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My three year old triggers me
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 4:58 pm
I hope this doesn't come across sounding too horrible, but I'm devastated. I recently had my second baby. Up until the day I gave birth, I had the most amazing relationship with my three year old daughter. She is brilliant and gorgeous. We were best friends. After I had my baby, she was upset at me for a few weeks and took out all her frustration on me alone. It was very hard. Since then (it's been a few months), I've been working very hard to repair the relationship (positive reinforcement, as much quality time as is possible, lots of talking...). But I'm suffering from terrible guilt, because I just...don't...love her so much anymore? Is there something wrong with me?! Before my baby was born, she could do no wrong in my eyes. Now, her behaviors are so triggering to me. When she cries, she does this high pitched shrieking thing that makes me see red. She's constantly testing me and I have no patience to stay calm. She is sometimes so unreasonable that I just want to lock myself in my room for a week. I just feel like she's a whole different person. And even worse, I feel differently about her than I used to. What kind of mother am I?!
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amother




Arcticblue
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:03 pm
OMG, same! 3 year old just wasn't the baby anymore. I felt so sorry for him that I just didn't feel the same way about him. But things did get better with time and now I think he's absolutely adorable, although, not the baby anymore. Now he's 4!
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English3




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:05 pm
Same here, I am very overprotective when it comes to newborns. It takes me a few months to get back in to my so called familiar space. I try to give the other kids one to one to connect. I also tell myself that I do love the child I would do anything for them.
Just to let you know your three year old is behaving like a typical three year old.
My three year old has eight months twins under her and she is doing the same silly show like yours. bh I am in a good space now so I can give her much more love going through it. I try to give her hugs even while she is tantruming. She just wants to test the boundaries. I don't know why they call terrible twos, I only had terrible threes. I was always told that my toddlers are mature.
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amother




Bronze
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:07 pm
Slightly off topic but I never get how people can be best friends with a 3 year old. I love my children at all ages but they certainly don't seem like best friend material at age 3 (or ever as they're my children but I realllly can't see be being best friends with a young child).
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amother




Poinsettia
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:08 pm
Hi OP, I feel for you. A new baby is overwhelming, you're exhausted and of course the baby takes up most of your time and attention at this stage.

But a new baby is also a huge adjustment for your dd. From her perspective, she was the center of your world and now suddenly...she's not. Maybe she even feels like your esteem or love for her went down a few notches. It's not surprising she would engage in behaviors to elicit your attention or express her possibly overwhelming feelings of jealousy, anger, betrayal, hurt, confusion, etc.

I wonder if the reason you find yourself feeling upset with her is because you're not quite appreciating how traumatic this all was for her? When she shrieks, can you think to yourself, She's maybe feeling afraid that I don't love her as much and telling me this by shrieking?

I would suggest you prioritize giving her time and attention as much as possible, at least for the time being. Also, compliment her to the baby, tell her the baby is so lucky to have such a wonderful, smart, talented big sister. And give her lots of opportunities to "help", like she can give the baby his blanket, she can sing to him if he cries. And when she does, talk to the baby for her to hear, tell him that his big sister loves him and brought him his blanket because she wants him to be snug.

And don't spend too much time worrying about your feelings. Iy"h things will settle down soon.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:09 pm
amother [ Bronze ] wrote:
Slightly off topic but I never get how people can be best friends with a 3 year old. I love my children at all ages but they certainly don't seem like best friend material at age 3 (or ever as they're my children but I realllly can't see be being best friends with a young child).


I'm able to be best friends with her because she's extremely mature, she seems more like a teenager than a three year old. We have actual conversations and she expresses emotions, asks valid questions, and shows affection.
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Chickensoupprof




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:09 pm
Lots of children get this. What I should do is introducing her new role “come we going to bath the baby and you are the big sister come you can have this wash cloth oh what good! You are such a good big sister!” Those things. Also being angry and frustrated at her gives her a feeling of power. I often watch a 3 year old girl and she sometimes sneers me with “ich hob dir nisht lieb. Gleich dir nisht” and I’m like “ok” and today it was like “I didn’t like you yesterday today I do” “ok”
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:10 pm
English3 wrote:
Same here, I am very overprotective when it comes to newborns. It takes me a few months to get back in to my so called familiar space. I try to give the other kids one to one to connect. I also tell myself that I do love the child I would do anything for them.
Just to let you know your three year old is behaving like a typical three year old.
My three year old has eight months twins under her and she is doing the same silly show like yours. bh I am in a good space now so I can give her much more love going through it. I try to give her hugs even while she is tantruming. She just wants to test the boundaries. I don't know why they call terrible twos, I only had terrible threes. I was always told that my toddlers are mature.


Are we the same person? We completely skipped the terrible twos, I keep saying it's the terrible threes. And my toddler is also very very mature.
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amother




Poinsettia
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:12 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Are we the same person? We completely skipped the terrible twos, I keep saying it's the terrible threes. And my toddler is also very very mature.


We used to joke one of my dd was a Threenager LOL
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:12 pm
amother [ Poinsettia ] wrote:
Hi OP, I feel for you. A new baby is overwhelming, you're exhausted and of course the baby takes up most of your time and attention at this stage.

