Maybe This Post Will Help me Feel Better...

By Molly Bice-Jackson - 10:17 AM

You guys know that Peter is a very high energy kid. VERY. Not just an "above average" 3 yr. old (3 in April). He's far and above an "above average" high-energy 3 yr. old. He is INTENSE. He is VERY purposeful and demanding and KNOWS WHAT HE WANTS. He often hits other children, screams in my face, runs or takes off on his bike in any direction that he wants, doesn't budge on any sort of compromise or offer or suggestion. It's his way--or the highway. And its exhausting. I can't even begin to paint a picture of him at his worst. It is very ugly.

He's always had this "thing" about my glasses that I have on first thing in the morning before I put my contacts in. He hates them and for over a year has ripped them off my face when he sees me and puts them back on my night stand. I keep telling him, "Mommy needs to be able to SEE." And I will often "sneak" them back on my face when he's not looking and hope he forgets about them. This often does not work.

Not only does he want to control the eye wear on my face, he wants to control EVERY LITTLE THING. I couldn't even pour myself a glass of juice this morning because apparently that isn't what Peter wanted and he and grabbed it from me and wanted to pour it down the sink. Once I got him settled (and had to hide my juice drinking from him) and poured him a bowl of cereal, he began to claw the inside of my mouth out when he saw me take one tiny bran flake from the box and try to eat it. I can't breathe, I can't SEE, I can't eat, I can't drink, I can't sit on the pot, I can't do ANYTHING unless its what Peter thinks I should do. It's LUDICROUS! And he makes it known with such brutal physical force and ear-piercing screams.

Of course I put him in a full body lock and stomped up to his bedroom and put him in time out in his crib tent. I am now sitting on my bed sobbing while listening to him scream in his room. He is a BEAST. Why does he do this??? He is the roughest kid in his gymnastics class and its exhausting for me to take him these days. I often leave completely embarrassed about his behavior and exhausted to the core.

Oppositional defiant disorder? ADD? Bad parenting? We do 1-2-3 Magic technique with him rather consistently--quite consistently (you count to three and give them time out, basically). We teach him "yes" and "no" and "thank you" and "please" and how to share and read to him at night and have him on a good sleep schedule and bathe him and feed him and spend every waking second with him by our side (he doesn't play well by himself so I am literally 4 inches from him at all times). He sets the table for dinner every night and likes to "help me" cook.

But I'm telling you--he is a TYRANT. What 3 yr. old cares about the fact that his mother is drinking juice? It wasn't because he wanted any...he just wanted me to pour it down the sink, and for me take my glasses off, and for me to NOT eat anything for breakfast, and for me to sit directly next to him at the breakfast bar. It's like the word "NO" comes out of his mouth before I even ask him anything.

His behavior is maddening. MADDENING-- and scares me so much because it causes impulses to erupt that make me want to down right abuse the kid. I just can't take it. I have no idea what I'll do when the new baby comes.

Heaven help me.

P.S. He is not like this ALL the time, but morning's are especially horrific. Thankfully, he was quite well behaved on our vacation last week. Other than ferociously fighting with his cousin, Thaacker. I tell you what--raising kids is not a joke. 

  • Share:

You Might Also Like

47 Loving Lines

  1. Gosh I understand where you are coming from.

    I have a little girl, she was near perfect at the 2 to 3 yr age. I didn't expect our 2nd (a boy) to be as well behaved...but I thought her behavior was because of my good parenting. Devin has proved this theory wrong. He makes me want to lock myself in a closet, and never leave my house again. I literally get anxiety taking my two kids out in public for fear of what he might do. I am also pregnant, and prayer every day that Heavenly Father know what he is doing to send me another one. I may just end up in a mental hospital.

    Just know you are not alone. We are fightin' the fight together. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ohhhhh.. I have lived those mornings..Lived I am still living and you are right they are Not everyday.. But when they are bad they are UGLY BAD!!! The tears are streaming dwon my cheeks right now. Because what you are posting is my life.The sad part for me is my "cute" little guy with "SUCH A PERSONALITY" is now 11. Good luck! if you need anything or just to "vent" you can alwyas visit my blog!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Parenting a strong-willed and "difficult" child is exhausting, and not just because of his or her behavior but because of what you have to do, consistently, to help that child get a handle on it.

    My sister was quite the pro at this. She just never, never, never gave in...to anything her hardest child demanded. It was a battle of wills that she refused to lose, and she didn't. But in those early years, it wore her out. She ended up having three children instead of the six she had imagined because of all the time and effort it took.

