Wow- I'm so nervous from reading the responses!!! My son will be 3 in September and I am due with my 2nd child on his bday. So I'm reading about what I have to look forward to. Oh boy!!!!!
OK, mainly I'm just venting, but of course would love any ideas, input, etc. from those who have or have had 3 year old boys. My biggest frustration is...why in the world does he have to be so difficult with me? The simplest of instruction from me becomes a big issue. "Honey, please come here so I can change your diaper"...."no" (and runs away). I am firm with him, I use positive discipline, rewards, consequences, time outs and anything else I have learned, but it just seems like EVERYTHING little thing is a battle. By noon I've had it. I get tired of playing the game and using all my Mommy tools. I also have an infant I'm tending to, so just some cooperation would be so appreciated. I get so frustrated! I know that maybe he's a little bored as he's usually in preschool... I'm sure summer is hard for all moms and dealing with this... I try to take him to the park several times a week or let him ride his bike or play in his pool or occupied with things inside too. But, I can't keep him occupied all the time...like I said, I also have another child and a big house to keep up with....HOW DO YOU ALL KEEP UP WITH THINGS? We're also working on the potty training thing. I know he's ready... some days he's gung ho... especially when my husband is home and other days he wants no part of it... so frustrating!! Anyway, I'm just frustrated, as a Mom, and would like to hear from other Moms who are feeling the same way :) Thanks!
Wow- I'm so nervous from reading the responses!!! My son will be 3 in September and I am due with my 2nd child on his bday. So I'm reading about what I have to look forward to. Oh boy!!!!!
I feel exactly the same way! We had a behaviorist come for evaluation and her report said he would not listen 90% of the time. He kicked me when I had to change his nappy(after having to catch him) and I just don't understand how people could actually have a second child. I mean, how do you do it?
I know you were just thanking the group and already had a lot of ideas, but the potty training...I wanted to let you know what my son did. He didn't want to stop playing to go potty, so I got a glass coke bottle...remember this was 25 years ago, and he would tinkle in the bottle and I'd get all excited and mark how high he wet in the bottle. He couldn't wait to do it again to see if he could go past the mark. Sounds silly, but he loved it. By the way, he was potty trained at 18 months. He could talk really good too. He use to tell people "I'll be two in July" and he was only 18 months old, so he may have been a little ahead.
Wow! I just finished reading all the posts and feel as though I just attended a support group! :) What a great resource. I sooo get your problem(s). My little guy turned 3 in June and daughter turned 1 in July.
There were tons of great ideas and helpful reminders about 3yr olds. I took a few notes, too!
A few things that help us/me. My kids respond amazingly to music. Just having fun or calm music on in the background puts everyone in a better mood around here. It's like flipping a switch when you put it on.
When I take them for a walk in the mornings it helps me let off some steam and they get out for a bit of fresh air before it's too hot. It helps me maintain my cool a bit longer. (Though I'm impressed you make it to noon!)
I did a much better job balancing all my responsibilies when I was working and had more of a structure. For me, personally, having free flowing days can be really rough. Their schedule helps me (eating/naps/etc) but I've added a few things to help my sanity. My daughter naps 1-2 hrs in the morning. I use half of that time to spend with my son with no distractions. No multitasking. He gets my full attention and it has been great (though doesn't solve everything, of course!). The other half I use for myself to feel more organized about the day. I take a shower, throw a load of laundry in, unload the dishwasher. Whatever. Then when she's awake at 11 I have life a litte more organized and I'm ready to direct my full attention to them again.
The main thing I have to remind myself is to be "present" in whatever I'm doing. You can't do anything as well when you're thinking about the other 10 things you need to be doing. So, when I'm with the kids I try to be with the kids fully and I'm sure they know the difference. Most of the household tasks get put off though I try my best. I keep reminding myself, though, that I'm a stay at home MOM not a stay at home house cleaner/cook.
I recently started a tasks of the day kind of thing to help feel less overwhelmed with everything and break it down. We have Mirror,Dustmite, Microwave Monday - Trash and Toenail Tuesday (of course Fingernails and Floors are Friday) :) It helps me and for my son it's just less of a power struggle and more fun with the alliteration. When it's Fingernail friday in the universe there's just not much to argue about. He gets to pick the time he likes. He also helps with dusting and sweeping so it's become a fun family thing instead of just my responsibility to squeeze in my "free" time. Ha,ha. What on earth is free time? Sunday is "supper Sunday" when we plan our meals and shopping for the week. Now, mind you, these things do not actually HAPPEN EVERY day... I try but you know how life works. It just helps me feel more in control of the little things.
For potty training, he wasn't interested enough months ago when he was still 2 and it became a struggle for everyone. Instead I totally dropped trying and explained that 3 yr olds use the potty and made a big deal of it for months. The day after he turned three it was fantastic and has been ever since with very few exceptions. When he thinks it is just how the world works he doesn't resist so much. When he thinks it's my agenda, oh, man, what a stubborn little guy. We're still working on pulling pants up/down and little things.
For my sanity I sometimes choose a theme week and get books from the library (like dinosaurs, zoo, bears, alphabet) and we do one activity a day that relates. More work in some ways but really is less stress overall because he's engaged and we spend fun, creative time together.
One other thing I do to stay so in love with my little rebel is to look at him sleeping every night before I go to bed and count my blessings. And hope that overwhelming love I feel helps me make it through another crazy day!
Thanks for posting, it helped a lot of us! Good luck!!
Two books have immensely helped me. We still have our challenges with two boys aged 5 and 2, but these books have made a huge difference. The first, that I've read separately for each of them, is Making the Terrible Twos Terrific by John Rosemond. He's a parenting expert/family psychologist and has a weekly newspaper column. You can get a feel for him on www.rosemond.com. He advocates the kind of commonsense parenting that our grandparents used, and they sure didn't have the behavior problems that are so rampant now (he's not much into spanking, so it's not that). Since your son is three (not two), the book is still applicable in a lot of ways, but another of his books is John Rosemond's Six Point Plan for Raising Happy Healthy Children -- worth its weight in gold.
The second book is Toilet Training in Less Than A Day. I happened across it in a used book store after we'd been trying to potty train my second son for about 5 months. I followed the procedures, and it worked, in less than a day. He's now 34 months, and has been potty trained for 7 months. I did do a refresher course a couple of weeks after the first training because he was only about 95%. It works if you follow the directions precisely!
Good luck. I think a lot of us wonder how other people do it. Another couple of tidbits of advice that help me are that: 1 morning hour is as good as 3 afternoon hours (for getting things done around the house), and put things away when you're done with them. Those things really help. Good luck!
