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Thread: DD2 is out of control

  1. #1
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    Default DD2 is out of control

    I really don't know what to do with her anymore. Her behavior is horrific. And it's only at home - only for DH and I. I just went for a parent-teacher conference for her preschool and she couldn't say enough nice things about her behavior at school. I am REALLY happy about that don't get me wrong! But it's obviously home that is the problem.

    She doesn't listen. At all. Seems to have no respect for our house, our rules. She loves to push buttons and knows exactly how to do it. She is one who I can definitely say loves negative attention. She does naughty things - like draws on the walls, on furniture, cabinets, etc. Pours out drinks onto the floor. Smears toothpaste on mirrors, unrolls toilet paper....you get the idea. She also antagonizes DD1 so they are always fighting. She is very emotional so another aspect of her exhausting behavior is bursting into tears over EVERYTHING. Lately she is also acting totally helpless - wont put her shoes on, needs us to turn the light on, etc. She is extremely whiny so all this gets very hard to handle.

    Stating the obvious - she is a middle child and probably adjusting to no longer being the baby in the family. I am sure that is most likely the problem. So WTF do I do??? We have tried every form of discipline - NOTHING works. We have tried not reacting to her nonsense. We have tried positive reinforcement, charts, rewards, punishments, etc. I really am at a total loss. I have no idea what to do.

    One thing I will admit (sadly) is that I don't spend a lot of quality time with her despite the fact that we are together all day, every day (minus ~5hrs/week she is in school). I am so busy with the baby and sooooo behind in doing things around the house that when the baby finally naps I just want to get things done. Also if I do make an effort to try to focus on her I am mentally not there. I have so much going on in my head that I find it hard to focus. Her behavior is generally good when it's just us. It's at it's worst when DD1 is home.

    Any ideas? I am at a loss
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  2. #2

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    I don't really have any advice, but I think you're right that it's likely an adjustment. Can you try for the next week or so to focus on spending a bit more quality time with her (no housework or other distractions) and see if that does the trick? Also? 3.5 just sucks. I don't know anyone who didn't have issues w/their kids at that age. Not sure what developmental things they're going through at that point, but dang! They are difficult little buggers!



  3. #3

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    No ideas here. I just have one a little younger than yours and she is starting to push buttons, seemingly on purpose. Just starting to get frazzled here. Time would be the only thing I could think to try. That's what I think it is for me,I need to get my head back into it too. I feel like I'm not 'there' even if it is just the two of us.
    Married 7/10/04.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mla View Post
    I don't really have any advice, but I think you're right that it's likely an adjustment. Can you try for the next week or so to focus on spending a bit more quality time with her (no housework or other distractions) and see if that does the trick? Also? 3.5 just sucks. I don't know anyone who didn't have issues w/their kids at that age. Not sure what developmental things they're going through at that point, but dang! They are difficult little buggers!
    omg age 3 has been positively awful. She will actually be turning 4 in 1 month! I am hoping this switch flips back off. I am really going to try to focus on her from this point on with more positive attention and see if that helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mariel View Post
    No ideas here. I just have one a little younger than yours and she is starting to push buttons, seemingly on purpose. Just starting to get frazzled here. Time would be the only thing I could think to try. That's what I think it is for me,I need to get my head back into it too. I feel like I'm not 'there' even if it is just the two of us.
    This is me lately. I am just spread so thin and feel like I am treading water. I can't keep up with what I need to do in the house. I know I am glazed over when she is talking to me a lot of the time. She also talks.all.day.long. My head is spinning from her constant talking. I don't feel like I can pay enough attention to her - like full attention wouldn't even be enough.
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by macksmom View Post
    omg age 3 has been positively awful. She will actually be turning 4 in 1 month! I am hoping this switch flips back off. I am really going to try to focus on her from this point on with more positive attention and see if that helps.
    Three was rough, but I felt like it really ratcheted up at 3.5. Holy horrible, batman!

