What do you do with a child when you’ve tried everything you can think of and they still misbehave? We’ve been having a horrible time with Zach lately and nothing I do seems to help. He always seems to be testing to see just how far we’ll let him go and then pushes a little farther.
The hard part is that he can go from an angelic child, laughing and playing one second to a smart-mouthed little monster the next. He’s generally fine until we ask him to do something or tell him “no” for some reason. Then we hit total meltdown mode.
We’ve tried just gently talking to him, time outs, grounding him from TV, taking toys away, and even spanking (which I hate to do) and nothing seems to work. I just don’t know what to do with him anymore.
Every little task is a struggle. Something as simple as asking him to take a bath or brush his teeth is a major struggle. Getting him to go to bed can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, sometimes more. Even just getting him out of the car to go to daycare in the mornings becomes a fight. I hate it. I end up having to leave with him crying and it breaks my heart.
Last weekend during Evie’s birthday party he started screaming and throwing a tantrum while we sang Happy Birthday to his sister because we started before he was ready. I’m sure here was some jealousy going on, but it is always like that. Eveything always has to be his way.
He’s 3 years old and wants to control everything. I know this. He’s pushing the boundaries and trying to figure out how the world works. But how do I teach him to have more respect for adults and not argue back? How do I teach him to follow directions without having a total meltdown? And how do I do all of this while keeping my sanity?
I need Supernanny!
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You won’t keep your sanity. To be blunt, you will lose your shit several times. But, repetition is the key. Pick your battles. I remember thinking we wouldn’t make it to 3, then 4. It will get better. I dreaded brushing teeth, taking allergy meds, asking her to pick up…everything was a fight. Add in a teenager to the mix and I’m ready to lose my mind some days. But, at almost 5, I can honestly say she gets it. She’s polite to other people and only has the very occasional meltdown. Usually, when I’m having an exceptionally bad day, I think what she was like a year ago. Are things better now? Of course. It gives me enough motivation to get through that day.
And now, I start over with this baby. But knowing what I know now, they do come out ok on the other side.
I have a little guy that has been diffiult from the start– now that he is 4 1/2 he finally seems to be more mature and in control. Hang in there- it will get better!!
@April – So you’re saying I have another year of this to get through? I’m definitely working on the whole “pick your battles” thing. Now if I could only convince his dad to do the same! The scary part is knowing that Evie will be moving into this stage probably before Zach gets out of it. I need some chocolate!
@Smalltowngirl – It is good to know that there will be an end…eventually! 4 1/2 is only 9 months away…
A phrase my mother in law uses is “little kids, little problems; big kids, big problems.” It is SO true. Trust me, I’d rather deal with a meltdown over me not fixing her milk in the exact cup she wanted than deal with some of the stuff my teen throws at me. It gets better in ways, and worse in others. It’s all in the age and phase they’re in. But I figure as long as we’re doing the best we can, and we’re obviously conscious of what we’re doing, then they’ll turn out to be great kids and eventually adults. Right??
And there is a reason there will be 5 years between these 2 kids. LOL! I just knew I personally couldn’t handle less of an age difference.
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