28 month old out of control ... don't know what to do - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-06-2006, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so at a loss for what to do for my almost 2 1/2 year old ds ... he is screaming, hitting, kicking, biting ... usually my 4 1/2 year old ds, though sometimes me or dh. He does it and laughs, and this is multiple times a day. If I'm not giving him 150% of my attention, then he goes to town (and lately that's only been when I need to go to the bathroom or get food together for a meal). Unfortunately I don't even have the energy right now to give him 150% if I wanted - I'm 32 weeks pregnant and uncomfortable and tired.

I feel like a large part of his behavior is related to being too tired ... he's not sleeping well at night and not usually napping well either (and he does still typically need a nap because otherwise he'll crash at 4:30 for a couple hours and then we are really in trouble at night). I told dh that there is not more loud/rough/energy play after 7pm, and that lights need to be out at 9pm (ds#2 is up religiously by 8am, though lately it's been earlier). I start my days sometimes in tears because I know it's going to be another really long, stressful, emotionally exhausting day and I can't keep doing it.

We are trying to switch from punitive discipline to gentle parenting, but I can't get him to stop biting/hitting/hurint, and sometimes I feel the only thing to do before I get angry and spank is to put him in his room by himself (closed door). I don't like doing that either. The rest of the time, when he's not being so aggressive and hurting, he is the sweetest thing, but his hitting/biting/etc is wearing me so darn thin. I don't like ds#1 being the target either ... he shouldn't have to live in fear every time his brother comes towards him. There are times I think ds#1 makes the situation worse, and we are talking with him about that (ignoring little brother, running away like he's playing chase, etc), but I want to know how to curb the hurting. They usually play so well together, but the little thing in ds#2's eyes will set him off (ds#1 making a new rule or even singning a song or something trivial). Then all holy heck breaks out, my blood pressures sky-rockets, and it stinks big time.

I really am at the end of my rope and don't know what to do ... I know this is probably a stage/phase, but when it's daily, numerous times a day, it doesn't matter how short-lived the phase may be ... one more day is one more day too many. Help please.

 Me + dh = heartbeat.gif ds (7/01), ds (11/03), ds (6/06)
and dd born 11/21/10 - our T21 SuperBaby ribbluyel.gif heartbeat.gif
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Old 04-06-2006, 01:44 AM
 
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What is DS2's language level? It sounds like he is incapable of verbally expressing what he needs. My first instinct would be to help him express what he needs/wants every time he begins to get aggressive. And then reinforce his words even if it's a short time.

I'll add more once you answer my question. (I'm an early childhood language specialist.)

p.s. Thank you for making the effort to not spank even when you feel the urge. I'm sure you realize how illogical it is to hit him when he hits you. Even being in his room is a much better step than spanking.

What we need to figure out is what he is trying to express when he hits/bites, etc. and how we can help him to express it in a non-aggressive way.

Early intervention specialist and parent consultant since 2002.
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Old 04-06-2006, 02:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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His expressive ability is much lower than his age (we had him accessed yesterday but haven't heard back yet) - they think he's at about 14 months expressively even though receptively he's much above his age. So, yea, he's definitely dealing with not being able to express himself. There are times he seems to do it because he seems bored (which baffles me given both boys' level of activity during the day). Other times, he just seems to be bugged with something and hits/bites/etc. I haven't yet been able to find a definite pattern - which I think if I could, then I could work on just avoiding the pattern to begin with.

The aggression, in the bigger picture, is somewhat new - maybe the last month or so. But it feels like it's non-stop. And yea, the whole "we don't hurt in our family - here's a spanking for your behavior" has never made sense to me. Before our new journey, we really weren't ever spanking parents, though ds#2 is such a different ball-game, so to speak, that he has made me reconsider at times (it's the parenting frustration of "I don't know what to do" which probably isn't much different than the toddler frustration of "I don't know what to do"). We want to be gentle with them and teach them rather than punish them. It is so hard to remember that in times of such trying behavior.

 Me + dh = heartbeat.gif ds (7/01), ds (11/03), ds (6/06)
and dd born 11/21/10 - our T21 SuperBaby ribbluyel.gif heartbeat.gif
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Old 04-06-2006, 03:07 AM
 
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and : If I had the answer to your problem/question, believe me, you and I would be a lot less exhausted and stressed .....
I know, all too well, the frustration and anger from dealing with an angry toddler all day long

I really think it's a combo of the pregnancy and his speech right now. I think some more signing and getting down to his eye level when you're talking to him, might help some. Also, what if every time he hits/bites/throws something, you remove him from the situation .....like take him to the front room or something and tell him he can play by himself til he feels like he can play nice with brother? I dont know.....just trying to think of something to kind of diffuse the situation.....OH, what about getting him one of those blow up punching bag thingys......and when he gets angry, you can direct him to that toy that he can hit? I just dont have too many great ideas as I'm in the same boat right now.....but I can offer you empathy and lots of hugs

Here's me I married then we had dd15 , dd11 , ds10 , and then and now we and I blog!
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