Talk to me about 2 yr olds

(22 Posts)
pilotsprincess Tue 17-Dec-13 15:09:32

Hi all.
My dd is 2 years old (just turned) she's a 'handful' pretty much all the time right now.
She's my first child and only have one relative that's got a 3 year old so don't have all that much experience to compare too.
Now, I'm starting to worry abit that her behaviour is something more than the usual terrible 2s. Reason being that she's always the 'worst' behaved whenever I'm out with her and around other little ones.
I guess what I'm asking is does she sound like a regular toddler or should I be concerned? She is often referred to as "wild child" "hypo" "crazy" etc by my friends (childless ones) which for some reason upsets me abit.
Ok so I'm going to describe her and hope some one will read this!

She barely eats anything at all except tomato pasta, literally refuses to eat full stop most the time.
She can't use a a fork very well and would rather use her hands.
She can't sit still at a table so I still use her highchair most of the time, if we take her to a restraint it's a total nightmare and not enjoyable tbh.
She's very loving, needs hugs a lot, quite clingy with me and dh.
She still wakes up in the night but goes to bed ok at 7.30.
She's dropping her daytime nap at the minute so has it some days but not often anymore.
She's always the loudest most excited child at a playgroup or soft play. Others actually look frightened of her at times!
She hits me and pulls my hair if I tell her 'no'
I can't take her out of her buggy when out at all, it's like she physically can't walk she can just run, fast, away from me.
She will not hold hands at all.
If I try to take her home from soft plat etc she has a major tantrum, hits out at me.
She asks to wash her hands all the time, any speck of dirt and she says "yacky"
She will not under any circumstance sit in a circle for story time or instrument time, she's always always the first to get up and wonder off.
She has no sense of danger.
Hates getting dressed!

Hoping someone will come along with some good news that she sounds ok, I'm starting to worry, I actually cried today as first I took her to the supermarket in her buggy she screamed and shouted at people all the way round and I spotted a couple of children that were the same size as her behaving beautifully and they were not in buggys. There's not a chance I could do that. Then my friends little girl was scared of her this morning as she was snatching her toys and shouting at her.

Any tips for me?? smile

pilotsprincess Tue 17-Dec-13 15:11:20

That should be restaurant not restraint!

AMuppetChristmasCorral Tue 17-Dec-13 15:22:07

My DS1 is also just 2 and some of what you're saying rings true for me too. He won't sit in a circle, hates getting dressed, always excited at playgroup, sometimes doesn't nap which often results in tantrums later in the day. He doesn't hit though, and is quite good at holding hands though I still have a backpack reins thing as he has a tendency to bolt if he sees the number 10 (he's obsessed with 10s!).

Is your dd tall for her age? DS1 is, and often looks huge next to the other children at playgroup. I think some of them find him a bit intimidating, though he tends to just sit at the colouring table.

Tbh, it sounds like sleep might be the issue; is she worse on days when she doesn't nap/has a bad night?

AMuppetChristmasCorral Tue 17-Dec-13 15:23:19

Should say, we also have a 3m old DS2 so DS1 is having to entertain himself a bit more than before...

BertieBowtiesAreCool Tue 17-Dec-13 15:24:45

She barely eats anything at all except tomato pasta, literally refuses to eat full stop most the time.
> Totally normal. Try to keep food not being a battleground, it is your responsibility to provide it, it's her responsibility to eat it (or not).

She can't use a a fork very well and would rather use her hands.
> Probably related to the other food issues. Just keep providing a fork (and spoon if she likes) and let her choose - just make sure you wash her hands after dinner smile

She can't sit still at a table so I still use her highchair most of the time, if we take her to a restraint it's a total nightmare and not enjoyable tbh.
> Fairly normal but it might be worth trying to work on this - tell her the rules beforehand (if she gets up then dinner is over and you take the food away) and then every time she gets up you say "Oh are you finished DD? No? Come and sit back down then, love."

She's very loving, needs hugs a lot, quite clingy with me and dh.
> Normal smile

She still wakes up in the night but goes to bed ok at 7.30.
> Normal! sad

She's dropping her daytime nap at the minute so has it some days but not often anymore.
> Normal.

