08 September 2008

Heaven Help Me

If I have to answer another "Why Mom?" question when I tell Boogers to do something heads will roll. I swear I'm ready to sell her to the highest bidder on Craigslist.com sometimes. Everything is a battle. Everything I ask her to do she either says, "Why Mom?" or "I don't have to do that. I'm in charge of myself."

Um, excuse me?

I feel like we are fighting all the time. She's always bargaining with me. It's always her terms. Sometimes I let her win the little battles but it doesn't seem to help me at all at winning the war. She has learned the nasty art of talking back and it is driving me nuts. I often think these extremely headstrong and determined personality traits will help her to be a successful adult but boy are they hard to deal with in a 3 year old.

T minus 90 minutes until bedtime...

Any ideas?

18 comments:

Leslie said...

I don't know what to tell you except...this sounds exactly like my little girl when she was three. I never understood why they called it the terrible twos (I have since learned - now having a 2 year old BOY) - I thought they should have called it the Tumultuous Threes!

Not that it gets much easier when they get older. I think girl = drama!

Melissa said...

I have to agree with Leslie... my kids were all pretty good at age two... age three was pretty traumatic for everyone involved!
The only thing that ever worked for me was being consistent. I noticed that when I let my kids get away with something one day, and then not the next, they threw more tantrums. It was confusing to them... also, routines seem to help. And, get yourself a big roll of duct tape ;)

flip flop mama said...

Duct tape, I'm on it! LOL

shay said...

My kids were all different. My Izzie was a pain in the rear from like 15 months until she turned three. Now she's the sweetest, most loving, yummy girl. I LOVE THREE. But four is a different story--that's when Lex grew some wings and decided to be extra independent and extra testy. I agree...consistency for sure. Rachel's just testing her parameters right now hoping she can get away with some 'lip!' Probably something she learned at preschool. Put her cute face in your hands and tell her you love her and set her straight (tell her who is really the boss) and she'll chill. I find that as I am more tender with them and more loving, they chill with the testy stuff. At least that's what works with Lexie.

Cheryl said...

Dude. Don't put up with sass. When my girls sass me, the conversation stops immediately. They know they can NEVER talk to their parents that way. Even when they were three. Especially when they were three! I hate three. Anyway, my boys are the same (well, #4 isn't quite old enough yet) and there are no free passes when it comes to mouthing off to the parents.

Melissa is spot on. Be consistent. If you give in one day, then they will throw a fit until they get again the next day. And the next. And the mouthing off and sassy talk will get worse and worse. Why? Because they can get away with it.

One thing I do is this: "When you can ask me in a nice way, we can talk about this again." or other variations. The point is to teach them communication that shows respect for everyone. Sometimes, they will get their "way" but it was because there was a civilized discussion and certain parameters were being met, and definitely NOT because they were being sassy. Just set the rules: Kids who whine, sass, yell, or ignore do not get privileges.

P.S. Leslie: I call it the Unreasonable Three's. Who can reason with a three year old? Yeah, I guess that makes all of my comment pretty moot, eh? Sorry. :)

Janelle said...

Sometimes I would have to do a behavior modification week with my oldest where I was vigilant about every time out I threatened or toy time outs or other consequences we discussed. I also teamed that up with a sticker chart that rewarded good behavior and 10 stickers equaled a prize. So my husband and I would hunker down and be consistent on both punishment and reward. It always worked!

flip flop mama said...

Cheryl, I don't put up with it. She is spending lots of time in time outs and I am consistent. If she talks that way to me I ignore her or send her to her room or some kind of discipline like taking away her blankets or things she loves. Oh I assure you she is NOT getting away with it, and that is what is the most frustrating is that it's not sinking in! She is not stopping her behavior. We have TONS of discussions about being sassy and talking back and how she needs to act in certain situations and she is just not getting it! I assure you I am no pushover.

flip flop mama said...

Janelle, I think I need some kind of reward system. She does really well when she has something to look forward to. A few of my friends have done Accountable Kids so I thought I'd look into it. Did you make your own chart or did you buy one?

The Price Family said...

I want to laugh but all I can think of is this will be me in two year. Even though Elizabeth is only 8 months she already has major attitude and often Jesse asks if she and I are going to fight when she is older. Oh the joys of mother daughter relationships.

bythelbs said...

Ha! I have one of these! Just the other day she said to me, "You're not the boss of me" To which I replied, "If ever there was a boss of you, it's me!" Sigh.

For my particular child, she is always better behaved when I spend more time with her.

Maile Fano said...

All I can say is that I need some advice about that one too. Even my mom says that children are coming out more stubborn and hard headed these days. She thinks it is because they are needed to be that way for these last days.

S'mee said...

This worked for me:

http://fixingtheparenttrap.blogspot.com/

It reworked *me* first, then the kids. One heck of a week, but once *I* was trained, so were they and life was SO MUCH EASIER.

madhousewife said...

Three year olds are pretty much suckheads. You just can't take it personally.

That's the best advice I ever got, so I thought I'd pass it on. :)

Shelley said...

I'm not a mama yet, but I'm a VERY seasoned Auntie. Boogers is testing you. Simple as that. She's smart, no doubt about that. She's trying to see how much she can get away with. If you keep giving in, she'll think that's the norm, and when you eventually want to bring down the chopping block, it'll be near impossible. I agree with Melissa too, you need to be consistent. Make your rules now, stick to your guns, and do NOT back down. (Children can smell fear and weakness!)

Like Jo Frost says "That is not acceptable behavior" tell her "Because I said so" and tell her that You are her mother, and YOU are in charge of the rules until she is old enough to decide the consequences for herself. (Probably not till she's like 10... so you've got time on that one). She just needs to realize that you love her, and you WILL make wise decisions for her, BECAUSE you love her.

Hope that makes sense. :) Good Luck!

Jen said...

I have heard that the threes are much worse than the twos. I think for Megan they're shaping up to be that way for us. I think you are doing a good job if you are following through with the "time-outs" and all. Have you ever read the Love and Logic series by Jim Faye? When I first started teaching that book was a bible to me. It evenutally got to where it just became a way of who I am. It works good on Meg too. Remember this will pass, well until she's 13 and then I have a feeling the same thing will happen then.

kjehansen said...

I feel for you! I don't know if there is any advice I could give you. We struggled with three a lot! Accountable kids did help a ton (not so much now, but then).

Carrie said...

I'm sorry!! Motherhood can be really challenging. I am seeing my Bruce grow up and change as he has been in public school for 2 years. I think you are a great mom!

Emily said...

OK,I am getting scared. 4 days of this. . .It should be fun. See you soon.