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#1 of 11 Old 12-20-2002, 01:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hoping someone can help...DS is 30 mos old and we have asked alot of him this past year. He is speech delayed, we moved cross country and had a baby in June. We are also potty training and are fostering my sister's dog. DS is also extremely active and very attached to his dad. So here's my questions:
1. Even though I stay home, once Daddy is home, I can't help ds in anyway without him having a fit.
2. DS will try to hit me if he wants something and I won't give in.
3. He is rarely affectionate with me, but prettyaffectionate with daddy.
4. Sometimes he gets so wound up, I cannot get through without picking him up and holding him firmly with his face in my hands.
5. Has anyone else noticed a link between poor eating and poor behavior? It seems like the days he won't eat much are the worst. BTW, I do supplement with vitamins, as he won't eat any veggies.

So if anyone has any answers, tricks, ideas I am more than willing to try. Obviously whatever we're doing now is just not working and I'm starting to take it personal and think my baby doesn't like his mommy, which has me in tears just to write it.
Kathleen
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#2 of 11 Old 12-20-2002, 03:21 AM
 
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Hi, I can't answer all of your questions yet, since DS is only 21 mos old, but I had a couple comments to share:

About the hitting when mad, this one amzes me. DS has not been hit by me or DH, we do not hit each other or the pets, but he hits us when mad. And I find when he gets me really crazy mad, then I have to fight the urge to hit. I guess hitting when angry must be a innate human response, and it takes a lot to learn to control it. So no advice, really. Just musings and thoughts that eventually, if you teach your child alternatives to hitting, eventually they will outgrow it. (I hope!)

About the food, my son is the same way when he doesn't eat. Everyone who sees my son happy asks if he is always that way - I say Yes, as long as he is not hungry or tired. Sometimes I feel it's all I can do to keep those 2 "demons" away in the course of the day. So since we can't forcefeed them (LOL) then we just gotta deal with the moods. I try not to give DS much juice but if I see his mood going south, I will to give him a blood sugar boost. Usually it will help long enough to get a proper snack into him.

Good luck!
Jenn

Jenn, perpetually tired mom to DS(9): DD(4.5): DD(2) :
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#3 of 11 Old 12-20-2002, 04:36 AM
 
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Hi KittyB4me (did you have a cat sitting across the keyboard when you made that screenname? )

You sound like you really have a plateful! As does your son!

I'm guessing that your observations about all the stress in your son's life are correct; a lot has changed in his life in a short time. Somehow, that stress all has to come out and at 30 months it's not going to come out in well-considered and thought ful ways. I know it breaks your heart the way he treats you, but I'm pretty sure you're getting the brunt of it b/c you're a SAFE person and he knows he can trust you to be there no matter what. (smart kid, eh?)

I'm going to ramble some observations or ideas and you can see if they'll fit or look right with your situation. One thing I see right off the bat, is the potty training. I'm not sure how that's going with you (you only mention it as a factor) but I can share what happened with my first ds. I got to the point where I felt he ought to be potty training and instigated what I felt were appropriate methods (all very gently, low pressure, high reward, etc). Ds had other ideas. The more I pushed the idea of getting out of diapers the more stubbornly he clung to them and in the end it all turned into a very stressful power struggle. He honestly just was not ready. I had to back off and let it go- when he was about 3 and a half he was ready and it happened very quickly and easily. I wonder if with all the stress and with the competition of a new baby if he is feeling like he wants to hang onto the baby-ness of diapers. You and I see them as a mucky mess, but to him they may represent a measure of security and of his world not changing any further.

