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3 yo and crying all.the.time. - Am I expecting too much? WWYD?


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My youngest just turned 3 this past week. He is a very passionate child and very emotive. He is either 110% happy or 110% ticked off. ;) He is very animated and a little "drama king"! Full of life and full of personality.

 

We have gotten to a place where he cries all.the.time. I am talking at least 30 times a day. Anytime he doesn't get his way he is crying. If I don't meet his need (perceived or real) the very second he mentions it, he is crying and often screaming.

 

There are a lot of reasons we've gotten to this point. He is the youngest of 3. His oldest brother has Asperger's Syndrome and ADHD. He requires a lot of attention, especially during homeschooling. I need to be right by his side for him to stay on task. Unfortunately I think I have been way too focused on big brother and ds3 has learned to get his way by demanding his needs be met by screaming.

 

Also, ds8 is a classic Aspie in that things have to be his way. He gives very little grace and very often infuriates his little brother by demanding that things be done to an exact specification. Typically ds8 doesn't even realize what he's done to tick ds3 off. Just in his black and white mindset, little brother wasn't following the rules. There is no accounting in his mind for the fact that he is just a little guy learning the rules and needs guidance. Hindsight is 20/20 and I wish I would have done some things differently for sure.

 

Also if he doesn't want to follow a request I have made, the crying starts. I asked him to pick up his cars (about 10 of them) and put them in the car bucket. The crying and wailing started. "No Mom. I want you do it!" I don't give in. I make him do it every single time. Yet he hasn't seemed to clue into that. I read an article recently (can't remember source) but this particular mom mentioned that she felt that by the age of 1 you missed the boat if you were not established as the (loving) authority and obedience taught. I surely missed the boat on that one.

 

So here I am. I have decided that I will not (honestly cannot - the mood in our home is really getting to me with all the screaming and crying) tolerate the crying anymore. I have a plan and would love some feedback from others who may have had a similar experience. Starting yesterday every time he cries I ask him to stop and make his request his "big boy voice"(he knows that this means no crying or screaming). If the crying doesn't stop right away, I put him in my room and lay him on my bed. I tell him he can come out when he is ready to be done crying and has a happy heart.

 

Right now we are in the "it gets worse before it gets better" stage. He is really testing to see if I mean what I say. He sat on my bed no less than 20 times yesterday and already 4 times this morning. He sits anywhere from 3-10 minutes and then he will walk out of my room calm and happy.

 

I would love some feedback from others. Am I expecting too much? Any other ideas. Feedback?

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I have a four year old that is also higly emotive - big anger, big love. Definitely a drama king, and he's been like this since birth.

 

First, I would say cut yourself some slack. Little people have big personalities, and it's not always Mama's fault! We always do the best based on where we are and what we know, and we can't expect more from ourselves than that!

 

If the time out in the room is working for you, then I think that's a reasonable approach. The one thing I would say is that you might use caution in how you present this to him, so that he doesn't think he has to swallow his emotions all the time. Crying is a valuable form of release, and he should feel free to do that if he needs to. It might actually be preferable to some alternatives he could come up with!! So maybe the issue doesn't have to be the crying, but more the disruption to everyone else that comes with it. Also, if he feels that going off on his own to release is a pleasant thing rather than a punishment, he might be more inclined to start removing himself automatically as he feels the need.

 

Best of luck to you!

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Goodness, I don't think you've ruined your child because you didn't teach him perfect obedience by the age of 12 months. I say forget that article, don't beat yourself up, and start where you are.

 

I think your plan sounds fine. My younger daughter did something similar, and I would put her on my bed, and eventually she got it. It took her quite a while to really stop, since she was only little. (She was interesting because once she fell apart, it took her a long time to calm down. I would put her on my bed, let her throw a tantrum for a while, and then go in and help her calm down. She couldn't seem to manage it by herself for a while there, but she also needed some time to blow off steam or something.)

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Jennifer, anyone that thinks you can teach full obedience to an infant is screwy. You might lay some foundation, but....And you most certainly haven't missed the boat simply because your kid is 3. He is very "fixable."

 

I think your plan is fine. I would drop the "happy heart" bit just because there is NOTHING wrong with being unhappy about something. It's being inappropriate (screaming, crying, being manipulative) that is wrong. I am glad you are giving HIM control. Just like adults, he's taking the time he needs to get himself together.

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FWIW. I think that your idea is right on target. It is not punitive, it is simply allowing the child to develop and value his own self-control. It sounds to me as if it is working already! I would guess that his time in your room will get briefer and briefer as you are consistent. Good job, mom!!

 

Kim

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... ds3 has learned to get his way by demanding his needs be met by screaming.

 

You can un-train that. With your full attention - a few days. With everything on your plate, in a weeks you'll see huge improvement. You are a great mom - you can do it. Already you see the issue - and defining it is making it half solved! :)

 

Hindsight is 20/20 and I wish I would have done some things differently for sure.

God gives us grace - so cut yourself some slack. Is this your 5th time through raising little boys with varying issues? 3rd time? Oh, no. It's your first time - so give yourself a break. Take a deep breath - and make today the first day of the do-over! :)

 

 

Also if he doesn't want to follow a request I have made, the crying starts. I asked him to pick up his cars (about 10 of them) and put them in the car bucket. The crying and wailing started. "No Mom. I want you do it!" I don't give in. I make him do it every single time. Yet he hasn't seemed to clue into that.

Stay on him and win every single battle you chose. Outlast him. You can do it. For us, I don't allow whining and talking back. But pick your battles - do you want the toys picked up first or a pleasant attitude. Pick one - training it fully, then attack the other. If you ask him to pick up toys and he whines - discipline the whining, every time. It won't take long. :) WIN - you are the mom!! :)

 

 

 

I read an article recently (can't remember source) but this particular mom mentioned that she felt that by the age of 1 you missed the boat if you were not established as the (loving) authority and obedience taught. I surely missed the boat on that one.

Take another boat. It'll be fine. Just start today, and when you have a miserable day, start over the next day. :)

 

 

If the crying doesn't stop right away, I put him in my room and lay him on my bed. I tell him he can come out when he is ready to be done crying and has a happy heart.

