Please, Oh Please Help Me! My almost 2yr old whines and throws tantrums ALL DAY! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 06-10-2014, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please, Oh Please Help Me! My almost 2yr old whines and throws tantrums ALL DAY!

Hi everyone, my son is just about to turn two, and frankly I am at my wits end. He constantly fights me over EVERYTHING. It's really hard to take him anywhere, and the only peace I get it nap/bedtime (which is actually usually no problem) or if I turn on the TV (which I HATE doing, but eventually get to the point that if I hear the high pitched scream again I am going to lose it). I currently work part time, and his other main caregiver is my mother. She loves him to death, but will give into any demand his has. He is an extraordinarily picky eater, and I can't get him to focus on a toy or game at all. He will sit really well for books which I am extremely thankful for. One other issue I am concerned about is his lack of language skills. He does use words, or copy them, but he will go days without saying anything but "up" "mama" and "daddy". When I counted out all the words that I could think of that he says, it's upwards of 50+ but other than apple please or up please, he doesn't put them together or really use them to communicate needs or wants. I try really hard to do the right things when it comes to my son, but I really feel as though I am failing big time, so I am reaching out to you other moms with the hope you will have some thoughts and advice that can help me. Hopefully I am not coming off too short tempered, I will admit, I am having a particularly rough week, but I love my baby more than anything on the planet. I want him to be happy and to thrive.

PS - he isn't teething or sick, we even just had a well baby check up and all was well physically.
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#2 of 16 Old 06-10-2014, 03:38 PM
 
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Both my sons were late to talk, my six year old has an outstanding vocabulary and is regularly complemented on his ability to carry a conversation. Linguistically my 2.5 year old has improved drastically in the last 7 months. My younger son also enjoys engaging in power struggles. The more stressed I become the more frequently they happen. I suggest you discuss your struggles with your mom and make sure your expectations for his behavior are in alignment. As frustrating as this can be it is most likely a phase that will last only a short period of time, is it possible for you to not respond to his whining and tantrums? Obviously with his current vocabulary you can not expect him to answer in complete sentences, but does he understand his tone is not acceptable to you?

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#3 of 16 Old 06-10-2014, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have definitely talked to my mom about it, and I know she isn't trying to make problems, but she just can't stand to see him cry. I will give it another go though, perhaps this time with more specific suggestions. We are starting a preschool program next month, so her time with him will be decreasing a bit. I have come to recognize that when he starts fussing for something I start playing a guessing game till he gets what he wants, which is most likely feeding into the problem. I will work on ignoring him when he is screaming at me. (The sound just presses right against my "stress nerve"). As far as if he understands his tone is unacceptable, I do tell him I can't understand him when he is yelling at me, but I have no clue whether he understands me at all.
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#4 of 16 Old 06-10-2014, 06:11 PM
 
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I can completely relate to this, it is so hard to hear your child upset. I feel like my son has really improved through my strategic ignoring of unwanted behavior. Good luck!


These are from my 2.5 year old son, Elijah.
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#5 of 16 Old 06-10-2014, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Jen, it's good to hear that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I will try and push through this, and thanks for the emoticons Elijah!
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#6 of 16 Old 06-10-2014, 08:51 PM
 
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I like the Louise Bates Amies books for a bit of child development-style perspective. Sorry he's being a pain, mama! Welcome to Mothering.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#7 of 16 Old 06-12-2014, 06:23 AM
 
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Ignore the whining. Don't tell him you don't understand his yelling because that amounts to reacting to the yelling by giving it attention. Instead, look away and walk away, or just go about your business as if nothing happened.

Use Motionese to teach words. For instance:

1. Take a piece of fruit and wave it around so it gets his attention.
2. Say "Fruuuiiit" drawing out the phonemes.
3. Have another person do the same thing. Hearing the same word from multiple people helps a kid learn because he can abstract out the common parts.

Also, when he speaks or makes speech sounds give him positive attention. As much as possible give him no face-time for whining, and lots of face-time when he uses words.

Not sure if he is delayed, but that's a question for your doctor.

Give him positive attention for wanted behaviors, especially the positive opposites of common unwanted behaviors. The opposite of whining is using a calm or normal voice.

When you give positive attention to encourage wanted behaviors, timing, specificity, closeness, touch, enthusiasm, avoiding veiled criticism. Give positive attention immediately after the wanted behavior, get close, touch, mention specifically what you liked (not "good job"), be enthusiastic, don't caboose criticism on the end (no "but...").

Concerning your mother, fortunately there is no need to get her to change. Kids act differently around different adults depending how the adults deploy attention and other reinforcers. Each adult gets the behavior that they pay attention to. If your kid ever gets to the point of saying "Grandma lets me do so and so", just ignore that, don't discuss it, and he will quickly give it up. If you mom get to a point where she is having problems and want to change, then she may be more open to your suggestions.

Since he like books, encourage him to turn though the pages and tell you the story in the book while you listen and give positive feedback. Toddlers can do this from the pictures or from memory even when the cannot read. You can ask questions about the story.

