What should I expect from a 2 1/2 year old? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 07-13-2007, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello. I am new to the boards and am not sure where to post my question.

I have been struggling with some issues for some time now with my 2 1/2 year old son. He is, what I expect to be at this age - very busy, very curious. Anyways, I think my biggest concern is that he does not listen. Not all the time, it's usually when he wants to challenge me or my husband (or my mum). Sometimes he goes to a play group and the group is very organized with the reading time, snack time etc..he has a hard time sitting still. While the other children are sitting down to snack time, he wants to be up wandering around checking stuff out. One of my girlfriends commented the other day that he's going to have alot of problems when he starts JK (but she also yells at her kids and subscribes to the CIO method). Do I have something to be concerned about here? I mean, I don't know what to expect? He wont' be starting JK for 2 more years...and I would hope that things will change in that time.

I am looking for some opinions.

Mama to one very active DS (5.5) Loving wife to my wonderful DH and our baby girl arrived on December 10, 2009
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#2 of 13 Old 07-13-2007, 09:58 AM
 
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Sounds normal to me. My 3 1/2 yo is still working on sitting still (that'll be the day) and listening all the time (again, when hell freezes over), and he is That Kid that makes the other parents ask me, "How do you get him to be so good?"

Is it bad that my first response to your question was, "To make it through the day alive"?

Mama to H (6) B (3) : A (1)
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#3 of 13 Old 07-13-2007, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds normal to me. My 3 1/2 yo is still working on sitting still (that'll be the day) and listening all the time (again, when hell freezes over), and he is That Kid that makes the other parents ask me, "How do you get him to be so good?"

Is it bad that my first response to your question was, "To make it through the day alive"?

LOL - that's funny...thanks for sharing. I feel pretty alone (and insecure) when I have some of my own friends critiqueing my parenting. She also told me that I should "get him out more" with other kids. I am aware that he needs to be socialized with other children, and he loves children..sometimes too much I find. He is very affectionate and anywhere we go, he runs up to the other kids trying to hug them. Alot of the kids get freaked out and take off. I feel badly that I don't have him around other children all the time, and we are making an effort in that way. I just wanted to hear how others are dealing with this 'age'..and what to expect.

Mama to one very active DS (5.5) Loving wife to my wonderful DH and our baby girl arrived on December 10, 2009
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#4 of 13 Old 07-13-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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I have been struggling lately with my 2 1/2 yo DS not listening either. I got some good advice on the Gentle Discipline board about changing my expectations and following DS's lead more with things like getting dressed, eating, and activities. If there is not a safety issue or an obligation like you need to get to an appointment, why not let DS do what he wants to do. I will admit it still bugs me, but I am less stressed and feel better about how I am interacting with DS.

About the playgroup, I would never expect DS to participate in such a structured activity. It sems a bit anal retentive for kids so young. Maybe you can find another activity that is more relaxed? DS took a gymnastics class for 2 and 3 yo through our park district. It was structured in that they used certain equipment each session, plus the basic safety and courtesy rules, but other than that the kids had freedom to do what they wanted.
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#5 of 13 Old 07-13-2007, 02:30 PM
 
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HIYA!!! First off,

And, I have to tell you that I was slightly moved by your post. You sound excatly like how I feel (if that makes any sense!!). For example:

Quote:
Sometimes he goes to a play group and the group is very organized with the reading time, snack time etc..he has a hard time sitting still. While the other children are sitting down to snack time, he wants to be up wandering around checking stuff out
This is my little guy to a tee. We go to play group and for 'circle time' all the kids are expected to sit on their parents/caregivers lap and sing the songs and mimic the actions........well, my son is most happy dancing (and by dancing I mean spinning in a circle) in the middle of the circle. I get some glances from other parents and hear the occassional "wow. he's really busy" or "gee, he's got a lot of energy, hey?" I have learned to ignore it. My ds is wonderful and happy and full of life, and it's my job to nuture that; not try and mold him into a sheep.