But a new baby is also a huge adjustment for your dd. From her perspective, she was the center of your world and now suddenly...she's not. Maybe she even feels like your esteem or love for her went down a few notches. It's not surprising she would engage in behaviors to elicit your attention or express her possibly overwhelming feelings of jealousy, anger, betrayal, hurt, confusion, etc.

I wonder if the reason you find yourself feeling upset with her is because you're not quite appreciating how traumatic this all was for her? When she shrieks, can you think to yourself, She's maybe feeling afraid that I don't love her as much and telling me this by shrieking?

I would suggest you prioritize giving her time and attention as much as possible, at least for the time being. Also, compliment her to the baby, tell her the baby is so lucky to have such a wonderful, smart, talented big sister. And give her lots of opportunities to "help", like she can give the baby his blanket, she can sing to him if he cries. And when she does, talk to the baby for her to hear, tell him that his big sister loves him and brought him his blanket because she wants him to be snug.

And don't spend too much time worrying about your feelings. Iy"h things will settle down soon.


I love this answer, thank you. It would do me good to remind myself that when she acts out, it's because she feels insecure about my love for her.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:14 pm
English3 wrote:
Same here, I am very overprotective when it comes to newborns. It takes me a few months to get back in to my so called familiar space. I try to give the other kids one to one to connect. I also tell myself that I do love the child I would do anything for them.
Just to let you know your three year old is behaving like a typical three year old.
My three year old has eight months twins under her and she is doing the same silly show like yours. bh I am in a good space now so I can give her much more love going through it. I try to give her hugs even while she is tantruming. She just wants to test the boundaries. I don't know why they call terrible twos, I only had terrible threes. I was always told that my toddlers are mature.


This answer is also very helpful for me because I can reframe my feelings as being overprotective of the newborn, instead of lacking love for my daughter.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:15 pm
Chickensoupprof wrote:
Lots of children get this. What I should do is introducing her new role “come we going to bath the baby and you are the big sister come you can have this wash cloth oh what good! You are such a good big sister!” Those things. Also being angry and frustrated at her gives her a feeling of power. I often watch a 3 year old girl and she sometimes sneers me with “ich hob dir nisht lieb. Gleich dir nisht” and I’m like “ok” and today it was like “I didn’t like you yesterday today I do” “ok”


I wish I could stay calmer when she acts out but I'm so irritable with her these days.
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English3




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:17 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
This answer is also very helpful for me because I can reframe my feelings as being overprotective of the newborn, instead of lacking love for my daughter.

Lol it took me a few kids to figure it out, but I see such a difference now. I only pity my oldest BC she is my testing machine.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:17 pm
OP, have you considered part of it might be post partum depression? Even if you're not sad, it can show up as being irritable or triggered.

With a jealous 3 year old, there is a whole lot of behavior that is pretty unlovable. Try to focus on the fact that you love the child, but don't like some of their actions. Put yourself in their place as much and as often as you can.

BTW, my mom had my sister when I was 3. She could not take her eyes off of me for a minute, because apparently I was determined to kill the new intruder. I would pinch, hit, and pull her hair every chance I got.


Last edited by FranticFrummie on Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Pearl
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:18 pm
I have this so much with my 2.5 year old. She also will hurt/ push the baby at every chance which makes spending any time with both together impossible and I see red when she does it.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:20 pm
FranticFrummie wrote:
OP, have you considered part of it might be post partum depression? Even if you're not sad, it can show up as being irritable or triggered.

With a jealous 3 year old, there is a whole lot of behavior that is pretty unlovable. Try to focus on the fact that you love the child, but don't like some of their actions. Put yourself in their place as much and as often as you can.


Yes, definitely considered it because in the days after birth I was angry all the time but it has gotten much better. I'm hyperaware of my feelings postpartum as I experience postpartum anxiety with my first, so I know the warning signs and when to ask for help. I like your advice and validation, thank you!
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:21 pm
amother [ Pearl ] wrote:
I have this so much with my 2.5 year old. She also will hurt/ push the baby at every chance which makes spending any time with both together impossible and I see red when she does it.


This sounds really hard, I'm sorry you're going through this! It must be hard to have the older one too young to understand.
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lamplighter




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:22 pm
Parenting is not about feeling good and having beautiful brilliant kids who we can be best friends with.
Parenting is about the child.
Your role is to be her parent, to guide her with love and direction through the different stages of her life, with her imperfections and all. Whenever you feel yourself getting triggered refocus your thoughts on your child and think, what does SHE need right now?
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taketwo




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:25 pm
You are the parent, not her best friend.
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English3




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 14 2021, 5:27 pm
lamplighter wrote:
Parenting is not about feeling good and having beautiful brilliant kids who we can be best friends with.
Parenting is about the child.
Your role is to be her parent, to guide her with love and direction through the different stages of her life, with her imperfections and all. Whenever you feel yourself getting triggered refocus your thoughts on your child and think, what does SHE need right now?

In theory your correct but when my child triggers me and I am postpartum I am not in a healthy enough space to think these things. I must say that with each child it gets easier but the transition of one to two was very hard. As the first child I had high expectations of her BC I was young and inexperienced. Bh I have grown and now I see her as only a little six year old but then I thought she was so big.
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