Who ever said it was the terrible 2's. I think 3 was much worse. And I think it was/is a conspiracy to not let new parents know that 2 is easy in comparison to 3. You come out of 2 and think this wasn't so bad. What is everybody talking about. And then SMACK right into the attitude wall.
At 2 my girl was still my sweet baby. Don't get me wrong she had a mind of her own but it wasn't such a struggle. For example she didn't want out of her crib so we left her in there until she turned 3. And then we only moved her to a big girl bed just because.
At 3 she started off just fine and then one day without warning the head spun and out came this sassy, smart mouthed, making faces and comments behind my back, stubborn child with my girl's sweet face. I would think where oh where has she gone.
So I went through several different options of discipline trying to find one that would work. We have used hot sauce on the tongue (which was really wostershire until she discovered she liked it on steak so we had to switch to true hot sauce), standing in the corner with her nose pressed into it, taking something away, butt smacks (or even just the threat of a butt smack), screaming as loud as I can, to practically whispering to make her try hard to hear what I had to say. At some points I would give her 3 choices from the above list and ask her which one she wanted. Of course she would usually pick the corner. And of course she would want to sit but the meanie that I am made her stand quietly with the nose pressed into the corner. It seemed to help and we still use that one to this day. And I only need to say either do --------- or go stand in the corner. It is your choice.
This has been hard for me because I hate to be the bad guy but I don't want her to be the girl going hog wild in the future. I have always told her that I still love her even if I am mad. Plus I tell her it is my job to punish her if she doesn't do her job of listening as a kid. I think she thinks I am crazy sometimes and I probably am but don't tell anyone.
At 4 we still battle but it does seem to be less and less. I had to start a sticker calendar just for bedtimes because each night was so bad. We had to stop having her little cousin sleep over because my girl was not listening at bedtime. It started that she would get a prize after 5 stickers in a row. This has really REALLY seemed to work. We have now had 2 months of only stickers and no black X's. We have extended it to 7 in a row now. And if she has thoughts of going crazy all I need to say is "Do you want an X or a sticker? If you want a sticker you better settle down and stay in this bed." And do you know what happens? IT WORKS! Who would have thought this possible a few months ago when she was getting more X's than stickers.
My girl is so strong and I admire her for that. I try to let her express herself as much as possible as long as it is in a polite manner because I love that she thinks for herself and has such a strong will. (Even when it is making me crazy).
I love my girl more than she will ever know.