Thursday, February 18, 2010

At my wits end

My adorable child has turned into the monster from the depths of below.
I don't know what I am doing wrong.

He is good as gold for everyone else.
Me, not so much.

When I say it's a scream fest in the morning ending up with either me in tears or him in his room screaming bloody murder is an understatement.
I wake him up approximately 45 minutes before we need to leave.
He then screams & yells at me for waking him up & cries for his "binky" & "put the covers on me"
I leave him in his room & tell him when he can communicate with me w/o crying he may come out. He will scream at the top of his lungs for the next 15 minutes or so.

When something frustrates him (i.e. getting dressed, telling me to move the table so he can eat, etx) he will scream & yell. I ask him to tell me what is the matter but this only makes his get louder & tell me to "Go away" which gets him in trouble.

He is acting up when I take him to restaurants & it's very embarrassing. I am stopping doing that.

I am taking his prize possesions away for periods of time or other privelages.

If I grab him to take him into his room he kicks his legs so hard that I am bruised on my legs or wails his arms around so much that I get slapped & my hair gets pulled.

He's a wonderful little boy but I a can't take it anymore.
It's every morning.
It's almost every night.

If he doesn't get his way, it's Hell to pay.
We aren't the type of parents that give him anything.

Short of adopting him out til he's 18 or upping my meds I am just unsure where to turn.
I have followed tons of advice on how to discipline so if you have anything let me know & I will give it a go.



Tara O

Consistency it the key here. I don't think you are doing anything wrong...sounds like you are doing the right things. Tomorrow morning I would warn him when you get him up, that if he doesn't stop screaming RIGHT NOW you will be putting him to bed 15 minutes earlier. If he screams more, I would keep letting him know that you are making his bedtime for the next day even earlier. for every minute of screaming he does, that's an additional minute eariler. There may be an evening that you have to come home from school/work and put him to bed immediately after his meal. Unfortunately.

When he comes out of his room from screaming, tell him that he's done a great job and that you love him. If he says something pepper sauce on the tongue might be in order. I would NOT use could get turned in for child abuse for that one. Pepper sauce you also have to be VERY careful with. My grandma used pepper.

I'm sorry, my friend. Being a mom can suck. I'll trade you. You take my 18 year old. ;)

Tara O

16 year old...not 18


Not much advice from me, since it has been so long since I have had a 3 yr old living with me....except to stick with time outs...that has worked best for me with the grandkids...but I use a chair and they have to sit in it every time they have a temper tantrum, hissy fit..whatever you want to call it and I set the timer..if they do it again they go back to the chair works pretty good for me.
You know how they tell you about the terrible 2's? Well, I always thought the 3's were much worse!! And I have spoken to other mom's who felt the same there is hope and this too shall pass, eventually. He just needs to know who is in charge. And it isn't him! :) (((huggers)))


{{{hugs}}} Maybe if instead of looking at his screaming as acting out, embarrassing you on purpose, or a battle to be fought, you could look at it as an opportunity to help him figure things out... Understanding that he's not personally trying to attack you, but is frustrated with something else he can't control and turning his anger to you because he thinks you can, then maybe you can calmly help him through it?

Olga Tolbert

Oh man, My DD had major issues as well. She would kick, scratch hard enough to draw blood, bit, and pull hair. She would trough huge fits as well. About everything. Putting clothes on. putting away things. Going to bed. Watching TV. We tried hot sauce, or vinegar. It made her sick. The only thing that really works is to tell her over and over again. You need to talk to me in a big girl voice, and if she choose to keep on fitting. We lock her in her room until she calms down. 15 to 20 minutes. Sometimes if she is really whiny during the day, I make her take a nap. But being consistent in how you want her to talk to you. She is 4 now, and the scratching, biting, kicking, and hair pulling are gone, but she still has fits. They are much better, and I notice worse when she is tired and sick. I hope it helps, and you are a good mom not matter how crazy things may seem.

Ricky & Stephanie

My nephew is exhibiting the same behaviors. The pediatrician suggested just as the first noter that consistency is key. I also think her suggestion of the earlier bed time may also reap benefits.

My nephews behavior is improving. So there is hope. His bad behavior also only manifests with them. He is a perfect angel with all others.

Good Luck!

The Shelley Family

i think you need to lighten up a little. he is still little and maybe he needs time to adjust between waking up and "the day". he is being totally age appropriate and sounds purely frustrated at you not understanding his feelings. let him take more time waking up. with his binki and blanket...maybe on the couch? pick your battles. if u choose to square off on everything then this IS the result you get. frustrated toddler....crying mom. this stage is all about independence..yet they still need us. try giving him 2 or 3 choices...and talking to him at night about what is going to happen the next day. my neighbor was going through the exact thing as you are and this helped her alot! good luck!


My daughter went through this turned out she was having a reaction to wheat, eggs and milk. We are what we eat! And these foods turned out to be poison to her. There was no history of allergies in our family so it was a surprise to learn this. But it might be worth a try to do some research on allergens and give an elimination diet a try. (By the way, no point in allergy testing...turns out the most accurate testing of all is mom watching behavior / foods.)


May I suggest your son may need more sleep.
My niece was the same way when she did not get enough sleep. And enough for most children was 2-3 hours too little for her. Once she had enough sleep for HER, a completely different and calm personality emerged.
Also, I used to have a talk with my two daughters before we went into a store or a restaurant or someone's house. I would tell them what I expected of them and that if they did not follow the rules, we would leave. And sometimes, we had to leave. But they slowly understood how to behave in public. I would also point out children who were not behaving in public and we would quietly talk about how they should be acting. My daughters are now 22 and 26, both college graduates and one has her Master's Degree in Social Work. We must have done something right, they turned out just great! Best of luck to you!


I read the book "Happiest Toddler on the Block" and watched video. We also read the book 123 Magic (effective discipline for kids). These approaches have been really helpful with our kids (ages 2 and nearly 4). Good luck.


Our 4 yo daughter was AWFUL in the mornings, making all of us miserable. Dad took her aside at bedtime and talked to her about her behaviour when she wakes up and how it upsets everyone and causes us all to start the day in a bad mood. He promised that if she would be good the next morning she could watch a movie after dinner. It worked and she got her movie. I think the key was speaking to her when she was calm, not at the time she was going to explode. Also, I would not tolerate the kicking. That needs to be CRYSTAL clear that you will NOT be kicked. Out of control, I get, but kicked, no way! Again, maybe in a lighter moment you could explain that to him. Give extreme consequences if you get kicked. Our 4 yo was brought home from school (half day) and ate lunch, sat on bed. Picked up brothers from school, sat on bed. Ate dinner, sat on bed. Fell asleep on bed for the night. Extreme? Probably. Did she sit in the hall for disrupting her teacher the next week? Nope.