So I've got to be completely honest. Age 3 (and those months approaching) have been really tough. Declan is extremely passionate, strong-willed and opinionated. These attributes will benefit him some day but these days it just equals what feels like locking horns all day long. Mark will call home from work and ask how things are and my answer is often "as long as we are doing what Declan wants, how he wants when he wants, things are fine." Every single thing is a battle.
I'm sure, to a point, this might be common 3 year old behavior. We repeat "this is a stage" and "this too shall pass" often. My frustration lies in the fact that I feel like I'm always telling him no and being firm with him. We can't transition to one thing to another without a mini argument. I'm not always proud of the mama I am to him right now. 
We are being consistent with discipline using primarily time outs, calling and encouraging each other and riding out the storm. 
Because, seriously, how can someone this cute be such a sassy pants?
Oh, and how does my baby look this old:
No matter the battles, I still adore this munchkin more than words can explain.
Repeat after me: "this too shall pass".


Jess said...

I have no good advice, but I so, so, so feel your pain. 3-4 is the roughest age yet for our big kids. The just plain do.not.listen. and worse, they sass all.the.time.

So, you know, you're not alone.

Some days Travis asks what we did and I say "I yelled and they stood in the corner." :)

Anonymous said...

I think every blogger should post about this kind of thing so we all feel more normal. I am struggling with consistency because sometimes, I just don't have TIME to wait for time out to be over.

Riley, too, is really good as long as I don't want her to get dressed, put her shoes on, brush her hair, brush her teeth, go potty, wash her hands, take a bath, put on jammies... or anything else that isn't 100% fun. Time outs are not working any longer... if I tell her to do something she just marches to time out instead... so now she goes to her room. I thought I would be much further into parenthood than 2.5 years before I told my child to march to her room by herself.

I think group therapy would be nice.

Angie said...

Love this post Ash! Agree with B!!! Group therapy needed! My girls are both really good at listening BUT both have their moments (several times a day) where they argue and whine and drive me bonkers. And, there are times when I'm not proud of the mommy I am either. You aren't alone and it's nice to know that I am not either. Time outs still work for us but sometimes when I say this is your warning blah blah, Holly says she WANTS time out! So I give it to her. AHHHH!

Rebekah Wilson said...

I always say that the terrible two's hold nothing against the thunderous threes. Stubborn, testing limits, saying no, demanding, whining (OH THE WHINING!!), the screaming, etc. IT. IS. UGLY! I also found myself feeling like more of a dicipliner than a snuggly mom. But it does pass and the more you stand your ground the faster it passes! Hangin there mama!

Patti Clark said...

I would say to myself as I was raising my girls, "IS this a hill I choose to die on?" most of the time it wasn't. Coming from the other side of this (as in hind sight, having 26, 23, 20 year olds, but still caring for a 7 & 4 year old and 6 month old)let me just say this
1. yelling doesn't work, they stop listening
2. If there is a dad hopefully in the picture let him discipline as much as possible and momma bear, LET HIM DO it. He won't kill his own child. trust me. But he needs to be able to discipline in his way not how you think he should. In the long run you will have way way less trouble and you will be able to nurture (which is your nature and job with your children) more. I know this sounds impossible but it isn't. But Dad has to be willing to step in and do this. I suggest Bryan Clark's sermons on Father, Mother and Family. God made mom's to show love through nurture and care and father's to show love through discipline and children with the inborn knowledge that this is how it should be. I am not saying that I never disciplined our kids. Because OBVIOUSLY I was home with them but I tell you there was so much freedom in saying "You can choose to do that but I will have to talk to your dad when he gets home and he will have to deal with it." and how Bryan treated me and required them to treat me (when he was around if they argued with or disobeyed me he took care of it)is probably the single most changing thing that we did. We were sort of of the mind set that if they were disobeying me I should deal with it or they wouldn't respect me. NO he should deal with it so they see respect in action. ALSO never never never argue with your spouse in front of your kids. they see that behavior and think it is ok to do. I am not perfect, my girls aren't perfect but we have an amazing relationship and I can tell you the struggle is worth it but you do have to at times say to yourself "who is the adult here? and why am I arguing with a 3 year old." I learned from my husband this- say one thing and just keep repeating that. for example - "I want candy for breakfast" "no, eat your toast" "Why?" "Because I am the mom and I said so" REPEAT AS NECESSARY but always in a calm voice.:-) and Let them wear their pajamas to the store eventually they will understand and who cares it doesn't make you a bad mom it makes you the cool mom who hasn't wrapped up her identity in her children and when they are older they will want to be around you because you haven't sucked the life out of them. They are their own little self and you have to let them find it with guidance and reason.
3. Let them make bad decisions (within reason)but then don't rescue them. Consequence is a great teacher. for instance if they choose to wear their pajamas to the store and someone comments DON'T make excuses for them. Just smile and say "Yeah they wanted to wear them."
4. Just know that no matter what discipline takes time. I imagine God feels a little exasperated at us when we go our own way and argue with him. Your kids will see how God loves them through your love and discipline.
This may be a little confused and random and LONG but..oh well hope some of it makes sense.

BrandiH said...

So nice to know I'm not alone. Although Lilli started her "things must be MY way" at 2, I'm expecting it to last until she's 4. She learns so much from the older boy at the sitter :/ We struggle with consistency in our house to because Timeouts to don't work for daddy. He has no patience or the will power to make her sit there. There are definitely times I'm not proud of the mother I am, but there are just times when you have to do what you have to do to make it through.

birthmothertalks said...

Sounds pretty normal to me but just wait until they are about 11 or 12. :)