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Fiercely Independent Tot - Help!(18 Posts)
So DD's just turned two and suddenly she doesn't want Mummy to do anything for her. I'm not allowed to undo/do up any of her zips. I'm not allowed to dress her. I can't even change her nappy anymore. Is this normal? She'll just push my hand away violently and threaten a full-blown meltdown if I so much as try to help her out. I wouldn't mind if she changed her own nappy properly or if she didn't take 10 minutes to do up her coat... It's driving me insane! How do I deal with this? Just a phase? Anyone else's (just) two year old acting like this?
Just a phase. It's annoying. You have to leave much longer to do anything. But cultivated well it can save you loads of time if you can teach her to dress herself by 2.5! Do you know the montessori method of putting a coat on? My DS learned this about 2 and a quarter (at nursery I might add, nothing to do with me!) and he was so so so proud of himself and it helped with this kind of thing because I could say to him that I would help him with his trousers if he could do his coat himself. Or whatever.
Ooh, no I haven't heard of that. Thanks. I'll look it up now. Yes, I guess you're right.I t'll probably be really great in the long run. If not right now.
Oh my. That's too cute. This can be our little project and we can impress Daddy with it one day when he gets home from work.
DD2 was like this - fiercely independent sums it up. I think it contributed to us going on to have DS as DD2 gave up being a baby so young!
Still impresses the in-laws years later, so definitely worth learning! No idea how you teach it though. Good luck.
I'm glad I'm not the only one in this situation! My 2.5 yr old DS4 has been fiercely independent the last few months and he's the first of my 4 boys to go through the proper 'terrible twos', it's been quite a shock! He's bossy and won't let me do things for him, has huge strops and hits the chairs etc when he doesn't get his own way. Also demands that his daddy do things with/for him though, I took it personally until I realised that he won't let his brothers do things for him either, it's not just me!
We have to make sure he knows he is not the boss and stop him when he turns naughty so he doesn't think he can get away with violence etc. Hopefully it's just a phase and we can ride it out.
When we get out of the car he hates me undoing his harness and asks daddy to undo it. When I undo it he screams, tries to fasten it again and asks daddy to help him fasten it so daddy can undo it. We have started closing the door and just waiting, within seconds he decides to get out and forget about getting his own way. We are gradually learning how to make him do things our way/the faster way without crushing his personality. We need to keep things consistent (not give him wrong for unacceptable behaviour one day and let him get away with the same thing another day, no matter how forceful he can be about wanting to do something), but also need to let him be his own individual person. It's a long, hard slog, but worth it in the end!
Good luck, hope your little one doesn't take long to get through what is hopefully just a phase.
Thank you! Yes I think the terrible twos have well and truly hit. It's like she's changed personality over night. Where has my little angel gone?! I guess I'm just going to have to adopt a whole new level of patience (when I'm really not naturally a very patient person) and through it.
Hi Mia, I know how you feel. My DD is just going through the same phase. It is frustrating when you want to get somewhere and they are desperate to do everything themselves.
I try and let my DD have a go at dressing herself whenever I can, but of course we are sometimes in a rush and this isn't possible.
What helped me in situations like this is having a deeper understanding of why our children have meltdowns, and it's actually okay if sometimes you need to set a limit, and dress her yourself. Tantrums are actually a healthy normal way children release tension and frustration, all those feelings about desperate she is to do things for herself. Tears contain the stress hormone cortisol, so if we find our child's in a mood where they look like they're heading for a meltdown, sometimes actually the kindest thing to do is to just let them cry, rather than let them have their way. When she's having the meltdown, if you can muster the patience to stay calm, and close by, offering love and support, then she'll feel supported, to express her feelings, to their full fiery extent!
After a big meltdown, where she feels loved and cared for she might even let you dress her!
Thanks Cloud yes I'm sure it's a developmental thing and she's always been on the stubborn side, which can be brilliant because she WILL NOT GIVE UP when it comes to things like working out puzzles, etc. I really do admire her for that. She's just so desperate to grow up. Trouble is, sometimes she just can't seem to handle it, like having a choice over something. Yesterday I gave her the choice of orange or blackcurrant. She asked for orange. I said are you sure? Yes. Orange. But then she proceeded to scream for blackcurrant and that turned into a full-blown meltdown. She's really testing me at the moment! Gah.
She sounds a lot like my DD ! I hope they will go far in life with this never give up attitude!!
I just try to reframe my ideas about tantrums, they are okay, it's not really about the drink, but more just using it as an opportunity to release some bigger feelings. We may think they're crying about the drink, but it's probably, some deeper frustrations and upsets and they use the drink as a trigger. It can be trying, but it's really helped me, just to think, that its about big feelings rather than something tiny and inconsequential. I learnt a lot from reading articles, and buying booklets from Hand in Hand Parenting
My dd did this at that age. She just wanted to be in control of her world. I found that it was really helpful if I told her before I invaded her world. So if I was in a hurry and needed to dress her, rather than let her dress herself, I would tell her..."I am in a hurry, so I'm going to take off your pj's and put your clothing on and then you can do it again yourself next time" and I'd make sure to talk her through each thing I was doing "to" her. The good side is that dd is now 10 and I haven't had to dress her or even pick out an outfit for her since she was 2.
I'm not sure if you have older ones, so you may know this already, but the infuriating irrationality really will pass quite quickly. There's a brilliant thread on MN somewhere about cutted up pear. I didn't write it, but I could have. My DS used to be exactly the same - very certain he wanted a whole pear. Then having a melt down because it wasn't 'cutted up'. Then I would cut it and he would go insane, because he wants it whole. Maddening. You just have to count to 10, breathe deeply and either say 'no' or do their bidding (whichever approach is up to you - but ultimately the challenge is staying calm rather than what you actually end up giving the child). Staying calm is not something I find easy, but I am getting better at it now that I am on irrational child number 2.
No, she's my first. You're right, though. It's clearly not about what she actually wants/doesn't want because she'll just want anything she sees and will change her mind a million times before she gets it anyway. Have learned not to have a packet of biscuits out on the kitchen counter!
But is it better to give them the choice in the first place or just avoid the meltdowns where possible by not even giving them the option to choose between one thing or another, like clothes for example. I'll often say to DD, what shall we wear today? And of course she'll want to wear her swimsuit and wellies. In February.
My DS1 is very similar. I try to leave extra time for everything! On the plus side, he potty trained himself in a week at 2.3, he puts his plate away after dinner, puts stuff in the bin, can take down his shorts and pants and can wash himself.
I have to look on the bright side as other things that he just can't do, either because he's not big enough or they aren't safe (cutting with a sharp knife etc), are such a flipping battle.....
He has also decided that hugs are no more so he will fall over and I'll say "does that need a kiss better?" And I get "No, I am FINE. It's NOTHING" in his tiny little child's voice.
I think DS is going to be like this he's 12mo and already trying to dress himself and put his own shoes on and the worst going up stairs by himself we live 2 flights up so it takes forever for him to climb to the top!, i dread to think what he will be like by 2 so far i've just been trying to teach him to do the things he wants to do so he can do them safely.
You're probably right Lola I don't think DD's personality has changed. She was like this from a very young age.
Have now mastered the coat flip and have come to a truce about nappies - she can change the wet ones herself if I do the pooey ones. (Lucky me!)
You're right, Ozzie in the long run I guess it'll be a real help. Just need to get through the terrible twos...
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