    She always applied consequences in an immovable, intractable, but very neutral way. She didn't get drawn into a power struggle by explaining or cajoling. Two choices were always given regarding inappropriate behavior. "You can stop doing x by yourself, or I will help you stop doing it." She realized she could never let anything slide or she would have to start over again from scratch.

    It was crazy, but it worked. Her amazing child turned out to be an amazing adult. If you ever want to talk to her about all the ways she reacted to the child's behavior, as well as the positive things she did to channel it in a better direction, let me know. I'm sure she would be happy to talk to you by phone or email.

    =)

    ReplyDelete
  4. {{hugs}} you are not alone.
    someday his persistence will be an asset. someday :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I also feel your pain! Strong-willed children are, apparently, all my husband and I produce... I read Lysa TerKeurst's blog and she makes some great parenting points. She says we cannot take credit for our children's good or bad behaviors. They own their behaviors. That thought really does help me when my kids are being difficult. It does sound like you are doing all the right things so keep up the good work! :) I'm sure it will pay off! (hopefully sooner rather than later!) Also, it sounds like a sibling is just what Peter needs to take all of his focus off of you. :) Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Been there. Done that.

    The thing that helped us change the behavior of our children was the Dianne Craft method. I recommend it to everyone I know who has had similar issues. Our poor kids are dealing with issues we didn't have when we were younger. It's not their fault and there is something we can do to help them!

    Visit:

    http://www.diannecraft.org/handouts.htm

    and click on the downloads:

    The Biology of Learning and Behavior (Part 1 and 2)

    Hope it will help your family as it has mine.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm not a mom, but based on my "teacher" knowledge, it sounds like you're doing all the right stuff- consistency is key.

    If you really think something might be "off" or is beyond the point of the typical "terrible 2's/3's", check into getting an evaluation from early intervention in your area. They can at least do an observation, and maybe give you some helpful ideas/resources.


    Love your blog. Hang in there. :) Prayers coming your way.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You don't know me, but I think I understand how you are feeling. I was feeling so flustered with my daughter the other day and as I was sobbing about what a wretched kid she was being, I found the book, "Raising Your Spirited Child". It has made a world of difference. It is a great resource for those kids with a lot of extra energy. Go download it to your kindle asap.

    ReplyDelete
  9. My son was diagnosed with ADD when he was 6- he has always been demanding. He cant play by himself, has difficulty with downtime, very emotional- it changes with the wind, and is very hyperactive/impulsive. A psychiatrist diagnosed him, and it has allowed us to understand him better. With all of these characteristics, he is also very bright, creative, and thinks "outside the box"- this may not be what your son has, but it might be worth asking a professional.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This sounds a lot like my little boy, Payton, who will also be 3 in April. I finally turned to our doc and said- he needs evaluated; he needs something; I need him to change. Through speech and occupational therapy he is like a new kid. He was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder.

    SPD- being hypo or hypersensitive to the five senses and perhaps some OCD- made a lot of sense for my Payt...once I learned about it. I had never heard of it before, but it is actually pretty common.

    Through therapy I've learned how to help Payt just be calmer and happier. He's also learned ways to self soothe. His therapists have truly saved the quality of my life. Please check out my blog for more info on Payt's therapy...or drop me an email: sarah(dot)barros1(at)gmail

    I'd love to share what we've gone through and ways to help calm the crazy, hurtful (emotionally and physically), and wretched moments.

    The most important thing I've learned, though, is that Payton was given to me because I (me! Little old, low self esteem me) am what he needs. YOU are what Peter needs. Don't forget it!

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Can I add one more thing? (sorry) I will say I have learned to appreciate the good moments even more with my son. They are there and he can be so sweet. I really try to soak those in and love on him when he wants it. It helps me so much in those hard moments!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh I am so glad you posted this! I have twin boys who are just a few months younger than your Peter. The word "tyrant" you used fits them perfectly as well. They are nuts! To make matters worse, all our friends and neighbors have these sweet, mild-mannered girls (who often get full-body slammed to the floor by our boys) so our boys are always the aggressive, crazy ones. I find myself breaking down multiple times a day just because I don't know what to do!!! I find myself counting down the days until preschool starts (next fall), but also feeling guilty for wishing away their childhood. So, thank you, again, for sharing this and letting me know that there is someone else out there who is dealing with a "high-spirited" little guy. While my boys are definitely my greatest blessing, they are also my greatest trial. But, hey, hard toddler years mean they are going to be gems as teenagers, right?? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just wanted to add that Sensory Processing Disorder (that Sarah mentioned in an earlier post) is the same disorder that Dianne Craft addresses on her website which I shared a few posts up.

