Please tell me that behavior this awful is short term.... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 08-08-2012, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Argh.  Within the past week or so that "What happened to my sweet girl??" happened to my 28 month old.  Her behavior has been AWFUL.  She's always been demanding of attention, sensitive, and somewhat high needs, but this is something else altogether.  She is whining and crying and throwing mini-fits all day long.  And when she's not, she's acting snarky and just...annoying.  Every single thing I say, she follows with "Why Mommy?  Why?"  She turns everything I'm doing into a question that she already knows the answer to (i.e. Are you getting dressed?  Do you have your shoes on?)  And she's wheedling and bargaining like crazy.  "I can climb on the bureau, Mommy.  It's okay.  But...I won't lose my balance!!!  I won't need to see the doctor.  Don't worry."  She engages me in these long conversations about my boundaries, trying to talk me out of them, and in the end I always up with "NO!! You just can't!" or something equally stupid.  And she's exhausted, but sleeping poorly and not napping, no matter what.  And suddenly super-duper picky about food, whereas she's always been pretty good.  She recently got the first of her second set of molars.  I find myself hoping that she's in pain and that's what's causing this rough behavior.  Can molars do this to a child?  Is this type of all-day misery a normal 2-year-old phase? 

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#2 of 14 Old 08-08-2012, 04:11 PM
 
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Ummm...wish I had better news, but we had the week from h-e double hockey sticks last week (and it sounded just like what you describe).  DS is almost 28 months as well and he has all of his molars and has for months.  I think it has to do with a combination of potty learning (toddler led) and a few days where we all thought he was weaning (he didn't ask for three days).  He's nursing again and that seems to have smoothed the rough edges--but he's still hyper sensitive, whiny and demanding.  

 

But, when he WAS getting his 2 yr molars he was also hyper sensitive, whiny and clingy...


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#3 of 14 Old 08-08-2012, 07:08 PM
 
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We are dealing with this, too! One day he stopped listening, doesn't take me seriously at all. And cries at EVERYTHING. He is either upset or defiant. I don't think DS is teething. He just seems to like pushing my buttons.


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#4 of 14 Old 08-08-2012, 07:36 PM
 
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From my experience with my 34 month old who is just cutting her 2 year molars, I can say for certain that she has been extra difficult when she is cutting a tooth. She won't let us brush her teeth either. But even though her lang skills are good, she doesn't just say it hurts. She'll just run away and say "NO!"

We went through the "why, why, why?" phase too, and I think that is separate. She also likes to try to negotiate in a very similar way. "Don't worry Mommy, I won't fall." But when she is teething, she can't handle no as easily, and she throws more tantrums. More likely to hit others. Then my patience wears thin, so I am not on my game either. But I can say that she started sleeping better the pst few nights and hasn't thrown a tantrum or hit since her teeth finally broke through.

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#5 of 14 Old 08-08-2012, 07:39 PM
 
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Whenever DS changes his behavior, for bad, all of a sudden, I always hope it's not a new trait of his personality but rather some physical change that may be affecting his mood and behavior.

"he must be cutting a tooth again", "he might be fighting a virus" or "it may be a growth spurt".

Then I decide to keep on observing him, being patient, avoid feeling embarrassed if he behaves in public in a way I don't know how to deal yet, I share my concern with DH and decide I'll only address the issue if soon it proves that it was not just a phase.

So far, each of these times, he was indeed going through something and returned to his ways.

It seems like your DD is in a bad mood, all of a sudden, plus the change in appetite... She must be going through something.

And on a side note, her defiance, argumentation and confrontational attitude are getting on your nerves, I know but... Congratulations, you have a lil one who feels very powerful and that is so great.

Be patient and hope she's just going through something.

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#6 of 14 Old 08-09-2012, 12:39 PM
 
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Our boy is 2 months younger than your girl and he has many days that sound similar. We have good days, like today, but there are days where, literally from the moment he wakes up he is whining and screaming "NO!" almost all day long. It sucks.

Two places I look very often are Dr. Laura's site http://www.ahaparenting.com/ and Hand in Hand Parenting's site: http://handinhandparenting.org/. The Hand in Hand articles explain very well how normal the intense toddler emotions and storms are, which is always reassuring to read because sometimes I feel like the world's worst parent and wonder what I'm doing wrong to create this little tyrant, and both sites have loads and loads of tips and ideas for things to do in the bigger picture, as well as on-the-spot, to prevent or lessen these waves of "bad" behavior. It is their way of communicating with us and it's good to learn how to "read" the need under the behavior and take care of it in the bigger picture rather than just treat the behavior (if that makes sense). Also, as I said, some of it is absolutely unpreventable and healthy and we'd have to worry if our kids didn't display some of these traits.