I would keep him near you - in the corner (facing the corner worked really well for my boy - it cut out all distractions and we could get to the heart issue faster), on the rug next to you, etc.. I don't like the "go to your room" thing because it's too easy for attitudes and anger to grow and for us as parents to just send the problem to another room. If he's near you - you'll deal with it more consistently and faster (or it'll drive you nuts, LOL!!).

 

If the crying doesn't stop right away, I put him in my room and lay him on my bed. I tell him he can come out when he is ready to be done crying and has a happy heart. Right now we are in the "it gets worse before it gets better" stage. He is really testing to see if I mean what I say. He sat on my bed no less than 20 times yesterday and already 4 times this morning. He sits anywhere from 3-10 minutes and then he will walk out of my room calm and happy.

Hang in there. THREE DAYS. That's what I always tell myself (and we call it Character Boot Camp when we focus hugely on retraining one specific issue, LOL!). Day one - horrid. Day two - can be better or more horrid depending on the kid. This is the day I always want to quit. Day three - much, much improved. HANG IN THERE!! A pleasant home and a kid who communicates without whining are SO worth it!!! You can do it!!!

 

Keep him close. Win every time. LOTS and LOTS of love when he does it right. LOTS. And lots of cuddles and love throughout the day - especially if you're in Boot Camp mode. You can do it!!!!!!!!!!

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I have an emotional child ( 9yo) too (not as bad as your son) but I feel your pain. I don't have the energy to stick to my guns at times. The only thing I have found to work is a ton of praise and attention when I can give it. Nothing else motivates - nothing.

 

Thanks for this reminder. I need to balance this approach with praise every single time he does the right thing. I think he has figured out ways to get attention in negative ways and that pattern is set. I need to show him that he can get attention in positive ways, too and reset his patterns! :)

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Jennifer, anyone that thinks you can teach full obedience to an infant is screwy. You might lay some foundation, but....And you most certainly haven't missed the boat simply because your kid is 3. He is very "fixable."

 

I think your plan is fine. I would drop the "happy heart" bit just because there is NOTHING wrong with being unhappy about something. It's being inappropriate (screaming, crying, being manipulative) that is wrong. I am glad you are giving HIM control. Just like adults, he's taking the time he needs to get himself together.

 

The part I put in bold really stuck out to me. You are right. I think his personality lends itself to big emotions. He is a larger than life kind of kid anyway! Life will always give us things we don't like. We must train ourselves (or be trained by mom in my situation) to handle it appropriately. Thank you!

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Just to clarify - you've said you feel like you give your 3 year old not enough attention because you've been focusing on your 8 year old, which you feel led to these behavioral problems, and your proposed solution is to put him alone in an empty room, where you tell him he can come out when he's solved his own problem and is happy?

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My 2 year old has a difficult personality.....to say the least. I have never had a child that behaves like she does. I can't tell you how many people tell me that I need to hit her every time she does not submit and continue until she does. I just can't believe that it would be good for any of us in the long run to treat her that way.

 

She is so dramatic that when I forced her into her car seat because she would not get in, she screamed for an hour, "I WANT to get hit by a car! Let me out on the road, right now! I don't have any sisters. I don't have a brother or a mother or a father. They all burned up in a big fire. It's just me alone. My dog died. My goats died...even my best friend the copperhead died." She works herself up into such a frenzy.

 

Here is what we are doing which is VERY slowly showing results. First, we are addressing food and sleep issues. After the car seat fit, she ate a whole subway sandwich with her eyes closed, then fell asleep in the chair. We have to pay more attention to her schedule to make sure that she does not get depleted like that as often. It is hard because we often let the whole family get on our teenager's schedule.

 

The other really big thing that I see is modeling good behavior. It is not enough to make your 3 year old control his behavior, if he doesn't see all of the other family members controlling their behavior too.

 

For example, last night, I told my 10 year old to get in the bathtub with my 2 year old while I helped my 14 year old do her chores. I went outside to start, and no one came out to help me. My 14 year old had asked the 2 year old if she wanted to help with chores instead. Then, of course, she was no longer interested in the bath. My 10 year old started yelling about "but Mom said..." My 14 year old told her to shut up repeatedly. They all came out crying.

 

I know that my 14 year old has problems being flexible. She really thought she was completely justified, but I could NOT let my 2 year old see her getting away with breaking the rules. She looks up to her older siblings, although she won't admit it, and I really believe that since they are obedient and well-behaved 95% of the time, she will eventually decide that she wants to be that way too.

 

It takes a lot of trust and faith to believe that controlling her environment and setting a good example will eventually make a difference, but I can slowly see her tantrums getting very slightly less common.

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FWIW. I think that your idea is right on target. It is not punitive, it is simply allowing the child to develop and value his own self-control. It sounds to me as if it is working already! I would guess that his time in your room will get briefer and briefer as you are consistent. Good job, mom!!

 

Kim

 

:iagree::iagree:

 

:grouphug:

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Jennifer, anyone that thinks you can teach full obedience to an infant is screwy.

 

:iagree::iagree: How can you teach perfect, or even near perfect obedience to a person who doesn't have a proper command of language yet? I think that was written by someone who's child had not yet turned two. My daughter was quite obedient until 18 months of age too. Now? Well, she's two. The "quite" of the previous sentence has become "on occasion."

 

At our first playgroup, the mums used to say "It's ok, he/she is just learning" to any dobbing from the big three year olds and eventually the three year olds started using it as a defence phrase whenever their younger sibling did something they thought might get them into trouble. "Mum, X just spilled his drink everywhere! But it's ok because he's just learning." (So you don't have to tell him off.) Could that become a rule for your older son to follow?

 

Rosie

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My 2 year old has a difficult personality.....to say the least. I have never had a child that behaves like she does. I can't tell you how many people tell me that I need to hit her every time she does not submit and continue until she does. I just can't believe that it would be good for any of us in the long run to treat her that way.

 

Yes, I have had this experience with others on the outside looking in and completely agree with you.

 

She is so dramatic that when I forced her into her car seat because she would not get in, she screamed for an hour, "I WANT to get hit by a car! Let me out on the road, right now! I don't have any sisters. I don't have a brother or a mother or a father. They all burned up in a big fire. It's just me alone. My dog died. My goats died...even my best friend the copperhead died." She works herself up into such a frenzy.