She's always the loudest most excited child at a playgroup or soft play. Others actually look frightened of her at times!
> She sounds a character grin

She hits me and pulls my hair if I tell her 'no'
> Fairly standard, how do you deal with it when she does this? Some people advocate time outs at this age, we had success with redirection (you can hit the sofa but not people) and empathy (you "voice" the feeling - I can see you're really cross about not being able to have another biscuit.) and you can try to change the way you say no, or offer an alternative, like "Yes, but not now. We can go tomorrow." "No more biscuits, but you can have an orange if you're still hungry."

I can't take her out of her buggy when out at all, it's like she physically can't walk she can just run, fast, away from me.
> Some kids are just like this. Reins are your friend wink

She will not hold hands at all.
> Again, just use the buggy/reins.

If I try to take her home from soft plat etc she has a major tantrum, hits out at me.
> Normal, again. See if you can give her some warning, not "We're leaving in 10 minutes" but in some way she can understand, like "DD you have time for 3 more goes on the slide and then we have to go home." or give her a choice, e.g. We have time for 3 more things, do you want to go on the slide, swings or rocking horse?

She asks to wash her hands all the time, any speck of dirt and she says "yacky"
> Fairly common in 2 year olds. Apparently I was like this as a child!

She will not under any circumstance sit in a circle for story time or instrument time, she's always always the first to get up and wonder off.
> One of them has to be the first! smile

She has no sense of danger.
> Normal. That's why you need the reins wink

Hates getting dressed!
> Normal. My 5 year old still prefers to be naked if he can get away with it. Think about it, it's totally pointless to them. Why would they want to get out of their nice cosy warm comfortable pyjamas, just to put on another set of clothes which to them are basically the same thing?! Grown ups, totally insane.

She sounds great, and totally normal. I think your friends are lucky!

BertieBowtiesAreCool Tue 17-Dec-13 15:27:53

Ah childless friends - well, then, they don't know what 2 year olds are generally like. They're ALL hyper and crazy and whirlwinds, because they are two.

Do your shopping online. I found it a pain to do with the buggy at that age because DS wanted to walk and touch everything or screamed at being in the buggy or would just get out and the whole lot would tip over backwards.

pilotsprincess Tue 17-Dec-13 15:35:57

Thankyou both so much grinsmilegrin
Yes, she's very tall for her age actually. So I do think people expect more from her and smaller kids are intimidated.
My friends like to compare her to another friends dd who is 3 but the same height and she's also quite timid. They like to say ohh her dd is so good/sweet/quiet and then they will say mine is hilarious/wild/crazy/insane, I'm being over sensitive I know, it just gets to me. Need to let that go over my head.

Yes, she is worse when she reaches say day 3 of refusing naps (today) she's asleep now, will probably be an angel when she wakes. I think I will try to get her back into having a little nap each day, she was much nicer then tbh! She seems to be afraid of missing something!

When she hits me I've been doing time out, it's not very effective really at the minute, hadn't thought about re-directing, I will definitely try that one!

I feel loads better, no more tears today and I'm ready for dinner time!
Thankyou thanks

BertieBowtiesAreCool Tue 17-Dec-13 15:51:15

She sounds great, too. I love kids who have wild characters. I have a timid/quiet boy, so it's not a gender thing.

AMuppetChristmasCorral Tue 17-Dec-13 16:31:11

I did wonder if she might be - people expect DS to react like a 3 or 4 year old and criticise when he acts like a 2 year old. He's very vocal, and a bit hard to miss!

This week at church he went for a wander up the aisle while I was feeding DS2, and said hello to people, called out the pew numbers, yelled 'book' at the bible and then climbed the communion rail during the service. Luckily everyone well almost everyone. I'm looking at you snooty flower lady there thinks he's a cheeky chap, knows us, and I know someone will grab him if he's up to mischief. He did something similar at the children's library on Friday - they were less impressed fgrin

niggle123 Tue 17-Dec-13 20:44:57

Bah people without children or who haven't had them should keep there opinions to themselves! As they don't have a clue such a shame it's considered rude to tell them this ;-).

Using a fork she's only 2 and such skills require dexterity. When the nap goes it never helps with behaviour and exacerbates it.

Restaurants we've got a little ruck sack full of toys and colouring pens, pencils and paper. The toys only come out at restaurants so my daughter's excited as if they're new every time.

Time outs don't work with mine a mixture explaining you wouldn't like it if I did that to you and it makes me sad when you do that, and punishments of removing tv privileges or whatever. I use a 3 strike warning system saying you've got 3 warnings left if you carry on and so on and I try not to use it too often so she knows I only use it when I mean it.

