3 year old's birthday a disaster :-(

Discussion in 'Toddler & Pre-School' started by Claire300, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Claire300

    Claire300 Mum to 2 lovely boys!

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    My older boy turned 3 on Saturday. For months he has asked for a pirate party, and thats what we did, on the Sunday (yesterday). He's always been on the shy/clingy side, this got worse when his little brother was born just over a year ago. He's gone to nursery since 16 months old for 2 afternoons a week, spends time with grandparents and other family regularly and has a lot of friends for 'play dates'. He's absolutely fine at home, and is very clever and funny. He's fine with family, and so so with nursery (no longer cries when I drop him off although is very subdued). When he see's friends at home he is either really good or goes to pieces and won't leave my side. Recently, it's been the latter, and the build up to his birthday (last 2 weeks or so) he's been a nightmare. He's also started having terrible tantrums, which is not like him at all. On his birthday it took him half an hour to open a present as he declared he did not want a birthday. He had tantrum after tantrum. The following day was his party, which he also decided he didn't want. A friend (his godmother) came to see him in the morning and he refused to be in the same room as her, and ended up sitting in the hall the whole time she was here. He did get dressed up as a pirate for the party and his dad took him down to the hall we'd hired. By the time I got there he'd asked to take it off so his dad had just put a top & jeans on him (grrrr!). He then sat in a toy box the whole time while the other children played with the toys, got their faces painted and enjoyed the party. All he did was sit in a box next to his dad for 2 hours. He did get out when we sang happy birthday and blew his candles out, helped me cut the cake, then went back in his box.

    His dad doesn't think there's anything wrong, but I feel terrible. That can't be normal behaviour? He's so unvelievably shy or whatever it is that he can't enjoy his own birthday party with children his own age, most of whom he's known his whole life.

    Is it my fault, for telling him he'll be a 'big boy' on his birthday. have I frightened him? He is very much a lover of routine and things are changing, he'll be starting nursery at the school soon etc. Does he need some help? It has upset me so much, he just doesn't seem happy. Should I get in touch with the health visitor?

    If you've got this far, thanks for listening!
     
  2. OmarsMum

    OmarsMum Well-Known Member
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    This is one of the reasons I'm still not sure about a big birthday party for Omar's 4th birthday although he's asking for one. Last year we had a small party, & it went find, but knowing my son, I'm sure a big party with him as the centre of attention might be overwhelming.

    I wouldn't say it's the norm behavior for a 3 yrs old, but it's normal, some kids are more sensitive than others.

    I'm so sorry it didn't go as you planned Hun, but I honestly don't think there is anything wrong with your little boy :hugs:
     
  3. tommyg

    tommyg Mum to Smurf & TTC

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    It's one you'll laugh about in the future. I'd say it's fairly normal for young kids to get completely overwhelmed when they are center of attention and on special days they don't really understand.
    Think about it the whole concept of birthdays is a big one.
    3 years since you were born
    What's a year?
    What does birth mean?
     
  4. joeyjo

    joeyjo Mum to 2boys, growing #3

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    Just overwhelmed, normal for some kids and nothing to worry about IMO.

    My son does similar and then talks about said event as I participated fully!
     
  5. Claire300

    Claire300 Mum to 2 lovely boys!

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    Thank you guys! I think it's just cos none of his friends are like that I worried that he was quite different. Am glad it's just me being a worry wart!
     
  6. suzib76

    suzib76 Well-Known Member

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    Tbh f he was happy sitting in the box I would be happy too. The rest of it, the expectations and what it all means is more about us as adults than the kids. It's the same as when we buy them a mega brilliant expensive toy and they prefer the box, as long as they are happy, I'm good with that
     
  7. MrsT&Ben

    MrsT&Ben Well-Known Member

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    Sounds a lot like my little boy.he gets overwhelmed by lots of people and just won't leave my side. I wouldn't say anything was wrong just a bit different. Try not to worry or over compensate for them being this way. IMO it makes them worse if you pander to them. Hugs hun xxxx
     
  8. MoldyVoldy

    MoldyVoldy Khaleesi

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    i don't think there's anything wrong with him wanting to be more of an observer right now. honestly, i'd say good on him! it's ok for him to not want to be in the middle of everything, and this may change as he gets older. my son is pretty quiet usually and it's just recently (at 4) that he's started to creep out of his shell with others/strangers (like at dance class for example).

    obviously if you are very worried, see your son's doctor or maybe a therapist to just give you peace of mind :) there's nothing wrong with therapy! it's wonderful :)
     
  9. Banshee

    Banshee Mother of 2 boys

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    I could easily see ds1 doing this as well. To be honest it's one of the reasons we didn't do a party like that. Ds1's 'party' was having some family over after a trip to one of his favourite places. We had a party at soft play last year and he couldn't have cared less whether the other kids were there or not.
    I don't think it's abnormal for children to feel overwhelmed by these types of situation at this age.
     
  10. seoj

    seoj Our family of four...

