So tired of hearing how "securely attached" toddlers will not go through terrible twos. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 23 Old 03-28-2012, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, this post may just be a vent of sorts, but I'm kind of annoyed and burnt out. My 24 month old, high needs DS is a beast lately. We have done everything "right"...still breastfeeding, cosleeping, gentle discipline, etc., but he still has crying, screaming, hitting tantrums. I keep trying to look up what to do, and I'm met with the same information, which basically states that the securely attached toddler will be a joy to be around at all times. I was nearly in tears tonight because my DS was screaming and crying while I was trying to change his diaper. That's it. A diaper change.

 

Please tell me how your attached toddler acts, and how you peacefully and gently deal with it. I honestly feel like sometimes I'm just spoiling him, because I wasn't raised the way I'm trying to raise him, so I'm not sure what to do. My parents yelled and expected me to behave at all times. I don't agree with that style of parenting at all, but I feel like my style is failing as well, especially when I can't find info that says, "Don't worry, your child will scream like an animal and hit you even though you have tried to do everything right." 

 

I'm not alone, right?


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#2 of 23 Old 03-28-2012, 10:25 PM
 
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Not alone at all.  I think it's a complete myth that attached means "ANGEL" toddler.  Sorry.  I did attached parenting and I will tell you my first one was a mess, especially since she didn't like it at all.  She was an on her own running like crazy 10 month old.  And she never stopped.  The second one loved it all and was really a sweet baby to begin with.  Gentle discipline and attached parenting can be much harder on the parent who didn't experience it growing up themselves.  Give yourself time and start by setting limits.  Good luck mama

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#3 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 12:37 AM
 
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This is a really good website and details normal toddler behavior (including, yes, tantrums).
http://www.ahaparenting.com/ages-stages/toddlers
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#4 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 03:00 AM
 
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My very very securely attached toddler has been a hellish toddler. I sympathize, but I don't have much advice.
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#5 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 04:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

My very very securely attached toddler has been a hellish toddler. I sympathize, but I don't have much advice.


Mine sure was (and still can be!), too.  I wish I had more to offer, but I hope it helps knowing that you're not alone!


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#6 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 05:05 AM
 
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#7 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 05:07 AM
 
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Oh my goodness, who said that? Wow! This is all temperament IMO. My first had very terrible twos, and threes, and fours for that matter. My second has just been easy all-around. It has nothing to do with attachment, IMO, and in fact being securely attached can make them feel safe to "let it all out" around you.
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#8 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 06:06 AM
 
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My sister in  law works with pre-teens who have attachment issues.  She has really put things in perspective for me when I oberved to her that DD only seemed to throw fits and tantrums around me.  She`d be at daycare all day, totally fine, be picked up by grandma and be totally fine, then when I arrive, bam....screaming, crying fit.

 

Anyway, SIL explained to me that this was a sign of a highly attached child; she felt comfortable enough with me, her main "attachement" to fully express her feelings and let any frustration or anger she`s felt throughout the day come out.

 

 

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#9 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for the replies! It does help to hear that I am not alone, even if you don't have any advice. I definitely have more reading to do, but I was really feeling like a failure when my DS does exactly what a few of you said...he unleashes all of his horrible behavior on me. It made me feel like I must be the worst mother in the world because my kid treats me like crap. I'm so glad to know that it means he feels "safe" to do so with me!


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#10 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 06:47 AM
 
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totally normal!

 

Toddlers act out in those ways as part of their development, you are most aggressive as a human at age 2, whether or not you practised attachment parenting

 

Toddlers are learning to communicate and grow frustrated when they cant get out what they need to say, their testing and experiementing with their environment, their finding their place in the world and are moving towards wanting to be independant, theres lovely moments and there is tantrums

 

Toddlers need to know they have control over factors in their environment, the whole give two choices method can work "would you like the blue shirt or the red shirt today" "would you like juice or milk?" etc.

 

Giving a space just for them gives them a base for exploration and a "safe zone" a corner with books, toys of interest at the time, their art on the walls, etc. 

