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19/10/2011 / butterflyexperience

Are all 3 1/2 year olds exhausting?

We had a home day today as I had some meetings to be held from home about the business and at the end of the day I feel exhausted by my 3 1/2 year-old daughter.

She was rude, loud, cheeky, defiant and pushing every single boundary in a way she never has.

I re-enforced boundaries through the naughty corner and taking away privileges such as the cake making we had planned and taking away bed time teddies and ignored bad behaviour.

I also gave positive attention through playing craft with her but she still acted up.

She also had a wee accident twice today which is definitely not normal for her.

I’m at a loss and hoping today was a one-off.

Anyone have any ideas to her behaviour today?





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  1. Rebecca English / Oct 19 2011 7:58 pm

    Oh dear some days they are just hard work. It always seems worse when they are getting unexpected attention – they just seem to crave more and more. My daughter is four and sometimes when she’s really bad the next day she is poorly – but not always. Sometimes she is just in one of those moods.
    I know it’s their way of learning to keep pushing your buttons but it can be so wearing. I think all you can do it set the boundaries and be consistent and praise every time they are being good.
    Hope you have a better day tomorrow. I’m sure you will.

    • butterflyexperience / Oct 20 2011 10:05 am

      Thanks 🙂
      I often think I have the only difficult child so reassuring that we all go through it with them, and best way to handle them is to stand our ground and give love during the good times.


  2. Rebecca English / Oct 19 2011 7:59 pm

    By the way would love you to link this to my Tea and Sympathy linky. It’s open for a week for anyone to post about their bad days.

    • butterflyexperience / Oct 20 2011 10:05 am

      Would love too, good idea 🙂

      • Rebecca English / Oct 20 2011 8:14 pm

        Thanks for linking up matey. Come back whenever you’ve written a bad day post, you’re always welcome!

  3. Average Jo / Oct 19 2011 8:48 pm

    Probably not good to admit this but it sound’s like my 3 and a half year old most day’s. She is adorable, and so entertaining BUT also sooo exhausting. One of her big sister’s was exactly the same at her age though, now she’s 12 and so good people can’t believe when i say what a whirlwind she once was. My son who is now 7 had the exact same parenting yet he was alway’s just very placid and never challenged me ! So i’m quite philosophical about it all now.

    Hopefully today was just a one of for your little one though 🙂 Little people do seem to have a sixth sense that tell’s them when you’ve things you’d like to get done too. I also occasionally blame a bit of over tiredness, or coming down with a virus if little accident’s occur.
    Good luck with tomorrow, hope she’ll be back to her happy self 🙂

    • butterflyexperience / Oct 20 2011 10:03 am

      Good to hear that your 12 year old grew out of it, have to admit I’m a little worried to wonder what she will be like as a teenager!

      Sorry that you have a 3 year old like mine though…and your right most of the time it’s tiredness or illness, hoping yesturday was a one off tired day.


  4. Clare Kirkpatrick / Oct 20 2011 10:44 am

    Hmm…have you read Unconditional Parenting? 3.5 year olds are exhausting, but I often find it’s better to get down to their level and just tell them firmly but lovingly that isn’t acceptable and tell her other ways to get your attention.

    There must be something bothering her to make her behave like that, but I bet she doesn’t know what it is. However, it’ll only be fixing whatever it is that’s the problem that will help.

    I don’t know if this post I wrote a while ago will help you?

    You do have my sympathies – 3.5 year olds can be so draining to care for.

  5. fiddlerintheloft / Oct 31 2011 2:06 pm

    I feel your pain. My oldest is 3.10 and on the days when I’ve got a lot to do she instantly senses it and starts to resent every second not spent with her. My mum (who looks after her sometimes when I work) often notices that she’s been great for hours and start to play up the minute I come into the door – I suppose it’s her way of ensuring that I give her the requisite attention straight off!

    • butterflyexperience / Nov 4 2011 8:05 am

      I think that’s it.
      She wants my attention and a sure way of getting it is by being naughty 😦
      I’ve been giving her one on one positive attention over last few days and things have improved I’m pleased to report.

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