please help me find a way to deal - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 02-17-2010, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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The last couple weeks my almost two year old (in april) has been AWFUL.
Literally, I have been happy to go 20 minutes without a melt down. And it can be anything from the way I set his cup on the table, to if I walk out the door before him and he was expecting to do first, to if I say suggest doing something that he doesn't want to.
And its full on crying, blabbering words repeatedly (I'm talking 5 minutes in a row, the same word or sentence like "no mommy no touch it, no mommy no touch it).
I feel like I have a pretty large cup of patience but slowly as he takes more and more out of it by the end of the day my cup is empty and I am at a loss for what to do.
Last night by 4 I finally took him into his bed and sat him on his bed and told him if he felt like he needed to cry then he needed to do it in here because mommy's ears couldn't hear it anymore. I literally felt like I needed to get away from the sound of his crying or I was going to cover his mouth with my hand (and I feel awful even typing that)
I felt bad afterward because I want him to feel like his feelings are valid and I want to be someone he feels comfortable being emotional with but I just couldn't hear it anymore.

What would you do?

Is it okay to set boundaries on their crying (especially when it is for silly reasons)? Is it okay to acknowledge that they are upset but then leave them to essentially cry it out??? (I am not a proponent of crying it out so I can't believe I'm coming to this point).

I just don't know what to do. I feel like our relationship is in shambles right now because I don't even want to be around him.

Katie, wife to the one, mother to Henry and Ruby.
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#2 of 9 Old 02-17-2010, 07:28 PM
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my ds went through this around 14 months until 16 months.. CONSTANT all throughout the day anything i said or did just ticked him off, there was no comforting him either and anything would be a full out fit. i couldn't take him to the store to grocery shop because after his butt hit the seat in the cart he would scream, not just cry or be annoyed.. SCREAM!!!! the entire time. after a month of it i had to remove myself and just let him cry for a minute by himself because after an hour of it non stop i was almost in tears, i felt like he was yelling at me and i had no nerves left.

it passed and hes back to his normal self. i told my ped about it and she said it could be him trying to set his own boundaries and of course have a power struggle with me and show me he can do things on his own.. of course that was no comfort to me who had an hour of broken sleep for a month straight every night and maybe 3 hours the month after.. but like i said.. it passed and hes fine --for now--. he did have an explosion of independently doing things after this 2 months also.. getting into chairs on his own, helping pick out his clothes, things like that.

so who knows, i do know i feel your pain! it hurt my feelings so bad that he seemed to not only hate me but it was making me feel like a terrible mom too.

i hope he calms down soon!
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#3 of 9 Old 02-17-2010, 08:48 PM
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Sounds like he is a bit stressed. I would make the environment more fun and up. I am constantly singing silly songs, making silly noises, chattering, involving, and trying to make light situations that I don't really want my child learning should be heavy...I want them to be resiliant and have the tools they need to go through hard/tough things without it being a huge, big, heavy dramatic deal. I'm sure I'm not explaining it very's hard to explain. In general, if my toddler throws a fit about something, I scoop them up and move on to something else, talking and comforting at the same time....but helping them to move on. If my toddler throws a fit about a cup I gave them, I simply scoop up the cup and let them know when they want a drink, the cup will be at x spot. If my toddler threw a fit because I went through the door first, I would probably just casually say "oh, sorry! Hey...look at this cool rock! Want to feel how smooth and cold it is?" or something similar. I hope this is making sense! If I were you, I would just try and lighten the mood to let him know these small things are not worth getting all upset about...and if you do get upset about it then it's okay but we are still going to move on. (of course, this also means you need to model the behavior you want him to you need to just stay up and not let his fussing get heavy on you, etc) I hope that all made sense!

Heidi : Married for 15 years, expecting our 8th baby in July!

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#4 of 9 Old 02-17-2010, 11:12 PM
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I am dealing with a similar thing with my DD who turned 2 last month. Little things can trigger her and, with her it can be as if she doesn't even know what she wants. She is upset if I start to do X, then gets more upset if I stop doing X. It is really exhausting.