    It is a terrible disorder that often goes undiagnosed. The bad news is that so many children are suffering from it; the good news is that it can be completely overcome at home. You, the parent, can help your child overcome this with no outside assistance. It's exciting...and life changing!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I just wanted to add another mention of Sensory Processing Disorder. Besides those books and links others have shared here are a few of my favorites:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143115340/ref=oh_o01_s00_i00_details

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0399532714/ref=oh_o01_s00_i02_details

    Our child is in early intervention for this and has been receiving OT/PT therapy. We are also taking him to a chiropractor for craniosacral therapy which has done wonders for him.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow! I'm exhausted and stressed just reading this. I wonder if Peter is as stressed and exhausted as you are. It seems like a lot of work for him to dictate how, when, where and why you will behave from moment to moment. And what happens when the baby comes. You can't sneak loving, feeding and changing a baby. I don't have children so perhaps I over simplify, but I'd vote to give you both a break, and just STOP following his rules. I suspect you'd go through hell for several days, but then it would be over, and perhaps peace could return. If you feel like punching me in the face, I understand. I've cared for 'difficult' children and can only say that very quickly they were obedient at my house, though still raging at home, and I attributed it to the fact that I 'just said no'. It's lonely in time out. Of course I was compassionate in that I would tell them that I was sorry I was upsetting them, and that I felt bad that they felt bad, but raging earned them time in time out. I would then tell them if they were ready to rejoin us when they got themselves under control we were anxious to have them back...and we celebrated their quiet, controlled return. Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth, though probably not worth half of that. God Bless you Molly and Peter. You're in my prayers and I glad to have something specific to focus on. Good Luck. You're a great mom and I have no doubt you'll figure this out...but hurry. New baby will only make things worse. Love to you all.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Jonathan was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (and VERY high functioning at that) at only 2 1/2. His issues were behavioral and social. Honestly, his teachers have made all the difference. They have degrees and training in this kind of stuff. I don't. The different in the last year and a half (Jon is almost 4) is A-MA-ZING! He is even getting released from the early intervention program and recommended back to a class of his peers at the end of the school year.

    Now, I'm not saying Peter has any medical issues. (I'm not a doctor, I don't know these things.) All I'm saying is that the only thing that has saved my relationship with my son (and he's freakin awesome now) is getting someone else to help parent him. A team of someone else's who knew better than I did.

    Maybe regular preschool? I don't know. Hopefully you guys will find an answer, and know you are not alone.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you for posting this!And thanks for all the comments. I've been reading for a while but never commented. I have a "spirited" daughter who will be 3 in August and a 3 month old boy. Some days are good and some are crazy. It's always nice to know we are not alone and that others struggle with the same issues and that there is NOTHING wrong with our kids.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow! It's hearing stuff like that which makes me glad I didn't have children. I always knew I wouldn't have the patience to deal with it. I'd smack a child who'd do that. Hence, knowing my limitations, I don't have kids! All your commentators above know more about this than me and there seems some great advice in there. I've seen a few super nanny episodes and calm consistency would seem to be the way forward. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Molly,
    I must confess I have been "blog stocking" you for awhile now, but with this post today I have speak out and let you know you are NOT alone!! First let me reasure you that it is NOT your parenting. From everything I read you guys are wonderful parents! I think there is a reason the hard kids go to good parents (could you imagine what it would be like if they had bad parents!!)
    My now 3.5 year old was the exact same way! He was horrible. He turned 2 and it was like the devil had taken control of his body! I am happy to say that he seems to be growing out of it! It has taken a year and a half, but he is finaly becoming more rational and easier to handle. I don't for sure what changed in him, but I do believe that if you keep up the good parenting that they do eventually get better!
    Good luck, it's hard!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm glad so many others have mentioned sensory processing disorder! My 2 and a half year old has suspected auditory processing disorder (it's like SPD but only his auditory processing is really affected). This in turn causes a lot of anxiety. If Peter is experiencing processing issues that cause him anxiety it would make sense for him to want to control everything and everyone on his environment. I want to say a few things: 1) early intervention has been a huge huge blessing for us! Getting that eval done was the best thing I've ever done for my son and our whole family. Peter might not have anything wrong or atypical, but an eval can really set your mind at ease. 2) I was so resistant to the idea of anxiety in slouch a young child but I finally recognize that it is the case with our son and the good news is that there is help. We're just getting started with a psychologist who specializes in anxiety issues in babies and toddlers. Who knew, right? 3) whatever happens, I hope you get a little bit of relief soon. It sounds exhausting. 4) feel free to contact me at releavitt -at- gmail.com if I can answer any further questions about anything I've written! Good luck Molly. I'm praying for peaceful days for your whole family.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Molly,
    It looks like you have been given some really good advice. I think Peter's problem goes beyond the terrible two's, and it would maybe be best for you to take him to a professional for a proper diagnosis. It's early in Peter's life and I'm sure he would be happier too if he wasn't so out of control at times. I would encourage you to seek help for the little guy so you BOTH can be happy. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  23. From someone who had 4 boys, did I say 4? Yep! It is discouraging to feel out of control in this way. You are on the right track for sure. But, you have received some awesome advice here. I would reiterate consistency. And, consistently letting him know that you do NOT like it when...(insert list here). And that certain things are NOT appropriate. My opinion (and that is the best that it is), is also that the tent can hold him back in some ways. When you get the courage up to let him CHOOSE to be on a time out chair, or couch or whatever YOU decide, he will see the positive reinforcement that can come from CHOOSING to obey you in sitting in that chair. That will take 3 days (I promise...really) of full on effort on your part to keep him in that chair. At first it may be putting him on that chair over and over again until he CHOOSES to sit there. But, when he does, he will feel accomplished for choosing to sit in that chair. That little taste of confidence will go a long way for him to stop feeling the need to control you and Vick. Right now, he is getting a little power rush from controlling and dictating your every decision. Take that power and make it yours. With you controlling the power, he will feel safe, and will strive to keep that safety alive through good behavior. But, this must all be done with all the authority you can muster. I also always think to myself if he is fed, safe and sheltered. If all of those are yes, let that kid cry to his heart's content! Remember that he cannot simply talk to you and say,"Mommy, I think it is preposterous that you are drinking juice right now when I would prefer you to give me milk." His way of communicating right now is to simply scream and kick and whatever...it has frankly worked in the past, so why not!?

