My 3-year-old has been stressing me out: Thoughts?

I am a mommy to 4 great kiddos (6,5,3,9months) and they are great kids, but I struggle with my son. I feel Like it’s the hardest with my 3 year old. He doesn’t listen and just acts out, hitting , kicking crying when he doesn’t get what he wants. I will tell him to do something and he just stares at me like he doesn’t even care. He can be a little defiant but I usually chalk it up to being 3. He is abnormally smart kids and very independent. I will tell my older child to stop doing something and he will start doing it. I love him but right now I don’t like this stage and it’s stressing me out. I feel like I have to yell for him to listen because normal tones he ignores. Has anyone experienced this? Do they grow out of it? Any helpful tips? I’m going TIA!


My 4 year old son does this. Tends to bring out the worst in my two girls. Today he ripped his shoes off his baby sister and knocked her over. I’m still hoping it’s a phase

Currently going through this so I’m following ! …

My son was like that, he’s now 5 and just got dignosied with ADHD/ODD (until he gets older there’s no real way of telling which one of the two he has because they both Express themselves the same way in young children). Some things are better but many things are the same.

Seeing his pediatric counselor, which most pediatric offices will have available, helped me more then him when dealing with that stress and frustration and a giftedly independent and strong willed child.
Occupational therapy also helped us a lot too when he was a little bit older, and then preschool when he was old enough.


Threenager. Going through it too with mine

I would also have to say that momma having a baby 9 months ago may play a factor in his actions…he’s not the baby anymore and he may not understand that…


Its normal… 3 and 4 are the worst in my opinion…forget terrible 2s!!! My daughter is now 13 and she went through it and I have a now almost 4 yr old. Some days are beyond stressful

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Have you had his hearing checked??

He is being a typical 3yo with a new sibling. Hang in there mama. It’ll get better

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Different temperament than the other kids certainly makes it hard to anticipate what he needs. But that stubborn mess comes in handy when he’s older. He won’t give in to peer pressure. He will be determined to reach his goals. My sister was this kid and she went to law school. She teaches political science now. She never did the stupid stuff I did as a teen because she wasn’t interested in following anyone else’s beat.

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He’s just jelly, he’ll grow out of it, I went through it with all four of my kids 🤷 very stressfull, hang in there

He wants negative attention look that up and you can figure out how to fix it bc right now your doing what he wants

He may be acting out for attention.

My 8 and 9 year old(both girls) are a pain in my ass always bringing the worst out of someone always fighting they argue over the stupidest things . I dont have any solid advice I try to tune them out cuz its nonstop screaming is just not good for me period so I just try my best I’m gonna die over winter break!. Maybe since it’s just one kid he will grow out of it or u can look up ways to help? Idk well good luck momma

Sounds like every kid that age. My 2year old daughter is the same

My 3 yr old is the same! She very high needs and high strung. She’s strong willed and will tell you what she thinks. She screams and squeals. It makes me nuts. My oldest is 16 and never acted like this little ninja warrior. My oldest is calm and quiet, never been in trouble and makes good grades. Always had a job. My youngest is 2 and she is more like my oldest, she’s sweet and loving but had her moments from picking up bad habits from her sister. They are fearless and will try me every chance they get. One minute they love each other the next they are fighting like the UFC.

Yuhp. #motherhood haha. My son is adorable but he’s the devil incarnate, nothing like my daughter was. Now she’s 10, and just as bad as him haha.

Just be patient and consistent with your rules, pick your battles too. One thing fir certain what might of worked for your older kids discipline wise might not work for him. Look into 123 magic and maybe a timeout chair or spot. Lots of praise when he is doing good stuff and listening. Make sure you are coming down to his level and making sure he understand what you expect of him. Like example we are going into the store you can hold mommy’s hand or sit in the cart if you dont listen then you will get ( whatever punishment is) and be consistent no matter how much he kicks or screams or tries to be sweet stick to it. Good luck mama… you got this

Mannnn my son is 14 months and DOES NOT LISTEN. He starts hitting his head off of whatever is around him, throws things repeatedly to break then and if that doesn’t work he tries to bite me. The best thing I can say is a light but stern spank on the butt.