I'm a grandmother and a parent counselor. Try this - every day find 15 minutes that you or your husband can devote solely to this little guy for special play time just for him, maybe when the baby's taking a nap. Just 15 minutes - even 10 minutes to start. Set a timer so that both you and he know when the bell goes off that will be the end and then you will do something else. Tell him with real excitement that you and he are going to have a special play time and then when the bell rings you're going to go and do the next thing - whatever is next in your day.
During this special playtime enter his world with real curiosity and enthusiasm. Make sure that you're in a safe space and then jump in full steam - it's only for 15 minutes ;-). During this time, he leads. He's in charge. He chooses what to do and you follow him and join him in his excitement. This is not a time to teach him, correct him, show him a better way. So if he wants to play with his trucks, you rev those motors. If he wants to play blocks and knock them down - go for it. If he wants to ride a broomstick like a pony you ride something too, hooting and hollering beside him. Have it be fun for you too and let him see that. An important piece of this is that you don't pretend to jump in. Really play with him wholeheartedly doing what he wants. Be curious. Be excited. Find real delight in what he loves to do. It's only for 15 minutes - although you may want to make it 20 or even 30 minutes after you see how much fun you're both having. Be really present with him. He will feel it.
Your child will have your full attention, with no distractions. You will have a fresh look as if you are seeing through his eyes. You will both have fun! Do this regularly for a few weeks. Little by little you will begin to see a change in what looks like defiant behavior. Track it. Notice what is working. Save your big responses to him for this joyful happy time. When he does things you do not want, give him a very small, flat yet firm and clear response - without anger as much as possible. Try it! It works! If you have any questions let me know. I'd love to know how it goes.
All the best!
Happy Parent - Happy Child!
Counselor & Coach for Parents
Hi Jackie, I got your post late but I can't help responding. Seems you are not alone by all the responses. I was right there with you a few years back.My first born daughter was as easy as they come and still is to this day. My son who is my second born was such a challenge at a young age. I spent many a day crying with self doubt that I was cut out to be his mom. I never second guessed myself more. Here I am an educated person in early childhood development, former preschool teacher,nanny working with children for over 10 years, and nothing I did seemed to work. I felt like everyday I had to put on armor and prepare for battle because everything I did or asked of him was challenged by him.But I learned a couple things. One was I saw that these diffucult times came and went and there would be times of piece in between. They seemed to happen every 6 months. 2yrs,2 1/2 yrs,ect... I really felt my struggles with him were power struggles. Setting boundries that I could keep was very important. No wishy washy or giving in. He'd get worse. And I had to be prepared for what felt like a battle when I set them. He would try every thing to get what he wanted or not do what he didn't want to do. So I was careful. I practiced something we learned in school in dealing with children during diffuculties and that was to become a thrid person. If I stayed emotionally involved with him as mom I'd get sucked into the drama and lose my temper and that never helped the situation. So to stay cool headed and firm I detached emotionally and stayed focused on the boundry I was holding to. I hope that makes sense to you. I don't know about you but shockingly my son would come at me hitting and crying like a wild animal. Time outs were impossible because he'd go banana's kicking the door the wall. I'd just be crying ,not when he could see me . But I have to say that what ever I did worked. One moment that I'll never forget was after he throw a huge embarassing tempertantrum at a book fair because I wouldn't buy him a pen he wanted.It took all I had to not give in he'd already picked out and purchased a little note book and a women tried to help by just offering to give him the pen but I wouldn't let her. I carried him kicking and screaming to the car my 6 yr old daughter in tow and then had to sit in the parking lot because I couldn't get him in the car. She waited calmly with me while he's going crazy and finally she said James look I'll share my paper with you and we can get a pen at home. Hearing his sister's offer started to calm him down and within a few minutes he was climbing into his car seat and I finally took in some oxygen and we started home. As we were driving he say's to me so sweetly, "I love you mommy, Your the best mommy".And I replyed I loved him too, tears rolling quitely down my face. I knew that I was doing a good job. He was telling me i was. Over the years those times of diffuculties with him got fewer and farther apart.Almost dissapearing by age 5. I read many great books that helped alot. "Easy to love diffucult to disapline", "Love and logic" is one of my favorite books. The strong willed child, Positive displine. I say read as much as you can. It helps keep you reafirmed that your doing the right thing and freash with ideas. My son is now 8 1/2 years old and I know he's mine but he is one of the nicest boy's I know. So respectful and kind. I couldn't imagine life with out him. I get compliments all the time from his teachers , coches, neighbors, about what a great person he is.No one would ever believe he was the diffucult little kid he was. He is such a good person and attracts really great friends. And now my third child another girl has shown me some of the same behaviors as her brother and I've thought what is wrong with me as a parent ,why can't I have an easy going preschooler? But doing this a second time is easier. I know the end will come and it's oh so rewarding and worth every bit hanging in there. There is 6 years between her and her brother by the way. We tried for another baby sooner but I think God knew this boy needed all I had to give. And now with baby number 4 on the way I am telling myself that Malia just knows it's now or never so she's getting it out while she can. I see the same pattern where the diffuculties come and go like the the tides of the ocean. Hang in there, I am sure your doing a great job. Blessings to you, R. Someone just reminded me that we really noticed that James really needed Quality time with us. Not nessasarly a large amount of time but really focused quality play time doing something he liked. We called it filling up his love tank. When his behavior started to slip we know the love tank was low and needed a fill up of special play time. It really worked.
I have a 3 year old boy and baby too, and have found that the more vague his boundaries are (due to my laziness enforcing them), the more he gets on my nerves and I don't want to be around him. I spank him, but in a loving way (not in anger, but a little swat when he doesn't listen and then a hug and explanation). I don't have a long list of rules but only two (and he clearly knows them) 1) Do what we ask WHEN we ask, and 2) doesn't tell us NO. Those get a swat if disobeyed immediately and the behavior is changed before I ever need to raise my voice, yell, bribe, appease or use any other "Mommy tools" (as you call them). After many months of inconsistency due to tiredness/a baby that doesn't sleep it only took one day of me and my husband being consistent and our 3 year old is on track and a pleasure to be around all day every day. A couple of very helpful websites that I love are raisinggodlytomatoes.org and nogreaterjoy.org. The first website woman has 10 kids and knows what she's talking about. Your problem is mostly that you are changing action but not attitude. (timeouts, loss of priviledges) Attitude must be changed from the inside out in a loving way. Hope this helps.
