I'm losing my mind ! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 11-01-2007, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok.... I really need some help, support whatever, just please no criticizm. I have an 18 month old little boy. He is a good kid for the most part but lately he has been just not himself. I mean, he knows right from wrong and he is a very smart little boy. He will do somethin on purpose just to get a rise from me. If it weren't that he would probably hurt himself it wouldn't be a big deal, but I'm affraid he will. That stuff I can handle, because I just have to get up a lot and get him down. However.... he now does this high pitched, crack the glass scream when he doesn't get his way. I will be honest... I want to punch him... but I don't. He did it for a little while but it was because he discovered his voice, so I would tell him to whisper and he would. Well not if he doesn't get his way or doesn't get what he wants fast enough, he just screams bloody murder and I can't handle it. I am having a lot of health issues right now as it is and I get very anxious and lose control sometimes. I never have hurt him and never will, but I will be honest I tapped him on the lips one day... he cried but it was because it hurt his feelings. I soon realized it was because I didn't know how else to handle it so that's why I came her, to get advice, ideas or whatever. I don't want to lose my temper. I love my son more than anything and I want to be a good mommy. I am going on short term disability with my job for a while and I hope that speding a lot of time with him might help us. My best friend thinks he does this because he is acting out because I work. That makes me feel even worse because I have to work. She gets to stay at home with her son and doesn't have to leave him crying and screaming not to go. I just need help. He is such a sweet little boy. I do notice he tends to act out a little more if he is tired. He is great for a lot of the time but sometimes if he is in a "mood" he will just scream. Anyway....any help will be great.
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#2 of 8 Old 11-01-2007, 01:03 AM
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Hey Mama!

I know exactly how you feel! I wish I could tell you how to fix it, once and for all, but I'm afraid your baby's behavior is...totally normal. I used to wonder which was worse, thinking my son was wacko, or KNOWING he was normal
I recommend that you read a few books on child development, just to familiarize yourself with what you can realistically expect from him. I like books by Don Dinkmeyer, but you can find a lot of info on the web, too. Just be cautious about advice you take. I know for sure that spanking never works the way we really want it to (or the way some people say it does), and neither does being bossy. As the adult in the relationship, it's up to you to be "in charge" energetically. Which can be tough when you don't feel well. I can tell you it is normal for kids this age to SEEM like they are trying to make you mad, but what is really happening is that he is individuating, or becoming aware that he is a separate person. But 18 month olds don't yet have the part of their brain that allows them to see situations from the perspective of another. They want what they want and really are not yet capable of understanding why someone else might be inconvenienced by it. Right now, your best ally is action. Words should accompany your actions, but it is unrealistic to expect an 18 m o to 'obey' (gah, i don't like that word). You will have to model the behavior you want to see A LOT before he will get it. For instance, if you want toys picked up, YOU must do it, hopefully with his cooperation, but if not, do it cheerfully. After a little while, he will begin to see that that is just what people are supposed to do. I believe we need to be more concerned with the principle of the situation, in other words, show him that you value the toys being picked up MORE than you value MAKING him do something. At some point (not yet) maybe around 3 or 4 you can start introducing the idea that if Mama has to take the time to pick up toys, for instance, she will run out of time for 'fun' stuff. Will he still pitch a fit? Probably, but if you are consistent and do not engage in power struggles, he will learn and be cooperative. Try to remember how very new stuff is to him.
He is also probably feeling your stress. Try to establish a regular routine-don't be anal, but remember that little kids need to be able to count on stuff like meals, snacks and bedtimes. It may well be unsettling for him to be away from you, but if you have to work, you have to work. Not everyone is able to be a stay at home mom, and not everyone WANTS to. If you do, and there's a way, great. If not, what you CAN do is mindfully find the very best care you can. Are you happy with your caregiver? Perhaps you can explore some alternative situations that would be less stressful?
I feel you, mama, it's hard to be mama to a toddler, and it's hard to BE a toddler, too. I hope this helps.
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#3 of 8 Old 11-01-2007, 01:28 AM
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I totally agree with the pp...this sounds really normal for an 18 month old.

What I've noticed is that if I give my ds (who is also 18mos) undivided attention, he is a much happier babe. He doesn't tolerate my doing other things like the dishes or phone calls very well at all these days. So I try to give him a lot of me as much as I can. I have an older child as well so that helps to distract the little one, but I can totally relate to your situation. Toddlers are constantly trying out new things and seeing what their bodies are capable of. My first wasn't as physical as my youngest is proving to be...it's a challenge!

