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Old 05-21-2011, 12:30 AM   #1
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Struggling with my 3-year-old

I don't know if I'm looking for advice or just wanting to vent, but I am struggling a lot with my 3-year-old little boy right now. Every time I tell him to do something that he doesn't want to do, he throws a major fit -- it's weird, too. He will suddenly act like he has a terrible injury or will say "I can't walk" and throw himself on the floor. Basically he'll melt down and act like he's been hurt physically.

The smallest things will trigger his meltdowns -- even when I just tell him to wait a minute before I get him a snack, he melts down because he wants it *now*. He had a huge meltdown today in a restaurant and it was pretty embarrassing. It was because I told him he needed to sit down and finish his dessert (yeah, dessert). All of the sudden he acted like he was in pain and was crying and saying "ow" over and over again. I had to take him out of the restaurant and get him to calm down before I could go back in again.

It's just odd behaviour to me. My daughter never had meltdowns like this. Don't get me wrong, she's thrown fits, but they made more sense to me, I guess? Like, usually there was a real reason for them and she didn't pretend like she had an injury. I'm not sure what to do with him.

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Old 05-21-2011, 12:44 AM   #2
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Re: Struggling with my 3-year-old

Kids do weird stuff. Maybe the only way he knows how to express his emotional pain is by acting it out physically? One of my daughter's friends does the "I can't walk" routine and it is very dramatic. I have similar issues with my 3.5 yr old daughter screaming loudly and having inappropriate responses. One book that really helped us is:
Setting Limits with your Strong-Willed Child: Eliminating Conflict by Establishing Clear, Firm, and Respectful Boundaries (by Robert MacKenzie).

I am subscribing to this thread to see what others have to say. Good luck!
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Old 05-21-2011, 12:52 AM   #3
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Re: Struggling with my 3-year-old

My 3 1/2 year acts like he's hurt sometimes when asked to clean up or help out He's said that cleaning up after himself makes his tummy hurt, or he can't do it because it makes his legs hurt, etc. I think that's pretty normal. My daughter had never acted like that either.
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Old 05-21-2011, 01:59 AM   #4
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Re: Struggling with my 3-year-old

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Originally Posted by raindrop_333 View Post
My 3 1/2 year acts like he's hurt sometimes when asked to clean up or help out He's said that cleaning up after himself makes his tummy hurt, or he can't do it because it makes his legs hurt, etc. I think that's pretty normal. My daughter had never acted like that either.
I'm glad to know I'm not alone! It has just really thrown me for a loop since I never experienced this with my first. I am really hoping it's a short-lived phase.
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Old 05-21-2011, 02:00 AM   #5
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Re: Struggling with my 3-year-old

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Originally Posted by lovin4u View Post
Kids do weird stuff. Maybe the only way he knows how to express his emotional pain is by acting it out physically? One of my daughter's friends does the "I can't walk" routine and it is very dramatic. I have similar issues with my 3.5 yr old daughter screaming loudly and having inappropriate responses. One book that really helped us is:
Setting Limits with your Strong-Willed Child: Eliminating Conflict by Establishing Clear, Firm, and Respectful Boundaries (by Robert MacKenzie).

I am subscribing to this thread to see what others have to say. Good luck!
Thanks for the book recommendation; I'll have to check that out if I am dealing with this much longer.
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by raindrop_333
My 3 1/2 year acts like he's hurt sometimes when asked to clean up or help out He's said that cleaning up after himself makes his tummy hurt, or he can't do it because it makes his legs hurt, etc. I think that's pretty normal. My daughter had never acted like that either.
Housework makes my tummy hurt, too!
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:14 AM   #7
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Re: Struggling with my 3-year-old

It really is completely normal behavior. DS2 is nearing 3. A typical interaction might go like this.

Me: Daniel, come help set the table.
DS2: (falls down on the floor in living room) I can't. ouhhh, ouhh (makes panting and struggling noises)
Me: Daniel, now.
DS2: ("struggles" to get up, stops) I give up. (lays back down on floor)
Me: We're having chicken and dumplings.
DS2: (springs to action and RUNS to the kitchen) I want to carry the forks!

They are dramarific little hams at this age.
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:55 AM   #8
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Re: Struggling with my 3-year-old

DF's DS will fall on the floor (deadweight it, as I call it), or bend over into a crippling position and hold his back, and moan, "I caaaaaaan't. I'm too olddddddddddd." And huff and puff, and act like he's 95yrs old. (I'm pretty sure he heard me ONE time last summer say, "I'm too old for this stuff!" and sit down out of breath after a 3hr non-stop trampoline session. ) And sometimes he even tells DF and I to get off his lawn (fake grass with his farm set), while playing the old man routine /facepalm

He's 4, and growing out of it thank goodness. Since it's not as often now, it's actually pretty amusing. I have to stop myself from giggling at him. However, when it was a 50x a day occurrence, it wasn't amusing AT ALL, so I can understand what you mean. No advice here, but be strong mama!
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Old 05-21-2011, 02:02 PM   #9
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Re: Struggling with my 3-year-old

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Originally Posted by Hillargh View Post
DF's DS will fall on the floor (deadweight it, as I call it), or bend over into a crippling position and hold his back, and moan, "I caaaaaaan't. I'm too olddddddddddd." And huff and puff, and act like he's 95yrs old. (I'm pretty sure he heard me ONE time last summer say, "I'm too old for this stuff!" and sit down out of breath after a 3hr non-stop trampoline session. ) And sometimes he even tells DF and I to get off his lawn (fake grass with his farm set), while playing the old man routine /facepalm

He's 4, and growing out of it thank goodness. Since it's not as often now, it's actually pretty amusing. I have to stop myself from giggling at him. However, when it was a 50x a day occurrence, it wasn't amusing AT ALL, so I can understand what you mean. No advice here, but be strong mama!
Freaking hilarious!
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Old 05-21-2011, 02:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hillargh
DF's DS will fall on the floor (deadweight it, as I call it), or bend over into a crippling position and hold his back, and moan, "I caaaaaaan't. I'm too olddddddddddd." And huff and puff, and act like he's 95yrs old. (I'm pretty sure he heard me ONE time last summer say, "I'm too old for this stuff!" and sit down out of breath after a 3hr non-stop trampoline session. ) And sometimes he even tells DF and I to get off his lawn (fake grass with his farm set), while playing the old man routine /facepalm

He's 4, and growing out of it thank goodness. Since it's not as often now, it's actually pretty amusing. I have to stop myself from giggling at him. However, when it was a 50x a day occurrence, it wasn't amusing AT ALL, so I can understand what you mean. No advice here, but be strong mama!
I know what you mean. For the last month or two my 2yo will dead weight it when you try to pick him up around his chest. He throws his arms up so you end up holding his armpits as he drops. At ~33lbs, he goes down because I can't carry him by the arms for fear of dislocation. Ugh.
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