Monday, April 23, 2012

Why does no one warn you about the 3’s?

Perhaps it’s my failing memory, perhaps I was just ignorant and didn’t listen, but damned if I remember anyone telling me how tough the 3’s could be!

It’s the anger that gets me. Full on, unabated rage that bursts out the minute my son does not get his own way – so much so if he were a cartoon you’d see the metaphorical steam coming out of his ears. The deeply etched scowl on his face, complete with evil glare that he’ll toss my way without an ounce of regard for my authority. The instant dismissal of my instructions, or sudden absence of manners in public situations (like Friday’s Disney event) that not only leave me shaking with embarrassment but with fury.

This is not how I want my son to be. I’ve tried every form of discipline I can think of to combat it yet it without success. I don’t want to be the mum with the bratty, badly behaved child who refuses to listen. And right about now, I don’t really want to be anywhere in public with him.

Perhaps I am too tough on him and have too high expectations for a child his age. All I know is that somewhere along the way my happy boy morphed into a moody child. And that I am tired, oh so tired, of these antics. As the parent on the front line of bearing the brunt of them it is wearing very thin indeed.

Part of me is scared to ask for suggestions and solutions as there is a good chance they also come with a liberal sprinkling of criticism of my parenting skills. I’m sure some of the blame is to be laid at my feet as my parents will be the first to tell you I was a stroppy child and are probably quietly laughing at fact this cycle has come full circle. Karma's a bitch right?

But then there are moment's, like 2 minutes ago as I prepared to press publish, that give me some hope. "Mummy, you look beautiful, can I cuddle you?" came the request from the suddenly angelic child before me. Perhaps I am not doing it all entirely wrong... (or he is simply buttering me up - he's certainly perfected the art of sucking up when required!)

In any case please believe me when I say am doing the best job I know how. And that one day I hope I'll be ready to brave another public event with my son in tow...

Special thanks to Megan from Writing Out Loud who has inspired this post (you can read it here), who is going through a similar issue. And if any of the comments she has received on her post are anything to do go, its heartening to know at least I am not alone.


Yvette @ Delightfully Tacky said...

I am currently going through that!! My goodness where the anger or rage comes from I don't know!! We're also going through a terrible biting, pinching, hitting stage most of the biting is towards my younger son and then the hitting is us.. followed by raging screaming.. we've tried everything and nothing seems to help :( I don't know how to handle it! And I really want to toilet train, yet she screams and screams when we try and change her nappy let alone take it off!

SO I feel your pain and anguish.

Sidetracked said...

I'm hearing you. Seagull has morphed into a feral beast over the last couple of months. I had to have a meeting with the boys' childcare centre director the other week over a number of minor issues and the whole 3 year old rage/boundary pushing thing came up.

When I was growing up, my parents would smack me when I stepped out of line. Sure, I eventually learned to behave myself, but it has taken me a very long time to learn anger management. Thunder Maker is in the same boat. I mentioned to the director that I don't want to smack Seagull, but I feel powerless because I don't know any other way of pulling him into line. She suggested sitting him on a "time out" chair for 3 minutes when he starts pushing boundaries/gets his rage on.

Seagull learned very quickly that if he does his time and stays quiet, that it's all over quickly and is a lot nicer afterward. I find that it gives us both time to settle down without the situation escalating. Seagull also behaves a lot better in public now because I took him home from the park the other week when we had only been there for 15 minutes. He wouldn't stop doing something when Thunder Maker asked him, and he refused to have his "time out" on the park bench.

Fox in the City said...

I believe the saying goes "Terrible Twos, Trying Threes and F*cking Fours".

I have no doubt that you are doing your very best and please don't stress about that. He is three and with that comes boundaries that must be tested, lines that must be crossed and of course, the world revolves around them and so why they hell won't we just give them what they demand! Sigh.

It does get better. Right now I can reason with my 4 year old and most of the time she is willing to work with me.

Ai Sakura said...

My girl butters me up at the right time too! Always a "I love you mummy" & doe eyes when she knows I'm upset with her... *sigh*

Ai @ Sakura Haruka

Jess@Diary of a SAHM said...

Three can definitely be so much worse than two.
Luckily my little mate hasn't been too bad, but I have concerns for miss 21months, who can throw a ripper tantrum already!

Jess@Diary of a SAHM said...

Three can definitely be so much worse than two.
Luckily my little mate hasn't been too bad, but I have concerns for miss 21months, who can throw a ripper tantrum already!

Mel B (Honey You Baked) said...

Three is alternately evil (tantrums/biting/pushing/mood swings/yelling and whingeing, oh the whingeing), but there are those fleeting beautiful moments or the moments of pure comic timing...
I'm so hoping that 4 is better though because Master 1 is already throwing cracking tantrums and I don't think I could deal with him as a two year old and her as a four-going-on-sixteen year old at the same time!

Michelle @ Raising Will said...

Don't tell me this!!!!! I'm already dealing with it at 2, don't tell me it gets WORSE.....

*mopes off to pour a LARGE glass of wine*
*well I would if I wasn't pregnant*