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Old 10-05-2012, 01:09 PM   #1
littlebit0863
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OT -3 year old is insisting on being carried

My 3 year old is getting on my last frazzled nerve I have left! He whines CONSTANTLY to be carried. He is "too tired" to walk, even first thing in the morning. I have two children, and he will follow me to the car while I'm putting the baby in, and throw an absolute tantrum because he wants me to walk back to the house and carry him back to the car. At the supermarket he doesn't want to walk, he wants to ride in the basket. Fine, put him in the basket.Then he wants to be carried. I have left the store 3 times this week due to three separate tantrums because I won't carry him. I'm getting worried (leaving for Disney in a week) because I have these nightmares of nonstop "carry me" tantrums. (I am bringing a stroller, but still scared.) Have your kids ever gone through a phase like this? He runs and plays fine, so I don't think anything is hurting him. I'm guessing he's jealous of the baby, even though she's about to be a year old. Thanks for any advice.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:15 PM   #2
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My 3 year old is getting on my last frazzled nerve I have left! He whines CONSTANTLY to be carried. He is "too tired" to walk, even first thing in the morning. I have two children, and he will follow me to the car while I'm putting the baby in, and throw an absolute tantrum because he wants me to walk back to the house and carry him back to the car. At the supermarket he doesn't want to walk, he wants to ride in the basket. Fine, put him in the basket.Then he wants to be carried. I have left the store 3 times this week due to three separate tantrums because I won't carry him. I'm getting worried (leaving for Disney in a week) because I have these nightmares of nonstop "carry me" tantrums. (I am bringing a stroller, but still scared.) Have your kids ever gone through a phase like this? He runs and plays fine, so I don't think anything is hurting him. I'm guessing he's jealous of the baby, even though she's about to be a year old. Thanks for any advice.
It sounds like you are right. He probably is jealous of the baby. My kids didn't go through a carrying phase, but my younger 2 are 16 months apart, and there was a lot of acting out on my daughter's part when the new baby came. She had been off the bottle since she was about a year, and never asked for one, but then threw fits that she couldn't have a bottle, too.

Are there consequences for the tantrums? (other than leaving the store)
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:23 PM   #3
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I agree that it sounds like he is jealous of the baby so maybe he needs some alone time with you, but to be on the safe side you may want to have him checked out by the pediatrician. One of my sons was behaving like that as a toddler and it turned out to be a health problem.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:10 PM   #4
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My ds does this too. It's just his personality. He turned 4 recently and I told him 4 year olds are too old to be carried. He didn't like it at first but I stood my ground and he eventually gave up. Sometimes he still asks but when he does he seems to be genuinely tired. He is my 3rd baby and he is all about the mama. He will find ways to get the attention focused on him and away from my dds.

Does he get tired easily when he's playing outside?
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:34 PM   #5
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It does sound like a jealous of the baby thing.

I think a two-pronged approach might work. First, just 'no,' and do what you're doing - leaving the market, then he doesn't get to go/do wherever if he pitches a fit about wanting to be carried.

Second, if that doesn't stop it in fairly short order, say 'ok, we thought you were such a big boy but I guess if you want to be carried, you ARE a baby.' Then treat him just like a baby. Carry him, don't allow him to do whatever big boy things he currently gets to do, put him down for a nap and bed the same time as the baby, because if he's not going to act like the big boy you know he is, he doesn't get the advantages of being the big brother. Oh, that toy seems like it might be too complicated, it's for big boys, etc. That should get his attention and make him rethink.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:49 PM   #6
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I would try positive actions. Remind him he is a big boy. Hand him something special to hold and give him a job to help with the baby like maybe helping get the baby into the car seat. Try to plan special big boy activities for just you and him. Make cookies and surprise daddy, read a big boy book, all kinds of things the baby does not do.

Also, remember that 3 is not really so far from being a baby. Why not pick him up sometimes.Those little legs do get tired, it hard to see things from 3 feet tall and something we all just need a little hug. Be very sure not to carry him if he is being ugly about being carried, but sometimes if you just give him a little bit of what he wants and needs, he will be happy with that.

At WDW try to create some boundaries that will work for you both. Maybe say that you will carry him in ride lines from one particular place to another and then he has to get down. Or, you can carry him in the food line to you order and then he has to walk or ride in the stroller. Make the stroller attractive to him. Make sure it is comfortable, has a drink holder etc, and maybe ask him to hold the babies hand in the stroller.

I know it is hard now but in just a few short years, you will be saying you would like to carry him one more time!
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:41 AM   #7
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Poor little guy. DS is an only so far, and when at the bitty age of three if he got tired, he got carried. Legs get tired, and especially in my family where nasty awful leg aches run genetically taking care of legs is important. Ht it's a lot easier to see just how little and young and naturally babyish a three year old truly is, when you don't have someone younger there.

