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My spirited almost 2 year old.

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Some of the current behaviors:
- hitting me or the baby when he's mad
- Pulling things blindly off the counter...or out of the drawers
- Throwing things...constantly
- Climbing on me when I'm nursing DS2 (like, he'll climb behind me. It's a HUGE pet peeve of mine to be stepped on)
- Tearing up anything that he can
- General not listening (especially if it's a dangerous behavior like playing with the plug outlets. They're internally protected but I don't want it to become a habit)

Those are the big ones that I can think of right now. There is no pattern except mid-afternoon when he gets tired and starts fighting a nap. (He still fights it for hours on end before flat passing out)

Part of my mental block is that DS2 doesn't get enough sleep as it is because when I CAN put him down 90% of the time DS1 goes and messes with him or does something loud and wakes him up. So, if I were to add constant screaming to the mix the poor baby would never sleep. Not to mention I can't always jump up and grab DS1 immediately (and he knows it) because if I put DS2 down every time DS1 misbehaved he'd never get to eat.

We've tried outside time to help with his need to release energy. However, the last several times he was eating handfuls of dirt and not listening when I told him to stop. Normally dirt doesn't bother me but there's evidence that animals have been in our yard (holes dug under the fence) and I don't want him eating dirt that's probably been peed on. I've tried leaving the door open and letting him run in and out...but then he just stands and opens and slams the door. Add in that the dog next door is NOT friendly (it charges the fence and barks angrily) so he's not totally okay to be outside alone. AND he's bored with the backyard now.

He needs someone to play with him most of the time and I can't do it. The state of my housework is evidence of that. I give him the time that I have free, but it's not enough.

 

I'm starting to feel like an awful parent. We go to playgroups and my son is the one not listening and repeating the same mis-behavior over and over again. Like, last night he was the one running to open the door repeatedly even though we told him to stop, even though there were toys, and even when DH got down and gave him direct attention.

 

Time outs don't work because, again, I can't have the screaming mad for 2 mins while the baby is trying to sleep. We've tried spanking (no flames please I'm asking for help) and it has zero results. He's not verbal so I don't know how much he understands when I'm telling him not to do things. I speak in clipped sentences "No hit" or "Stop" to keep it simple. A friend does time ins with her son...but he's much more verbal so I don't know if that would work with mine.

 

As a result, the three of us never get out of the house unless DH is home because I just CAN'T handle DS1. I can barely manage at home and I'm sure as hell not going to try at the grocery store or something.

post #2 of 19

KAS!?!?!  Really?  An awful parent?  Would you cut that out!

 

SIGH, Franklin sounds so much like matthew, its uncanny.  I dont have much advice, as when we ARE home together, he damn near drives me bat poop kookoo.  The difference here is I work 40 hours a week, so he is not attached to me 24/7 .  Its more like 24/2, and then like 14/5. 

 

BUt i got the sympathy for ya.  THose sprited ones will make you see double!

 

ETA I take that back, i do have some advice.  You said you speak in short clipped sentences.  But in stead of "NO HIT", try GENTLE, OR NICE TOUCH. And then show him what you mean by actually taking his hand (gently) and stroking it lovingly down your face or the baby's.  I also find that still, at the age of 3, STOP doesnt seem to get through for whatever reason.  How about FREEZE.  Try making it a game.  My kids play freeze dance at school, so when I do the FREEEEEEZE, they stop what they are doing and kinda giggle.  Wish I remembered to do this more often. 

post #3 of 19

I'm certainly in no position to judge or advise since my 2yo DS is very similar to yours.  However I will tell you about my experience since you mention that your son is "non-verbal".

 

My DS just turned 2 a month ago.  About 6 months ago I was getting very fed up with his misbehavior, ignoring me, etc.  Another mama friend of mine asked if he could understand my basic commands and I said yes but then I spent some time reflecting on why I thought he could understand.  After thinking for a while I decided to get him evaluated by a speech therapist.  She did a long evaluation and told me that DS has a significant receptive language delay.  Which means he probably wasn't even understanding most of what I was saying to him.  Not understanding, coupled with my frustration, made him frustrated = bad cycle!

 

He has had an explosion in understanding in the last month and it is like night and day.  He still has a temper but most of the time he is happy to do what I ask.  I realize that I was expecting him to comply when he simply had no idea what I was saying.

 

I'm not implying that this is the case with your little one but thought I would throw it out there since it helped me understand what was happening with us.

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

Gina: It's easy to feel like an awful parent when yours is the only child in the group acting out and not listening. There was a little girl that threw a fit and wanted to leave, but that was at the end of the meeting...Franklin was acting out from the start.