Last edited by tadamsmar; 06-12-2014 at 06:35 AM.
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#8 of 16 Old 06-12-2014, 06:47 AM
 
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On picky eating. Give healthy food and healthy eating lots of attention and ignore picky eating. Give attention to anyone at the table that is eating the veggies. Give them face-time ask questions. When he joins in and tries something new, give him attention for this.
Limit the choices. Get him involved in food prep. Take him to a farmer's market, that can be a fun outing with a toddler. Grow some veggies at home with him involved.

Never refer to him as a picky eater and avoid discussing what he does not like with him. If he says "I don't like X", ignore this. If he likes any fruits or veggies or other healthy foods, talk about that.

If your mom is yacking about him being a picky eater in front of him, I would try to get her to at least stop doing that. (good luck!)

The ideas I am sharing are evidence-based, not anecdotal, but I want to share one anecdote. My wife and I raised two healthy eaters, and we never once asked either of them to eat healthy food. When they got old enough to serve themselves, we did not put food on their plate. All we did was show our enthusiasm for and interest in healthy eating and our boredom with and disinterest in picky eating.

Last edited by tadamsmar; 06-12-2014 at 04:52 PM.
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#9 of 16 Old 06-16-2014, 04:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melanie Collins Carpenter View Post
Hi everyone, my son is just about to turn two, and frankly I am at my wits end. He constantly fights me over EVERYTHING. It's really hard to take him anywhere, and the only peace I get it nap/bedtime (which is actually usually no problem) or if I turn on the TV (which I HATE doing, but eventually get to the point that if I hear the high pitched scream again I am going to lose it). I currently work part time, and his other main caregiver is my mother. She loves him to death, but will give into any demand his has. He is an extraordinarily picky eater, and I can't get him to focus on a toy or game at all. He will sit really well for books which I am extremely thankful for. One other issue I am concerned about is his lack of language skills. He does use words, or copy them, but he will go days without saying anything but "up" "mama" and "daddy". When I counted out all the words that I could think of that he says, it's upwards of 50+ but other than apple please or up please, he doesn't put them together or really use them to communicate needs or wants. I try really hard to do the right things when it comes to my son, but I really feel as though I am failing big time, so I am reaching out to you other moms with the hope you will have some thoughts and advice that can help me. Hopefully I am not coming off too short tempered, I will admit, I am having a particularly rough week, but I love my baby more than anything on the planet. I want him to be happy and to thrive.

PS - he isn't teething or sick, we even just had a well baby check up and all was well physically.
i have 3 loving kids, when i was having my second, i had a very difficult time. I learnt the i was the one with the problem. Did you get any materials on how to improve communication with the child or try to find out the problems? there are a lot of information on the internet. i would recommend this blog

http://the21way.blogspot.sg/p/topics...p-and-our.html
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#10 of 16 Old 06-16-2014, 06:08 AM
 
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Mommythree - the site you linked is a fee-based link. Would you care to paraphrase the information you found so useful at that site? In my experience much of the fee-based parenting sites contain information that is readily available through more traditional parenting discussions or books available at the library, all available for free.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#11 of 16 Old 06-23-2014, 02:36 PM
 
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I found this post by googling for answers for our nearly identical situation. I wish I could say I had a fix, or something to help you feel better, but we're in the same boat.

My 22 month old daughter had a little cold just over two weeks ago and has not been her happy self since. She's clingy, whiny, fighting sleep, sleeping terribly when she does finally fall asleep, won't play with or without mommy or daddy, though she'll tolerate SOME book reading. And the tantrums. OH THE TANTRUMS. They will last until I console her, which is probably not a good thing, but I can't handle her screaming bloody murder for an hour just because she didn't get her way. She also struggles with a language delay and sees a speech therapist once a week, though that's totally unrelated to this phase (I hope to god its a phase).

I know the sleep can likely be blamed on one of two sleep regressions she could be going through, but her day time behavior is wearing me out. She was just at the doctor following her cold and is completely healthy and we've tried motrin/tylenol and teething tablets despite not feeling anything where her second molars will be, so we've ruled teething out too.

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#12 of 16 Old 06-24-2014, 12:41 AM
 
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A few thoughts:
I found that empathy really helps with tantrums... If you help your little one "sort out" their emotions, which are overwhelming them... by paraphrasing back to them how they feel-
For example, if you say, "No, you can't have the candied apple, because you might choke"...
-madness starts
BEFORE tantrum starts (while its still just anger)
"Oh, you're really mad, you want the candied apple don't you?
You want it, but mama said no, and now you're sad and mad..."
Then you can say something comforting...
"I'm sorry you feel mad..." pat their back...
They are usually SO surprised at the sympathy that they stop crying.
Then offer an OPTION...
"Would you like to have a slice of apple instead? Or a piece of carrot?"
Wait.. expect "No", but a calmly given one...
Try to offer OPTIONS to EMPOWER the child...
A child has tantrums because they feel OVERWHELMED at the strength of their own emotions and they don't know how to handle it...
It really does feel like the end of the world to them.
It's similar to being flooded, if you have ever heard of that term in marriage counseling books by John Gottman?
It's very important towards future emotional intelligence for young toddlers to be given feedback to help them learn to calm down and sort out their feelings.