    And I get the not being "there" bit, too. I feel that way w/my 4yo often. I spend a lot more time than I care to admit just mindlessly saying things like "Uh huh. Wow. That's great." Because he talks all. the. time. And I'm tired from dealing with his little siblings. I totally get it.



  6. #6
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    Does the school offer more than 5 hours a week? Can you afford more days? I don't know if that will help or not. Cody was a royal brat at 3 1/2- 4. I feel really awful but, we restored to therapy for techniques on how to deal with a strong headed child. I tried to give him more attention and Cody was able to get into the Pre-K program at one of the local public school and he goes M-F 7:30 am-1:20 pm. It's improved his behavior a lot. Again, I don't know what your options are. She is screaming out for attention though its negative attention by having behaviors that are unacceptable. Can your DH take the other kids out and you spend 1:1 time with her sometimes?



  7. #7

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    I have been having a heck of a time with Olivia these days - this 3 year old thing is so tough! I really hope it is just a phase, and now am totally worried about it getting worse in just a couple of months when she hits 3 1/2!!

    I think the only thing I would suggest is to just try for even 15 minutes a day to devote fully to her. Read her some stories, color with her... with only 2 I feel over my head a lot, so I totally understand where you are coming from. Hopefully the phase ends soon!


    Anne (37) DH (37) Olivia (4) Harrison (1)

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    You guys are scaring me. Mira has been going through what I've been hoping is a phase, but if it lasts a year, I might lose what's left of my mind.

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    I agree 3.5 is just hard. Madison went from being a perfectly sweet preschooler to a pain in the you-know-what big time when she hit that age. Ali is more even tempered, but I'm waiting for it to happen!!

    It may very well be an adjustment thing, too, with the baby. I'd suggest trying your best to give her some more personal attention, but I know it can be nearly impossible to do, too. Also, it seemed when I did that with DD1 it was still never enough...she craved even more attention.

    If you are able to do something one-on-one with her, maybe it would help to make it an outing completely away from her sisters. A trip for ice cream, or to the library maybe. Something in a completely different environment might be helpful.

    Good luck!!!

    ~ Cassie, mama to Madison (8), Ali (4) & Wesley (new dude!)


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    Agreed...3 is *hard*! And my personal opinion is it's hardest with a 2nd born (and the 5th if you survived the 2nd and went on to have more )! They do turn a corner around 4ish though and it gets gradually better...5 is awesome!

    I am an ocd neat freak so me telling you to let the housework go is the pot calling the kettle black !!! Honestly though, I've been able to ease up on it with the last few kiddos and the house does get clean eventually. The baby gets older, life settles down, and everything falls back into a new, good normal .

    For now, make the time and don't worry about being there mentally...really, who can be completely into CandyLand and Memory anyway . It's the fact that you're spending time with her that will matter, not what you're doing or how you're doing it, just that you are doing it.

    One suggestion I have is date your kids...even at this age .

    No matter what you do don't expect immediate results, it's a phase and it takes time. I know it's totally exhausting and really hard not to get emotionally involved in her behavior but try to keep in mind she's 3yrs and you have to be the adult with the adult response. When she's had a bad day snuggle her and tell her you love her even if you're not feeling like being lovey and even if she pushes you away.

    (((Big hugs))) momma! Hang in there!!
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






  11. #11
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    Oh I know the horrors of age 3 all too well. DD1 was witchy too! But this is different. This is serious brat-like, naughty behavior.

