I am so stressed out....

gobabyAugust 5, 2002

I have 2 children almost 4 and 2 1/2. The older is a boy and the younger is a girl. DS is going through a phase where he is constantly arguing about everything. Going anywhere with him is almost impossible. He throws a tantrum if we don't do what he wants to do.

I have always been consistent with discipline and I thought that would make things easier for me. Well, it doesn't seem to affect his behavior. When he starts throwing a tantrum (yelling and crying)I give him a warning and then if he doesn't stop immediately I put him in timeout. His behavior does improve after he comes out of timeout but only for an hour or two.

If he is misbehaving with a toy the toy is taken away and put into time out. He doesn't have a favorite toy and we rarely watch tv so taking those away wouldn't work.

I have had him looked at by his doctor and he says that he is perfectly happy and normal and suggests this is only a phase. "Kids will be kids".

I can handle the fact that kids go through phases but it is starting to take a toll on me. DD is starting to pick up tips from her brother.

My Dr has suggested that I go on Paxil which is a medication to treat panic and stress. I just don't know what to do. I've been getting my sitter to watch the kids a bit more so that I can take a break but my stress levels don't seem to be improving.

Has anyone else out there gone through this? Any suggestions for me?

Thanks for taking the time to read this and respond. THanks.

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All kids hit this phase periodically. All it takes is them seeing another kid at the store or school and they start over, and you have to nip it again.

but listen to what happened to me Friday.

I take my 4-yo DD shopping (it was tax-free day here on Friday so the stores were packed as if it was the day after Thanksgiving).

I picked her up right after she finished eating lunch at preschool, figuring her tummy would be full. Get thru the first trying-on-clothes session. Then right before the second set of clothes, she pitched a bawling, crying, screaming fit in the crowded dressing room.

So I am in that situation we all dread - can't call her down too forcefully. Can't timeout. Can't spank. Cant put a toy in timeout. Can't leave (i guess I could have, but I had to get the shopping done - that was the bottom line). Lasts for 10 minutes, and then I finish the last tryon, quickly, pay and vamoose.

We get to the next place, BJ's (a warehouse-type store with a snackbar). She asked if she could have a hot dog. I said, "You just ate. Are you really hungry?" She said she was starved. So I bought her the only hot dog they had - a footlong!!

Guess what! She ate the whole darn thing. The tantrum must have been hunger induced (heck, I know how grumpy I get when I'm hungry)lol.

Anyway, next time he gets unbearable, offer him a glass of milk and 3 cookies.

Also - when DD gets this way due to needing a nap, I always wait until she's calmed down a bit. Then I punish (Like you do). "Honey, because you were being ugly today, your favorite doggy is in timeout for the rest of the day. If you don't act that way any more today, you can have doggy back)

I find that if I do the punishment in the heat of the moment, she's too hysterical to understand the (action=consequence) lesson.

It also gives me a few minutes of 'me' time to cool off, and assess whether she was really misbehaving, or if I was being too sensitive.

You are doing a good thing by taking some time to take care of yourself!!!! Just know that we all have these days!!!!

we're here for you! Sending big hugs your way!!!!


    Bookmark   August 5, 2002 at 2:13PM
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Think about all of this and then rethink your plans to take them to Disneyland. You are talking about STRESSFUL with children that age. Waiting in line is something that even adults whine about. For a 4 year old, a few minutes is an eternity.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2002 at 7:43PM
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We will be going to Disneyland with my Parents. So we will have lots of attention and distractions for him. He has never thrown a major tantrum while my parents are around. We are planning on only going for 2 or so hours at a time so I am not too worried about the kids getting exhausted. This makes me think that maybe his tantrums have to do with boredom. Hmmmm. I wonder if that is what is going on. Thanks for the great tips TREKaren! I think I just needed to hear that other parents go through the same thing and that I am not alone. I appreciate the support!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2002 at 10:44AM
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It has a LOT to do with a phase your son is going through. Parents always talk about the terrible two's but forget to talk about the 3's and 4's. I think this is the worst time! Kids at this age seem to do stuff more just to test you and see what they can get away with. I've had to take my son out of a store more times at the age of 3 than I did at 1 or 2. It's stressful and annoying but you can't seem to do much about it except not put your foot down and let it be known that you won't tolerate it. It's REALLY difficult in stores to do anything because everyone is staring and you worry that someone won't agree with what you're doing. I think kids know this, too.

MIL was just saying about taking my 4 1/2 year old neice shopping for some clothes for Head Start. She threw a royal fit because MIL would not buy her these shoes that she felt would not be best for her. I guess MIL made her sit on the bench in the store and then threatened quietly that if she didn't behave, she'd get her butt smacked! MIL said she wouldn't really have done it in the store but she made neice think she would and that was enough to snap her back to reality! LOL On the way out of the mall neice got mad because MIL wouldn't take her to the toy store. But the rules were she had to behave or no toy store. My neice was shocked and MIL said so was SIL when she told her that she didnt' get anything because she was bad. The problem with them is mostly the parents give in to prevent a scene and that doesn't work or help matters. I would rather see a parent say no and a kid throw a fit than see the parents do whatever to get the kid to behave!

It's a trying time for you but it's part of raising kids. You just have to keep with it. Your daughter will soon be going into the same stage your son is growing out of!I would rethink a trip to Disneyland at your kids ages. It's hard enough on adults and tiring for everyone let alone kids. Not to mention, your kids are too young to ever really remember much about being there. And if you're having problems with them now, it's not going to get better while you're there, grandparents present or not! Good luck.Remember we aren't given anything we can't handle. Getting through this rough stage will make you a stronger and better parent.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2002 at 11:06AM
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Ah the Terrible Twos (or as it is called now. "terrific Twos"), Theatrical Threes, ferocious Fours (now to keep things sounding nice..the Fabulous fours),etc. The "even numbered" years seem to be tough on kids. So do the 1/2's (2.5, 4.5 etc). Yes it's stressful, but you're doing great being consistent. They do learn, not the first time, not the second, but around the 50th (okay not that bad, it just seems like that sometimes), they do learn that mom means business. My kids tried even telling me I was a mean mom (0f course they did this in a store with about 10 people watching), I calmly looked at them and said "you bet I am, I went to mean mom school and got an A). Even at 4 it shut them up! In other words I didn't say "no I'm not, I'm doing this blah blah blah...(which is what they would have heard anyway).

Being a parent is tough, and at times it isn't even fun!! Hang in there, this too shall pass.

Vickey-MN (who survived all the above and now is into teenagers...that's a whole 'nother story!!)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2002 at 1:57PM
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