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Sweetie he’s 3 and yes sounds like a handful. He may be processing thoughts a little different which in turn can/will affect behavior. Have you taken him doctor - start there maybe chemical imbalance- worse case - but the MD can help take the next step. I have worked with children considered “high risk and behaviorally challenged “- mouthful - anyways Medical 1st- good luck

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I had one that did that he was diagnosed with border line Austism with ADHD he’s on medication now and he’s doing really good yes he has bad days but the good days out weigh the bad

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Middle child needs more attention.he was the baby for almost 3yrs. Dr. Visits in your future. You can handle this mama. Stay strong

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Maybe u need a helper lol

I would say he is 3 and there is also the fact that you have a baby that probably is starting to move around and get into things so the baby is getting more attention. He is acting up to get more attention

Maybe more one on one

Consistence, redirecting, low tones, and removing the child from the situation… I’m right there with ya girl! This to shall pass.

I have 2 of those! They’re 6 & 11. They are exactly what u described. They’re both ADHD. Give it some time might grow out of it. If not deff bring it up to pediatrician.

Bust that butt contrary to popular belief it won’t hurt his brain but will teach him that every action has a consequence and you mean buisness


Hes just finding his place in the family :heart: maybe he just needs some alone mommy time

Does he feel displaced by the baby? He might like extra attention. Tell him you Don’t want to talk loud to him. Your secret voice is a whisper and it is just for him.

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My youngest was and still is in a lot of ways like that. Yelling doesn’t work with him because he shuts off and then really doesn’t hear or respond. What I have found works best is to bring him to me eye to eye and I tell him in a stern growly whisper that it’s his one and only warning. I don’t care where we are. Like one time he wouldn’t stop grabbing things off the shelf at the store. I told him once in a normal voice that it was not ok. He continued. So I pulled him in and used my whisper growl mom’s had enough voice and told him stop or he goes in the cart. He still didn’t so he went in the cart. He’s eight now and he’s gotten better for the most part he still has moments but he now knows when the mom’s had enough voice comes out it’s time to stop.

The next time he has a routine MD appointment, you might ask for a hearing check. It couldn’t hurt.

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Jus guessing but I’d say he’s jealous since he is no longer the “baby” & is acting out to get attention.


My daughter is like that she is 6 she is autistic and has ADHD might talk to pediatrician maybe hearing or adhd or something else

Popping that butt will get his attention better than yelling will ever do. Worked with all 5 of mine and once they know you mean business then things tend to calm down for the most part.

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Maybe kneel down to his eye level and calmly tell him. Make a chore chart with stickers on it and each day he can have a treat or something extra special to do with you. I didn’t do allowance money each day and it backfired!

A good smack on the bum to concentrate his mind I’d say

Terrible twos and threes hopefully he will calm down but also he knows you are getting upset so he will play on this …it’s also maybe because he isn’t baby anymore and he isn’t getting the attention he wants

Be consistent. Give age appropriate consequences for bad behavior and do some sort of reward system for good behavior (at 3 that can be a lot of things).

If You feel like its not quite normal, speak to his doctor about it. My oldest did a lot of that and he has severe ADHD. My youngest does similar things and we’re fixing to take him for ASD eval…in his case its mostly just ruling stuff out because he’s too little for an ADHD dx (he has a 75-95% chance of having it due to genetics)
But it can be “normal” all kids test boundaries at 2-3. That part is normal.

If you cant use a normal tone yell. It sounds shitty but my son is like that I need to raise my voice for him to get stuff done. He does it while whining but it gets done. You gotta set the right kind of tone for him. But also maybe just hang out with him he was used to being the baby and his not anymore.

Oh! Welcome to the real world, sweetheart! Some of us legally can’t have that many kids under 6 because they all came out like strong-willed, stubborn, manipulative evil genius, little shits! I waited 10 years between them for this reason and I’m thinking this new one is no different.
Now, the 10 year old is diagnosed ADHD and when younger, also with a mood disorder, but a month ago, with autism.
The result is: she smacked her baby brother in the face with a bus (left a bruise) because he scratched her face. So he, despite my intervening, clawed his way off of me when he was done crying, crawled to her, giggled at her until she came in for a hug, and made sure she bled that time. It’s like I gave birth to chucky and the omen. She hasn’t decided that not speaking to him, 3 inches from his face, would be a better choice. And she later bit his finger (no mark, but he screamed). Having said that, I can’t keep them apart, or they both cry. Not even kidding. They NEED to play together.
God hates me. :woman_shrugging: What can I say? I’ve made peace with it.

