Tuesday, June 3, 2014

2 Was Easy, We Are Still Trying to Figure Out 3!

I've heard it both ways a thousand times "2s are the worst" "3 is so much worse than 2" Another favorite or not so favorite is "his behavior now is what he will be like as a teen" I don't have a teenage boy so I can't say if that parts true or not but don't tell me that because honestly some days having a 3 year old with crazy behavior is enough!

When B was two his behavior changed but it wasn't terrible. The only change I remember off the top of my head is that he found his loud! He went from being a fairly quiet little boy to a loud one! It wasn't bad at all just an adjustment and an easy one. We worked on when and where being loud was okay. He started hearing the phrase "inside voice" a lot! 

He turned 3 and I think my patience button stopped working and his reality changed majorly. At first I couldn't tell if he was just exhausted from a busy few weeks and especially busy birthday weekend or if turning 3 had really hit us. The changes were so fast and crazy that I just knew he was exhausted. Whiny, crying about everything, throwing fits like I've never seen him throw, looking right at us and acting like we weren't talking to him, potty training out the window accident after accident, and serious stubbornness! I felt like I was loosing my mind. I'm sure all of those behavior changes didn't really happen over night but it sure seemed like it. 

It is taking adjustments for all of us to conquer this exhausting three year old behavior but it's making life easier and fun for all of us.

We have worked hard over the last few weeks to make sure that we are getting B to be at a normal time. Our normal bedtime for him is 8 but with the sun still up at 8 it has adjusted to 8:30-9. (After vacation we are going to have to start all over with this) He needs his rest and doesn't take naps. It's important that he has the opportunity to get between 10 and 12 hours of sleep each night. If he doesn't then our days seem like hell. Since I'm home with him during the day it's up to me to make sure he gets quiet time every afternoon. We have been doing the afternoon quiet time for about a year but now it seems more important than ever. I haven't always had to sit with him but now he won't relax until I do. We watch a movie or read books. Some days he falls asleep but most days he just hangs out.

We are giving him choices that we can all live with. Such as, you can either play over in the grass or the dirt, you choose. Giving him choices really helps when he is being extra stubborn and testing his limits. It helps him know our expectations and gives him a sense of feeling like he has some control over what he's doing. I feel like that's a win win!

We are also working on using our words to express our feelings, wants and needs. Having him use his words has been proving to help cut down on the fits and how long they last. It is also helping teach him how to channel his feelings. When he gets upset instead of screaming and throwing a fit we are working on stopping and talking it out. 

Time out is also my new favorite thing except for the part where he cries like a hurt wild animal. I have to cover my face or close my eyes to keep from laughing at him some days. Time out is helping him get away from the source of the problem. Right now I sit on the floor infront of him just far enough away that he can't reach me. Eventually I will be able to get further away but right now it's new. We've used time out for a long time but we are getting more serious with it now. It seems to make the biggest impact on him out of all other forms of discipline. As long as we continue to use choices and time out together I believe that we can conquer this wildness that is 3 year old behavior. 

As of today I'd say things are getting easier. We still have some really rough days but we are having more good days than bad! Yay for more peaceful days and happiness all around! 

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