AIBU to just ignore my toddler - what else can I try?

(23 Posts)

He slapped me in the face today, I thought it was an accident the first time but he did it twice so I know he meant to. My first reaction was to shout at him and I really had to try so hard not to. I ignored it. If I tell him off, even say "NO, you don't do that to mummy" he will cry and screech and howl. If my dh tells him off (doesn't shout) but is firm, toddler just looks at him and puts head down bit he doesn't do the screeching that he does with me.

The other part of AIBU: am I a dreadful mum not to entertain my ds every minute of the day? I feels somehow I should as he seems to get bored easily. Today he was fine when we were out and about. We went to the park, had a picnic, went for coffee, chatted and had fun. But as soon as we came back to the house his behaviour changed, the very second!

Our house is a calm and relaxed house so I don't get why he does this. I know in my heart people don't fill every minute of their toddlers day but what can I do?

I'm pregnant and exhausted and I just didn't have the energy to go out yet again today so there was quite a lot of crying in our house today.

Ds is 18 months. He is on a waiting list to see if he has a hearing problem. He's just recovered from a severe ear infection,if these things are relevant.

Feeling like I'm really crap at being a mum today.

He's in bed sleeping now. Didn't have a great nap today but overall his behaviour was challenging.

Bonbonbonbon Mon 21-Jul-14 19:39:31

I think your day sounds fine. He'll grow out of it as he becomes a better communicator, I think. My dd is about the same age. I take her out in the morning, to groups, the park etc, and after nap time we take a walk in the buggy. I tend to grocery shop daily to make up something to do on our walk.

GingerPuddin Mon 21-Jul-14 19:42:31

I read and liked a book called 1-2-3 magic. It really helped with DS.

LastTango Mon 21-Jul-14 19:42:59

He's learned that by screeching he gets your attention ! Which is what he wants - even negative attention is better than nothing.

Say 'No' and ignore completely any ensuing meltdowns until he has calmed down. You will probably have to do this several times before he gets the message that it's not working!

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Mon 21-Jul-14 19:43:39

brew for you, was going to offer wine but saw you are pregnant.

YANBU and you sound like a great mother. Toddlers are such hard work. This is not your fault, they are like mini cavemen because their brains aren't fully formed.

Of course you can't entertain him the whole time! You have to do stuff and rest and he needs to learn patience and to entertain himself. (How I justify my benign neglect of DD!)

If it all gets too much there is always cbeebies, it's not a disaster to stick that on. smile

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Mon 21-Jul-14 19:46:07

Oh, and I think sometimes they are ghastly when they get home because it is a 'safe place' iyswim. He is on best behaviour when you are out and about. I think it means he's secure at home with you.

thatwhichwecallarose Mon 21-Jul-14 19:46:12

If I tell him off, even say "NO, you don't do that to mummy" he will cry and screech and howl.

So?

I would not shout, but would do my slightly lower time voice and tell him it's not nice to hit mummy. Then ignore any tantrum. Just because he's screeches doesn't mean you let him do what he wants!

thatwhichwecallarose Mon 21-Jul-14 19:47:58

Oh and I didn't mean for that to sound mean or judgy. Fwiw it's sounds like you doing a good job, mixture of outside/inside etc. it's just a phase he's going through but he needs your help to stop (dd was a biter at that age)

thanks for you

MerryInthechelseahotel Mon 21-Jul-14 19:50:39

My DD's behaviour used to deteriorate a little when she was deaf. She had glue ear. She was always fine afterwards (she has had 8 lots of grommets put in sad and intermittent hearing aids)

The Dr used to say with glue ear it is like trying to hear under water so I guess the strain of this was what affected her behaviour.

mytitiferssungtheirsong Mon 21-Jul-14 19:56:17

Dds 21 months and I've just started the naughty step when she hits me. She doesn't really get it but it's just showing her it's not ok. I leave her for 10-15 secs then say 'you hurt mummy please say sorry' before going back into the lounge. Don't raise my voice as that is also attention. Just remove her silently.

Oh and don't worry about feeling like a crap mum. I do activities in the mornings but afternoons are reserved for cBeebies and mummy mumsnetting tidying up.

Thanks for the replies.

