you {don’t} make me happy when skies are Gray

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Its a gray and rainy day here today in west michigan. Rain is looming and my patience is draining. And it has prompted this post.

Gray has been pushing me to the limits lately.

We’ve been struggling with him more days than not. He never listens, he’s moody, he’s bossy and has major attitude. it’s hard and exhausting. I sound like a broken record repeating myself 100 times a day ‘gray, listen the first time”, “that’s not a nice way to treat your brother”, “you don’t talk to me that way”! Three is hard, whoever made up the term ‘terrible two’s’ must not have had a 3 year old!!

Grayden is a sweet, loving and polite boy, but this ‘stage’ we are in can pass anytime now. I know it’s all part of being a parent, but I hate having to punish him all the time and take away his dessert or favorite toy. It makes me so sad when he’s naughty and reminds me how it makes our heavenly Father must feel when we sin. Heartbreaking.

I need some book recommendations or advice from anyone who knows what we’re dealing with here, I'd appreciate it, and your prayers too!

In closing, I want to be clear that Grayden is one of the biggest blessing in our lives, we love him more than words can say and want the absolute, very best for him. Most importantly, we want him to be a follower of Jesus and grow up to be the best man he can be.

I love this quote I found on pinterest and need to be reminded of it daily

Gray, I know God has BIG pans for you and we want Him to use you to further His kingdom. He’s given you many gifts and many great qualities that make you such a special little boy (and I have another post on that coming)! I pray He uses this trying time in our journey of parenting you to help us grow as parents and in our relationship with you and God. We’re doing our best buddy, God gave us an important job when He gave us you, and that is to do our best to raise you as a godly man.

Now please just listen to me!

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40 Responses to “you {don’t} make me happy when skies are Gray”

rsiewert said...

Oh Kate! I don't comment too often but i read all the time! I have a very strong willed almost 7 year old daughter. 3 was when she really started to push her limits and hasn't stopped! We have come to realize the tougher days are usually related to a growth spurt or her schedule being off and being extra tired. Its hard in the nasty moments but i try telling myself over and over that her feisty, wont take no for an answer attitude will get her big places one day! I have a book called Love and Logic for the early years that has lots of helpful tips on getting your kids to realize what they are doing and make better choices.

Prayers for you and your sanity! It will pass and then another stage will hit!

Anonymous said...

I'm not a mom, but a woman I go to church with who has raised 4 beautiful, godly daughters loaned this to another mom at chuch. She said it was the best book she ever read. Hope it helps!

http://www.amazon.com/Making-Terrible-Twos-Terrific-Rosemond/dp/0836228111

Katie said...

3's were harder than 2's for us as well. The book 1-2-3 Magic was a HUGE help!! Good luck!

Holly Heeres said...

We've enjoyed "sheperding a child's heart by Tedd Tripp.

Deb said...

Oh Kate I feel your pain. 3 was really hard for me. It wasn't until I was extra strict that things started to click (and that was also at about 3 and 3/4 years). You're so right that this trying time is a time that God is drawing you closer to him and to rely on him more. I remember a day singing "I need thee every hour" ! You are the mom that God thought would be the best mom for Grayden, so remember you are a great mom! I don't have advice, I'm sure you've heard it all, just want to say "It is SO hard, and people who aren't in it or recently been through it don't really remember how tough it is." Oh wait, one piece of advice. Sleep. I was a completely different mom if I didn't get enough sleep. Kids bring us to our knees, don't they?!

michele said...

I foolishly thought we got lucky when my son didn't go through the terrible twos. And then he turned three. OMG...the term threenager puts it perfectly! My mom once told me that the terrible twos don't really refer to the time the child is two years old. It's instead a period of two years that lasts anywhere from 2 to about 4.5 years old. Good luck! It's tough, but I can tell you it does pass (now that I'm on the other side).

1-2-3 Magic worked well for us too.

Nicole said...

You are not alone. I have said it over and over again. Two is great...three is terrible! My 3 year old will be 4 on Monday and we are dealing with the same exact behavior. Hopefully it will pass soon and hopefully we can keep patient while we get through it. Good luck!

Jessica said...

