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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so my dd (20mo) is going through some hard times this week. and consequently, so am i! here are the issues that have come up and what i've been doing about them:

hitting me: she does this mostly at bedtime when i'm trying to help her get to sleep. sleep has always been an issue for us and dd has always needed a little extra help getting there (singing, cuddling, rocking, etc.) ... but how am i supposed to help her get to sleep if i can't get close to her without being smacked or kicked?! i tried just going to my side of the bed and waiting her out, but she has a lot of waiting power. she just lays on her side of the bed and plays for an up to an hour or more. we've been having dh take ds out while i put dd down because she's been really needing my extra attention. still, it's hard for me to give her extra loving attention when i'm being battered! also, i know she's realized that hitting/kicking/generally invading my personal space is one of my red-button issues and i know that most of the time she's just testing to see what's going to happen, or to try to get some kind of attention. for instance, she'll put her feet on me ... not quite kicking, but just enough that she knows it will annoy me. i move her feet and ask her to stop. she does it again. i move her feet and ask her to stop, again. she does it again. i move out of the way. she screams .... see bellow! .... so how much is too much and how much should i let slide. i feel like there are so many battles to chose from and i really want to chose my battles wisely!

yelling: this is driving me insane. dd is incredibly intelligent and can work out a lot in her little head; however, she's not extremely vocal. she has quite a few words in her vocabulary, but sometimes has trouble remembering to use them when she's trying to communicate (especially since yelling sure does get someone's attention a lot faster). she also starts to get frustrated whenever i can't quite understand what she's trying to tell me, or if i get it wrong. ive been trying to 1) respond to her as soon as she starts trying to get my attention by means other than yelling, 2) encourage her to "use your words" to tell me what she needs and 3) encourage her to "show" me what she needs/wants with her hands, if she doesn't know the word for it. then i verbalize for her ("Oooh. you want your vitemins?" then encourage her to verbalize back by saying "yes please" or at least nodding her head .. anything other than just laughing and grinning
) all of this ends ups with me using A LOT of my words! i've also started telling her to "show me your eyes" when she starts getting frustrated. this helps both of us connect and feel better, and it helps her focus on what i'm saying. sometimes it's really hard, though, because the screaming REALLY pushes my buttons, especially when it gets out of control before i can make her understand what i'm saying ("no yogurt right now. you have to wait. you can have some after dinner." -- she'll calm down once she realizes that i'm being reasonable, but the trick is to get it past the screaming and into her head) sometimes when i just don't know what to do, i tell her to "show me your eyes" and very sincerely say, "mommy's getting frustrated, too. please stop screaming." this usually works unless it's a major meltdown. ... still, it just seems like i never get to stop explaining!

along with the yelling thing is just generally getting frustrated very easily. i believe this has to do with ds's arrival and some pretty frustrating/confusing feelings about that, although the frustration rears its ugly head at completely unpredictable times.

does anyone have any helpful hints/supportive comments (ie, please tell me i haven't ruined my lovely, formerly angelic dd by letting it get to this point). i read the thread on here about consequences vs. skills and i think it's wonderful and goes right along with how i see discipline ... i'm just frustrated and confused about how to teach these skills (dealing with frustration / calming ones self down) .. especially when the situations that arise cause ME to stress out (how'm i gonna teach something i can hardly put into practice?!)

and advise/comments will be greatly appreciated! tia!
 

