Hi Faith Collins,
I love love your blog and reading it often as I have a newly 3 year old and a 9 month old at home. I have a questing regarding whiny and near constant meltdowns with my 3 year old. We found the 2’s to be very easy, not terrible at all but have found the 3’s to be very challenging so far. She is extremely whiny and almost everything results in meltdowns and tears. I for the first time, am finding myself NOT enjoying my time with her and that makes me sad. Just this morning she didn’t want to get dressed, I gave her a 5 min and a 1 min warning and then when it was time she yelled “no” and cried. Then she said she wanted raisins, I brought them to her and they were the wrong kind, more tears. You get the idea.
I would love any suggestions on how to deal with this and work her through it. Thanks in advance for your thoughts how on how you deal with this type of behavior.
I’m currently out of town at a conference but will write a full response soon. My experience is that some kids have a hard time at 2, and others have a hard time at 3. It’s usually one or the other, but it comes as a rough surprise to the parents of three-year-olds who thought they had gotten through the twos scott-free! So just know that it’s part of her process of coming into herself: discovering that she’s separate from you, that she has her own opinions, that she suddenly has big feelings but has very little impulse control. I have some ideas of things you can do to help things go more smoothly, but just know that this is probably just as uncomfortable for her as it is for you. Let her know by your attitude and your actions that you have compassion for her in this difficult time, and that you will help her learn to regulate herself so that the two of you can be in loving relationship again, enjoying your time together.
I’ll write more later, but I just wanted to give you a first piece to work with. Not an easy piece, but a necessary one! Hang in there, mama! Your sweet girl will return; she just has some important things to learn first.