Overwhelmed & stressed

Melissa - posted on 05/02/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have a 3 year old who is extremely active. She will not sit still for more than 2 minutes and not even to watch a cartoon. She never listens to me when I tell her to stop doing something. She'll just tell me "no" and keeps doing it. She gets out of car seat and then I have to stop the car and put her back in. In the stores, she'll get out of the shopping cart. She's always whining and cranky. She gives me a hard time at bed time. There have been times that I've had to put her back in bed 20 times. This is the time of day when I'm ready to relax so I'm desperately trying to get her to sleep. I'm constantly dealing with her bad behavior, therefore I'm always yelling, stressed out and miserable. I've tried bribing her & time outs with no success. My husband is in the military so he's away a lot of the time which leaves me to deal with everything. I'm a stay at home mom so I'm going through this like I always say "24 hours a day, 7 days a week." I feel like a bad mom because she's always bad and she brings out the worst in me. I don't know what to do and I feel miserable.

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Kimberly - posted on 05/09/2013

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Hi sweetie
Melissa I felt that same way. GGGRRRLL. I was going crazy , 40 years old and have a 16 month old, 6 year old, 23 year old and 21 year old. I know what your thinking" what were you drinking". My 1 year daughter I thought hated me since the womb, kicked then and is still kicking now. I had to learn to change my vernacular. Your daughter is not bad, she is a high spirited , energetic female who will dominate at anything she does. My daughter screamed for 8 months straight. I cried and cried. But soon realized that I had birthed the next " Beyonce" and she was doing vocal training.
When she would scream in public, I would tell people that and they would die laughing. It eased the tension, because i changed my perception of her. The behavior is bad, not Mia.
If you look up the word bad, you will see that your beautiful daughter DOES NOT fit that definition. Remember, she is doing what she is suppose to do at 3. We expect them to be mini adults, when we too have annoying habits. Think about it, I teach kids whose parents wish there kids could scream and move around.

To ease your pain, try shopping without her. Don't let her watch cartoons, let her dance to music or make music. Do things with her : bake cookies, color, plant a garden. Take pictures of her doing everything and create a scraprbook together. You are her first teacher. Unfortunately, our kids don't know what "me time is". Remeber this too shall pass. Mia stopped screaming at 9 mons, but picked up spitting out food and kicking. So I decided she was our new food tester and soccer player.

Stay firm in your discipline and redirect her behavior. Label the behavior . DONT LABEL HER.
Celebrate her POSITIVES and she will do more of them. One day at a time!
Pray, take a deep breath and take it one day at a time. I bet you gave birth to someone who will change the world!
Kim

Jenna - posted on 05/08/2013

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Melissa, I completely undersrand. We have twin 3 year old girls and what we have found is that the bedtime routine is extremely important. Kids love a schedule/routine. Also I try to get them involved in household chores (doing laundry, folding laundry, cleaning out dishwasher); this makes them feel helpful which may change her behavior. Hopefully this helps you as we have very little behavior issues. Good luck.

Meghan - posted on 05/08/2013

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Oh Melissa. I don't know that I have the answer but I am sorry you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. My daughter is 3 as well and we haven't had the same issues but I feel for you. Have you tried a GroClock? We use it and my daughter seems to adhere to the rule that she can't come out of her room until the sun comes up. We just had a sleep consultant come in and work with us as our issue was that our daughter not only wakes up often during the night, she wakes up at 4:45 am every morning and will not go back to bed. Our sleep consultant said that most bedtime issues can be cured with the child going to bed earlier. We used to put our daughter down at 8:30 but now it is lights out at 7:30. The consultant said that the bed time routine must be the same and consistent- warm bath every night, pjs, 2 stories at most, lights out. She said that the routine helps kids to unwind and decompress. The consistency helps the child's brain recognise this is the time for the long sleep. The consultant told us that it will take at least 2 weeks of the constant routine to see a change. It was hard for us because our daughter also would try things like "I have to go potty" to get out of her bed. We were told that was ok but every time she gets out of bed no matter the reason it has to be treated very business-like. No talking except "back to bed". No emotion, minimal talking, and a carry her back to bed if she won't go on her own. She said every time you put them back in bed- give them a quick kiss on the forehead and out the door. I found if I kept the words to a minimum the less frustrated I got because previously she was reacting to my words and the frustration would just build up from there. It has been 3 weeks and we are doing so much better. She is not getting out of bed and she is sleep in until 5:30. Still early but better....

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