Having patience with whining and tantrums - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 06-04-2010, 02:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My sweet dd, who will be 23 months old next week, has seems to have disappeared. She has been replaced by a child who has a mini fit or whines (that is the best way I know how to describe it) any time she doesn't get what she wants immediately. She gets frustrated so easily and get angry and whiny when she wants something, like she doesn't know how to ask any other way or express her needs in any other way (which is probably true at this point.)

She wants to nurse ALL THE TIME! And she wants mommy ALL THE TIME! There have been a lot of changes going on lately. Would this be attributed to stress and changes, normal behavior at this age, or a combination?

How do you handle it gracefully? I've been feeling so drained lately and she really has become somewhat of a tyrant. I feel like "she's the boss" and I'm trying to please her to no avail. At the same time, I'm feeling resentful and burnt out.
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#2 of 14 Old 06-04-2010, 05:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by chipper26 View Post
My sweet dd, who will be 23 months old next week, has seems to have disappeared. She has been replaced by a child who has a mini fit or whines (that is the best way I know how to describe it) any time she doesn't get what she wants immediately. She gets frustrated so easily and get angry and whiny when she wants something, like she doesn't know how to ask any other way or express her needs in any other way (which is probably true at this point.)

She wants to nurse ALL THE TIME! And she wants mommy ALL THE TIME! There have been a lot of changes going on lately. Would this be attributed to stress and changes, normal behavior at this age, or a combination?

How do you handle it gracefully? I've been feeling so drained lately and she really has become somewhat of a tyrant. I feel like "she's the boss" and I'm trying to please her to no avail. At the same time, I'm feeling resentful and burnt out.
This is without judgment. I truly want to help.

This of course is just my opinion. Not the definitive answer.

I've highlighted the issue. She is the boss because she's stronger than you. She's 2. It's like submitting to an ant. Unfortunately, at this point, it's going to take a greater show of strength to reclaim the leader role than it does to maintain it.

That show of strength is going to have to come by the way associating a negative consequence (whether you simply ignore her pleas for attention, time outs, grounding, spanking, whatever fits your parental beliefs) and positive association for good things. This positive association can be just the absence of the negative consequences all the way up to extra showings of verbal praise, positive attention, or even tangible items.....if you absolutely must.

I've yet to see, with my own eyes, success from an only negative association or a only positive association method. I use the term, if you must, regarding tangible items because it can quickly become over used. Children are amazing brilliant and can very easily and very quickly pick up on the rules of the game and thus abuse it making the situation far worse.

One more thing I'll say in addition. Solely performance based child rearing is a poor model to follow. I don't understand the mentality of telling your children you are going to disney world in a week, if they behave. Does it work? I'm sure in some cases it does but the premise itself is flawed. It can easily cause a child to relate behavior as the gateway to your attention. This can backfire in quite a few different ways. Now, this is not to say there aren't other associations, perhaps even some positive, that can come from the exercise I mentioned but the negative possibilities are too great for me. If you are going to disney world, go to disney world. Tell them or don't tell them prior to the day but don't make everything performance based as a "if you don't perform you don't get a prize".

If your child does something extra or has just been performing consistently with their everyday activities, RECOGNIZE REWARD REPEAT! The idea of calling special attention to particular action via a forewarning of a reward system simply doesn't resonate with me.

Grain of salt added for you at no charge. Good luck!
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#3 of 14 Old 06-04-2010, 11:42 AM
 
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Solely performance based child rearing is a poor model to follow. I don't understand the mentality of telling your children you are going to disney world in a week, if they behave. Does it work? I'm sure in some cases it does but the premise itself is flawed.
Man! I so so so agree.

Except that actually it never works, even when it seems to, that is just a random success

A hint for the OP

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Originally Posted by chipper26 View Post
She wants to nurse ALL THE TIME! And she wants mommy ALL THE TIME! There have been a lot of changes going on lately. Would this be attributed to stress and changes, normal behavior at this age, or a combination?
Yes, both. Completely normal, even without the changes you mention. One of mine needed me ALL THE Fxxxxxx time, the other DW

Things to remember:

She's 2.

It will pass.

They go through phases of needs, and intensity.

It won't be cured by making her "grow up", so if she wants you to hold her, seems reasonable to hold her, unless you are driving or on the loo etc.

The whining and moaning (=unreasonable demands)....???


HEY! That is not at you. No. That is at some "other" person that you don't really know.

Survival of this can in part happen when you float over it... (observe, acknowledge situation, fix, get on with your jobs, be very zen about it all etc... if you offer her something and she throws it back at you... so ok, shrug, move on... her choice).

