Where to start… where to start.  I don’t even know where to start.
I’ve had it UP TO HERE with Porter.  I am throwing my hands up… tossing in the towel.  I surrender.  I don’t know what to do with the kid anymore. 
I feel like I’m always portraying him to be this awful demon child.  He isn’t, really… but his naughtiness seems to suffocate my life. While he can make me laugh and he is the most clever little dude… at the same time he so easily drive me up the wall.
I should write down all the things he does… the things he gets into.  I should write them down for a week and bullet-list them here and your jaw would drop.  Seriously.
Porter got sick on the way home from Preschool so I left work early to pick him up.  I made a doctor’s appt for him (4pm) and let him lay on the couch and watch a movie instead of napping.  I fell asleep on the couch and woke up to him bouncing around. 
With chocolate all over his face.
Turns out he’d pushed the barstool over to the freezer and eaten two of the Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches.  Yes… the low fat ones that cost like $5 for the package of 6. 
I scolded him and told him he is NOT to get into the fridge or freezer without asking.  Not kidding… the kid will help himself to string cheese and go through a 12 pack in 2 days.  And string cheese is not cheap, either.
The rest of the evening goes on and he keeps dinking with the cat… trying to pick it up and ever time he’s near Ella I hear her meow an irritated “leave me alone” meow.  After telling him for the 5th time to leave her alone I spanked him. He cried.  He called me a bully.  Blah blah blah.
Dinner time…. the kid needs velcro.  He’s up and down and up and down.  I need to just be more consistent and just take his food and throw it away the first time he gets up but instead I find myself warning him once or twice and then finally yelling at him to stay in his seat.  That’s an easy enough fix, I suppose.
Then he turns his fork into a catapult and flung cucumber across the dining room.  He continued after I scolded him so I took his fork away.  We were eating chicken and rice… big surprise he never got around to eating his rice b/c he had no fork.
All night it was whine whine whine.  (I should have had some wine wine wine, I guess!!!) He’s been throwing these toddler-like tantrums lately… tantrums you’d expect from a 2 year old.
I put the boys in the bath because I was done.  Done being mommy tonight.  I got them in the bath and only had to tell Porter about 5 times to stop bugging his brother in the bath.  Don’t dump water on him.  Don’t spray water out of your mouth at his face.  Stop laying in the tub and pushing your brother to the end of the tub.  Don’t take his toy. 
I finally got them out, got their pj’s on and told Porter to go play downstairs or in his room while I read Hudson a book and put him to bed.   I enjoyed my quiet time with Hudson and wished our day had more of that peacefulness rather than whining, yelling, tantrums and scolding.
I went downstairs to find Porter eating ANOTHER ice cream sandwich.  I about flipped.  There was ONE single Skinny Cow sandwich left… and I hadn’t eaten a single one (and neither had Ryan or Cam…).  I told him to get his toys picked up and get up to bed. 
 I turned around to find the cute heart garland I’d made yesterday ripped down from the curtain. I asked him if he did it and he confessed.  I asked why…. he told me because he didn’t want it up there.  And I had JUST explained to him yesterday that we had to be very careful with it.  He helped me carry it upstairs and put it on the curtain rod and I explained how the thread was thin and we couldn’t pull or step on it or it’d break. 
That was my last straw.  I dragged him upstairs and tossed him into bed without a story.  I took away his lightbulb in his lamp (he likes to sleep with his little lamp on) and shut the door.  He cried and yelled downstairs that I was being a bully to him. 
I don’t know what to do, short of putting a child leash on him and making him follow me around the house.  I can’t be near him every second and I’ve tried making him sit in the room with me while I cook dinner etc… so he doesn’t fight with Hudson or doesn’t have the chance to be mean to the dog/cat but it never fails I get sidetracked and forget to make sure he sits there. 
Do I have to freaking take away every stool and chair in my house so he stops getting up on the counters and into things?
WHAT DO I DO?  I feel like I’m so alone… no one else I’ve ever talked to has or has had a child like Porter…  I don’t mean to make him out to be a bad kid but he’s so curious and independent and that gets him into trouble.  I hate that he doesn’t listen to rules when I tell him not to get into things… its like he disregards any boundaries I set. 

PLEASE HELP before I lose my mind. 


We have tried taking away toys.  He doesn’t necessarily have a favorite toy… he plays with trucks.  And we have like 50 million cars/trucks so if one is taken away he typically shrugs it off and moves onto another one.  We do take away toys if he throws them or there is a fight over a certain toy.  But… its not uncommon for Porter to again, take a stool up to the entertainment center or the top of the fridge when we’re out of the room and get the toy.  I don’t have all the time in the world to keep tabs on toys in “time out” and I often don’t realize he’s reclaimed a toy until later in the day when he’s already been playing with it for hours. 

  1. Have you tried taking one toy away at a time. My kids HATE to lose toys. How about taking a belt and belting him in the chair at dinner. Works really well.Good luck

  2. Oh Nic…you poor girl! And I thought I had it rough with a mouthy 6.75 year old! Emma aint got nothin on Porter, lol! Ya know, I honestly think he will grow out of it…but its def gonna take some time. Do you ever watch Dr. Phil? Cause he has really good episodes about parenting and how it sucks to be a mom somedays, etc….I learn a lot from watching his show. He says when you yell at your kid (which I am def guilty of) that they will not listen even more…I think he is right! Well hang in there and I say put some kind of childproof lock on the fridge/freezer (the ones they make for cupboards that look like big huge zip ties) and see if that keeps him out! You need a GNO…and soon!