 

:lol::lol::lol: I can sooooo relate!

 

Here is what we are doing which is VERY slowly showing results. First, we are addressing food and sleep issues. After the car seat fit, she ate a whole subway sandwich with her eyes closed, then fell asleep in the chair. We have to pay more attention to her schedule to make sure that she does not get depleted like that as often. It is hard because we often let the whole family get on our teenager's schedule.

 

Yep, you are right about this too. Another great reminder. I have noticed with him that he really needs to eat every 2-3 hours. A little protein and limited carbs goes a very long way helping control his mood swings.

 

The other really big thing that I see is modeling good behavior. It is not enough to make your 3 year old control his behavior, if he doesn't see all of the other family members controlling their behavior too.

 

Ouch! This hits close to home. Yep, we are really, really trying to help ds8 with his tantrums and meltdowns. That is part of what makes this so difficult. Ds3 looks up to Ds8 so very much and Ds8 is not an appropriate role model so much of the time. We are not at a point where I can explain that to him unfortunately. I am having to teach my 2 youngers ones that just because big brother reacts a certain way, they don't have to. Very difficult for sure.

 

Thanks for all the ideas. It helps to know that I am not in this boat alone. Others who have very compliant children just can't understand.

Edited by Jennefer@SSA
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You can un-train that. With your full attention - a few days. With everything on your plate, in a weeks you'll see huge improvement. You are a great mom - you can do it. Already you see the issue - and defining it is making it half solved! :)

 

 

God gives us grace - so cut yourself some slack. Is this your 5th time through raising little boys with varying issues? 3rd time? Oh, no. It's your first time - so give yourself a break. Take a deep breath - and make today the first day of the do-over! :)

 

 

 

Stay on him and win every single battle you chose. Outlast him. You can do it. For us, I don't allow whining and talking back. But pick your battles - do you want the toys picked up first or a pleasant attitude. Pick one - training it fully, then attack the other. If you ask him to pick up toys and he whines - discipline the whining, every time. It won't take long. :) WIN - you are the mom!! :)

 

 

 

 

Take another boat. It'll be fine. Just start today, and when you have a miserable day, start over the next day. :)

 

 

 

I would keep him near you - in the corner (facing the corner worked really well for my boy - it cut out all distractions and we could get to the heart issue faster), on the rug next to you, etc.. I don't like the "go to your room" thing because it's too easy for attitudes and anger to grow and for us as parents to just send the problem to another room. If he's near you - you'll deal with it more consistently and faster (or it'll drive you nuts, LOL!!).

 

 

Hang in there. THREE DAYS. That's what I always tell myself (and we call it Character Boot Camp when we focus hugely on retraining one specific issue, LOL!). Day one - horrid. Day two - can be better or more horrid depending on the kid. This is the day I always want to quit. Day three - much, much improved. HANG IN THERE!! A pleasant home and a kid who communicates without whining are SO worth it!!! You can do it!!!

 

Keep him close. Win every time. LOTS and LOTS of love when he does it right. LOTS. And lots of cuddles and love throughout the day - especially if you're in Boot Camp mode. You can do it!!!!!!!!!!

 

Thank you for all the encouragement. I wish I could hide you in my pocket to cheer me on throughout the day! :D

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I wanted to add one more thing. Focusing on sleep and nutritional issues also does wonders for my 14 year old who is on the Autism spectrum.

 

I doubt that she would have had that argument last night if she hadn't have been up too late several nights in a row. She also ran out of her high quality liquid vitamins. She had been taking vitamin pills, but the coating on them seems to keep her body from being able to absorb the nutrients. Her liquid vitamins are in the mail, and I have a new resolve to get everyone back on track going to bed earlier.

 

I just wanted to encourage you. Routines and predictable schedules seem to be very comforting to both toddlers and people with Autism. It is hard for me to accomplish, and I'm constantly backsliding, but I'm convinced that my effort will really help both kids control their behavior.

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One approach which really helped with the "picking up toys" issue at my house was a "teamwork" approach. Whether you have a sibling help or do it yourself, the job will get done ten times as quickly if you have little 3yo work alongside another worker. He's really pretty young to learn independent work skills, IMO. Then you can expect him to help you or the sibling with another chore which is not generally expected of him, such as sort the silverware or fold washcloths. I agree with the PP who suggested trying to build a positive atmosphere and give lots of love and affirmation. When I keep things light and happy, our house stays much more welcoming to us all.

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My youngest just turned 3 this past week. He is a very passionate child and very emotive. He is either 110% happy or 110% ticked off. ;) He is very animated and a little "drama king"! Full of life and full of personality.

 

We have gotten to a place where he cries all.the.time. I am talking at least 30 times a day. Anytime he doesn't get his way he is crying. If I don't meet his need (perceived or real) the very second he mentions it, he is crying and often screaming.

 

There are a lot of reasons we've gotten to this point. He is the youngest of 3. His oldest brother has Asperger's Syndrome and ADHD. He requires a lot of attention, especially during homeschooling. I need to be right by his side for him to stay on task. Unfortunately I think I have been way too focused on big brother and ds3 has learned to get his way by demanding his needs be met by screaming.

 

Also, ds8 is a classic Aspie in that things have to be his way. He gives very little grace and very often infuriates his little brother by demanding that things be done to an exact specification. Typically ds8 doesn't even realize what he's done to tick ds3 off. Just in his black and white mindset, little brother wasn't following the rules. There is no accounting in his mind for the fact that he is just a little guy learning the rules and needs guidance. Hindsight is 20/20 and I wish I would have done some things differently for sure.

 

Also if he doesn't want to follow a request I have made, the crying starts. I asked him to pick up his cars (about 10 of them) and put them in the car bucket. The crying and wailing started. "No Mom. I want you do it!" I don't give in. I make him do it every single time. Yet he hasn't seemed to clue into that. I read an article recently (can't remember source) but this particular mom mentioned that she felt that by the age of 1 you missed the boat if you were not established as the (loving) authority and obedience taught. I surely missed the boat on that one.