I'm 6 months pregnant with my first child, but I've been an early childhood teacher for almost 8 years. I've worked extensively with 2's-5's.
I could spout off lots of advice to you but I'll just keep to two simple points.
1. The "fighting" thing is a three-year-olds way of asserting their independence and control. Especially if they are in the middle of some "important work" it's really hard for them to understand the importance of a diaper change. Give him the choice. "We need to change your diaper because it's wet/messy/whathaveyou. Do you want me to change your diaper now or in two minutes?" He'll probably say "two minutes" which will result in you reminding him, "Okay, I know that in two minutes we'll change your diaper." Then, two minutes later (or however long-they don't know time) you say, "Okay Billy, it's been two minutes. Time to change your diaper." Remind him that HE made that choice and that he can return to what he's working on when you're done.
This may or may not work, depending on how spirited your child is. Keep at it, keep giving him a "choice" which is ultimately the thing you want him to do with two options so he feels like HE'S in control of himself.
2. Potty training. Oh, the joys! Well, remember that boys take longer. I don't know why, it just is that way so don't get discouraged. Ask him if he wants to use it, if he doesn't, don't push it. HE has to be ready and want it. A lot of times it's linked to the social aspect of things. Have a play date with a mom with a boy your son's age who IS potty trained and wears underwear. Most likely it will have some sort of character on it (Thomas, Nemo, Lighting McQueen.) Let you son be a part of the "going potty" routine that boy does and see what his reaction is when you talk to the other boy about his underwear and who's on it and how he puts his pee and poop in the potty. The attention you give that boy will sink in to your son. He'll want that same attention too!
You'll be surprised at how much "peer pressure" at the young age of three is very REAL!
It's a thought. Sounds like his preschool might be a good place for that as well. Keep offering him the option even if he says no every time, and say, "Okay, maybe next time." When he starts to go-even if he just sits and no pee comes out-make a big deal out of it and talk about underwear and being so big and all that jazz. Eventually, you'll get to go on a trip to the store to get some special underwear to wear when he puts his pee and poop in the potty. And always remember that when he has an accident, he is NOT doing it on purpose. Just keep it really light, "Oh, I see your pants are wet. We'll need to go sit on the potty and then change our clothes." Make sure that when he does have an accident that you always sit on the potty after and "make sure all the pee came out." Never make him feel bad about having an accident or accuse him of doing it on purpose. This will only make him backtrack.
Okay, that's a lot for two simple points. I hope some of that was helpful, and not too foward of me.
God bless you!!! We have been there, my friend! :) Please remind yourself that your little boy saves his most "special" behavior for Mama because he knows that you love him unconditionally. (The same reason we tend to be more courteous to the grocery store clerk than to our own spouses sometimes...) You sound like you are doing a great job, and "this too shall pass." As for keeping this somewhat organized, may I recommend www.Flylady.net It is free, but it has helped me in more ways than I can tell you. It is a method of encouragement and babystepping towards organization. Let me also tell you that although I have a houseful of 3-year-olds, (I have a daycare and preschool,) my own children are teenagers now. The days can be so long sometimes, but the years really do fly. I can scarcely believe my kids are as tall as I am, but they are. Nobody is climbing up on my lap to beg for me to read "Oh, Little Rabbit" for the umpteenth time, or asking me to sing lullabies while we rock in the rocking chair. Yes, this is making me tear up just to type this. Remember when they are clinging to you so tightly you feel like you will never have any personal space again, that they will be grown and gone sooner than you can imagine. You will soon be chasing after THEM for some time together. In the meantime, maybe get a children's CD of movement-type music...? (I know this helps tremendously with my daycare kiddos.) The songs tell you how to move your body, and the first time or two you may have to do it with him, but soon he will start to do it on his own whenever you put on the CD. If you want specific CD ideas, feel free to reply. Take care! :)
Forget the "terrible twos" because three is the worst stage I think... I'm the mama of two boys ages 6 and almost 4, as well as my 1 and half year old daughter and I'm so glad my younger son is almost out of this phase. This is where they really assert themselves and test the limits as far as you'll let them. If you get a chance to take a course in Love and Logic - do it. It was totally worth it for me - it's usually offered for free or for small fees through churches and schools so just keep an eye out for a flyer or just find a book on the method which should help a lot. The method basically consists of giving your child the ability to make a choice between two options you are okay with. "Would you like to lay down on the floor or on the changing table for your diaper change?" and giving them appropriate consequences for unnacceptable behavior - for example tantrum throwing results in removing them from the scene and removing the audience (you and anyone else that may be standing around giving him their attention.) It's also helpful to start giving them some responsiblity around the house. My 3-year-old now helps to empty the dishwasher - he stacks the dishes on the counter (a good sorting activity) and I put them up into the cupboards. Keeping them engaged with helping activities makes them feel good about themselves and that they are spending time with you and your positive attention. I know this is a frustrating time, but you can be the one in charge without making him think you are trying to dictate everything he does. Good luck!
Hey! Cool! I had my first when I was 33. Also a boy. Sometimes I thought that I should have started sooner and then I would have more energy to keep up with my son when he got to be 3. Terrible 2's have nothing on the 3's in my house. The 3's are much more challenging here. So, my sister who has no children at all, bought my son a leapster. He was 3 at the time and a leapster, I believe is for kids 4 or 5 or older. My son is not exceptionally smart. He's as average as they come. We put in some batteries and he couldn't wait to play with it. There are game cartridges that can be bought for a leapster, but it also comes with games already built in. We played one of these games with him. It was a bunch of hen nests in a hen house and each nest had an egg in it. It's the old memory game on a handheld electronic toy instead of using cards. Before the game starts, you can choose how many nests you want to play with: 8, 12 or 16. You can also choose what you want to match: colors, shapes, letters or sounds. Let's say you pick the same things my son always picked: 8 eggs, matching colors. Then as your son plays the game, he just touches one of the eight eggs and it reveals a color. Then he touches another egg and it also reveals a color. If the colors are the same, the eggs dissapear and he continues playing with the remaining eggs. If the colors do not match, they go back into the nests and he continues playing, and tries to remember what colors those eggs reveal in case he chooses another egg that has that color. There are other games to play on the leapster too. My son had that toy mastered in one day and was showing me how to use it. After he had played with it for about a month, we bought a game cartridge for it. I think it was finding Nemo. He loved it. There was a game that he could play that was a lot like a game I used to play. I used to hide my sister's barbie and then I would tell her if she was getting hotter or colder as she tried to find it. Hotter meant she was getting closer and colder meant she was getting farther away from it. Well, on the finding nemo leapster game, the child tries to find a sea object by touching the screen. The screen is black and the only way the child knows he's getting close is by the sonar sounds. When he gets closer, the sonar sound is louder and vice versa when he gets farther away. Leapsters sell for about $85. I know. It's hefty, but the one that I have has survived 2 boys. I try to make sure they sit down to play with it and don't carry it around alot. I've had to replace some of the game cartridges due to both my son's habit of chewing on plasic things, but the leapster has survived. The games sell for about $25 each, but they are so interesting that I've only had to buy 1 every six months or so. My oldest (8 yrs. old)now loves the Disney "Cars" cartridge and my youngest (4 years old) has been playing the "Animal Genius" cartridge since he was 2. Believe me, we are not over intelligent people. We're very average with a love for the outdoors. The leapster is simply very user friendly. Ok, so maybe some people might think that using an electronic toy is going to make a couch potato out of your kid, but I assure you the games are all created to teach kids better learning skills and excersizes their brains into remembering more. All the while, you can give yourself a break or give your daughter some one on one time. Oh ya, don't buy the leapster max. It won't play the pre-school cartridges. Just the regular Green/Grey leapster. Ok, so this is long enough. Hope it helps. Just wait. Very soon, they'll be playing with each other much more and you can put your feet up. Sincerely, B. T.
