Monday, March 21, 2011

Help a Mommy Out

I need help.  
I have this amazing three year old kid, 
that has an awesome personality 
and a great sense of humor.
His imagination is endless
and his energy is abundant. 
But... 
this is my first time having a three year old
And I've got some questions.
So if you would
Help a mommy out.

1. During the winter I try to keep him as active as possible, but it seems like he has an endless amount of eneregy.  I try to split up the day and have fun things planned, but I was wondering how some of you mom's out there have dealt with 3 year old energy during cold, shut-in days.

2. It seems like Jayden is night potty training himself, because he has been waking up at night to ask us to help him go potty.  But then there are night's he doesn't.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get more consistent with this and make it an every night type thing?

3. Cleaning up is like pulling nails at my house. Does anyone have any good advice for helping him understand the importance of cleaning up and doing the tasks?  I tried treats, but it's not really affective.  

4.  Jayden has got going potty down great, but wiping is still a problem.  He needs mommy and daddy to help him do that.  Is this normal?  Did I do something wrong?  Is there something I need to be doing?

5. Speaking of pee pee (Oh I feel stupid asking this one) is it NORMAL for three year olds to be so interested in their own boy part?!  Because he SO IS.  My husband says yes, but again... I wanna hear from mommy's that have gone through this phase and how did you handle it?

6. Jayden sometimes back talks us.  I feel like it's something that most kids do because they are learning how to express themselves and their personality, but after addressing it over and over when should this be known to him that talking back to us is wrong?

7. He is my child, boy do I see that... How can you help kids that aren't morning kids be nicer and more chipper in the morning?

Ok... I think that's it for now.  Sorry if these are stupid questions, but I would really like clarity on some of these things, plus getting them from ladies that I admire greatly is even better.  So thanks for helping this mommy out and I'm looking forward to hearing your advice.

Also - I have been writing a lot lately but not on here because I'm planning this special thing for the month of April.  More to come later.  I'm super excited about what God is doing and putting on my heart!  

Hope you all have a great Monday!


18 comments:

LeAnna said...

Much of this I can relate to with my 2 yo! Oh my word, boys and their "parts"! My Hubby just laughs (he was one of 4 boys) but seriously, I had no clue. We deal with morning grumpies, too, and I always just talk to him about how the joy of the Lord is our strength, and we should wake up praising Him and happy because He loves us, and so on. He may be young, but it's never too young to start instilling those principals!

Sassytimes said...

I wish I could help you, but I don't have a 3yo (yet) or a boy. :( I can relate to the morning grumpies though...man, it's bad here. I'm not a morning person either, so I get it. I'll be interested to see what others say on that topic.

PaigeR530 said...

I don't have a 3 year old yet, but for your question number three: What about trying a chore chart? You can google search age appropriate charts that make him in charge of checking his responsibilities and putting stickers on it when he completes his tasks. Once he gets so many stickers, he can select a reward or treat. That way he is working for something he really wants, instead of small rewards each time.

Katie~Loves Of Life said...

To go with what Paige said, Melissa & Doug makes a great chore chart--I gave one to Kesh for xmas for the girls. Try that--they sell on target.com

Also, I'm sending one of my go-to mommies over here to help you out...she has a 6 year old son (and 7 year old daughter, and 13/14 month old daughter (and one more on the way)--so, she totally knows boys that age, too. She is great. Her name is jess from dude&sweeties (I write w/ her on poop whisperer)...

Mrs. Dirnberger said...

I don't have a 3 year old, but I hear if you make cleaning up a GAME (with song and dance) it will help and make it seem fun instead of a chore!

Sarah Hannon said...

Oh boys can be funny, can't they. For the talking back: he's just testing the water, seeing how far you and Jesse will go. For the potty: it's normal he still needs help.
You're are a great job!

Laura said...

I'm so not there yet, but can't wait to read all the advice you get. Agh the challenges to come! And boys....I so don't know what to expect.

Chicago Mom (Heather) said...

My kids are pretty happy in the morning but it's probably because we let them watch Mickey Mouse? Is that bad? hee hee

Cute header!

Jess said...

Three is the worst. Honestly. My daughter was 3, for an entire, horrid year, and then right after that, my son was three. I had two straight years of three. *shudder*

That said.

1. Mine still run around the house on cold, nasty days. I've learned to live with the noise and chaos. I do have mine play hide and seek often...that's a great indoor game for both physical activity and mental. That combo helps tire them out.

2. Okay, honestly? My son turned six in December, and just recently stopped wearing pull ups at night. Kids' brains and nighttime potty breaks have to develop. It's that simple. There's a connection to be made, and you can't train it. When he goes two weeks without wetting at night, he's probably ready. Until then? It's actually totally okay for nighttime pullups/diapers.

