Hey - I haven't posted anything in ages.... well, now I have 3 yr old DS2. He was born roaring like the little tiger he is (born in 2010, year of the tiger), and has never stopped. He has been a huge tantrumer since he was 18 mos and it has been really stressful for our family. He is also destructive and defiant - he trashes our house and his big brother's things. He learned at an early age to tell us he hated us and I hear that about 100 times a day. Sometimes life with him just seems unbearable, but then he can also be extremely loving and attached. DS1 was NOT like this - he was a dream toddler. We have done attachment parenting with both.
It is as if DS2 just can't control himself - yes, I know this is pretty ordinary for a kid his age, but I don't know how to help him. Friends feel sorry for us. After one of his rages, he is (often) remorseful and clingy. He apologizes and tells me he loves me over and over. I'm not sure how to discipline him. We ARE consistent and don't let him get away with stuff. His tantrums and rages happen often when we make a transition between activities, AND if he doesn't get what he wants right NOW (even if he can have it later - ie: He demands lunch in the morning right after breakfast when I am making big bro lunch for school [he wants what is in the lunch box] - meltdown EVERY morning when he can't have it in that instant). Sibling rivalry is a huge thing in our house too. There are limits to patience. I can't take it anymore.
Being calm and patient and comforting doesn't help. He continues to scream and kick and throw things and yell that he hates us. Punishing doesn't help - putting him in time-out or threatening to withdraw privileges makes him more defiant. I am at my wits end. I have cried all the way home from work, not wanting to go home to him after a stressful day. I find myself fantasizing about running away or living by myself. I spend my waking hours wondering what is wrong with him. I have theories. I sometimes blame myself for 'giving' him this constitution, as I was REALLY stressed when I was pregnant with him.
I've changed his diet - we're doing a modified paleo diet now to eliminate grains and dairy. I've given him supplements (magnesium, fish oils, probiotics, whole food multivitamins, l-glutamine, greens) and homeopathic remedies (belladonna). He also doesn't sleep well. Naps were quit before 2 years and nights are fitful and restless (he usually comes into my bed then kicks me and squirms in the wee hours of the morning) - he won't sleep more than he does. He won't let me sleep. He often seems like he's in pain when he's trying to sleep too... growing pains or something.
On top of this I have an autoimmune disorder (Myasthenia Gravis) and am often fatigued and weak. His rages make it worse because my body starts coursing with stress hormones. Coupled with the lack of sleep, sometimes I feel as if he is slowly killing me. I can't get better while my life is like this. I need someone to take me out of this life and plant me in another...
Anyone have any magic advice that might turn my situation around?
*hug* Do you have a naturopath nearby who can give him a full head-to-toe work over and really get down to the nitty gritty of what could be triggering him? Sounds like you've got a lot covered but having someone on the outside looking in to give new perspective might really help. I've been talking my DD (22mos) since she was 9mos to an ND because of food issues and in that time discovered I needed the ND so much more than my kiddo did! So maybe a little extra help for you too so that you are better able to deal with your LO. Also, look into essential oils or find someone to help with them - they can do amazing things to repair the mind and body.
Thanks for the responses - ODD sounds scary, and it could be our issue. I do recognize that this issue could be exacerbated by the fact that he's going through a growth-spurt and is constantly starving. Also, I should consider that it has probably been a tough few months for my little guy; I was sick for about 2 months and not able to give him much attention, then big brother was out of school, so they were constantly competing for limited attention of the adults. We're trying to get him into preschool so that he has more one-on one attention in a structured setting. I'm thinking that will work. Until then... it will be more patience and understanding (which is hard to do when you're exhausted and need to get things done!!!).