Help with aggressive toddler - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 6 Old 09-05-2013, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need some advice and encouragement.  My 2yo is being a terror lately.  He is normally aggressive if he gets excited or frustrated and I felt like we were starting to make progress but since we got back from a recent trip, I feel like we have both hit a wall.  He has been overly aggressive - hitting, punching, and kicking me a lot and not really seeming to care.  Nap time has been a nightmare.  He normally naps for about two hours and suddenly, I'm lucky if he will even close his eyes. It wouldn't bother me so much but I know he isn't getting enough sleep at night to make up for no naps. 

 

I'm 35 weeks pregnant and I have so much to do to get ready for the baby, on top of reorganizing everything from our trip.  Needless to say, I'm a little stressed and tired and I think my hormones are getting out of control.  I have started to completely lose it when he starts hitting and kicking and I start yelling, which makes him yell back.  Not good.  I'm also concerned that I might put myself into premature labor because when I get worked up, I start having very strong braxton hicks.  

 

I think part of the problem is that he has a huge excess of energy.  While we were on vacation, he was running around outside all day.  Now that we're home, he's been stuck inside.  It's been about 106-108 here and I just can't handle the heat right now.  I feel awful to make him stay indoors but I don't know what else to do.  With all of the things I need to get done around the house, it's hard to go somewhere with an indoor playground because I feel guilty for not accomplishing anything.  

 

Any tips on how to handle my emotions?  I've had a couple of huge breakdowns because I feel like such a terrible mom.  I don't want to be angry with him and I want to teach him to behave while still being respectful of him as a person.  I definitely don't feel like I've done that this week.  Also, I'm terrified of what life will be like when the baby comes.  Not sure I can handle it.  I had bad PPA the first time and I'm planning on trying placenta encapsulation this time, but what if it's not enough?

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#2 of 6 Old 09-05-2013, 07:39 PM
 
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Your experience is similar to what I went through at the end of my pregnancy. My daughter was 2.5 when my son was born. I think they can tell that you are not physically able to keep up and take advantage of the situation. I also lost my cool on more than one occassion at the end of the pregnancy and after birth when my daughter hit or kicked me. You are not a bad mom, and the fact you can admit that you want to stop yelling is a great start. Soon after my son was born, I read "Peaceful Parents, Peaceful kids" which had some good advice. The best thing I got out of it is to remind myself that I am committed to being a calm and rational role model; and to take deep breaths and calm down before reacting to any situation. Sounds simple, but it really works! You can even tell your son you are angry and need to take deep breaths so he has some tools to manage his own outbursts. As far as your son lashing out at you, I would recommend leaving the area and calmly saying "Mommy is leaving your room because you hit." Then come back shortly after, when you are both more calm and discuss the incident and give cuddles. This did not always work on the first try, but just repeat if he hits again. Bottom line, this is normal and it will pass! Hang in there!

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#3 of 6 Old 09-05-2013, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Kristi B View Post
 

Your experience is similar to what I went through at the end of my pregnancy. My daughter was 2.5 when my son was born. I think they can tell that you are not physically able to keep up and take advantage of the situation. I also lost my cool on more than one occassion at the end of the pregnancy and after birth when my daughter hit or kicked me. You are not a bad mom, and the fact you can admit that you want to stop yelling is a great start. Soon after my son was born, I read "Peaceful Parents, Peaceful kids" which had some good advice. The best thing I got out of it is to remind myself that I am committed to being a calm and rational role model; and to take deep breaths and calm down before reacting to any situation. Sounds simple, but it really works! You can even tell your son you are angry and need to take deep breaths so he has some tools to manage his own outbursts. As far as your son lashing out at you, I would recommend leaving the area and calmly saying "Mommy is leaving your room because you hit." Then come back shortly after, when you are both more calm and discuss the incident and give cuddles. This did not always work on the first try, but just repeat if he hits again. Bottom line, this is normal and it will pass! Hang in there!

 

Thanks so much for the encouragement and tips. I'll definitely see if they have that book at the library.  I do think that communicating my anger and frustration to him and then following with a healthy way to deal with it would be a great teaching opportunity for him (if only I can remember to actually do it when I'm angry!).  It worries me that he will act like this with the baby and I doubt I can keep my cool if that happens.  He loves babies and is always very gentle with them but I realize that when his world changes and there is a baby here 24/7, he may get frustrated and lash out.  I just need to get a good consistent plan in place to handle his aggression so that we can both keep our sanity!  

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#4 of 6 Old 09-06-2013, 02:04 PM
 
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Definitely let him know you are extra tired right now and all that, it does help some.

For his energy, try to make up games where he does lots of running/moving and you sit or lay down. This helped my 3 year old a lot at the end of my twin pregnancy to still be able to play with me and get energy out without me having to do more than I could.

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#5 of 6 Old 09-07-2013, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Definitely let him know you are extra tired right now and all that, it does help some.

For his energy, try to make up games where he does lots of running/moving and you sit or lay down. This helped my 3 year old a lot at the end of my twin pregnancy to still be able to play with me and get energy out without me having to do more than I could.

I think active games that he can do indoors would be helpful. Do you have any game suggestions? Other than telling him to run around the house, I'm not really sure what to have him do, lol!
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#6 of 6 Old 09-15-2013, 12:32 AM
 
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naturalmamabird Parenting with Love & Logic http://www.loveandlogic.com/ is by far my favorite find. Easy, respectful, and peaceful. Our middle son is super active and it has done wonders for us!

 

As for active games a few thoughts:

        *play tag with him - it sounds like he might be wanting some more mommy attention and joining in something he'd find super fun could give you a double bonus

 

        *Put a mini slide or trampoline in the house (we have both and they are used daily). We ditched the coffee table and put the mini slide in the middle of our tiny living room and it saved us many winter days when it was too cold to go outside.

 

        *Have him carry light free weights (just a few lbs) or some books from point A to B (across the kitchen, where ever). You could also put them in a cardboard box and have him push it across a carpet surface.....if he's really energetic and active this will help build slow twitch muscle fibers (which probably aren't as developed as his fast twitch). 

 

         * Do a wheelbarrow race with him. his feet in your hands and his hands on the ground. Especially good for days when he seems prone to hit or use his hands in a non gentle way. It will help his body get the sensory information it's seeking through his hands in a way that doesn't harm/hurt anyone else. Plus it's fun! 

 

        *Buy super soft foam balls and let him roll and throw them in certain parts of the house.

 

        *Check out a little tikes tractor/trailer combo or similar product that fits your fancy and keep it only for indoors use. This way the wheels don't get dirty and ruin your floors. Let him ride if around certain areas. I like the one mentioned above because little guys seem to love to haul their things around.

 

        *If it fits in your home & budget a swing could possibly be installed in a basement or other location. Haba has some super cute indoor ones though they are pricey. Our basement is unfinished so we have a regular swing from a playset down there on an I beam. 

 

         *Yoga for kids or a sing-a-long/dance-a-long CD

 

Hope these help, GL!!!


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