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  1. #11
    spring
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    Two of my children were very much like that when they were the same age - one is truly an extremely strong-willed, the other, like a few other moms mentioned above, had sensory challenges. She also had a medical condition which was causing a lot of stomach pain and we had no idea that's what was causing the fighting at diaper changes, screaming at meal times etc - but she was too young to be able to verbalize to us what was happening and too young to understand what was happening, so it came out in what looked like extremely "spirited" behavior. Chances are you just have an extremely spirited child, but fwiw you might want to keep a behavior "diary" for a few weeks plus also think back through which situations set her off, and if something pops out you might want to talk to your ped.



    spring

    ps - even though they both were so very similar as young kids, my dd with the medical and sensory issues is, at 7, an extremely easy-going child most of the time. The other dd who had no issues is now 5, and she's every bit as stubborn and oppositional as ever! But she's a lot of fun too, and I know that her spirited personality will help her be successful as she moves through life, no matter how much frustration it causes us as parents
    spring
    DTC Dec 2001


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  3. #12
    mdvmd
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    My 3.5 year old is a strong-willed fellow. He is stubborn, obstinent, smart as a whip, and must test every limit to its max. We struggle every day with actions and consequences, but we seem to be making some headway. First, let me tell you that 1-2.5 were the WORST ages because he was just as stubborn but lacked reasoning ability required to process consequences. At about 2.5, it got better. My recommendations are the following:
    1. Have her evaluated for sensory d/o. My kiddo has moderate sensory issues, and although this knowledge does not excuse his behavior, it helps me to understand how to deal with it.
    2. Be firm and consistent. 123 magic has worked well for us in this arena.
    3. Don't have your own meltdown- challenging kiddos thrive on seeing you get excited/angry/etc.
    4. Try not to make a challenge out of everything. I've found that rather than say, "go upstairs to bed right now." I can say, "I'm gonna pinch your tushie all the way up the stairs..." Making it a game rather than a command works sometimes.
    5. When she loses it, put her in a safe place and WALK away. She learns that tantrums don't get her attention and that you are happy to talk to her when she calms down.
    6. Somedays just suck. Its not you, its not your kiddo, its just the way it is. Forgive yourself and her and start over tomorrow.
    7. All of the qualities that are making you crazy right now are actually very useful in adult life. Think about it, we admire strength, persistence, leadership, and strong will in adults. As I always say about my ds, if I can channel his energies toward good instead of mischief, he's gonna be the president someday! Good luck!
    dss 16, dsd 15
    DS 10/05
    DS 11/09
    DD 7/12
    GRAND FINALE due 4/21/13!!
    b/d 1-21-05
    "A person's a person, no matter how small" Dr. Seuss
    12/03 & 10/08


  4. #13
    mdvmd
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    P.s.- people will stare. If you don't correct her, they will look at you like a permissive doormat. If you do correct her, they will look at you like mommy dearest. $crew them- their children obviously don't have the same gifts your does.
    dss 16, dsd 15
    DS 10/05
    DS 11/09
    DD 7/12
    GRAND FINALE due 4/21/13!!
    b/d 1-21-05
    "A person's a person, no matter how small" Dr. Seuss
    12/03 & 10/08


  5. #14
    KL
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    Both of my children were difficult at age 18mos. Very different reasons (one was fearful of EVERYTHING, one was fearlessly brave and overly confident). We began 1-2-3 Magic and it really did help. If I stuck to it we were in good shape. It was a lot of work but worth it in the end. If I slacked off things fell apart quickly.

    Before 1-2-3 Magic we had a very stable routine but the girls needed more. They needed structure around behaviour and consequences. THe ped evaluated them, had them count to 3 etc and told me I was fine to start 1-2-3 Magic at that age. She agreed with DH and I that the girls knew what they were doing and would understand the 1-2-3 Magic concepts. I am so glad we used it. We are nearly 5 now and still using it (although I do not have to count as much as back then).
    Kim

    Kaitlin & Laine . Aug 6, 2004
    We are 5 years old!!!

