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Old 10-12-2006, 05:25 AM   #1
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Tell me about your three year old girl...

Lilly is almost three. She will be in November and I am having a pretty rough time with her. I am wondering if it is developmental and of course I am wondering if it is normal.

So, mostly emotionally what is your three year old like? Is it a rollercoaster of emotion? Is she attached to your hip constantly?

Those are just some things. She also want to help me with everything (kindda along the "attached to me" lines) including cooking (which I have always let her be involved in "stirring" the food on the stove (call me a bad mother if you will), but she isn't content with that anymore, she wants to do more and I am afraid she will hurt herself) and doing the dishes (she used to be content in playing in the bubbles, but now she wants to wash the dishes and she isn't old enough to get them clean. I wash over them and while I am doing so (and also while I am rinsing) she is putting more and more dishes in the water to be washed and has broke a couple things which is annoying and dangerous).

So, what can I have her do in which she can be RIGHT by my side, doing the same thing as I am and have it not be dangerous?
Or is it time to just "lock" her out of the kitchen an let Daddy have some time with her or God forbid (I don't want to use this) if Daddy isn't home use the television?

Also, she seems to have some OCD issues. She has had some issues since she was born and I am not sure they are normal. I hear they are, but sometimes she is really extreme. When she was a baby she had to be wrapped so tight in her blankie that we actually had to work hard at getting her in there tight enough. If we didn't she couldn't sleep.

Currently when I put her to bed it has to be a certain way. The nightlight and fan HAVE to be turned on BY her and then the light HAS to be turned off BY her. I have to be there until she falls asleep and I HAVE to take my glasses off before she goes to sleep. Oh, and she HAS to have her purple blankie (the same one we wrapped her in as a baby might I add) and her purple puppy. At meal time she HAS to have the blue plate, fork and spoon (blue is her favorite color and has been for about 9 months). To the point where I am seriously considering going out to look for more blue items such as plates, bowls and spoons. When we leave she HAS to have her blue coat (which is actually purple, but if we tell her that she screams "No, it's blue") and her blue shoes. When she dresses she has to pick out the outfits. If I pick them out she won't wear them.

So, I don't quite know if all these things are normal, but they sure are draining to me since it is me that she has to have all the time (I know the needing me and not dad is normal. My oldest did it too, plus I have been home with Lil since she was born (well, actually since 7 months pg)).

So, what is your 3 year old like?

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Old 10-12-2006, 08:58 AM   #2
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Re: Tell me about your three year old girl...

My oldest DD is 9 now so I hope you don't mind me responding. When she was three she also wanted to help with everything I was doing. If you have a double sink maybe you could get some plastic dishes that she can wash while you wash the other dishes? Or give her spoons and plastic cups to wash. That way she'd be beside you and "helping" without anything breaking. We basically took her out with us to pick things out (toy vacuum, broom, play food and cheap real pans so she could cook at her play kitchen while I cooked)

As far as the other issues, the only thing she HAD to have a certain way was her clothes. By the time she was three (actually a little before) she would check the tags on her clothes. AIf they didn't have a Baby Gap tag she'd refuse to put it on. I got so desperate that I took Gap tags from outgrown clothes and had MIL sew them on clothes that weren't really from Gap. Then one day I realized it was getting crazy and told her no more Gap clothes! It doesn't sound like your DD though. I'm not saure if that's a power struggle or something more serious. I hope things calm down for you soon though!
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Old 10-12-2006, 09:11 AM   #3
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Re: Tell me about your three year old girl...

It sounds pretty normal to me. My dd is 5 now, but I have to say, my experience with many 3 year olds, including her...it is by far the most challenging age. I think the problem is that at that age, they are stuck somewhere between babyhood and childhood and it is hard to reconcile it. They are still young and want mommy at all times, but at the same time they are feeling the pull to growing up. So they want to do "grown up" things. The "having" to have things a certain way, is just a way to control what they can, because right now everything feels sort of out of control. It really is a tough time for a kid and for mama. Hugs! I hope I made sense.
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:16 AM   #4
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Re: Tell me about your three year old girl...