At that age, with my first ds, I found when he was flipping out about somethig and hitting or just screaming or whatever migraine-inducing behavior he came up with, it helped a lot (well-not right away, but eventually) to just observe out loud to him what I saw going on. Giving kids words to express themselves is really, really powerful. It may not alleviate what is happening at that moment, but I promise you down the road it will help them SO much to talk their tantrums out. So I'd say things like "wow- you look really frustrated that you're not getting X. You must have really wanted it. You're so mad you're shouting and yelling! You're so mad you want to hit! YOu must have really, really wanted that (etc. etc. ad nauseum) I can really recommend the book "How to talk so your kids will listen and listen so your kids will talk" it's written more toward an older crowd of kids, but I think the skills are just perfect for toddlers and preschoolers too. Many times what would end up happening was that ds would finally break past the wall of his rage and relax tearfully and start talking about what it was he was really feeling. Sometimes it wasnt' even the issue that triggered it all in the first place.

Eating and behavior: yesirree. Not only whether they are eating enough, but sometimes also WHAT they are eating. Sugary foods (including fruit juice) are horrible for our family. HIghly processed or dyed foods are also bad; there are certain brands of baby tylenol I cant give my ds2 because the coloring (i think) gets him wound up past belief. We've made a lot of changes to our diet because of what we observe between diet and behavior, as well as health issues. I try to keep some kind of healthy snack on hand at all times: a box of whole grain crackers in teh car, a couple of hard boiled eggs in the fridge- it can really be a lifesaver.

My last ramble: try to make some time when you have just you and ds without the baby. He may be speech delayed, but I bet he understands EVERYthing he hears. You could try a few conversation starters like "sometimes I imagine you get really upset about having a baby and you wish things could be like they were before" He may not respond, but he may. And even if he doesn't it will give him the message that you DO see and understand what is going on with him and that little bit may help him to relax a little. You don't have to make apologies or try to "fix" it for him- just an openended statement and see where he goes with it.

I lied: one more. Sensory things like playdough or a bowl ful of rice or birdseed and a few little scoops or pourers are somethign my ds1 found VERY soothign when undergoing stress. He would zone out and run his hands through the bowl for a long time and it really seemed to help.

I'm sorry this is so long: I've been there, (as have all other moms!) and hope some little bit of this can help in some way.
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#4 of 11 Old 12-20-2002, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OHM you brought tears to my eyes... Thanks! I think I just neede to hear that he's just doing normal kid stuff. I am so afraid that he's going to be labeled ADHD or some other crap. I really want to do what's best, but he is such a high needs little boy sometimes. I am also a little lost & homesick which does not help at all. Thanks for the ideas, I really think the diet issue is bigger than I realized, but again I am not sure even where to start. I think the only healthy foods I can count on ds eating are yogurt, milk and fruit. I am thinking of going to organic milk & seeing if that helps at all.

I have really backed off on the potty issue. He is back to pullups 100% of the time with no pressure to use toilet. he can if he chooses to, if not, I don't make any comment.

And you brought up some really good points about talking him through it. I will admit I have a hard time b/c I also have a short fuse, and I guess maybe I expect too much from him. I have noticed if I can stay calm, it goes away faster. Just some days my well runs dry!

BTW, how's that Oregon sunshine? We moved from Silverton in June and I miss it like crazy. Kitty is my nickname, B[U]rent is my husband, so the 4me should now be self-explanatory, but a clever guess on your part! Thanks again...
Kathleen
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#5 of 11 Old 12-20-2002, 03:24 PM
 
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Hey Kitty- believe it or not I can actually see a scrap of BLUE out there! Wow! It was pouring buckets a couple days ago, though.

My first ds (who I used shamelessly as an example in my previous post ) was also a handful. He wasn't totally physical like I've seen some high needs kids, but he was demanding and physically on me 24 hours a day. I can totally relate to the well running dry- it's exhausting to have a kid like that. I guess he was speech delayed, too- he didn't really start talking a lot til he was past 2.5 and his speech was very garbled for a long time but I didn't sweat it cos' I'd heard boys can just be like that. occaisionally I'd point out how to pronounce a word better (he had a lot of trouble with "th" sounds) and we'd spend a few minutes practising it- usually at bedtime when he was calmer and quieter (after the hours long struggle to get there! LOL) and now at age 5 he's pretty clear, for the most part.

