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2yo tantrums...

(16 Posts)
pugh Fri 23-Sep-11 21:04:33

and I can't tAke it. Not helped by the arrival of her new little brother 3wks ago&having an infection recently.

DD has been having tantrums on&off since 18 mo. But the screaming at anything &everything is simply immense, uncontrollable&embarrassing.she has also started hitting me &my husband. So far ok with baby. I am F feeding and we try to split who is giving her attention.

I use a firm voice to say hitting is bad. I have been so angry a smacked her (lightly!). I realise this means I am losing control and have taken my own time out when I realise this is happening.

This could just be her. Her being two. Her world upset by the new arrival.

She is in nursery to give me a break but when she is here the whole house is misery. Literally from the moment she wakes up or is picked up till after lights out we had approx 20 screaming sessions and had to put her in the study (equivalent of naughty step). I feel it is all about her having control. I also feel that she has us running ragged to try and avoid a meltdown.

I am obv tired with the newborn but in fact he is no probs. dH is at the end of his tether with her&i think they are rubbing eachother up the wrong way so i am trying to 'deal' with her&give her (positive) attention as much as poss. my mom is coming to visit soon &god knows what her 'contribution/advice' will be...

Maybe it's just hormones but I am just about in tears&cant even face DH. Guess the endless housework/washing/providing meals etc etc while tired adds up. Mat leave=being the maid!Now I just sound sorry for myself which was not the intention.

Thanks for reading.

Secondtimelucky Fri 23-Sep-11 21:24:54

Oh Pugh, just saw your response on the other thread from my 'threads i'm on' and popped across here to find you. Sorry you are having such a difficult time.

My own 2 year old isn't tooo bad, but she certainly has her moments. And some of her little friends can be just like your DD. A few thoughts, for what they're worth (I'm certainly no expert).

-I agree it's all about control. Have you tried giving options? So we have lots of melt downs about getting dressed. Instead of saying that we're getting dressed, I tend to pull out two outfits and tell her she has an important decision to make and what does she want to wear. I often create completely false choices too- "do you want a big glass of water or a small one?"

- Is the time out maybe making things worse? If she's already jealous, taking her away from the family might be making her more cross? Could you try other options - like sticker charts for good behaviour, taking away treats or even bribery?

- I hate to admit this, but I realised that one reason DD shouted at me was because I shouted at her. Well, not shouted exactly, but "no DD" loudly. When she started going "No, mummy" and wagging her finger, I realised perhaps I wasn't setting the best example. If her behaviour is really difficult, is this anything you've had?

Oh, and sod the housework. It will keep. Tell your DH that he needs to chip in too. If you lived near me, I'd cook you a meal!

winnybella Fri 23-Sep-11 21:35:35

Ah, yes, tantrums of a 2yo...DD had a few months of typical tantrums around 2yo mark, then she calmed down, then when we went to my mother for the summer she had 2 weeks straight of screaming non-stop, I kid you not. I've never seen her like that, it's as if she was possessed. I'm mentioning it because it seems like it was triggered by change (i.e. leaving home) and so perhaps your DD behaviour is caused by it as well i.e. her brother's arrival?

What secondtimelucky said re: giving her choices etc, but also in all likehood it will calm down soon enough. Treat it as what it is, a 2yo's lack of reason grin

Can you send her to the nursery full-time so you get a bit of relief? I hope that DH of yours is doing his part of housework.

winnybella Fri 23-Sep-11 21:37:08

Oh, and I forgot to say that DD now at 2.7 is mostly reasonable and any tantrums are rare (although they can still be spectacular when they occur).

HoHoLaughingMonster Fri 23-Sep-11 21:56:12

Pugh you have my sympathy, my DD was just like this only I didn't have another baby to contend with.

I hated the period between 18 months and 3 years, it was often hell sad
In the end I just stopped taken her anywhere public (except the park) because she was just so embarrassing and difficult to deal with.

I did sometimes lose my temper, which I'm utterly ashamed of. And I was quite strict - I thought I had to be or she would be like that forever.

But with hindsight, I don't think the usual techniques (rewards, star charts, time out) made ANY difference. Once she was cross nothing would calm her down, and the best thing to do was to ignore her as best we could, sit it out until she'd got it out her system, and then give her a big hug.

She grew out of the tantrums and strops (mostly!) by the time she was 3-4, when her understanding and self control improved.

pugh Sat 24-Sep-11 09:06:53

Thanks everyone. Phew:DH did morning feed&i got some sleep.world does lok a bit burgher after that. Thanks for the advice. I think HoHo prob sums it up. When DD looses it there is no way to turn her around.your best chances to avoid it happening in the first place but after that ignoring best optio. Maybe I'll see what we can do to avoid it. No doubt also worse in evenings when she(all of us!) are tired. And yes:she is in nursery (guilt trip for bad mother) to give me a break. Will see how things 'settle'/pan out and consider dropping some days at a point to save money and also get to spend time with both kids...can't think of it right now mind you.

