learns now how to accept failure and use it as a stepping stone to success you will provide her with an important life lesson.
When she trys something and fails, allow her to be up-set, but then talk to her about how she can succeed next time. I use to tell the children in my care "we can be upset over this or fix it, what do you want to do?" They often wanted to fix it and learn how.
Having an independent child is really great, because these are children who are natural leaders. Encourage her and she will be great!
1 mom found this helpful
C.S. answers from Victoria on February 28, 2010
Pretty normal I think. My 5 yr old daughter could care less if she wins or not, just wants to have fun. She calmy tries & tries & steadily gets it in the end. My 4 yr old son, not so much. He gets upset. I just take him aside & calmly tell him I can tell he's upset & frustrated. I then ask questions like i wonder how many times it will take for you to get it? Guess we won't know if you don't try, but maybe next time you'll do it. you know they say practice makes perfect. Perfect can be boring though, so maybe trying is the fun part. What do you think? If he really starts throwing a fit, I'll say hey that was good practice at fit throwing. His response everytime cuz I busted out laughing the first time, "but not perfect yet mom!" He's so crazy & they are such smart little boogers! Hope this helps you.
1 mom found this helpful
K.I. answers from Spokane on February 28, 2010
Sounds like you have a perfectionist on your hands! just do your best to always tell her it is "OK" if things don't work out the way she wants them to.
I think it is normal behavior.
J.T. answers from College Station on March 01, 2010
You have a little perfectionist! This is normal for them! It will only get worse when she gets to school. I have a perfectionist and sometimes it takes him FOREVER to do some things.
Usually, this is a good thing, but it can backfire in some ways- taking a long time to do things, quitting things they think they are not good at or things that take some time to learn, small fits like she is having.
Just talk her through it like you are. Offer help and if she refuses, leave her be, but let her know that you are there to help. Sometimes, I would force my help on my son, just to show him that it was okay to ask for and accept help.
J.P. answers from Austin on March 01, 2010
Sounds like mine too.
Let her do it all :) As much as she can. If she dresses herself and it takes a while, get her up a little earlier! I wake mine up at 5:30 am (they go to daycare and school) but it is because I know they wont get out of bed at 5:30 and it takes a while to get dressed. My daughter (age 4) wants to get herself dressed and doesn't quite know what goes with what. So what? At this age it is all about independence and when you make those choices for them, they lose power. If I want my daughter in a special outfit, I give her a choice (of TWO only). Do you want the red or the blue? That way I can coordinate, but she gets to choose.
As far as sports, my son is very much this way. He wants to be Lebron James and if he's not, he doesn't want to play..... Yeah, that works but he's NEVER played basketball...... issues. I will tell you, I never throw a race to make my kids feel good. Sometimes I don't run as fast, sometimes I "trip", but some days they lose. I explain when they get upset, that "it feels good to win and sometimes it hurts to lose but the reason big sports stars win is because they don't just give up and sit down. They practice from the you kids are still in bed in the morning until after you come home from school in the afternoon. That is what makes them so good. So, if you want to be that good, you have to practice a little more every day to get better."
It sounds like a lot for a 3 year old, but really, it's not.
Also, try flash cards. Letters first and then sight words. She might just be an early reader!! They have both types of cards at WalMart.
As far as self esteem, I'd just like to say that she sound very healthy all around and perfectly normal! You are doing a good job mom, don't worry.
G.S. answers from Austin on March 01, 2010
My youngest daughter (now 9) has always been like this. She expects to be as good as her older sister, and she gives herself no room for being younger in years. As a result, she was often frustrated when she was younger. Not so much anymore, though.
What has changed? Well, we started breaking big goals down into smaller steps for her. She was not organized, and consequently she was focusing on the end result and not the steps in between. When we started telling her that steps were involved, she became more patient with herself.
We also made sure she was comparing herself to true age appropriate peers and not older peers. Hope this helps.
D.K. answers from Waco on March 01, 2010
Very normal for a strong-willed child with perfectionist tendencies - my daughter was like this. Keep being patient with her - work with her - talk to her - reassure her. You are a great MOM!! She will grow to be a very capable woman - like you!