 

So here I am. I have decided that I will not (honestly cannot - the mood in our home is really getting to me with all the screaming and crying) tolerate the crying anymore. I have a plan and would love some feedback from others who may have had a similar experience. Starting yesterday every time he cries I ask him to stop and make his request his "big boy voice"(he knows that this means no crying or screaming). If the crying doesn't stop right away, I put him in my room and lay him on my bed. I tell him he can come out when he is ready to be done crying and has a happy heart.

 

Right now we are in the "it gets worse before it gets better" stage. He is really testing to see if I mean what I say. He sat on my bed no less than 20 times yesterday and already 4 times this morning. He sits anywhere from 3-10 minutes and then he will walk out of my room calm and happy.

 

I would love some feedback from others. Am I expecting too much? Any other ideas. Feedback?

 

 

That sounds very reasonable to me! My 5 yr old tries that from time to time (he is always testing limits, it is just in him to do so), and we handle it the same way. No emotions from us, we just act as though it does not bother us if he gets his way or not. He will usually straighten up quickly. In a couple of weeks things will probably change alot at your house!

 

As for the age of 1 thing, I don't agree with that at all. We were foster parents for several years and we were able to establish a loving relationship with the kids even at age 2 and 3 (we only had littles) within a month or so of their arrival at our home. They were totally different kids when they left us. This is simply a comparison and in no way reflects on you, obviously you love your kids and want what is best for them, so please don't read anything into the comparision. It is more about stopping what is going on and taking a different course. Don't beat yourself up about the past, just focus on the future.

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Oh my heavens...I can so relate on littles copying the big sib! Diva is a drama queen, (hence the nic) and boy, have the littles followed the role she's played! It's been a heck of a thing, breaking ALL of them of it.

 

I agree with Stripe, however. Much attention has been focused on big sib, and younger bro is acting out as a result...seems to me that that needs to be addressed post haste as well. Perhaps looking for ways to do things with him, rather than him doing things on his own would be a good place to start? Helping him pick up his cars wouldn't be a bad thing, would it?

 

I use the time out in the room approach myself, so I agree with it. I guess I don't see the imbalance of attention that you feel caused the situation to start with being addressed, just the symptoms of the problem, so I just wanted to give a gentle reminder that the root of the problem needs to be worked out and solved as well, not just the child's resulting behaviours.

 

I wish you much stamina and patience and luck! :grouphug: I too add my voice to saying whomever wrote the article is completely out to lunch. A one year old hasn't figured out control of their bowels yet, let alone their temperment :glare:

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Just to clarify - you've said you feel like you give your 3 year old not enough attention because you've been focusing on your 8 year old, which you feel led to these behavioral problems, and your proposed solution is to put him alone in an empty room, where you tell him he can come out when he's solved his own problem and is happy?

 

Thank you for the sentiment behind your post but the tone in it is completely unappreciated. I do not understand the need to be rude to a mom who is earnestly seeking help. A little grace goes a long way, stripe.

Edited by Jennefer@SSA
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Oh my heavens...I can so relate on littles copying the big sib! Diva is a drama queen, (hence the nic) and boy, have the littles followed the role she's played! It's been a heck of a thing, breaking ALL of them of it.

 

I agree with Stripe, however. Much attention has been focused on big sib, and younger bro is acting out as a result...seems to me that that needs to be addressed post haste as well. Perhaps looking for ways to do things with him, rather than him doing things on his own would be a good place to start? Helping him pick up his cars wouldn't be a bad thing, would it?

 

I use the time out in the room approach myself, so I agree with it. I guess I don't see the imbalance of attention that you feel caused the situation to start with being addressed, just the symptoms of the problem, so I just wanted to give a gentle reminder that the root of the problem needs to be worked out and solved as well, not just the child's resulting behaviours.

 

I wish you much stamina and patience and luck! :grouphug: I too add my voice to saying whomever wrote the article is completely out to lunch. A one year old hasn't figured out control of their bowels yet, let alone their temperment :glare:

 

Thank you for trying to speak the truth as you see it but with a measure of grace and understanding.

 

We (dh and I) try very, very hard to set aside special time for each of our other boys. We do not want them to grow up with resentment for us or their big brother. The idea that I can somehow correct the imbalance that ds8 gets more time is unrealistic, imho. A special needs child typically demands more time than his/her siblings. I must try to work within the existing framework for change. At the same time, I do agree that I need to be tenacious to find time in our day to spend more special moments with ds3. Thank you.

Edited by Jennefer@SSA
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Oh no, please, please don't take me wrong! Ugh! I wasn't suggesting that you somehow spend less time with your older child. I understand that's not possible. I was trying to suggest that you find a way to do more with your youngest...for example, help him pick up his cars would be doing something with him, rather than him alone. It would be a little thing, certainly, but to him, its Mommy spending time with me! See what I mean? I'm so sorry that I wasn't more clear.

 

Ahhhhhhhhhhh! My apologies. I was really just trying to gently remind you that you had concluded the heart of the issue was your ds was jealous of the time the eldest was having, and that more time was needed by the youngest, and perhaps you could try and find little ways to spark some Mommy time through the day with the littlest one.

 

I do sincerely wish you all the best :grouphug:

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I do agree that I need to be tenacious to find time in our day to spend more special moments with ds3

 

I honestly read that as a given in your first post. Obviously some did not.

 

Anyway, regardless, though you will do more to give the child positive attention (btw, which really will cut back on the negative attention getting behaviors which will actually give you more time with each of the children), you DO have to address the behavioral problem. I think doing so punitively would be unfair (almost all punishment is unfair as it is usually done because of the failure of the parent). But making it clear that negativity will not get you attention is important. And your plan gives him life skills (take a break, come back and try again), a GOOD thing.

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Oh no, please, please don't take me wrong! Ugh! I wasn't suggesting that you somehow spend less time with your older child. I understand that's not possible. I was trying to suggest that you find a way to do more with your youngest...for example, help him pick up his cars would be doing something with him, rather than him alone. It would be a little thing, certainly, but to him, its Mommy spending time with me! See what I mean? I'm so sorry that I wasn't more clear.

 

Ahhhhhhhhhhh! My apologies. I was really just trying to gently remind you that you had concluded the heart of the issue was your ds was jealous of the time the eldest was having, and that more time was needed by the youngest, and perhaps you could try and find little ways to spark some Mommy time through the day with the littlest one.