I guess I just feel like everyone else is doing a super job and I'm just fumbling along.

I was reading today that ear infections can lead to deafness, ds has had lots of ear infections and I worry we've not taken him for antibiotics soon enough. I really didn't know this and I hate him taking antibiotics.

merry does your dd have to wear hearing aids all the time or was it temporary deafness?

I find it hard to ignore the screeching, hate the thought of him being miserable.

gunpowder I would love some wine right now sad

MrsWinnibago Mon 21-Jul-14 20:42:21

Can you think back to what exactly was going on when he slapped you? Is it possible he's getting frustrated if he can't hear or understand something?

Rebecca2014 Mon 21-Jul-14 20:42:35

My daughter has hearing loss in one ear. She is hard work but I do not think her hearing loss is the problem, okay it may be in some cases when she runs away from me when we are out and she can't hear me...but apart from that she is just a spirited little girl just like your son who knows he can get away with murder with his mother.

You need to start telling him off, he thinks he can do anything to you and will get away with it. If he screams, so what? it is a temper tantrum.

Iggly Mon 21-Jul-14 20:48:13

Dont discount the impact of poor hearing on behaviour.

Also if he goes to hit, grab his hand to stop him if you again, give a firm now and move away. No more no less. Any more is too much attention.

He may also have been tired when home - little to distract him.

Purplepoodle Mon 21-Jul-14 22:23:14

Say no, not nice in a mean mummy voice (low and forceful), grab his hand if he try's again. If he screeches just walk away and keep moving if he follows. Terrible twos start and 1.5yrs. Your doing a fab job.

My sons speech hadn't progressed at his two year check and he was sent to ENT as he had lots of ear infections which can lead to fluid build up. Luckily he was ok but struggles with very low noises.

MerryInthechelseahotel Mon 21-Jul-14 22:39:50

She is 17 now and still suffers with problems with her ears. Some deafness and tinnitus and infections and burst ear drums (I could go on and on) but she doesn't use hearing aids now. There was a definite link though when she was smaller to her hearing and behaviour. Worth bearing in mind smile

Pepperwitheverything Mon 21-Jul-14 22:41:09

Dotty, just want to say to you that my friends and sisters and even my very hard to please mum, all say what a great and patient mum I am. But I am not at all. Like you I am fumbling along. Several times a day week I am crying in the kitchen, because I am at a total loss. So I just wanted to say to you not to compare yourself to other parents because chances are they are equally lost. Anyway, it sounds like you are doing brilliant...loving and caring!

Thanks for all the advice.

pepper do you want to start the fumbling along club? grin

Embolio Mon 21-Jul-14 22:46:56

We are all fumbling along dotty, honest. Anyone who says they've cracked it is a big fibber! If it's any consolation your ds sounds a lot like my 2 year old!

Embolio Mon 21-Jul-14 22:47:30

Heh. Cross posted.

I'm in an eddy at 3.5 years with DD. I look like I have a perfect, well-behaved, well-mannered child who has a calm, patient Mummy. She's just in a really great, easy phase at the moment. Maybe your friends' children are too. Everything is fluid and passes with children. At your DD's age, my DD didn't sleep, wouldn't listen and hit all the time. It passes.

MrsAtticus Mon 21-Jul-14 22:57:11

Aw, poor you OP, you sound like I feel some days. I have to say that I think being pregnant makes everything a whole lot more difficult. I was incredibly impatient with DS while pregnant, so my reactions to his behavior really weren't helping, and that didn't help my overall tiredness. As soon as the baby came it was like a switch being turned on and things calmed down a lot.
We had a big problem with hitting for a while. We tried LOADS of tactics and it just went on for ages. Eventually we tried a very brief sit on naughty step and a sorry, followed by a cuddle, and that simple routine got it under control. We also realized prevention was better than cure - good nights sleep and not too much sugar, and if we saw him building up to losing it, getting in there first with a cuddle and some kind words.
But really, what your describing does sound quite normal for his age, so relax and think 'tomorrow is another day'!

Pepperwitheverything Mon 21-Jul-14 23:01:36

Haha yes definitely I would love it!! I would have to be President as I am the BEST at fumbling along!! grin

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