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aibu regarding my toddlers behaviour

(221 Posts)
mennie1980 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:04:33

Hi all. Long time lurker, first time poster.

This afternoon I was upstairs sorting Laundry and my 2.10 year old son starting throwing lots of toys over the stair gate onto the stairs.

I went down stairs and told him off and explained how dangerous is was and how mummy could trip and hurt herself.

He said I want you to fall down the stairs and break your leg. I told him this was a horrible thing to say and asked him to apologise. He refused. So I told him our planned activities this afternoon, making cakes and the park were cancelled and no toys or TV this afternoon just drawing. He screamed the place down and cried himself to sleep.

He is now sleeping peacefully and I am wondering if I have been unreasonable.

He is adopted and our first and only child and not been with us very long so this is all so new and scary and today has been a dreadful day.

mumaa Thu 31-Oct-13 14:07:01

I dont think that sounds unreasonable on your part at all. Speak to him again when he gets up and see what his response is. Sorry youre having such a cr@ppy day - little consolation but it happens to us all, big hugs!

BloodiedGhouloshes Thu 31-Oct-13 14:07:53

Right, I am hardly the world's greatest mother (had a total meltdown myself last night) but when he wakes up, I would explain why mummy was cross, and ask him to say sorry. If he does, then a kiss and cuddle and maybe 1 planned activity.

But there will be others out there who probably have better ideas. I don't feel all that qualified at giving advice!

phantomnamechanger Thu 31-Oct-13 14:08:01


that's not a nice thing to say and if he is old enough to say it he is old enough to take the punishment.
How else is he to learn what is and is not acceptable? Unreasonable would be you screaming at him for 10 minutes, telling him you did not love him, packing his bags etc etc

WorraLiberty Thu 31-Oct-13 14:08:19

As much as that was not a nice thing to say, he's not even 3yrs old and is getting used to a new family.

I think a massive amount of slack should have been cut here.

You've effectively given him 4 punishments to say no making cakes, going to the park, playing with toys or watching TV.

Far too harsh imo.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 31-Oct-13 14:08:48

His language is very good. Which may mean that he was picking up a lot of stuff wherever he was before you. Was he a long time with a foster family or did he have a long time in his initial situation? Do you know if there was abuse (don't necessarily answer that, just think about it as a cause).

BloodiedGhouloshes Thu 31-Oct-13 14:09:32

Just as an aside though. don't make drawing a punishment, it might make him feel all structured activity like that is a punishment.... but I don't really know.

It is hard being a parent!

Congratulations on your little boy BTW. smile

mennie1980 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:09:40

Thanks. Am I being silly to take it to heart so much? Can he mean it?

xCupidStuntx Thu 31-Oct-13 14:11:25

Sorry your having a rubbish day, I know all about the terrible twos unfortunately! One thing I will say is, I think they're a little too young to comprehend why they can't do sometime hours later because of actions they've probably forgotten by now if you know what I mean?
Also, a run around a park is probably just what he needs. I'd be tempted to forget all about it when he wakes up and just enjoy the day together, then later on sit down with him and explain that it wasn't nice to throw the toys and say those things.

Good luck!

BloodiedGhouloshes Thu 31-Oct-13 14:12:10

No, he will not mean it!!!!! That is for sure. Children at that age say things all the time because they do not always understand WHAT it really means!

WorraLiberty Thu 31-Oct-13 14:12:38

He probably doesn't mean it but depending on his past and what's gone on there, he could be angry and just lashing out.

That's why I think you need to cut him some slack.

Has he had many carers in the past? Could he be missing his last one?

mennie1980 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:12:58

He is was in foster care since birth so no abuse etc.

If he had apologised straigt away I would have carried on as normal.

It is the refusal to apologise he is being punished for..

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 31-Oct-13 14:13:50

Unless you also take seriously my DD's wish to be a Superhero Puppy... They are just trying out language. Really, don't take it to heart.

Nannyme1 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:14:20

I think he is pushing you and seeing if you will still love him and what he can get away with.
If you get a sorry maybe he could do some helping to earn back an activity.

But at nearly three I ont think you should just not have a punishment cause they pick tat up fast.

mennie1980 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:15:07

He only had one foster carer.

I am so glad he fell asleep, I am finding this so tough.

123bucklemyshoe Thu 31-Oct-13 14:15:17

I doubt he really means it or understands the implications of what he has said. I should think he had heard it - we learn mostly by copying. He also may be testing to see if you will still love him & is testing boundaries & if you will abandon him. He may also unconsciously pushing you to do just that.....have a chat with him when he wakes up & tell him you still lovehim just ddidn't like what he said.
Do you have support?

BloodiedGhouloshes Thu 31-Oct-13 14:15:44

Or they say things to get a reaction. My DS currently enjoys saying that everyone's head smells like poo.

dyslexicdespot Thu 31-Oct-13 14:17:36

He is a toddler and he has already dealt with a huge amount of upheaval. I would try hard not to take his outburst personally. As MrsTerry pointed out, he could be repeating things he has heard before. If anything, you should feel relieved that he feels safe enough with you to express anger/frustration.

Why don't you have a look at, you will find loads of advice on how to raise children without resorting to punishment. Good luck.

thebody Thu 31-Oct-13 14:18:10

of course he doesn't mean it! you are his mum and he loves you as you love him.

it's tough with toddlers.

personally I totally agree with your treatment, he needs to know the boundaries and what's acceptable speech from day 1.. I had friends who let their children say they hated them!! no punishment and I thought that was vile.

when he wakes to have a big cuddle and a chat.

then depending in the weather go out for a good walk or cuddle up with a favourite DVD.

we are all groping in the dark as parents.

my 4 are age 13 to 24 and still manage to upend us on occasion.

Ruffcat Thu 31-Oct-13 14:18:22

Please don't take it to heart, ds who's 3 has said somethibg like that when he's there's been toys on the stairs. He doesn't mean it it's just testing boundaries. He gets a good telling off though.

TallGiraffe Thu 31-Oct-13 14:19:47

Being a parent is tough. Adopting a child brings extra challenges. He definitely didn't mean it, I would have a chat with him when he wakes up and then go to the park. You'll both feel better for some fresh air and leaf kicking!

Congratulations on your little boy.

mennie1980 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:23:36

Thanks everyone I am feeling like such a sh!tty mum at the moment.

I feel like this is all I wanted and now I have it I can't do it

BrandiBroke Thu 31-Oct-13 14:23:54

I think you're just making more work for yourself if you were going to limit him to just drawing for a few hours. Will he actually sit and do it or would he get bored and start trying to jump on the furniture etc? (As my nephew who's about the same age would)

If he is new to the family he is probably very insecure. So you going upstairs and leaving him alone probably worried him in a way he couldn't express. Same as when you explained you might have been hurt - he won't really want you to hurt yourself but will not be able to express how he really feels for you.

My mum was once helping on a trip at the nursery I worked at and a little girl was tugging on her arm. My mum said 'don't do that, it hurts and you don't want to hurt me do you?' The littke girl, who was lovely and also loved my mum helping on trips replied 'sometimes I do.' She didn't really mean it, just couldnt articulate how she really felt.

I think I would have just said 'I dont think you mean that, it's very unkind' and moved on. And I am a very, very strict disciplinarian with children!

BrandiBroke Thu 31-Oct-13 14:26:21

Aww don't beat yourself up. Everyone has good days and bad days.

PeppiNephrine Thu 31-Oct-13 14:27:09

I agree its much too harsh. Thats a lot of punishment for one comment.

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