Three year old behavior

Lindsay - posted on 03/26/2016 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I am writing because I am at whits end and I feel like a horrible person and a failure of a parent.

My three and a half year old son drives me insane. I am a newly SAHM, I have worked since he was 1 but recently had a baby, and 2 in daycare is just too expensive. This is not my preference; I love my kids but I also love to work. I feel lost as a SAHM. To make matters worse, my older son has been an absolute monster. Screaming, crying, whining or blatant defiance and spite, I kid you not, 80% of the time. I am the stricter parent, so he only wants his daddy and doesn't want anything to do with me which presents me no bonding opportunity amidst a horrifically difficult spurt of parenting. He is mouthy, talks back, does the opposite of what is told and thinks it's a colossal joke. I know some of this is normal for his age, but his breed of crazy seems excessive to me as I've worked with kids professionally for years. It's to the point that I just don't want to be around him. I love him, I will do anything for him and will protect/sustain/nourish him because that's my job as his mother. But most of the time I'm around him I spend wishing his behavior would change or wishing to get away from him. We have tried myriad disciplinary techniques...time outs, ignoring, taking away things he values, spanks, positive reinforcement/reward. Nothing works. He is determined to do everything we've asked him not to do and determined to do everything we've told him NOT to do. I guess my question has more to do with MY heart than the actual issues with my son. It kills me inside to feel this way, and everyday I wake up hoping for the best. That I will have more patience. That, magically, I'll yearn to be around him. That maybe he will change his behavior! But alas, I am left at the end of the day with the sinking feeling that his behavior must be because of something I've done, that I'm powerless to change it and that I don't even want to be near my own child, and what kind of a awful person feel those things? Whether he received a diagnosis of ADHD or not, he is my son forever. I don't want a contentious relationship with him, but I also can't bring myself to a place where in I enjoy his company, much as I try. I don't know what to do. For him OR for myself. I understand this may be a hair trigger for some, so please only respond with kindness and empathy.

5 Comments

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Mary - posted on 04/21/2016

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Hi Lindsay,
I'm sorry to hear that you are going thru this. I (having had a slight trouble maker of my own at that age) want to remind you that you are a great mother. I'm sorry that it is painful for you that you want to have better,closer, loving moments with your son but cannot because of his behavior. I'm sure that feels like a great loss for you. I do want to say (although you already know) your day should by no means be spent keeping him in check. There are alot of ways to discipline his actions (you named alot), but I have found the key is to find the one that works effectivly for him. I also think it is just as important that your husband be COMPLETELY on board with what happens. If you are the "bad guy" all day, trying to control his behavior, trying to enforce rules and your husband comes home and he goes running into his arms for love, well that is just counter productive. It may also help, if he favors his father (as most boys do) that your husband lays down more of the man thing when he is home as a way of helping you.
Again, I am really sorry that you are experiencing this. You are a great mother who is trying her best. And dont beat yourself up too much about how your feeling. One day you will look back and tell your grown son how much of a pain in the ass he was, and you'll both laugh. Until then, give yourself a break, take time away from your son and treat yourself with kindness. Parenting is NOT easy. Your doing the best you can.

Cutemommy - posted on 03/28/2016

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you are with him all the time as a stay at home mother do you ever get a break or time to yourself? absence makes the heart grow fonder your husband should set up play dates where he takes your son out so you can breathe. Also you gotta get your husband to discipline with you and not against you. When you are not in unity your son knows and it can grow to be something that divides you two learn to find a medium and make disciplinary decisions together I know it is hard being a SAHM. It gets better I promise.

Courtney - posted on 03/27/2016

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I am in your situation as well. So far I have found nothing that helps. I work a full time job during the day and my husband stays with him all day. I can not seem to make him mind and neither can his father. He recently snuck out of the house this morning and ran off instead of waking us up to let us know he was up like he usually does. I keep hearing it gets better with age but so far no luck. It only seems to get worse. I wish you luck and hope that I can find some myself

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