  3. Oh, Nicole, I am so sorry!!! We have had our major issues with Norah recently – we actually went to a counselor over her behavior (hers is more emotional stuff). The one thing that actually made a difference for a while was taking away something DRASTIC. One of her really close friends was having a birthday party and the girls had been talking about it for WEEKS. I had one of those moments “this is the last straw” when she threw a shoe at me. In my proud mommy moment (insert sarcasm), I yelled. I mean, I YELLED at her. I told her she was NOT going to Kate's party the next day. Her response was dead silence. I don't really think she believed me so in the very next moment I called my friend and told her that I was really sorry, but Norah was not coming to the party. I called right in front of Norah (I gave my friend the horrible details later). Then – I took Lucy and Daphne to the party instead. Lucy brought home party favors – Norah saw all of this and was devastated. Her behavior quickly improved. However, I think I may have to try something like that again because here we are 6 months later and she has regressed.

  4. Okay…I hear you! I have a 6 year old, 3.5 year old, and a 7 month old. All boys. This past summer I really struggled with our 3 year old. The new baby was born in July and I stayed home with the two youngest when school started back up until mid October when I went back to my teaching job. It was a really, really rough time wiht Grant our 3 year old. He was the worst for me and into everything he should not have been. He started the minivan in the garage, made himself food, and would sneak outside just to name a few things (trust me there was much more!) It is so much better now though. We had to find the one thing that really made him know we meant business. Spanking, time outs, taking toys away did not mean anything to him but he hated when we locked him in his bedroom. I know it sounds harsh but I had to find something for his safety and my sanity. I also think that 3 is a hard age and as he approaches 4 it is getting so much easier. I also read the book “The Strong Willed Child” by Dr. James Dobson and that helped me as well. I understand were you are coming from!

  5. wow~ I don't know what to say or how to help…but he sounds JUST LIKE my best friends boy and he has ADAD among other things and he will literally bounce off the walls and do things with out thinking about the consequences until later…because he CAN NOT help it. And do dangerous things (lock himself and his brother in the truck of the car!!) etc. They had to resort to medications to help him out. Now I am NOT a firm believer in Medication at all…BUT with my friends boy..IT WAS A MUST. I know that this is very very difficult for you and I hope that things get easier for you! (((HUGS))) and you are not alone!

  6. My Cooper is the most loving, affectionate, happy-go-lucky kid ever. He is also incredibly impulsive, doesn't listen, backtalks, dilberately disobeys, and walks a fine line with being put out on the curb with a “Free” sign. We have tried it all . . . time-outs, lost priveledges, taking toys away, going to bed without dinner, etc. The only thing that has made a HUGE difference? Cutting red dye out of his diet!I know it sounds really voodoo-ish, but I am talking the difference between serious talks with preschool about having him tested for ADHD and glowing reports from preschool about how well he is doing. And I don't feed my kids crap . . . I started reading labels, and found red dye in the children's chewable vitamins I was giving him every morning, in the toothpaste he was brushing with twice-a-day, in the sugar-free chocolate pudding that he was getting as an occasional treat, and in the Motrin that he was getting when sick. And that doesn't count the snacks and such that he was getting at preschool everyday!I never, in a million years thought cutting out the dye would make any difference what-so-ever, but it has!(I will get off of my soapbox now.)

  7. You are definitely not alone. My three-year-old daughter is exactly like your son. I think that's why I keep coming back to read your blog. In the time that it took me to read this post, I had too stop her from drowning a plant with water and bouncing her ball repeatedly into our glass cabinet. Seriously! Even when she's right with me, she gets into stuff so fast. Yesterday I scrubbed the shower while she stood beside me and she covered the floor and toilet with conditioner. How I didn't notice is beyond me. You are not alone. Limits I set seem so pointless. She's just so active, curious, and determined. My best strategy lately has been to spend more one-on-one time with her, but it's exhausting. I was ready for bed when she was. I'm also trying to kid-proof the house better. I got rid of all the treats she was counter surfing for, but that didn't really help because yesterday she was there for crackers.

  8. I couldn't imagine not using our booster seat for dinner too, otherwise she is up and down up and down. I feel for you. She is literally into everything, my worst story is probably starting the laundry machine and flushing stuff down the toilet.I'm trying to tell myself that this quality will be great as an adult. She'll be a leader and a doer. I keep reading books for answers too. I just started reading How to Behave So Your Preschooler Will Too, so if it'll help yet or not. Hang in there!

  9. Hmmmmm, not really sure Nicole. The only thing that comes to mind is that he needs more structure. It sounds like you are getting busy and he's getting bored so he causes trouble. Maybe have a schedule posted for him while he's home. For example, during dinner time it's puzzles/coloring at the table, where you can see him. I know you've tried every incentive program in the book so I'm no help there at all. I know structure has helped us through tough times. It's not always there, but when the kids are causing trouble, I usually make them sit and do something productive. Coloring is big, playdoh, shaving cream, anything sensory usually keeps them engaged. Good luck!

  10. We have our difficult times with Okis too, for sure. He often drives me absolutely insane and I feel like I just cannot take it anymore. I yell, his dad yells, we take stuff away, we put him to bed early… nothing negative seems to help. What does help is POSITIVE attention.I have been reading the Supernanny book (“Getting the Best from Your Children” – or something like that). I haven't read the whole thing, but so far, one thing it stresses the importance of giving your kids positive attention. The psychology of it says that kids act out to get attention. If you give them attention when they are being good, or give them some one-on-one play time with you, they will act out less.Honestly, we haven't been real good about giving him lots of positive attention every day, but I have noticed that when we do he is definitely a more well-behaved kid.

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