Bad Mom,  raving lunatic rant,  spilling my guts

I lack the time to make this post better…

the girl

Hi guys. Remember me? Of course you do. I guess it’s only been a day or two but I feel like I’ve been gone from this site for a while. Remember those days when I blogged about e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g? Poems about shoes…sigh. I miss those days. I think the reason I feel like it’s been ages is because I’ve been wanting to blog about stuff for ages but every time I sit down to type, I am foiled by the evil toddler or my need for sleep. Both of them are insufferable.

Bug is not so evil. She’s actually pretty great but she’s taking up a lot of my time, as she should of course. We are in the throes of threedom. Even though she isn’t even three, I can feel it. In my family we don’t suffer from the terrible twos. We get the terrible threes and Bug is advanced (of course) so she is getting the terrible threes when she is two months away from being three.

mommy's feet

I had a really really long rant here about potty training and public temper tantrums and my inability to come up with appropriate punishment on the fly (don’t worry, no small toddlers have been harmed by walloping flip flops) but I read it and thought it was way too whiney raw to put out there on the internet so I deleted it. I’m sorry. Maybe another day when I have more time to put it in better words. In the meantime, feel free to give me advice on how to raise a strong-willed child. I’m all ears.

mommy and daddy are ignoring me

p.s. Bottom two photos by Bug, of course.


  • Julia

    strong willed is great…..later in life. I had two strong willed sons – both won best debater in their class. uhm, yeah, they debated since birth! I have no advice, but I will tell you that someday you will miss these days : )

  • Annie

    Long time reader de-lurking. I, too, have a strong willed three year old. She is nearly four and still working on her powers of persuasion. A couple of things….a preschool….something in the Montessori style. Even a couple of days a week will make a difference.
    And we have learned how to say “No” without explanation. Just simply No. If she tantrums she goes to her room and when she is calm she can come out, (if we are in public, she goes out to the car/sidewalk). No talking, it just happens. We rarely have public tantrums anymore.
    I’ve noted that strong willed children are also trying hard to be master manipulators and you will never find a dumb manipulator. So, you know that she’s smart.

  • comfortablycrazy

    If you figure out how to deal with it let me know. Every day is a different struggle requiring a different response. What works on Monday may work on Tuesday, but probably won’t on Wednesday.

    Last week we were 20 minutes late for school because she was hyperventilating in the driveway following the previous 20 minutes of crying in the house. All because she had to wear what I picked out for her. I wasn’t backing down, and eventually we made it, but boy did I feel like a heel.

  • bethany actually

    You know, I think the hardest thing is that where most kids will get the point after the 3rd time you take a stand, it takes 33 times for strong-willed children. You have to stick to your guns again and again and again and again and again…and by then you feel like a wet dishrag and your kid is still going strong! It’s hard, I know.

    I guess I don’t have anything helpful to add. Just sympathy. :-)

  • jadekitty

    I would have to agree with all of the above :) I have a little bit of experience with kids.. (huge family) and I think that saying the No word and refusing to even talk about it the biggest thing at the age of three. Now when she can reason with you logically at the age of 4/5/6/7 then start to give your reason, but don’t argue with her. I have seen so many mothers on the verge of tears because the child won’t listen to a simple and quiet no.
    Hopefully this is more help then just repeating everything from above!

  • Abby

    My daughter is a few weeks away from turning 1. We are reading THE NEW STRONG-WILLED CHILD by Dr. James Dobson. After we’re done reading that, we have TEMPER YOUR CHILD’S TANTRUMS (pocket guide) by Dr. Dobson. I can’t really give any advice yet because we are just starting the whole parenting thing. But, hopefully these books will lend some guidance!! Take care.

  • Jennifer

    These are things that I know help, but sometimes I get flustered and forget them. Like when Emily was freaking out about lack of tokens.

    Stick to your guns, don’t waiver. No means no. Don’t try to reason. Don’t worry about what other people think (that one is HARD for me).

    I’ve been at this Strong Willed business for 7 years now and I can’t say that I’ve got a handle over the situation yet. It has gotten easier and the incidents have become fewer and fewer with age.

  • Annabanana

    flip flops, sigh!

    Sounds like our house. Three is the worst so far!
    I was out with my grandma and aunt from Chicago last week and the kids were running all over the place. On a normal day I would whisper a bribe in their ear and they would sit pretty in the stroller. But on that day, I just ran around chasing and snapping not thinking clearly at all. It was a mess.
    And the excuses and the stories K comes up with, there is always something that she wants to reason. Hang in there, I so feel for you!

  • Donna

    I so agree with Annie above. So many kids these days don’t ever hear the word NO from their parents and then they grow up to be whiny, moody kids. Don’t be afraid to tell her no and try to be consistent. It’s soooo hard sometimes but believe me, it pays off in the end.