If you can disconnect yourself from the emotional anchors that are tossed at you by the little one that's in a pissy mood trying to drown you in it, but grab him/her up when they are reasonable, you don't re-enforce the unreasonable, but re-enforce the good.

Exceptions to this are if you are on the couch watching TV or on MDC while tyke is craving for communication. Prolly you know that already

Above all, remember this:

It is not your job to keep her happy/entertained/pleased/satisfied with your performance. That is her job.

Your job is to make sure that there is a good place for her to make that so.

The anti-Ezzo king
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#4 of 14 Old 06-04-2010, 01:52 PM
 
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My DD is 19 months and we have been going in and out of stages like this. I don't have any definite answers for you, but I can share with you a few things that seem to help us with the whininess...

Generally, if she is whining and I am not sure why, I will look her in her eyes and calmly say to her "DD, I don't understand what those whinny noises mean. Can you tell me using your words or your hands?" (We taught her some sign language).

If she asks for something in a whinny way I will say "DD, you are whining. Can you ask in a nice voice (nicer way) please?" She then usually says a really sweet smiling "Please" with the sign for please too. Then I say smiling, "Thank you for using a nice voice (or asking so nicely)" and give her what it is she wants. (If it is something I don't want her to have, then I use a different tactic, like explaining why not and offering something else or a distraction. Of course, this can also turn into a tantrum on her part. I will then try to help her get through the tantrum, but not give in to my position on the subject).

I have been sticking with these tactics and am finally seeing some progress. I have also been teaching her "What is the magic word?" and that the answer is "please." Sometimes this turns into a game and she answers with gibberish, which lightens the mood (usually).

On another note, I read somewhere once that just before a child makes a developmental leap, they will revert into more needy, overly sensitive behavior before making the leap. I definitely have found this to be the case with DD. We will have a few weeks of yucky behavior and neediness, then suddenly a few weeks to a few months of more settled and more mature behavior, usually with a new skill (crawling, walking, talking, etc) to boot.
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#5 of 14 Old 06-04-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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Here's great article that helped understand and accept whining

http://www.handinhandparenting.org/n...re-for-Whining

Joanna WAHM to DS 10/2007
You must be the change you wish to see - Ghandi
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#6 of 14 Old 06-04-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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Here's great article that helped understand and accept whining

http://www.handinhandparenting.org/n...re-for-Whining
Hmmmm. Reading through that, there is no connection to future development. It seemed concerned only with the immediate. This method of dealing with the immediate might work ok for some but for me, it's a poor immediate strategy as well. That being said, there were some interesting points that were made that caused me to think. You can learn something from anything in my opinion.

I talk to my 3 year old like a person, in most respects. She sees me all day talking to adults and that's what she associates as "communication" so to keep things connected and as to not confuse her, I just talk to her. I use words she understands and perhaps modify this method slightly, when appropriate, but she seems to respond well to me just talking to her without the singsong voice or patronizing tactics. We noticed a marked difference in her understanding and response when we started doing this.

Every child is different! When you find out what combination works for you, share it here. The most important thing is, you can not give up! Good luck!
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#7 of 14 Old 06-04-2010, 10:58 PM
 
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One thing that really helped me at this age was the realization that I didn't have to satisfy her every want. In fact, I probably shouldn't do that. It wasn't my job to fix everything for them so they wouldn't whine/tantrum.

Instead, my job is to help my children to learn to manage their emotions. This is a life-long process, obviously. But my kids need to learn that they can have strong emotions and live through them. When they're feeling out of control, they need me to remain calm.

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#8 of 14 Old 06-04-2010, 11:12 PM
 
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Gordon Neufeld addresses the power issue directly in his Right Relationships / Power to Parent series. Here's more info:

http://www.oneskycindyleavitt.com/7-presentations.html
http://www.gordonneufeld.com/booksvideos.php ("Power to Parent")

The DVDs are prohibitively expensive, but you can probably borrow the for free from your library (or through interlibrary loan). They are truly transformative!

Our local API group invited Cindy Leavitt (see the first link) to present some of the info in the DVDs and it was truly transformative. If you can access the material somehow, I think it would restore balance in your relationship with your daughter and give you some peace.

Have you seen the updated user agreement yet?
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#9 of 14 Old 06-04-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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Gordon Neufeld addresses the power issue directly in his Right Relationships / Power to Parent series. Here's more info:

http://www.oneskycindyleavitt.com/7-presentations.html
http://www.gordonneufeld.com/booksvideos.php ("Power to Parent")

The DVDs are prohibitively expensive, but you can probably borrow the for free from your library (or through interlibrary loan). They are truly transformative!