 

I do sincerely wish you all the best :grouphug:

 

Thank you Impish. I appreciate that very much. Truly I do. :001_smile:

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I honestly read that as a given in your first post. Obviously some did not.

 

Anyway, regardless, though you will do more to give the child positive attention (btw, which really will cut back on the negative attention getting behaviors which will actually give you more time with each of the children), you DO have to address the behavioral problem. I think doing so punitively would be unfair (almost all punishment is unfair as it is usually done because of the failure of the parent). But making it clear that negativity will not get you attention is important. And your plan gives him life skills (take a break, come back and try again), a GOOD thing.

 

Thank you Pamela. I am trying keep the fact that this is a good thing in mind as he is *really* pushing the limits today! He doesn't do anything that's not 110% so I shouldn't be surprised really! :D

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I have a dc who goes from one extreme to the other like that - and you are doing exactly what we do. We make her go to her bed and let her come out when she can ask in a normal and respectful tone of voice. We don't send her to her bed for any other reason - for other behavior issues, she has other consequences.....and btw - the idea of "tomatoe staking" (keeping her close to me as much as possible) works well for her. She loves to be with me - she rarely acts up when she feels included in my work.

 

I think that 3yo year is TOUGH - worse than the two's for my dd.;) I think it's partly b/c she is a very bright, high spirited kid and partly b/c she was only 14mo when my youngest was born....she grew accustomed to some bad habits while I was nursing a newborn and PTing her older brother.

 

All families go through rough patches. The important thing is you are recognizing what needs work and are taking the time and energy to do it! Your dc are blessed!:001_smile:

 

...and :grouphug:

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Thank you for the sentiment behind your post but the tone in it is completely unappreciated.

I am glad you appreciated my sentiment, but I am ever so regretful that my tone struck you as "ungraceful" ! I aim to be graceful at every turn! I was trying to understand both your problem and your proposed solution.

 

You said (in your original post):

His oldest brother ....requires a lot of attention, especially during homeschooling. I need to be right by his side for him to stay on task. Unfortunately I think I have been way too focused on big brother and ds3 has learned to get his way by demanding his needs be met by screaming.

 

and then you said

 

Starting yesterday every time he cries I ask him to stop and make his request his "big boy voice"(he knows that this means no crying or screaming). If the crying doesn't stop right away, I put him in my room and lay him on my bed. I tell him he can come out when he is ready to be done crying and has a happy heart.

 

So I am asking you to consider if your solution is really introducing anything new (the definition of change) into your home. You said you don't spend enough time on your 3 year old, not me. So I am just curious if you think that reducing time spent on your 3 year old, which you said caused the problem, will now solve the problem.

 

I do not understand the need to be rude to a mom who is earnestly seeking help.

I would like to gracefully suggest that I do not understand the need to be isolate a child who has been (according to his mother) not given enough attention.

 

A little grace goes a long way, stripe.

I would like to gracefully suggest that a little hug, and a little patience, go a long way with a 3 year old, Jennefer@SSA.

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I haven't read all the other replies, but I wanted to share my experience with my formerly-explosive-3-year old. First of all, I think the terrible twos are misnamed. In my opinion, they should be the terrific two's and the terrible three's. All of my kids went through a really difficult stage at 3. Much more crying and tantrums. All signs of growing independence.

 

But, back to my explosive child. This child was unpleasible. A 45 minute tantrum ensued if I cut the toast in the wrong shape. Another one when he realized that Dad had the audacity to go to work. It took several years to figure out that he has major sensory issues (and may be borderline aspergers). We got therapy for his sensory issues and he is a different kid. Although he is still sensitive to sound and to touch, he is soo much better. Best of all, his anger and rage is gone.

 

BTW, the stuff about obedience by age 1 is nonsense (actually, I had a stronger word in mind, but probably not printable;).) This difficult child is now 13 and a pleasure to be around. Although he is shy and somewhat aloof in new situations, those who know him say he is delightful.

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Stripe, just throwing the word, "gracefully" into your response does not make it full of grace. I have no problem with what you said; it's how you said it. Assuming that I don't hug my child or that I have no patience is ludicrous. Please understand, I have absolutely no problem being corrected. My personality actually welcomes it but I will not correspond with someone who only attacks. If you are willing to offer genuine solutions and ideas, I would be happy to read and consider them.

 

If that is not acceptable to you, I will just leave it at the request that you refrain from responding to any of my future posts and I will extend the same courtesy to you.

Edited by Jennefer@SSA
Reading Lovedtodeath's response caused me to reconsider my wording.
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I have two girls who can be, shall we say, dramatic. They will cry/ scream/ carry on over NOTHING. This is distinct from legitimate sadness/ anger/ other need. They are yelling and crying and screaming for the sake of attention.

 

I have always tried to be an attachment parent. My four year old only weaned a few months ago. But this has just not been a good thing for our family, nor is it acceptable to behave in this manner. Throwing a fit and crying/ throwing yourself on the ground because your sister looked at the green glass when you wanted the green glass of juice.

 

I sat my girls down and told them that feelings are okay. It's okay to feel sad or angry or afraid. It's okay to cry if you are sad. But, it's not okay to act in an unacceptable manner. Throwing a tantrum and screaming is not acceptable behavior. Crying and carrying on in a dramatic manner for the sake of attention, as opposed to a real feeling or occasion, is not okay. Using your words is acceptable. Saying that you are sad or angry or frustrated is okay. Throwing a fit is not.

 

It's okay to cry. But, when you are crying, you need to sit on the crying chair. It's not the time out place. It's not isolated. It's a comfortable chair in the living room. When you can calm down and be pleasant, you can come off.

 

Now, in practice, if they are sad or scared or frustrated or hurt and expressing a real emotion or need, I don't send them to the crying chair, of course. And I've told them, that it is different. If you have a reason or a need, I will help you meet it. I will hold you and rock you and try to figure out a solution. But if you just want to cry, for the sake of crying, you need to sit in the crying chair. As soon as you can act in pleasant way, you can get off.

 

I don't love this. It's not a great solution, because I'm not sure that they understand the difference between real crying and drama queen/ attention seeking crying. But, I got to the point where it was controlling our lives. I didn't want to be with them. I didn't even LIKE them.