  • jacquie

    as always… i love reading your posts because they always make me feel NORMAL!!!! also, that was me who became your facebook friend today. Thanks! lol. If you find a way to deal with grocery store tantrums… PLEASE LET ME KNOW ASAP!!!! My only solution is to wait until hubby gets home or shop at the more expensive store because it has a place that watches your kiddos for you!

  • Wendy

    This is such a trying age. Here’s another book recommendation that I found so helpful… Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child by Robert J. MacKenzie.

  • Jess

    I’m listening, too! Just yesterday my husband said, “Maybe we should never let her out of the house again…ever.” I’m glad to hear that it does get better (and public disturbances happen to other, too.)

    Now, tell me about the store that watches your kid(s) while you shop! I’ve never heard of that.

  • Gramma

    I have stooped to bribery…”if you behave in the market you may pick out a treat” …We’ll stop at Duffy’s for an ice cream cone, even bubble gum, if you are good.” “If you misbehave you will be sent to your room.” Being separated from family, siblings seemed to work best. They usually want to be part of whatever is going on. Talking back was never allowed, ..soapsuds in the mouth is unpleasant. I must confess, for extreme circumstances, i did use my Flip flop on a thigh. It shows the tread and gives the child something to show Dad. Don’t ever say :”Just wait until your Dad gets home” Any discipline meted out must be immediate. You must be firm and consistent. Set limits. A child with no boundaries is insecure..

  • BeachMama

    If there was an answer about how to deal with public tantrums and strong willed children, the book would have already been written and there would be no more of either. If you do figure it out though this could be your claim to fame, writing the book. Until then just know that you are not alone, we have all been there, some more than others, and we have all survived.

  • Gayle

    It sounds like you’ve gotten some great advice in the comments. Probably the most important thing is be consistent. No means no, always.

  • lynne

    Sigh I have no advice or experience either. I know I was a strong willed child when very young and I am sure gave my mother a terrible time. She still laughs at my “Indian war dances” ( temper tantrums) but at the time I am sure they were embarassing. She is a very patient woman and I was child number 3, so I guess she knew by then all things pass ( it must have been really hard to remember that when carrying me screaming down the street though). She says I calmed down a lot when I went to school and became a very affable child. I do remember being around 3 and feeling very fustrated that I couldn’t express myself verbally, maybe Bug feels like that too?

  • sara

    my son turned 3 in october and we have been in a similar boat. agreeing with the above posters that suggested preschool. my son started in september (we had to find a place that would accept non-potty trained kids, also – since he’s decided he’s above peeing in a toilet). he goes every day for 3 hours (we had no option and they say that consistency of daily preschool is best for kids – they like schedules) and holy boy has he become a new child! he is much more calm. he listens (most of the time). he’s nice to his brother. of course, he’s still very strong willed and VERY three, but it’s helped a lot.

    i find that it gets worse when my husband comes home because he isn’t as “strict” as i am. i say what i mean and mean what i say – there are no empty threats until daddy comes home! i think that’s another really important thing – never say something that you don’t intend to follow up on. don’t say you’ll throw all of her dolls away … you know you really won’t. instead say “I am going to put them up for the rest of the night” or something like that. my husband loves to get dramatic and then not do what he said! ;) Agreeing also with a commenter above that said to pick your battles. sometimes you just have to walk away and come back to look at things with a new set of eyes.

    good luck! i am right here in the trenches with you!

  • Clair

    I too have a very strong willed child, a boy, & since putting him a playgroup for mornings, things seem to be better. Easier to negotiate around things. And also just saying no, as Annie says above, no explanations, as they just tend to spark off tantrums more than just saying no. Other than that I am still learning & my 15 month old little boy seems to be just as strong willed as the first. we’re already hitting tantrum city!

  • SarahD

    Hang in there! As you see, you are NOT alone. I have 3 boys, the eldest is almost 7, and I have found that ages 3 and 4 were by far the worst. I try to be consistent, but when you’ve got more than one child in the house, the ability to remain on top of the game is RELENTLESS and really exhausting. I do tell myself that my kids as adults will be interesting people…not ones to get easily pushed around and boring, that’s for sure!
    And as far as potty training…I don’t know what you’ve read or what’s been said before…but if you haven’t yet…commit yourself to one week of hell. Remove the diapers/pull ups and do not go anywhere unless it’s somewhere ok to have an accident! Let her poop/pee in her undies if she wants to, but do NOT give in and put on a pullup. Be strong and consistent and she will get that you mean business. I would make the water slightly cold if my son did a mess in his pants and needed a washing…just to emphasize the fact that pooping in the potty is much nicer!! If after a week there is still no progress…pack it all up and try again in a month. This is how we did it for my two boys and they were day/night trained by 3yrs. All the best…don’t beat yourself up. We moms need to stick together…this mom business is rough!