 

He has huge understanding. I can give him commands ("Get your bowl and bring it to Mommy" or "Go grab me your socks and shoes") and he can identify a lot of things (Mostly animals and colors) He can answer questions (Just this morning he was answering me when I was going through breakfast options) We'll even ask him "Can you say...." and occasionally he'll smile and shake his head "no" at us.

 

 

post #5 of 19

 I feel for you! I am struggling with some similar behaviors in my three and a half year old. The difference is that my son is quite a bit older and very verbal. But we are definitely going through a rough time. We also have a new baby in the house. I can relate to feeling like an awful mom and to feeling embarrased that my child won't listen to me. I just wrote a thread on this "Please Help Me Like My Three Year Old, and got some helpful responses, I hope to try some new things and get results.

post #6 of 19

For my daughter, who is almost two, I don't just say "stop" I take her by the hand or I take away what ever it is she is handling. If she is banging on the table at the dinning area at Whole Foods, I push her high chair away enough so that she can't touch the table. I do the "if you want to do this then you must do X, Y, Z." If she is playing with her food, I take it away.

 

As far as not paying attention so I can get things done at home, I went to my library and checked out books on toddler games, activities, etc. I show my daughter how to start an activity, allow her to try it, then go and take care of the house a little bit at a time. Come back, sing a song, go and take of the house.


Edited by Fuzzy Bee - 3/2/11 at 12:05pm
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

Another day where nothing has worked. I really just don't like my son today.


 

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFWife View Post

Another day where nothing has worked. I really just don't like my son today.


 



If you are feeling down lets look at the basic needs that parents should provide:

 

1. Food

2. Shelter

3. Safety

4. Love (happiness, affection, etc.)

 

Number one and two are taken care of I am sure. Do you think you may have compromised on your safety? For example, are you or your son prone to getting hurt, being taken advantage of? Do you find it difficult determining appropriate and inappropriate behavior? If you feel like you can't protect yourself or your son it is very difficult to feel happy about yourself.

post #9 of 19

I wanted to apologize for writing the below post. It was inartfully written. I didn't include the husband because men protect families different than women. Women are more social and must interact with other women through playdates. What I should have ask was if the OP's son had his toys taken from him often or did he feel like he needs to lash out at other children. Do other children yell at him and scare him?

 

Does the OP feel like there is no give and take with her female friendships?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Bee View Post





If you are feeling down lets look at the basic needs that parents should provide:

 

1. Food

2. Shelter

3. Safety

4. Love (happiness, affection, etc.)

 

Number one and two are taken care of I am sure. Do you think you may have compromised on your safety? For example, are you or your son prone to getting hurt, being taken advantage of? Do you find it difficult determining appropriate and inappropriate behavior? If you feel like you can't protect yourself or your son it is very difficult to feel happy about yourself.



 

post #10 of 19

Kas, HUGS.  I know how you feel.  I have been there.  Unfortunatly, feelings like this tend to rear their ugly heads when we get overwhelmed.  You are still Post Partem.  That in itself is hard.  The baby is still little, and you are home alone with them ALL DAY LONG by yourself.  Not to mention your homones are still all over the place.  Its a recipe for disaster.  Add to that a high energy, spirited toddler, and you start to feel like your in over your head. 

 

I wonder if you wouldnt be able to ask your husband to stick around one day this weekend so you can just get away for a couple of hours. Kinda reboot.  I mean, really, when was the last time you were ALONE with no children crawling all over you or attached to your chest?  A little time alone might go a long way. 

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Bee View Post

I wanted to apologize for writing the below post. It was inartfully written. I didn't include the husband because men protect families different than women. Women are more social and must interact with other women through playdates. What I should have ask was if the OP's son had his toys taken from him often or did he feel like he needs to lash out at other children. Do other children yell at him and scare him?

 

Does the OP feel like there is no give and take with her female friendships?
 



I'm just beginning to develop female relationships...we JUST started hooking up with a local Natural Parenting Group. DS isn't really into playing with others immediately (apparently this goes along with his spirited nature)

 

I haven't been taking his toys often...if I took a toy each time it was used "improperly" (thrown, hit someone, etc...) the child would have no toys! He doesn't lash out at other children except his baby brother (which, I assume, is normal)

 

As far as women being more social...I guess? I'm good if I get interaction once a week. I've always been a bit of a loner. Yes, I get overwhelmed, but the thought of having to be "on" (hostessing or being in a decent mood enough to be around other people) can be just as stressful as being home alone with the boys all day.

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Charlie's~Angel~ View Post

Kas, HUGS.  I know how you feel.  I have been there.  Unfortunatly, feelings like this tend to rear their ugly heads when we get overwhelmed.  You are still Post Partem.  That in itself is hard.  The baby is still little, and you are home alone with them ALL DAY LONG by yourself.  Not to mention your homones are still all over the place.  Its a recipe for disaster.  Add to that a high energy, spirited toddler, and you start to feel like your in over your head. 