 

This helps. It's not perfect, from a philosophical standpoint, but they DO seem to understand the difference.

 

I also think the three year old year is a hard year. Someone told me that when kids are two, they do things that drive you crazy. When they are three, they do things BECAUSE they drive you crazy! I have found that to very much be the case for mine.

 

I think trying to keep him included and give him attention during the day is great and important. I wonder if it would be possible to give him a space of his own, where the needs of his older brother wouldn't always be in the forefront and where he wouldn't always be the oldest? Would it be possible (or would you be interested in) to send him to a half day preschool two or three times a week? I know my younger child benefitted from it greatly. It was a great thing for her to spend two half days a week at school this past year. It was so good for her to get away from her older sister. Not that it would mean you shouldn't spend Mommy time with him. (I know you know this.) But just, was a thought....

Edited by Terabith
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Thank you for responding Terabith. I have a few comments and a question below.

 

I have two girls who can be, shall we say, dramatic. They will cry/ scream/ carry on over NOTHING. This is distinct from legitimate sadness/ anger/ other need. They are yelling and crying and screaming for the sake of attention.

 

I have always tried to be an attachment parent. My four year old only weaned a few months ago. But this has just not been a good thing for our family, nor is it acceptable to behave in this manner. Throwing a fit and crying/ throwing yourself on the ground because your sister looked at the green glass when you wanted the green glass of juice.

 

I sat my girls down and told them that feelings are okay. It's okay to feel sad or angry or afraid. It's okay to cry if you are sad. But, it's not okay to act in an unacceptable manner. Throwing a tantrum and screaming is not acceptable behavior. Crying and carrying on in a dramatic manner for the sake of attention, as opposed to a real feeling or occasion, is not okay. Using your words is acceptable. Saying that you are sad or angry or frustrated is okay. Throwing a fit is not.

 

It's okay to cry. But, when you are crying, you need to sit on the crying chair. It's not the time out place. It's not isolated. It's a comfortable chair in the living room. When you can calm down and be pleasant, you can come off.

 

Yes, that is much of what we are going through - trying to get attention in very negative ways. I also explained to him that it is okay to cry. He can cry as long as he needs to. I am convinced he may need to cry just for the sake of release at times. Yet I have removed him for a few reasons. Two of the main ones are that when he remains with us (when we tried something very similar to your suggestion), he will carry on for 20-30 minutes or more. When he is in my room (right off the kitchen and next to where we do life) he finishes crying in anywhere from 1-5 minutes and comes out ready to move on. The other reason is that my ds8 cannot handle the screaming fits of little brother. He gets overstimulated very easily and if ds3 is hollering and screaming and wailing, it gets him all out of sorts too - and to be honest me to an extent. Then I have a wailing 3yo, an upset and out of sorts 8yo, too. I guess I am trying to understand what is so bad about isolation. Please understand I am not talking about long periods of time. There is no screaming or spanking on my part. Just calmly picking him up and saying, "I understand you are sad because.....You can cry as long as you need to in Mommy's room. Come out as soon as you feel better." And it works.

 

I think trying to keep him included and give him attention during the day is great and important. I wonder if it would be possible to give him a space of his own, where the needs of his older brother wouldn't always be in the forefront and where he wouldn't always be the oldest? Would it be possible (or would you be interested in) to send him to a half day preschool two or three times a week? I know my younger child benefitted from it greatly. It was a great thing for her to spend two half days a week at school this past year. It was so good for her to get away from her older sister. Not that it would mean you shouldn't spend Mommy time with him. (I know you know this.) But just, was a thought....

 

Yes! He is actually going to preschool 2 days a week starting in September. I think that will be a wonderful thing for him. :)

 

Thanks again!

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Yeah, I think there is nothing wrong with designating your room as the crying room. In fact, the "crying chair" is at Grandma's, which is where we spend most of our "days." At OUR house, I don't have a chair that works well (out of main activity area but still in sight), so I have them go to their room to cry. This is distinct from the "time out" chair (cube chair that I move to spot). And absolutely, in your situation, it makes complete sense to send him there! Anything to cut down on the length of it. And totally defeats the purpose if the screaming overstimulates your older son who then starts.......

 

I think preschool may be really good for him!

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Yeah, I think there is nothing wrong with designating your room as the crying room. In fact, the "crying chair" is at Grandma's, which is where we spend most of our "days." At OUR house, I don't have a chair that works well (out of main activity area but still in sight), so I have them go to their room to cry. This is distinct from the "time out" chair (cube chair that I move to spot). And absolutely, in your situation, it makes complete sense to send him there! Anything to cut down on the length of it. And totally defeats the purpose if the screaming overstimulates your older son who then starts.......

 

I think preschool may be really good for him!

:iagree:Good sum-up!
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Thanks everyone who responded to this post. I learned a lot and am glad I have a place like this to ask and grow.

 

I feel the need to apologize to stripe for my knee jerk reaction. I broke one of my own personal rules: If I feel I have been treated unjustly, give the other person the benefit of the doubt. I apologize for not doing that. Dh has been out of town for a week and I am running low on fumes. That's no excuse for poor behavior on my part, just the reality of what led me to be rude myself.

 

If I had a "redo" I would say,

 

"Stripe what would you propose I do differently?" (And the reality is that I would be interested to hear what you had to say.)

 

If I was unable to be a big girl, I should have just been quiet.

 

I also apologize to the board for dragging unnecessary drama here. Please accept my sincere apology. I will post this on a new thread as well. Over 500 people viewed this thread and I am assuming most will not come back to read this.

Edited by Jennefer@SSA
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That's what we've used for the emotional, drama queen in our house. But now she cuts it often before she gets to her room. She is now 4 (in March). She is strong-willed and dramatic. I think it's very important that she has control to come out--scheduled time did not work for her. And we always keep it where we are not mad--"uh, oh, I guess you need some time to complain, but that's too loud to do in here." And make sure she knows we hope she comes back soon. She goes to her room, so she has access to comfort things (blanket and animals) if need be. I say keep up the good work! I know it's tough.

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Thanks everyone who responded to my earlier thread about my 3yo. I learned a lot and am glad I have a place like this to ask and grow.

