high need toddler

(6 Posts)
howtoapproachthis Tue 26-Aug-14 11:22:00

i would be grateful of any tips for parenting my high need toddler. (3 yr old dd) i am a single parent which already has its challenges, i knew dd was more challenging from the start than my friends dcs and now that i have read all the definitions of 'high need' she really does tick all the boxes, which is quite a relief as now i know that this is what she is, and its not my fault. i know myself that i have been consistent up till now with discipline, but its very hard with my relatives as i was on holiday recently and they had very 'good' babies and toddlers and i felt they were judging me as if because i was a single parent this had affected her in some way, or that i wasn't disiplining the way i should.

one thing i am finding very hard is saying 'no' to her when out and about. its ok in the house, because she can have her tantrums but for example yesterday we were at soft play, i went to get a coffee (we had snacks in the car before we went in) and she wanted a bun. i would have said no being me, (the expense, the sugar, giving in to demands) but i felt controlled. i felt i had to say yes because if i didn't there would be a full scale melt down in busy soft play, i was too exhausted to deal with it, and so i said yes purely to avoid this. i know now this is a red flag for me, the fact that i am starting to give in to avoid tantrums, and i know if this continues she will expect she can ask for anything and get it and end up very spoilt, but the thing is, anyone who has a high needs child will understand that the scale of the tantrum is going to be way up there, and she might not have gotten over it, so we might not have even got into soft play. i realise now that i should have just said no, and took her home if this happened, but for me - keeping her out of the house is much easier than in the house and i was going to soft play to try to just get a bit of a breather. this is a very long post! i think i am just very frustrated and drained by the intensity of parenting at the minute. she is also becoming aggressive with other children, and she knows that if she does this she goes straight home, and she still does it. any tips welcome

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 26-Aug-14 19:35:02

Is she sleeping and eating well? How's her speech? Do you get any time away from here?

With the parenting, you can't know what others are thinking, so please don't worry about that. If you reread your post, I think you know where you are going adrift.

Could you talk to your HV? She might know of some support locally. See if your library has a copy of The House of Tiny Tearaways and you might like to read thissmile

VeryThelma Tue 26-Aug-14 19:55:09

I find discussing a situation BEFORE it happens often helps so if I am out with my 2 DS (7 & 4)

I will say "we aren't having snacks in the cafe today mum doesn't have any spare pennies for snacks we can have this now before we go in or save it until we come out what would you like to do?"

Then the expectation is discussed before the situation IYSWIM doesn't always work DS2 had a melt down in the zoo shop early in the hols it was abismal but we discussed it much later and he said sorry.

I think what I am trying to say is at 3 they can discuss events before and afterwards and stop things before they start HTH

howtoapproachthis Thu 28-Aug-14 19:33:30

sorry for late reply and thanks for your replies. she gets enough sleep, she wakes early but goes to bed early. she wakes frequently but does go back to sleep straight away usually - its me that can't get back over.

her speech is great. ive been looking up some information and ADHD seems a good possibility if all this persists after toddlerhood. getting to the library is a good idea, i will look out for the tiny tearaways, i have already ordered another recommended one so i am hoping to get some ideas of how to parent her.

very thats an excellent idea, i never thought of anticipating it and having the chat beforehand, although i know i can't do that with everything, at least it might help for some things.

i am starting to feel really down with everything, and am considering going on antidepressants again. i feel stretched to the limit every day, then when i get a break im too tired to do anything. today she started preschool. all the other kids got on with it, she was asking me to help her with everything (that bit is ok i guess) but she whined about things the whole time (such as her uniform), cried because her drawer was the wrong colour, and because she didn't want a sticker. all the other kids seem to just go with the flow. again, i am comparing but it really is difficult for me to keep seeing the positives. i guess the positives were that she had a bundle of energy, strong willed, and 'spark' if you want to try to put a positive spin on it, something which i am going to really have to try to do. the whining can go on for a long time, and i don't know how to stop it its so draining. it feels like its only me who is struggling even though i know realistically hundreds of people must have kids like my dc!

mummy2lola Fri 29-Aug-14 05:18:13

Hey Hun- god, she sounds like my dd- it's hard isn't it. I know what you mean when you say you feel others with 'calmer' kids look at you and think you're out of control and must let your child run riot. I use a good technique, but it's hard not to slip up, whereby you reply to them when the answer us no, but don't actually say it!it is hard!!

MomOfABeast Sat 30-Aug-14 11:33:31

You have my sympathies my toddler is high needs too and I understand feeling judged by other parents. Kids aren't blank slates and have their own temperaments. I find it helps to avoid tantrums if I don't say "no" so much as "not now". You can't have a bun now because xyz but you will get a treat on Saturday when we visit grandma or whatever. Preparation also helps as someone else said so she knows in advance that there won't be any sweets at the soft play.

With my toddler we talk about his meltdowns together and approach it as something that isn't pleasant for either of us and talk about how to avoid it. Eg " you're getting frustrated, we not want a meltdown because then we'd have to go home, lets go outside for a minute so that leant happen" etc.

Good luck!

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