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    tbh- my friend doesn't even throw parties for her 3yr old-- never has. She is just really shy around big groups and doesn't like everyone to focus on her- she does well enough in groups, she was at my LO's bday on Sat :) But she stayed close to her Mom. Her younger daughter is much more outgoing... it just varies hun.

    My LO does well in big groups (most of the time)- but for her 1st and 2nd bday, when everyone was standing around looking at her singing happy bday, she started to cry and wanted me to hold her. She got over it in a bit- but hey, I bet that can be a bit scary for a toddler! ;)
     
  11. MLC20

    MLC20 Well-Known Member

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    Some kids are just like that I think. I have just finished reading "the secret of happy children" by Steve Biddaulph which addresses the shy child situation. My child is not at all shy as yet so I'm sorry but, I didn't take much notice. Good luck though, give him some space and encourage small steps like greeting people and having the occasional play date. Make experiences with other people as positive as you can.
     
  12. Claire300

    Claire300 Mum to 2 lovely boys!

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    Thanks everyone. This is why I love this site - I was really stressing about this before but after reading all of the comments I feel much better. As none of the kids I know are at all like this I just worried it wadn't normal, but thats the beauty of baby and bump! I only threw him the party because he asked for one, but I don't think he realised what a big deal it was at the time. When I look back at it, like someone said, at least he was happy in his box!
     
  13. JASMAK

    JASMAK Mom of three

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    Awe, sounds like you had expectations, and toddlers just can't (or will decidedly won't) live up to that. He is 3, afterall, so cut him some slack. He sounds absolutely cute in a box.
     
  14. AngelofTroy

    AngelofTroy Well-Known Member

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    I remember my brother crying when he turned 3 because he "wanted to be 2 again" (he's 23 now :haha:) I think it's normal, it's the first age that they can understand what a birthday means (sort of) and growing up is scary!
     
  15. Delamere19

    Delamere19 Mummy to 2 gorgeous boys!

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    I thought we we're doing really well with our son and was all like "terrible twos?my son is an angel!"and then as soon as he has turned 3 he has turned into a different child! He had so many tantrums last week and shouted at me and hit me. He's being a little better this week but he seems to have a new anger in him but he doesn't know how to express it. He sat in the aisles at the supermarket and wouldn't get up and hit my sister, honestly all the supermarket turned around and looked at us. It's made me wary about taking him out at the moment. We have been using naughty corner for 3 minutes which seems to help but I am putting my foot down.

    I really think its normal for toddlers to go through these changes. Doesn't make it easy though.

    Big hug :hugs:
     
  16. special_kala

    special_kala love my bugs

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    :thumbup::thumbup:
     
  17. jd83

    jd83 Mom to 2 beautiful boys!

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    I think its normal, and if you really think about it, there are plenty of adults who wouldn't be comfortable with a big party either. Its just different types of personalities. Some kids like a big fuss, others are more shy and reserved. Every personality is different. he may grow out of it, or he may stay reserved. Even if he does, though, there's nothing wrong with that hun. Some people just never like lots of attention and fuss made over them. It is hard when you thought that he would enjoy it, but try not to get too upset over it.
     
  18. gingajewel

    gingajewel Mommy to Megan

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    I think my little girls worst nightmare would be a party with her being the centre of attention :-( about a year ago we went to a family party and she sat with her eyes closed for two hours and wouldn't open them till we were back in the car. Meg is very very shy and it used to really get to me and I wished she was like her other friends, I guess it's took me a while to accept her for being the shy one and not being the one dancing or running around in social situations. And on a lighter note ur lucky your son sat in the box, meg would have probably sat with her eyes closed and her head buried in me! hugs, I know how disappointing and frustrating it can be x.x
     
  19. Odd Socks

    Odd Socks Mummy to 2 girls.

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    He sounds like my eldest. She sat in a corner quietly at her 3rd birthday party, she gets overwhelmed at toddler group because there are too many children & she's told me she doesn't want to go to school next year because it'll be too busy.

    We're on holiday in Florida at the moment & she's found it all very overwhelming & after a week has just gone on her first ride at Disney (a merry go round!). She didn't want to go on the tea cup ride (which she was most excited about) because there's a loud noise at the end of it...!). My you gets is the polar opposite, she wants to go on everything & do everything & is the centre of attention at parties!
     
  20. MrsHedgehog

    MrsHedgehog Well-Known Member

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    I think it's normal to get overwhelmed on big occasions. It was my LOs second birthday last week and I was the one getting overwhelmed by all the excitement! My LO too is very hit or miss on big occasions. Sometimes she'll be the centre of attention, other times she'll hide and not speak to anyone, just depends what moods she's in. One thing I would suggest though is maybe to avoid calling him a 'big boy'. I think it can make them feel a bit scared, and like they have to act like a big boy when maybe they still feel like they need babying. Another thing I've heard is that boys get a boost of testosterone around 3 years old which can cause quite aggressive or violent tantrums so maybe that's something which could have contributed to his mood on his birthday.
     

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