Author Topic: Losing my temper a lot with 3 yr old  (Read 1254 times)

Offline Josephine87

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Losing my temper a lot with 3 yr old
« on: November 25, 2018, 11:35:41 PM »
I'm having a lot of trouble with my obstinate, misbehaved three year old. Please share your advice. I have never lost myself in anger so much before and today has been the worst I've ever acted toward her. I really need help and guidance. My husband isn't Catholic and loses his temper a lot, usually I'm not like that but lately, it's been getting to me. I need to change but I'm not sure how.
"Begin again." -St. Teresa of Avila

“My present trial seems to me a somewhat painful one, and I have the humiliation of knowing how badly I bore it at first. I now want to accept and to carry this little cross joyfully, to carry it silently, with a smile in my heart and on my lips, in union with the Cross of Christ. My God, blessed be Thou; accept from me each day the embarrassment, inconvenience, and pain this misery causes me. May it become a prayer and an act of reparation." -Elisabeth Leseur
 
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Offline Davis Blank - EG

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Re: Losing my temper a lot with 3 yr old
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2018, 03:50:34 AM »
I sympathize as I have a 3.5 year old son and from 2.5 to 3.5 it was awful.  In the past couple months there have been great improvements.

John Rosemond and to a lesser extent, only because I found him later, Dr. Ray Guarendi were of great assistance in helping turn this boat around.  I agree with John Rosemond when he says obedience is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children - life is much harder when one always kicks at the goads.  I recommend his book The Well Behaved Child as it got me into a better framework for handling bad behavior.  Its traditional and more-so about mindset than methods (although it does have methods as well).

My son has spent many long hours in his bedroom alone, without books or toys.  For very bad behavior the punishment is a full day in his room.  It was as terrible for us as it was him, and there were many many times when I was losing all hope.  It was particularly bad for my wife as he never listened to her, whereas I as father had more say, and even then I was at my wit's end coping with the disobedience.  The emergence of the will during this time is a big change.

A month ago I put it into Jesus' hands.  I stopped reading the parenting books and stressing over this.  I kept the same mental framework regarding obedience but left it up to God to make this work.  And recently things have gotten much better.  My wife many times now compliments my son on being so good all day long.  A big turn around.

Keep at it.  That age is very hard.

God bless all parents.
 
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Offline Michael Wilson

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Re: Losing my temper a lot with 3 yr old
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2018, 10:14:58 AM »
Keep praying and I will pray for you.  :pray2:
"The World Must Conform to Our Lord and not He to it." Rev. Dennis Fahey CSSP

"My brothers, all of you, if you are condemned to see the triumph of evil, never applaud it. Never say to evil: you are good; to decadence: you are progess; to death: you are life. Sanctify yourselves in the times wherein God has placed you; bewail the evils and the disorders which God tolerates; oppose them with the energy of your works and your efforts, your life uncontaminated by error, free from being led astray, in such a way that having lived here below, united with the Spirit of the Lord, you will be admitted to be made but one with Him forever and ever: But he who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit." Cardinal Pie of Potiers
 
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Offline aquinas138

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Re: Losing my temper a lot with 3 yr old
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2018, 10:26:39 AM »
Josephine, I will pray for you — know that you're not alone. We have an extremely difficult 5 year old, who's been difficult for about two years. Some days I want to pull my hair out – positive reinforcement, punishment, spanking, nothing really has any effect. We even took him to a therapist, who has not really found anything wrong. Our daughter was difficult, too, but not in the same way; she grew out of the worst of it, so here's hoping my son will, too!

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O unashamed intercessor of Christians, ever loyal advocate before the Creator, do not disregard the prayerful voice of sinners but in your goodness hasten to assist us who trustfully cry out to you: Intercede always, O Mother of God, in behalf of those who honor you!
 
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Offline The Curt Jester

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Re: Losing my temper a lot with 3 yr old
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2018, 12:56:32 PM »
Determine a punishment for certain behavior and stick to it. If you waver, children will always take advantage and then in the future they will not take you seriously, thus making the behavior issues worse. Do NOT be the parent who says "I'll count to three" and then does nothing afterward. With my son, I give him five seconds. At the count of five if he hasn't complied, he gets his punishment no matter how sorry he is as soon as he realizes I'm going to do something. Always go through with it, even if he's crying for mercy or saying he'll do it. After all, he already had his chance to do so without punishment and he willfully passed it by.
The royal feast was done; the King
Sought some new sport to banish care,
And to his jester cried: "Sir Fool,
Kneel now, and make for us a prayer!"