    My wife and I LOVE T. Berry Brazelton's book called Touchpoints. It has some awesome pointers in there about not feeling like your kid is a freak or that something is medically wrong with him.

    P.S. I know I may get called to child and protective services for this, but one simple spank in a kid's life...just once, really isn't going to destroy him. Follow your discipline with an extra measure of love.

    We are praying for you, and know that intentionally parenting like you and Vick do, will, in the end pay off!

    I love you!

    ReplyDelete
  24. From someone who had 4 boys, did I say 4? Yep! It is discouraging to feel out of control in this way. You are on the right track for sure. But, you have received some awesome advice here. I would reiterate consistency. And, consistently letting him know that you do NOT like it when...(insert list here). And that certain things are NOT appropriate. My opinion (and that is the best that it is), is also that the tent can hold him back in some ways. When you get the courage up to let him CHOOSE to be on a time out chair, or couch or whatever YOU decide, he will see the positive reinforcement that can come from CHOOSING to obey you in sitting in that chair. That will take 3 days (I promise...really) of full on effort on your part to keep him in that chair. At first it may be putting him on that chair over and over again until he CHOOSES to sit there. But, when he does, he will feel accomplished for choosing to sit in that chair. That little taste of confidence will go a long way for him to stop feeling the need to control you and Vick. Right now, he is getting a little power rush from controlling and dictating your every decision. Take that power and make it yours. With you controlling the power, he will feel safe, and will strive to keep that safety alive through good behavior. But, this must all be done with all the authority you can muster. I also always think to myself if he is fed, safe and sheltered. If all of those are yes, let that kid cry to his heart's content! Remember that he cannot simply talk to you and say,"Mommy, I think it is preposterous that you are drinking juice right now when I would prefer you to give me milk." His way of communicating right now is to simply scream and kick and whatever...it has frankly worked in the past, so why not!?

    My wife and I LOVE T. Berry Brazelton's book called Touchpoints. It has some awesome pointers in there about not feeling like your kid is a freak or that something is medically wrong with him.

    We are praying for you, and know that intentionally parenting like you and Vick do, will, in the end pay off!

    I love you!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Not gonna lie... my CC is tough, too. But she is NOT as tough as you just describing your little Peter. And I don;t know that it would help if I tried to tell you she was.

    Hang in there, Momma. I have to chant, "1 step forward, 2 steps back" in my head a lot.

    And go ahead and cry when you need to (remember you're extra sensitive now w/ the pregnancy, too).