I am not sure that I have anything to suggest with the question about crying and boundaries. I do know that one night I just held my daughter very tightly while she just screamed and cried for 45 minutes. Instead of trying to fix things, which is what I normally am doing, I just tried to hold space for her and let her know she could cry as long as she needed. She really seemed to need that. She slept so well that night, but it didn't make things a whole lot different the next day.

I got "Playful Parenting" from the library and have gotten some great ideas there too. Like when she is just beside herself and we really need to move on, I try to do the most goofy thing I can think of... like putting her lamby on my head and calling it my new hat, or just whatever seems ridiculous in the moment and makes her smile. It is like a pattern interrupt and can help to shift her mood from tears to laughter (which I believe is just as cathartic for her but less stressful on mom).

It is probably just a phase, or molars starting to come up, or any number of other things that these little ones go through. Still it is really so hard and pushes our limits. Hang in there! You are not alone!
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#5 of 9 Old 02-18-2010, 12:18 AM
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This will pass. It will not last the whole year. I think they go in and out of it.

Redirection will still work but it has to be something really good. It used to be I could give DD any old thing and she would move on, now it has be Good. Like a popcicle or a really fun activity. We do a lot of 'lipstick' (chapstick) on the potty as an incentive. Stuff like that.

Anything DD is into that I can live with, I let her do as much as she wants. For a month she would spend 30-45 minutes taking bath toys 'swimming' in the bathroom sink. It was heaven. She was happy and busy. I got a break. Now she has no interest.

If DD is particularly whiny, I say 'you can take a break in your crib until you stop whining or you can go play with x toy.' This usually works and we do lots of natural consequences/boundaries. If you whine and cry or hit, your friends go home.


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#6 of 9 Old 02-18-2010, 12:24 AM
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I've seen this starting to crop up in DD and IMO it's related to attention span and transitioning.

For example, now whenever it's time to leave, she bawls the entire time we put her hat and coat on, buckle her in and start the car. Once we're driving, she's over it. And then when we stop the car and get her out, she's mad that we're getting out of the car.

I've taken to singing songs about what we are going to do right before doing anything. "lalala, okay baby now we have to pick up daddy. Where's your hat dubi dubi doo can you find your coat now?"

Anything to give a head's up and start transitioning him might help.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#7 of 9 Old 02-18-2010, 11:02 PM
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i know it's terrible that misery loves company, but i really appreciate you posting about this. i am going through similar situation with ds, and it's exhausting! here's my strategy these days: i try to do everything i can to make him happy for as long as i can handle it, and then if nothing works i do sit him on a 'special' chair and tell him that that's where he's allowed to cry/scream. when he's done crying, he can get off the chair. it usually works fairly quickly b/c no toddler wants to sit. i am careful not to use it as a 'punishment'...i don't tell him that he's being bad. i simply say that this special chair is where he can do his crying, and when he's all done crying, he can get down.
hope that helps!

happy wife to greg and mama to owen (5/30/08). excited to meet baby #2, EDD 4/2/10.
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#8 of 9 Old 02-19-2010, 12:55 AM
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Youngnhappymama, those are all fabulous ideas, and don't work when a LO is in "THE MOOD". That said, thank you, just reading the ideas made me feel more prepared to face my dd tomorrow.

I've used the shower to help calm the long "the world doesn't work for me and I want to figure it out but I'm so tired I can't sleep" crying jags. The warm water is at least soothing to me and she'll go from throwing herself about (but refusing to be put down) and scream-crying to cuddling close and quietly crying. I don't know, it feels more like she's actually getting something positive out of her crying that way.

(14-16 months old? It lasts that..long?? Ugggggghhhhhhhhh)
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#9 of 9 Old 02-22-2010, 02:53 AM - Thread Starter
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thank you everyone for your responses. Suggestions were great but commiseration was better! Feels good to know I'm not the only one pulling hair out on occasion

Katie, wife to the one, mother to Henry and Ruby.
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