Thursday, July 22, 2010

Guess Who is Almost 3...

That's right, K is almost 3. You don't need to remind me, she's doing that all by herself. No, it's not that she will come up to me and remind me it's almost her birthday - more like her attitude has changed into that of a "3 yr old". Most of you with kids will understand what I mean, if you have never had children, basically you hear about the terrible two's all the time but what they don't tell you about is the 3's! Let me give you some examples of what I'm dealing with:

If I ask her to do something that she doesn't want to do (like nap time or eating), I get a combination of responses like: "Mommy, I want to tell you something", "Mommy, I forgot something.", "I'm cold" (this last one I'm not sure where she got it from, but it's an excuse to get her blanket and get out of whatever she's supposed to do). Actually, all of these are excuses to delay or get out of what she's been asked to do - as innocent as they sound! I try to be patient, but I get tired of her 'excuses' and that she is just plain not listening to me and then end up raising my voice to get my point across and she shuts down (gets all sulky, curls up, cries, has hurt feelings - she is very sensitive that way). I am open to any ideas on disciplining a sensitive yet stubborn child!!

My two biggest battles these days are meal times and nap time. Meal times, it can be tough getting her to even try her food (that has always been a big thing for me, is that my kids HAVE to at least TRY the food). Also she has started refusing to eat, (even some of her past favorite foods!) and when I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere, she want's me to FEED her (I don't think so!!). I have been putting the food on her fork/spoon for her, it seems like a compromise and helps her eat. Today for example, it took K an hour to eat supper (it took TJ 15 - 20 minutes). It is very tiring for me since it is like we are moving backwards!

Nap time, well I realize that she is getting older and may need less sleep but on days where she does not have a nap she gets super cranky by around supper time (which then lends to an even more difficult meal time!!). It's been tough because the hardest thing is getting her to use the bathroom before naptime (probably because she knows that after that it's off to bed, so she figures if she stalls that she can stall nap time). She doesn't want to wear a pull-up but she also doesn't want to use the bathroom before nap time (that is required if she wants to go to bed without a pull-up on!). So it's her will against mine! Even on the days that I do get her to bed, 50% of the time she doesn't sleep (at least it's quiet time though!!).

My hope is that between me and my daughter, we can get things figured out before baby is born! So I am definately open to ideas in figuring out what might work better for me and my girl :)


Andrea said...

We just had a whole year of this with Tate! Not to discourage you! hehe. :) Actually, it wasn't a WHOLE year, it just felt like forever. I have to say though, that consistency and persistence pays off. Because in the last few months he has changed a LOT - like he listens to us WAY better, he naps WAY more often (even though he was napping only 50% of the time before, like K is doing now), and his whole attitude has changed. One thing that did work for us though was not even giving them a warning before they get the discipline. (as long as they KNOW that what they are doing is something that they're not supposed to be doing) Sooo, for example, Tate knows that when I say it is time to eat supper, he cannot keep playing and playing and playing...he needs to go wash his hands and come to the table. But if he doesn't listen, he just automatically gets whatever toy he is playing with taken away until the next day. And whole eating thing. Tate did that too - wanting us to feed him or else not wanting to eat. It only took a few days of setting the timer during meal time and when the timer beeped, his supper was gone. And it was put in the fridge for the next day, when he would have that meal again. Also, he never get dessert unless he's finished his supper first - and that is a big motivator for him to eat. :) Anyways, good luck. I know what it's like...and I have it coming with Emily again soon!!

Ellen said...

No don't worry about discouraging me, I felt like I've dealt with this type of thing on and off with TJ from age 2 until age 4.. in this last year I have been noticing big changes with him. The thing is that the issues with him were never really nap or meal time. Also with K, she is a lot more sensitive that as soon as I get stern with her she tends to shut down. With TJ that was never an issue. It's so different with each child, so finding what is effective is the challenge!

Goofball said...

from what I see from my 3 5-year old nephews and gets better after 4 years old :p

In Belgium kids go to school from the age of 3 so napping is usually not done anymore at that age (yes and the kids are exhausted in the evening (and whiney) as a result).

Jen at SoulFULL Cafe said...

Thanks for sharing this Ellen. I think many moms can relate. I know Joshua was a little angle when he was 2, and I thought "what's all this fuss about the terrible twos?" But now that he is three, he is really asserting his independence! I am thankful for some books that I have read and would like to recommend them.

My Child Won't Eat by Carlos Gonzalez. This book is wonderful at alleviating the unnecessary stress that parents have regarding their child's eating habits.

Kids are Worth It! by Barbara Coloroso. I have this book but I really benefited from a few courses I took based on her material. She asks some really great questions that we are parents can ask ourselves before we intervene with our child's decisions to assert themselves.

Bless you today!