    *hugs & kisses*

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wow! I feel your pain. My son is 7 and has exhibited similar behaviors. It is so exhausting and frustrating! I read "Living with your Active Alert Child" and it changed my approach to him. We still deal with things more than the average parent, but the advice in that book really helped me to understand where he is coming from and helped validate that I am not a crazy and delinquent parent.

    Best of luck to you...in your exhausted pregnant state I'm sure it's tiring even thinking of facing him, right? These demanding, bright and energetic spirits were sent to Earth at this time for a reason. Our parenting must be a match to their gigantic spirits...although some days, I'm not gonna lie, I long for the obedient, compliant little angels I see in other families! :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm a frequent reader, but not frequent commenter. However, I feel like you wrote this post for me today. I have had the WORST day with my constant-struggle of a 3 year old. But today was one of his worse days.
    I sat there thinking "What have I done? What made him have so many behavioral proablems? Will he be this way until he's 18 years old?"
    I felt and feel so alone in my struggle. All the other 3 year olds in my area are so well behaved and attentive. They play well, listen well and are generally pleasing to be around. But my son is such a struggle, and because of it, I struggle. I struggle with my feelings towards him, I struggle with my feelings towards myself as a parent, I struggle in my marriage as we try to work through different methods of dealing with his moods. It's a struggle.
    But this post was a breath of air on a smothering day, knowing that there is someone else, someone else within 50 miles of me too, that struggled with their 3 year old son today.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh Molly. I don't know if writing that post made you feel better but it sure made me feel like I wasn't alone. I think the two worst parts of having a "strong willed" child is that A) It is embarrassing, and often this leads to feeling like you are being judged, even though you are doing everything in your power and working 24/7 on behavior. B) You (or maybe it's just me) feel like you are doing something wrong. You wonder if you perhaps DID do something wrong when they were younger. I had someone tell me recently "Your kid is SUCH a brat, I don't know how you handle her. I never could." Something came over me and I just replied "I guess that's why Heavenly Father gave her to me and not you." My daughter will be three in July. Maybe it's the age (except she's been like this since the dawn of time). If it is any consolation, she is incredible with her baby sister, very protective, sweet, and motherly and has never acted out towards her, just everyone else in the world. Thanks for making me feel like I'm not alone

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh the Strong Willed Child! There are quite a few books out there on just this subject. I had one... he grew to be a fine young man. Hang in there, but do take a look at some books on the matter, they can be very helpful! Give that boy some "choices"!! They love to make the decisions about everything so you make the options for him to choose before the behavior! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I have a very active over the top 5 year old. And I tell you what, I struggled so much with him when he was younger. I was so judged by others and it was hard!! As I prayed one night I had a very strong impression, that my son came to me with this strong spirit. And that he needed this strong of a spirit to accomplish the things that were in store for him. That he was sent to me because Heavenly Father knew I wouldnt break his spirit. But that I could guide him and help him learn to make good choices. It's definitely changed my view. These strong willed ones are challenging. Hang in there. You are not alone!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I haven't written a comment on your blog before but I read your blog faithfully. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! for putting into words what I often feel with my 3 year old daughter. They say that it's the "terrible 2's" well those were nothing compared to these "tyrant 3's". My daughter thinks she should be in charge all the time. My husband is the saint of patience and when I hear him just about lose it, I know it's really bad! I keep telling myself that this must be normal, other parents go through the same thing and I have resorted to giving myself a timeout from her tyrancy and sometimes that works better for me than giving her a time out. She just can't understand why mommy is in the corner, ha ha! Thanks for sharing!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. You have to know that 3 year olds are HARD, much MUCH harder than 2 year olds! That being said I have one with a personality like Peter and I know exactly how you are feeling! Some days I don't even like him. One exercise I did that helped me a ton was I wrote down all his qualities that made me CRAZY and I turned the words into positive qualities. Loud became enthusiastic. Stubborn became persistent. Aggressive became going after what he wants. The positive list made me see that his personality will serve him very well in life as he gets older..it is just nearly impossible to parent a child who is so darn intense. I loved the book "Raising your spirited child." lots of great ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I think you would love the book called "Parenting the Ephraim's Child" by Deborah Talmadge and Jaime Theler. It is a lot like the other books recommended except this book also includes a religious (LDS) point of view. It changed me. I have a whole new perspective on the way I parent my "Peter" I have been in your shoes on many occasions, and I can relate to your feelings. On the front cover it says, "Characteristics, capabilities, and challenges of children who are intensely MORE" sometimes that is all it is...intensely more. I highly recommend it...

