Parenting, Thing 2

Patience? What’s That?

NikkiZ is really pushing our limits of tolerance and patience in the Zoot household. Last night we were in her bedroom and she reached on top of the dresser to where some beads were. We’ve been working on a necklace and I’ve told her a million times that the beads can’t be on the floor because we don’t want AndyZ to get them. She looked at me, put her hand toward the back of the pile, and pushed them all on the floor. The ones that she missed with the first swipe, she went back to knock onto the floor as I sat there in shock at her blatant disobedience.

(Why? Why was I in shock?)

I immediately told her to go to timeout. She ran there excitedly. There are few things worse than trying to punish a child and seeing that it doesn’t phase them at all. She didn’t even act upset. So…I did what we’ve been doing a lot of lately. Piled on more punishments to see if anything else would upset her. I told her she had to help me put all of her necklace kits in a bag because we were going to throw them away. I braced myself for the tears…

“Okay!” She ran enthusiastically to the bedroom to help with that particular punishment. And later? She bragged to MrZ about it. “Momma threw my necklaces away because I was breaking the rules.” (Insert evil grin here.)

I find myself, at least 10 times a day, putting my hands over my face and taking VERY DEEP BREATHS. I also find myself savoring the few times any punishment actually seems to upset NikkiZ, because they usually don’t even phase her. She intentionally chooses NOT TO CARE. Because she knows it MAKES ME KRAZEE.

A family member told me this weekend that, “3 is the new 2.” As in…no one is talking about the Terrible Twos anymore. Twos? Terrible? What? No…now it’s all about the Insanity Inducing Threes. And we’re not even three yet. We still have another 5 weeks of TWO. I’m predicting that at some point in the next 12 months, I will find myself filling my first ever prescription for anxiety medication.

And I will be doing it with a smile on my face and a 3-year old locked in my trunk.

Loves to Laugh
“Ha! Just wait, Mom. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

32 thoughts on “Patience? What’s That?”

  1. oh, 3. three is hard. three is not fun for anyone. it took about 6 months of being three for beanie to settle in. maybe nikkiZ is just ahead on the terribleness and she’ll finish up early?!? good luck with that.

  2. Yup! I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about, and it drives me NUTS when Cole does it. He’ll be 3 the day before NikkiZ. The few things that have worked recently for us have been 1) putting him in time-out in non-normal places. Usually he sits in a chair in the corner, but it has been working better lately to put him in the dry tub with the tub door closed. I can still see what he’s doing and he’s still safe, but it’s a change-up that shakes him a little more than usual. 2) Sending him to his room. I know- it seems odd that this would be worse, but he actually CRIES if I send him to his room instead of to time-out.

    It feels a little evil each time, but when the discipline gets through enough that it makes him cry? I shout “VICTORY” in my head just a little bit. Or a lot bit. It’s not that I want him to be sad, I just love knowing that I’ve made any kind of impact AT ALL.

  3. i always noticed that the evil part of an age started 6 months before the actual age and lasted until monkey was that age and a half. as in 2½ to 3½ sucked royally. but 3½ to 4 was a breeze in comparison. good luck?

  4. @heels – Oh – I know exactly what you mean! We almost DANCE when something we take away makes her cry! Of course – it never happens a second time…

  5. Ah yes, the lovely age of three. Ha,ha. I remember DD1 going through her 2’s and I wondered why everyone called them terrible because really she wasn’t all that bad. Then she turned three and oh dear – not fun. She loves to watch TV so when she was bad we took it away. Oh the drama! Still works today and she’s now six. She’s still as stubborn today as she was then however. I don’t think they ever outgrow that.

  6. I don’t have children and I’m not an expert in child psychology, but do you think she reacts that way because you pay more and more attention to her when you think up more punishments? She has you undivided attention for a few moments. I don’t think you ignore her on a regular basis, but this might be her way to get a little extra time with Mom or Dad or LZ.