I stumbled across your blog today and just wanted to let you know that my oldest had a harder time with being three than two. We heard somewhere to start saying "there will be consequences" when you see behavior that's not okay and that worked like a charm for us. We would give a warning about the behavior and let her know that there would be consequences if she did it again. It gave us some time to think about what the consequence would be instead of trying to make a split-second decision so it was much easier to make the punishment fit the crime and it actually cut back on the amount of consequences we'd have to give because just knowing that something was looming if she disobeyed kept her in line pretty well. We also started telling her "choose to obey" and I think that really made a big difference as well because it suddenly became her making big-girl decisions and we would reward her for that. Plus, it helped with me not always having to tell her what to do and be negative all the time. It sounds like you are fantastic mom and I applaud you for taking the time to train your children in the way you feel the Lord is leading you.

Bri said...

Kate, I had a meltdown with my mom a few weeks ago because Riley is the child you are describing!! I don't have any advice other than our kiddos are normal. If you come across anything of value, let me know!

Anonymous said...

Book: Love and Logic

Jen Wargo said...

123 Magic has been a miracle book for us and our almost 3 year old. She was doing many of the same things you mentioned. I was skeptical at first, but it's really working and we're sticking too it because we finally have our sweet girl back.

Jeannie said...

We are in this 'wonderful' 3 stage as well right now. It's as close to awful as I think you could be. We find ourselves reaching our limits with the backtalk, attitude, not listening and all out tantrums day in and day out; from who is normally our sweet, loving, sensitive boy. When he's in his 'mood' I just remind myself to take a deep breath, than approach the situation. And in some cases I'll just ignore; especially the tantrums. Hang in there Katie; we'll get thru this together :)

RC said...

My mom always told me the three's are so bad they don't talk about them (unlike the terrible twos).

My very difficult 3 year old is pushing 16 now. We made it through, but I jokingly say to myself, its a good thing my daughter was already here or he very well may have been an only child. Three is HARD!

We didn't read a book back then. I just made sure that he knew that (and still do really) no means no. If I say no, don't think I'm going to change my mind. We had a lot of private talks away from the situation that triggered the poor behavior. My favorite spot was in the garage with him sitting on the washing machine so I could be eye to eye with him. It's not easy but it does pass. Promise. :)

Oh and my daughter didn't go through the terrible threes so there is hope for you and Sadler. ;-)

Missy said...

Katie you are NOT alone in this! Three is tough! I feel the same way every single day right now. My son is everything to me but this stage is by far the toughest so far. My son has been a whinny monster the past few weeks so instead of the soap or hot sauce some people use, I tried apple cider vinegar per a friend's suggestion. I just spray it once in his mouth when he backtalk, whines, etc. On vacation I had to do it once and then the threat of it was simply enough for him.

A few weeks back I had this same discussion with a friend and she told me she has come to realize that every six months we go through these stages of trying and testing, then they get it and we quickly forget how tough it once was. I keep reminding myself that this is just a stage and this too shall pass. It isn't easy when at the end of the day we feel like we are failing as parents and I wish there was an answer.

Just know you are not alone, and I will be praying for you when I am bringing myself to Him for the very same thing! Hang in there Momma!

JZ said...

Been there, done that! I felt the EXACT same way (and still do some days) about Abram...he went from this hilarious, sweet little boy to this mouthy, naughty, attitude filled little terror!!!

I can offer this, DO NOT GIVE UP AND DO NOT GIVE IN!! I know too many parents who get to this phase and just get sick of fighting with their child and start to give in to their attitude and defiance...and trust me, they are paying for it now as their kids (boys especially) are older!

Just stick to your guns, be consistent, remind him how much you love him, and KNOW that this will pass.

Four is a fun age again :-) hang in there, mama!!

Jessica said...

I just read Spiritual Parenting by Michelle Anthony. I really liked her chapter on discipline. she talked about getting to the root of the problem and not just doing a standard punishment.
My daughter is also 3 and doing the same things. I notice when I talk really quite or whisper she responds so much better. This helps me not to get worked up and let her be in control of the family.

Anonymous said...