It's not just a boy thing! I too have a three year old and a baby, and there are more days than I can count that I feel frustrated and out of sorts!
My daughter does like to argue about doing things, or run away from me, etc..it has helped us to get a chore chart that lists what she does at certain times of the day, the routine seems to give her the structure that preschoolers crave.
With the house, it just helps to keep up on things, always make sure the dishwasher is unloaded, laundry is sorted at the dryer then each person puts their own away. And she loves to help me sort the laundry and put the dishes away! Do one thing a day at least, and remember that happy kids are more important than a perfect house. And happy kids mean a happy mommy!
My daughter always does #2 on the potty but will still wet her diaper, it seems to go better when we don't push her, three year olds are extremely strong willed! Everything seems more appealing when it's their choice/idea. She does like though that each time she does we call nana and she gets a quarter in her piggy bank at nana's house for a toy when we visit once a month.
You're not alone! :)
Hi JL, I feel your frustration, been there, done that. Around 3 is the first time when the testosterone hits theirs little bodies. Welcome in the manhood. In fact the percent of the testosterone in that age compare to theirs body mass is much higher that when it will be in the teenage years. Believe me, they don't know what to do with it either. It is very hard for them too. The best way to deal with that is physical exercises - running, swimming, cycling, anything will help. 2-3 times per week in a park is not enough, you need to get him working out every day. Keep him busy physically is the answer. He needs to vent too. Discipline? Give him choices, give him control as much as possible. He won't learn if he gets hurt, he will try again, this is the mother nature call. How you can help? The only thing you can provide is guideness to help him stay as save as possible. He will push boundaries, he will push all the limits. Just think of everything as it is his first time, because it is his first time with the testosterone in his body. He needs to feel powerful, he needs to control. Set rules and be consistent. For simple things try the "First we need to do this, than we can do that.". Another good method is "your way, my way", "what is your idea", "so every body will be happy" and etc. If he can't come up with his own ideas, help him with the ideas, soon you will be surprise what his little mind will come up with. If you can't do what he wants now, let him know why you can't do it now and when you will be able to do it and keep your promise. Understanding, giving him more power and control will make your life easier. Give him words to describe his feelings and needs and talk about them. Acknowledge his feelings and let him be a big boy. The specialist says not to use the "big boy" pressure on a 3 year old, but this is what really worked for us for two major steps - the potty and giving up the Binky. He got potty trained for 2 weeks and gave up the Binky over 1 night. I just figured out that he needed to be recognized as a big boy and explained him that doing the "big boy" stuff comes with a "big boy" responsibilities and acts. Hope I was helpful. Good luck!
I have a 3 year old boy also and 7 month old twins, so I too struggle with getting it all done and entertaining my oldest. Part of it I am sure you know is that your boy is trying to get your attention now that it is divided. I find if I make an effort to get on the floor and play with him a bit each day at various times that he isn't as difficult to discipline.
I would say to pick your battles with him. And when you battle him that you always win! This will take some work at first, but the more battles you win the more he will know you are in charge and that he can't out battle you. Our mantra around here is "Who is in charge?" and he responds "Momma." Another one we have taught him is, "When do you obey?" and he answers "the first time." For me one of the battles is hitting his brothers (he loves them, but hits them to get my attention). I say, "What happens when you hit/hurt your brothers?" He says, "I get swat." (a little tap to his bottom and then I bring him to his room) By doing this with him for SO LONG, he is finally starting to get it and we have had less incidents. He still acts up, but I am learning to recognize that much of his acting out is related to the fact that I haven't spent as much time with him that day.
As far as getting things done, you may have to lower your expectations a bit. What I mean is, while your daughter is young you may have to resolve that you won't be able to keep things as tidy as you would like, but rather to prioritize what has to be done and do that and/or get help for the other things you can't get to. Perhaps hire a young girl to come and get "training in babysitting" while you do tasks around the house once or twice a week. I was given this poem from another fellow twin mom the other day that really touched my heart.
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait for tomorrow,
For babies grow up, I've learned, to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep.
(Ruth Hulburt Hamilton)
Anyway, best of luck to you! Hope you are able to find some solutions to working with your son. I know it can be stressful when they do not obey. This too shall pass, but it is important that you stand your ground with him as it will pay off later as he gets older.
One thing that works really, really well (as well as anything can with 3 year olds :) anyway) are schedules and check lists, with pictures, of course. The summer is especially hard on these guys because they are sooo out of routine. Giving them a little structure that they can visualize has amazing effects!
Post-it has these great new sentence-strip post-its. Put the activities for the day-- breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed,take walk, read alone, read with mom, etc--one on each post-it with some little drawing to represent the activity. Simple drawings actually work best-- a circle for a plate with a triangle for a piece of toast, for example. Find a vertical space-- we use the closet door in our son's room-- and stick them up in order. You can even have him help with this. As each activity is finished he can take it down and see what the next one is. Don't forget to put a few chores on the schedule for him, while you're doing yours. You will be amazed at how well this works. So please try it.
If there are certain tasks/activities you know he may have troulbe timing a simple kitchen timer should help with the "Is rest time over yet?" type of questions.