    "Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand-and melting like a snowflake..."
    - Marie Beyon Ray


  6. #15
    sheryl
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    Quote Originally Posted by KL View Post
    We began 1-2-3 Magic and it really did help. ... I am so glad we used it. We are nearly 5 now and still using it (although I do not have to count as much as back then).
    My girls are 7.5 and I am still using this. LOL. It still works. I agree that this has been a great tool.

    You got great advice from above. I don't know anything about sensory issues, but I think you need to rule them out. But I have to let you know, it will get a lot worse if you don't get a grip on this now.

    I think it is really important to be proactive in things. Give them a choice so they will feel in control (would you like to get in the carseat all by yourself, or do you want me to help? Would you like to stop swimming now, or do you want to follow the instructions and swim together? Would you like to read a book before bedtime or would you rather me rub your back at bedtime). Let her decide and follow through. Make it fun, all the while getting her to do what you need to do.

    And when you go places, explain what you expect (we are at the store to buy only food for meals, no toys) and if she acts up, we will have to leave for a nap (or something). When she is playing and you want her to stop for something else, give her a couple of notices (you have 5 minutes before we have to clean up before lunch, then 3 minutes, 1 minute, then times up)...

    And I have to suggest if you haven't done so already, using a ton of positive reinforcements. Praise her when she is doing a good job. Give her stickers to put on a chart when she is doing good.

    Good luck!! This age is so hard anyways.
    Sheryl - 49 yrs old
    Proud Mommy to B & B - Jan 2002

    2+ yrs IF - 14 IUIs - 3 m/c (2 during IF, 1 years ago) - last injectable cycle worked!

    God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.


  7. #16
    Cat Mom
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    My DD is almost 17 months and has a wicked temper and can be very strong willed. I don't believe she has sensory issues, my parents say she acts just like I did. She is what we call our tiny terror!

    I too explain when we are going someplace what type of behavior I expect and remind them when we get there. If they have behaved, both DH and I praise them generously. I believe in using a lot of positive reinforcement. If they act up, we leave.

    When she begins to throw a tantrum, I grab her and get down to her level and tell her this behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it. She can either settle down or be placed in her time out corner. Or sometimes I will just hold onto her until she settles down, confining her arms and legs. This is something our Ped showed us how to do and it can be very effective.

    I try to give her choices as much as possible for her age. We are very consistent with their schedule.

    And I try to keep in mind how much rest she has had. A lot of times her tantrums are brought on because it is close to naptime or bedtime. Is your child getting enough sleep? I know if either of my kids are tired, they can be monsters and that brings on a lot of issues for us.
    Tiffany (36) DH (44)
    IVF#2, Baden Troy born 11/11/06
    Natural Surprise, Alexandra Elyse 2/14/08

    www.custommetalart.etsy.com


  8. #17
    njmama
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenmom2myboys View Post
    My younger Son is very strong willed while my older Son is so laid back. I tend to give the younger one some slack with things, he is not going to be like his brother so I cannot parent them exactly the same. I need to let him be a little wild to wear himself down. I don't let him rule the house either, when he doesn't listen he goes straight in time out.
    This.
    Make sure you parent your stronger willed one differently. They don't respond to the same warnings, punishments, etc.
    I have given birth to one angel (my 8 y.o. dd) and one spawn of Satan (my 2 y.o. dd).
    When I'm not laughing hysterically at my 2 y.o.'s antics, I'm ready to jump off of a low bridge somewhere. She is a handful, spirited, strong willed, high temper, tiny fuse. All of that and then some that I'm sure I've forgotten.
    She's a kicker, a screamer, a puncher (that's being dealt with). And to think that my older dd is such a mild mannered child, and always has been.
    Whew. I'm tired just thinking about it.
    njmama