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Mother of 4, Nana of 2, some one on one time night be the answer, I know with mine the middle ones sometimes felt left out. Not bc of anything you do, just the youngest and oldest frequently need more attention for whatever reason. I always tried to make special time for the middle ones.

I have 5 girls and I remember the age of 3. My youngest is 9 now. It gets better, then sadly it gets worse! I have 3 teenagers and I’d kill to go back to the 3yr olds!!! I can’t stand teenagers!! Ugh! They lie, sneak, conceal, are hormonal, have attitudes, know it all and will rip your heart out so quickly! :weary: their lies are usually pretty big too lol! Btw, this is just my experience with teenagers and not all teenagers are the same lol!

My oldest has been like this his whole life. I feel for ya momma. My sons fits have gotten better in some ways but, everyday is a struggle in some way or another. As he gets older its easier to reason with him. He is about to be 11. Hes incredibly independent and super smart. He makes me proud. The issues he has with behavior are just apart of him it seems. I read love and logic anout a year ago and i try to use that book as my guide to dealing with him for the most part. At 3 i dont know how much it would help though. Since he never outgrew the behavioral issues…(they have just changed slightly) we took him to be diagnosed last year. ADHD combined type with ODD was the diagnoses.(Not at all saying your child needs diagnosed at all) Most people dont see it because he saves a lot of it for his momma(safe place i suppose) … i wish i had words of wisdom for you. Know you are not alone and i remember how hard those days are with a tough one and other littles. Take a deep breathe and know this wont last forever… also… wine! Lol

Ugh my son is 3 and literally does the same thing :sob: my patience has grown so thin

It’s the terrorist threes. Lol. They grow out of it. No need for ADHD testing. He’s a typical boy momma! Sometimes it takes a sterner voice, but he’s fine. My girls did it. I’m sure my son will do it.

My 3 year old is the same way. I thought it was just mine, but I see clearly it’s not. I have had friends tell me the same thing about their boys.

I have boy/girl twins, we were struggling with not listening and tired of repeating and then to the point of I guess this is how its gonna be. Talked with my pediatrician and are now seeing a child psychologist and it’s more about how we are asking the questions… more statements like "its time to pick up: Intead of “can you please pick up.” Compliance training she called it. My son has responded GREAT my daughter isnt so sure about the change yet but we are all adjusting to it and I highly recommend it.


Oppositional defiant disorder maybe?

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Ironic that you are posting this today My Husband is a Blessing I have just had this discussion with 2 other mommy’s who also agreed that the 3’s really are a tough time. They are far worse than the 2’s in my humble opinion. Tots are learning how to really “try” to accert their will and “challenge” authority but in such a mostly bratty way as their logic hasn’t caught up yet. They need alot of patience, love, and boundaries. They need to know that although we are proud of how much they are growing up they still have to obey and “fall in line” if you will. Such a great time even with all the struggles!

My sons 37 and only recently got better lol!

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You don’t make them mind she the little the. You I. For a rude awaing it don’t hurt to spank them


It gets better closer to 5

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Kinda sounds normal alittle young but talk to your Dr bout ADHD and other things see what he or she says or suggests. Have your tried a reward system or just plan old putting him in the corner til he can listen. Take the items away and let him know he can’t act like that or he can’t have the item etc…

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My 3 and 4 year old boys take turns acting this way. Sometimes it’s both… At the same time. But once they sit in their “thinking chair” they stop… But only for a little while. I’ve also found that making clean up or really any activity a game helps. Examples are, “hey, son, mommy needs a strong man like daddy to help me do such and such, but daddy’s at work, can you help me?” “Yes, mommy, cause I strong like daddy!” Or hey, whoever cleans up their toys fastest gets to chose what we watch next! Encouraging and complimenting them and making them understand on their level goes a long way. My biggest battle is them not fighting.


Could be a lot of things. Could be as simple as being jealous of the new baby. I’d suggest some mom and 3 year old quality time. Read a book, make cookies together. Teach how to be big brother to the baby. Teach to be a helper. Quiet time holding him on your lap. If some of this doesn’t help, then reach out to a professional.

