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where can I get some help parenting this 17month boy? Someone I can talk to?

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 

I have a 17 month old and newborn (16month apart). Things are pretty crazy.  The toddler part is way more challenging to me, with situations that arise almost every minute of the day that make both of us (my son & I ) crazy and really frustrated.  I don't know how to deal with the situations, then he cries, yells, screams and whines, and I get mad and want to pull my hair out and slap him (some days I am that close to turning absolutely not loving to him). It saddens me that while I think this young age is such a precious time that I will certainly miss when they're grown (or even just a year from now), yet every day instead of cherishing and enjoying this precious time & age, I am going nuts getting mad at him.  I'm saddened that often times he seems unhappy & not having his needs met.

 

Who can I turn to and talk to about these daily life stuff and get some help on parenting him so that we (my son & I) can both be happier?  What expert would that be that I can get help from? Pediatritian? Doesn't seem like it.  An young child educator?  Where do I find one? And the other moms I know each have their own ideas about how kids should be raised & treated and so far I haven't found one whose ideas I agree with. I really need some mentorship and advice here...

post #2 of 68
That's exactly why I spend so much time here on MDC! I can ask almost any parenting question & get a bunch of answers that often fit in perfectly with my parenting philosophies! smile.gif What kinds of issues are you dealing with? Can we help at all?

I don't know if there is a 'professional' who can help with parenting (and if there is, I somehow doubt they'd offer advice that jives well with your own ideas, if other moms' ideas aren't right for you). As far as 'real life' help, my go-to source for advice is my AP moms group. Are there any such groups in your area?
post #3 of 68

I have a 2 yrs 4 month old and a 3 week old. I find it incredibly challenging as well! I don't have any suggestions as I am flondering a bit....

post #4 of 68

It sounds like normal behavior to me for this age. They are exploring this new found ability to move around on their own and get in to things. My DD is 16 months and is the same way. She listens pretty well but at times will not listen and there are days that are much worse than others to where I too feel like pulling my  hair out or simply running away! This is my third child and my older two are MUCH older and I'd forgotten how tough they are at this age. It usually got better with my littles by the age of 3.

 

Are you involved in a Moms group of any kind in your area? Do you have any friends you can confide in or hang out with on a weekly basis and have park visits together (when warmer) or indoor play area visits together? Then you have time to talk. I don't know what to suggest other than finding someone in your shoes in your local area. Plus, if it's cold where you are then you probably aren't getting out much so in spring you can get out for walks with the stroller which will help somewhat I'm sure!! I'm looking forward to that myself. :)

post #5 of 68

Can you let the 17 month old "help" as much as possible.  My kids are 22 months apart and the older one was constantly cuddling on one side while I was nursing on the other.  He would help pick out clothes and stand on a chair to watch me change diapers.  I wore the baby in the stretchy wrap while she napped and was able to hold and play with my son quite normally while she slept.   I really didn't worry about any non-essential housework and had DH do as many dishes and as much laundry as possible when he wasn't working. 

 

As far as finding people to talk to, definitely look for some sort of group in your area - LLL, story time at the library, we have a local message board in my town that organize play groups. 

 

Good luck!  And take it one day (or hour or minute) at a time if you need to. Some days I have to mentally start over multiple times!  And remember you attitude and his attitude feed off of each other and as hard as it is, it's easier for you to refresh your attitude than it is for him to do so.

post #6 of 68

Hugs mama, that sounds hard. I know I am often exhausted and frustrated and lonely and I just have a 16m old.  

 

Have you tried posting in Finding Your Tribe here on MDC?  You might find some other like-minded mamas that are nearby.  Finding a LLL meeting is another great idea.

 

And try to remember what a short time this will be relatively speaking. I know it feel like forever right now and emotions are so strong during the first 6m PP (or they were for me), but very soon your LOs will be playing together!

post #7 of 68
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies so far. 

 

Clarification: When I said "someone I can talk to", I didn't mean so much as a friend to chat/vent/socialize with, instead I meant someone more of a discipline and toddler expert who knows what goes on in their mind, how to handle their behaviors and how to meet their needs appropriately so that we're all happier, like a specialized counselor, educator or something, I don't know who that'd be.  For example, there are all these books you can read on this topic, but where can I find someone I can go to for specific situation handling mentorship, or how to apply certain things in certain books, etc?  Actually I don't even have any time to read so a person who i can ask specific questions about specific situations would be much more helpful than trying to find a solution to one situation by reading tons of books.  And I don't mean to find someone to talk to so I can vent, get away from him momentarily, and feel better, but I meant someone to talk to so I can learn about how to be with him and how to teach him.