It gets better! I PROMISE! The baby gets bigger and more self-sufficient and ds will reconcile to being a big brother. My first still tells me he wishes he didn't have a brother, but at the same time they play together all the time, get silly together <fight together> and I know that he'd be devestated if anything ever happened to his brother.

I really think that kids are SUPER hard the first few years- at least some of them- and that the way parenting has evolved in our society puts the needs of the parent first. I think this really messes our kids up down the road. When we choose to attachment parent, in whatever degree, we have definately chosen the tougher road but I think that in the long run we raise far healthier kids. Don't get a lot of support from those around us, though.

Ok- off my soapbox now.
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#6 of 11 Old 12-20-2002, 04:49 PM
 
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Kitty - I am at work right now and don't have a lot of time to chat, so I will write more later. But let me just say that I am right there with you! I don't really have much advice, but to let you know that you are not alone.

DS is 33 months, and is High Needs he takes up all of my energy.

Also there has been many big changes in his life this last year or so, though the behavior stems from before that, I think it is just intensified now.

I do see a definate difference in DS when he eats well that day or doesn't. I don't know why somedays he choses not to eat?

Also DS is the least affectionate child I have ever seen, well towards me anyway. With anyones else he is running for hugs and kisses asking to be held. I never get that from him. If we are with other people whoever it is must assit DS with whatever he needs he he ask for a drink and I get it, he will scream and refuse it, and ask for it from someone else. I don't understand this behavior, since I on any other occasion do everything for DS.

DS is so out of control sometimes I don't know how soothe him

Sorry I don't have any advice.

Shannon
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#7 of 11 Old 12-20-2002, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Geez I am so glad I am not the only one in this boat. Shannon, it sounds like you are right there with me. Dontcha feel like a soldier in the trenches?!?!

LaLaLuna, could you please expand on your thoughts about the way parenting has evolved, attachment parenting, etc. I hear alot of talk about AP, but I guess I don't know exactly what is meant by the term. My approach is simply to try to follow my heart and make healthy choices for my kids, ie., breastfeeding, staying at home, etc. I want to simply raise my kids to be happy, productive and greatful for the gifts in their lives. If there is one thing I can't stand it is parents who are too permissive and their kids don't appreciate anything or anyone.

I feel like we are walking a very fine line trying to raise babies now, between not crushing their spirits, while at the same time teaching them to respect that no one rides for free, and your gain is most likely due to someone else's sacrifice.

But I ramble...So if you would care to enlighten me, I am always a willing listener. If you would prefer to PM me, that is fine too, although others may also appreciate your insights as weel.
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#8 of 11 Old 12-20-2002, 11:48 PM
 
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How does your husband interpret the behavior? Does he have suggestions for you or any other insights into your son's behavior.
His behavior sounds normal to me too. But this phrase kind of stuck out at me.
Quote:
4. Sometimes he gets so wound up, I cannot get through without picking him up and holding him firmly with his face in my hands.
Whenever I've found myself doing something along these lines with my son, I find that what I really need to do is sit down and evaluate my own behavior.
Would I want to hug someone who just treated me the way I treated my own son- maybe with a grab and a yell in my case?
It usually means that I am not communicating very effectively.

I liked the book "Children Are From Heaven" by John Gray. The book "Playful Parenting" has also been recommended quite a bit here, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. What has really stuck with me is that for every correction we give our child, we should find at least 5 positive things to comment on to our child. The corrections are easy but the 5 positives are a lot of work, not because they aren't there, but because I hadn't been looking for them.