Right:better go face breakfast but on the upside:haven't heard a meltdown yet!

Thanks for replying&at least I don't feel totally alone. God help us when they get to teenage years&hormones...!

pugh Sat 24-Sep-11 09:11:16

Ps STL:you're a honey, and carfeful what you offer.I think at least providing the fam a meal is something I enjoy&have a stocked freezer&slow cooker. But by the time everyone is'eating I've just about lost my appetite! could aid the non breastfeeding weight loss programme I guess...wow, is that a glimmer of sense of humour in there?

Bring on the toddler weekend!

AngelDog Sat 24-Sep-11 13:51:00

Can you offer at least an illusion of control in other contexts? I try to do this with DS for anything that isn't really a big issue for me.

So instead of saying 'time for breakfast', I might say 'I'm going to have some breakfast - would you like to join me?' Of course, I don't do this if I really need him to have breakfast then! He doesn't really respond to choices though (he's just under 2).

For hitting, you could try modelling the behaviour you do want. So we say 'hitting hurts. Touch gently please' and take DS's hand and use it to stroke the person gently.

Focusing on positive behaviour is more likely to be successful than the naughty step IMO.

I agree that once a tantrum has started, sitting it out while perhaps muttering sympathetic words is the best option. When DS has calmed down I talk him through what happened eg 'you were upset because you couldn't play with the knife. Knives are dangerous so they stay in the drawer.' It helps them to learn to express themselves better, IIRC.

cory Sat 24-Sep-11 23:58:20

Dd had massive tantrums between 1 and 3- she is a very mature and sensible teenager with a great sense of proportion. I was also a difficult toddler, but an easy-going teen.

So there is a chance that your dd will get it out of her system early- much better and easier that way smile

pugh Sun 25-Sep-11 20:48:07

Dear all. Just to say I have not checked myself into rehab/some sort of tiny-tearaway-home. Instead we have had a lovely weekend as a family. I have tried to focus on her a lot;anticipate meltdowns;explain why behaviour eg hitting is bad. We have hardly needed to do time-out.not perfect but not as bad as recent weeks.even getting out of bath is a big game. Maybe need to revisit 'playful parent' when abe to stay awake to readsmile

I don't want to overanalyse but can't help it! Might be that she is feeling better&not ill anymore. or my attention. Or a flUke and just her. Who knows but I do have hope! And the thought that she might be a temperate teenager...we can all live in hopesmile

Thanks again for the advice when I was pretty tired&low&needed somewhere to vent.

Secondtimelucky Mon 26-Sep-11 17:42:08

Glad things are on the up. DD2's sleep has gone to pot for the last week and DD1 has not been getting much 'playful parenting' from me today. Have resolved to do better tomorrow!

stitchthis Mon 26-Sep-11 20:54:11

Hope today has been good too Pugh . DS2 is 18months and is starting on the tantrums so this advice is v much appreciated. Today I spent half an hour trying to get him into the buggy - absolute disaster. My (lovely) friend had to pick up DS1 from school for me! I never had this with DS1. Any more suggestions everyone?!

pugh Mon 26-Sep-11 22:33:10

Oh thank goodness it isn't just me. My mom feels that tantrums etc are a problem of 'our generation' of parents. Because she never knew anyone with difficult toddlers. Read:working moms/pandering to children parents. grrr!

Still some tantrums but explaining 'kicking/hitting hurts mommy'&asking for a (non existent!) apology. Also that the screaming hurts our ears-FACT!

I really didn't think the newborn would be easier than the toddler.

Mind you, all I have learnt from parenting is:1.you can NEVER predict & 2. If it's going well it's bound to go badly soon and vice versatile.

Hope the sleep improves STL!And good luck Stitch.

Should have gone to bed with the little fella. Bring on the nightshift...

Secondtimelucky Tue 27-Sep-11 11:56:22

Your mum appears to be suffering from 'rose tinted glasses' syndrome. My Mum clearly remembers me and my brother and our friends (young children in the early 80s) throwing tantrums, including the 'lying on the floor in the supermarket' variety. And for what it's worth, she didn't work when we were young and she certainly didn't pander to us!

thesurgeonsmate Tue 27-Sep-11 12:04:08

YY toddlers have been lying on the floor of the supermarket since at least the seventies. (blush)

pugh Tue 27-Sep-11 22:19:39

Thank you ladies! I was obviously the model child (NOT!) but ooh to hear this isn't a new phenomenon.

STL, we are not only of silar opinions but it seems also of similar agesmile

Still going so-so but I think explaining clearly to DD why she is having time-it has had an impact.

If you're in GB enjoy the last days of summer that's coming up!

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