You can also put up blank strips as surprises or a choose-your-own option for him.
Good luck. Summer's hard when they are little--- the days seem to go on endlessly and yet you feel like you get nothing done! Relax, it's just the way it is. Somehow we survive without folding the laundry :)
OH! One nice thing about the post-its-- you can reuse them until they get too raggy.
Hi Jackie- I have a 3 year old son also. I didn't get a chance to read all of the replies to your entry, so I apologize in advance if I'm redundant. :) I believe that this is the age when they are really learning where mommy ends and they begin as a little person. They are looking for independence and the security of boundaries at the same time. They, of course, don't know how to communicate this in words to us, so instead it frequently comes out as defiance and/or disobedience which in turn stirs frustration in us. I want to encourage you to keep on keepin' on. You are not alone and there is nothing wrong with you as a mom or with your little one as a 3 year old. Try to keep it in perspective when you feel really frustrated and just grab him and hug him. It will throw him off guard and it will interrupt your frustration. :)
Maybe something that would help too, is to have a mommy and son time together, a date of sorts with him when he has solely your attention. If you can leave baby sister with daddy/babysitter and you just take him for a milkshake. He may just hunger for concentrated mommy time. Also, I'm not sure if there is a Moms group in your area or not, but this may help to just have verbal support from other moms in your shoes. There is power in numbers. A lot of local churches offer Moms groups and they have childcare too, so you get a little 'breather' from your kids.
Sending my best, H.
I was having trouble with my 3 year old, so I read and implemented ideas from Playful Parenting and it made a difference RIGHT AWAY! Within the week, I had a lovely kid again! It was great. Basically, at this age, they want to play. So be playful. It DOES take more energy and seems to take more time, but actually, it is less time than dealing with a misbehaving child. once he feels like he has more love and attention, the bad behaviors just melt away. I have a 3.5 year old and a 4 month old. Believe it or not, I am already potty training the 4 month old! He knows how to use the potty. it is crazy! The 3 year old just finished training a few months ago. Anyway, hang in there. When he is MOST pushing your buttons, try not to react, or take a deep breath. they love to see how mad they can make you and will try when they see that they are succeeding. THat is another thing. I try not to let him get to me, so that I don't inadvertently encourage him to act worse. good luck! It will pass so soon, you will be surprised that you ever had to deal with this time in your life. Enjoy the sweet things!
Ok, you have a ton of posts so mine won't be long. I just REALLY want to recommend "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline". I have a just-turned-3 year old and a 1 year old. The last year of my life has been pretty rough...to say the least. I've read what feels like ALL the books...from Love and Logic to 1-2-3 Magic to Playful Parenting. Each helped a bit with techniques, etc. but we were still having some pretty major challenges.
"Easy to Love..." actually spends the first half of the book helping the parent get his/her head on straight before jumping into specific parenting techniques. I started reading it a few weeks ago and have noticed an amazing difference in myself and, ultimately, my son. I'm much calmer and not getting baited into battles with him and he seems to accept that and move on. In the last two weeks, I've snapped at him twice. Prior to this book, I felt like I was snapping at him twice every hour!
OH and one thing we noticed is that everytime the baby made a huge developmental leap like crawling or walking, her brother would act up even more.
Best of luck to you. These are tough times to be sure. Sometimes I think it would be just so much easier if I only had one to deal with but, after reading these posts, I'm not sure.
Just a vote of support for you. My kiddos are the same age as yours, My daughter is 3 and my son is 9.5 months. I am going through the same stuff with my daughter (altough we are done with Potty Training "well mostly"). It is just the age they are, they want to be in charge and assert their independance. My DD hasn't gotten dressed yet today and it is 11am. She even went to the store and running erronds in her nightgown! Oh well! I know what you mean though some days I start the count down to when Hubby gets off work at 9am. I just try to remember that she won't be 3 forever!
Been there, done that.
We had the terrible 3's with a SUPERACTIVE boy at our house, too. I could write a list a mile long...and if you'd ever like it, feel free to send me a message and we can kvetch all you like.
For us, the good and the bad news was that it lasted almost to the day from his 3rd birthday to his 4th. While he's still super active...I don't have to put MYSELF on timeout everyday anymore. :) Because, daaaaaaang, I did that year.
Keep the faith, I'm sure you're doing better then you think you are.
Sounds like a very normal 3 yr. old.
Your instructions need to be said calmly, not repeated and repeated, not allowing the "no" answer. Make more games out of the 'daily chores'. Lots of ideas in Dr. Dobson's
"Bringing up boys" God bless you....
I have a 3 1/2 year old and an 11 month old as well. Boy the constant challenge also drives me crazy and I can just about scream sometimes with the challenges he puts up.
He has been potty trained for a while though; about a half a year or more... but right now we are watching the Bear & the Big Blue house" and it discusses leaving diapers, and knowing if you have to go. Just an idea.
Keep going, try to be consistent with what you do! Hang in there!
I work 30 hours a week, my mom watches the kids when needed... and life is busy, full, and a challenge! But I enjoy certain things about each day!
Oh I hear you...we went from having a wonderful, easy 2 year old daughter to having a very bullheaded 15 month old son and a 3 year old sassy girl. Like you said by noon I am just done...all I can think of in the morning is "make it till 2 the kids go down for nap and then only an hour after waking up a daddy's home!!!". We almost always go somewhere in the morning around 10-12 to make the day go by fast. I find if we don't go at lease somewhere the morning feels like an eternity. As far as things around the house go my daughter is starting to help out a lot. She now sorts the laundry for me while I do the dishes. She dusts for me, puts her toys away and does many other small easy tasks around the house that really help a lot. Now if only my son would stop un-sorting the laundry as she goes life would be grand!!
Could it be that the three year old plus baby ties into this? Have you tried the mommy's helper trick? Have you tried just ignoring the negative and tuning into the positive stuff that happens. I know that I tried too hard to be perfect when I was a young mom, needed to get everything done out of fear of not being a good mother. Tuning into the three year old, taking cues from positive behaviors, giving less orders, asking for help all may work. Engage imagination. Give fewer commands. Make more requests and if you don't get what you want, walk away and see what happens. If nothing works, go into your room, get pillow, cover your mouth and scream! Tomorrow will be a better day.
I see you've had a lot of good advice...how wonderful is this site?!
Last year I was in your shoes. I have a (now) 4 year old and a one year old. It was not easy, to say the least, to have a 3 year old boy and a newborn.
I'm here to give you hope...it DOES get better! Don't expect it soon, but as I look back on this last year, I see all the obstacles we've overcome and feel a real sense of accomplishment. Hang in there!