Good luck to all of us, I think this is pretty much just part of having a toddler *sigh*.
 


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#7 of 14 Old 08-09-2012, 12:52 PM
 
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We are going through this as well. DD is cutting back molars and has been insane for a week. It came on very suddenly and is seemingly controlled by ib proufen. :)

 

Yesterday she said "Gimme some water!" and I said, "Please dont say Gimmie, can you say 'May I have some water?"

 

To which she responded: Gimmegimmegimmegimmegimmegimmegimmegimme for over 5 minutes.

.


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#8 of 14 Old 08-09-2012, 12:57 PM
 
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LOL sounds like my 30 month old when she is a bit overtired. She is usually...annoying to a certain extent with her questions but it gets a lot worse when she is tired. Could be teeth too. Right now my DD's thing is to always ask for different music when we are in the car. A song plays for a half a second and then it is "i don't like this music i want a different one!" and if i don't change it fast enough i'm in trouble haha.

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#9 of 14 Old 08-09-2012, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dancingflower View Post

Whenever DS changes his behavior, for bad, all of a sudden, I always hope it's not a new trait of his personality but rather some physical change that may be affecting his mood and behavior.
"he must be cutting a tooth again", "he might be fighting a virus" or "it may be a growth spurt".
Then I decide to keep on observing him, being patient, avoid feeling embarrassed if he behaves in public in a way I don't know how to deal yet, I share my concern with DH and decide I'll only address the issue if soon it proves that it was not just a phase.

 

You phrased this so much better than I, dancingflower.  Yes, this is exactly the experience I'm having. 

 

I'm heartened by all the tales of dreadful 2-year-old behavior.  I think I can live with this just being a week of pure 2-ish-ness that will rise and fall over the next year or so.  And I think I'll be able to deal with it better next week when I'm not so tired.  I am a complete sucker for the Olympics.....

 

P.J., thanks for the links.  I've seen your recommendation of Dr. Laura before on other threads, and found it very helpful.  I don't think I've checked out Hand in Hand, but I definitely well.  Reading up on this stuff is always so helpful for me.

 

mkksmom, isn't it funny how they just act insane instead of saying that they're teeth hurt?  I always ask my daughter, and she says no, but then if I give her ibuprofen she'll go from screaming her head off to perfectly calm in 20 minutes.  And you're totally right about her being less able to handle my responses to her behavior.  Then I start to get annoyed at her, and the whole thing just spirals. 

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#10 of 14 Old 08-09-2012, 06:37 PM
 
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you mentioned the testing your boundaries thing- it made me curious about what kind of boundaries you have established already? Are you comfortable with your boundaries in terms of you and your dh actually having the upper hand? or do you feel like your boundaries are loose and that is okay with you? or do you feel like your boundaries are loose and you want to make them stronger? Just curious because I know with my 28 month old it really helps us to have very clear boundaries. So that if he is acting in difficult ways or resisting something too muchthat he really has to do- we don't negotiate it until he agrees- we just say, this is the way it is and you are doing it. for example- small exapmlple- teeth brushing- we have always had a firm bounary about - you ge t a thorough teeth brushing every night- nd because we are firm about it he accepts it. I think finding a balance with boundaries that you are comfortable with is very helpful. I have no idea of your philosopphies on this so I can only speak from my own experience- but I have the idea that the parent does know better, and the kid doesn;t always hve to understand the why's of everything. anyway now I am sounding harsher than I actually am. I 100% believe in gentle parenting and I parent my child very gently, attached and lovingly. But I also beleive in firm boundaries and  having th eupper hand so that my child doesn;t walk all over me. What are your feeling and experiences with things like this- saying no and having her comply?

ETA I don't think saying no you just can't is stupid. I think that is right- you make the rules and she has to follow them, that is just the way it is. the truth is that you know much much more about the dangers of life than she does so you Can say- no, you cannot climb on that. and if she says- yes I can, you say- no.

( I just read two of those french parenting books and I remember one line in there talking about an American mom asking a french mom how he got her kids to be so obedient (while still being kind!) and the french mom said someing about the look in the eyes that you give them, the tone of voice- yes it may frighten them a litte if you are "mean" but you are not really being mean by establishing your authority. I think it was from the book French kids eat everything which is a great book btw.)