The jester doffed his cap and bells,
And stood the mocking court before;
They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he wore.

He bowed his head, and bent his knee
Upon the Monarch's silken stool;
His pleading voice arose: "O Lord,
Be merciful to me, a fool!"
 
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Offline Josephine87

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Re: Losing my temper a lot with 3 yr old
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2018, 04:00:44 PM »
Thank you all for your advice and prayers. I had read Rosemund's book recently but never really took action with it. I will try the room thing, thank you for the reminder. I will pray for all of you too. Parenting is difficult and really makes me lack a lot of belief in myself, so it helps to hear from others.
"Begin again." -St. Teresa of Avila

“My present trial seems to me a somewhat painful one, and I have the humiliation of knowing how badly I bore it at first. I now want to accept and to carry this little cross joyfully, to carry it silently, with a smile in my heart and on my lips, in union with the Cross of Christ. My God, blessed be Thou; accept from me each day the embarrassment, inconvenience, and pain this misery causes me. May it become a prayer and an act of reparation." -Elisabeth Leseur
 
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Offline Gardener

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Re: Losing my temper a lot with 3 yr old
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2018, 05:26:27 PM »
3 is a hard age. Our oldest is 3.5, and dealing with a 19 month old younger brother (who is himself a nutcase), and now a 2 month old younger sister.

We tried it all. Spanking, yelling, taking toys away, etc. The only thing that works (surprise, surprise), is calmly, gently telling him no and having him sit by the wall (a nana trick) for maybe 30 seconds, and in his more recent spitting phase, a drop of Texas Pete hot sauce (only for spitting). For the latter, once he has "felt the burn" (very brief), we give him a shotglass of heavy whipping cream to counteract the spiciness.

I find it easiest to deal with kids by pretending they are drunk, midget, foreign exchange students who somehow barely speak any English.

Dominic is my little Pole (he speaks English, but sometimes it comes out weird and he mixes order and tenses)

Eamon is my Norwegian somehow raised in Vietnam (due to his recent experimentation with ching, dao, etc. sounds).

I don't even get mad anymore. I just laugh at the drunk, midget, foreign exchange student and tell them no, that's not how we do things in America.

Works well.
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Offline Christe Eleison

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Re: Losing my temper a lot with 3 yr old
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2018, 05:34:32 PM »
3 is a hard age. Our oldest is 3.5, and dealing with a 19 month old younger brother (who is himself a nutcase), and now a 2 month old younger sister.

We tried it all. Spanking, yelling, taking toys away, etc. The only thing that works (surprise, surprise), is calmly, gently telling him no and having him sit by the wall (a nana trick) for maybe 30 seconds, and in his more recent spitting phase, a drop of Texas Pete hot sauce (only for spitting). For the latter, once he has "felt the burn" (very brief), we give him a shotglass of heavy whipping cream to counteract the spiciness.

I find it easiest to deal with kids by pretending they are drunk, midget, foreign exchange students who somehow barely speak any English.

Dominic is my little Pole (he speaks English, but sometimes it comes out weird and he mixes order and tenses)

Eamon is my Norwegian somehow raised in Vietnam (due to his recent experimentation with ching, dao, etc. sounds).

I don't even get mad anymore. I just laugh at the drunk, midget, foreign exchange student and tell them no, that's not how we do things in America.

Works well.


This is too funny!  :laugh:

"Drunk, midget, foreign exchange student". Next year, we will find out which country Genevieve is from ;)

I want to print this out & give it out to all parents of children under the age of 7!

Thanks for the laugh, Dear Gardener (still waiting for the pics, hint, hint ;) ).

God Bless you all!

 :pray3:


 :grouphug: for Josephine.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 05:50:10 PM by Christe Eleison »
 
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Offline Carleendiane

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Re: Losing my temper a lot with 3 yr old
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2018, 08:13:14 PM »
This isn't so much about anger, but it certainly is something you deal with daily. It's a shame I didn't figure it out until my 5th child. Lol.

