2 year old hitting, kicking, screaming at Mom - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-18-2008, 09:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope you can help me. I am at my wit's end and I know I am not handling things right. I end up screaming at my 26 month old son and I just feel like a monster. I have a very high needs son. He has hit the independence phase and overall its awesome to watch him growing by leaps and bounds. I expect the "No"s. But my son doesn't just say no, he screams at the top of his lungs, hits me, kicks me - and hard. He's not ready for potty learning yet but every diaper change (we use cloth) is a wrestling screaming match. I will see that he is wet and ask, "Emerson, is your diaper still dry?" He will say it is, I'll check and its wet. I'll say, "Oh looks like its wet, we need to get a dry one for you. You don't want to be in a wet peepee diaper." He'll scream "No" and run away while I get the new one and wipes. I will try to talk him into submitting willingly to a diaper change and it goes nowhere. Finally I will say, "OK, I asked you nicely, but now we just have to get it changed." At which point I have to chase him down, lay him on the floor and get the old one off. He is screaming NO and NO DIAPER at the top of his lungs the entire time. I try talking in a calm voice telling him it will be done quickly if he sits still and then he can go back to playing. He can't hear anything I am saying because he is screaming. I slide the new diaper under him, he lifts his bottom and yanks it out the other side. He aims for and kicks and hits me in the face. He's gotten me in the eyeball, nose, chin... It takes one hand to hold his feet and another to move the diaper back under him. Everytime I am in range he'll take a swing at my face. We go over and over with me wrestling the diaper under him again and then he yanks it out. I end up having to pin his legs down with a leg and block his hands with one hand while I struggle to get the diaper under him. Eventually I will get it on, but by then I am usually so frustrated and often sick of being abused - and I am screaming back at him that he can not hit and kick me and that it is not going to work to get what he wants. Then by the time I get it on, its a about a 30% chance he's going to rip it off anyway unless I can get a pair of pants on him fast enough - which he fights just as strongly. He pees every 30 minutes, so this ordeal is like 24 times a day just for the diapers. I get the same reaction with trying to give a medicine he desperately needs to take everyday. I haven't successfully gotten it into him in 4 days. I try many gentle approaches and eventually have to pin him down with my legs and hold his hands in one hand. Then I finally get the syringe in his mouth and he will spit it all back out at me. I've tried putting it in juice, smoothies, ice cream, pudding, pancake syrup on pancakes... he just refuses to eat or drink and nurses all day instead. In between fits he's an angel - its so frustrating. As long as I am not trying to get him to do anything I need or want him to do we're great. But there are some things I MUST get him to do or let me do for him. HELP! I feel like such a terrible monster of a mother when I lose it and yell back at him. He can't hear me otherwise though. I have tried leaving the room sometimes and he actually chases me to hit me I have closed myself in another room and tried to tell him I will come out when he has calmed down. He can't hear me because he's screaming and kicking my door. Sometimes I let him go naked but after the 5th or 6th puddle of pee on the carpet - or poop in a corner I just can't take it anymore. Please give some advice on what to do differently.

Thanks so much,
Melissa

Melissa 38 DH 47, Emerson '06, Arrow '09 angel2.gif, and Drake Valan EDD 12/22/10.
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:04 PM
 
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Wow, that sounds really frustrating and stressful!

You can take whatever I say with a grain of salt as my DD is only 5 months. I have however, worked as a nanny before, especially with 2-3 year olds.

Is it possible to change his diaper standing up? Do you use prefolds? That would probably be difficult. But if you have pockets or fitted diapers, this might be possible. Does he have a favorite toy he could put diapers on? When I was helping a little boy potty train, I found that letting his dump truck use the potty first always helped him to sit on the potty.

For the medicine, is there some way you could start taking "medicine". Like a shot of probiotics or multi-vitamin or something? You could be all casual about it like "Oh, Mommy is going to take her medicine now!" Could there be a reward like a sticker for taking your medicine calmly?

Good Luck.