    ReplyDelete
  34. My youngest son who is almost 5 (April) is also known as the "Beast" at our house. It started at 18 months and still continues today, not as bad now because I can reason with him but I have said many times that there is a reason that he was #4 and the caboose of our family. My other three children combined did not hold a candle to this wonderful, intelligent, busy, active child. He is getting alot better and will even go to primary with out me know, there are still a few tears when I first drop him off but nothing like the all out freak attack and spontaneous vomiting that used to happen when I would leave him. From my experience it does get better and hopefully as he gets older you will be able to reason with him and things will get easier for you.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I will keep my comments brief. But there is help. Get Peter evaluated with the Early Intervention program asap. The program director in your area is Suseanne Bond. Thier address and contact is:
    650 Round Valley Drive, Park City, UT 84060
    Phone: 435-333-1520 Cell: 435-640-1069 Fax: 435-333-1580

    Info on this program in your area:
    http://www.summitcountyhealth.org/children/early-intervention/

    I see so many of the traits that my 4-year-old nephew struggled with but is now much better.

    Here is the best part, know how you want some FREE pre-school? If he qualifies, it's free. So get him tested immediately because he will qualify for pre-school come April when he turns 3. My daughter was in the program and is now in pre-school as well, best thing that ever happened to her. Promise.

    Now make that call.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hang in there, you can do this! 2 is hard, but three is so much worse... I learned this after having two boys 14 months apart so lucky me...I got to experience it twice in two years. Those little boys are now 8 and 9 and turning into phenominal people. Sometimes EVERYONE needs a time out and a good cry. There is nothing wrong with what you did. I completly agree with EVERYTHING that "halvords" said. I was going to say something very similar but I liked the way it was worded so I wont. Just keep telling yourself it WILL get better, this is normal you are not alone.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Molly! I very rarely comment, but you could replace Peter's name with my Noah's and it all would fit. Noah will be 4 in April. He actually just got an ODD diagnosis! Along with OCD and Sensory Processing Disorder and AND is requiring OT for grasping issues. I know the grasp issues are totally my fault. I do not let him have colors and markers because he has written on every single wall in our home. And every piece of furniture. And he can't use scissors, because, well, WHY WOULD I LET HIM USE SCISSORS?!!! We started using 123 magic after his diagnosises, and for Noah, taking away his toys has been much more effective bc he could care less if we put him in timeout. At 1 I explain which toy he will lose if I get to 3. When 3 comes, that toy (Noah is obsessed...no really, with batman, so ours is always a batman toy) and it goes on the mantle until the next day. Noah is a year older, so i'm not sure if it would work with Peter, but just wanted to share with a fellow mom of a difficult but oh so precious boy! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  38. I just starting reading your blog that I found through another blog. You are an amazing and talented woman. I am sorry for the loss of your daughter. I know this new little life you are carrying will bring you lots of joy. As for your son, it is probably more normal than you think for him to behave as he does. When my son was 3 he told me, "You are not the boss of me!!!" and stomped away. He is now 28 years old and a father of his own 2 year old. Oh, let the fun begin. My grandson is every bit as head-strong and contrary as his father. But they are both wonderful human beings and bring me a lot of joy. I feel for my son's wife because she has to put up with my son and now my little strong-willed 2 year old grandson!! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  39. I wasn't going to respond until I had to lock (yes, we put a lock on his bedroom door) my 3 yr old in his room for taking off his diaper and then lying about it. Your description of Peter fits my little one perfectly. He is so defiant and independent. We have tried everything. His newest thing is that he won't be potty trained but takes off his diaper and puts his pants back on when I'm not looking. This is great fun as you can imagine. I wish you all the best. Just know that there are others just like you struggling and loving our own little tyrants. :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. I read an article once when my oldest was in preschool. It simply stated that "very active", "high spirited"...whatever you want to call it...children often grow to become some of the most intelligent people! I believe that we all came to earth with certain attributes. These attributes help make us who we are. Wouldn't you say, that in this crazy world which we live, we need these "high spirited" people to help stand for something right and good? They often are the ones that speak the loudest and get our attention. If given the right tools and taught how to use them (which I am certain both you and your husband are doing), these children can grow to become great leaders...the Alma's and Nephi's that our world needs so very much.

    We have 5 boys and 2 girls (my boys, more ruff and tuff!) These 5 boys, each have there moments. Sometimes I wonder if I will make it though this crazy parenting thing. My 11 year old can be a difficult child sometimes. He has a completely different personality and I would be a liar if I said that it doesn't both confuse and frustrate me. Some of his teachers tried repeatedly to have him tested for ADD. (Which in many cases, I believe, is a "quick fix"... for some teachers...to 'tone down' these very intelligent children's behaviors with medication so that the teachers don't have to "deal" with them!) To put to rest those teachers concerns, we did have him tested and MOTHER was correct! My little guy is just a "think-outside-of-the-box" kid and is very smart with things that interest him. He wasn't an easy child for a few years. I often wondered if he even liked me and sometimes I still wonder because we can really knock heads.