Food thing not unusual mine likes to watch Balamory at lunch if she doesn't eat her lunch it gets switched off and goes back on when she starts eating and she gets 30 minutes of TV after she's eat enough of her dinner.

Haven't had a problem with the hitting thing but take heart I have plenty of friends who have.

2 is definitely an age where they start to develop their personality but also their wilful fullness we all have to find new tactics every child is different, but you'll figure it out.

Good luck.

adewonder Tue 17-Dec-13 20:59:52

My ds is 2, he hates getting dressed, I bribe him with playing with his toys. Nursery have 'words' with him pretty much each day about being rough with his friends - makes me feel like he's the naughtiest but he's so not...he's just normal. He's bonkers most of the time, eats gnocchi or weetabix and nothing else offered, crunches weetabix as a dry snack, so wierd. Picked him up today and he told me he was drunk. Now, i think he was trying to say something else, otherwise nursery have some explaining to do.
If he gets mucky hands he runs over to me going mummy wipe it wipe it..and has one speed...running.
Think he's ok though!

niggle123 Tue 17-Dec-13 22:02:35

Bah people without children or who haven't had them should keep there opinions to themselves! As they don't have a clue such a shame it's considered rude to tell them this ;-).

Using a fork she's only 2 and such skills require dexterity. When the nap goes it never helps with behaviour and exacerbates it.

Restaurants we've got a little ruck sack full of toys and colouring pens, pencils and paper. The toys only come out at restaurants so my daughter's excited as if they're new every time.

Time outs don't work with mine a mixture explaining you wouldn't like it if I did that to you and it makes me sad when you do that, and punishments of removing tv privileges or whatever. I use a 3 strike warning system saying you've got 3 warnings left if you carry on and so on and I try not to use it too often so she knows I only use it when I mean it.

Food thing not unusual mine likes to watch Balamory at lunch if she doesn't eat her lunch it gets switched off and goes back on when she starts eating and she gets 30 minutes of TV after she's eat enough of her dinner.

Haven't had a problem with the hitting thing but take heart I have plenty of friends who have.

2 is definitely an age where they start to develop their personality but also their wilful fullness we all have to find new tactics every child is different, but you'll figure it out.

Good luck.

AveryJessup Wed 18-Dec-13 01:56:32

Sounds just like my 2-year old! Some children are more placid than others, some have more energy than others.

Maybe you should try to meet more friends with DCs like yours? Also work to your DD's strengths rather than trying to force her into some mold of what other kids do.

This was the solution for me. I was so tired of taking my DS to music classes and story time and just being embarrassed when he would get up and run around. So through a mother's group and a music class I went to, I eventually found some like-minded parents with high-energy toddlers. We now regularly meet up at the park and other toddler-friendly zones for active play dates where all our 2 year olds are free to run around like lunatics and 'burn off the crazy' as I call it. I feel so much happier now I have just accepted who my DS is and made friends in the same situation.

MiaowTheCat Wed 18-Dec-13 13:32:51

Sounds like my 20 month old - only it's the number 8 not the number 10.

AMuppetChristmasCorral Wed 18-Dec-13 15:17:53

Miaow there are ten minute parking restrictions between our house and the park, so I have to add an extra twenty minutes on to potential park time to allow for the fact that we have to stop and say hello to every single sign smile

inadreamworld Wed 18-Dec-13 15:26:13

Hi Pilot, I have a 2.8 year old and an 11 month old - both girls. I think my DD is a little like yours - only a few points of difference - also like yours with washing the hands!!! Your DD and mine are NORMAL 2 YEAR OLDS - that is why it is called the terrible twos!!! I was apparently a hightmare toddler and now I am quite nice and civilized....

She barely eats anything at all except tomato pasta, literally refuses to eat full stop most the time

Ditto - mine also likes chocolate, crisps, cake, all sweet things and will not eat vegetables or fruit unless they are in the baby food her 11 month old sister has (so I give her that just to get her to eat the fruit - also give her vitamin drops)

She can't use a a fork very well and would rather use her hands

My DD won't/can't use a fork at all, she uses a spoon or her hands.

She can't sit still at a table so I still use her highchair most of the time, if we take her to a restraint it's a total nightmare and not enjoyable tbh

My DD hates highchair, will behave beautifully at a restaurant but not so well at home - must be in an adult chair with a cushion - no highchair!

