The defiance of a 3-year-old
I'm pretty sure my kid's ears are broken and I don't know how to get him to listen to me.
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"Please eat your breakfast"
My 3-year-old just stares at me.

"PLEASE eat your breakfast"
He continues staring, fully aware of what I am asking him.

"Come on now, love. Eat your food. We're going to be late again!"
(At this point my patience is starting to wear thin)

"No".

And he walks away and goes to play with his cars.

He walks away! Sorry, I needed to repeat that part because the pure frustration of your child ignoring and defying you is rage inducing.

It's hard, in those moments, to not feel like you're failing as a parent and raising one of those kids that nobody likes. Everyone talks about the Terrible Twos but no one warns you about how difficult 3-year-olds are. I think that's probably because by the time three comes around you've been dealing with this challenge for so long that you barely notice that it got worse.

But for us, two was okay. So when our son turned into a threenager it was a shock to the system. Add to the fact that he has a new baby sister to contend with for attention now, and the whole thing is just one big screaming match. Everyone is always shouting. 

Last night for the millionth time I pleaded with my son to stop jumping on my very expensive rocking chair that he is slowly in the process of breaking and I legitimately almost started to cry thinking about the money I don't have to fix the one place where I can rock the baby to sleep in comfort.

He stopped and was almost shocked, "Mommy, are you going to cry?"
Yes, my boy. You're so close to breaking me.

It's hard to deal with this defiance. We try to follow a gentle parenting philosophy but it's like 3-year-olds are designed to test every last ounce of patience you have.

We try not to give hidings. I feel that it's disrespectful to another human being to use aggression towards them in order to get them to do what you want.

The best advice I got was from my aunt who said "This is not a hill you want to die on. Choose your battles otherwise all they'll hear from you is nagging and that's when they stop listening". 

Which to be honest is something that I've been doing a lot lately and I would love to stop. I talk too much and it makes me so tired repeating myself all day, every day.

Do you have any advice for this age? Send us your coping mechanisms or commiserations to chatback@parent24.com and we could publish them.

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