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Help. I cannot handle my 2-year old.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have been going through a very hard time for the past 4-5 months with my 2 year old. He turned 2 on Dec 6th and started a pre-school that week.

I feel like he can at times be very out of control and that our relationship is really strained. I cry about it a lot, actually.

The reason he started pre-school is because I decided I could no longer stay home with him. I was a SAHM for the first 2 years of his life and like I said the day he turned 2, he started a school.

He hits me ALOT and kicks me which makes me nervous because I'm 13 weeks pregnant. He basically hates to be with me and prefers anyone else over me. I know he needs his space, but considering how loving I am to him, I don't understand this. He throws tantrums (which I think is normal sometimes) but the hitting and yelling at me is out of control. The past 2 weeks I kept him back from pre-school because of the holidays and while I know this sounds bad, I dreaded it, but we made the most of it and played a lot and sang. However, he goes back to his normal ways of hitting and kicking me and he just doesn't understand consequence yet although I try, by looking him in the eye and talking to him.

To some this may sound minimal, but to me, it feels out of control. If it sounds like no big deal, then I may not be describing it accurately. I hate feeling a strained relationship with my 2 year old and feeling completely helpless. I limit myself with him because I am pregnant and to worry he will hit or kick me and something will happen.

Has anyone gone through this? I'm desperate.
post #2 of 10

Most of us have gone through this. Really. I know 2-3 is hard. It was, at times, OMG I AM A FAILURE AS A PARENT hard for me. Honey, it sounds like you need a break, are you co parenting with someone? Is there a friend or family member that can spell you?


I found a schedule really helped us, along with things that seemed tiny at the time, like regular snack times, if one of the kids' or my blood sugar got low, man alive! We got cranky! Regular physical stuff helped a lot too, the park, the indoor play area, anything where some steam could be run off was most important.


I know this parenting gig is not for the weak, but you can do it!

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks. My husband does help me out when I need a break and him being in preschool helps a ton because he gets exhausted and falls asleep early. I like him being around other kids to learn from and play with. He's soooo smart that sometimes I think I bore him.

Anyway, I do go to bed most nights thinking "oh my god, I'm such a failure! Why am I such a failure?!" But I talk myself out of it and I know he's so smart because I've taught him so much in 2 years and that is all thanks to me so I couldn't possibly be a total failure.

But wow - this is HARD! You're right - parenting isn't for the weak!
post #4 of 10

It's really hard when you lose self confidence, but unfortunately your son is looking to you as "the expert" because he's doesn't understand and is learning so much. Maybe it's attention seeking. Maybe he "knows" you're feeling vulnerable (obviously, he doesn't really understand that exactly - but kids are pretty amazing and they can pick up vibes!).


I agree with the others that a routine is important and it's also important for kids of this age to see consistency with the way their parents behave and treat them. It's hard, but as I read in a little book recently, you need to "fake it till you make it" (confidence, that is).


The book was a great help for me - called "Toddler Parenting" by Laura Stewart (~$5 on amazon). Full of good concepts that may help you gain confidence feel more OK about yourself. I even bought the paperback because it's such a helpful book to refer back to.

post #5 of 10
You also might want to take a look at a book (there's one for each age) called "Your Two Year Old: Terrible or Tender" by Louise Bates Ames.

Some things that seem impossible are normal behaviors that last only weeks or months. This book could be useful in figuring out exactly what might be abnormal or not. I know you're thinking it is something more than just age appropriate behavior. . . If you keep telling us more about it maybe we'll have some specific ideas for you. In any case, hang in there!
post #6 of 10

read AhaParenting.com - it literally saved me when DS was two.  Two is hard because their thought patterns change, and therefore we need to change our approach somewhat.  Simple changes in phrasing make the biggest difference! Tantrums are just toddlers ways of telling us that they can't process their emotions, and by empathizing and identifying them we can help them work through it.  Giving choices is really big too.  You can expect things to take longer now because these little people are trying to learn how to impact the world around them and that involves a lot of experimentation on their part.  The yelling and hitting may just be that he is overwhelmed and doesn't know how to process it, so he behaves that way so that he can work through the emotions and have your one on one attention.  My son definitely can pick up on my stress, and that affects his behavior - he has some pretty strange ideas about what he thinks helps me, lol!

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks, ladies.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
We got back into his preschool routine and this week has been MUCH easier. He comes home happy and eager to see us. He is distracted at preschool all day by learning, singing and playing with other kids his age and I think this brings him fulfillment and excitement. When he gets home, he's tired and just wants to be with us and play. Then we feed him a small snack since he gets dinner at preschool and we get him ready for bed. Whatever it is about this routine makes it all more bearable for us. I will look into those books because I do need some material to read for when things are both difficult and not-so-difficult.
post #9 of 10

a routine is so so important for them! kids really do so much better when they know what to expect.  things always get wonky for us when our routine is off, even if it's for a good (fun) reason.  it makes sense that things would be more challenging for him and therefore you when his routine is disrupted.  i don't know why i didn't catch that before - i found talking about the changes helps my son and making sure he knows what to expect if things are not part of the norm goes a long way.  both in terms of what is going to happen, and what is expected of him and what you are going to ask of him.  i'm glad things are back to normal!

post #10 of 10
Yes, a routine is critical. He needs to know what to expect. Try to stay calm. And make sure he gets enough sleep and enough exercise. I find littles have less energy for trouble making if they are getting plenty of exercise.
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