Spirited 2 yr old? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 5 Old 04-28-2003, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Lately DS (25mos old) has been, well, a handful to say the least! I think that what we have been experiencing extends beyond normal toddler behaviour.

DS absolutely insists on doing EVERYTHING (and I mean absolutely EVERYTHING) himself, his way, with no help. If things do not go his way he has a meltdown. When ds doesn't get what he wants, exactly when he wants it, he has a meltdown. He starts jumping up and down and crying, instantly.

It is very frustrating. There is no in between with him. He is either a happy go lucky kid, or he is kicking and screaming.

I try to talk him through his meltdowns saying things like:

It's ok ___, take a deep breath (then I model some deep breathing), tell mommy what you need. I wan to help you through this. (I should add, that verbalizing his feelings is not a problem in this case. DS is able to speak in full sentences and has been for quite some time)


I can see that you are really frustrated right now. Just keep trying and you can do it.

I am at a loss. DH is at his wits end and is beyond frustrated with DS's behaviour at this time. DH feels like we give DS whatever he wants and this is why he is now behaving this way. I disagree and feel that I am picking my battles.

For example: If DS wants to wear shorts when it is cool out, I let him, rather than fighting with him to get pants on. I feel like he will eventually figure out to dress warmly. It isn't like it is below 0 anymore KWIM?? When it is cool, I let him know that if he is cold he can change into pants, and ask frequently if he would like to do so.

I don't know what else to try. It just seems that DS is extrememly sensisitive and constantly on the verge of melting down. I feel like I am walking on eggshells, trying to avoid having him breakdown. It is not a pleasant feeling.

I have "Raising your Spirited Child" on order from the library. Any other suggestions will be very much appreciated.
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#2 of 5 Old 04-29-2003, 12:24 AM
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There was an article in Mothering mag, not this current issue, I think the last issue, about temper tantrums. Maybe you can find it online if you don't subscribe. Really changed how I react to them, and made a big difference in my DD! She still gets whiney and throws fits, but it doesn't bend *me* so much out of shape anymore and they are fewer and shorter lived.
The most important thing, and I'm sure you already know this, is to stay calm and not give in when the undesired behavior starts.
(((HUGS))) this too, shall pass
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#3 of 5 Old 04-29-2003, 08:29 PM
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My daughter sounds the same way as your son, although she's younger (almost 16 months). I have begun to dread my days because of these extremes in her behavior. Seriously. She's so different from my son and so I know that this is just her temperment, but I feel at my wits end. We had wanted more children, but after her, I just don't think I could do it. When she's ok, everything is fine. But when she is having a tantrum (which I didn't believe kids got this young until her) I am at such a loss.

I have considered getting the raising a spirited child book, you'll have to let me know how it is. I have a friend who is a child psychologist and she tells me that she tells her parents that it's not that they don't have good parenting skills, it's just that the skills they have (even if successful in the past) don't work for this particular child. So I'm working on thinking that it's not me, it's my dd.

Definitely pick your battles. I've super-babyproofed the house to accomodate her need to climb on top of EVERYTHING. The clothing thing is a good example. When he gets cold, he'll change. I also have lots of healthy snack choices for dd as she needs to refuel more often than my son did at her age.

I also try to become more calm the more agitated that she becomes. I don't want her to feed off of my anxiety. Very hard to do with a preverbal toddler.

I wish I could be more helpful. We actually had a good day today and I almost started a thread about it, because so many of our days are just so tense.
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#4 of 5 Old 04-30-2003, 10:21 AM
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How timely. We have had some major, "I do it all by myself," fits the past few weeks. She gets soo mad. I hear her in her room yelling at the blocks, "NO NO NO DON"T FALL!!!!" We went shopping two days ago and she had a major meltdown because a man held the door open for us and she wanted to do it herself. When we got home her dadday asked her if she had fun and she told him, "I had a freak out." I'm debating going to playgroup today because it's been so bad the past few days. She won't be reasoned with and I feel like I'm at odds with her even though I try to let her do as much as possible by herself. I am very patient, but sometimes she expects me to just know what she's thinking. I'm not claravoyant (sp?) so sometimes I just have to stay close and let her sort through it on her own. We practice deep breathing too. Isn't it cute to watch them try to breathe through a problem? She is very articulate also, so I know it's not for want of words. She also has excellent motor skills so I'm not sure what's brought all this on. I was reading that one of the signs of gifted children is an early tendency to get extremely frustrated (expectations exceed ability.) I wonder if she is just setting the bar too high.

Alas, I have been of no help to you. All I can offer is empathy and hugs.
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#5 of 5 Old 04-30-2003, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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TO all of us! I will definitely let you know about the spirited child book. Another friend of mine suggested reading up on Indigo children. This is not a topic that I am overly familiar with though.

Lisa: It sounds as though my DS and your DD are very similar indeed. I can totally see how my ds does set the bar too high. I've noticed that his fits are worse when he is tired, so we try to avoid fatigue when ever possible.

motherkins: I like the way that you talked about our skills not fitting the needs of these particular children. I find it very comforting.

Stafl: I did read that article a while back. I will have to see if I can get my hands on it again. At the time, it didn't really apply to our situation, sigh, who knew
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