    After 7 children, I have learned that prayer, and listening for that still small voice to guide you through paretning is SOOOOO very important because each child is so unique. By no means am I raising perfect children. What has worked for one DOES NOT always work for the others. Believe it or not, currently I am experiencing many of those same frustrations that you are with our three year old son. He is a "High Stung" little guy! He knows exactly what buttons to push. I am recognizing though that much of his "high spiritedness" (if that's a word?) is part his personality and the other part our parenting. Once again he is completely different than our other children. With that being said, we are having to learn what works better for him...and beleve me, it is no picnic. It is often embarassing and his temper tantrums make me VERY angry.
    This little boy that I speak of came just after we lost one of our little boys. Out of fear, love and all of the emotions that come after loosing a child, we all protected him like a glass ball. We All spoil him and give him most everything he demands...mostly out of love and sometimes just to NOT hear him scream. However, we are discovering that this "love" has created quite the monster. Neeedless to say we are having to figure out what kind of parenting works best for him AGAIN...even after we thought that we had it all figured out.

    Father in Heaven did not make any of us out of the same mold. We are all different. Some of us have a few talents and others more. Some of us came with spirits that can't sit still and want the world to know they are here and ready to serve! Some of us play exactly by the rules and teach through quiet example...all and all we are all part of that same great big plan...and we all are here to learn as much as we can. You are doing a great job. Don't get discouraged. Just when you finally have little Peter figured out, this new little babe will help you learn some new parenting skills! Remember the answers are all there. LISTEN...the answers often come softly, but they will come. I have no doubt that you will figure out exactly what he needs.

    ReplyDelete
  41. So, I have a 5 year old boy with ADHD (and along with that often comes SPD, which he has as well). From the time he became mobile I knew something was up. He was walking at 9.5 months, and by walking I mean running. I kept wanting to have his picture taken professionally, but for at least until he was about two he always had some sort of a scab or scrape on his forehead from falling over while running away from me. It was exhausting. I don't honestly remember much from his early years, but luckily I can look back on my blog posts and remember things. I was simply surviving. I felt isolated. People at church didn't really want us to come over because my son was too much for them to handle, and he'd get into everything and teach their children how to do things and he'd discover things in their house their kids had never found. I felt like a horrible parent. I saw friends with 5 kids who had way more control over their children than I did over my one child. What was I doing wrong? When he turned 3 he started into preschool and his teachers saw flags everywhere. We quickly began meeting with professionals and having him observed by the local school system. He was set up on an IEP and eventually was referred by his pediatrician to a developmental pediatrician. Two days following his 4th birthday he was officially diagnosed with ADHD and we began medication. HOLY HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was like a different child and walked into my home. He listened. He could learn. He didn't run off. I didn't have to always lock the door with a key from the inside so he wouldn't try to escape. He didn't escape out of nursery and find his way outside to the road anymore. Since having baby 2 I have easily realized it wasn't me, but that ADHD is a real thing and is an imbalance that needs to be treated as early as possible so that children can thrive. My son's teachers continually tell me how grateful they are that we have fought so hard for him because he is thriving in life now. Children who go untreated and undiagnosed usually end up developing other issues, such as anxiety and depression, from being told they are "different" or "stupid" or just there general feelings of doubting them self. I can also tell you that my husband was never diagnosed with ADD until just this year (at the age of 28) and the lack of diagnosis and treatment has cause HUGE issues in his life and in our marriage. HUGE HUGE HUGE HUGE!!!