She's very loving, needs hugs a lot, quite clingy with me and dh

DD VERY clingy with DH - she throws herself on the floor in a screaming tantrum if he stops playing with her/dares to go to the toilet etc - a bit like this with me too but more with DH.

She still wakes up in the night but goes to bed ok at 7.30

DD generally sleeps all night - I am lucky on that one. But hates being put to bed and delays it screams and I have to settle her a couple of times. I leave her to cry for a while, go back then eventually OK. Ends up 8.30 or later....

She's dropping her daytime nap at the minute so has it some days but not often anymore

DD stopped regular daytime nap at 18 months - rarely has one now, once in a blue moon.

She's always the loudest most excited child at a playgroup or soft play. Others actually look frightened of her at times!

DD not the loudest or scary but very sociable with other children and loves soft play.

She hits me and pulls my hair if I tell her 'no'

Yes - ditto sometimes.

I can't take her out of her buggy when out at all, it's like she physically can't walk she can just run, fast, away from me

DD doesn;t do this but does order me to go certain places and refuse to walk if I don't (so I strap her in buggy while she screams....)

She will not hold hands at all

DD will hold hands most of the time but not when in a bad mood

If I try to take her home from soft plat etc she has a major tantrum, hits out at me

DD hates going home - doesn't hit but gets upset.

She asks to wash her hands all the time, any speck of dirt and she says "yacky"

YES!! The same for DD.....other 2 year olds seem to be OK with dirt but she keeps asking me to clean her hands too...

She will not under any circumstance sit in a circle for story time or instrument time, she's always always the first to get up and wonder off

Same - if other kids doing it she doesn't want to follow the crowd.

She has no sense of danger

Actually DD DOES - keeps telling me sharp things and hot things are dangerous - is generally careful for a toddler so not like you on that one.

Hates getting dressed!

YES.

rainbowfeet Wed 18-Dec-13 15:38:11

My ds is almost 2 & I can identify somewhat with your list...

He doesn't eat much at all & is quite fussy.
I still use my high chair & wouldn't sit him in a normal chair in a restaurant because I know he would be off touring the place & trying to sit with other people ! shock
He will not sit in a circle for story or singing

rainbowfeet Wed 18-Dec-13 15:46:30

Sorry cont..

He is good with other children & generally not loud or boisterous but can tantrum with the best of them.
He doesn't like being in his buggy if I let him walk for a bit it is a major meltdown getting him back in .. Normally a bribe of a bit of chocolate helps. wink
His table manners are awful & starts out using cutlery but always uses hands in the end... Meal times are messy indoors & in public hmm
He is a good sleeper thank goodness but lately has started to wake in the night & want to get in with me so I've upped his bed time from 7pm to between 7.30 & 8pm depending on his signs of tiredness.. That has worked so far. smile

I think people are more shocked when a girl is spirited but accept it when it's a boy. I'd say she is just a typical toddler.

rainbowfeet Wed 18-Dec-13 15:52:06

I'll add by far the worst thing for setting him off is getting dressed or a nappy change hmm ... He screams, runs away & tries to hide & when I've caught him & trying to do the job in hand he is still screaming & trying to kick me .. I've tried turning into into a game where he wriggles his arms & feet & I have to catch them to dress him... Sometimes works but very stressful when we're in a hurry.

Doctorbrownbear Wed 18-Dec-13 18:00:17

I think most of what you said rings true compared to my 2.2 yr old. I must say that mine has good and bad moments and what tou have said sounds like her at her worst but not how she is all the time.

Bumpsadaisie Wed 18-Dec-13 18:27:44

It is a shock with your first, when your sweet baby enters the twos.

Your DD sounds normal, perhaps at the spirited end!

Rest assured that in a years time she will be MUCH more reasonable and less hard work.

By 4 she will be a delight again!

Bumpsadaisie Wed 18-Dec-13 18:31:23

PS. you can't stop them being hard work but you can manage the environment.

- don't let them get overtired
- don't let them get hungry
- let them have plenty of fresh air and exercise
- understand that they are desperately trying to develop their sense of self by all this oppositional behaviour. When they refuse to fit it, they are trying to become a separate person all of their own. Its blimmin frustrating but let them do it to the maximum extent possible and only challenge them when really needed for the purposes of timekeeping/manners/safety.
- if your toddler is able to express themselves and develop a strong core sense of self at this age, they will be EASIER later. Children who have a strong sense of agency and self are easier to get on with, don't act out, and more reasonable. So think of it as an investment in the future.

Its hard work though innit!

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