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#11 of 14 Old 08-09-2012, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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you mentioned the testing your boundaries thing- it made me curious about what kind of boundaries you have established already? Are you comfortable with your boundaries in terms of you and your dh actually having the upper hand? or do you feel like your boundaries are loose and that is okay with you? or do you feel like your boundaries are loose and you want to make them stronger? Just curious because I know with my 28 month old it really helps us to have very clear boundaries. So that if he is acting in difficult ways or resisting something too muchthat he really has to do- we don't negotiate it until he agrees- we just say, this is the way it is and you are doing it. for example- small exapmlple- teeth brushing- we have always had a firm bounary about - you ge t a thorough teeth brushing every night- nd because we are firm about it he accepts it. I think finding a balance with boundaries that you are comfortable with is very helpful. I have no idea of your philosopphies on this so I can only speak from my own experience- but I have the idea that the parent does know better, and the kid doesn;t always hve to understand the why's of everything. anyway now I am sounding harsher than I actually am. I 100% believe in gentle parenting and I parent my child very gently, attached and lovingly. But I also beleive in firm boundaries and  having th eupper hand so that my child doesn;t walk all over me. What are your feeling and experiences with things like this- saying no and having her comply?

ETA I don't think saying no you just can't is stupid. I think that is right- you make the rules and she has to follow them, that is just the way it is. the truth is that you know much much more about the dangers of life than she does so you Can say- no, you cannot climb on that. and if she says- yes I can, you say- no.

( I just read two of those french parenting books and I remember one line in there talking about an American mom asking a french mom how he got her kids to be so obedient (while still being kind!) and the french mom said someing about the look in the eyes that you give them, the tone of voice- yes it may frighten them a litte if you are "mean" but you are not really being mean by establishing your authority. I think it was from the book French kids eat everything which is a great book btw.)

 

I am pretty firm on boundaries and, actually, there have been times recently that I've wondered if DD was a little too compliant.  I AM fairly permissive, as in I don't set a ton of boundaries, and I DO sometimes backtrack on things if I think about it and realize I'm saying no arbitrarily, or just being lazy.  But in general, no means no in this house.  And I have very little patience for delaying doing things that we need to do, so she doesn't get a lot of leeway there either.  The place where my boundaries are a bit up in the air are social boundaries between me and her and our relationship during the day.  She is required to ask me for things nicely, but I have a hard time with things like whining, crying, demanding my attention when I'm busy, and even just her sheer need to talk - versus my need for quiet and time to think.  I'm not sure how to set/enforce these boundaries, and sometimes I'm not sure if what I want her to do in this regard is reasonable for a toddler- or if I'm being selfish.  Anyway, it is definitely in the "attention" realm that that I feel vaguely walked over.

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#12 of 14 Old 08-09-2012, 08:11 PM
 
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I remember your other post about her talking constantly- that would drive me nuts too! And that combined with the recent constant whining thing you describe must be so hard! Do you have any child care options where you can get an hour or two alone a day to refresh? I know good childcare can be hard to find- I personally only have dh and occasionally dh's mom- but if I had someone I trusted I would grab a little more me time- do you get any time alone?

and regarding the need for quiet time and yor expectations of her- I don't think you are being selfish for wanting that! But yes it can be hard to get  a toddler to do what you want and perhaps in some regards we just have to let them be how they are- and so this is where finding time away to refresh can help.

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#13 of 14 Old 08-10-2012, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I remember your other post about her talking constantly- that would drive me nuts too! And that combined with the recent constant whining thing you describe must be so hard! Do you have any child care options where you can get an hour or two alone a day to refresh? I know good childcare can be hard to find- I personally only have dh and occasionally dh's mom- but if I had someone I trusted I would grab a little more me time- do you get any time alone?

and regarding the need for quiet time and yor expectations of her- I don't think you are being selfish for wanting that! But yes it can be hard to get  a toddler to do what you want and perhaps in some regards we just have to let them be how they are- and so this is where finding time away to refresh can help.


Not this week, at any rate, but you really just shifted my perspective on this boundary issue with her talking so much.  I obviously can't force her to stop talking, and I can only shut myself in the bedroom for a few minutes if I'm REALLY flying off my rocker.  But I can leave her with a trusted caregiver a little more often. 

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#14 of 14 Old 08-10-2012, 06:29 PM
 
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yes, if you have a trusted caregiver I would do it for sure! We are trying to find a babysitter for our 28 month old and it is hard to just leave him with someone I don't know so we have never had one other than me and dh's parents yet. Do you have someone you can leave her with sometimes? I think the kids can be 100 % fine with that as long as the person is good- it is sometimes harder for us, the parents, to leave our little ones though. But even at the end of a ds full day when dh takes him out of the house for 1-2 hours, I find I am so much happier to reconnect with him after a break!

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