 

Some situations that trouble me with the 18 month old:

 

1) Bored:doesn't want to engage in any activities of his own, tends to cling to me all day long while I'm holding, soothing, and nursing the newborn all day. I try to sit down with him and show him how to play with the train, other stuff, or read with him while holding the newborn but instead of getting into what I'm doing with him he appears bored and is tugging my legs, making noises and having all sorts of annoying and bored behaviors. This is when I'm able to simulatiously pay attention to him, when I'm really busy with the newborn and I need him to go do his own thing it gets worse - nothing interests him and he is very whiny.

 

2) Try to get him to "help" or to be more self-sufficient (the idea of doing it "on my own" is appealing to him) but end up extremely frustrated myself. For example, try to get him to bring his own food to his own little table, sit down and eat - he takes a big mess playing with his food and not eating, he climbs on his little chair - things that cause me more work to clean up plus i have to physically go stop him by pulling him or using my hands while my hands are already occupied holding/feeding a 15lb newborn. (by the way, i do know about baby wearing but it doesn't work for me as a way to keep my hands free enough so I can actually go about my daily activities). I want to leave markers, crayons and certain things out for him so he can get them himself and use them but then I have to pay extra attention and be hands on with him so he doesn't get them all over the walls, couch, clothes, put in his mouth, etc. How can I get him to be more engaged in activities or doing stuff on his own?

 

3) Does not obbey. I tell him to drink his milk, eat, put this away, come here & put his pants on, come wash his hands, whatever simple thing it may be, be looks at me, says "no" and keeps looking at me while backing up away from me. Meanwhile I'm sitting there holding his pants, milk, food, shoes, etc just trying to hurry up so I can get back to attending the baby or other things (bathroom or feed myself or whatever the needs are at the time) or get out the door, and getting extremely frustrated that I'm taking the time to take care of him (get him dressed, feed him, clean him etc) and he is not coorperating but instead wasting my time. And I don't want to start the chase game where I have to physically go chase him in order to have him do anything (I don't think it's right & he really finds it fun if I start chasing him). Another example, he is fully capable of putting his toys away but when I ask him to do so he refuses with a "no" and the look again. I really think he is at an age when he should be doing these things that he is capable of, not to mention that most times when toys are all over the place it's not because he's been playing with them - it's because he throws them all over the place, doesn't even really play with them, and just leaves them.

 

4) Gets frustrated easily. Sometimes he gets stuck trying to push a truck somewhere, trying to take his jacket off, trying to open something that doesn't open, etc he gets frustrated in matter of a second and screams very loudly the moment the thing is stuck. And when I try to help him either by doing it for him or showing him, he continues to be frustrated and throws a bit fit over the matter, sometimes kicking the thing (the truck for example) or throwing it on the floor angrily and I have no way to calming him down or stopping his behavior. I don't know why he gets frustrated so easily but I'd like to know how to help him not be that way, and help him get enough paience to try it again instead of screaming instantaneously when something is stuck.

 

5) Really difficult to put to nap. He gets tired, I try to put him to nap (usually by laying with him onthe bed till asleep) but I'd spend an hour in bed, easily, and go no where.  He'd be getting up and down, making noises, saying stuff, needing a drink, getting distratec (or looking for anything to do but to sleep). Eventually I thought if he isn't going to nap I'm not going to waste my time doing absolutely nothing but laying in bed with him pretending to go to sleep with him so he'd sleep. Many days I simply got up and gave up so I can at least move on and go do other things.  But then that's when trouble comes - the tired child is still a tired child and he fusses, whines, throws tantrums, gets frustrated and becomes a real pain to deal with. It's frustrated to me because if he doesn't want to nap it's really his problem and I'm not going to waste my time trying to put him to sleep, but if I just let him be then it becomes MY problem when I have a tired whiny child and I can't do anything else either when he is throwing a tantrum from simply being tired.

 

This is just a start but many days I feel like pulling my hair every minute of the day. The worst part is that I get so angry, frustrated and annoyed with him that I forget he is my love and then I don't treat him very well. Then at the end of the day when he finally falls asleep for the night I look at him and feel sad about the way I was with him during the day, also feel bad that he's not getting my full attention due to his new baby brother. 

