Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Need Help!

What happened to my sweet, angelic, little baby? Little One was the sweetest, *gentlest, most compassionate little girl ever. All of a sudden...BAM! No, it wasn't the "terrific twos" that did it for us. She was still so easy when she was two. Now, she's almost three (she'll be three on Remembrance Day) and is really testing out the boundaries.

Being a preemie, she's always been the smallest out of her group of friends and she was always the one to get bullied. She was fine. She never pushed back or hit back. Now, all of a sudden, she's doing what all the other kids were doing. It's driving me crazy!

No matter how calmly I try to deal with the situation, it always ends up with her, me, or both of us in tears. I've tried everything. Positive reinforcement, distraction...everything. Though Hubby and I are not fans of "Time Outs", we've even tried that technique. To be honest, it means absolutely nothing to Little One. She'll cry, do her "time out", but the pushing and hitting still continue.

This has all just started within the past month. She watches her friends and soaks everything up like a sponge. She imitates her friends and tries to get away with things. Her latest thing has been learning how to spit and it drives me crazy. I do realize that children go through a stage where they learn to be independent and test the boundaries, and see what they can get away with, but this is really exhausting me. I also realize that we can't keep her from play groups, play dates, or social gatherings for fear she'll pick up unacceptable behaviour. She's a toddler. She'll go through that no matter what. It's just our job to teach her what is appropriate and what is unacceptable. I try to show her that it isn't nice to push our friends. It hurts our friends when we push and it hurts their feelings. It's still not hitting home though.

She is a really great kid, but is really trying my patience and testing boundaries now. I am at my wits' end. I was joking to a friend that I am so stressed out that if this persists, I don't know if I'll last until Little One's fifth birthday. My friend laughed and said, "Or, she won't last until her fifth birthday!"

*sigh* You've really got to have a good sense of humour if you're a parent. Sometimes it's hard to tell whether you should laugh or cry!

If any of you seasoned veteran parents out there have any tips on correcting this kind of behaviour, please (PLEASE!) share!

No, seriously. I'm begging you! :)

* The English grammar teacher in me wants to write "gentlest", as it is the proper comparative form for the adjective, but the other part of me wants to say "most gentle" because it sounds better! I suppose both are fine. I've got more pressing matters to deal with than grammar at the moment! ;)


J at said...

Didn't anyone tell you that the terrible 3s are far worse than the terrible 2s? FAR worse. Dorothy gave me some wisdom once, when she told me that it seemed to her that Autumn ignored her attempts at discipline, until one day, she suddenly seemed to 'get it', and Dorothy figured out that Autumn had been listening all along.

It's an interesting age. Toddlers and pre-schoolers have a sense of compassion, or they seem to, and then suddenly, they don't. I'm sorry to say it, but I think what taught Maya that such things hurt was when other kids did it to her. That's when she learned empathy. I walked into her preschool once, and she was choking Autumn. (I think they were 3 or 4...Autumn is a year older than Maya...) ACK! Dorothy wasn't upset, but I was very upset. I tried to talk to Maya about it, but she didn't understand, said she was just playing, etc. Maybe a week later, I happened to walk in and see a boy give Maya's ponytail a good hard YANK. She was very upset, but I took that chance to tell her that it hurts when you do these things, and if she didn't like being hurt by Brian, maybe Autumn didn't like being hurt by her. It seemed to stick. So no, don't keep her away from the other kids. You can use their behavior as teaching opportunities. Just don't be upset if it takes awhile for her to learn.

Hang in there. She's a very sweet girl, and will get past this stage. Assuming she makes it past 5. ;)

C said...

Oh, Jules! You have NO idea how much your comment made me smile. In fact, I've kept it in my favourites for future reference. Seriously, I'm on the verge of tears. It's been such a rough week and Little One's new behaviour is just the icing on the cake. *sigh*

I even called my Mom on the phone and told her "I think I'm having a nervous breakdown!" LOL!

Thanks again so much for your input. It always seems to come when I reeeeeally need it! xoxoxo

Calfkeeper said...

Ellen has yet to come to this stage, since she has never been in day care, or been with other children for any amount of time at all. I am dreading it.
But I agree with J above; the 3s are worse than the 2s. And if you keep at it she will grow out of this stage and into another one.
I am sorry she's trying your patience, but on the other hand I am glad to hear that the little one is holding her own, no matter her size. lol

PJ said...

Hi C! Don't worry, it's just a stage! It's when they try to see what they can or can't do - or, as most parents eventually find out, what they can get away with! :)

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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