Allison is about 3.5.

She is finally getting out of her temper tantrum stage and rarely throws one anymore. She has QUITE the temper too. Now we deal with asking the same question ad nauseam and asking for something over and over. She is also trying to talk back a little but that is getting her nowhere LOL

A is a very "A" type personality so she also needs things "just so". I am hoping as she gets older that she will be more flexible. She plays well by herself sometimes but always likes to have me nearby. That said, she LOVES it when Daddy or Gramma or an auntie takes just her out for something special. She seems to go through phases- one week she will be very kid- like, independent, well behaved. The next week she is clingy and fussy. Like the pp said she is trying to find the baby/ child thing out.

Your dd sounds very typical for this age. I have to say though I am thinking 3 is easier so far than 2 was. But then again when she was 2 Allison's tantrums were wicked.
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Old 10-12-2006, 07:12 PM   #5
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Re: Tell me about your three year old girl...

Well I dont have a daughter but DS will be 3 at the end of November and he is always everywhere that I am and when he is with my parents... Holy cow they cant do anything without him.

He hollers when you leave the room "mommy. mommy, mommy" or "mamaw, mamaw,mamaw"
He freaks when yo leave the room and dont tell him even to use the bathroom.
If papaw/daddy leaves... he stands at the door and cries.
Put something on his plate that he doesnt want, he cries and throws a fit. DOnt let him color right when he wants, he cries and throws a fit.

Fold laundry wothout him, he gets mad and pulls it out of the basket and redoes it how he wants it.

Hes not a "bratty" child he is just in a stage. He just hit it not long ago and its not an everyday thing. He has his good days and his bad days.

But one thing that he will not budge on... going to the potty. He refuses, its all just somehting that you have to let pass.
When DS is in a "mood" there is no making him happy even when you give him what he wants, sometimes we just have to let him sit and cry until he is done. It may sound cruel or whatever but we dont let him run around the house and throw fits when he is an a mood. He sits in his pooh couch in his room or on the couch in the living room and doesnt get up untilo he is done throwing his fit. When he is done then he can get up and play, if he starts again the he sits back down until he is done.

We have just learned to deal with it. We have also learned that when he wakes up grumpy and doesnt want anyone... that is when he is going to be a grump all day. But normally on those days he goes to bed early.
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Old 10-12-2006, 07:44 PM   #6
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Re: Tell me about your three year old girl...

My twins turned 3 on Sunday . . .





What you described sounds pretty normal to me; we keep insisting that we are the parents and we will make the rules around here. They don't believe us (yet), but they are definitely starting to catch on that there are consequences to our actions!

Mostly, they are FUN, FUN, FUN! Mine LOVE to "wash" the dishes - I just make sure the sharp knives are all out, and as soon as they start putting water on the countertops, they're done (it leaks into my towel drawer).

I try to let as much "slide" as I can, but when I've picked the battle, I make sure I win. Like, my one dd has been parading around the house for weeks in a sleeveless fluffy pink dress (in October! in New Hampshire!) with her favorite hideous green and brown frog socks from Grandpa that have a big hole in them. Unless we're going to church, I don't make an issue of it . . . same for their hair that they "fix" for each other.

One thing that has helped a LOT with clinginess (and I think with twins this is not nearly such an issue) is a chore chart - they get stickers for doing their chores, and when I explain that doing such-and-such is Mommy's chore, they let me do it myself. I let them "fold" their own socks, underwear, jeans, pajamas - who cares if it's a mess in the drawers? I do their nice dresses, and make sure their shirts are folded nicely.

It's usually great, but we definitely have our "off" days - hugs to you, and blessings of creativity!
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:53 PM   #7
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Re: Tell me about your three year old girl...

My dd turned 3 in July.