 

I want to know how to be better at handling these daily situations so I can be a better parent/guidance/teacher to him and most importantly, be more loving towards him and really enjoy this precious time I have with him (which will be gone all too soon).  :-(

post #8 of 68

I have no real help to offer, other than to say that perhaps your expectations of your little guy are a little high. I know DS1 certainly wasn't capable of playing by himself at that age, or ''obeying'' requests like putting on pants or eating by himself. DS2 is 16 months old, and not anywhere close to that either. Toddlerhood is a very hard stage because they need you so much.

 

It is rough, but you will get through it. Don't be too hard on yourself or your little guy - it gets easier, it really does.

post #9 of 68

After reading your reply, I have to agree that your expectations are way too high.  If I were to have my young toddler bring his own meal to the table and eat by himself, I would do it only knowing that it was a "time waster" and of course there'd be a big mess at the end.  Also - of course he is going to be super clingy right now, the bulk of your attention is on the newborn and that is really, really hard for him.  For napping, what about trying to put him down for a nap a little earlier, sometimes if you miss that tired time, you miss naptime completely.   I'm sorry you are feeling frustrated, but I really don't think there is much you can do about how your son is developmentally right now.  Everything you described sounds pretty normal to me. 

 

Re: Babywearing, have you tried a wrap?  It is completely hands free if you do it "right".

post #10 of 68
Oh man.... he is still just a baby!!! I do think your expectations are very high... I consider my DS to be very 'well-behaved' and I don't think he could do ANY of the things you are expecting of your 18-mo. I do think there is a big shift as you get closer to 2yo... My DS just turned 2 and the last month or two has been SOOOO much more pleasant because he finally is able to play on his own for 5 minutes here and there etc. So I hope things do improve for you over the coming months!! In regards to your specific issues...

1) Bored:doesn't want to engage in any activities of his own... The clinginess is very typical of this age, and I would think even moreso when there is now a new baby occupying all the attention he used to get!! All I can suggest here is, go lots of places (i.e. library story hour, playdates) or have friends around his age come over...

2) Try to get him to "help" or to be more self-sufficient... He's not going to be self-sufficient at this age! It's great to start to introduce the concept but you have to do it expecting a mess etc. to deal with as well. Having him "help" now is not about actually helping you, it's about entertaining him, beginning to teach him about personal responsibility, etc.

3) Does not obey.... I would look into playful parenting, and spend some time on the Gentle Discipline board here on MDC. Right now, the more 'fun' you can make it, the better, and there are lots of little tricks, i.e. singing songs, making it a game, etc. that can help with specific situations. This part that you wrote concerns me most, though:

"Meanwhile I'm sitting there holding his pants, milk, food, shoes, etc just trying to hurry up so I can get back to attending the baby or other things..."

He is your baby too!! He needs to be attended to just as much, if not more, than the newborn. I'm sure that's NOT what you want to hear right now, seeing as you already have your hands full, but if you go into it expecting to invest a lot of time & energy, maybe it won't be such a letdown when he doesn't cooperate? It is totally possible (from what I've seen of friends!) to take care of two very young children simultaneously, but it is HARD, and I know some people chose to get help -- sending the older child to preschool a few mornings a week, for ex., or having someone come over to help... is that something you'd be interested in? It would certainly free up more time for you to focus on the newborn! I also agree with the pp that maybe trying some different options for babywearing will help, because if you find the 'right' option for you & your newborn, you should be able to have your hands free, it just may take some trial & error to figure out what works best for you.

4) Gets frustrated easily... Again, this is typical... I'd try to coach him through things verbally, "Try backing the truck up," etc., and also give him the words he can use to ask for help when he's frustrated. If he's not yet verbal, screaming is how he asks for help... but if he is talking some, you might be able to help him say, "Help please" or something rather than screaming. You can try stepping in JUST before he gets to the screaming point, as well.