 

Moving from attachment parenting in infants to toddlers changes, i find its all about communication, for diaper changes, involve them in the process and ask them. "can I change your bumbum now? where's our wipes, can you grab mummy a diaper please?" etc 

 

Choose your battles, i feel i spoil my LO but im avoiding conflict and i always question myself if Im saying no, if its not an immediate safety concern, i let it go and let him learn

 

Toddlers see you ie) opening the oven, cutting with scissors, etc. and wonder "why cant i?" treated them as a equal can balance the frustration and allow them to feel apart of the household 

 

 


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#11 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 09:05 AM
 
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CanadianHippie: I don't know if "aggressive" is the correct term. I don't think a grown man conducting violent behaviour would be less "aggressive" than a baby.

 

Here is the scientific answer to your question, Mrs. T:

 

Two year olds are going through a state called "counterwill". It is a natural state that all children go through and is in fact a miracle of evolution that creates diversity. How? By ensuring your child ends up different than you. They go through another phase of asserting counterwill as (guess when) teenagers.

 

Attachment parenting will help you understand your child. We have to stop thinking of it as a means of controlling your child, and start looking at it as an investment in knowing your child.

 

Let's face it. You are going to screw up your child. You are not a perfect, processed human being. How many average Joes and Jennis have seen a counselor for a good 52 weeks or spent a weekend in silent meditation?

 

We are all screwed up. So get to know your children and thank the heavens that there are evolutionary checks in place to ensure they turn out different than you.

 

Here's a blog that mentions Gordon Neufeld. If you are interested in learning more you can read Hold on to your kids: Why parents matter by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate.  http://www.parenttrainingseattle.com/COUNTERWILL.html

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#12 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 09:33 AM
 
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Our newly-two year old is as "attached" as a child can be.  All the "crunchy" checkmarks in place.

 

Sometimes, he's a joy, a delight, and completely adorable.  Last night, he looked like a fury escaped from the depths of hell as he screamed, cried and ran at me with something or other raised over his head that he certainly was wanting to take my head off with.  I think it was over his wanting to eat a pair of kindergarten scissors or something.

 

As far as advice:  for the diaper karate, the only thing that works so I don't get kicked is what I think of as "stupid talk"--stuff like, "Is there a dinosaur in your mouth?"  "Did we see a green dog today?"  It is ridiculous, but frequently works.

 

You are WAY not alone.  This is why it's called The Terrible Twos.  In addition to children acting pretty terrible sometimes, it's rather terrible on the parents.

 

Since we don't have a crib that I could occasionally use to put our boy in when he or I are losing it, I have occasionally shut him in the bedroom with me on the other side when I need a minute to collect myself.  I try to get us out of the house every day and maintain social connections with mom friends and the world in general.  None of this will stop the tantrums, but it helps me cope.

 

By the way, I also have an older teen.  Perhaps the twos are training wheels for the teens.  Whew.

 

Good luck, mama.  My guess is you're a damn good mom who is just doubting herself.  Two can be very, very tough.  Wonderful sometimes, but still very tough.

 

eta:  Anybody who says AP guarantees a toddler with a steady disposition is misinformed.  Way misinformed.  It is a style of parenting and interaction, not a downpayment on compliance or behavioral stability.


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#13 of 23 Old 03-29-2012, 12:46 PM
 
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My most attached infant (ds2) has been, by far, my most difficult child. His terrible twos really were terrible...and they pretty much lasted until he was about five. But, he was the one who spent the most time being worn, had the best breastfeeding relationship (well, maybe dd2 has the edge) - perfect latch from the first attempt, nursed well, totally bonded, etc. He was cuddeld and hugged, and loved to bits, and he enjoyed it (dd1 didn't, so we had to back off with her). It's been hellish. He's been more work than my other three combined, and I say that with no exaggeration whatsoever. At age 6.5, he's roughly the same amount of work as, and sometimes more work than, his little sister, who is 2.5. He requires more patience than she does.