    Today was all about her. I played as much as I could. Hugged, kissed, teased, etc. She was pretty ok during the day. As soon as DD1 came home she turned into a demon. She insisted she had to pee just because DD1 was and when I told her to wait a sec she took the portable toilet into her room and peed there. She does this all the time and KNOWS she should not be doing that especially if I said no. Then she started taunting DD1. I told her to stop and she started slamming the bathroom door. OPening it and slamming it. I put her in time out and she started crying for daddy - which is SO annoying because he would have not handled the situation any better than I did! Then she comes out and I tried to move on. I gave her some spaghetti and she wanted to eat it in the dining room but I wanted her at her small table in the living room because DD1's piano teacher was due to come any minute and the piano is in the dining room. She was on her way to bringing her bowl back in there and I told her to bring it back to the small table. She looked at me and TURNED THE BOWL OVER AND DUMPED IT ON THE FLOOR! I thought my head would explode! I escorted her to time out again and told her to clean it up when she was done with TO. She did and we have moved on. omg.
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by macksmom View Post
    Oh I know the horrors of age 3 all too well. DD1 was witchy too! But this is different. This is serious brat-like, naughty behavior.

    Today was all about her. I played as much as I could. Hugged, kissed, teased, etc. She was pretty ok during the day. As soon as DD1 came home she turned into a demon. She insisted she had to pee just because DD1 was and when I told her to wait a sec she took the portable toilet into her room and peed there. She does this all the time and KNOWS she should not be doing that especially if I said no. Then she started taunting DD1. I told her to stop and she started slamming the bathroom door. OPening it and slamming it. I put her in time out and she started crying for daddy - which is SO annoying because he would have not handled the situation any better than I did! Then she comes out and I tried to move on. I gave her some spaghetti and she wanted to eat it in the dining room but I wanted her at her small table in the living room because DD1's piano teacher was due to come any minute and the piano is in the dining room. She was on her way to bringing her bowl back in there and I told her to bring it back to the small table. She looked at me and TURNED THE BOWL OVER AND DUMPED IT ON THE FLOOR! I thought my head would explode! I escorted her to time out again and told her to clean it up when she was done with TO. She did and we have moved on. omg.
    ...they sure know how to push our buttons!! Yeah, my 2nd was over the top like that...totally defiant! I figured one of us probably wasn't going to survive and I had more than my share of tears over his behavior. I felt like he spent more time in "time out" than not! He's 15yrs now and doing great...still struggles with being disrespectful on occasion but it's unusual that a 15yr old doesn't . He was much better around age 5yrs but still more up and down than my other kids (except my 5th, lol). I think he's just more emotionally charged and reactive than my other kids...there's no depth or hidden cause, he simply deals with his frustrations more loudly and aggressively.

    I think you're handling it fine. She knows you're unhappy with her behavior and you're removing her from the situation, and she knows why. I know it's SO frustrating though!

    Thinking of you and praying she turns the "4 corner" (at least that's what we call it ) soon!
    Dh (39) Me (37) 8bio 1adopted, 14 angels






  13. #13

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    Could she be competing for attention when dd1 is home?

  14. #14

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    It sounds to me like a deadly combination of 3 year old development, reaction to new sibling, reaction to older sibling, and just plain ole stubborn character. My DS1 is so stubborn and can absolutely drive anyone insane with his personality. He is not the same as what you describe but pretty darn close. My mom always misses him and says how much she loves him. But once she watches him by herself for a couple of hours, she gets on edge. He is more controlling and demanding than testing boundaries, which is my DS2's favorite thing and seems to be your DD2's thing as well.

    But from what you describe it sounds she is definitely competing for attention and pushing the envelope/testing boundaries. It seems you are doing everything right. BTW I tried more 1on1 with DS1 and there was no difference overall. Hope you have better luck.

    I may sound like a lunatic but I heard in a movie that eating nuts elevates your seratonin and makes you calmer. So I have been eating nuts a lot now so I am calmer and happier It works
    Last edited by tanyachap; 01-30-2013 at 04:59 PM.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tanyachap View Post
    It sounds to me like a deadly combination of 3 year old development, reaction to new sibling, reaction to older sibling, and just plain ole stubborn character. My DS1 is so stubborn and can absolutely drive anyone insane with his personality. He is not the same as what you describe but pretty darn close. My mom always misses him and says how much she loves him. But once she watches him by herself for a couple of hours, she gets on edge. He is more controlling and demanding than testing boundaries, which is my DS2's favorite thing and seems to be your DD2's thing as well.

