Professor Mom

Chronicles the life of a mom, teacher, and writer trying to stay sane amid the chaos of daily life.

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mouse's picture mouse

I get similar glimpses with Scooter. I think they're programmed as visual reminders that this too shall pass and that our kids will probably turn out just fine.

With Scooter, I think that the meltdowns really started to pick up sometime after he turned 3, a function of his inability to communicate effectively. Many of the boundary-pushing bits have come in the past year or so. Your experience with the chocolate is something we've come to know--silly us, we thought maybe we'd get by it.


MommaT's picture MommaT

I'm counting my blessings that S. skipped the terrible twos (and knocking on wood that they don't ever come). S. is such a wonderful child--he truly amazes me because he's so good. But every once in a while (usually when he didn't nap at school), he gets "possessed" and he acts up. He won't want to get in the car, put his seatbelt on. So I have to spend at least 5 minutes wrestling my 3yo into his seat. I usually have to pull over at least twice to make him put it back on. I hate it but I can't give in. Once we get home, he goes straight into time out or if he's ballistic, he goes to his room. His room is "chill out" time and he usually falls asleep. Chill out time is a lesser punishment that time out but I use it when he's possessed because it helps him realize that he's in a "safe" place compared to the "evil" time out hallway. He usually returns to normal sooner when he's in chill out compared to time out. We use whatever works at the moment.

We recently spent the weekend with friends (they have a 5yo girl). Most of the weekend was spent with her not listening, purposely defying her parents, and giving dirty looks when he didn't get her way. My hubby and I were taken aback from her behavior. Her parents do punish her when she acts up but they aren't consistent enought to make it stick. I fear they will have a life-long battle with who has control. My niece (8yo) is the same way. My sis has a constant battle for control in her house because my niece won't listen and follow instructions.

I think every child (and even adults) has moments were they don't want to comply with authority, and that's okay. But I think the key to control is consistency. Stay consistent on what is and isn't acceptable...

But for goodness sakes: chocolate is acceptable at ALL times. At least for adults. ;-)


Jen G.'s picture Jen G.

I am going through the same issues with my 5 year old. He thinks he is old enough to make dissisions on his own, and proceed to tell my two year old and me how things should be done.
But as for terrible twos being a myth - I must disagree! Both of mine were just like the two year old in the book (displined or not) "I Love You Forever, I Like You For Always" - tearing up everything!!! I understand that they're not always terrible, but mine were/are always into or tearing up something. Distruction is their middle name.
None-the-less, I love them both!!!


summermama's picture summermama

I was just having that conversation with my mother a few days ago when she had a chance to witness that same "chocolate" conversation going on in my house. My little boy N will be four in December.

I remember holding him when he was alittle over 6 months old... wondering what little personality was inside that quiet, sleeping, "easy", little baby....

HELLO.... he has now begun to show me. I just have to take a deep breathe and go forward staying consistent and loving him every step of the way.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

You're right, Mouse, they are key "visual reminders" as you put it, about how important reciting "this too shall pass" is on a daily basis! I think you're right, too, about how many frustrations arise when a child turns three--they intersect with the world and just can't express themselves well enough yet to make it work.

summer mama--yes, it's definitely a one-day-at-a-time process, isn't it?

Jen G., I have two nephews who were like the boy in that book, so I know it happens, you're right! But I have also heard from so many parents that three seemed to be the age when the acting out really became challenging!

I think we parents often need the "chill out" time more than the kids, don't we? But truly, a lot of the acting out I think is because at three and four a lot of kids don't nap anymore, but they still get tired and need to sleep. I know my T. could benefit from a nap, but she just doesn't anymore.


Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

You are so right. My B spent age 4 either arguing with the Hubs or I, or having a tantrum. It was a very teary, very sweaty age. Now at five, she's a little easier to reason with.

I try to be thankful when my kids are being defiant. Thinking of parents who will never have the luxury of their kids reaching that important milestone.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I agree, Omaha. I think we are too quick to complain about defiance and free-spiritedness, or willfulness, however you term it. But I think with the right guidance those qualities can become assets.


mouse's picture mouse

My mother-in-law says of her son that at least she never worried he would do something just to follow the crowd. That was the mantra that got her through raising a super-stubborn child. Of course, he still did plenty of stupid stuff, having decided ahead of time that it was worth the consequences.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

...but never following the crowd--that's really something! I think I would fall back on that mantra, too--stubbornness can pay off!