Two very good Christian books I would highly recommend are: Boundaries with Kids (by Henry Cloud and John Townsend) and Grace Based Parenting (by Tim Kimmel). Both of these are great principle based books. A good read on child development and the whole ages/stages thing is Child Behavior (by Frances Ilg, Louise Ames and Sidney Baker) This book helps to understand that ALL children go through regular cycles of equilibrium/disequalibrium (or better/worse stages!)
I have a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Child Development, have raised 4 children and teach 3 and 4 year olds in preschool and these were my "go to" books throughout my child-rearing years AND the books I recommend to parents I work with! One of the hardest things I found in parenting was how "all of the sudden" a shift comes in development and behavior and we're caught off guard. These books were always great support for me and normalized and helped explain the "Why" of the behavior! The other tough thing is patience and consistency.... NOT easy! When children test (and test, and test...), they literally wear us out when we most need to be strong and consistent! If you like to read, these are wonderful principle-filled books.
Books with good tools for handling the behavior have been mentioned above! Love and Logic and 1,2,3 Magic. I do frequently see one problem with 1,2,3 Magic with many parents - they try to make it 'easier' and misuse the tools or use them incorrectly. When done right, it is a super book!
You are a Godly mom who wants to raise Godly boys - you're attitude and desires are so right and God will help you and give you the strength you need! He also gives us many people in our lives from whom we can garner wisdom and support! I admire you for reaching out! I stumbled on your blog awhile ago and have enjoyed it immensly! Hope this helps a little bit! Hang in there! As you said and know (and I know also from your posts!) Grayden IS a wonderful boy! Blessings to you all!

Jami said...

I don't have a book but I just wanted to say I'm sorry and I'll say a prayer for you tonight. It was probably around 3 1/2 when my oldest started acting this way, he will be 5 in November and he still has his days. I just mentioned to my husband I can't wait until preschool starts back up, between that and our Community Bible Study, him and his little brother will only be together for a full day one day a week. To top it off, his little brother is what I like to call my "wild child". It's like a 3 ring circus around here most days.

Kiara Buechler said...

The book, Children are from Heaven, has been a great resource for me in parenting my son in a loving, but turn-him-into-a-normal-adult kind of way.

Here's a post I wrote about it: http://www.buechlerbeat.blogspot.com/2011/08/children-are-from-heaven.html

Check it out, it is really great! And good luck.

Misty said...

Katie,
I read your blog often but hardly ever post comments. But this post today is all too real in our house as well. My son who is 3 as well is the exact same way right now. I find that if I have just one on one time with him (out of the house)at least once a week, it helps him tremendously. I know what you mean by this saying, I love it. I hope you find a solution soon. If you find some "magic horrible 3 dust" let me know! :) Good luck.

LJFredricks said...

Hey Katie! I love 2.... Hate 3!! But if it makes you feel better 4 and 5 are so fun!!
books 1-2-3 Magic
and Love and Logic are great! Love and Logic is good for all ages.

Traci said...

Oh boy, I thought things were suppose to get easier when they turn three, I guess Im not out of the woods yet.

Jan said...

Oh...Katie, I love the quote ~ so true. You guys are doing a great job! Stick with it.....I'll be praying for your patience and for Grayden to choose to obey more than not. :) Mom L.

edmo said...

It's definitely this age. My son Boston is very sweet and loving and well-behaved. But he definitely, since turning 3, has been a struggle with listening and being bossy. He often makes me so frustrated. Sometimes he's so bad, I can't even believe it's him. I try every day just to make sure he's a good person, that is my number one priority as a parent. So I am making our way through this phase while making sure he knows I expect way more out of him.

Anonymous said...

Ohhh dear three is hard!!! I thought esp with my oldest beause i didn't know how to handle it... I would warn you a little bout 1-2-3 magic... i read that one and tried it with my oldest... fallowed it did everything... and now he says this to me "Mom you are supposed to give me 2 more chances" the problem with counting is that you are teaching them it is okay to disobey until i say three... and i don't know about you but i think they need to be obient right away because they need to learn to obey God... anyways the books i like and helped were "bringing up Boys" That one is a good one for any mom to read!!! "Sheperding a child's heart" and "Have a new kid by Friday" I know sounds silly but really it gives you some great tools... i liked sheperding because it really does help you realize how we teach things to our kids effects how they view God... anyways it's never easy when Landon turned 3 it was a day or so later he went from my sweet boy to our hardest... It gets better but my 7 year old... yikes... it's like three all over except super crazy sassy!!! (from liz anderson)

DianeTaylor said...

Praying for you Katie - it's been too long since I've handled a 3 year old so my advice would not be the best. I do remember being frustrated when I would feel the way you do right now - I prayed for this child for so long....and now that he is here, how can I feel so much frustration? Having raised my son already, I can say that you WILL get thru it. The rewards of being a mother far outweigh the trials.

Much love (and patience) to you, sweetie - just BREATHE and you will be fine :):)

xxoo - dt

Anonymous said...

