Three year old behavior

Lindsay - posted on 03/26/2016 ( 2 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.

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Sarah - posted on 03/27/2016

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What is your daily routine? Do you have a structured day with lots of different activies? Do you get out often? Being a SAHM does not mean you are at home all day. Find groups or things to do outside of the house each day. Play groups, park, mall, received center, etc. That really helps with behavior. Sometimes bad behavior is due to boredom or lack of structure in the day.

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