3. Go to Michaels, and buy a couple of beach buckets in fun colors. Have him help you pick out some cool boy stickers. Decorate the pails however he wants. Then, every day, teach him to carry a pail around the house to put his stuff in it. 3 year olds can't clean up like adults, but they can learn that there's a place for things. I'm also a bit of a hard-butt when it comes to cleaning. My kids KNOW that if they don't pick their stuff up, I'll pick it up for them. And if I pick it up? It goes in a black trash bag to not be seen again. For awhile. I did that a few times, and MY GOSH did they learn that quickly.

4. OH GIRL. My six year old son JUST started wiping himself. It's totally normal. My daughter was almost six before she could wipe herself properly. I mean, they could have probably done it earlier, but I'm not a fan of stinky kids. So yes, it's totally normal, and you've done absolutely nothing wrong.

5. And YES. Boys LOVE LOVE LOVE their man parts. Love it. When Gabe was about 4, he was at the breakfast table, looked up at me, and said "Mom, I really love my penis". I was all "okay, that's great dude". It's no big deal. I've taught Gabe that his parts are private, and not to be messed with around other people, because they're his. And so any messing around gets done at home, in the bathroom. And by messing around, I mean just basic "oh, hey, it's still there" checks. When boys discover that they have a part that moves ALL BY ITSELF, they like to check constantly to make sure it hasn't disappeared.

6. They never stop talking back. They can't help it, really, because they're learning how to be people in their own right, and part of that is challenging authority. That said, don't ever stop teaching him to be respectful and polite to his parents and authority, and stay on him about it like white on rice. Eventually, you'll see that he's learned it because while he still may do it with you, you'll see him being polite to other adults. So keep addressing it over and over. Eventually it'll stick.

7. Yeah, mornings. Don't bother. My daughter is a BEAR in the morning, and my son is an angel. I don't talk other than absolute necessity to my daughter for her 1st 20 mins awake. Trying to change that is like trying to make the sun rise in the west.

Okay. I'm so sorry that this is insanely long. Hope some of it helps, or at least helps you know you're not alone. :)

Katie~Loves Of Life said...

I knew, knew, knew jessica would have some wise words :)

a blog full of weldons. said...

so i was going to write a bunch of stuff, and then i read the post before mine from Jess, and she said EVERYTHING i was going to say! we are on the same wave length! seriously, jess, can we be friends? you are quite dreamy :)

Alicia said...

Boys are so fun, aren't they??

#4...boys tend to be lazier with the potty training. Don't stress yourself out over that. He will get it in time!!

and

#5..LOL, yes!!

MommyBozant said...

I am a mother of three and two of those are now teenage boys so...

1. I live in Texas...sorry, we don't have this problem.

2. I do think that is perfectly normal for them to have problems controlling their pee during the night. Both of my boys wore pull ups for quite some time. But...when they finally started to get up in the middle of the night by themselves, I felt it was time to start helping them. I would set my alarm for around the time that they were usually getting up and if they did not get up on their own then I would wake them up myself. There is also a bed wetting alarm but it works just the same as an alarm and is totally pointless. The alarm thing worked for my oldest but my younger son was just too stubborn and it made him mad that I woke him up! LOL! My four year old daughter is still wearing pull ups at night though so hang in there.

3. I did the chart thing and after so many stickers we went and got a simple reward. But...then again, they are still slobs and I still have to fight them to clean so I have no idea what works. LOL!

4. It is totally normal to still be wiping him. I still wipe my daughter. I am sure she could do it on her own but I too don't like stinky kids. I do try to let her do it herself first with wipies and then I help and wipies really do help get them a lot cleaner. My older boys would kill me for telling you but they still prefer to wipe with wipies.

5. My boys became very interested in their boy parts at a very young age and still are very interested in it.

6. Back talking is just them learning to have their own thoughts. Make them do it with respect but encourage their opinions.

7. None of us are morning people but we do stick to one rule and that is that we do not leave each other in the mornings to go our separate ways angry. Never know what the day holds.

Hope the helps!

very married said...

i don't have kids but my 3 younger brothers are ages 11, 6 and 3. I leave the parenting to my parents but i totally see these things as normal - and there are NO stupid questions :)

Erin said...

ha ha I think you got all the advice you needed but I think the potty training at night will just come. We where lucky with Alex and she only wore a pull up at night for a week but she can hold her pee like no other so i think that will just come with time. The boy I watch who is 5 still wears a pull up at night but I also think that the parents aren't ready for him to be done with them because the 2nd he puts one on he pees in it which is not ok in my mind.

We still wipe alex when she goes poop and sometimes even pee. I think it is better that way to make sure she is getting everything!

Alex back talks more then I would like to admit. She is a sassy girl and we have started to really cut down on it and start to discipline her with taking her favorite things away or sending her to her room for a little while.

Katie said...

Jess gave you great advice. Everything you talked about is normal!!

chili pepper said...

I am posting this comment in two parts... it was too long for bloggers form.

I just popped over from Alicia's blog and read some of your back posts until I ended up here.

