Monday, August 12, 2013

Sometimes it is so very very hard to be three

I am raising a three year old. A son. He is loving and gentle and sweet.

But he's also dominate, strong and aggressive.

He had a rough go of it right around when he turned three, and it seems like we are in a rough patch again.

When it's just us, just the family he's great. Better than great. But he doesn't feel threatened. He's the bigger brother and he's amazing with his baby sister.

But playdates have been awful. Horrific. And it really sucks. He's a bully.

Today was especially bad. We drove across town to see a friend James has had since he was 16 months. And he was terrible. I apologized to my friend and took him home screaming, ending the playdate after only twenty minutes.

When we got home he went right into his bedroom for timeout.

And I found him fast asleep twenty minutes later.

It gets easier right? Please say it does. Because friends don't want to play when you hit and shove and yell. I wouldn't.


  1. It doesn't get better; it get's . . . different.

    Addison was the sweetest 2 year old there ever was and we adored her for it. Almost the instant she turned 3 she became a nightmare. She's five now and she's better than she was at 3 but that sweet little two year old is gone forever.

    It's tough at this age because they're just starting to sort out their own emotions and learning to control them. Since emotions are going to be a part of them from now on, there's no going back to how they were before. You just have to teach them how to control them and do your very best not to sell them to gypsies.

    As I sometimes tell people, one day our children will grown up and have kids of their own . . . and suddenly realize how close they came to death at times.

  2. Oh my goodness, I can totally relate right now! My little Kade just turned 3 in July and has had this same bout of aggressiveness. He started biting (gasp!), throwing fits and being just plain defiant.
    I've found the only thing I can do is to be patient with him. I've also found that if I give him a lot of notice before events like playdates or family dinners and then (maybe over the top) congratulating him when he does well.
    Good luck, Mama! I've been told it gets better... I'll be crossing my fingers with you!

  3. Oh, I'm so sorry. Jones went through a phase where he'd walk up to anyone smaller than him and just push them over. It was really embarrassing, and I basically had to be a helicopter mom when we had play dates. With both Ella and jones, I find that I have to make a quick apology "like uh-oh, Jonesy, please say sorry" and then I remove him. Not to scold him, but to move on to something else. I try not to do anything that is going to escalate the situation (leading to all-out tantrum), but also not acknowledge the behavior enough to cause them to do it again. To get a reaction from ME. They say that even negative attention is attention, and it doesn't matter to a kid whether he's in trouble or not. I think you are super smart to have left. With our kids, we try not to give warnings, we just remove whatever is causing the problem. Whether it's a toy, or removing them. The consequence is immediate. You showed James that you meant business when you said you were going to leave, and next time you say it, he will know you mean it. Nice work, mama. (Most of the time now, I make the move to leave and it's enough to have them snap out of it.) I think it's empowering for kids to know you will do what you say. Whether it's fun or not :)

  4. Connie8:56 PM

    It does get better, then they'll have another bout of the naughties! He is just being a normal kid, and you did the right thing to impress upon him that he needs to make some better choices. That's why there are parents--if kids knew everything before they got here, they wouldn't need us.(Then there are the parents who let their kids do anything they want and those kids never learn anything and are horrid brats!)Ask your hubby---I was always in the running for "The Meanest Mom Of the Year Award" according to my kids, but they all turned out just fine because of it!

  5. Yeah, you were meanest mom of the year to your kids . . . but you were also the mom the rest of us wanted! lol


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