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just real quick- one thing that works with ds, is to say "give me a minute, I'm trying to figure out what you want." or something like that. or "hmm, let me think a minute" and he knows that when I think a minute, I generally come up with a solution that works for him.
Other times I say "STOP WHINING!!!" but that doesn't ever help.
:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i know exactly what you mean. sometimes i get to the point where i can just hear the pleading in my own voice, "please, lyla, please STOP SCREAMING!" this does absolutely nothing.

i think one reason that this is such a tough issue for me is that my mother was/is a yeller. or at least a very harsh talker (yelling without necessarily raising her voice, kwim?) and it affected me a lot. so i catch myself wanting to yell to get problems to go away. ... but i look pretty silly yelling "PLEASE STOP YELLING! I DON'T LIKE YELLING!"


oh and i think the "wait a minute" idea is perfect! i'm going to try it as soon as dd gets home from her other dad's house this weekend. we've been talking a lot about waiting lately ("you want a banana? okay, you can have one, but you have to wait." she repeats "wait" and nods her head), so i think this would fit right in with where we're at as far as skills go! thank you!
 

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I was pregnant when my dd was about that age and she started to do the foot in the belly, sometimes kicking my belly thing. I put a pillow between us for her to put her feet on/ kick. But, I think her reason for doing this may have been because of my changing body, the barrier my big belly created between us, and at the time we were charing a twin bed with dp, myself, my belly, and dd, lol.
My ds went through a time where he was seeming frustrated at night. He would sometimes hit or yank at my face. We spent a long time cuddling, reading, singing etc before I was done and ready to sleep most nights. Ds just wasn't (and isn't) ready as soon as I am. When he used to hit me I think he was very frustrated with the circumstances and didn't know why or how to tell me. As he got older he would lie awake wiggling and talking and still sometimes yanking my face towards his. It eventually did hit me that he needed more time to settle down at night than I did most nights. So I encouraged him to look at books, or draw on his magnadoodle by the nightlight. He would draw on his magnadoodle or look at books beside me in the bed while I was drifting off to sleep until he was ready for sleep himself, then he would set them aside and settle in himself. Now that he is older he will sometimes play quietly with toys by the nightlight until he is ready to settle in. Quite often he outlasts me at night, but often he is ready at the same time too. I really think encouraging him to choose when he was ready and to occupy himself until he was totally eased his frustration, and mine too.

I'm not sure if this will be helpful with the yelling, but it seems similar. When my children are being demanding, I assume positive intent, because I know when I am being demanding I'm really not meaning to be. Then I ask them, 'Are you trying to request that I x?' It really has helped them to reframe it, they are like yes, that's what I was trying to do, mommy will you help me x or something similar. They know I have every intention of helping them, but I prefer requests!!!!!!
I also had a discussion with my dd about yelling awhile ago, but she is much older. We talked about some of the reasons why our bodies are able to yell, danger, to warn someone, to call attention from across a distance or to be heard over loud noises. We also talked about how it affects me and ds to be yelled at in times of conflict/ frustration. Both of us are sensitive to it and it is very hard for us to actually listen to what she is saying when she is yelling. Sometimes she still yells when frustrated, but she has made a big effort to calm herself and talk at a more normal level many, many times. She understands that we want to hear her and help her, but the loudness makes it harder for us. Funny though because for about two weeks after this ds would yell anytime I starting sweeping the floor (sometimes two and three times while I was sweeping), lol, yk to get my attention over the loud noise!

I think this post took me well, well over an hour to type out, from walking away to help ds with various things and coming back,
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
I think this post took me well, well over an hour to type out, from walking away to help ds with various things and coming back,
aww... thank you so much for your time/energy! i know how limited they are!

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I encouraged him to look at books, or draw on his magnadoodle by the nightlight.
this is great and made me realize something important. a lot of time i want to have an hour or so after the babes are in bed just to read/take a bath/hang out with dh. so i'm in a big hurry to get dd asleep before i get sleepy! i'm sure she can sense this ulterior motive and it makes her resist even more. i think she's the same way as far as needing more time to get settled. i'm going to try starting earlier and giving her a booklight to read/draw with like you said. i'll also get myself a book light and lay next to her reading my book. that way i get some "recreational time", too, even if she does end up outlasting me. so, hopefully, this will help her feel more in control of her bedtime situation and will help me not to feel resentful about missing my one free hour or so a night! don't know how this will work, but i'm really excited to try it out!
 
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