That s when he needs a slap on his butt

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You have a strong willed child momma! Dont fear i have 2! Both boys!!! I could tell you yes he will grow out of it but possibly not. With my 7 year old it has been a learning experience. Discipline for him is time out he truly hates it (spanking didnt work and yes for all you opinionated people i believe in spanking, talking didnt work, i even tried having him draw his feelings for me) time out where he had to sit and reflect on his behavior by his self worked wonders. As you boy is only 3 it may take a few time but possibly time out may be your solution. Ill pray for you! Try talking to your doctor about it…

Take a day to just do something he likes and him alone explain to him if he wants to continue days like this he had to cooperate with you get sticker chart everyday he does what you asked he gets a sticker at the end of so many stickers he gets a reward weather it’s lunch a toy or whatever but stick to it every day he refused to cooperate he loses a sticker God bless you and your family

He is pushing the limits. Trying to see if he can get away with what others can’t. Put your foot down. Give him a special time out chair and stick to it. But be careful never let him wander if he is loved. Always reinforce good behavior, always.

My son does this and has since he was little, he is now 14. He has ADHD, OCD, ODD and is borderline Aspbergers Syndrome…it’s a daily struggle and we basically always are in a balancing act of what works and trying to figure out what might work. Good luck and don’t give up :blue_heart:


Maybe he feels he is having to share you with the baby too much. If you could
find the time to make him feel kinda special every day and remind him that you will “read a book with him in a little if he can be really good for a few minutes”. Or “go to the park…”. Or “walk the dog…”. Or “bake some cookies…” and let him help.
This is worth a try. You need to direct his thinking away from what causes his misbehavior while making a promise to give him, alone, your time

You need to distract him with something else when you do correct him. I mean to get him to stop you have to show him something he CAN do. Then he will learn. Good luck.

You have a lot on your plate with 4 kids. I know it must be very hard but please remember, he’s 3. He had most of your attention before the baby was born. Maybe you could set aside sometime that’s just you and him time. No other kids. Whether it’s going for a walk or to the park, just you and him. I’d say he’s looking for your attention and behaving badly gets it. Not good attention, but attention nevertheless. :kissing_heart::pray:


Does he have ear infections often or has he had his hearing checked?
Has this being going on or was it around a big change (maybe the birth of the last baby or start of school and the older kids/who he usually playes with are of at school)?
Does he seem to have problems expressing what he wants. Maybe instead of telling him what to do give him very specific and limited choices. Instead of ok it’s time to go to bed. You can say ok so you want to go to bed with your dinosaur or your truck? Some level of control for him may help and it can also help you see if it’s an issue with hearing/understanding/expression of wants

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He’s a middle child. The middle child has to be reminded more often that they are important and that they are loved by you. He can’t do what the oldest does and doesn’t get babied like the youngest. They feel neglected at times. If you can set some time just for you and him it’ll make a huge difference. :hugs::hugs::revolving_hearts::revolving_hearts:…the sacrifice is worth it. Each child deserves it!!
I only have girls so I know it’s a big difference. I’m a 3yo teacher and some boys need to stay busy at all times and with other kids I know it’s not the easiest thing to do daily.

My son was the same way. Took him to his dr and they screened him for autisim and come to find out he has Asperger’s syndrome. He’s highly intellectual but had severe fits. Literally had like no common sense. Talk to your pediatrician. Sometimes it just takes a firm hand and sticking to it. If you tell him he will lose tv time be sure to stick to it. My son had fits in the store and I would just ignore it. I would move away to a safe distance while I could still see him but not looking directly at him. Please just talk to your dr they should be able to give you some insight

Sounds like ADHD both my grandsons have it they are 22 and 15 yrs old. It ran in their Dads side of the family. Yes you need nerves of steel but I learned that yelling or getting angry or even punishment won’t work. You have to sit down with him and talk to him comly. Because their brains don’t understand. When they get older they know it’s wrong but they can’t help themselves. It gets better but takes time and patience which is really hard.