    But from what you describe it sounds she is definitely competing for attention and pushing the envelope/testing boundaries. It seems you are doing everything right. BTW I tried more 1on1 with DS1 and there was no difference overall. Hope you have better luck.

    I may sound like a lunatic but I heard in a movie that eating nuts elevates your seratonin and makes you calmer. So I have been eating nuts a lot now so I am calmer and happier It works
    I think you are right. 100%. And yes it's a very deadly combo!

    I have been eating nuts a lot lately because I am on a low carb diet! I actually am surprised at how calm I am when faced with her antics sometimes so maybe there is some truth to that! When I was having trouble with DD1 at this age I stopped reacting and acted like a stoned hippie all the time... It worked! Not working with DD2 but it's better for me at least. At my doc appt 2 weeks ago my BP was 95/60. Maybe a little too relaxed!

    I was trying to ignore her behavior but she just keeps pushing it until I can't not pay attention...like will start pouring water on the floor or something.

    It is definitely worse when DD1 is around. I don't know if she is competing for my attention from her or just in general. She is just one more person to take the attention away from her though. Sadly DD1 gets the least attention from me

    I do think she has been better today though. That awful incident was isolated. The rest of the day was pretty decent. Bedtime will be telling. For the past 2 nights she has been horrendous!
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

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    YES, in the middle of the terrible 3's here too. And, yes as a 2nd born child it seems to be much worse. I don't remember DD1 being this bad. I don't have an infant in the mix, so I do try to give her extra attention when she's at her worst and it does seem to help.... reading a book, coloring together, playing play-doh. Something where the focus is just on her. We've had a better week this week... last week was super hard, but it does seem to go in cycles like that as well. I should be bracing for another bad week next week. It's extra hard in the winter as well. If it were summer we could just go outside and she could burn off some energy, but our weather has been terrible. I might try eating some nuts this week... I've acutally been researching natural way to help me "chill out" a little more. HUGS!
    Growing fast... DD1 (6) & DD2 (4)
    Forever loved, forever missed... Twin Girls with us for 19w3d 6/12/06

  17. #17

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    The best quote I have heard and really helped me, I got from my Early childhood Education Classes for DD1(who is 3)..."children crave connection, but they will settle for attention." With my DD1, I really needed to take time for her, even though I am busy with DD2 and trying to keep the house clean, etc. I now take 20-30 mins when baby is sleeping(or content in her excersaucer) for ponys, a tickle fest, or baking....something fun for the two of us. Hang in there, it will get better!
    Carrie(34), DH(35), married for 5 years

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAAinMN View Post
    The best quote I have heard and really helped me, I got from my Early childhood Education Classes for DD1(who is 3)..."children crave connection, but they will settle for attention." With my DD1, I really needed to take time for her, even though I am busy with DD2 and trying to keep the house clean, etc. I now take 20-30 mins when baby is sleeping(or content in her excersaucer) for ponys, a tickle fest, or baking....something fun for the two of us. Hang in there, it will get better!
    I like that. A lot. It speaks to me because I think she has a decent chance at not suffering from middle child syndrome because she and I are most similar so I can make a strong connection with her and I am hoping that will offset her feeling like she doesn't have a special position in our family. Both our birthdays are in Feb, we are both homebodies and introverts and I think she is fairly artistic from what I can see so far. I try to connect with her on that but her stubbornness gets in the way sometimes. Lots of my attempts to spend time with her were rejected yesterday. I would say, "let's read a book together! Lets do a puzzle! Lets draw!" and get a NO to each one. It was hard not to feel defeated but eventually she would come around and agree to do something with me. She really responded to the physical attention I gave her - tickles, hugs, sitting with her on the couch. Of course I think it had a negative effect on DD1 I feel like I can't win. I pay special attention to one kid and the other feels hurt and left out. Then I have to do the same with her, and the other feels bad...