 

I feel the need to apologize to stripe for my knee jerk reaction. I broke one of my own personal rules: If I feel I have been treated unjustly, give the other person the benefit of the doubt. I apologize for not doing that. Dh has been out of town for a week and I am running low on fumes. That's no excuse for poor behavior on my part, just the reality of what led me to be rude myself.

 

If I had a "redo" I would say,

 

"Stripe what would you propose I do differently?" (And the truth is, I would be interested to hear what you had to say.)

 

If I was unable to be a big girl, I should have just been quiet.

 

I also apologize to the board for dragging unnecessary drama here. Life has enough without creating more on the internet! Over 500 people viewed the thread and I am assuming most will not return to read my apology there. That is why I started a new thread.

 

Please forgive my lapse in judgment in this matter. :blushing:

Edited by Jennefer@SSA
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I skimmed the other replies rather quickly, so forgive me if I'm repeating someone or missed something you added.

 

One thing I would do is remove your oldest son from the 'loop' of his little brothers. I wouldn't ask him to help them with tasks, and I wouldn't allow him to correct them in any way - - no telling them they're doing something wrong, breaking a rule, etc. That would reduce one source of tension.

 

 

Another idea would be to try and get really creative and brainstorm a long list of possible ways you could spend more time with the littles. Can you hire someone to help your oldest with some of his simpler schoolwork? Or simply to watch him for a while? Hire someone to help with some household tasks? If money is a big issue, maybe you could consider a mother's helper (cheaper) or trading services of some kind?

 

Could you strip his schoolwork down to the bare bones? Heresy for this board, I know! But many, many 8-yr-olds do very little formal school work; you can just pretend you're firmly in the 'better late than early' camp.

 

I just think that, at this point, the family dynamics have to beat out schoolwork. Your little guy is being pretty clear about needing more, and you can only stretch yourself so far. Something's got to give, and I suggest schoolwork!

 

Could bare bones or no school with the oldest give you the wiggle room you need?

 

You're in such a hard spot, I realize. With some kids, their needs are so apparent, so 'in your face' that it seems unfair, impossible, to give them less and give the other kids more.

 

It's a big help, I think, if the sibs of a special needs kid know there are times when they CAN demand attention and get it. Could you give the littler boys tickets or such, that they can trade in when they absolutely must come first? Two a week, maybe? Enough that they know they always have a 'turn' coming, and not so much that it will do terrible harm to the oldest boy's schoolwork.

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We all blow it from time to time--that's what grace is all about!

I appreciate both your willingness to receive feedback, and your apology.

So many times, we want to be seen as having it all together. I'm always impressed with those who can ask for advice.

Blessings to you.:D

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One of the hardest things online is the lack of 'tone'. In person, you have tone of voice, body language...here, its words on a screen.

 

Ooops. I've been asked to not bold my typing, a habit of six years or more that I have, rather than using a different font. (My apologies to those of you who find it hard to read!) I was horrified when you thought I was taking a shot at you in that thread, as it was completely NOT my intention, but reviewing my answer, I could completely see how you could have come to that conclusion.

 

Too easy to misunderstand in this format, isn't it?

 

Anyways, hat's off to you for an elegant apology, regardless of if it was actually needed (I haven't been back to the thread, so I'm in the dark on it)

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Some 3YO's don't know what to do with their emotions, so they express them loudly.

 

It's often really helpful to read back to them how they might be feeling, and give them something to do instead.

 

So, for instance, you tell 3YO to put the cars in the box. He starts to scream. You say, in a calm and cheerful tone, "You sound upset about putting the cars away. You get to pick. Either you can feel bad about taking a break from playing to put these away, or you can feel good about being able to play again as soon as they are cleaned up. Which one do you pick?" It's surprising how many times I have seen this work with 3 and 4 year olds. And it is also surprising how many times I have said it to someone who seemed so wound up and out of control that I didn't think they could even hear, and then had them suddenly stop crying and answer, "I pick feeling good!" and then march away, completely converted. The projected calm is crucial, as is the choice.

 

Another kind of example: Kid screams and hits older brother because he wants to play with the train in his hand. You pick him up and take him to the other side of the room and say, "People are special. We don't hit people. We love them. What can you do to help him feel better?" (Then he hugs him or something.) A lot of times just changing the subject takes the emotion off the table for the moment. Then, "You want to use the train but Sammy is using it. You can ask Sammy nicely if he will let you use the train when he is finished with it. Then Sammy will give it to you when he is all done." (Then he talks to Sammy, who has heard all of this, and says, "Sure.") When a preschooler sees a path to what they want, they can often exercise more self-control than one might think.

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I have two girls who can be, shall we say, dramatic. They will cry/ scream/ carry on over NOTHING. This is distinct from legitimate sadness/ anger/ other need. They are yelling and crying and screaming for the sake of attention.

 

I have always tried to be an attachment parent. My four year old only weaned a few months ago. But this has just not been a good thing for our family, nor is it acceptable to behave in this manner. Throwing a fit and crying/ throwing yourself on the ground because your sister looked at the green glass when you wanted the green glass of juice.

 

I sat my girls down and told them that feelings are okay. It's okay to feel sad or angry or afraid. It's okay to cry if you are sad. But, it's not okay to act in an unacceptable manner. Throwing a tantrum and screaming is not acceptable behavior. Crying and carrying on in a dramatic manner for the sake of attention, as opposed to a real feeling or occasion, is not okay. Using your words is acceptable. Saying that you are sad or angry or frustrated is okay. Throwing a fit is not.

 

It's okay to cry. But, when you are crying, you need to sit on the crying chair. It's not the time out place. It's not isolated. It's a comfortable chair in the living room. When you can calm down and be pleasant, you can come off.

 

Now, in practice, if they are sad or scared or frustrated or hurt and expressing a real emotion or need, I don't send them to the crying chair, of course. And I've told them, that it is different. If you have a reason or a need, I will help you meet it. I will hold you and rock you and try to figure out a solution. But if you just want to cry, for the sake of crying, you need to sit in the crying chair. As soon as you can act in pleasant way, you can get off.

