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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1386
Experience:  I have my bachelors degree in psychology. I worked with children. Since then I have raised and still raising 3 wonderful boys.
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Hello, I am 44 years old and have a 3-year old (my only child)

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Hello, I am 44 years old and have a 3-year old (my only child) who stays at home with me. I teach online classes for a community college and at times a bit busy at the computer. My little boy's father moved in with us about 15 months ago and there have been some arguments and adjustments. My husband does not work and is also at home, however he does not have as much interaction with my little boy as I had hoped. I thought that they would play and do a lot of fun activities together, but that has not turned out to be the case. I have to confess that we have argued in front of our little boy, which I regret greatly. My little boy is an extremely smart little guy and has become very defiant and quite naughty. Time out does not work. I have also swatted his bottom, not enough to hurt, and he just laughs and says, "do it again." I am not in favor of spanking, I don't think that it is effective, but in moments of desperation I have swatted him. Lately he has started trying to bite and just seems as though he is intentionally trying to be mean. Today it was obvious that he was very sleepy and I tried to lay him down for a nap. We love our little boy so much, but I am so afraid that I have damaged him already. I do think that part of it is boredom. I have enrolled him in gymnastics and I have been looking for a good mother's day out program so that he can get some interaction, stimulation, and discipline from other sources besides us. I would really appreciate any advice and, if possible, reassurance that I haven't already screwed up my little boy. Thank you.

jenhelant : Hi, I want to ensure you that you did not already screw up your little boy. It is good that you realize your mistakes and learm from them as you are in order to not repeat them. The fact that you care enough to be here asking this shows that you have good insight and a good mom that loves her child. I would not worry or feel guilty about what is done, but rather move on from here and do your best. At every stage of our lives we live and grow. Not one person or parent is perfect and not even one thing works for every child. We all need to go by trial and error until we find what is best for our own children. It sounds like his father moving in could have affected him since he could be jealous and trying to act out to get your attention. Also, could be because he wants his fathers attention and is not getting it. I would try to discuss this with hia father in a nice concerned way then maybe he will take action to spend time with his son. Continue the discipline and be consistent because when we allow somethings to slide is when they think they have control. The library usually have free good programs for children his age as well as the other things you are getting him into which is great. There is also the fact he is 3. This is the age where they do start to test and spread their wings. Some big changes from two. Arguing in front is not good, but like I said you did not screw him up. He is fine and is only three years old. Just continue giving him lots of love, teach him and discuss with him about what he does in addition to the time outs and taking toys away. Things will get better and I would mot worry or beat yourself up that will only make things worse for the future. He needs you there for him healthy and strong. You all will be just fine. If I can be of further help please let me know.

Okay. Thank you very much.

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