Also, it's hard, but you should talk to your mother in law about sharing a philosophy. If she gives in to everything, and you say no to everything, your child might end up feeling you are harsh, and might feel unloved.

When you are giving a "No" (which you should save for when you really mean it), TAKE THE TIME to EXPLAIN why.
It gives children SO much reassurance, and helps expand their awareness to how they're interconnected with you and the rest of the family. It's almost impossible for them not to be self-centered, but if you give them a reason why, that explains it on their level, they will often digest what you are saying in lieu of a tantrum~

I hope this helps.

Sometimes children have tantrums simply because they are emotionally strained, because they MISS you. My daughter (who is 15 now) only threw tantrums when I was busy, rushing her to daycare or her father's house.

It also has to do with language... when children lack the language skills to communicate what they want...
And ego development... they are just starting to realize they are separate beings...

If you want your son to be a successful person in the future, you've got to let him develop a strong healthy ego. That means let him feel important, let him have his way sometimes (by giving him safe choices), but also let him learn to be aware of his place in the WHOLE. When children are wounded in early childhood in their ego or emotional intelligence arenas, they can get "stuck" fighting those same power struggles their whole lives!

Reassure him lovingly so he can know your discipline comes from a place of love!

Hope this helps.
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#13 of 16 Old 06-24-2014, 12:48 AM
 
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Oh, also try sign language if you haven't already,
he might pick it up and express needs with it--
til he figures out how to say words more....

Also, try giving him chamomile tea with milk a couple times a day, sounds like his cortisol levels might be elevated
(he might be stressed out)... which can be a self-feeding cycle

Allergies could also give him stress and make him grouchy-- have you checked him for that?

That's great he's a good sleeper!

Try reading to him and talking with him face to face so he can watch your mouth... and play babbling games with him. Dr.Seuss is good for phenomes too, and is silly enough to encourage toddlers who "know" they aren't saying the words right, to have less stage fright!

Sounds like your detective game about his needs might be creating a cycle where he doesn't NEED to communicate, but you know what? A good mom has to be a detective sometimes! Who else is really going to tell us what's up with our kid?

Maybe you need to think about what's upsetting his equillibrium... help him return to calm... so he can get to a place of learning again, rather than fighting
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#14 of 16 Old 06-24-2014, 04:40 AM
 
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Great advice. Also consider a check for an ear infection. My second child had a phase like you are describing and I decided as a last ditch effort to have her checked by her pediatrician - sure enough, raging ear infection that was not healing on it's one at any manageable rate.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#15 of 16 Old 06-24-2014, 07:09 AM
 
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It's very hard when someone else watches your child and does the opposite what you might otherwise do - this is how my FIL is with our 2.5yo DD. He argues with her, talks too much when she disagrees about something, and generally always wants the last word which pushes DD to also want to have the last word! I've had talks with him, sometimes he increases his behavior just to spite me (very childish but that's how he is) and sometimes I've gotten to the point of flat out yelling at him AND DH so that DH will talk to him as well - very frustrating. The main issue with conflicting styles is that once the child goes to school they will handle these scenarios very differently and if the child always gets their way at home, they may unfortunately be labeled "difficult" by teachers and it will only exacerbate the problem behaviors.

Talk with your mother (I dunno, I have a much easier time talking with my own parents about these things my IL's) and explain that it's better to ignore the crying now and deal with it to make the school transition easy than to just let it go unchecked.

Boys typically talk later than girls, although I think 50 words is pretty good compared to some kids I know at that age. As long as he is trying to talk and is continuing to learn more than it's not much of an issue, just an annoyance. If he likes books and reading then use that time to sound out new words and have him repeat things and encourage him to use words more by not giving in to crying.

And for picky eating, that can indicate a food intolerance, especially when the preferred foods fall into the dairy or grains category. My DD has gluten/dairy/soy sensitivities. The dairy will flat out cause stomach distress and vomiting for her. The other two (and seems like food coloring as well) have much more of a behavioral effect on her. When she was still eating gluten/wheat, her tantrums were pretty epic - and she is hyper verbal so communication has never been an issue. She's never been a picky eater, BUT, during the time she was eating the grains, she certainly requested them more than anything else.
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#16 of 16 Old 06-26-2014, 11:26 AM
 
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I have removed a post on this thread because this is the gentle discipline forum and, therefore, not an appropriate forum for recommending spanking. New members can check out our user agreement and back threads for heaps of information in the harms of corporal punishment and the many, gentler, more effective alternatives.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif

Last edited by IdentityCrisisMama; 06-26-2014 at 11:33 AM.
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