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Old 04-06-2012, 09:20 PM   #1
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We skipped terrible twos but 3 is horrible!!

I'm lost on what to do with my daughter she turned 3 in December and she's been horrible lately. She ignores us with anything we tell her runs away and is always pushing on her younger brother 17 months old. We just moved into Tempoary Lodging Togo with my DH to training. (thought it would be better to keep the family together) she started the behavior issues way before this. Every book I read says to take privileges away and it's not like I can we're sharing a room for 3 months and don't have a lot of toys. We try and spends much time outside as we can. I'm at a loss DH wants to spank and time out is a joke for her.


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Old 04-06-2012, 09:42 PM   #2
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Re: We skipped terrible twos but 3 is horrible!!

Yep. Three, in my opinion, is MUCH harder than two. At two, you can still redirect them, more or less. At three, they get an idea in their sweet little head, and it is stuck there for good. My only advice is to be *very* consistent, be as calm and controlled of your emotions as possible, and hold on to for the ride.

Removing privileges can be helpful sometimes, but really, I think it can be more helpful if you give them as a reward. Like, if you make it through the grocery store being helpful and cooperative, we can go to the park. My experience with temperamental three-year-olds is that framing things as positively as possible can help ward off tantrums. When a tantrum happens (as they inevitably will), don't take it personally. It's not really about you, it's about their lack of control in the situation, and their inability to express it any other way. I know that some people recommend ignoring that tantrum, but that never worked for me. The child just seems to follow me around the house with their (very loud) tantrum, lol. I have more success with shortening the tantrum by empathizing and giving words to what the child is feeling.

Hang in there, it is hard. Four is much easier than three, and five is even better. You will have days where you think one or both of you will not make it to your next birthday, and where you think you can feel your hair turning grey. However, it will pass, and you will wonder how you ever survived without your sweet little one.
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Old 04-07-2012, 01:07 AM   #3
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Re: We skipped terrible twos but 3 is horrible!!

Three is DEFINITELY much harder than two. I think "terrible twos" is a completely misnomer. My son was an angel at two, but turned into the devil at three. Same with almost every child I've ever taken care of (worked in childcare for 16 years). I don't have much advice for you, but I can commiserate. I hope things get better for you soon. She won't be this age forever!
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Old 04-07-2012, 01:16 AM   #4
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Re: We skipped terrible twos but 3 is horrible!!

So glad I'm not alone! I thought something was wrong with my kiddo. I have no help for you though. I gave a sigh of relief at ds third birthday because we "made it" through the twos and he was an angel! Then about two months after his birthday oh, my, goodness!!! Holy Terror broke out! It's been a rough year. He just turned 4 and finally is starting to grow out of it. But there were a few times in that last year I was ready to give up on the whole parenthood thing because of his tantrums, he would scream, hit, bite, head butt, it was horrible, my parents asked if he needed to be on "calming" meds he was so out of hand. Um, they raised three boys! That gave me the impression he wasn't normal. And same as you, time out was a joke, we could take anything away he didn't care. We just tried to stay as calm and consistent as possible. Although I will admit he did get spanked a time or two and that is the only thing that caught his attention but it didn't improve anything it made the hitting worse. But now he's 4 and those moments are getting further and fewer, and he's starting to turn back into my sweet boy again.
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Old 04-07-2012, 01:30 AM   #5
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Re: We skipped terrible twos but 3 is horrible!!

My 2 boys both skipped the twos...I thought I had dodged the naughtiness...LOL It does get much better into the late 4's to early 5's....then on to the next stage! Parenting isn't hard and what works for one family may not work for another... Hope you find what works for you.
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:05 AM   #6
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Re: We skipped terrible twos but 3 is horrible!!

DD skipped the terrible 2's as well, but she made it mostly through 3 without much issue. The end of 3 and now half of her 4th year-OMG! I would have rather this when she was younger- now she just looks like a huge brat (she's not). Thankfully she reserves her "best" for at home and doesn't throw fits in public. I am at a complete loss with what to do with her.

It looks like ds will have terrible 2's though. At 18 months he throws himself down on the floor and cries (and dh and I try really, really hard not to laugh).

I was prepared for the terrible 2's to last into the 3rd year- I had an older friend who warned me long before I had kids. I did not expect to have a completely delayed terrible period- 4 years old is way to old for her fits. She doesn't throw herself down or anything, but she acts like a teenager- slamming doors, yelling she doesn't like us and the girl will argue with the color of the sky when she is in a mood.
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Old 04-07-2012, 06:43 AM   #7
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Re: We skipped terrible twos but 3 is horrible!!

spanking will just teach her to hit more Our kids mimic everything we do so just keep that in mind. I don't know who came up with "the terrible 2s" BUT 3s and 4s are much harder. My dd1 is almost 4 and she has an attitude like a teenager. The only advice I can give you is try not to feed too much into the bad behavior. She's trying to get attention from you. The best thing you can do is redirect, let her have some say in the activities that you do and when all else fails, we do do time out but we always go in her room and talk to her about what is happening and what we expect from her. Good luck mama!
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:25 AM   #8
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Re: We skipped terrible twos but 3 is horrible!!

I agree 3's are much worse than 2's. DS turned 5 in January and I feel like things are looking up for him DD is almost 7 and the attitude she discovered at 5 is only getting worse I've heard it all from "you just want me to be miserable" to "you don't want me to live here anymore". It's ridiculous. I like the suggestion of reward vs. taking away. That is something that worked and still works for us.
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:47 PM   #9
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I don't know who decided the 2's were terrible. DD was an angel until she turned 3 and then I wondered if she and I would make it to 4. She's starting to do better now a few months after turning 4 and I am hoping the trend continues.
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:43 PM   #10
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Re: We skipped terrible twos but 3 is horrible!!

Yep I agree too. The two's were easy peasy compared to three. DS2 is just about three and I am starting to get a little scared. He is starting already.

I just try to be consisitant and keep calm. Time outs work pretty well for him. They did for DS1 too.
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