Every single time a toddler grabs something that is a sure NO, I would walk to them with a big smile, bend down, take it from them and say "Why, thank you!" As though I though they were just about to bring it to me. Never failed, they would smile, give it right to me, and even feel proud for finding it for mom. No fight over it, no tears, just slight bewilderment and they walk away. Of course there were so many moments I could have screamed, did yell, but not over a forbidden item. I found catching them off guard by an unexpected reaction from you sort of resets them and they move on. Just a little suggestion. God bless you. Nothing is easy, is it?

Not all of my remedies were so peaceful trust me. But that one was.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 08:32:50 PM by Carleendiane »
To board the struggle bus: no whining, board with a smile, a fake one will be found out and put off at next stop, no maps, no directions, going only one way, one destination. Follow all rules and you will arrive. Drop off at pearly gate. Bring nothing.
 
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Offline Quaremerepulisti

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Re: Losing my temper a lot with 3 yr old
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2018, 09:54:41 PM »
First of all, just relax and laugh for a second.  And then for longer than a second.  Children can be difficult.  Who knew? But realize your child is experimenting with the new-found power of being able to make you react.  Once she realizes that power doesn't exist or no longer exists, the sailing will be somewhat more smooth.  Really, saying completely unemotionally, here's what you did and these are the consequences, is much more effective discipline than losing your cool and screaming.  But you won't get there without a certain sense of humor, like Gardener is doing.
 
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Offline Christe Eleison

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Re: Losing my temper a lot with 3 yr old
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2018, 10:33:26 PM »
This isn't so much about anger, but it certainly is something you deal with daily. It's a shame I didn't figure it out until my 5th child. Lol.

Every single time a toddler grabs something that is a sure NO, I would walk to them with a big smile, bend down, take it from them and say "Why, thank you!" As though I though they were just about to bring it to me. Never failed, they would smile, give it right to me, and even feel proud for finding it for mom. No fight over it, no tears, just slight bewilderment and they walk away. Of course there were so many moments I could have screamed, did yell, but not over a forbidden item. I found catching them off guard by an unexpected reaction from you sort of resets them and they move on. Just a little suggestion. God bless you. Nothing is easy, is it?

Not all of my remedies were so peaceful trust me. But that one was.


And this is one of the many reasons that we need this forum around :thumbsup: We get to listen to pearls of wisdom from experienced

loving mothers & grandmothers like Carleen Diane  :toth: Nicely said! Bravo!

Thank you, Dear Carleen for always sharing your wise advice! God Bless!  :grouphug:

And of course adding a bit of humor like Gardener did, does not hurt  ;)
 
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Offline Archer

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Re: Losing my temper a lot with 3 yr old
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2018, 09:37:21 AM »
Number 4 of 5 is 2.5. He's the biggest imp I've ever run into. Got a manipulative streak longer than all my other kids combined.

He's also the sweetest kid in the world, and makes my wife and I laugh multiple times a day. Thank God He made kids cute.

Hang in there; we're all in this together. 

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Offline MundaCorMeum

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Re: Losing my temper a lot with 3 yr old
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2018, 12:21:57 PM »
All I can say is, join the club!  Toddlers are just a breed of their own ;D  Honestly, my 2 and 4 year olds are more difficult than my 14 year old!    First of all, know that this, too, shall pass.  They won't be toddlers for ever.  (so, enjoy those sweet moments and the snuggles!).  Second of all, their behavior is completely normal.  I realize that doesn't make it any less exasperating, but it does help.  But, normal behavior does not always mean appropriate behavior ;)  Toddlers need LOTS of direction, correction, love, and affection (we read too much Dr. Seuss around here  ::)).  Lots of love; lots of discipline.  Be firm AND gentle.  Pray about how you can be both. 

They need consistency.  For your part, this means repeating and reminding them of how to properly behave ad nauseum.  So, for example, every.single.time. they ask for something without saying please, make them say it over again.  Model to them how you want them to say it.  I must say, "May I have some water, PLEASE?" about a million times a day to my littlest, when they walk up to me and demand WATER!  It's relentless, and they have so much more energy than we do.  But, trust the process.  It does work.  My oldest ones are simply in the habit of saying please  and thankyou.  They don't even think about it anymore.  You should also model this behavior in your own life, as well.  If you want them to say "please", "thank you", "ma'am", and "sir", then you say it to.  Yes, I occasionally address my children with "ma'am" and "sir".  Set the example.