I would try not to think of him in terms of smart/good/bad/etc. He's going to show you a myriad of emotions and expressions now. He's going through a lot and he's building his frustration tolerance. It's a big transitional time. At our house, it's also meant a renewed demand for night nursing which is proving really hard this time around. But it WILL pass.

Hang in there...look for routine where you can, give him a lot of your attention, use distraction and redirection as your primary modes of dealing with dangerous behaviors and know that it will pass.
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#4 of 8 Old 11-01-2007, 01:51 AM
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Hi mama....walk away....just walk away. No matter how much it bothers you....just tell him that what he is doing is wrong and then just walk away from him

At this age, any attention is good attention.
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#5 of 8 Old 11-01-2007, 11:24 AM
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I know exactly how you feel! I wish I could tell you how to fix it, once and for all, but I'm afraid your baby's behavior is...totally normal. I used to wonder which was worse, thinking my son was wacko, or KNOWING he was normal

My DD started the screaming thing, too (she had just turned 2 and we moved). Ugh. We totally and completely ignored it (after a about a week of "inside voice" and "whisper")... For instance, she would want X, but no one could get it fast enough. So she would *scream* in that voice only toddlers can make. I would just leave the room, wait for a break in screaming and say, "If you are done I will come back and get X for you." It took a few days and lots of dirty looks from the neighbors, but she hasn't done it in about a month

And yeah, I'll admit, the first time I walked out during the *scream* it was because I wanted to spank her butt (and had the words "give you something to scream about" rining in my head). When I get to that point, I repeat my mantra from her colic days-- "I'm a baby, I don't know what I want. I'm a baby, I would tell you if I could."

And as a PP said, at that age, they won't tolerate you doing something WITHOUT them for very long. If you are in the house, you are the favorite toy. I hope your recovery goes well- and the time you spend with your little guy is productive. I remember looking at my DD one day (she was about 18mos!) thinking, "Who are you and what did you do with my sweet kid?" : and her back molars came in about that time, too.

---feeling like an emu on acid---
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#6 of 8 Old 11-01-2007, 01:33 PM
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he may be bored - try completely changing your daily routine to keep him on his toes. try - if you disability allows to get down on the floor with him more.

Try screaming with him a few times, if you can't beat him join him.... tell him you feel yucky too and let it rip - a big tarzan scream. then say something like 'that helped a little honey but it didn't fix anything' go through those motions with him a bit

and have you tried getting some signing DVDs to help him clarify what his needs are - it may help reduce the crankyness and the demanding.

Tea drinking Momma::: Grady 8/06 and : Coralynn 8/09
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#7 of 8 Old 11-01-2007, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SAHM42 View Post
Hi mama....walk away....just walk away. No matter how much it bothers you....just tell him that what he is doing is wrong and then just walk away from him

At this age, any attention is good attention.
ITA! If you just go on with what you are doing and redirect him it might help. This is sooo normal for that age. It has nothing to do with you being a WOHM. Trust me. I have been a SAHM and have 3 kids. At some point each have tried it. They will give up as long as you don't react

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#8 of 8 Old 11-01-2007, 10:37 PM
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What is it about the screaming that you hate so much? I mean, very specifically. Is it just that it hurts your ears, or is there more to it?

For me, the crying and/or screaming jags were unnerving because I felt, deep down, that it was part of my job to make them stop screaming. And I felt helpless and not in control when I couldn't make them stop screaming. I felt that if I were any kind of mother, I'd be able to nip that kind of behavior in the bud and take command of my child, kwim? These feelings were deep down though, not something I always realized on a conscious level.

So -- for me, bringing those feelings to a conscious level, and recognizing that the screaming bothered me so much because it made me feel out of control -- was really helpful. Because then the next step was to let go of the need to control his screaming. I just had to decide that it was okay for him to scream, I did not have to fix it, being a good mom did NOT mean having the ability to control my baby's every action.

So I guess, in your shoes, I would ask myself, "What thoughts go along with my feelings, when my baby screams, and can I change those thoughts?" For me, it was changing the thought, that, "OMG, the baby is screaming and I have to make him stop!" to "The baby is screaming. It is his choice to scream right now. Its not my fault, and its not my job to always make him happy."

And yeah -- if you feel like you are going to hurt him, then walk away. Put him in a safe place (crib?) and go get some air. Walking away is better than hurting your kid, right?
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