It's an oldy but a goody-- Bringing Up Boys by Dr. James Dobson. I read it before I ever had kids of my own (because I teach in public school and was having a hard time understanding boys some of the time-- not being one myself-- LOL). Anyway, it's a GREAT book!

Jackie said...

I read daily but rarely comment. HAng in there...sounds like he's getting ready for the big 4!!!! I have a 4 yr ols and 2 yr old...this could be my post DAILY!!!!! It is SO frustrating!!!! I feel like I'm negative more than positive. I have tried rewards praise etc. He was acting so bad in the store one day I couldn't take another second. Without thinking I just started parying... outloud :/ God PLEASE give me patience to get through this store PLEASE don't let me be too harsh on this child. But most of all PLEASE help me get through this store. and to my shock I heard... AMEN! a woman had stopped beside me in the meat aisle and heard me praying and prayed with me in her heart then gave me a hug... I got teary and thanked her. she said she had two boys as well but they were grown now. She said how she was thrilled to see me stop and just pray when there was NOTHING else I could do but that HE could do... maybe?! LOL! I still tear up when I think of her and say a quick prayer of thanks for God sending her my way that day! Hope this is encouragement for you... will add you to my patience prayers! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Stop putting so much pressure on him. Let him be 3. It is all good.

Anonymous said...

We're on our third three year old and this age is definitely much tougher than two!! I would recommend keeping firm limits. Kids at this age want to know that you will follow through on what you say. It also helps a lot to focus on the positive and tell him what he can do, not what he can't. For example, tell him that he can use his hands for hugging, instead of telling not to hit.

Bren said...

Well, since we have kids the same age, so it's not a surprise that we go through a little bit of this too at our house!

My best advice: it's not easy, but try your best to remember that this is actually normal behaviour for his age, and that even some of the "bad" stuff means that he's reaching certain milestones. I find that keeping this in mind helps prevent me from getting too frustrated.

Hope this helps, even just a little bit :)

Sara said...

Three is TOUGH. And we have only been three for a few weeks! I will be reading all of the comments and taking notes!

Hang in there. This too shall pass :)

Anonymous said...

He's three...get over it. Is he expected to be perfect like you? poor boy.

Wigger Blog said...

I have read your blog for about a year and you are a wonderful mom! The best book I have read, as my 4 yo sounds the same as Gray was....You can't make me, but I can be persuaded. The author was on focus on the family one time and the book gave me a whole new perspective. I just read a book by Kendra Smiley as well called Journey of a Strongwilled Child. Remember deep breathes and take one minute at a time.

Paige said...

I have always said that 3 is SO much harder than 2. My 6 year old girl was a mess during the age of 3, but as time passed things continued to get better. We are in the middle of reading Shepherding a Childs heart. I have ears great things about this book as well! Good luck Momma. Remember to always be calm and persistent :) I have to remind myself daily to be

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, yes. Three. We're all in the trenches there with you, I promise. I was so sad when our oldest turned two, and so sad when she turned three. I'm THRILLED that four is around the corner, and hoping her attitude is miraculously changed. In the meantime, 123 Magic has helped us quite a bit. Actually, it really just helps me from getting too caught up in her drama. Otherwise she pulls me in, hook--line--sinker.

Rebekah said...

No real words of wisdom except to say that you're not alone. We have TWO three year olds and the age is challenging to say the least! :)

We do not feel like the best versions of ourselves a lot of days...but we thank God for new mornings!

It helps me to know that our other friends with three year olds are battling the same struggles and that this time will pass! We take deep breaths through the hard moments, soak in the sweet ones, and hold out for age four!

Johanna said...

I've been reading your blog for some time now but haven't commented before. You have tons if good advice already so I'll keep mine short :)
We used time outs BUT they had to be able to explain why they were there and what they could have done differently in the situation. They could not leave their time out until this was done to our satisfaction.
My kids are 18, 14, and 11 now :) its hard I know but you will make it through and they'll be fine

Anonymous said...

The New Strong Willed Child - Dr. Dobson. I'm not a huge Dobson fan but I thought this book was great. Very eye opening.

Bree said...

Katie, I read all the time but don't think I've ever commented. I had to comment on this though! I am going through a similar stage with my son who just turned three on August 5th. When he was born, a pastor gave us the book Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas. You MUST read this book! It is a life-changer. It offers a new perspective on parenting. Instead of other books that give you as "how-to" on changing your child's behavior, it challenges you to look at how parenting shapes and tests who you are as a person and as a follower of Christ. I hope you look into it and give it a read!