Our local API group invited Cindy Leavitt (see the first link) to present some of the info in the DVDs and it was truly transformative. If you can access the material somehow, I think it would restore balance in your relationship with your daughter and give you some peace.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUARKC7m2go

A short clip

Have you seen the updated user agreement yet?
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#10 of 14 Old 06-04-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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Thats about the time I started adding boundaries. Her tantrums shifted from being overwhelmed emotionally to "I am going to throw a fit until you give in." I didnt notice the shift at first and I found myself giving in without thinking. Then I realized I was creating a tantrum monster. I do let her express her anger and frustration but if she gets carried away I give her a time out. Its seriously a 30 second time out in her room with me on the other side of the door. I open the door and I ask her if she is ready to behave herself. Sometime she says no and I close the door for another 30 sec and sometimes she says yes and then I proceed to my next step.

I crouch down to her level, I hold her hands and look her in the eye. We talk about the situation and I give her a hug and tell her I love her.

Now when she tantrums I go through my HALT check list. If she is hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, I try to remedy it. If she is pushing a boundary, a warning is issued and then discipline follows. Sometimes DD asks for timeout to blow off some steam and thats ok too.

I am also learning her limits. ex I KNOW if we travel to visit family, or family comes to visit we need 2 days of strict routine when its all over. There is no point in shopping or taking her anywhere because its too emotionally taxing for her. The 2 days are a write-off and its all about her routine. For me, its too much to expect that she will go anywhere and behave and its really not fair to her.

Me(33), Mama to a crazy DD (6), Wife to a wonderful mountain man(32) BF my babe for 2 years.
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#11 of 14 Old 06-05-2010, 12:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the replies. There's a lot of info to think about. I do need to set more boundaries and realize that she's going to get upset sometimes and won't be happy all of the time.

I'm just not sure about how much consequence is appropriate at this age b/c she still seems so young. The other day she kept throwing water out of the tub with her toys and I kept telling her to stop. I took the toys away that she used to continue spilling water. Then she threw the WASHCLOTHS out of the tub and I proceeded to removed her from the tub. She had a fit but I felt it was a natural consequence.

So, that's is my form of discipline right now. ????
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#12 of 14 Old 06-05-2010, 03:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by To-Fu View Post
Gordon Neufeld addresses the power issue directly in his Right Relationships / Power to Parent series. Here's more info:

http://www.oneskycindyleavitt.com/7-presentations.html
http://www.gordonneufeld.com/booksvideos.php ("Power to Parent")

The DVDs are prohibitively expensive, but you can probably borrow the for free from your library (or through interlibrary loan). They are truly transformative!

I have read his book "Hold on to your kids" and loved it, it felt like it was a missing piece which helped me connect everything I've learned so far about AP and GD.
I'd love to get my hands on Gordon Neufeld's DVDs, will check my library.

Joanna WAHM to DS 10/2007
You must be the change you wish to see - Ghandi
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#13 of 14 Old 06-05-2010, 10:21 PM
 
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I'm just not sure about how much consequence is appropriate at this age b/c she still seems so young. The other day she kept throwing water out of the tub with her toys and I kept telling her to stop. I took the toys away that she used to continue spilling water. Then she threw the WASHCLOTHS out of the tub and I proceeded to removed her from the tub. She had a fit but I felt it was a natural consequence. >>>>>

At her age, expect water to be spilled, it's fun If you want to minimize water out of the tub lower the water level, eventually baths won't be such a mess and then you'll miss it
I wouldn't start consequences for negative behavior but you definitely don't have to please her all the time. I like the book Playful Parenting for this age, it gives great suggestions to lighten those times when power struggles/tantrums come out. At that age being tired and hungry can make tantrums come quickly so make sure she's getting enough sleep and snacking often

Cathy mom to 13 y/o DD, 10 y/o DD, 7 y/o DS

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#14 of 14 Old 06-06-2010, 01:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
One thing that really helped me at this age was the realization that I didn't have to satisfy her every want. In fact, I probably shouldn't do that. It wasn't my job to fix everything for them so they wouldn't whine/tantrum.

Instead, my job is to help my children to learn to manage their emotions. This is a life-long process, obviously. But my kids need to learn that they can have strong emotions and live through them. When they're feeling out of control, they need me to remain calm.
Just thought this bore repeating (re-posting). This is brilliant advice.

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