I have a very active and demanding (but sweet) 3 yr old son and a 6 month old girl, so I know how easy it is to get frustrated between the two of them- not a moment of peace in the house unless I get up at 4am and am very very quiet.
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#9 of 11 Old 12-21-2002, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband finds it a bit overwhelming too at times, but he chalks it up to being 2, being a boy and that it's winter, so not enough running around time. He's probably at least partly right. And you are right as well. I do need to evaluate my moods and behavior too. I noticed yesterady we had a better day because I choose not to overreact to many of ds's antics. I tried to keep my mood in check, and it helped. I have read "Children Are From Heaven," but I had a little trouble applying some of the communication methods to a toddler who can't verbally express his frustrations. I am still trying...

BTW, I watched Oprah yesterday, which was very relevant to this thread. It was about moms who spank, how it damages children, and alternatives. Boy, I really identified with those moms on there and could honestly say I felt their pain! Anyone else catch it?
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#10 of 11 Old 12-21-2002, 11:30 AM
 
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I can't apply everything out of "Children Are From Heaven" either, but it helps like you said.

It's impossible to give them enough activity to use up all of their energy isn't it? I probably allow too much horseplay in the house just because I think he needs it. We got one of those mini exercise trampolines recently. He jumps on it instead of the bed and sofa, which uses up lots of his energy.
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#11 of 11 Old 12-21-2002, 03:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by kittyb4me


LaLaLuna, could you please expand on your thoughts about the way parenting has evolved, attachment parenting, etc. I hear alot of talk about AP, but I guess I don't know exactly what is meant by the term. My approach is simply to try to follow my heart and make healthy choices for my kids, ie., breastfeeding, staying at home, etc. I want to simply raise my kids to be happy, productive and greatful for the gifts in their lives. If there is one thing I can't stand it is parents who are too permissive and their kids don't appreciate anything or anyone.
Oh boy- I don't know if I could be considered any kind of expert on attachment parenting! I think that to follow your heart is just about the main point of it! The way I got turned onto AP was from reading the Dr. and Martha Sears books- some friends gave us The Baby Book when I was pregnant the first time- what a lifesaver! They strongly advocate for co-sleeping with your babies and for extended breastfeeding. They explain what babies and toddlers are going through at various ages/stages and offer compassionate and loving suggestions for how to handle behavior that parents might fnd frustrating or bewildering without knowing the reasons behind it. They believe that with the co-sleeping and breastfeeding that your foster "attachment" to your children; that you respond to their needs rather than ignoring them (letting them "cry it out") and that as a result you end up with kids who are very secure and sure of themselves. It really resonated with me when I read it; I was born and raised at a time when formula feeding on a rigid schedule was the norm, babies weren't supposed to be picked up and comforted lest they get "spoiled" and children were viewed as manipulative and spanking was an acceptable form of discipline. (this is going to sound totally evangelical here) When I discovered ap'ing and realized teh consequences of how my parents parented me I nearly had a stroke. (ha) It answered a lot of questions for me about the relationship I had with my parents, and why I was some of the ways I was. I had a lot of resentment towards my parents the first year of my son's life and had to really be careful not to wound them with my anger. They were doing the best they knew how, and followed current medical advice to the T- they didn't know any better. That's what I consider to be the evolution of parenting; that we are starting to step away from the "medical advice" model of parenting (at least some of us are!) and coming back to following our hearts. I'm blessed to live in a community with a hgh incidence of ap'ing so I get a lot of support and understanding with it. When I go other places, I hear a lot of mixed reviews. People comment on why I put so much energy into my kids (because it's only for a few short years!) and are not sympathetic on my children's needs coming first; and in the next breath they'll comment on how smart, social, confident,e tc. they are. I just floors me that they don't see the connection!

Quote:

I feel like we are walking a very fine line trying to raise babies now, between not crushing their spirits, while at the same time teaching them to respect that no one rides for free, and your gain is most likely due to someone else's sacrifice.
I think another Sears book addresses this, at least in part: The Discipline Book, tho to be honest it should have been titled "Teaching your Child to Find Self-Discipline". There's also the lesson of modelling; children learn what we teach them and show them in our daily living.

I don't think this is a complete picture of attachment parenting at all- if any other mamas want to jump in and add things I missed, please do!
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