When Gianna was 3.5/4, she had all the opinions and expressed them sometimes very loudy, but she generally listened and took her punishment when necessary. She could certainly push our buttons but overall, her issues were her issues and typically she didn’t make things harder on herself by misbehaving that much more.
Aleesia at 3.5/now 4? She is what I have deemed the button pusher. When she misbehaves? It is 100% on purpose and typically compounded by additional misbehavior. When she’s tired, the button pushing becomes even more intense. She’s in the “I don’t ever need to nap” stage so if she has a bad nights sleep, doesn’t nap, we are pretty much setting ourselve up for a rough patch at some point in the afternoon/evening.
Case-in-point: tonight, she needed to put on her pajamas but she didn’t want to (which I already said was fine) so she laid on hallway floor and purposely tripped Gianna. So then she had to stay in her room for the rest of the night. Since she wouldn’t go to her room voluntarily, I had to bring her in there. Once she got in her room, she was super mad so she threw everything from her bed on the floor, screamed and kicked her feet repeatedly. When she was done with that she kept coming out of her room. We eventually got her all calmed down, tucked in (still in her regular clothes) and asleep but WHEW that girl!
Just when I think I know what will either a) hold off a meltdown and/or b) shorten a meltdown she proves me wrong and my normal tricks don’t work. We’ve been using essential oils to help (we have a trantrum tamer blend that works along with just bermgamont on the back of her neck) but sometimes I forget to grab them in the middle of dealing with her current issue. We’ve been diffusing orange and cedarwood too which sometimes helps.
In the middle of the chaos, it can be so difficult to remain calm, and I don’t always. I want her to feel comfortable expressing her feelings, but screaming, yelling, disrupting the entire house isn’t the appropriate way to do it – she understands that (afterwards) and it’s getting slightly better. But she’s also getting better at figuring out EXACTLY which of my buttons to push and when.