Also,


Quote:
He is very affectionate and anywhere we go, he runs up to the other kids trying to hug them. Alot of the kids get freaked out and take off. I feel badly that I don't have him around other children all the time, and we are making an effort in that way. I just wanted to hear how others are dealing with this 'age'..and what to expect.
again, my little guy!!! He LOVES other children. He always goes for the bigger kids at the park and tries to play with them, and they usually just run away from him but that doesn't stop him from trying!

As far as what to expect, I think that's the best question you can ask. Set out your expectations before you begin a task. ie ~ we're going to play group, I don't expect ds to sit still for certian activites. or ~ we're going to the park and will need to cross the road, I expect ds to hold my hand.

I have found that toddlers love routine (no matter how much they fight it!) and sticking to a daily routine will help to give your ds stability.

Also, don't feel bad about not having him around other children constantly. Children are very adaptable and when the time comes for him to socialize, he'll do so in his own way.

A key thing to remember is that your son is creating his own experiences right now. As parents it very easy to want to control our childs experiences (especially at this age), in the sense that you may not take him to activities such as playgroups or parks to 'sheild' him from people making comments or kids pushing him away. That's not our job as parents. This has been the hardest lesson for me to learn, and one I struggle with every day. Your child will experience all these events differently than you see happening, and it's that experience that he'll learn from.

I've gone on quite a bit, but I just really wanted you to know that you're not alone and that there are LOADS of us mothers out there with 2.5 year old sons, shaking our heads and wondering when it's all going to end!

Take care, and again
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#6 of 13 Old 07-13-2007, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you "Jax's mum" for you words. I think what sparked this is that I had a friend over last evening and her children are 7 & 8 right now. She kept making comments to me about my son saying "he needs to be around other kids more" or "my children never did that in play group, at 1 year old my son knew when it was time to sit down"...I was very hurt because I never would cross that boundary with a girlfriend...to sit there and start picking at how she is rearing her child...I thought that was very rude.

Mama to one very active DS (5.5) Loving wife to my wonderful DH and our baby girl arrived on December 10, 2009
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#7 of 13 Old 07-13-2007, 05:01 PM
 
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Mama, your DS sounds like a normal and sweet 2 y/o. I think a lot of times the expectations that people have for kids are unrealistic. These expectations breed disappointment and insecurities in parents. We are led to believe in our culture that if we can't "control" our children, we are failing. Your little guy is doing exactly what a two year old should be doing. He's exploring this world that is still a very new thing to him. Is it possible for you to find a play group that is more conducive to a toddlers capabilities? Something that is ultra organized just doesn't seem to fit what I know of normal toddler behavior.

Don't let this get you down.
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#8 of 13 Old 07-13-2007, 05:38 PM
 
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Hang in there!!! My little guy is almost 2 and 1/2, and seems much more challenging than his older brother. I keep trying to remind myself that behavior that might be considered inconvenient, oppositional, or just downright disruptive is just his way of exerting his independence, exploring his environment, and expanding his mind. Kids brains are growing so fast at this age... it's hard to keep up!! And sorry, I don't know one two and 1/2 year old in my circle of friends that would quietly sit through a highly structured play group and follow directions on top of that. We plan a finger painting activity, and some kids are done after 45 seconds!! Then it's on to the next thing... You just hang in there, accept the craziness of it all, and enjoy the ride I guess...

mom to DS 7, DS 5 and DD 3 :
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#9 of 13 Old 07-13-2007, 06:08 PM
 
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Mama, just wanted to chime in and say that your son also sounds totally normal to me. My son is 2 1/2 this month, and while he's occasionally willing to sit still, he mostly wants to walk around checking things out. I have a theory, which is that kids who are being raised in a more natural environment (cosleeping, AP, child-led learning philosophies, etc) tend to feel far more comfortable "doing what they feel like doing." I'd take it as a compliment that your son is curious and feels comfortable exploring what interests him. I'd be surprised if you said your son has spent lots of time in a playpen. I think if you look at most "mainstream" kids, they've spent lots of times in playpens, left in baby swings, walkers, etc. They're used to being "contained" in a small area, and so when they have to sit, it's probably far easier for them. Convenient, perhaps, for adults, but not the best way to foster creativity and free-thinking. Congratulations on your liberated son!
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#10 of 13 Old 07-13-2007, 11:54 PM
 
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Welcome aboard!