Wow! So many questions. I know this is a bit late in coming but as a mom of 7 (ages 3-19) I can't help but state my disagreement with some of the above advice. Three year old, as is any age with a well trained child, is a delightful time of watching your baby gain some independence as they develop a more purposed relationship with you. I love it and think it is painfully sad that a parent would say they hated that year with their child. It should be a time of joy and discovery.

For one thing the commentor who said, they will always talk back and it is normal etc... is completely wrong in my book. 7 kids and counting and this is NOT an issue with our children. Because we did not think it was normal and we did not allow it to be acceptable. Our children are expected to speak to us, each other and everyone they encounter with the same kindness and respect that we would speak to them and the same kindness and respect they would want from others.

Secondly, morning person or not, being grumpy in the morning is nothing more than a bad attitude that must be dealt with. Things aren't always the way we like them in this world and we can't control all things, however, we are responsible for controlling our own attitudes and responses and a three year old is more than capable of doing that, if they so choose. If they do not it is your job to make them want to choose the pleasant path.

As for the potty issues... staying dry at night has much more to do with physical maturity than anything else. It sounds like your little one is on his way there. Most of our kids developed in this area by age 2 but for our one who did not pull ups was the answer. There was nothing he or we could do to change it. I have noted over the years, that with my boys (3) they tended to have more night time accidents when potty training if they were getting sick or were over tired. Getting a nap each day seemed very important in that area. I don't have space to go into the physiological causes of this but if you would like to know more feel free to email me. People advise to with hold fluids etc... but we never found that effective. However, there did seem to be a direct correlation to eating sweets and night time wetting.

As for cleaning up after using the bathroom... our boys needed help for a long time in this area... much longer than our girls. By 2 or 3 the girls had it down but the boys needed assistance until they were around 5. As with everything, boys just seem to mature slower than girls. I always keep a container of baby wipes near the potty for the toddlers and preschoolers to use and that seems to help them gain independence in this area much quicker... of course, lots of instruction about not flushing the wipes was given during the potty training process so as not to cause expensive damage to our plumbing.

As for cleaning up, from the time they are born our little ones have always been a part of the cleaning up process. They are expected to clean up and, especially as toddlers and preschoolers, love to be part of it. With your son being 3 and not having that trained into him, you will have to do some un-training, but with diligence on your part, you can get it done.

chili pepper said...

Hi, again. Since your comments don't instantly post, I was not sure where I left off copying and pasting this... I apologize for any duplicate paragraphs.

As for the potty issues... staying dry at night has much more to do with physical maturity than anything else. It sounds like your little one is on his way there. Most of our kids developed in this area by age 2 but for our one who did not pull ups was the answer. There was nothing he or we could do to change it. I have noted over the years, that with my boys (3) they tended to have more night time accidents when potty training if they were getting sick or were over tired. Getting a nap each day seemed very important in that area. I don't have space to go into the physiological causes of this but if you would like to know more feel free to email me. People advise to with hold fluids etc... but we never found that effective. However, there did seem to be a direct correlation to eating sweets and night time wetting.

As for cleaning up after using the bathroom... our boys needed help for a long time in this area... much longer than our girls. By 2 or 3 the girls had it down but the boys needed assistance until they were around 5. As with everything, boys just seem to mature slower than girls. I always keep a container of baby wipes near the potty for the toddlers and preschoolers to use and that seems to help them gain independence in this area much quicker... of course, lots of instruction about not flushing the wipes was given during the potty training process so as not to cause expensive damage to our plumbing.

As for cleaning up, from the time they are born our little ones have always been a part of the cleaning up process. They are expected to clean up and, especially as toddlers and preschoolers, love to be part of it. With your son being 3 and not having that trained into him, you will have to do some un-training, but with diligence on your part, you can get it done.

As for extra energy in the winter... it seems you have two problems to deal with. At three your son shouldn't need you to keep him entertained all the time in order to burn off his energy. He needs to learn to sit and play appropriate indoor activities without your constant supervision. Secondly, what's wrong with bundling him up and sending him outdoors for a while? Third, is he napping? Children tend to get more wild when they aren't getting some rest in the middle of the day. Even if he doesn't sleep, he should lie down and look at books or listen to quiet music or audio books for an hour or two after lunch. It has been my experience that this makes a huge difference in their behaviour and attitude in the evening and, although it seems odd, the speed at which they fall asleep in the evening. Also, is he taking in too much sugar and/or caffeine? If he is that active that it has been a problem and he is eating either of these, I would cut them out of his diet completely for a week or two and see if you have any change.

A book I like to recommend to parents who come to me for counsel is "On Becoming Child Wise" by Garry Ezzo. Also, Michael Pearl's "To Train Up a Child" is excellent. I don't necessarily agree with all that either of these authors have to say, but they are a great start on getting you to that path of peace, compliance and first time obedience with your three year old.

Feel free to email me if you would like me to expand on any of these topics. In the meantime, best wishes to you and your little one.

Kat

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