    Basically, what I'm getting at, is, if you have any thought that he might have ADD/ADHD I'd HIGHLY recommend you talking to a doctor about it. If he is enrolled in a preschool setting they might evaluate him as well which would help to get the ball rolling. Early intervention is key to success [and peace for us mommies]. I am a HUGE advocate for this and could talk to you about it all day long. (And, I'm not saying Peter has ADD/ADHD because I am not a medical professional and have never met Peter, but if you have an inkling, I'd start checking into it). Know that you aren't alone. It gets better. :) And, just to throw in a little brag about my ADHD child (who has now been medicated for almost 2 years), we moved to a new state 1.5 months ago and just today I got a letter from his kindergarten teacher inviting me to come to the school's ceremony on Friday because he was chosen as the Student of the Month! My child! My kid who ran everywhere and pooped everywhere and caused me to cry uncountable numbers of tears. I can't believe it! There really is hope!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I have a tyrant too!! Stumbled across your blog from one of my Utah friends... and I absolutely love it. You're an incredible woman!! Thank you so much for sharing your strength.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Oh my! I am so sorry, I have been there.....many times. I've read you blog for a long time but never commented. I went through many difficult years with my oldest daughter (who is now 7) she literally came out of the womb a difficult and extremely active child. 1st off I want to say that 3 year olds are soooooooo hard. They have nothing on the terrible twos. Something happened to both my girls once they turned 3 that seemed to replace my sweet children over night. My oldest was diagnosed with severe ADHD in January 2011. We went through all the testing with a child psychiatrist and she scored off the charts. We had also had her tested for a sensory disorder when she was 3 and she tested negative (although they did say she is "highly sensitive")My husband has ADHD as well so sometimes things can be a bit exciting around our house. Before my daughter was tested we did take a "Love and Logic" parenting class from an amazing woman in Heber, Katie Nelson. She also was my daughters preschool teacher....she changed our lives and seriously helped us survive the ages 3-4 with our daughter.
    katieconsultant@gmail.com or
    parentconsultant.blogspot.com

    she will sometimes come to you and teach a class in your home. Made a huge difference! I know I'm not really saying anything more than what others did, but hang in there. You are a wonderful Mom and you'll get this figured out!

    Andrea Knapton

    ReplyDelete
  44. I have a 3 year old who I lovingly call Sir James the Tremendous. Tremendous is one word to describe him and sometimes tyrant fits too. I had two thoughts I wanted to share. One is that just yesterday as I was putting him down for a nap we had a great little cuddle and talk. I was overwhelmed with a feeling that his spunk will not always be so trying for me. I was chatting about him with an older lady at church a while ago and she told me "kids these days NEED spunk! How else are they going to make it?" That thought came back to me as I tucked him in - he needs this spunk because life is HARD. The second thing I wanted to share relates to all of my kids but mostly Sir James. I had had a very long day and was at my wits end. I was actually in a very dark place. I decided to pray thinking that I would ask Heavenly Father to change my children. As I began to pray I was overwhelmed with a feeling of HIS love for them and instead I asked for help to understand them as He does, know them as He does, and most importantly to LOVE them as He does. This has been my prayer many times since and it has been a blessing to all of us. Heavenly Father is a loving parent and I truly believe he will bless us in our endeavors if we ask.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I don't know you, but this sounds awful. I have one slightly intense child and one super easygoing child, so I cannot relate to what you are going through, but I sympathize. And maybe this is absolutely not helpful, but I wanted to suggest that not all tantrums look the same and perhaps these outbursts are a kind of tantrum. We always used the "extinction" method with tantrums and I think we have only experienced about a dozen of them. No attention of any kind is paid to the child having a tantrum, no reaction or even punishment is given. Don't even look at them when they do this. The child comes to realize they will get absolutely nothing they want from the behavior. I hope this doesn't offend and if I am way off base just ignore me. And good luck. Kids are such hard work.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I'm not sure I've ever commented, but having a "difficult" child myself (he is now 28!!) I am sad you have spent all this time blaming yourself. It's a horrible thing when your child seems to be out of control and the only thing you can think of causing it is that you must be a bad parent. Oh Molly, you're not. Truly. I would advise an evaluation for early intervention because kids that need help and get it early - are able to live much happier lives going forward. If Peter is making you this frustrated and sad, imagine how out of control he feels because he doesn't understand any of it.
    And again, please, please do not blame yourself! It's not your fault!

    ReplyDelete
  47. I had the same problem with Finn (now 3.5). I took him to a Mom & me class and he was the worst child there every week for a year. His "terribles" started at 20 months, so pretty early. I thought I probably just had a naughty kid, or blamed it all on my parenting. I would frequently cry on the drive home comparing my naughty kid to all the well behaved ones. But, then I noticed he didn't act that way for other people. How does Peter act to the babysitters? Is he a little angel? Finn sure was! He's almost completely different now. I've decided it's a phase and they are testing you. Pushing every button, all day, everyday. If you feel he needs to get tested by all means... But ask the sitter first.

    Peter, is my favorite boy name btw... But my last name is Pack & husband just says P.P. isn't okay for initials for a kid to have to grow up with. I'm glad you picked a great name for such a beautiful boy!

    ::hugs::

    ReplyDelete