Your son sounds perfectly fine to me. I honestly wouldn't pay any mind to that friend of yours. Everyone is a early childhood expert these days. Even people without children of their own. Everyone these days seems to want to label a child if they are not the perfect textbook, quiet child. Some children are not as active as others. I wasn't. I was very content to sit still and follow instructions. My daughter on the other hand is the complete opposite. Toddlers aren't meant to sit still for the convenience of playgroup parents or other adults. They're curious, busy, active, on the go types. The world is so new to them. There are so many new things to see and experience. And some toddlers are wriggly youngsters. I doubt your son has ADHD or anything like that. He's just a bright curious boy. Now if he were doing this at a playgroup at say age 4 or 5 it might be a slightly different story since they can follow directions and sit still longer than a toddler but at 2 1/2 I wouldn't worry.

Normal is just a setting on your dryer.
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#11 of 13 Old 07-16-2007, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by LaughinWillow View Post
Mama, just wanted to chime in and say that your son also sounds totally normal to me. My son is 2 1/2 this month, and while he's occasionally willing to sit still, he mostly wants to walk around checking things out. I have a theory, which is that kids who are being raised in a more natural environment (cosleeping, AP, child-led learning philosophies, etc) tend to feel far more comfortable "doing what they feel like doing." I'd take it as a compliment that your son is curious and feels comfortable exploring what interests him. I'd be surprised if you said your son has spent lots of time in a playpen. I think if you look at most "mainstream" kids, they've spent lots of times in playpens, left in baby swings, walkers, etc. They're used to being "contained" in a small area, and so when they have to sit, it's probably far easier for them. Convenient, perhaps, for adults, but not the best way to foster creativity and free-thinking. Congratulations on your liberated son!
Thank you for your words, and your response peaked my interest because you are bang on...he has never been in a playpen (or even a crib for that matter)...I received alot of grief from some when they found out that we are co-sleeping. I really don't know why it bothers others so much, in regards to how our family is? It's not like my child is in any danger.

Mama to one very active DS (5.5) Loving wife to my wonderful DH and our baby girl arrived on December 10, 2009
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#12 of 13 Old 07-16-2007, 09:46 AM
 
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Another post of support here! My DS is about the same age, and I'm always shocked when I see him sit for a circle or a meal (which he will do readily for the daycare teachers, but not when Mama's around ). Even at super fun events like fireworks, where other kids will sit and watch in awe, DS just wants to get up and walk around.

As for the hugging - you may want to take this opportunity to teach your little guy about other people's boundaries. My DS has a little friend that does the same as your son, and he mostly finds it intimidating to be hugged when he's not seeking a hug. It can be frustrating for me as a Mama, too - to see his space being invaded and his body not being respected over and over again, despite his objections. I'm not sure if that's the case with your DS' friends, but that could be one source of frustration from the other parent's perspective.

Mooooom! to  guitar.gifDS (1/05) and whistling.gifDSS (11/05).  TTC fingersx.gifour "ours" after VR on 10/12.  

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#13 of 13 Old 07-16-2007, 09:47 AM
 
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Hi! And welcome

I think I understand what you are going through all too well : For I, too, have a sweet 26 month old who 1. won't hold my hand 2. runs in the opposite direction I need him to 3. won't sit still in any situation outside of the house and 4. usually doesn't make it through more than 10 minutes of library storytime before having to be removed from the room (because of screaming).

Now, my 5 year old little girl? Sat perfectly still at even 1 year old for storytime. She held my hand at 2 and we walked everywhere without the stroller. She was still active and liked to have fun, but if you redirected her inappropriate behavior, she actually stopped doing the things that were dangerous.

Um, Jayce? Re-direction? Distraction? HA! That's funny.

I think personality (and maybe gender, too?) plays a HUGE role in your expectations. With Jaina, yes, I would expect her to be fine and well-behaved in that structured preschool like setting. Jayce? NO WAY!!!

Good luck and we are all here for you!
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