When he turned 4, it was like this magical spirit lifted away the terrible 3's...I mean it was like on his birthday! I didn't expect it, although I had heard it could happen. I thought, "not my son." But now, I have this little man that I can reason with...is more understanding...has patience...plays nicely with his sister and friends without "reminders"...POTTY TRAINED (yes, that's right...it can happen)...listens AND takes direction!
I think you're on the right track. My advice would be:
1) be consistent with whatever you choose to do for discipline
2) make time for one-on-one (VERY important)
3) time out isn't just for kids
Like I said, change won't happen over night, but it WILL happen!
Good Luck with everything and hang in there!
Oh, I could have written this post. I have a nearly 3yr old son and a 4 mos. old daughter. Given that your description pretty much sums up our lives right now (my son is also struggling with hitting and pushing, just to make everything more interesting), it seems like we are just being put through the standard toddler paces. I have noticed that the more 'present' I am with him through his days, the better things flow. Sometimes its not what we do, but whether I am really talking and laughing with him while we do it. This does mean letting the housework slide a little or a lot as you really cannot do everything. It means that whenever my daughter sleeps, we often snuggle up and read a book/play tag/something else that isn't really possible when she is awake and needing mama. It's not a perfect solution, but it has helped. Whenever my husband is home and we have the second parent to pal around with, everything is easier.
Good luck and keep breathing.
I'm in the same boat as you. My son is 3 and my daughter is 2 months. My son doesnt listen to either me or daddy. But for me the big thing is to be consistant. Consistancy is the best thing a kid can have. I have tried everything from being nice, mean, spanking, time outs and everything in between. Nothing really has worked but timeouts or going to his room for a time out.
Maybe he is responding this way is because he wants some attnetion from you ( I dont know just thinking) and the only way he knows of getting your attention is to do it negativly. that is what my son does. It is hard to seperate your time when you have a baby and a toddler. They both need 100% of your time. Try and make time for him and play with him.
BE CONSISTANT is a big thing for me. For me I'm in the same boat so I dont have any really good advice. But there is some great advice on your responses so I'm sure you will find something that works for you.
I had 3 boys, all men now, two were twins.
I have come to realize that the terrible twos, or threes,
or whenevers, were glimpses of the people they were
becoming to be. The characteristics that are so challenging in a toddler are sometimes very attractive in
a teen or adult. For instance, my singleton son would
not take medicine. It took sometimes hours and lots of
patience to get him to take it. In hindsight, this was a
glimpse of a teenager that would have nothing to do with
peer pressure, never took a drug, was a leader and not a
follower. Even today, I have trouble getting him to take
an aspirin. I came to appreciate those challenging toddler
confrontations. Lucky for me, I realized it early enough
to alter my brain into enjoying those times. Turning
problems into praises, I would call it. Good luck!!!
Also, it might help to keep a journal of the trials that
you experience. You can look back at the last "problem"
and see it has passed and sometimes hard to remember why
it even made it in the book. This too shall pass.
I could have written this!! I am in exactly the same boat! I have a 3 yr old & a 1 year old, both awesome boys but at times a handful. My 3 yr old is currently refusing to use the potty all together. I really have no advise for you except maybe to remind yourself that "it is only a phase". This is my mantra all day long! I have to remind myself that it is my sons job to test his boundaries & limits and so it is not really his fault all the time. something I did this summer was to hire the neighbor girl (she is 14) to come over & "babysit". She really just plays with the kids while I attend to other things in the house. It has been amazingly helpful and at 14 she works cheap!!
Oh my goodness, you are living my life! I also have a 3 yr old son who is very "spirited" (that's the nice way of putting it.) I also have a 6 month old whom I am still nursing so he demands a lot of my attention, add that with housework, errands, a dog and a husband and you get one giant nervous breakdown just waiting to happen. You are not alone. I, unfortunately, have not figured out the remedy for this situation. But I do have to say that there is some comfort in knowing that I am not alone. All I can say is hang in there. There must be an end to the madness...well hopefully.
My boys (twins) are only 2, but are stretching their independent streak majorly. When they want to fight over the changing diaper issue, I just stop trying and let them know that it is their choice when to get changed...it won't hurt them to have a dirty diaper for a while.
When they know it is their choice, they come over and let me change them when they are done with whatever they are doing at the moment that seems so important. I do this quite often with things. Let it be their choice: do they want a light blanket or a heavy blanket? Do they want diaper clean or dirty? Do they want milk or water?...etc. It is working for me.
I understand what you are going through. I have a 5 year old girl and an almost 3 year old girl. Summer time is busy with school being out. To keep from burning out I take my kids to the kids korner (day care) at the gym several days a week for an hour or two on some days if I want to catch a shower. I started doing this when my girls were both 4 months old. It is great b/c my kids see regular friends and do arts and krafts while I get some exercise. The exercise makes me a more calm person able to deal with the kids :) If you live in the seattle area I go to Olympic Athletic club it is a family type gym. I have ment many great friends myself.
Just wanted to let you know that I'm right there with you! My 3-year-old boy is a total handful - I could totally relate to your post. I love him to death, but trying to deal with his high energy, willfulness, defiance, etc. is wearing me out (and I don't have an infant to take care of like you do - I can't even imagine!). Just as you said, every little thing is a huge battle - getting dressed, picking up toys, etc. etc. I haven't come up with any miracle solutions - we've tried the same things you have, with mixed results. I'm just trying to hang on until he turns 4, as many people have told me things change a lot between 3 and 4. Good luck!!
oh my I totally know what you mean! I have a done who can also be soooooo willful he is almost three! He is also super super high energy - he is in daycare "preschool" 3 mornings a week thankfully. The teachers at his school call him the energizer. No joke. I asked if he was the busiest kid they had and she didn't say no! Aak. Anyhooo he really is always testing me and I do get so sick of time outs and reapeating myself. I told my husband that I get really depressed because I have to be mean mommie and i am so not mean. I am one of those people who ate usually really relaxed and low key. But man having the kid whew it's like I am a whole different person. I also say how I wish I had a tape recorder so I wouldnt have to repeat myself so damn much. Get in the car get in the car get in the car sit down sit down sit down. I get sooo sick of listening to myself! But I do so love my son so do so much and just try to remember how much his high energy will serve him in life and that at least I won't have to worry about his weight! Its all temporary but so crazy exasperating while your in it! I myself am in awe of moms who have more than one I think they are all super moms so I guess that makes you one to!