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Old 12-18-2008, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate your response. We are not PLing yet. We are in the pre-PLing stage. He knows about the potty and I've had him try sitting on it, but he isn't ready to try going yet. We are using cloth WAHM made diapers from various Hyenacart WAHMS, all with side snaps. I do offer to change him standing up and once in a blue moon he goes for it, though often we only get as far as getting the old one off and then he makes a mad dash out of the room. He has no interest in putting diapers on anything, and if you ask him he will throw the diaper at you and run away screaming just because you mentioned the word diaper, LOL!

We take vitamins together and he loves vitamins. He chews the oil out of a cod liver oil capsule and takes some B-12 as we rarely eat red meat. He has a multi he will sometimes take. The medicine I have to give him is admittedly foul. If he swallows it fast its not bad, if he keeps it in his mouth it foams up. I prefer to give it in a drink or food, but he can tell its there and will refuse to eat or drink all day if I try it. He appears to be pretty non-bribable, LOL! I have offered stickers and he doesn't care, or he'll just start screaming if I don't immediately give them to him before I can even explain what the rules or objectives are. So far any reward type system I've tried to introduce just induces an immediate fit because he doesn't want to wait for anything. So its like teasing him with it and then taking it away in his mind I think.

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Old 12-18-2008, 11:13 PM
 
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I'm sorry my suggestions weren't helpful.

On the medicine, is there any way the pharmacist could flavor it or make it more palatable?

Jenna in love with my DH Jon, loving our 2.5 year old, Caroline Tulip, and expecting another little one in August!
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We just had one successful diaper change! I pulled out 3 and told him how pretty each one was and what was on the fabric (puppies, dragons, wizards) and asked him to pick which one he wanted me to put on him. He actually went for it! Now I have no illusions it is going to work every time, LOL! But that was a relief! He actually willingly laid down to get changed. The medicine is the Orange flavored Natural Calm magnesium supplement powder, and the only thing that allows him to poop. He has now not pooped in 4 days. We tried everything under the sun as this problem has gone on since about 10 months old. Diet, fiber, flax, probiotic, laxatives, suppositories, etc... This is the only thing that works without causing painful cramping. He will probably need to take it daily for a year or so at least for his colon to return to its proper size. Looong story....

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Old 12-18-2008, 11:36 PM
 
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Oh Mama I am so right there with you on the diaper thing!! Mine isn't hitting or anything but the diaper change is RIDICULOUS!!! DD is 27 months what works sometimes...more often than not lately...is to let her take the diaper off unless we have a poop then I give her a "princess pillow". right under her head on the couch (We use fuzzi bunz).Also we have many dolls that fit into the newborn fuzzi's so she gets ALOT of practice changing her dolls.
As far as the hitting and spitting and such we found the Hands are not for hitting, feet are not for kicking,teeth are not for biting books to be an excellent supplemnt to reminders that "We are gentle people".

It is soo soo hard Big hugs!! Remember "This too shall pass".
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:04 PM
 
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I was just coming to write the same post. ds is 29 months. he started the hitting late. I just got in a big "fight" with him about diapers. he doesn't want a diaper change, nor traing pants nor the potty nor does he enjoy being naked! please tell me what is left? he is whinny and crying and screaming at home. out of the house he is so good. he is a very good kid going through a very bad stage. i'm afraid though that if i can't deal with it then he could learn some bad habbits from me. i am a very calm parent, but i was raised by a yelling parent. sometimes it just comes out of me. like before the diaper change he was all over hitting me. i tried to put him farther from me but he just came back. then he lunged at my back while i was changing his sister (to hit me). I yelled, probably the loudest i ever have yelled at him "don't touch me!" i feel so touched out if you know what I mean. Well the yelling shocked him. I still feel bad. Like I said I don't want him to learn these things from me like I apparently learned them from my mom. It is very for me to learn to stop yelling every time I got upset and sometimes I still can't help myself. Last night I was at my SIL and they were yelling at their two girls all night and the girls were yelling, screaming, and crying all night too. Just reminds me that the yelling,hitting and intimidation approach really doesn't work no matter what some people want you to believe.
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:43 AM
 
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I would love to hear more responses to your post!