Why not find ways to get him what he needs?
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:53 AM   #8
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I know it is hard now but in just a few short years, you will be saying you would like to carry him one more time!
This is so true! My dh doesn't get this and always gives me a hard time for picking up my ds but I just tell him to back off because he won't need me forever. Then I have to remember not to complain later about my back hurting.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:30 AM   #9
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Poor little guy. DS is an only so far, and when at the bitty age of three if he got tired, he got carried. Legs get tired, and especially in my family where nasty awful leg aches run genetically taking care of legs is important. Ht it's a lot easier to see just how little and young and naturally babyish a three year old truly is, when you don't have someone younger there.

Why not find ways to get him what he needs?
From what I can tell from the OP, he needs to learn that tantrums don't work and he doesn't get to have his way at all times - things everyone has to learn.

According to the OP, he's walking to the car as she puts the baby in then throwing a wobbly because she won't go back to the house with him in order to carry him to the car. He won't ride in the cart at the market because he wants to be carried while she shops. That's not gee, he's actually tired out, that's he's jealous of the baby.

I'm not saying he's bad or abnormal or anything, that's pretty normal behaviour for his age and situation - but you don't give in to it and allow a toddler with a little sibling rivalry to make you do ridiculous things or get his way by pitching a fit in private or public.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:27 PM   #10
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Thank you all so much for your replies. Ds does get lots of kisses and cuddles, and I try to make sure they get equal alone time. I hold him in my lap, but confess I don't carry him often, and especially not if he is throwing a fit. I am 5 feet tall and he is 3 feet tall, definitely not comfortable to hold him and try to walk too! There is a long walk from my house to the car and there is no way to carry them both unless I leave one child alone in the car out of my sight. (not happening.) I hope this is a small phase and he will outgrow it soon. I appreciate all the parenting advice I can get so thank you all.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:39 PM   #11
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How about bribery for giving you good behavior? Like maybe keep a couple m&ms or something in the car. If he walks good, he gets one. If not, he still walks and doesn't get one. My almost 2 1/2 year old is a stubborn one too.... The most important part to her is consistency....everytime she does something she knows she's not supposed to do, she has to go into her timeout....it gets soooo old and tiresome sometimes. But with her...there is NO giving in!
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:04 PM   #12
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It's all about follow through and consistency. My 5 year old still has times where he asks to be carried, however it is way easier to tell him now that he's really too big to be carried and he walks without throwing a fit.

As long as your reaction to his "carry me" behaviour is consistent (and you don't carry him) he'll get it and quit throwing fits. Good luck!
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:59 PM   #13
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Some of you really think a 3 year old is close to being a baby, and still a toddler?

At 3, both of my girls were reading, participating in sports, getting themselves dressed, and had simple chores to do around the house. It seems that the preschoolers being referred to as 'not far from being a baby' and 'toddler' are boys? Do moms baby their little boys more than their girls?
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:14 AM   #14
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Some of you really think a 3 year old is close to being a baby, and still a toddler?

At 3, both of my girls were reading, participating in sports, getting themselves dressed, and had simple chores to do around the house. It seems that the preschoolers being referred to as 'not far from being a baby' and 'toddler' are boys? Do moms baby their little boys more than their girls?
I think it is more parents that look at childhood as a time to be savored and realize that early childhood,being a toddler or baby, will be gone soooo quickly that there is no reason to rush things quite so much. It's often parents that are slightly older, and get the " been there done that" from experience. It's parents that step back and realize that my helping my sleepy three year old get dressed in the morning is not going to affect his ability to be responsible in college. It's parents that realize that some children desire that independence much earlier than others and are willing and able to adjust their parenting styles to meet those needs. It's parents that love parenting young children and are loving that short window of time to do just that!

My five year old can read, he plays baseball and is able to completely bathe, wash his hair, get his pj's out of his drawers, dress, get into bed and turn out the lights and go to sleep. Is this out routine.....nope. He loves for he to hang onto out 5 year old routine of me getting him out of the tub, wrapping his big towel around him and to carry him to his waiting PJ's and help him get them on, into his bed and then cuddle and read and say prayers. I know that this whole routine is not going to last much longer and I am savoring ever second I get of it. When he wants to stop...we will.

Now, a parent hanging on to certain routines after the child is ready to move on is much different and does create issues in the parent-child bond.

I often think about my good friend that was a "push her son to grow up" mom. He was required to dress himself, tie his shoes, give up the stroller by three etc. Her son was killed about a year ago and she sooooo regrets all her pushing to make him grow up instead of just enjoying and loving him where he was.

Now, it sounds like the OP really does not have a choice. The kid has to walk to make it a safe situation for everyone. So she will simply have to choose what method (motivation, bribing, whatever) works for her to get her son to the car.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:27 AM   #15
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MSSANDRA, you're mentioning your son, so that feeds into my question - do moms coddle their boys more than their girls? Sounds like the answer is yes so far.

Actually, the infant/toddler years are the years that the brain does most of its hardwiring, so coddling, which I associate with learned dependence and a feeling of neediness, doesn't seem to really be helpful at all. This does not mean that a parent doesn't show love and affection, caring and security, but it does mean that encouraging independence as soon as possible helps a child become a more independent, productive person.

A very untestable theory I have, unless anyone wants to lend me their baby for 4-5 years, BTW I don't think anyone wants to be in the control group either, LOL! It's just one I've developed working in school systems for over 15 years.
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