... you've got a completely normal, smart little 3 year old on your hands! They LOVE to play the martyr...
I'm not at that age yet with my children, but I see this behavior with kids ALL THE TIME (I've been a middle/high school teacher for 13 years, and early adolescents are NOTORIOUS for this behavior). My advice, for what it's worth:
- Keep reminding yourself that she does NOT mean and will likely never remember what she says (she's 3, for pete's sake! Literature I've read suggests that parents not attach validity to kids' rageful comments until after age 5 or 6. Even then, engage only rarely).
- Try (it's so hard) to eliminate any emotional reaction to her "I don't love you" comments, and reply simply with "I love you very much." She is looking for attention; instead, give her a simple, clear-cut correction.
- During the "good moments," take special efforts to show/say how much you DO love her. Keep reminding her. Over time, these moments may help reduce in her mind the power of those "you don't love me" statements.
- As a teacher and a parent, I am finding the less I say during behavior flare-ups, the better. Actions do speak louder than words, so I save my evergy and talk only we absolutely necessary. Stay fair, firm and consistent. Kids are smart creatures of habit. They'll learn -- even at very, very young ages.
In reality, it's a parent's job to frustrate their children some of the time. As you know, parenting is never easy, and superb kids are no accident; they are the cumulative result of many exhausting years filled with daily sacrifice, calm correction, and boatloads of love.
YOU ARE DOING A SPECTACULAR JOB!
|This message has been edited by CatMama75 on May 5, 2012 10:40 AM|