The problem we have at our house is that Dh wants me to spank DS if he hits me. I tell him that makes a lot of sense. Lets spank him to teach him not to hit. So, I don't tell Dh if DS has hit me. I just hold his hands and tell him "don't hit Mommy" and yes, I have yelled at him.

Any more alternatives to changing diapers? I ask this because my poor Mother has wrestling matches with DS to change his diaper and she has a hard time bending over, it winds her.

laural
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Old 12-22-2008, 05:26 PM
 
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My kids are long past the diaper stage, but does he really need to be changed every 30 minutes?? That sounds like alot. I always changed immediately for bm's but not for wet diapers... just a thought

When he does get a change, is he allowed to hold onto a toy that he is playing with? Often, if it is something small that could be held in their hand, I'd let them hang onto it for larger items I might let them know it would be safe til we returned and he could play with it as soon as we were done.

One last suggestion is not asking if he is wet- especially since he is saying "no" and you are having to change him anyway. I would try saying "time for a diaper change" or "I can see you need a change- would you like to hop or tiptoe to the bathroom?"

I like your idea of offering him choices on the diaper patterns, and he liked it so maybe he'd like a choice on how to get there. Maybe, when possible, offering a choice of when too- like "we can go now or I can set the timer for 5 minutes and when it rings we'll go"

:goodluck
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Old 12-22-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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I do not mean to be rude or disrespectful in any way, but here is what I think.

You are giving your son all control over you, your home atmosphere and your schedule. This is more than just a phase- it will continue as long as you let it continue. Believe me, I have seen this in one year old babies and in 12 year old adolescents. This is not ok, but it is something that he is being trained into by your tolerance. You have got to put an unequivocal, complete stop to his actions. I was greatly saddened to read your post, and of the troubles you are having with your son. I am sorry that you are having to deal with this. But you must deal with it, and you must deal with it firmly.

By closing yourself into another room, you are leaving your son free to roam around the house and hit and smash anything in his path.
When you do not promptly punish him for hitting or kicking you, he learns that he can get by with it next time. (a toddler's kicks can really hurt. If he's not trained out of this destructive behavior, think what he will be like at 7 or 12 or 15 when he is bigger and stronger than you are)
When you wrestle him for 20 minutes to change his diaper, that teaches him that you probably won't make him stop his fit next time.
We train people how to treat us. If my son grows up to talk disrespectfully to me, chances are it is because that is what I allowed when he was growing up. But if you demand respect and obedience, it will be better for all involved for him to give in.
I know this is the gentle discipline board, and I don't know much about GD. Maybe spanking, (which, frankly, would be my suggestion) isn't for you. Then find some other way to get his attention that is for you. These fits need to be counter productive for him, or he will never stop them. Have you ever seen a grown woman embarrass her husband and children by yelling at the waiter or just complaining loudly because her order at the restaurant wasn't right? It takes a while to grow that, and it starts when they're young.
Instead of hiding his medicine in his food and letting him think that he got his way in not taking it (doesn't sound like that's working anyway) tell him that he MUST take it. And enforce that. Instead of trying not to change him as often as you need to or trying to find easier ways around it so you don't have to go to all the effort of fighting him, force him to comply.

YOU are the boss. You are the mommy, and the one who is in charge. If no one is in control, the whole house will be in chaos. If the toddler is in control, the house will be in chaos. God put you here to take care of your baby. To train him to be a good man, considerate, thoughtful, and pleasant. No one likes a brat. Do you really enjoy your son most of the day? Is his sweetness between tantrums really making up for all the stress he puts you through during them?
You must regain control of yourself and your son for the happiness of both of you, as well as the rest of your family. Not only will you enjoy him more, he will be happier when he learns to obey on command. Getting to that point will be hard, but once you're there discipline will be much easier, and needed much less often.
It's not an easy road, but it can be done.
Good luck!!

