Patience is wearing thin- two year old DD says no everything

(32 Posts)
BazilGin Sat 07-Dec-13 20:29:40

I don't know what to do anymore. My 2 year old DD is getting more and more challenging, to the point I feel like I just can't take it anymore. DH is trying to put her down and I am actually crying. i can't take it anymore!! She says no to everything, all (predictble and routine) activities like breakfast, washing, going out, nappy changing are met with various degrees of no. I tried different techniques, from threats to rewards and nothing works. I do try very hard to focus on positives, keep calm, stay cool and I am not shouty but it'such a hard work, I feel like I love her but I don't like spending time with her at the moment! I give her a lot of one to one attention, lots of cuddles but my god, nothing seems to be making much difference.

It probably doesn't help that I am 12 weeks pregnant and exhausted. How on earth am I ever going to cope with two? sad

I just wanted to vent, that's all. Feeling a bit better now...(thanks for reading this far).
Oh, and she only started sttn before 2nd bday, and is a very early waker (anything between 5.30 and 5.45 is considered a norm).

It's bloody hard.

DeckTheHallsWithBoughsOfHorry Sat 07-Dec-13 21:02:56

It's hard to be a parent to a 2yo, because it's really hard to be two.

Have you looked into "love bombing"? We're trying this with our 2yo at the moment. Usually he's acting up because tired/confused/frustrated rather than actually malicious/vindictive. Addressing the cause of the behaviour, rather than the behaviour itself, has had some positive effects. It's also a far less disagreeable situation to be in, as opposed to continual fighting.

Two is so little really - they need a lot of comfort and reassurance as they start to go out into the big scary world (playgroup etc).

I feel your pain though. Being a pg parent to a 2yo was hideous. I did it twice (two and a bit years between DC1 and DC2, and between DC2 and DC3).

It gets better, I promise.

chocnomore Sat 07-Dec-13 21:07:16

my Dd2 is very much like that. I think it is about control.

what I do a lot with her is giving her choices. e.g. instead of telling her to have breakfast i offer her porridge or toast - she thinks she in charge then by making the decision. does not always work but dors thr trick a lot of times.
if she does throw a paddy - never punish but ignore ignore ignore. just walk away and only pay attention when she has calmed down.

SteamWisher Sat 07-Dec-13 21:08:35

I have a 2 year old (and 4 year old). This is the age of control - they want control but threats don't work.

Best things is to start offering two choices (this doesn't work as they get older) and a super cheery voice. So putting coats on "do you want this one or this one?" or "mummy do it or dd do it?" etc.
Also giving them time and sitting and waiting for them. So dd won't let me get her dressed. She runs off screaming. I try and wrestle her into her clothes, doesn't work. So I sit down and wait, and she usually comes to me. Also letting her choose clothes helps too.
Other things are to pick your battles and get out of the house as much as possible.

NotAQueef Sat 07-Dec-13 21:10:21

No real advice, but lots of sympathy. My ds turned 3 last week and things are geeting better but through most of the last year basic routine things have been so hard - especially weekday mornings when trying to get out of the house.
Over the last few months as his speech has rapidly improved and the concept of reasoning has begun to stick therefore things have definitely improved.
I guess my point is I really just think it's part of being two and maturity coupled with boundaries ( which you probably already have in place) will improve things. Good luck! X

mousmous Sat 07-Dec-13 21:12:15

2 year olds are supposed to say no all the time. it's just a phase.
is she sleeping enough? getting enough excercise outside (an hour at least a day)?

you need some rest, let dh take over for the rest of the weekend.

LovesBeingHereAgain Sat 07-Dec-13 21:15:24

Yep my 2 yr old ds is tge same, asking a different way or even tge same question again can get a different answer.

Gwlondon Sat 07-Dec-13 21:45:42

I feel the same. I am so very tired (10 weeks) and I think my 2.5 year old has had a tantrum nearly everyday this week. I am so tired I know I have no patience. The only thing that has made me feel human this week is going out to a friends for dinner and out for the day to see my auntie. My auntie has to rest and luckily I got to lay down on a sofa opposite her for an hour too. My husband looked after my son last night and today. If there is anywhere you might be able to go and have a rest try it. When I have patience I ask win win questions. Where either answer is what you want or give choices. Good luck.

HandragsNGladbags Sat 07-Dec-13 21:48:41

I used to fight DD1, I have adapted my tactics with DD2 grin

Offer a choice, or commiserate with her. So I say "put your coat on" "no" <wail>

"oh I know, poor DD2 having to put her coat on never mind"

or distract with what you are doing, where she is going, what's for breakfast.

BazilGin Sat 07-Dec-13 21:48:45

Thanks for all replies, I do need a bit of perspective, tend to lose it recently.
"Lovebombing" has been on my radar for a while but haven't looked into it yet.
She really is lovely generally and not a little monster 100% of the time, but definitely more defiant by the day. I tried giving choices but that seems to infuriate her more for some reason. Her communication and speech are really great so maybe I also forget sometimes that this very vocal chatterbox is only 2...
it's reassuring to know I am not alone. I just struggle to understand why thing that she enjoys (like bath) tend to be a huge thing, with running away and shouting I am not going in the bath mummy, I said no mummy!
I think I am just tired.

SteamWisher Sat 07-Dec-13 22:16:10

She's practising her speech as well. My 2 year old uses phrases which are in context but actually she is just testing them out. It is quite funny hearing her copy her brother by declaring something is lovely or she's not doing it (then she does it a minute later).

TreaterAnita Sat 07-Dec-13 22:40:52

It's utterly normal if that helps, but bloody soul destroying. It's all about control, she's twigged that she can not want to do what you want to do, and she can tell you about it as well.

