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-   -   You know all those things that "baby trainers" acuse babies of... (http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=966120)

NorahsMom 04-12-2010 08:09 PM

You know all those things that "baby trainers" acuse babies of...
 
You know when people accuse babies of being manipulative because they cry when you leave the room (when really they just want to be held and loved and reassured)? Well, I don't consider babies to be capable of that, but I'm telling you my almost-3-year-old dd is doing it ALL!

She has become a manipulative little monster. We feel like every time we turn around she's just testing to see how high she can make us jump. I've always given her as many choices as I can (like clothes, hair accessories, snacks within limits, etc.), but I feel like she's totally taking advantage of it all. Example: I'll ask her if she wants oatmeal or toast for breakfast. She says oatmeal so I cook the oatmeal (which isn't quick--it's regular oatmeal--so it takes like 20 minutes). Then I give it to her and she tells me she wants toast. Argh! I certainly never give her the toast because, hey, she had a choice and she chose oatmeal, right? But she still throws a huge fit, crying about how much she wants toast. When she's being naughty with [insert object here], I give her warnings that if she hits the dog again or whatever the offending action is, I'll take it away. It used to be that I took it away once or twice and she learned her lesson and obeyed after that. Well now, she looks right at me and keeps doing it. So I take it away and she acts totally shocked, melts down, and loses control of herself.

Bedtime games: We give her half an hour after we read to her for her to read to herself. Then we turn off the light and say goodnight and that has made for very smooth sailing for several months. Lately, she'll actually call to us before her half hour is up and ask for us to turn the light off. She sweetly says goodnight, lays down in her bed, waves and smiles as we leave the room. Then AS SOON as the light is off and we close the door, she starts crying and SCREAMING about turning the light back on. She'll carry on like this for a good 30 minutes. When she was a baby and cried, we totally tended to her because we believed that she needed/wanted to be held and reassured. Now days, I know that isn't what she wants. She just wants to make us dance. So we let her "cry it out", if you can call it that at this age.

I know she's just testing us but it's driving me insane! Help!

(Sorry this is so long.)

doodah 04-12-2010 08:40 PM

Re: You know all those things that "baby trainers" acuse babies of...
 
Here's the thing, your 3 year old is far beyond being a baby so the idea that babies cannot manipulate is not applicable in your case IMO. What she is doing sounds completely normal for a three year old but I can see how it will just drive you bonkers sometimes. You are already doing some great age appropriate things like "this or that" choices, daily routine and setting boundaries. The rest of it is just maintaining your patience and remaining consistent. The only thing I can add is adding a night light to her room if she doesn't already have one. Another thing you might consider is removing her from the situation in addition to taking away the offending toy/object. That way she can be upset if she needs to be but you don't have to hear the full meltdown. You can't force them to feel a certain way but I don't believe there is anything wrong with saying if you are that upset, you can go to the corner/timeout mat/bedroom until you cool down. It is not a timeout though because she can come out whenever she is ready. This works very well for my two year old and even younger kids.

Mrsfroberg 04-12-2010 08:41 PM

Re: You know all those things that "baby trainers" acuse babies of...
 
Sounds and awful lot like my just turned 3 y.o. We give the choices, and have the fits when she decides she wants B instead of A, after she chose A.

We actually just got over the bedtime battle. We did the exact same routine you have, books, and then time for her to read. Well, then she would decide it was ok to actually get out of bed and play. What worked for us was finally moving her brother into their room (13 months, was in our room) into his crib. He goes to bed first around 7-7:30. We read or play a game for about 30 minutes, put her to bed, and off to sleep she goes. Why/how this is working, I have no idea, but it has been for over a month now. We don't hear a peep out of either of them until around 7:30-8:00am.

Now that I went off on a tangent, I'd love to hear thoughts/advice other mom's have for you!! I'm guessing it's just a stage?....I can hope?!

Terra 04-12-2010 08:45 PM

Re: You know all those things that "baby trainers" acuse babies of...
 
Have you seen/heard of this author and her books? "Your three year old...." [four year old, five year old, ect].

ETA: here's the link! lol

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/044...SIN=0440506492


It gives a great explanation and guidance on why they do what they do and how to cope in a positive manner. This series is also recommend by the LLL.

Don't know if this will help.

And like Doodah said, it IS normal behavior. My three year old is the same way. Knowing why he's doing these things and where he's coming from helps so much :)

Mrsfroberg 04-12-2010 08:47 PM

Re: You know all those things that "baby trainers" acuse babies of...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by doodah (Post 10009004)
Here's the thing, your 3 year old is far beyond being a baby so the idea that babies cannot manipulate is not applicable in your case IMO. What she is doing sounds completely normal for a three year old but I can see how it will just drive you bonkers sometimes. You are already doing some great age appropriate things like "this or that" choices, daily routine and setting boundaries. The rest of it is just maintaining your patience and remaining consistent. The only thing I can add is adding a night light to her room if she doesn't already have one. Another thing you might consider is removing her from the situation in addition to taking away the offending toy/object. That way she can be upset if she needs to be but you don't have to hear the full meltdown. You can't force them to feel a certain way but I don't believe there is anything wrong with saying if you are that upset, you can go to the corner/timeout mat/bedroom until you cool down. It is not a timeout though because she can come out whenever she is ready. This works very well for my two year old and even younger kids.

