controlling 2 year old

(17 Posts)
twinklejute Sat 29-Dec-12 11:29:26

My 2 year old boy is behaving in an increasingly controlling manner and I’m starting to despair. He’s an only child, I’m a stay at home mum and his dad is self employed and works from home.

I want to play with my little boy and enjoy his company but lately all he seems to want to do (with me) is order me around. Reading books together means me sitting next to him (he won’t sit on my knee any more), he holds the book and I read along. He skips pages out and points to things that I must name, often he knows what he’s pointing to but needs me to repeat it anyway. We then go through all the thumbnail pictures on the back cover and I have to read out the titles. If I don’t say what he’s pointing to straight away, he very quickly gets cross and if I refuse to say it, he can be reduced to tears.

He drinks milk and hardly eats anything. I have been careful not to create a battle ground over eating and have deliberately shown him indifference when he refuses to eat dinner. But he still knows that we want him to eat certain things and so I feel like I’m losing a battle that I tried not to create.

Several months ago I spent one night away and he rejected me at the station when we were reunited. His father goes away on overnight business trips maybe once a month but is greeted with open arms. He cries when I go in to get him in the morning, sometimes throwing himself back on the bed. He has recently learnt how to say ‘Daddy’ but refuses to even try to say ‘Mummy’.

We see him play with his cousins and other relations and he is an outgoing, confident little boy for the most part.

I’m sure this is all quite normal and that it’s just a phase but I was wondering if anyone had a similar experience and how they coped with it.

brettgirl2 Sat 29-Dec-12 11:52:30

I wouldn't let a 2 year old order me around. If he has a strop so be it but you can't let him dictate everything to just avoid tantrums. OK encouraging tantrums needlessly is never a good idea but there is a point at which if they don't like it then tough.

mumvswild Sat 29-Dec-12 11:54:59

Hi, yes my 2yo DS is often the same. He is the third DC. It is trying. Little advice other than persist wirh what you feel is right. Good luck!

TheSecondComing Sat 29-Dec-12 11:56:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

N0tinmylife Sat 29-Dec-12 12:00:27

I am not sure a 2 year old can be "controlling" as such, I would imagine he is just learning he has his own thoughts and opinions, and how to express them. Why not be guided by him within reason, such as the reading? As far as the rest of it, I think you need to keep in mind that you are the adult, and show him how to behave. If he can't play nicely with you, just tell him calmly you will not play until he can. He will come out the other end eventually!

poachedeggs Sat 29-Dec-12 12:05:28

I don't mind all the requests from my 2 year old because they're just that, requests. If she demands things rudely she won't get them.

Also sometimes I'm busy and I say 'not just now' and explain why. She can scream if she wants smile

Don't worry about the daddy favouritism, just ignore it. It all passes smile

brettgirl2 Sat 29-Dec-12 12:06:32

I don't know not in my life. At this age DD1 if she didn't get her own way would kick off then look at me accusingly and say 'you made me upset, say sorry' grin

Either that or she hadn't yet cottoned on to who was in charge in the house, probably the latter!!!

N0tinmylife Sat 29-Dec-12 12:12:54

I guess at 2 they are just learning what they can and can't control. It's just the normal use of "controlling" on here refers to adults knowingly trying to control another adult. I don't think a two year old has the maturity to do that! I'm not sure if that makes sense, but I know what I mean grin

RubyrooUK Sat 29-Dec-12 12:27:51

I don't think he sounds controlling. He sounds like a normal 2 year old to me.

My DS often wants to do things himself like read the book or ask me to name things. He is also 2. Only a short time ago, everything had to be done for him and he had no say in anything; now he is exerting some of his own opinions.

Obviously I encourage him always to say please and thank you when asking me to do things. If he has a tantrum or needs discipline, I am happy to say no and deal with it. But I think him expressing his opinions is great as long as he is polite.

Also the rejecting - my DH went away for two nights for work a couple of weeks ago and DS would not acknowledge him for several days. I think he was just upset he had gone (although he was fine when he was away). He was soon back to normal though.

My DS has also started expressing which parent he wants to do things. So if I try to give him breakfast, which is normally his dad's territory, he'll say "not you, mummy!" It was a little bit hurtful at first but since he is generally asking for a hug 30 mins later from me, I figure it is just him ordering his world again.

I wouldn't worry at all OP. Just guide him towards being polite when asking you to do things.

twinklejute Sat 29-Dec-12 12:59:14

Well, children are complex individuals with their own personalities. I do show him who's boss over lots if things but it just feels bizarre to be telling him "no more books" - not how I imagined parenting anyway!

brettgirl2 Sat 29-Dec-12 13:43:37

It isnt really about reading though is it? Its the way he behaves when reading. Yes he needs to be encouraged a bit but reading is fun so he shouldnt need much encouragement and you reading with him should be a treat for him. (Obviously a very regular one) I suppose I love reading myself as does dh so it hasnt occurred to me that the kids will be any different.

My daughter has had stories cut short on occasion because she kept interrupting me/ wasnt listening its a similar thing really.

Is he choosing the book? Does he like the book? Is the book too long for his attention span?

FunnysInLaJardin Sat 29-Dec-12 13:56:24

this is all very normal for 2yo's. Both of mine have been like this and like to have some control over who does what for them and how. I don't think they are being controlling in a negative sense, just working out the boundaries and what they can and can't get away with. DS2 still at nearly 3 does the 'no Daddy do it' etc when I try to put him to bed. Sometimes we go with it and other times I will insist that I do it. It really depends on how he has been all day and how tired we are. We certainly pick our battles.

They have both also done the rejection thing, mostly of me and although it can feel hurtful it is just a phase and another example of them trying to control their environment.

He will get through it, but I have to say I don't find the 'two's' much fun and can't wait for DS2 to be 6 months older and a more reasonable human being!

Smudge588 Sun 30-Dec-12 16:47:49

I have one too! It certainly feels like he's controlling although I know that it's mostly because sometimes I just can't face the shouting or whining so I cave in. Not the right thing to do of course! For us his behaviour is best when he's broadly in routine, I'm not tired and we stick to the boundaries.

yousmell Sun 30-Dec-12 17:21:35

wait for 'please' before doing anything for him?

Walk away if he isn't being nice. Stay with him when he is nice.

Use time out/naughty step when needed.

He needs to learn that life won't always go his way. That will mean some real doozy tantrums, just ignore and ride it out.

Is it worth seeing if there's a play group he can attend without you, even if it's one session a week?

OhBuggerandArse Sun 30-Dec-12 17:27:50

Have a look at some dog psychology manuals. Two year olds are basically the same - two good walks a day and a clear sense of their place in the pack (NOT top dog!) will make them feel much happier and more secure.

Emsyboo Wed 02-Jan-13 17:26:28

Doesn't wound too controlling tome unless you let him.

He is asserting his independence but ride out the tantrums you can't let him control you.

My DS is the same favors Daddy and if I go to work or stay out I get the cold shoulder but when he is poorly or wakes in the night it is just me he wants. Daddy is a novelty as he works a lot and isn't really the main carer whereas I am his security so when I go away get a bigger reaction.

Goodluck with DS I wouldn't worry too. much he sounds like a clever normal little boy pushing boundaries x

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