The thing I found most helpful was to think about it from their point of view. I'd be mightily hacked off if I was really engaged in something and was told that I had to out my coat on and leave the house right now. So with my son I tended to give choices, eg (as people have already suggested) not, 'you're having breakfast' but would you like breakfast now or after you've watched Peppa. And then a choice for breakfast (only ever 2!) etc. For things that we have to do, like leave the house for nursery, I normally give a 5 minute warning, so 'In 5 minutes we're going to have to out our coats on and go to nursery, what would you like to do for those 5 mins'. You're still going to get a lot of noing I suspect, even with that approach, but in time she will get it (and then probably start to come up with inventive excuses for why she can't do what you want, but at least those tend to be funny).

If a choice results in a total meltdown, I just ignore. Normally he will then come running to me absolutely desperate to have one of the things that's been offered. It seems really mean to ignore a crying child, especially a 2yo, but they're only doing it to get you to play along with their behaviour.

I suspect that you don't really need love bombing (not a fan of Oliver James) - she's 2, she's well aware that you love her, that's why she's pushing your buttons.

justwondering72 Sun 08-Dec-13 05:14:04

I agree with the 'Two choices' tactic, it's worked really well with both of mine at that age. for things that you have to do, like getting coat and shoes on to leave the house, a combination of distraction and bribery can work!

Alanna1 Sun 08-Dec-13 05:18:15

Buy a copy of how babies think (or something like that, maybe how babies learn). Its not a "help" book, but the scientific evidence as to brain development. By leading child psychologists. She's learning autonomy and that what she wants isnt what you want.

madwomanintheatt1c Sun 08-Dec-13 05:54:26

Choices choices choices choices.

And getting on with it.

Juice or milk?

Biscuit or raisins?

Blue coat or red?

Yellow hat or pink scarf?

No 'do this, do that' - and a small amount of bribery and distraction works a treat as well.

She sounds perfectly normal. grin

And so do you. grin

FionasFatFairy Sun 08-Dec-13 06:06:58

2 choices is the way to go.

DD2 is 3, but as not yet worked out that mummy does not give in to tantrums. On Friday night it was the school Christmas fair, at one point she was stamping her foot and having. Full blown paddy because mummy said no.

FionasFatFairy Sun 08-Dec-13 06:08:46

Oh, and the point about 2 choices is that usually either suits you! blue coat or pink (I don't care which coat you wear as long as you wear one to take your sibling to school)

Rosa Sun 08-Dec-13 07:00:42

No bath .. Thats fine no story then.
No coat Thats fine - oh its very cold outside.
No breakfast - thats fine no snacks until lunch then.
When out and about never any negotiation choices about hand holding .
I found too many choices just made it even harder as you gave 2 and she wanted 4 , then after deciding on 1 she wanted 2 and it went on and on. I had a few battles with massive melt downs but stuck to my guns . Which ever tactic you choose stick to it. Don't chop and change as it will confuse even longer and they will change tactic as well.

Mine has just cried about the bubbles in her bath

(Despairs)

I found walking away and calming down before I say anything helps

brettgirl2 Sun 08-Dec-13 20:09:40

The choices thing though only works once they understand them. If I ask dd (23 months) if she wants grapes or banana she says 'yes' grin .

I feel your pain op. In my case dd1 was born into the terrible twos whereas dd2 started as a lovely placid baby and has been going steadily downhill since one. sigh. ....

One thing I find that works is to copy her when she kicks off. She finds it just hilarious and then forgets about what she was stropping about.

It's totally normal though, remember at least when you have baby you won't be pregnant anymore. I found it easier to be honest.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sun 08-Dec-13 20:14:50

For my own personal amusement I used to ask DD1 questions with double negatives so really she was saying yes.wink

Now DS is at the No stage I just ignore it tbh. If it's something that needs doing and a bit of charm and letting them be in control hasn't helped (It's time for a happy change, can you get me a happy please?) And whatever it is needs doing, then pin them down and do it. If it isn't important say fine and ignore them until they decide they'd like to engage again.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sun 08-Dec-13 20:15:39

*nappy not happy...

funnyvalentine Sun 08-Dec-13 20:29:49

I have a 2 year old too, it's exhausting! The two choices thing doesn't work for us, she doesn't seem to respond to it. Her communication is pretty good though and she responds well to proper explanations of why she can't have something, even ones which seem quite complicated. We tell her a lot about what's happening in advance, praise her for doing stuff right, and combine that with distraction when needed. Plus a lot of forced cheeriness from both DH and I!

rrreow Sun 08-Dec-13 22:25:41

Much sympathy! Don't ask her questions that can have 'no' as an appropriate answer (e.g. 'shall we change your nappy?' 'would you like some breakfast?'). Instead give a choice (e.g. 'would you like to play with mummy's phone or x toy while I change your nappy?' 'would you like shreddies or porridge for breakfast?'). If she doesn't make a choice, count to three and make the choice for her. Then deal with the tantrum that ensues (lots of acknowledging the feelings and that she's upset, but stick to your guns about whatever the choice was). Soon she will learn that you will make the choice for her once you get to three. This works quite well for my DS.

Other things that help:
-be consistent and follow through, but all the while you can acknowledge their feelings
-when behaviour is awful ask yourself: is she thirsty (dehydration makes kids INSANE), hungry or tired?
-give notice ('in 5 minutes we're going up to bed, shall we play with your blocks some more or with your teaset?')

Maybe I'm weird but I quite like figuring out what works on my DS and experimenting with techniques. I found Playful Parenting and How to Talk very useful books.

Tapiocapearl Mon 09-Dec-13 04:16:42

Start giving a choice between two things whilst stating a fact. We are going out - would you like your red or blue coat?

Also agree with playful parenting. Being totally daft/imaginative/playful can work. Can you both be robots eating breakfast?

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