We also do this with DD. It works wonderfully! We used to do time-outs and she's scream and cry the whole time. Now, we just tell her she has to sit on her bed, and when she's done crying she may come out and join the rest of us. After a few minutes, she's ready to come out, and is usually very happy! Couldn't even tell there was a tantrum!

Michelle_M 04-12-2010 11:14 PM

Re: You know all those things that "baby trainers" acuse babies of...
 
3 years old is about when Christian (will be 5 in June) started testing his boundaries.

I thought "terrible twos, what where they talking about? My toddler is so sweet and well behaved for 2." Then he turned three, and wow!

We worked through it. He is usually a really good boy, but still likes to test limits, antagonize his little brother and just act like a 5 year old.

And my 2 1/2 year old has some serious attitude issues. And he is VERY passionate about his emotions. Whatever emotion he is feeling.. .wheather it be affection, anger, feelings hurt, compassion.. whatever emotion.. he feels it VERY strongly and passionately. Makes for some real terrible temper tantrums.. oh yeah, and he holds a grudge! LOL If he gets scolded, he won't talk to me or come near me for like an hour (or his dad if dad is the one who scolded him). It's kina funny.

And you're right.. babies cannot manipulate, they just want to feel secure. But toddlers, they are feeling out the world around them and trying to see just what they can get by with, and they feel their emotions so purely and strongly. More so than we do, I think, because we can rationalize things on a higher level.

I don't really have any advice, but to say stick it out, do the best you can do, and you'll get through it!

NorahsMom 04-13-2010 07:30 AM

Re: You know all those things that "baby trainers" acuse babies of...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by doodah (Post 10009004)
Here's the thing, your 3 year old is far beyond being a baby so the idea that babies cannot manipulate is not applicable in your case IMO.

I didn't mean to imply that I think it is applicable. I was just referencing that idea to say that I know it isn't possible for babies to do it but it sure as heck is for 3-year-olds. It has been a strange experience for me to acknowledge that because I've always considered her intentions to be pretty straightforward. But now that her cognition is becoming a little more sophisticated, I realize that it is normal for her to be testing and feeling around for what she can and can't do. I think it's an interesting transition for both her and me because my parenting used to be all about simply responding to her requests and now I am finding that I need to evaluate the situation and figure out WHY she is requesting things before I can decide what to do. You know, it used to be that if she cried in her bed, I would go in and comfort her. Simple. Now it's a little different because she is ONLY doing it to see if she can get me to come in there.

Thanks for all the advice and the book recommendation. I'll have to check that out.

doodah 04-13-2010 08:07 AM

Re: You know all those things that "baby trainers" acuse babies of...
 
yes I see what you are saying and completely agree. There is a time for each children when they are communicating not only their needs but their wants and it can be hard to differentiate the two so you are not becoming overly permissive. It is hard when you pour so much love and attention to your child and then they do things that drive you crazy like intentionally breaking the rules, working one parent against the other, etc. I always think taking care of babies is as easy as it gets. I hear so many parents complaining about their infants and how hard that is meanwhile I am secretly thinking, oh it gets waaayyy harder ;)

katesmash 04-13-2010 10:16 AM

Re: You know all those things that "baby trainers" acuse babies of...
 
I'm also wondering if it might have something to do with the new baby coming? (I didn't see anyone else mention it, but if it was mentioned already, sorry) You are due next month.. maybe your DD is feeling like she needs to act out because of the impending birth of a sibling? I know NOTHING about this... it's just something that crossed my mind.

Your DD is 5 months older than mine.. and I know those 5 months can make a huge difference in maturity, etc. But I tried to put myself in your shoes, and I know it can be frustrating.

My DD does the thing with breakfast too... but we have a pretty strict time limit with breakfast right now... DH or I ask her what she wants for breakfast (usually a choice between cereal, toast or waffles), and make what she asks for. If she doesn't eat it, tough. We have to be out the door to get to work on time, so if she doesn't eat her breakfast by then, she'll have to wait. I DO tell my parents (who babysit) when she doesn't eat... to make sure they give her something healthy for a snack a little earlier than they might have...

and OMG the working one parent against the other thing, I had NO idea that a two year old (well 2 1/2) was capable of this... little do I know! The little stinker is always asking DH or myself for something, if the one says no she goes STRAIGHT to the other. And when we're over at my parents' house for example, she's got FOUR adults to play... and grampa is wrapped around her finger (in his defense, he does have a hearing aid and may not have HEARD us say "no" to her if he wasn't strictly paying attention :giggle: )

stringbean02 04-13-2010 10:20 AM

Re: You know all those things that "baby trainers" acuse babies of...
 
i know for a fact that my 1 year old will do that and has been since he was about 10 months. he will be 100% happy, fed, dry and playing with his toys - if i leave the room for 2 seconds and he notices/hears the gate close he will speed crawl to the gate and throw a temper tantrum right at the gate until i come back. all babies are different though, and i dont believe that a little baby is anywhere capable of that.


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