  7. @JP – She very well could be, unfortunately since I have three kids (and a husband – hee) she has to learn that I can’t give her attention all the time. But – I do try my best to schedule some good one-on-one time with her every night hoping that maybe it will satiate her enough to keep her from acting out —- I’ll let you know if it works!

  8. See, these kinds of posts are good, because you have so many adorable photos that make me want kids soooo badly, and then you post this, and I’m like, “Okay, I can wait a few more years.” 😉

  9. One of the things I’ve learned with kids is that when they have tons of stuff, they don’t have anything to punish them with. My cousin’s daughter has so much of everything that you can take any of it away and she’s fine. My son, however, LOVES his Wii, and when he needs to be disciplined we take that away and/or have him go to bed early. I think the trick is just finding what works and adjusting your discipline accordingly.

  10. Oh, ugh. Good luck with that. I hate to add to it, but three really IS worse than two. At least it was for us (with our first, our second isn’t there yet…).

  11. My two-year old does the same thing (e.g., blatently ignores me while laughing) but it usually involves stepping on, pinching, licking, squashing or in some other way impeding the livelihood of her 3.5 month old sister.

    It is soooo good she is cute. Otherwise we might plant her in the garden.

  12. We have one immune-to-punishments kid. I don’t know what to do with him AT ALL. I see some suggestions in the comments about it having to do with the kid having too much stuff or not enough attention or whatever, but I think it’s the way they’re BORN: I have five kids and only one of them (so far) is the immune type, even though they all get about the same in terms of stuff and attention.

  13. My daughter stuck her hand in her cup of milk and sucked the milk off it three times!! Each time I told her not to and each time she said “I wont do it again!! The willfullness is almost funny sometimes.

  14. “And I will be doing it with a smile on my face and a 3-year old locked in my trunk. ”

    Thanks for that. That was phenomenal.

  15. When you find out what works, for the love of God, please, please, please BLOG IT. Because my daughter, I swear, every day I contemplate listing her on eBay. Every day. I used to say it would be a miracle if she lives to see 3, but with that right around the corner and no end in sight to it…I just….I don’t know.

    It is not so much the naughtiness. The naughtiness I can deal with. What really gets me is the pure attitude. That when you punish, she is not mad that she got caught. Or sorry. Oh no, she is never sorry. The only reaction we get is anger that WE DARE QUESTION HER JUDGMENT. Don’t we know that the world is hers to rule and we are her subjects?

    I fear for the teenage years with this girl, I really do.

  16. My daughter will be 3 in less than 4 weeks. Yesterday she didn’t want to leave day care, so I picked her up and carried her over the threshhold, setting her down on the front steps. She sat down on the step and very calmly said “I. NOT. YOUR. FRIEND.” I did not laugh, but I wanted to.

  17. oh wow. um….good luck? I don’t have much experience with this because I don’t have kids, but I do babysit a lot and let me tell you how much fun it is trying to figure out what will work when the oldest was like that (he just turned 5 and is almost angelic now) things that work are turning off the TV. or the Come sit next to me and we aren’t moving off the couch until I say so, I guess a timeout but it is more painful sometimes for him to have to sit next to me I guess. LOL Sometimes it is bedtime early. (which I learns works as well when he wants candy, I tell him he can have some right before bed and all of a sudden he wants to go bed) heh.

  18. Yeah, you hit on my two standards: timeout & taking sacred items away. I would be at a complete loss if I had to go outside of that repertoire to find something that worked.

  19. There must be something in the air. My boy is an expert at being three. Fortunately, he didn’t get this way until he was almost 3 and a half (about 4 weeks ago). But MAN! It’s like he’s making up for lost time. And it doesn’t help that I go to school full time and work part time and am single- so when I’m home, I’m doing homework. And he fights going to bed so hard that I just let him stay up until I go to bed (fortunately i’m usually out by 9:30).