I hear ya! I have daughters 8 and 4, and 3 year old nephew I take care of. I thought the 3 year old would never want to potty train. I am learning it is on his terms. He is now doing it and sucessful. Lots and lots of patience, which I admit I don't have all the time. I found his currency finally, fruit bars. ( I so didn't want it to be food.) He only did this for a week and now doesn't even ask for a reward except a high five or hug when he goes potty on his little potty chair)
I have him be my helper. He is getting a little brother in August and I'm trying to prepare him. He seems to really enjoy this and it is time that we have together. He helps me with laundry and windows. I try really hard to have some one on one time with each child. This helps immensely.
I also have learned to lower my expectations on the house. My kids are happier for it. They all have chores to do. The house is pretty clean, but looks lived in.
3 year olds love control. I empower him when I can. He loves being a big boy.
Hugs and hang in there.
I can so relate! Mine's not quite three yet... in August he will be. But just recently it seems he's become more difficult and my sister's words have been echoing in my mind "three was soooooooooo much harder for us than two". Ugh. Here I go. I'm a single mom and I have a lot going on. I'm in school and a nanny (to a little boy who is about 6 months younger and 10x more aggressive than my guy). All of this equals one exhausted, frustrated, worn out mama. This recent "I'm gonna test you as much as I can" phase is just the icing on the cake. I have to consciously remind myself that this is something he has to go through... because if I don't it'll make me insane. Are you in Corvallis? I have a mom's group here. I try to stay really busy with other moms and get support from one another. I also know when I need a break and I get a babysitter... even if it's just to study for a few hours to feel caught up and like a more calm mommy. A girlfriend and I sometimes even trade watching each other's kids so we can have those times and not be paying anyone for it.
ALSO... I've had a 13 year old girl come over and hang out while I get stuff done sometimes. She's not one I really like leaving alone to bbsit... but she hardly charges a thing and she can play with him and keep him busy if I have things I really need to catch up on.
Good luck! Know that you're not alone!!!
I see that you are a SAHM, I used to work from home when my oldest went through this phase, I know that its sooo much fun when come nap time you need a nap too. Some good advise is to grin and bear it. Continue to be consistant, but also know how to choose your battles. When Celeste ( now 7) was 3 she had been diagnosed with a seizure disorder, well an anger related one so the word no easily sent her into a seziure flopping on the floor. Scarest time of my life, however it taught me a thing or two. Was saying no to a popcicle before she had lunch worth a seziure? Also dont forget to take time for yourself, have a friend or family member watch your children and get some "me" time in (not semi-annually but more like weekly) your children will learn from it as well and it will help you not loose yourself in mommyhood like so many of us do from time to time(myself included) We are mothers but we are a lot more than that. Best of luck and remember to enjoy it while it lasts, you will blink and then they will be teenagers :)
Oh, how I understand your predicament! I have a 2 1/2 year old boy and a 6 week old and my patience gets tried as well. I am feeling overwhelmed and exhausted even though I love being a mom and my husband is a big help. I can't wait to hear what people will write.... We try using "Love and Logic", and the "Discipline without Rewards or Punishment approach" and they do work some of the time but not enough of the time. I know it is a phase and he will grow out of it but being IN it right now is so difficult. Thanks for reaching out, it is helpful to know I am not alone either.
Thank you for your post!! I have a 3 yr old son who is constantly, constantly digging his heals in and not doing what he is supposed to do. I also have a 5 yr old daughter and can barely handle it, I can't imagine with an 8 month old baby!! He turned 3 in January and JUST THIS WEEK he is finally letting me put a pair of underwear on him. He won't go to bed at night, won't brush his teeth, won't let me wash his hair, won't let me buckle his car seat… you get the picture. We were in Disney a few months ago and there was a downpour and he refused to let us put a rain poncho on him, he sat there in the pouring rain for like 30 minutes, he was so stubborn about putting it on. He went absolutely crazy when we tried to get near him with it. I'm sorry I don't have any suggestions, thanks for letting me vent! Many of the other responses are so helpful to me as well.
No advice other than to say...I know how you feel. During times like this I always think of that British woman that became famous for saying the she was bored of always trying to entertain her children. At the time I thought, "goodness how insenstive of her," and now somedays I go, "oh, I get it today." :)
Just one more thing....I recommend you to read "Mothers need time out too". It's great and teaches moms how to take time away an do things for yourself, so you can be in a better mood and happy when you are with your kids...I read it and loved it !
I can so relate. Don't give up and make sure you get a break once in a while! My son is now 6 and 1/2 and I am soooooo thankful to be done with the toddler years. He was a challenge to me every day. (Still is a challenge, but in different ways.) No one could help me-- when I called my mom desperate for advice she didn't know what to tell me because none of her kids acted like him. My daughter is now 3, and though she is sometimes challenging, it is nothing compared to what I went through with my son. With his independent attitude, I suggest that you do NOT push potty training. Let him do it when he is ready. Love him, and do the best you can.
So I guess I'm not very helpful, but the great (and sad) thing is that all kids grow up, they all eventually use the potty, and most will have challenging children of their own (I might regret when I am a grandma all the times I've cursed my son to have kids like himself.)
I had to laugh a little when I read your post, because my playgroup just had a massive email string going around about this very same thing. A number of us have three year old boys and we're all pulling our hair out with frustration over the various behaviors we're seeing - tantrums, saying no, throwing, hitting, potty training resistance (for some), etc..
To not repeat the great advice you've already been given, I'll just say that I think a lot of what you're experiencing is developmental. Your child is testing your boundaries, and you're right, he might just be bored at times. Can you schedule some play dates or sign up for a few classes here or there? Lots of the community centers offer inexpensive one or two day classes that you can bring your 8 month old to.
Also, if potty training is a big issue for you, there is a Potty Training class held at the Tot Spot Cafe in Woodinville (at least there was earlier this year)...
Good luck, my heart goes out to you. I thought the twos were bad, but you know what they're saying, "Three is the new two!"
Thanks to you and all the others who have posted here on this topic! It is so nice to know that I am not alone here. My 3 year old can be so loving and good at some times, then other times, he is scarey! I have to remind myself daily that it is "just a phase", but it is hard to stay focused sometimes. I find myself crying over it at times, then realize that it is not really worth it. It will all get better, and I just try to enjoy the caring side of him so much more.
I just wanted to let you know,I thought the 3's were more challenging than the 2's. Anyway, When my children were young we would do table crafts like homemade playdough and build crafts. We would have shaving cream pies too. We would also have cleanup up music so when the we got messy clean up was half the fun. Summer is also the best time for potty training both my boys learned it during the summer month.