5) Really difficult to put to nap... My DS would never ever go to sleep if I just laid down next to him & pretended to sleep. I've certainly tried it out of desperation, but it doesn't work for him & it sounds like it doesn't work for your DS either. Getting himself to sleep is NOT his responsibility yet, it's still yours. That doesn't mean you always have to follow through & "make" him nap if you can't, but it does mean you should probably expect to invest a lot of time & energy into the process if you do want him to nap. DS needs a lot of rocking & singing the same song over & over for 30+ minutes straight before he'll fall asleep... he also is still nursing so often he falls asleep that way... He does way better with white noise & minimal stimulation (dark room, blanket just right, something to hold (me or his stuffed monkey), etc. But the majority of the effort is me either nursing or singing to him. Something else might work better for your DS -- perhaps reading or playing a CD or whatever -- but the point is, if he's not falling asleep on his own, and he's getting overtired, it IS worth the investment of time & energy to figure out how to get him to sleep, not just for your sake but for his as well.

I really hope this doesn't come off sounding harsh... And I know when I'm at the end of my rope, I'd write something very similar, and get so annoyed that people would tell me it's 'normal' etc., but all of this really is. Do you spend a lot of time around other moms & kids? That really has been my saving grace, just witnessing how other kids DS's age act, how the parents interact with them, what works & what doesn't, what I could try myself vs. what I swear I will never do, etc... I know you are looking for a 'parenting expert' but IMO the true experts ARE the parents, the ones living this life day in & day out, the ones that tune in to their children and figure out how to interact not based just on books and data but on their child's unique needs and personalities...

BIG HUGS... You will get through this smile.gif
post #11 of 68

I agree with the posters who have said that your expectations are not reasonable for a child his age. I know it feels like you need him to be more mature now, but he can't be.

 

Your One-Year-Old by Louise Bates Ames might be helpful for normalizing his behavior for you.

 

I was never any good at getting much done with an infant in a sling either. My arms aren't really long enough. I think when I was at the point of having two babies (though my first was just past two when the 2nd came, I personally think that toddler starts closer to 2 than 1 and doesn't have so much to do with mobility), my goal for the day was to have everyone fed and clean. And that's it. Bringing myself back around to that thought on days when it felt like we got nothing done was helpful -- I was always able to get us all fed and dressed, no matter what else fell by the wayside.

 

One thing I might do is to get down to one basket of toys. Both of my kids seemed to react to lots of anything, be it toys, food, whatever, with dumping, tossing, throwing -- almost like they were overwhelmed -- but give them a little bit at at time, and they would focus more.

 

He is not "clinging" because there is something wrong, he is clinging because he is a baby and that's what they do. I promise that it will not last forever. A lot of what you are accomplishing right now seems invisible, but is very, very important; you are building relationships, and it's the hardest work ever.

 

post #12 of 68

i agree with the others.  too high expectations.

i would think getting involved with mom type groups would be great for you.   a chance to see how others parents (what to do and/or not to do) plus it might entertain your toddler and/or play with the baby.

 

my biggest suggestion is to totally child-proof your house.  don't set yourself up for messes.  non messy foods (no tomato sauce pasta, soup, etc) no messy toys (play-dough, markers, etc)

post #13 of 68

I have a 2.5 year old and a 3 month old. I was really astounded, and emotionally shattered, by how much my relationship with my older child (who was 26 months at the time) changed. I still haven't gotten my footing yet and I feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water. I've done horrible things I said I'd never do. I've had screaming matches with my toddler, I've pushed her down, I've shut myself in the bathroom, I once resorted to spanking. It's terrible. It's the worst, the hardest thing I've ever dealt with and I've dealt with a lot. So what I'm trying to say is, you are not alone. 

 

I am going to be brutally honest, here. You are expecting way too much out of a 16 month old. My 2.5 year old does none of the things that you said. She does some things some times, but never consistently and that's because she's still learning. Secondly, you are asking if there is, "...someone who will a discipline and toddler expert who knows what goes on in their mind, how to handle their behaviors and how to meet their needs appropriately so that we're all happier..." That someone is called MOM. It is your job. I guess a mentor would be called grandmother, or aunt, or whatever. Anyway, you are essentially asking someone else to do your job for you. You can always get advice from other moms who have been there before, but the only person who can integrate it into your life is you.

 

My advice is to not only lower your expectations but get rid of them entirely, it just makes life a lot more enjoyable. Also find a group of mothers who have children your son's age so you can share strategies but more importantly so you can see the scope of normal behavior for that age group.

 

This is the thing that has helped me the most, don't fight against your child's behavior. Like labor and delivery, it all goes much more smoothly when you swim with the current. Not that it is easy to learn how to swim, though.

post #14 of 68

Huge hugs to you mama.  hug2.gif   You are going through such a tough time - tough transition - right now.  My kids are fully 3 years apart and I can still relate to a lot of what you wrote.  I can only imagine life with an older dc only half that age.