 

I wonder if you wouldnt be able to ask your husband to stick around one day this weekend so you can just get away for a couple of hours. Kinda reboot.  I mean, really, when was the last time you were ALONE with no children crawling all over you or attached to your chest?  A little time alone might go a long way. 



He's off on the weekends. However, because he gets off work at 5pm and home from school after 7pm we don't do many errands during the week...so our weekends are always PACKED. Honestly, I've considered going off for a few hours...but I don't know what I'd do! Maybe I'll soak in the bath this weekend or something. DS2 is still so little and hasn't bonded enough with Daddy for me to be far away. Don't get me wrong, sometimes they can sit together just fine while I shower or make dinner...but sometimes it's only Mommy that will help, you know?

 

We're trying to go on vacation in a couple of weeks...IF DH's leave gets approved.

post #13 of 19

Well what about if your husband stayed home with the kids while YOU went out and ran the errands?  Im telling you, there is nothing like being able to go to the grocery store and not have to rip something out of Matthews hands 14,000 times or go to the bank without two kids in the back seat bedding for suckers.  And i know the feeling of baby only wanting mama, but baby will be with dada, who will be loving and hugging him and comforting him.  that would totally be ok.

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

This might sound odd...but running errands is kind of our "couple time" sometimes. We make jokes, we laugh, we have fun while shopping and driving from one place to the next. I really enjoy having him with me and doing it by myself just doesn't seem as fun.

 

I think I'll just make time for a hot soak this weekend...

post #15 of 19

One thing my MIL told me recently about tantrums.  She had a friend that when her kids would throw one, she would get all cheery and smile and say oh thats a beautiful song, please sing it again for me. 

 

Ive tried it.  Sometimes it distracts them enough to start laughing and then move on to something else, sometimes they will just sit quietly and skulk.  Sometimes they could care less and continue with the tantrum. But just thought I would throw it out there as a new tool for your arsenal.  ;)

post #16 of 19

I too like being alone for various reasons. One, I needed to get away from the boring chit-chat. Two, I love doing retrospective thinking and I do not make a good companion at this time. Finally, it always felt like I had to accommodate other people but they never accommodated me.

 

Regarding the toys, I meant do other kids successfully take his toys away? It can happen in any group. When it happened to my daughter, other parents didn't realize that all the children were doing it to my child. It was like they learned who the weak one was and it was partly my fault. I would encourage her to share with kids who yelled at her before or who never shared with her.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AFWife View Post





I'm just beginning to develop female relationships...we JUST started hooking up with a local Natural Parenting Group. DS isn't really into playing with others immediately (apparently this goes along with his spirited nature)

 

I haven't been taking his toys often...if I took a toy each time it was used "improperly" (thrown, hit someone, etc...) the child would have no toys! He doesn't lash out at other children except his baby brother (which, I assume, is normal)

 

As far as women being more social...I guess? I'm good if I get interaction once a week. I've always been a bit of a loner. Yes, I get overwhelmed, but the thought of having to be "on" (hostessing or being in a decent mood enough to be around other people) can be just as stressful as being home alone with the boys all day.



 

post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy Bee View Post

I too like being alone for various reasons. One, I needed to get away from the boring chit-chat. Two, I love doing retrospective thinking and I do not make a good companion at this time. Finally, it always felt like I had to accommodate other people but they never accommodated me.

 

Regarding the toys, I meant do other kids successfully take his toys away? It can happen in any group. When it happened to my daughter, other parents didn't realize that all the children were doing it to my child. It was like they learned who the weak one was and it was partly my fault. I would encourage her to share with kids who yelled at her before or who never shared with her.
 



 


Oh! No, he's not the bully or the target in the group. He warms up after a bit and shares fine and the other kids are well behaved.

 

post #18 of 19


Great! Thanks for responding to my questions. I had to make sure that ground was covered and they are not easy questions to ask. My issue was that I was underprotecting my daughter. The children in my area are not well behaved, or perhaps I should say, the parents don't seem to assess the situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AFWife View Post




Oh! No, he's not the bully or the target in the group. He warms up after a bit and shares fine and the other kids are well behaved.

 



 


Edited by Fuzzy Bee - 3/4/11 at 11:06am
post #19 of 19

'To get him to listen, try this: get down on his level, make eye contact and clearly and simply state your wishes. Ex: "Please stop hitting". You can also choose to follow this with a warning, like "If you continue to hit, you will sit in time out", or whatever you think a reasonable consequence for a misbehaviour might be. When my son knew what to expect, and I made both my expectations and the consequences of his behaviour clear, we had a much more harmonious time. A tip though- if you say there will be a consequence should the behaviour continue, implement it swiftly and gently. Allowing extra chances, warnings and exceptions undermines the consistency that is so essential with children. Good luck!!

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