Originally Posted by Mamaluu
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). :-(