 

I hate blanket statements about this stuff. I'm pretty sure ds2 has special needs, even though he hasn't been diagnosed (well, yes - he was...preliminary diagnosis of ADHD, but I don't agree with it). That doesn't change the fact that he was a nightmare toddler, despite being securely attached.

 

And, dd1 was a very high needs baby, and a fairly demanding toddler, but by about 2.5 or so, had become really remarkably easy to deal with. She's still kind of volatile, but she's very sensible underneath it.

Generalizations about children and their behaviour are mostly worthless, ime.


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#14 of 23 Old 03-30-2012, 02:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtScienceDoula View Post

CanadianHippie: I don't know if "aggressive" is the correct term. I don't think a grown man conducting violent behaviour would be less "aggressive" than a baby.

 

Here is the scientific answer to your question, Mrs. T:

 

Two year olds are going through a state called "counterwill". It is a natural state that all children go through and is in fact a miracle of evolution that creates diversity. How? By ensuring your child ends up different than you. They go through another phase of asserting counterwill as (guess when) teenagers.

 

Attachment parenting will help you understand your child. We have to stop thinking of it as a means of controlling your child, and start looking at it as an investment in knowing your child.

 

Let's face it. You are going to screw up your child. You are not a perfect, processed human being. How many average Joes and Jennis have seen a counselor for a good 52 weeks or spent a weekend in silent meditation?

 

We are all screwed up. So get to know your children and thank the heavens that there are evolutionary checks in place to ensure they turn out different than you.

 

Here's a blog that mentions Gordon Neufeld. If you are interested in learning more you can read Hold on to your kids: Why parents matter by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate.  http://www.parenttrainingseattle.com/COUNTERWILL.html

 

Yes it is the correct term

 

is saying were all going to "screw up our children" part of your scientific answer as well?

 

that must be the correct term

 

maybe if I put "scientific" in front of my statement I attained from accredited instructors from the early childhood education field at college, I would have used the right term

 

scientific? the website states how babywearing to grocery stores is "treating a harmless infant in this way shows a fundamental lack of respect"

 

and says instead to "make arrangements for the other parent or a sitter to stay at home with the baby when there are errands to be run"

 

right


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#15 of 23 Old 03-30-2012, 03:42 PM
 
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I have 6 children , ranging in age from 15 years to 4 months and let me tell you , they are all different and they all went through the toddler years ( minus the new baby of course ) in a different way . 

I always spent a lot of time with my kids , they slept the first couple of years of their life in my bed , I breastfed as long as baby and I both felt comfortable and I did many other things , that even earned me some criticism from people , saying that spoil them , make them too dependent on me ( how a baby can not be dependent on his Mother ? confused.gif ) , etc .

But apart from ignoring unwanted , unsolicited  " advice " , I have realized one thing .

All kids will eventually push their boundaries , to see where their limits are . And who better to do it with than the people , they love the most and they know , love them ?

It may not be much consolidation for a Mother , who , at times feels , that the only thing saving their little tantrum - throwing monster is motherly love , but it is ( in my opinion ) a sign , that that little thing , that drives you up the wall , feels secure enough and sure enough of your love and eternal presence in his life , that he feels safe enough to express his feelings .

If I am not comfortable around someone , I hold back , it´s that simple !

Of course , one cannot let them get away with everything , since there are real moments where their safety for example is at stake , but overall , the more calm you ( try ) to be and the more he realizes , his antics will not get him any attention , the sooner he will learn to stop .

That is an important process , and I would consider it quite abnormal , if a child would not go through it .

Depending on their willpower and temperament , one will stop sooner , the other later , the only thing you can do , is to take a deep breath , maybe even leave the room , if practicable and remember , this too shall pass !

If he wants to run across the street , grab his hand and hold on , even if he is kicking and screaming ,

If he throws his food around , give him a warning , if it still flies after that , take it away . 