 

After having read the other responses you probably won't be surprised to hear that I too agree with the other mamas that your expectations are much too high.  I remember when ds was born and suddenly dd (who was 3) seemed SO BIG and so old, and like she should be so capable, yk.  I imagine you are probably experiencing something similar.  I remember my doula warning me that that would very likely happen when my 2nd was born, and at the time I couldn't imagine feeling that way, but sure enough I did.  I think it's a very normal reaction.

 

So... thoughts...

 

- beyond the very basic I would eliminate all expectations of what your ds *should* be doing/be able to do.  Though he is much bigger than your newborn he is still a baby.  He has practically no impulse control.  What he wants to do he does - often even if you're standing right there saying "no!".  He's just not able to stop himself, yk.  At this age the best disciplinary tool you have is redirection.  He will not simply "obey" (and he is not being malicious in his intent).  If he is doing something dangerous, or otherwise "out of bounds" you need to step in and redirect him to something else.  Try to "honour the impulse" if you can, by redirecting him to a similar (but safe/ok) activity.

 

- simplify your life.  Like a pp mentioned try to reduce toys to the bare minimum.  Put up baby gates.  Babyproof to the max.  To the best of your ability try to make your house a place where he couldn't do too much damage (mess) even if he tried.

 

- re. meal time.  Don't serve messy foods.  Make snack trays where you put a bunch of non-messy finger foods for him to graze on throughout the day.  Better yet get your dh to make up a big snack tray for him before he leaves for work in the morning.  Or, another approach, if he decides that the snacks are more fun to play with than eat, is to only give a very small amount of food at a time.  No big plates of messy food... rather a quarter sandwich at a time, or a couple of carrot sticks, or 1 cracker with cheese on top, or whatever works for you guys.

 

- don't worry about teaching him stuff, just try to have as much fun as you can.  Ha - crazy I know, lol!  Right now you are in survival mode, and you are in a place mentally where you're feeling very overwhelmed and frustrated by your LO's behaviour.  My suggestion is that, for now, you put concerted efforts to teach things (tidying up messes was one example you mentioned) on the backburner.  See if you can make a priority instead to keep things as light-hearted and fun as you can.  This goes hand-in-hand with getting rid of ALL expectations (beyond the bare minimum), and involves trust that a) when he gets older he will be able to learn these things (like self-sufficiency), and that b) your life will get easier and you will get back to that place of being a "teacher" to him.  Let go of any feelings that you need to "stay on top of his behaviour" or "not let him get away with things" or anything like that.  Everything will work out in the wash, I promise.  As long as he (and the people and stuff around him) is kept safe then you're doing good. 

 

- Have a basket or shelf of stuff that is kept out of his reach that is cool and fun and whose novelty factor, when you bring it out, will keep him distracted for those moments that you really need him to be distracted.  I still do this with my 3yo (and my 6yo now that I think about it, lol).  For us it is messy stuff like face paints or the big box of tiny Legos or whatever.  For him it might be toys that make noise or light up, an old phone, a bin of dried beans and some scoops (to make a kind of indoor "sandbox"), etc... basically whatever would be really exciting to him and maybe a little "out of bounds" (ex. playing with an old phone might make him feel like he finally got ahold of the *real* phone, yk).

 

- put up some pictures of him as a baby, or him sleeping so sweetly, or other lovely moments from his life and when you find yourself going to the super frustrated headspace look at those pictures and try to recapture that feeling of him being your "little baby".

 

- think about checking out a meeting of your local babywearing group.  First of all it's a good place to meet (hopefully) like-minded mamas.  Second of all there should be a library of carriers to try out and some experienced volunteers who can help you find a truly hands-free carry for your newborn.

 

- get out of the house.  Be around other mamas.  Find your tribe.  I know you were not asking for *that* kind of advice, but in fact I think it pertains directly to what you *were* asking about.  In fact being around someone with whom you "can vent, get away from him momentarily, and feel better" is invaluable in getting you to the headspace in which you need to be to cope with all of the frustrations, and get back to that feeling that you get when you watch him sleeping at night.  You have no power to make him be older or at a different stage of development than what he already is, but you do have the power to work towards re-fostering that feeling of "mothering a baby" in regards to him.  Nurturing yourself, and finding community with like-minded mamas who have BTDT will help your state of mind, and will help you be able to nourish those sentiments.  The reality is that he is very young and is not independent and does need you to do almost everything for him.  I know it is frustrating... I really do.  I've been there with those feeling (and mine are even much farther apart in age).  Your best bet - for you - is to find whatever helps you to let go of that frustration.