I kind of also think that this idea that parents have to always and everywhere speak in a "sweet, gentle voice" to their children is just bogus.  Sometimes, they need a firm, "No! Absolutely not!. You may not hit your sister/climb on the table/start a bonfire by yourself!" (my 4 year old pouted and sulked for a good half hour earlier, because I refused to let him start a bonfire, even though he "LOVES fire!" - his words, not mine.  Guess what?  I don't care how much he loves fire =)).  Now, that doesn't mean we need to go to the opposite extreme and yell and scream at them.  I think that is very seldom warrented, although I am most certainly not perfect at it.  I do lose my temper more often than I should.  Speaking of which...be patient with yourself, as well as with your children.  Despite all the joys, love, enjoyment, and sheer wonderfulness that comes with being part of a family, it is also really hard.  Even the just man sins 7 times a day, and it is part of our duty as a Christian to bear with one another's burderns.  That includes our particular tendencies to sin.  Some people are more prone to losing their temper; some to laziness; some to name-calling; some to vengefulness; some to blatant defiance; etc.  This applies to parents and children alike.  The family is the school of forgiveness, for sure!  Be prepared to apologize over and over again WHEN (not if) you mess up.  Be prepared to forgive over and over again WHEN (not if) your children mess up. 


Another practical piece of advice that I have found very helpful is that toddlers need less explanation and more clear cut rules and expectations.  It's not fair to your toddler to over-explain things at this stage.  It's beyond their scope of understanding, and it's frustrating for Mom, too.  Everyone ends in tears...trust me.  All they need at this stage, is to learn to practice obedience.  So, for example, let's say you are trying to cook dinner and clean the kitchen, and you need your toddler to stay in your vision, so he doesn't set the house on fire or flood the bathroom.  Instead of explaining how you need to do x, y, and z, because the family has to eat dinner, so you need him to cooperate by not running off, because you need to make sure he doesn't harm himself or his siblings, etc., etc.  All he needs to hear is this: "Mommy needs you to stay here in the kitchen with me.  Here are some colors and paper (or playdough, or whatever).  Please sit here quietly for me.  If you disobey, You'll have to go sit on my bed by yourself until I'm done".  The explanation of why they need to obey and why you are asking certain things of them comes later.  Even then, parents should never have to explain *in the moment* to a child of any age your request for them to do something.  They should trust your authority as the parent, and that whatever you are asking of them is for a good reason.  Of course, as they get older they should be explained why right away obedience is important, and you should be a trustworthy parent who does not abuse your authority over your children, so that they can trust you safely.  But, that should come outside of the time when you are actually requesting them to do something.  If you say to a child, "please go to the car and get <some item> for me.", they should do it right away without asking "why?" or "what for?" or "do I have to?"  When they do ask those questions (they will...), I say, "You don't need to know right now, I'll tell you later.  Say 'yes, ma'am, and go'"; or, "I'll explain it later, please do as I ask"; or, "yes, I asked you to do it, so you have to do it. Thank you".  Ideally, that is how it works.  In practice, well, even the just man sins 7 times a day  :P

One final piece of advice I can offer is this...is your child being blatantly defiant, or just kind of naughty and mischievous?  If it's the former, then you likely need to work on the habit of obedience.  If he's just kind of getting into things he shouldn't, because he doesn't really know better, you may need to adjust your expectations and redirect his actions.  Is he busy enough?  Does he get enough time to run around outside (BIG one for little boys!).  Children get in to mischief when they have nothing better to do.  Are there jobs around the house you can assign to him?  Like, a spray bottle of soapy water and a rag to wipe down kitchen chairs and low cabinets...folding small towels and linens...emptying bathroom trash...straightening the family shoe shelf.  Keep him intentionally busy, and you may find he stays out of trouble more. 
 
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Offline MundaCorMeum

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Re: Losing my temper a lot with 3 yr old
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2018, 12:41:59 PM »
Just to add.... everyone else gave really good advice/perspective, as well.
 

Offline Traditionallyruralmom

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Re: Losing my temper a lot with 3 yr old
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2018, 04:37:33 PM »
Now that I have 21 on down to 1 year olds, I parent with the perspective that they DO grow up, and I am the adult  :)  I remember that the goal is to get them to be well adjusted, loving Catholics.   Don't get to bogged down in the kid stuff, be firm and don't take any crap.  Punish when you need to.  Don't let them ruin your world with their stubborn toddler antics, because again, someday they WILL grow up  :)
Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat.
 
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