I agree with age 3 = _allllll_ about boundary testing (we are 3 for 3 on that so far; baby hasn't hit that stage yet ;) )
Helpful to me when my first son and I just WEREN'T able to understand each other's energy (this started for us around 14 months, so at three you are doing better than I did!), was to start reading some of the books about the development of boys. The Wonder of Boys, I think, I only needed to read chapter one(!) to get my head on a little straighter about how much he wasn't just FIGHTING (me/my discipline) for no apparent-to-me reason. Too much to explain here (that's why there are so many books ;) ! ).
Look and see, though: how much of his 'willfulness' is just that: he is ready to start being an agent of will. It sounds like he wants to make his own choices: how great is that, really, when you back off from how irritating it is ;)? (Really! That's a great thing ;)! )
Perhaps a change to explaining "why we do these things this way" will help him build a matrix to not only make better choices now, but start him thinking in a way that helps for the future. And he will be able to grasp more real, functional independence more quickly (and more safely, which we moms care about even though the little boys don't care AT ALL in many cases, LOL :)! ).
With boys, especially little ones, make sure you have a physical connection when you try to talk to them or they might not be actually processing 'you' at all. When a hand on my son's side was too much, asking him to look at my nose or my shoulder gave him something concrete to 'hold onto' while his brain worked to process language/a complex thought. (He had some sensory integration issues, which according to all the research is really a normal part of development, espcially for boys, so I wish the world would adjust itself to reality instead of calling boys 'disordered' :( . ) One thing you may have lost with a new baby is that you used to instinctively hold him or engage him to tell him things, and that probably doesn't happen so much anymore ... I was SOOOO relieved when I discovered that a few changes in this made my son able to hear me again (literally, in his case, but it also made him calmer and more ready to _try_ to understand me).
One other thing I did notice, when my MIL said to him when he was three, "Thank you so much for eating all those grapes so neatly, that was really helpful for me" --I had without thinking changed (from the books) my praises to actually _matter_ to him (what he did to be "helpful" was TOTALLY not important to him at that age): "Hey, you, SUPER job eating those grapes! Are you such a big guy? Alright, go!" Seriously ... it sounds stereotypical because the stereotype is based on little boys' testosterone reality ;). Watching his (completely instinctual) _irritation_ with the praise MIL gave him was really eye-opening!! And once I saw it, I was suddenly aware of all the little boys (literally) squirming under feminized praise-phrases at church, in school, in the grocery-store ... (!).
(My 3 year old daughter is trying out masculinity--part of processing the divorce I think, should she be like Mommy whom Daddy rejected?, etc.--so I'm having to balance encouraging her the way she currently wants to be encouraged (just like her brother, thank you very much) and encouraging the underlying hurt little girl. Oy!)
Hope that helps :)!
I have a 9 year old like that. Everything is so contrary. It's like the song, which I never knew what it meant until I had my daughter, "Mary Mary how Contrary, How does your garden Grow!" Just gives a whole new meaning to this song. Anyway, you just have to persevere. I envy people who have easy children. I do not. You just have to be more determined than they are to get your will done.
It sounds like your 3 year old is getting his attention and reactions by "egging" you on. It is amazing how kids sense our stress and frustration and pick those times to act up. My only suggestion is do your best to take a deep breath, relax and try to find humor in dealing with him. For example...If you want him to put on his shoes or get ready for you to do so, tell him you are putting them on your feet (act dumb) and he will say "No, they go on my feet. Let me show you..." Let him "teach" you to do something (and in the process it gets done). Good Luck!
WOW! I feel like I am reading my life. I am also a SAHM of a 3yr old boy and a 1 yr old girl and by the end of the day I feel like checking myself into the nuthouse! I did find that the love and logic books helped a little. They had some good tools. I also do all the other things you mentioned, time- outs etc. I have talked with other women who have been through this and the one thing that seems consistent is just making sure you have people to talk to about it so you don't feel alone in the battle. They say the worst times are 3yrs old and teenage yrs so maybe it just gets better eventually. So I don't have any real advice, I just wanted to let you know you are not alone.
My little boy will turn 3 in October. He started his terrible two's at about 18 months - he used to be an angel before that! I've noticed that he's a lot more cooperative if I don't pressure him, basically when it's "his" decision. I tried potty training 2-3 weeks ago and had to give up again for now, because he won't tell me when he has to go and won't go on his own - unless he spontaneously decides to. It sure feels good to know that I'm not alone, that others have kids who are being difficult as well.
Yes I think all moms are feeling your frustration at this point. I have 2 teens and an almost teen and let me tell you I am ready for school to start again already! Sometimes you have tell yourself that is alright if the beds didn't get made today and take the kids to the park all day. Let the the little stuff go, during the summer its difficult with little ones to have the perfect house and the perfect kids.
I have 3 boys & my youngest is now 4. Yes, they don't negotiate well - we found taking away things as their consequence works well. Whatever their favorite toy/game is at the moment - we still use this with our older boys. They just have a totally different attitude than girls. We have a 17 mo.old girl & she's all tears & drama - very different! As for the potty training, boys are slower than girls, just let him go at his pace - 2 of ours did it on their own, but one didn't - so we pushed him a little & it totally backfired & he regressed. Good luck!
JL You HAVE gotten a bunch of great posts. I'm taking notes as well. My son will turn 3 in a couple weeks and DITTO!!! I was reading about the Mom who watches her little rebel sleep before she turns in for the night to help her through her next crazy day. I do a little "mental checklist" too. In the times I get frustrated by his willful streak or his stubbornness - I think ahead a little and I'm grateful that this kid is NOT a follower. It's harder to raise the ones with the iron clad wills but in the long run I look at him as being a leader later in life. I was stubborn and had my own ideas about things from an early age - but I never followed the pack - I take comfort in knowing he is headed for being his own person already. Tough - but it's a good thing!! Take comfort - S.
My son just turned three so I understand completely. Two nights ago we were getting ready to go to bed and he spent about a half an hour hopping like a frog before he hopped into bed. Just form skimmming your letter it sounds like your son may be trying to get your attention by playing constant games. He may be in competition with the 8 month old that needs you too! Maybe give him some responsibilities in helping take care of the 8 month old. Also maybe make a "chore" chart of sorts where he can earn a sticker or a magnet for completing a small task. That could be a new focus of his game attitude. I have seen already made up chore charts in stores which are relativley cheap. Hope this helps..