Proud Army wife and Momma of two.
Jay-my precious boy 2/20/08 & Caroline-my beautiful HBAC baby 8/22/09 :
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:49 PM
 
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You deserve a big, big hug. I could have written your post. My son is a little over two and a half, and usually he is pretty sweet and good....but when you ask him to do anything he doesn't want to do, put him in a chair, give the wrong cup, get in the carseat, change a poopy diaper, put on a coat, etc he launches into very similar behavior, as you described. I get kicked, punched, bitten, and more. And once the adrenaline kicks in, it just goes on and on. Its very frustrating, because you do so much for them, but they seem like they couldn't care less. And I feel that same angry feeling like a monster mother, and fear that he's going to grow up awful. And, he rarely does this to anyone but me, which hurts.

1. First, don't take it personally. (I need to take this advice, myself!!) He totally loves you, you're his mommy.
2. Second, other toddlers are like this too, not just yours - you are not a uniquely awful mother!
3. Third, anyone would get upset when someone is violent or disrespectful towards them and make it difficult to get anything done; your feelings aren't wrong, or bad, but can't be vented on a child, so its extra frustrating.
4. Would a child psychologist help for a few sessions? I went to one, and we worked on my coping strategies, normal child development, discipline techniques when necessary, and just comparing with other kids and learning that his behavior isn't totally abnormal.
5. This too will pass - not that you should do nothing, but someday he will be more logical and cooperative.
6. Was he a late talker? My son is, and he is still learning that he can ask for something instead of melting down and screaming...its been a slow process.
7. One thing that helps me with diaper changes....I give my cell phone on speakerphone, and dial up daddy, or grandma or whoever....even if it goes to voicemail, it occupies him long enough to get the $()&^$ diaper on!!

Good luck, and hang on. I"m sure he really is a good boy, and probably going to be really cool...but just needs more YOU than the average kid.
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:16 PM
 
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I too am in the hitting/kicking/thrashing diaper change stage. My son is only 20 months (almost 21 months), and he is an absolute terror to change. I have been bargaining with him for nearly every diaper change lately, which I am sure it going to backfire on me at some point, but it helps for now.

I was asking him if he was wet or poopy, and he would say "no" and walk away from me. Now I just go and collect what I need and then go find him and walk him over to the diaper changing area. He usually goes with me willingly until I try to lay him down. He will nearly every time completely freak out. I will let him scream for a minute and then ask him if he wants to play with his cars/go have a snack/go outside/whatever I know he wants to do. When he says, "Yes!", I say, "Well, let's change your diaper and then we will do that." It works about 75% of the time, which is nice, but the other 25% of the time, I literally have to wait for him to scream himself out. There is no way to change a poopy diaper on a thrashing 25 pound toddler. There is just no way to hold him down without getting a foot in the face or poop from one end of the living room to the other.

I am sorry you are going through this. I will be watching this thread closely to gain some more perspective for myself as well.

Formerly single Mama to the zaniest boy on the block, born on my birthday on 3/28/07. Soon to be Mama to a new little and can't wait to bfinfant.gif and femalesling.GIF and familybed1.gif again! 
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Somehow just posting this has helped, LOL! I've been better at being creative in my handling of his outbursts and he's actually getting a little past it I think - at least for now

I don't have any response for the comments regarding spanking and controlling. I don't really think I need to address that here since most people here probably just rolled their eyes at that the way that I did

But, Daddy has been around more the last couple days and that of course helps because so much of his emotions are wrapped up in how much he misses his father. And of course he responds much better to daddy right now.


I KNOW all of this is normal. I am lucky enough to have a best friend that is an AP Momma with 4 kids worth of experience including one only 3 weeks younger than my son. And she is dealing with the same stages.

I do try letting him hold a toy as a distraction and occasionally that still works though I sometimes just end up with it thrown at my face. Some times I can convince him by telling him what fun thing we'll do when we're done. Sometimes he likes picking his next diaper. Sometimes he just won't cooperate. He's 2. They do that

I found a solution for the medicine though! Found a flavorless version which I can hide in Sprite. The down side is he is drinking a little sprite for breakfast everyday, but I don't think that is the end of the world.