Of course , those things need to be altered to fit the individual child and situation , but I truly believe , with consistent love and discipline and not letting the child wind you up , you will have the most success .

I had moments , too , when I wanted to run out of the house screaming , as I am sure every Mother has at some point , but my older kids are all well -rounded , nice young people now and even my now 20 - month - old knows , even if Mommy doesn´t yell and scream at her ( which can be hard sometimes ) , she means , what she is saying 

It gives them security and structure and it is definitely not the Mother´s fault , if a two - year -old acts up . Anybody , who says that , either doesn´t have kids or is otherwise quite ignorant 


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#16 of 23 Old 03-30-2012, 07:51 PM
 
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People really say that? Wow. Both my kids are total AP kids and yet...they do the terrible two's with style and finesse irked.gif


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#17 of 23 Old 03-31-2012, 05:41 AM
 
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Oh yes , you cannot imagine , how often I have heard that crap , and funny enough , it always seems to be the Mother´s fault .

I actually told a very annoying member of our Church once , if he were around enough for his kids , then he could make some mistakes with them as well orngbiggrin.gif( sorry , but I couldn´t help myself ) 


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#18 of 23 Old 03-31-2012, 10:48 AM
 
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Wowzer, where do you hear this crazy stuff? I think the closest I've ever come to hearing this is a few moms on this site expressing a sentiment along the lines of, "I don't know why there's a term for 'terrible twos.' Age two was fine; it was age three that sucked." I think I've heard of AP or the continuum concept making older kids more cooperative (or not specifying age), which depending on your definition of AP, at least makes some kind of sense (I don't know whether or not it's true, but even if it's not, it at least makes sense that people would think that).

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#19 of 23 Old 03-31-2012, 11:13 AM
 
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WHAAAAAAAT?!

 

Apparently, mine did not get that memo! My now 6 year old was pretty much an extension of me until he was 3- but boooooy did we have tantrums and testing. Whoever is telling you this doesn't understand basic childhood development, I think!

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#20 of 23 Old 03-31-2012, 12:00 PM
 
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Plus , you really cannot generalize that ! Like I said , I have 6 kids and they are all different from each other , same goes for the so-called " terrible twos " .

My DS2 is 14 now and to this day , I am still waiting for him to go through that phase , he just never did orngbiggrin.gif


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#21 of 23 Old 04-02-2012, 06:12 PM
 
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I know how frustrated you feel Mrs. T,

 

After reading everybody's posts, I have now come to realize that my daughter is attached to me and that I am not alone. I did not have terrible twos. I had the horrible 3s and 4s happen to seem to be better. I am home more often now and am learning how to manage my temper and how to redirect my daughter's temper. Now I am coming to a point of establishing chores like picking up after herself and making her bed (with some assistance) before being able to go outside or to our sunroom play area. The problem has to do with getting her to do these things. Some days are easy and some days are extremely difficult. To the point of not allowing her to play with her toys for a period of time because she would not pick them up.

 

Any advice?

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#22 of 23 Old 04-02-2012, 07:29 PM
 
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I have five children ranging from 9 down to almost 2.  They have ALL gone through a tough toddler period at some point.  My almost four year old is just edging out of it and I can see the almost two year old gearing up.  Fortunatly, the bigger kids have all out grown it, so I know that it ends!  AND I am happy to say that the bigger kids have become secure and independent.  Actually, they are more secure than their non-AP'ed peers.  Which I find reaffirming!


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#23 of 23 Old 04-02-2012, 09:44 PM
 
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Yeah, it's as annoying as the people who told me that if my child was securely attached, he wouldn't go through separation anxiety. ROTFLMAO.gifDs started at four months and it lasted pretty much until 4 1/2. He's still a pretty cautious kid. It's his temperament. Dd didn't show much separation anxiety at all, but boy did she tantrum. (Actually she still does, and she's 7. It's getting better, but she's got some powerful emotions.)

 

Attachment has nothing to do with typical developmental stages. Or with temperament. It really doesn't.


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