  9. #18
    coffee cat
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    I agree that you should research sensory processing difficulties--it could be the cause of meltdowns, etc. I want you to know that I completely understand how difficult it is to raise a strong-willed child, and in fact your post nearly made me cry in remembering how difficult it was when my oldest ds (now 7.5 years) was between birth and 5 years.... He does indeed have sensory processing challenges (OT has helped immeasurably) and Aspergers. Routines, warnings before transitions, visual schedules, etc. have made life so much more peaceful for our family

    I know how hard this is.

    eta: we have also found that typical parenting techniques that usually work for most children often do not work, and can actually bring on more meltdowns, etc. I know your child is a little young now, but the book The Explosive Child is a great resource for those of us parenting strong-willed children.
    Last edited by coffee cat; 07-07-2009 at 03:47 PM.
    3 IVFs, 1 FET, and an in 2004
    mama of two miraculous and amazingly loud little boys


  10. #19
    kellbell
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    Momla and Monchhini--Thanks for the suggestions about sensory disorders. I looked at the website you linked, Monchhini and the only thing that would concern me is her eating habits. She is only eating fruit and pasta right now---and nothing else! But, I was a terribly picky eater as a child and she could very well be following in my footsteps. Otherwise she is pretty middle of the road in the other things mentioned. I will keep this website in mind as she grows older.

    Chris CDN--thanks for the book suggestion, I will check it out.


    I do have the book 1,2,3 magic but haven't read it yet. I've always heard that under two years old is too young for this? She doesn't know her numbers yet, so I'm guessing she'll need a bit more understanding.

    My dh was extremely strong willed at a child. My MIL tells me that she always told herself that "he will be a great adult--if I can only let him live!" and she was right. My dh is a successful engineer, a go getter by nature and doesn't take no for an answer. I know that my dd is extremely smart and observant and I'm guessing she is pretty much like dh was as a child.

    Thanks for all the advice ladies. Please feel free to add more as you think of it. I love dd so much--she is such a miracle after 3 IVFs. We joke that she had to be strong willed from the cellular level since she's the only one of our 10 transferred embryos that ever made it!
    Me (37) dh (37)
    Miracle #1 DD born 12/14/07 IVF #3
    Miracle #2 DD born 3/21/10 FET #2
    We have been blessed beyond measure!


  11. #20
    coffee cat
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    I also wanted to add another book suggestion (it may already have been suggested): The Out of Sync Child.

    You know what? I was and am a very strong willed person too. And looking back, and knowing what I know now, I am positive that I have sensory processing challenges. And even to this day it can trigger me to melt down (of course my melt downs look different from a child's melt down) and I have learned to control my reactions. But loud noises (children fighting or screaming) make me nearly want to jump out of my skin, I cannot stand it sometimes. I want to hide in a closet or run from the building I hate peeling potatoes because the sensory input I get from the peels sticking to my hands really bugs me. Breast feeding my babies was extremely painful for me--likely from a hyper sensitivity to the sensory experience. What I'm trying to say is there are probably many adults out there with sensory processing challenges (perhaps you, your dh?) that aren't diagnosed. And who have done very well and never needed the dx. However if we can understand why somebody acts a certain way it might change how we perceive the problem. If you can understand that she is responding to something not intentionally to be difficult you might choose a different solution to the problem. Perhaps she's not "disobeying" because she wants to be difficult, rather her body can't process what's going on so she reacts (tantrums, screams) in a way that makes her "discomfort" stop.

    Another thought I had is that my second ds (4.5 years) is also very strong-willed too. But there is a difference between the two boys. My eldest could not be distracted, or cajoled, or anything. His behaviour was pretty extreme. My youngest can be extremely challenging at times, but typical parenting stuff usually works with him. With my first it did not--which always made me feel like such a failure because no matter what we did his behaviour didn't change. Until we saw the problem in a different light (the SPD).

    Please excuse any typos my two strong willed children are running amok so I must go!
    3 IVFs, 1 FET, and an in 2004
    mama of two miraculous and amazingly loud little boys


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