 

I don't love this. It's not a great solution, because I'm not sure that they understand the difference between real crying and drama queen/ attention seeking crying. But, I got to the point where it was controlling our lives. I didn't want to be with them. I didn't even LIKE them.

 

This helps. It's not perfect, from a philosophical standpoint, but they DO seem to understand the difference.

 

I also think the three year old year is a hard year. Someone told me that when kids are two, they do things that drive you crazy. When they are three, they do things BECAUSE they drive you crazy! I have found that to very much be the case for mine.

 

I think trying to keep him included and give him attention during the day is great and important. I wonder if it would be possible to give him a space of his own, where the needs of his older brother wouldn't always be in the forefront and where he wouldn't always be the oldest? Would it be possible (or would you be interested in) to send him to a half day preschool two or three times a week? I know my younger child benefitted from it greatly. It was a great thing for her to spend two half days a week at school this past year. It was so good for her to get away from her older sister. Not that it would mean you shouldn't spend Mommy time with him. (I know you know this.) But just, was a thought....

 

These links, if you haven't already read them, might of of interest to you.

 

 

http://goybparenting.com/?p=173

 

http://goybparenting.com/happyhomeschooler/?p=5

 

http://goybparenting.com/morejo/?p=5

 

http://goybparenting.com/morejo/?p=3

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OP, in addition to Pamela's disctinction between *feeling* and behavior, I'd begin to teach your child "scale".

 

I tried not to "tell my kids how to feel" until I had a child that reacted with a "10" to everything. It was then - when the child held us hostage with the expression of his feelings - that I realized he needed to learn what situations where a "2" or a "3" and what "2" or "3" reactions looked like.

 

I literally had to train/tell him: Picking up your toys is a 2. This is a 2 reaction "Mom, I hate cleaning. I'll do it, though". And I'd show him HIS reaction @ an 8.

 

I'd follow up with your "to your room" response. We actually use the words "you can feel however you feel but you can't hold the rest of us hostage with those feelings or make us feel them also."

 

I'd give him one public chance to make a better choice.

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OP, in addition to Pamela's disctinction between *feeling* and behavior, I'd begin to teach your child "scale".

 

I tried not to "tell my kids how to feel" until I had a child that reacted with a "10" to everything. It was then - when the child held us hostage with the expression of his feelings - that I realized he needed to learn what situations where a "2" or a "3" and what "2" or "3" reactions looked like.

 

I literally had to train/tell him: Picking up your toys is a 2. This is a 2 reaction "Mom, I hate cleaning. I'll do it, though". And I'd show him HIS reaction @ an 8.

 

I'd follow up with your "to your room" response. We actually use the words "you can feel however you feel but you can't hold the rest of us hostage with those feelings or make us feel them also."

 

I'd give him one public chance to make a better choice.

 

Thank you for the link to the articles. I read all of them. Also, thanks for the above advice. It will be a good thing as my 3yo gets older and currently I think it will be a GREAT thing for ds8! :)

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I read an article recently (can't remember source) but this particular mom mentioned that she felt that by the age of 1 you missed the boat if you were not established as the (loving) authority and obedience taught. I surely missed the boat on that one.

 

It is statements like this mother's that made me feel like a horrible mother with dd#3. She also feels things very deeply. I agree with teaching early obedience but with some children it takes a consistent, gentle holding of the lines. Much like with a high-spirited horse. (Thank God for a wise dh.) Dd is now 5-1/2 and she is starting to be more self-disciplined. To be hard-nosed and totally unyielding would have been a nightmare and would only have embittered her. But since we maintained a gentle consistency, she is now starting to bring her own will into submission (with help) and her spirit has not been broken.

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I haven't read all the replies but I think it's a good strategy to ask a 3 yo to go to your room (his room) until he can be happy. I do this w/my 3 yo. Now she usually stops crying as soon as I say "Go to your room..." Or she stops after she's had time alone to calm down.

 

I can't speak to the Aspergers and ADHD part of the equation regarding the dynamic in your home though.

 

:grouphug:

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Thank you for taking the time to reply and to apologize; I think it's easy to get frustrated (both online and in person).

 

What I suggest (and I'm certainly no expert) begins with spending more time with your young son and keeping him busy. I think he needs some special attention. When there is something to clean up, I find that with my kids a cooperative approach rather than talking in a "dictator" voice works better. For that matter, it would work better with me than having someone yell at / order me to clean something up. A gentle reminder and/or an offer to help, as the child gets more used to putting his things away without being asked.

 

I find the book "Playful Parenting" has some nice ideas for lightening things up, especially with boys who may be more physical. Don't get hostile and upset that you're not being "obeyed" and then blow your top....I think that's a big challenge. Being yelled at doesn't tend to convince anyone, it just shows that you're bigger and louder (and someone may obey out of fear), and it really doesn't model good behavior.

 

Erm. I don't know.....what else?

 

But if you feel that you haven't been doing the right thing, I think you need to be especially patient with him and work to change the underlying situation. I think you basically have to teach your kids how to communicate their frustration in an acceptable way (i.e. not screaming, not insulting), without trying to diminish their feelings or suggest that they're not entitled to their feelings just because it's not convenient for you. I also think sometimes kids appreciate having their feelings acknowledged, and find it very frustrating to be always assumed to be doing something just to be difficult. The ways of children are not always the ways of adults -- they are roundabout, slow, and ponderous, and we are usually in a rush, and that alone can be a major cause of friction.

 

It can be useful to remember that they are people too, and they should be gently guided, not accused of things or assumed to have devious motives. Think about how you would talk to your friend if she did something odd or started to behave unusually -- this is not to say that your children are your friends, it is to say that you love your children more than you love your friends, so your style of speech should, ideally, be gentle, even when you are trying to guide them to better behavior. Don't, for example, remind them that he throws a temper tantrum every day and perhaps he should wear diapers, and while we're at it, we'll throw away all his toys and send him to jail -- we can recognize that as wildly inappropriate and very insulting if we were to talk to anyone else in that way. I think it's better to sit with him, acknowledge that there sure are a lot of toys, and let's put them away together so we can find them next time, and make it fun, and then it's done, faster than with all the screaming, and everyone is happy.

 

Anyway, it's always good to examine our own behavior, and I commend you for putting your own up to our scrutiny. :)

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