Mothering Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
598 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
DS is 26 months old, and I'm 35 weeks pregnant with #2 (another boy). DS was the easiest, most delightful baby. During his first year, he was ALWAYS in a good mood and hardly ever cried. From 1-2 he became a little bit more difficult at times, and lately I've really been struggling with him. He's not "bad" all the time - sometimes/often he's in a great mood and very affectionate, sweet, and just a ball to be around. Other times he gets moody/cranky and I just don't know what to do. Lately, the problem has been going places in public. He's mostly okay for shopping and stuff - I bring some snacks to give him while we shop. But, for example, we go to My Gym weekly and we've been having a really hard time there lately. He doesn't like to follow instructions or do the structured stuff at all. Sometimes that's fine, he can freeplay/explore, but other times I do need to bring him into the circle because I know the staff doesn't want one kid to make all the other kids think they can run around like crazy. When I try to bring him into the circle, he'll throw tantrums and hit/bite me. When he hits me, I hold his wrists so he can't keep doing so and look him in the eye and say "No, Mama doesn't like that, that hurts Mama." My husband keeps saying he's just acting like a normal 2-year-old, but he's pretty consistently the least cooperative kid in the class, with other kids his age (a few older, most his age or younger). A few months back I tried taking him to a sports class at the YMCA, and it was the same thing. He'd throw a tantrum when I tried to encourage him to follow directions, and we eventually just stopped going. DH says maybe he's just an immature 2-year-old and not ready for structured activities like this yet - but I think it's really important for him to do activities that enable to him to run around and burn off energy (unfortunately it's too cold for the park where we live). Also, I worry that if we avoid activities like this he'll never learn.<br><br>
I always worry if it's the way we're raising him.... are we "too AP"? I'm sure mainstream-y people would say it's because he's spoiled, or we don't discipline him harshly enough, or we let him have his way all the time. Or then I wonder if we're not AP enough? The other kids in our AP group seem to be much better behaved than DS (though most of them are girls, so it's kind of apples to oranges). But as much as we try to be gentle and patient, sometimes both DH and I struggle with patience and raise our voice or don't act as calmly/gently as we probably could.<br><br>
Whenever I get upset about things like this, my husband gets frustrated because he thinks I'm never happy. He says that 99% of the time DS is an angel and always in a good mood, and I always focus on the negative. He's even suggested rethinking my desire to be a SAHM. It's always been very important to us both, but he says he'd rather find childcare than have me be miserable. To me, that's not an option. I'm just going through a rough patch and need to make things work. It also doesn't help that we've been struggling with DS's sleep a lot for several months. We're in the process of nightweaning but it's a slow process.<br><br>
Sorry this is so long, and thanks to anyone who's read this far. I just really needed to vent I guess, and I can't exactly vent to anyone IRL about it.<br><br>
ETA: And I feel like a terrible mom for saying/putting in writing that DS is ever "bad" or "difficult". He really is delightful a lot of the time and I love him so much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
No advice here mama as my ds is only 17 months. But I do know that toddlers can be overwhelming at times. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">: Have you thought about reading some good parenting books? One of my favorites is:<br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FEasy-Love-Difficult-Discipline-Cooperation%2Fdp%2F0060007753%2Fref%3Dsr_1_1%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1259179188%26sr%3D1-1" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Love-Diff...9179188&sr=1-1</a><br><br>
I'm a MUCH better mother (more patient, kind, helpful, etc) when I'm reading a great parenting book! Hang in there!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Maybe your DS just really doesn't like these types of structured activities. At about 12 months, I took DS to an exercise class (as per usual) and he really, really disliked it that time to the point that he was going to the door and pointing at it. I just left. It happened again just recently with taking DS indoor swimming. He did not want to be there, so we left. Who knows, maybe I'm too lenient, but I think kids have a pretty keen sense of when they are comfortable with a situation or not.<br><br>
Also, hang in there. I think that most of us go through rough patches.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,109 Posts
My DS does stuff like this too. I think it is normal for the age. We take Music Together classes and one thing I really appreciate is that they are not structured at all - the kids do whatever they want. Toby has tantrums still when we have to put the musical instruments away, or when they stop singing <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> but since he is not being "forced" to do any specific thing he doesn't have anything to fight against and thus his tantrums don't last as long. I don't mean to say you are forcing your son to do anything, just that structured classes are harder I think for beasties this age.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,128 Posts
My 28 month old is the exact. same. way. Exactly. And we've been doing classes since he was a babe. He sometimes gets into the structure, but mostly not. Now that he's older, most of the kids in class are girls and all well behaved and proper and stuff, so it stands out more.<br>
But he talks about his classes a lot, really seems to love them and get something from them, and as long as I don't stress about them too much, he has a good time, and really, the other parents generally don't mind as much as I think they do. I had one parent one time say something to me about his "behavior." And quickly, a bunch of others came to DS's defense.<br>
So, first point I have to make is you son is a PERFECTLY NORMAL 2 yo. Perfect. This is actually really healthy behavior for him, despite it being annoying and probably even more so if you're struggling with sleep issues and getting so close to having another. I'd be a big fat ball of stress rocking in a corner if I were you, so be easy on yourself right now.<br>
From a practicality standpoint, here is what I do with DS at classes. First, we skip the gym, except for "open gyms." Gym here is HARD for the little guy because they do rotations and he sees what the other kids are doing. Its a lot of structure...but open gyms, he LOVES those and still gets to explore and run about. And he learns so much from watching the other kids and exploring on his own.<br>
Second, I generally just let him run about and not be in the circle. I'll try gently sometimes, but never push it, and if he gets really disruptive, we leave the room, and if he gets into meltdown, we just leave the class. And I don't stress about it too much, because he's 2 and this is just whats going to happen sometimes.<br>
I also find that the more "unstructured" activities we have (playgroup, open gym, play dates) the better he does with the structured ones. Those are environments where he can explore and experiment to his hearts content so that when something more structured comes along, he tends to be a bit more reserved, a bit more observant and patient.<br>
I really believe your husband is a wise man here. Listen to him. Find some indoor run around things for your son to do (I started a play group at the house because its so cold and rainy here now...library kids section tends to be pretty cool about running about in our city, heck, even the play structure at the local mall!), maybe find some classes that are less structured. Embrace your son's individual spirit. Continue to gently speak your values in group settings( "We try to listen to other people when they are talking" "Share" etc.). It may not resonate with him at this point, but it makes it clear to him and others that there are behaviors you value without trying to force a behavior he isn't ready for.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,184 Posts
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I find that dc act the craziest around me. When it is dh, auntie, or grandparents they are perfect angels. With your dh saying that he is an angel 90% of the time and you're just focusing on the negative. . . I just think it is totally different if you are the primary caregiver and w/ your child 100% of the time. My dc can be having a screamfest all day long and then dh walks in and everything is rosy again. I'm not trying to start a riff, I just don't want you to feel like you are focusing on the negative or that it is all that out of the ordinary.<br><br>
I find that it is cyclical, though I keep having to remind myself that. They'll be going through a developmental stage and having tantrums for a few weeks and then the next there are no hiccups. This won't last forever.<br><br>
Some moms I know irl swear by mother's day out. Maybe he could benefit from some time away from you? (and I'm sure you would appreciate the rest before ds2 comes)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
598 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks so much for all the replies. It helps to know that his behavior is normal. I also like the suggestion to read parenting books - I too find that when I'm reading a good parenting book, I tend to be more calm and patient, and to remember to see things from DS's perspective.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top