    Yesterday was way better though. That ugly incident was the only one. The evening was good and she didn't act up at bedtime which has been awful lately.

    Motherhood is so challenging sometimes! Rewarding but challenging.
    Thing 1 (7), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  19. #19

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    I agree with 3 is the toughest age with a lot of kids. At 2 they have learned to exert their will, but by 3 they have learned they are truely independant from you.

    Think positive attention from you is the best thing you can do, if she responds well to physical attention just remember to give her lots of hugs and touches throughout the day. If activity is what she craves from you, just try bringing her into your day to "help" you do what you are doing. Stand of the stool to help you clean the kitchen, or fold laundry, bake cookies together, etc. Maybe you could schedule a time to read to her when DD1 is gone.

    But don't necesarily expect an immediate cause and effect. Just because she got lots of quality time with you, don't expect her to go to bes better that night. Sometimes I even find that lots of time spent with one child who might have been "neglected" for awhile means even more time demanded from that child, but things will get better over time.
    Last edited by runningmomofmany; 01-31-2013 at 12:42 PM.

  20. #20

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    Well my oldest is kinda-sorta like that. For example he has this wretched habit of colouring on our furniture lately or colouring on the carpet. My way of dealing with it may be an unpopular one but I don't tolerate defacement of our house. If either of the kids deliberately vandalizes the house they get spanked for it, have to help me clean it up and they lose the privilege (access to crayons for example) for two days. If they ask for crayons I will say "No, you coloured on X, you may not have crayons right now." My oldest understands me to a degree at least when I tell him that we are very lucky to have a house and have to be stewards and take care of it.

    I do try to take some time for him when my youngest is sleeping. Usually we'll do something like play play-doh, bake, today we practiced his Korean numbers because he just started Taekwondo and it's something that he will have to learn.

    With my 2.5 year old things are a lot more difficult. He's always been very needy and prefers that I carry him everywhere even though he's fully capable of walking, prefers that I put his shoes on for him, prefers that I pull his blanket over him at night. Sometimes he asks to "pretend baby" and has me hold him like a baby and sing to him. I indulge him a lot of the time because it's something that makes him feel secure right now. But, similar to his brother, I won't tolerate deliberate disrespect to myself or our property and he gets the same reprimands as the older one. With the toilet paper, he's toilet training right now and finds putting toilet paper down the toilet rather novel so he will shove an entire roll in there. I just put the toilet paper up on a high shelf where only the adults can reach it.

    If you have the time and the resources (I.E. somebody to watch your kids) let me suggest "mom and me dates". Let everyone know that they get one special day a week (or a fortnight as your schedule dictates) where they get to spend time with just mom, put up a calender and mark it on the calender. If there's a visual way they can see that everybody gets special time nobody will feel left out. Then you can talk to your child and see what fun thing they want to do with mom on their special afternoon, get them excited about it (2 more days until ice-skating with mommy!), etc. That's something I intend to do with my boys when they get a bit older and school and activities start taking up more of their time. Right now we have a lucky schedule - Jonathan gets "mom and me time" when Daniel is sleeping and Daniel gets "mom and me time" while Jonathan is at preschool. I'm also going to push "dad and me time" for them too.
    Last edited by Dreya; 01-31-2013 at 01:12 PM.
    Megan (29) and Jayson (31) Happily married 9 years



  21. #21

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    I'm dealing with the exact same thing over here. I don't have any advice to offer that the ladies haven't already suggested, but I did want to offer hugs. Sounds like I'm in good company.




  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    You guys are scaring me. Mira has been going through what I've been hoping is a phase, but if it lasts a year, I might lose what's left of my mind.
    This!!
    V (36) Single, working mum to DD (5) DS (3)



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