Good morning. Please help! My two year old son is driving us all to the edge and I feel like we are now in a cycle and I can't get out of it. I also have a 4.5 yr DD who is at school. Partly I think it is sibling rivalry, partly his age...but he is causing so much tension in our house and we feel like we just aren't moving forward. Mainly he will shout and now has moved on to screaming, in fact having a mental breakdown for example because he said he didn't want me to carry him down the stairs but then when I get to the bottom of the stairs he changes his mind. He is constantly putting us in a no win situation so that the end result is him having a meltdown. I can't offer him choices to try to exercise his independence as this blows his brain and will give him another reason to shout, scream and hit, because he wants neither, no he wants both, etc etc. What I read is to be patient....but he is pushing my buttons so often that I can't be patient with him and I find it so hard to remain calm and not shout back as he is putting me and my husband under so much stress. How can such a little thing be so destructive? What can I do to manage this situation? Thank you so much for any words of wisdom! x
By far the best way I found to defuse these situations was with humour, but it does take energy and imagination and I didn't find it easy. eg with the coming down the stairs I would say "right thats it I'm coming to get you you cheeky sausage" with a big smile, then they would giggle/scream and run away, then we would play chase for a bit, then I would carry him down while blowing raspberries on his tummy etc. Nightmare when you're in a rush, though, and I didn't always have the energy for it, but distraction/tickles even some of the time might help you have more positive interaction. Sympathy from me - it will get easier.
Lots and lots of sympathy from me - this is so typical of many posts i have read recently about DCs who are about 2.2!
Agree, humour sometimes works. Ignoring sometimes works. Praising good behaviour sometimes works. DS is always much worse when he's either hungry or tired, but they're doing so much growing at this age that they reach meltdown quicker when they go into overload. It must be mentally and physically exhausting for them. Sometimes just talking very, very quietly and calmly in response to meltdown works. I tend to try all these more 'positive' approaches first before resorting to ignoring him. But i knowmy DS and know he finds it impossible to calm himself down without help once he reaches a certain point.
Yesterday DS shoved his chicken korma away in disgust and said "Nah. Don't want it," without even trying it. He was adamant he wanted 'pudding' for dinner (in this case, an apple). I made a game of it and said "I bet you can't eat a spoonful, i just bet you can't." When he ate it i feined surprise and said i bet he couldn't eat another one, praising each and every spoonful. He ate the entire bowlful. Then he got his apple and was a delight for the rest of the day.
The thing that pushes my buttons is the incessant fiddling, with everything, seemingly in rotation. He does this especially when i'm preoccupied or in a rush. I have lost it a few times when he does this. Or i have resorted to sitting him in his high chair and giving him raisins. Sometimes it's easier than endless battles trying to get his attention and obedience.
I have found shouting the least effective of all attempts to communicate. It enrages him and makes him shout/ scream louder and kick harder. But we're only human...deep breath, count to ten, get a or works wonders!
i feel your pain, my dd is the exact same age and doing the exact same thing....arrrrgghhhh!! she will get her shoes to put on, then refuse to put them on or even let you do it...she'll ask for her hat and scarf..same problem! everything is a battle. on the whole she is a wonderful loving, funny little girl but there are times when she tries my patience soooo much. we have two ways of dealing with it now, if its the beginning of a meltdown, i say to her mummy is going to count to 3 and then we're going to put your shoes on/get dressed/get undressed etc etc, majority of the time this works as she knows that when i get to three i'm doing it whether she likes it or not...if she is in complete meltdown, i leave her where she is (as long as she can't hurt herself), tell her mummy is here when you've finished and ignore her. guaranteed within a minute or two she is on her way over tantrum finished, having a cuddle and away we go p.s or helps A LOT lol xx
To be honest, the way I deal with it is not really giving him options - if I'm going down the stairs I just go, and if he wants to be carried he has to say so. Similarly, I won't randomly offer him snacks (main meals are offered at the same time each day) - if he wants a snack he has to say so. With meals, clothing, activities, there's no discussion. We are not going to the park OR softplay, we are going where mummy says we're going.
When he does get monsterish it's usually that he's tired or has had some sugar - in which case extracting him from the situation (look at the airplane/car/exciting cloud!), counting to three and then finally ignoring/making the situation as boring as possible are the only solutions - naughty corner works if he's not too hyper. Telling off never works, he just laughs.
Sometimes I do feel as though I should give him more choices, but he's happy and inquisitive and obedient.
I've just read that back and I sound like Miss Trunchball.
DS is very happy and we do lots of fun things! He just isn't aware that he has a choice yet ... I'm sure once he's older he'll be making lots of exciting choices (grolsch, or guinness, for example) but as of now it's just easier for the both of us, and I don't feel he's missing out on choosing his flavour of yoghurt.