WWYD with a strong willed two year old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 01-28-2006, 01:42 AM - Thread Starter
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My perfect little baby turned two and now I have a monster. My youngest child is the reason I am done procreating I am so at a loss as to how to parent her. I feel like I am failing her. How on earth can a parent not know how to deal witht heir child. Ella was born at 24 wks and 6 days she stayed in hospital for 100 days and her older brother had died just two years priar so she is a little dare I say spoiled.

I now have this two year old that thinks she is the boss. She pushes, she bites, she won't sleep at all unless she is being touched by me. She will not eat unless it is spaggetti, pizza, eggs, or bananas. She trows toys, and generaly rules the house. She can be the sweetist thing but mostly I feel worn out. I was told by freinds to spank her so god help me I did. I smacked her hand when she threw a fit over her not being able to play with the computer. I had taken her away time and again, distacting her and even time out in the corner, she just kept going back and making a big deal about having the power to take the computer. I know the smack didn't work it made the stuggle worse she smacked me back thinking this is how to deal with issues. I tried hugging her and saying no hitting mommy but it felt stupid saying it cause I had just hit her. She didn't let me hug her anyway she arched and even bit my shoulder. So what whould you do to disipline a child who doesn't give up? Today I was told to just beat her while her and I were trying to get her winter clothes back on outside the school.
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#2 of 5 Old 01-28-2006, 02:06 AM
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I just love this book: Becoming the parent you want to be . The authors have a website and they give workshops and they might even take emails (I don't know for sure). I would start slow and read that book. Another good one is Dr. Sears The Fussy Baby Book . I've got a strong-willed child who is the product of two strong-willed parents. Our mothers tells stories about how we basically ran the show and left our younger siblings in our dust. We don't want our child to feel as if her feelings don't matter (like we were made to feel) nor do we want her throwing tantrums and making our lives miserable. I have found these two books very helpful. I am also reading some of Alfie Kohn's books because I know from my own and dh's experience and my experience with my almost three year old that punishments just don't work with a strong-willed, intelligent, stubborn child. (imo)

For food, we've stuck to the guidance of Ellyn Satter. She wrote Child of Mine and How to feed your child but not too much . My dd had an actual medically diagnosed aversion to solid foods (who ever heard of that before having kids) and these books helped a lot.

These are all widely available books so you could most likely get them at the library. I know that this sounds like a lot of reading, but do one at a time and I know you will find some answers.
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#3 of 5 Old 01-28-2006, 10:09 AM
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I too have a super strong willed child, my dd is now 3.5. Now, before I start, I am no expert and I always get told in this forum my ideas are bad, but I am choosing to post because I know exactly how you feel. It is really really difficult to parent a child that seems to have a stronger will than you do, and it is awful when other people suggest that you can beat your child into submission and that would be a good thing.

The tactic I have used when dd bit or hit me, was to tell her, I don't want to play with you when you do that, and I get up and leave the room. I go do something else. Usually dd comes to look for me and wants me to play with her, though sometimes she plays alone a while first. When she wants to play again, I generally do return to playing with her, though sometimes I discuss appropriate behavior first- depending on how much time has passed and such. This technique did not work the first 2 times, it had to be repeated Every time she was voilent, because she wanted to test me. And I have had to at times tell her "No, I don't want to play with you right now, you hurt me", because that is how I really felt. After implementing this consistently, my dd's behavior did get better about the hitting and biting.

On the subject of other behaviors, sometimes you have to rethink your expectations. For example- I make a point of serving my child a well balanced diet that I think should be appealing to a child, but I have made a choice that it is not my responsibility to make her chew the food. Actually ingesting the food is her responsibility, I just make sure its there. She'll eat.

I'm not sure I understand the computer issue. If your dc is trying to "use" the computer when you do, it maybe an attempt to get your attention and be involved in something you are engaged in. Unless you have to work from home, I might suggest limiting your computer time to times when your dc is otherwise occupied, so as to avoid the fight. Sometimes when children are doing these behaviors that make us nuts, its really about getting our attention. I have found with my dd that stopping myself and giving her my full attention like sitting with her to read a book or use blocks really helps. And sometimes I take her on my lap and let her push the keys.

I hope something in here helps. Being a Mom is really hard work.


Laura, Mama to Mya 7/02, Ian 6/07 and Anna 8/09
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#4 of 5 Old 01-28-2006, 05:46 PM
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Diane, many children with behavior such as you describe (particularly the aggression) have sensitivities to certain foods (dairy is a big offender, as are food dyes and preservatives). I know one of my children is much more calm and less aggressive when her food is free of dyes and other chemicals. Dairy has to be limited as well. Food sensitivities can also disrupt sleep. Some children are sensitive not only to food, but to how clothes and touch feel, to noise, to motion. And if a child is overwhelmed by sensory input, it's harder for them to behave well. Sometimes a child is very determined, and not easily distracted. I have such a child. Often I find that talking about how much she wants to, for example, touch the computer and empathizing with her helps a lot. I also will offer for even my 2 year old to type at the computer when I am done, and she is often agreeable to this (so long as I don't take too long to finish). A persistent child isn't a bad child, though it can be frustrating for the parent. I have found that creativity and a lot of deep breaths are vital.

Some children who refuse to eat except certain foods have food sensitivities, or are very sensitive to the texture/feeling of food and will limit themselves to only a few foods. I hope some of the mamas here who's children have food sensitivites will share their experiences.

I would also recommend, for an understanding of the more challenging end of the behavior spectrum, Raising Your Spirited Child and The Highly Sensitive Child. There's a book called Is This Your Child? that addresses food allergies and sensitivities, and the behaviors that can result from them. You might check out the Feingold Association website for some information about diet and behavior. I'm sure there have been many threads here addressing food and behavior.

My youngest child is the reason I am done procreating I am so at a loss as to how to parent her. I feel like I am failing her. How on earth can a parent not know how to deal witht heir child.
As far as this goes, know that you are not alone. There are at least several mamas here who are mamas of children who are very challenging, and these several mamas (including myself) have felt very much the same as you describe above. This is a thread where we have all shared some of our experiences and supported each other. You are welcome to visit.
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#5 of 5 Old 01-29-2006, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I have an answer. Her molars! Last night was the worst my husband was ready to beat her and i have to say I was going to let him. I gave her a last ditch snuggle and she bit my shoulder. I had a thought maybe it was teeth so I stuck my finger in her mouth and she had her second molars breaking through on the top of her mouth.

I knew my daughter didn't have any isues with allergies beccause I avoid sugar, Dye's, proccessed foods and our Dairy is very small and I give my kids lactaid due to their issues with lactose. I am helping a friend with her ADHD daughter and getting her on a core diet.

I hope this issue gets better when the teeth come in fully. I know she is strong willed and to smart for her own good but this is nuts and was getting impossible.
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