Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Don't Hate My Three Year Old

When I was little and I told my mum that I hated somebody, she told me that hate was a very strong word and didn't apply to how I was feeling. She told me that to hate someone meant that I "wanted to go to war with" that person.

Well, I am at war with my three year old. The little man and I are on the battlefield of the evil country of Preschoolistan. (Side note: I told Mr Awesome that I needed a good "country name" for this paragraph and without thinking he replied "Billy Jo Bob." He obviously misunderstood what I meant. I digress.)

So, I am at war with the little man. Like any war in history, the root of our conflict is a difference in beliefs. I believe that it is NOT okay to throw things when you are upset, he disagrees. I believe it is NOT okay to hit your sister on the head, he disagrees. I believe it is NOT okay to pee on the couch, he disagrees. I believe it is NOT okay to whine, he blatantly disagrees. We are at an impasse.

He fires a round of whining in my direction, I blast back with a time out. He lobs a book at the little miss's head, I answer with another time out. He throws his favourite toy "Leo" in anger, I rally with removing Leo for the whole day. He launches (thankfully not literally) a poop grenade into his underpants, I...well, let's face it. I clean it up. A poop grenade is not something that you can really punish. It's just something I live in fear of every day. It's my 1980's nuke and he holds control of the big red button. But poop really isn't part of this story. Okay, it factors into every story somewhere, but it's not the POINT.

We have made some headway. The whining is diminishing slowly. We've come to a point where he's starting to understand the time out concept and the consequences of his actions, but on a very short term basis. Consistency is all-important now and we are standing firm. Any sign of weakness on our part will send us retreating back over the bridge we fought so hard to cross. This results in a LOT of time outs each day. We try and keep the time between time outs positive and full of love, but after the 11th time out of the day it gets a little challenging. Bedtime can be a very welcome thing some days.

I don't hate him. I will never hate him. I love him unconditionally. But, by my mum's definition, do I want to go to war with him? Honey, I'm already there.

And there will be no surrender.


  1. I can't say I'm at war with my almost 4yo but man, have there been some battles! I think she is too much like me so we push each other's buttons. And the fact NO ONE was willing to actually try and discipline WAY back when it could have started making an impact and resulted in fewer battles now...well, it annoys me.

    I think if we had begun the discipline process when she was 2 we wouldn't have the issues we do now.My husband disagrees and always said, "she's only 2" whenever I wanted to invoke a consequence of some sort.

    I'm hoping he will listen to me as we begin to deal with the "2's" with our second child.

    Good luck!

  2. We've always been quick to discipline since 18 months old... and I can tell you the whining and defiance has hit an all-time high at 4... wait for it.

    Carrie... I don't think starting earlier would have changed things. If it would have, I'd hate to think what my son would be like now had we not done it.

  3. -sigh- I hear you, its been one of those days except its been all month.

  4. I can totally get what you're saying. When my son hit age 3 (in November 2009) it was like he turned into a being with all WILL and nothing but. He defied me at every turn and I wrote many a blog post moaning over it. He's getting closer to 4 now and things are a little easier...although not entirely. It doesn't seem to matter how we disciplined or talked or whatever, he has a mind of his own and he's not about to be controlled my me.

  5. I am sure all will be ok.
    I am past those years but do remember them well.
    As a side note, it is ok until they hit around 12 then it starts again. ;-)
    Life is good enjoy the ride and pick those battles.

  6. I am not quite dealing with the same challenges that you are, but I feel like I can relate. Oh parenting! There is always some lesson to learn as our children grow up. Hope there are peaceful moments ahead.

  7. My daughter turned 3 on May 13th of this year and all I can say is, "Oh my."
    We are convinced that she gets an adrenaline rush from arguing with us. Power struggles are her drug of choice. For the past two weeks, we have refused to get into a power struggle with her and things have been way better. BUt that is not to say we have found the answer. It is only what is working for us right now.