I like the Mommy and me time. I think that’s an excellent start. Even have that one on one time may give you more insight what the issue might be. Good luck. :+1:

yes this is a passing phase …it gets better in the years I have 4 sons …
Just be patient I know its hard but it does get better

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He’s gonna be the one talking care of you and Love you the best when HE get older.He’s SMART to know how to get your attention, play back to him and tell him he is hurting your feelings, INDEPENDENT; training him to do things for himself and rewarding.NEVER yelling or screaming at him, because he is the tough one. Spent 15 minutes with him before his bedtime by telling him how good he is and how hurtful you when he didn’t listen. He will quiet listen and bring it to his dreams. You will see the difference by the time. I had used this way for my son, now he’s 30 years old and Love me more than my other three, He remember how bad he was and Be so grateful to me by saying; Mom ! I am so sorry about my behavior…

Ugh threenanger! I’m dealing with the same. Trying to give him lots of praise for good behaviour. Consistency in discipline.

My 4 year old has been like that this past year. And so far it hasn’t gotten better maybe once she’s 5/6 but I hear ya mama it’s crazy and hard.

Im dealing with the same thing with my 3 year old son so following.

reward good behavior. don’t tolerate bad. Be consistent. Everyobe is motivated by something. A toy . A program. Time outside. Fav. food/dessert.

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I was going to suggest what Jessica said. Also it won’t get better fast. Can you schedule separate play dates with the older ones. Sometimes they feel overwhelmed too. Just want mommy alone.

Following cause I’m going through this.

3rd child out of a family of four is usually the most difficult. My uncle is 40 now and still fights with everyone he barely has friends now even after moving from a neighboring town to ours. There’ll come a time where he’ll change bt be prepared for a life time of trouble

Omg that’s my son!!! I don’t know what to do!!!

Continue being consistent. He is 3. He is old enough to understand 1 right from wrong and 2 consequences for actions are real wether good or bad. They do grow out of it and it is frustrating. But the more consistency the easier it gets over time. #ParentingIsDifferentForEveryone #WorkedForMy3SoFar


Im a mom of 4 boys. 9 6 4 and 19 months. My 4 year old was exhausting and the spawn of satan until he started school. Being the second youngest is rough. Mine was a huge attention seeker and had me loosing my mind last year.

I have one of those. He’s 16 now. And no. He hasn’t grown out of it… :roll_eyes::rofl: we have always butted heads. I’m not sure what it is. It can be very very stressful at times. :cry: some days I count down the days until he moves out. :sob: hope yours grows out of it. All you can do is love them. :woman_shrugging:t2:


My daughter is the same way only she is 9 now and she just got diagnoised with odd and ADHD they put her on aderall and abilify a whole new child I dont even think my daughter is living here you may want to make an appointment if he has it meds will work wonders when he is older they probably wont do meds at three but counceling

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My son is 7, still does this. He was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD at age 6 when he entered kindergarten.


Possible he may have ODD oppositional defiance disorder as my grandson does. Sounds like similar symptons. Usually with ODD is ADHD. Hard to deal with and very defiant. Meds have helped as well as counseling.


I have a 3 year old to. Best advice is structure and consistency. It’s hard, but if you stick to it, it really helps. I know it sounds silly, but I pick up some really effective techniques off of Supernanny clips off her Facebook page lol. It helps me


Mine is almost three. NOTHING works for her but a long timeout.

My son also has ADHD and ODD. Nothing worked for him. Not time outs, taking things away, spanking. Making a big deal out of good behavior helps, but ultimately we had to get him on medication. He’s doing better now, but he still needs therapy and lots of attention. Don’t let up, Mama. You’ll be okay. It’s crazy hard, but if you get some help, things will turn around.

:rofl::rofl::rofl: sorry but I also have 4 kiddos and I have to tell and scream & things still don’t get done! Like right now I’m yelling for them to stop fighting while I’m writing this​:disappointed_relieved:

3 year olds stress everyone out. Plus you have 4 very young. Your always going to be stressed until you get them older and helping.

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Food dye allergies? Have him checked.

Talk to his doctor he could be adhd just saying,hate the little fellow to get into trouble for things he can’t help praying for you

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I thought you were talking about my 2 n half year old…lol also a mother of 4 but hes my baby by many years I have 16, 11, 9 and 2.5 and he is by far the naughtiest one