    Timeouts don’t work on the kid either. The only thing that seems to have an impact is if what he does makes me sad. But it seems like if I pretend to be sad even when I’m just plain mad at him, that could lead to some deep seeded issues.

  20. We started reading James and the Giant Peach to Elliot. He loves it. Every night he gets a chapter or three. Except when he’s naughty, NO READING.

    Probably not the best punishment, but honestly? I haven’t had to dole it out much lately. Granted he’s five.

    The three year old? I let her run wild. I can only effectively parent one child.

  21. Yeah, Son has been 3 for just over one month..and what I’ve noticed is he is just so much smarter and smart ass (yes, already) I’ll tell him, you go to time out..and he’ll look at me and be like YOU.TIME.OUT!. RIGHT.NOW.
    ugh, he is very very ME.
    but I realize that if I explain to him more since he is learning so much more sometimes he’ll listen, and sometimes not.

    other wise my days consist of “STOP, NO, STOP, WHAT DID I SAY? NO, STOP, DAMN IT, STOP, RIGHT NOW”

    don’t that sound fun?

  22. I’m going to go with @heels on this one. Changing the timeout location worked well with my niece and nephew. Moving the timeout chair to a location where they couldn’t see/hear what was going on drove them nuts.

    Hang in there.

  23. Yup, three is definitely worse than 2, at least it was like that with mine.

    Find something she really likes, and take it away as punishment. It could even be a favorite shirt or something.

  24. yeah…remember how I said the 5 yr old that I babysit is almost angelic now? I lied. Let me say there was pushing over of his brother, throwing pillows, coughing in my face and for the finale….biting me.

  25. Oh, lawd, What I hate most about it when they deliberately disobey and then laugh at the punishment is just how NUTSO it makes me feel. Totally violent and crazy. (Not that I act on it, of course.) Letting a small child push my buttons makes me feel like a total human failure.
    Glad to know I’m not alone here. 🙂

  26. Our GD is three, hasn’t started on that yet but she has started the screaming falling on the floor tantrums. Don’t know which is worse.

  27. When my now 12 yr old was 3 I said the same thing…”the terrible twos are just practice for the what you will face with a three year old” Oh my!

    So, good luck to you because my now 6 yr old also is difficult to punish. Nothing seems to bother her enough EXCEPT NOW she does seem to react when I threaten to now allow her to attend a birthday party….now, if we only had party every weekend.

    I try to remind myself that this trait of a strong will is something that will serve my daughter well when she is grown, if it doesn’t kill me first!

  28. 2 was easy, so easy. 3, hmmm, can I ship him to Siberia? I’m calling it the Tyrannical Three’s, he’s like a little Hitler, as if it’s not his way, a massive tantrum is thrown and major screaming ensues. Not that he gets what he wants after all that, rather he gets a swat or major time out, but he still tries it anyway!

    And to think I have a second child on the brink of the 2’s, can you say INSANE! If I survive their first 5 years without an admit to the crazy ward, I’ll be happy!

  29. I agree two was fine but three, holy smokes, Goose was an attitude and a half. I found that taking away activities (TV, craft time, outside play) more than stuff worked at this age.

    Its hard. And I mean really hard. We once had to not go to the beach, and I mean the car was packed and we were in swim suits and then, we didn’t go. We once had to leave a buggy (I will go with your word) full of stuff at Target and carry her out to the car kicking and screaming.

    Also if you take stuff away and then give it back, or buy a new one they figure out pretty quickly that it will be theirs again. It only took throwing away one precious item of Goose’s to learn not to push it. I never would buy it for he again. Follow though is the most important, and the hardest, but if you say no TV for the night, you have to stick with it.

    To whit, last night at her 2nd grade open house Goose’s teacher told her mom that Goose was one of the most polite little girls she had ever had in her class. She then went on to mention excessive talking, but we’ll ignorethat for right now.

  30. My Dad used to call me a different name too; it was “What the hell?” (e.g. What the hell? Get your butt over here!) 🙂

Leave a Reply