Hey Mamas :) First, thank you for taking the time to read my post. I'm not a "regular" although I'm definitely a natural mama :)
So here's my problem: My son, who is 1 1/2, behaves horribly. He has been a difficult child since he was about 3 months old. It's to the point now where I feel like I don't know him, or that he doesn't love me. Sometimes I think he hates me.
For the record, hes baby #4, so I'm not an inexperienced mother. My older three children (born within my 12 year marriage) were "normal" kids and now, at 6, 9, and 11, they are well-behaved, well-adjusted, happy, amazing kids. My 1.5 year old (by a different father) is like NOTHING I've ever had to deal with before, even being in the field of childcare for 15+ years.
To be brief, here's some of his behavior:
He wants to be held ALL of the time. If I dare put him down (which is necessary sometimes) he freaks out, screaming, crying, hitting me. And it won't end until I pick him back up. Sometimes, he wants to be put down, but if I put him down, he freaks out as well. People who don't know him come running when he cries because it sounds like he's seriously injured. And he can cry and scream for hours! He is angry. He tries to damage property/toys. He punches me in my face, slaps me, pinches and bites me. He wants to nurse ALL of the time, but it's not like he will nurse and be done. He wants me to keep it out so he can come back to it over and over again.
With my other three children, I learned ways to soothe them, or even bribe them (like if we were at a store.) With him, there is no helping him. When he has a meltdown, he has a meldown. I've realized that he's unable to regulate his emotions. But I've been going through over a year of this and I can't take it anymore. I hate to say it, but I dread out time together (when I get off of work--only work part-time.) It's a non-stop battle with him.
He's not always so unhappy. He will wander off and play for a short while. He will cuddle, give hugs and kisses, laugh when tickled. He loves playing with his siblings. And he's an angel for daycare.
I'm not sure what I hope to achieve by posting this, but maybe somebody out there has a child like mine. I just don't know what to do. I've tried attachment parenting, co-sleeping, carrying him everywhere, letting him nurse on demand. I show him all of the love in the world. And he loves other people. Just not me. :(
He checks out just fine at the doctors office. Normal in every way possible. I've had him to child psychologists. They seem to think he's normal but just clingy. They don't get how he turns my whole world upside down. And I feel like such a bad mother because all the tricks in the book can't make my little man happy.
So any ideas? Attachment issues? Food allergies? Discipline (I've never been a spanker--is it possible he needs to be spanked?) One psychologist said to spank him. The other said not to because it won't help. He's too strong willed.
I don't know what to do!!!!!