I didn't even mention the nightly tantrums over sleeping/pseudo night weening due to his flourosis (Severely weakened teeth etc). But we've made progress on that front now. Our compromise is that he now knows he CAN nurse at night but he will have to wake up enough to drink water when he's done to rinse his teeth, or we'll have to get up and brush teeth. Otherwise he doesn't get to nurse in bed. He seems to be getting that and willingly rinsed his mouth several times last night. I just hope I am doing enough to preserve his teeth. Because he is definitely NOT ready to night wean.

One of the best ways I've found to deal with many of his fits is to stop talking, stop trying to reason with him, stop trying to touch him. It only fuels the fire. I try to be silent and available unless he hits me etc. Then I tell him, you cannot hurt my body, so I am going somewhere else. If he is screaming at the time I just get up and walk away quickly. Usually the quickness makes him call for me to come back. I tell him I will stay if he doesn't try to hurt my body again.

As to why so many diaper changes. We are in pre-PLing stage where you try to let them feel as soon as they are wet so there is no insert in the diapers etc. The instant he's wet we change him so he will start noticing when he goes and how it feels. THAT SAID, given how much drama was going on, we have discontinued that for now. Instead we are using highly absorbent dipes and doing minimal changes for now. One battle at a time when possible

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Old 12-30-2008, 04:07 AM
 
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I have to agree with one battle at a time.

So far, my Little Man has improved in his diaper changes. Grandma is really sick right now so we don't have to worry about her changing him anytime soon. But we will address that when it comes.

I am glad your LO tantrums are lessening. Perhaps he was not ready to start potty training yet and was really reacting to it.

Happy Holidays!
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:41 AM
 
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I wanted to send you hugs. I have a High Needs little man- Jake is now almost 7 yrs and he's still high needs. It DOES get better. I felt with my LO that I had to 'get controll' of his behavior, and he spent far too much time in time out, or rarely being spanked. Jake now has issues controlling himself, and trusting ME to help him. We are working on it though. I'm glad you rolled your eyes over the suggestion to spank. It does not work very well with HIGH NEEDS kids.

Sounds like you are making progress with his tantrums. I urge you to be consistant in how you respond. If it's working- keep doing it EVERY TIME!

Another way to get kiddo's (that are nursing) to take mediccation is to put the medication into a syringe- while you are nursing put the syringe in LO's cheek and push in a little medication. It may take a while to get the medication down him/her but it does work.

My best advice, is to breathe. It's hard having a HIGH NEEDS kid, heck it's hard having a kid! Take that moment for yourself when you can. DON'T feel guilty for giving him sprite- because I would rather have a LO that will POOP than worry about soda. Also, take things slowly. High Needs kids have a hard time with transistion. He sounds like he is making leaps and bounds in the development department and I think you will see some major changes in the next few weeks.
Also, try talking to him about it when he's NOT screaming at you. Have daddy talk to him too "DS, we DO NOT hit mommy. Remember, don't hit mommy- use your words. Say MAD." and practice saying MAD with an angry face- they get a kick out of that. If daddy is his 'controll center' it's best comming from daddy. You need to talk about it too- but it should start with daddy.

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Old 12-30-2008, 06:03 AM
 
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My son went through/still goest through this at diaper time (he's 27 months). Sometimes because he didn't want his diaper changed sometimes because he thought it would be fun to see my reaction. We change our kiddos on top of the dryer. Its too tall for him to get down but he is respectful of the height and won't try to get down on his own. If he starts kicking I tell him that I am walking away and will finish his diaper when he is done kicking. I stay within eyesight the whole time but he just wants to finish it so he'll usually say "done kicking" pretty quickly and I can finish.
To help him enjoy diaper changes more we come up with little games. Right now he likes "Don't you smile at me....Don't you laugh at me....Don't you blow kisses at me..." I just name things and exagerrate being surprised by him doing the things I ask him not to do. He also likes the Wheels on the Bus song and he'll tell me which verse to sing next. I let him bring a book to read if he wants to or I'll engage him in a conversation about what we're going to do for the rest of the day. He also really loves it if I run his cloth wipe under warm water so I can bribe him with that. Another thing he likes is if I exaggerate how stinky his diaper is....definitely a boy!
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:16 AM
 
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As for the diaper changes... I know this is gross- but the ONLY way I could change diapers was to give my kids a wipe. A disposable wipe. They would suck on it- wipe off their faces- fingers whatever. Might help- I know you use cloth but I do too but use commercial wipes.

