Extreme insecurity in 2 year old? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 03-29-2012, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
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So my 2.5 yr old son has been high needs since birth. We nursed thru 23 months, and I don't think he was quite ready to stop but I was miserable for the last year of nursing so we slowly weaned. It wasn't too painful but it wasn't great either. He still after 7+ months tries to put his hand on my breast for security at night Nd we are trying to get out of that as well.
He's happy and playful most of the time, but here are the issues I am worried about:
1. He's usually very grumpy when he wakes up from his nap. I am the only person he will have anything to do with, if my hubby tries to hold him he flips out. He does ok with my mom who has watched him a few days a week for the last 2 years. Sometimes I have to hold him for an hour and get up and walk him around so he doesn't flip out. It happens wether he sleeps for an hour and a half or more, so it doesn't seem to be related to not enough sleep. I've had to turn my car around because he woke up from his nap and his dad was there but mom was not and he wouldn't stop crying.
2. Over the last 6 months on and off, he hasn't wanted anything to do with hubby except for play. I've almost always been the one to console and take care of him, but hubby has gotten more involved in the last year. DS gets upset when hubby tries to give him a bath when it's dad's turn. Sometimes hubby can get him calmed down then they have fun, but sometimes he just complains the whole time becau I am not there.
3. Most of the time DS won't let his dad hug him or give him kisses or even lay down beside him at night during story time. And it seems to be getting worse instead of better. Hubby asked DS to go to the store with him the other day, so they got in the car to leave and DS flipped out in the car in the driveway and I ended up having to go with them. On this particular day DS had been very clingy to me from the time he woke up.
4. He's very scared of pretty much everything. It seems to be on and off as well. Slides, strangers, other kids, new places, dogs, even just talking about going to the doctor makes him scared.
5. He stays with my mom a few days a week while I work, who he adores, and she says that pretty recently he's started asking and whining about me more.

He's never had a security item other than me. He never really took to a blanket or a stuffed animal. He even took himself off the pacifier when he was 6 months old and has never looked back. I tried to get him back ON the pacifier when he was little because he was so fussy.

Is he having insecurity issues because we stopped nursing too early for him? Is there something else I have done to make him so insecure? I know some of this is normal, but most of the time it seems extreme. He screamed so much and so hard at his last doctor's appt that even the doc asked what was wrong with him, if he'd be ok!

I guess I just want to know if any of this stuff is going to cause him to be insecure as whe he's older because HoPEFULLY this too shall pass. My hubby and I do the best we can and I want him to grow up to be strong, confident and smart. We try to good role models, not perfect by any means.

Please help!!
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#2 of 5 Old 03-29-2012, 04:57 PM
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My DS is 2.5 as well and has some of the exact same behaviors, and I wouldn't consider him insecure at all. We are in the process of very gradual weaning now, so for one, don't think it's because you weaned when you did.


Some of the thing that are the same:


Cranky after naps. Almost always. Only wants me, wants to be held, takes a while to get going again. He freaks if Dad's there and I'm not, but gets over it after about 20-30 min. If I've been out he's usually happily playing by the time I get back. But I am there 99% of the time. I SAH, and it's just easier. I wake up cranky from naps as well ;)


He mostly just plays with his Dad as well. And that is a pretty new development, going to Dad instead of me to play. So I take what I can get! More time for Mama to chill out for a sec, or cook, clean...etc. He always says "Mommy do it!" for diaper changes, other people getting him out of the carseat, putting on his coat, the list goes on and on. I chalk it up to being two. And because 99% of the time it is me doing all those things. He finds security in those little rituals, I think.


DS goes on and off with hugs and kisses for anyone and often will go days or a week refusing all hugs and kisses. Then he goes back to it. 


And the going to the store scenario we have had play out a few times EXACTLY like that. He will get to the gate and FREAK and refuse to go. Just today we all took a family trip to the gas station to get lighter fluid. Like 10 blocks away. And DS cried when we left 'cause we didn't bring the dog. Whateves. 


DS was afraid of dogs until we got a puppy, and still is a more reserved little dude in social settings, he won't do the "jingle blanket" which all the other kids love at our toddler class.


So I guess I just wanted to tell you that most of that stuff is right where we are at too. Hope that helps you to feel a bit better. I haven't considered any of these behaviors "not normal". I just figure it's being 2.5. They say that they are on a 1/2 year cycle and maybe when they turn 3 they'll have moved on to some new behaviors... probably be all confident and defiant LOL! I'll see if I can dig up the site that has that info.



I have a toddler! 7/27/09
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#3 of 5 Old 03-29-2012, 05:41 PM
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Here is that link:




And I was thinking about the asking about mom while being babysat, and while I haven't heard any reports of asking for me, he does ask for people like his Aunt and Cousin, and his Grandparents much more often now when he's with me. I guess they just remember more now and I just tell him that people are at work, or sleeping, etc., and when we will see them next. Sometimes he gets mad, but we just ride it out. 


Good Luck!

I have a toddler! 7/27/09
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#4 of 5 Old 03-29-2012, 05:51 PM
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Most of that seems pretty normal.  We've dealt with pretty much all of it at some point. 


The thing that doesn't sound normal to me, and may in fact be making the issue worse is that you turned the car around to go back because he wouldn't calm down for dad.  How often does dad try to comfort him and you wind up stepping in (or dad gives up)?  This is reinforcing to him that all he has to do is cry and you'll come running.  This is not something you want to reinforce.  And that may mean that someone (dad) is going to have to listen to a lot of screaming until he figures it out. 


We recently switched from mom doing all night-time duties to dad taking over all of them.  I'm in my third trimester and we didn't want to wait until the baby arrived to make the switch.  It was really difficult for about 2 weeks.  LOTS of screaming, at bedtime, and every wake up (some nights for hours).  It slowly reduced over the course of a few weeks, and now after about 2 months, the only crying we get is when we tell him it's bedtime.  It was decidedly unpleasant, but completely necessary.  I had to learn to not interfere with bedtime, which took about a week, but I learned to go to the furthest point of the house, turn on some music/TV (so I couldn't hear the screaming) and just wait for DH to come out.  He had to learn that mom cannot be super-woman.  I cannot do everything he wants me to when he wants me to do it.  It's just not possible.  It's not ideal that he had to do that much crying, but he was never left alone to do it.  He was just denied what he wanted (mom), and offered an alternative (dad).  He had to learn that dad can do these things to (and to be honest, dad had to learn that also). 


Is he ever left alone with dad?  I'd work on doing that more and more.  My DH was only doing 3 hours/week of one-on-one time with me out of the house, and it was very hit or miss whether DS would scream for that period for a long time.  But now that DH is doing bedtime also, DS is far more willing to spend time with him without screaming, because he knows that dad can do it.


As for the boobs, this decreased a lot for us when daddy took over bedtime.  I've also been denying him during this pregnancy because they're so sensitive.  It just takes consistency.  He threw tantrums at first, but that gradually decreased, and now he'll gladly take them if offered, but has pretty much stopped asking. 

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#5 of 5 Old 04-07-2012, 08:28 AM
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Yes, I agree you should consider leaving your ds and dh to figure it out.


But, another thought, especially during the night and right after the naps, is that he may need a snack.  My kids are always really hungry and grumpy at those times.  If I can get food in them before they freak out, the grumpies are minimal to non-existent.  If I don't beat them to it, they are awful for quite a while.  If it is a blood sugar thing, I've found that giving them a small handful of chocolate chips does wonders.  I know it's not the most healthy option out there, but they are almost always happy to gobble them up, and the sugar levels things out rapidly and makes them reasonable. 

"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

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