Ya know, I always hear/d people talk about the "terrible twos" all the time and we went through year 2 easy peasy. I always wondered (and still do!) what the heck everyone was so obsessed about with year 2. I didn't find it "terrible" at all. Now come to 3 and it's a whole different ballpark than 2. I don't like to use the word "terrible" at all though. It's just more difficult lately and it seemed to have happened shortly after her turning 3. She gets upset SO easily. She doesn't listen when I'm trying to explain things sometimes. She's extremely touchy. She gets mad if daddy doesn't cut her sandwich the way mommy does and instead of just ASKING, she starts crying and runs to her room...things like that. Now, we did have a new baby right before she turned 3 so we've all had to learn how to adjust with someone new in the family so I can understand some of her frustrations. She is Miss Indepenent. (Always has been) I think it's typical at this stage to test out the waters more, like when she's doing something she shouldn't. She wants to see how far she can go, so-to-speak. My brother is staying with us right now and he remembers his friend and her daughter when she was 3. His friend just wouldn't know what to do w/ her dd sometimes. But after she turned like 4 and 5 it all changed and now is like, SUCH a good little girl. Hehe. I totally think it's just the age. They're learning SO much and wanting to do so many things on their own and HOW they think do things, yk? I'm just trying to keep my cool, talk calmly to dd when she starts getting upset, and try to avoid anything negative as much as possible.
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Old 10-13-2006, 03:55 AM   #8
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Re: Tell me about your three year old girl...

Thanks everyone. I appriciate the advice very much.

I have got to announce that she slept all throught the night last night without waking up. That is the first time in probably a month or so, so I got a good nights sleep with no interruptions.
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Old 10-13-2006, 06:29 AM   #9
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Re: Tell me about your three year old girl...

Here I tell DH just pick your battle!! Decide if it is really a problem before butting heads. On one hand, remember you are the adult and the parent....

I usually give my DD choices, 2 outfits to choose from, cereal or oatmeal, etc. My 2 yo and 3 yo usually play pretty well together. My 3 yo does like to help. She "helps" fold the washclothes, her underwear, etc. She will put the silverware away from the dishwasher. She like to put stuff in the frig too.

And when things get too fustrating, I put in a DVD
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Old 10-13-2006, 07:05 AM   #10
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Re: Tell me about your three year old girl...

My dd is also 2.5 yrs old and has the exact same issues. When I read this, I thought maybe I posted it by mistake.

I have been told my dd is a "high-needs" child. Recently I have been implementing some of the Montessori teachings at home. While I was unable to get her into the Montessori preschool because it was wait-listed, she does go 2 mornings a week to a regular preschool. It seems to help her with the clingyness. It's almost like she appreciates me that day.

I let her help put away dishes from the diswasher, cook with me, and fold/put away clothes. She also vacuums with her corn popper while I use the real one. I have her pick up her own toys (with my help) when she's done playing. She also feeds the dog with my help. When something is dangerous, like knives or hot stove, I tell her she cannot do it and explain why. She seems to respect it if I explain it to her. The other day she told me to get the knives out of the dishwasher because they are too sharp and she doesn't want to get hurt. I was so happy to hear her say that...it proved she actually listens to my explanations. Also, we have a routine for kitchen activities. I made her a small apron and when she is going to help me do something, I announce it and put her apron on. So, when she doesn't have the apron on, she is not a helper. KWIM?

As far as the being particular and OCD tendencies-boy do we have them here! It goes with clothes, socks, and even who clears the table. She needs a specific blankie at night and she will only want certain drinks in certain colored cups. If she doesn't have the right spoon to eat with it can turn itno a meltdown!

My advice is what I always tell my dh: pick your battles wisely, because they will be big. He used to be so upset with every little thing, but he is realizing that he needs to choose now. Just be consistent with your dd.

My dd also wanted only mommy until about 3 months ago. Dh was so hurt. He was always trying to be her friend and play fun things and not tell her anything was wrong or discipline her at all. Finally, I convinced him that we needed to be consistant. He started being a parent instead of friend and thought that she wouldn't want anything to do with him. That is when she actually started respecting him and now she can't wait for him to come home everyday. She asks where he is every morning and is so happy on the weekends when he is home.
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