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Old 12-30-2008, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am happy to say this phase seems to suddenly be over He has started telling me he needs his diaper changed and even laying down for me. I can't claim any credit. He's just in a big developmental surge. So take heart if you are dealing with this too, apparently it doesn't last forever

Melissa 38 DH 47, Emerson '06, Arrow '09 angel2.gif, and Drake Valan EDD 12/22/10.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMommaBear View Post
I do not mean to be rude or disrespectful in any way, but here is what I think.

You are giving your son all control over you, your home atmosphere and your schedule. This is more than just a phase- it will continue as long as you let it continue. Believe me, I have seen this in one year old babies and in 12 year old adolescents. This is not ok, but it is something that he is being trained into by your tolerance. You have got to put an unequivocal, complete stop to his actions. I was greatly saddened to read your post, and of the troubles you are having with your son. I am sorry that you are having to deal with this. But you must deal with it, and you must deal with it firmly.

By closing yourself into another room, you are leaving your son free to roam around the house and hit and smash anything in his path.
When you do not promptly punish him for hitting or kicking you, he learns that he can get by with it next time. (a toddler's kicks can really hurt. If he's not trained out of this destructive behavior, think what he will be like at 7 or 12 or 15 when he is bigger and stronger than you are)
When you wrestle him for 20 minutes to change his diaper, that teaches him that you probably won't make him stop his fit next time.
We train people how to treat us. If my son grows up to talk disrespectfully to me, chances are it is because that is what I allowed when he was growing up. But if you demand respect and obedience, it will be better for all involved for him to give in.
I know this is the gentle discipline board, and I don't know much about GD. Maybe spanking, (which, frankly, would be my suggestion) isn't for you. Then find some other way to get his attention that is for you. These fits need to be counter productive for him, or he will never stop them. Have you ever seen a grown woman embarrass her husband and children by yelling at the waiter or just complaining loudly because her order at the restaurant wasn't right? It takes a while to grow that, and it starts when they're young.
Instead of hiding his medicine in his food and letting him think that he got his way in not taking it (doesn't sound like that's working anyway) tell him that he MUST take it. And enforce that. Instead of trying not to change him as often as you need to or trying to find easier ways around it so you don't have to go to all the effort of fighting him, force him to comply.

YOU are the boss. You are the mommy, and the one who is in charge. If no one is in control, the whole house will be in chaos. If the toddler is in control, the house will be in chaos. God put you here to take care of your baby. To train him to be a good man, considerate, thoughtful, and pleasant. No one likes a brat. Do you really enjoy your son most of the day? Is his sweetness between tantrums really making up for all the stress he puts you through during them?
You must regain control of yourself and your son for the happiness of both of you, as well as the rest of your family. Not only will you enjoy him more, he will be happier when he learns to obey on command. Getting to that point will be hard, but once you're there discipline will be much easier, and needed much less often.
It's not an easy road, but it can be done.
Good luck!!
:

I know everyone else just rolled their eyes at this, but I just can't. If I want something I can train and control and expect numb-minded, blind obedience from, I'll get a dog. You should probably read some of the material on what GD is about before making comments like this, as you'll see that they are totally the opposite of helpful for parents who are trying to gently guide their children.
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Old 12-30-2008, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree, but I figure its about as pointless as yelling at a rock. For someone to come to this forum and say such things pretty much demonstrates the uselessness of arguing with them Not to mention the specific things she said and how she said them. Not worth arguing with. Not open to other ideas at all - all about control and domination. Really disappointing. But that point of view is still around unfortunately, and lots of little ones are getting the adventurousness and curiosity squelched or beaten out of them among other things...

ETA: Not to mention she's already been proved quite wrong - the phase HAS passed.

Melissa 38 DH 47, Emerson '06, Arrow '09 angel2.gif, and Drake Valan EDD 12/22/10.
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