 

Good luck mama.  Hugs to you!

 

post #15 of 68

This is a trivial detail, but I did want to suggest that you check out getting an Aquadoodle mat, or Crayola colorwonder markers and paper.  Aquadoodle lets them draw with a pen that's just filled with water (on the special mat), and the Crayola markers only work on their special paper.  For that matter there's also Magnadoodle.  All are ways of having drawing material available to him that you don't need to closely supervise. 

 

(just in response to something you mentioned in one of your posts...)

post #16 of 68

Nap idea: can you put him in the stroller and wear your newborn and go for a walk?  Will he sleep in the stroller?

post #17 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by pianojazzgirl View Post

don't worry about teaching him stuff, just try to have as much fun as you can.  Ha - crazy I know, lol!  Right now you are in survival mode, and you are in a place mentally where you're feeling very overwhelmed and frustrated by your LO's behaviour.  My suggestion is that, for now, you put concerted efforts to teach things (tidying up messes was one example you mentioned) on the backburner.  See if you can make a priority instead to keep things as light-hearted and fun as you can.  This goes hand-in-hand with getting rid of ALL expectations (beyond the bare minimum), and involves trust that a) when he gets older he will be able to learn these things (like self-sufficiency), and that b) your life will get easier and you will get back to that place of being a "teacher" to him.  Let go of any feelings that you need to "stay on top of his behaviour" or "not let him get away with things" or anything like that.  Everything will work out in the wash, I promise.  As long as he (and the people and stuff around him) is kept safe then you're doing good. 

 

 

This is some of the best advice I have ever heard.
 

post #18 of 68

It sounds like a hard situation, but I don't think any mentor/toddler expert will be able to get your son to overcome all those issues at 18 months.  My 24 month old is quite compliant for his age, but still couldn't do a lot of what you expect.  I have a newborn too, so I know a little bit of what you're going through (though I'm lucky to have more help around a lot of the time).  Is there any way you could wear the little one on your back?  With a baby securely on your back, you really can get a lot done.  And what activities did your toddler like before the new baby?  Maybe you could find some way to do a modification of those.

post #19 of 68

The car nap was all that kept me sane when my first two were little. Every day at 1 (or whatever time the older one wanted to nap) I'd drive until they were both asleep, find a place to park, and knit/listen to the radio. I would get two hours of peace that way, generally. Not ideal, but neither is insanity. 

 

I used to look for fool-proof methods. I was sure there was someone out there who had the BEST solution for whatever problem I was encountering with my LOs. The most important thing I learned: there isn't. YOU are the expert on your child. Take a deep breath and look inside yourself. Yes, it does help to have reasonable expectations (my 4 y.o. doesn't "obey" all the time - I can't imagine getting my 15 mo old to...).

 

One book I really felt helped me become my own expert was Hold On To Your Kids by Gordon Neufeld. It's not a discipline or how-to manual. It's about keeping your kids attached to you - focused on you - so that they want to follow your lead. It doesn't mean your kids will act perfectly all the time - we're all human and display emotions in a variety of ways - even toddlers :) Especially toddlers.

 

Also, FWIW, the clinginess is TOTALLY normal for that age - especially as they go through changes. My dd is going from speaking single words to longer sentences and she has days where she is super-clingy. Just do your best and try to find a balance. YOU are the expert on your family. You have the knowledge within you - you just have to figure out how to listen to it.

post #20 of 68

What about Parents as Teachers? Obviously, they deal more with the education of the child, but I've heard mothers mention that they included the child's emotional and behavioral development in their visits. Or, in the small chance that you're military, a life counselor? I went to a therapist for awhile who was also by chance a child therapist. She was welcoming of my toddler during our visits if I couldn't find or afford child care. Finding a therapist or counselor who contends with both spheres, the adult and the child, could be your best bet. With all respect, it seems to me that you're the one who needs someone to talk your emotions and your parenting choices through with someone, rather than having your child's behavior addressed as problematic. But I'm pretty sure you know that. You need someone to vent to and to inspire you, and that's why I think a general counselor/therapist that also meddles in children's psychology would be the more productive option.

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