What happened to my sweet, angelic, little baby? Little One was the sweetest, *gentlest, most compassionate little girl ever. All of a sudden…BAM! No, it wasn’t the “terrific twos” that did it for us. She was still so easy when she was two. Now, she’s almost three (she’ll be three on Remembrance Day) and is really testing out the boundaries.
Being a preemie, she’s always been the smallest out of her group of friends and she was always the one to get bullied. She was fine. She never pushed back or hit back. Now, all of a sudden, she’s doing what all the other kids were doing. It’s driving me crazy!
No matter how calmly I try to deal with the situation, it always ends up with her, me, or both of us in tears. I’ve tried everything. Positive reinforcement, distraction…everything. Though Hubby and I are not fans of “Time Outs”, we’ve even tried that technique. To be honest, it means absolutely nothing to Little One. She’ll cry, do her “time out”, but the pushing and hitting still continue.
This has all just started within the past month. She watches her friends and soaks everything up like a sponge. She imitates her friends and tries to get away with things. Her latest thing has been learning how to spit and it drives me crazy. I do realize that children go through a stage where they learn to be independent and test the boundaries, and see what they can get away with, but this is really exhausting me. I also realize that we can’t keep her from play groups, play dates, or social gatherings for fear she’ll pick up unacceptable behaviour. She’s a toddler. She’ll go through that no matter what. It’s just our job to teach her what is appropriate and what is unacceptable. I try to show her that it isn’t nice to push our friends. It hurts our friends when we push and it hurts their feelings. It’s still not hitting home though.
She is a really great kid, but is really trying my patience and testing boundaries now. I am at my wits’ end. I was joking to a friend that I am so stressed out that if this persists, I don’t know if I’ll last until Little One’s fifth birthday. My friend laughed and said, “Or, she won’t last until her fifth birthday!”
*sigh* You’ve really got to have a good sense of humour if you’re a parent. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether you should laugh or cry!
If any of you seasoned veteran parents out there have any tips on correcting this kind of behaviour, please (PLEASE!) share!
No, seriously. I’m begging you! 🙂
* The English grammar teacher in me wants to write “gentlest”, as it is the proper comparative form for the adjective, but the other part of me wants to say “most gentle” because it sounds better! I suppose both are fine. I’ve got more pressing matters to deal with than grammar at the moment! 😉