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I can't cope with the DCs anymore!

(52 Posts)
Kyrptonite Sun 07-Apr-13 19:25:51

DC3 is due in September. Already have DS (4) and DD 2.8.

Bedtime is a nightmare. They will be completely knackered but will not stay in bed. DS has to have a stair gate to stop them going in and out of each others rooms and into mine. I tuck them in, say goodnight and leave but within ten minutes they're out of bed playing or shouting for me. I've been up to them 5 times since 6:45.

Behaviour wise DD is going through a stage where she will strop over nothing. She was playing on the floor, I sat on the sofa and she began screaming that I was in her seat (Sheldon Cooper has nothing on her). She will scream and cry and thrash about until she gets her own way.

DS is going through a stage where he calls everyone names such as poo head etc. tried ignoring it but nothing works. He is also still not toilet trained last July I started him and he was making really good progress staying dry but has only done about 7 poos in the toilet since then. Now he is wetting himself regularly and not even telling me and still soiling. He starts school in September and I'm terrified he will be the smelly kid with no friends.

I feel like they're running rings around me. I really don't know what to do.

Goldmandra Tue 09-Apr-13 23:07:23

Is one of the clues in the phrase "she will scream and cry and thrash about until she gets her own way"?


If your DD gets her own way by tantruming you will always be on a hiding to nothing in terms of managing her behaviour.

If you decide things are happening one way, do not change your mind because she is screaming, crying or anything else. If you let her control you with tantrums your life and hers will be miserable. She needs to know that you are in charge and she won't feel secure with boundaries that she can change by throwing her weight around.

I would try the suggestion of a slightly later bedtime which involves a very predictable and positive routine.

Don't try smacking. It is becoming less socially acceptable and is prohibited in Early Years settings and schools for very good reasons. There is always a better way to manage behaviour.

Kyrptonite Tue 09-Apr-13 22:54:05

I do try and ignore the tantrums. If she's stropping because of something minor I will carry on doing what I'm doing with DS and tell her calmly that she can join in when she's finished her tantrum.

Sunnysummer Tue 09-Apr-13 22:51:43

Is one of the clues in the phrase "she will scream and cry and thrash about *until she gets her own way*"? I used to nanny a little girl like this, and while it was exhausting for her poor DM and DF, her tantrums didn't stop until they made sure she NEVER get her way after a strop (they used Tanya Byron's methods). At the moment this strategy is working for her.

tigersmummy Tue 09-Apr-13 22:40:33

I don't think bedtime is too early - my DS (5) and we start bedtime routine about 6.30 and he is in bed by 7 at the very latest. You need your own time and time with dh/dp and I don't think it's unreasonable that young children (and 4 and 2 are young) are in bed at a reasonable time.

It sounds as if you've got into a bit of a rut - you said they used to sleep well, can you recall any trigger that changed this? If they are in the habit of messing around at bedtime they will do so regardless of the time they go. Talk to them in the day about what will be happening at bedtime and keep referring to it throughout the day so it's not a shock to them. Keep calm and just keep putting them back to bed - in time (and I'm not predicting how long it will take!) they will take you seriously and not push their luck. Consequences also work for my DS. Good luck!

MrsMcJnr Tue 09-Apr-13 20:24:35

I do feel for you as I was in your position last year and it is exhausting and when you are in the thick of it it´s hard to think logically or rationally and it´s easy to get cross.

My DS1 (5) and my DD (3) now share a room as DS2 (1) now has DD´s old room. It is actually much easier with them in together, the novelty of running between the two rooms wore off.

All the kids have the same bedtime routine of bathtime, teeth, good night to each other. I then say good night to the older two and tell them that if they are good and quiet whilst I out DS2 down then when I come back I will read each of them their own personal story in their beds. They love that one on one time (which I find really hard to give them the rest of the working day) we then talk about their days and put the world to rights really. I am really keen to encourage that time of chat with them as I hope we can keep that up into their teens so that I can stay close to what´s going on with them. We´ll see, that´s what I aspire to.

By the way, my DD, the middle child, has the most incredible temper tantrums, I have never seen anything like it. I´m not like that (though I suspect DH was) and I just marvel (and despair) at their intensity!

Hope you get a better pattern going soon smile

Kyrptonite Mon 08-Apr-13 23:52:27

It might be at the moment the lack of nursery that's confused them. Tonight was a bit better. Don't really have a choice on how often they're at nursery. If they don't go then I can't work.

Kiwiinkits Mon 08-Apr-13 23:24:18

It could be that spring is in the air? Kids have extra energy this time of year.
Get outside as much as you can. That's all I have for advice. The wonders of fresh air and all that. Long walk in a forest somewhere, admiring the trees, chasing each other, coming home tired.

Or, perhaps they're overtired because they're expected to go to nursery everyday? That's a lot of stimulation for a small kid.

Kyrptonite Mon 08-Apr-13 14:08:37

DD fell asleep about 10! Hoping for a better night today. Behaviour wise today has gone well. No accidents and I haven't shouted once grin

OzmaofOz Mon 08-Apr-13 13:54:14

How did last night go op ?
Is there any chance you can have a day off next time your dp has a day off ?
I feel the same as you sometimes, where everything piles up and just seems a cycle of tears and tantrums. Sometimes a break can be as good as a change, helps you see things from a fresh perspective.

4posterbed Mon 08-Apr-13 00:04:16

This is what worked for me in the times dc did not want to go to bed and I was exhausted: I snuggled up in bed with them for a story and then after, turned out the light and went to sleep!

They would giggle at first at the novelty of it and the cuddling up took away the stress, then they would always quickly settle.

Often I would snooze myself for 10 minutes or so, they never failed to go to sleep and I sometimes would deliberately snore a little and not move!

Then when all quiet, I would then sneak downstairs.

Works every time wink

MTSgroupie Sun 07-Apr-13 23:40:24

Where do I say that I would force a child to eat cold food? I said 'finger food' meaning sandwiches and the like. I obviously wouldn't expect a child to eat a hot meal that had gone cold.

And telling a child that he needs to eat his food before he can get down and go and play is hardly force feeding the child.

I struggle to understand how you are ok with letting a child go hungry in order to teach the child lesson but not with administering a gentle smack.

Anyway, like you said, let's agree to disagree

MTSgroupie Sun 07-Apr-13 23:28:57

force feeding??? Stop being a drama queen.

AnAirOfHope Sun 07-Apr-13 22:47:25

Am i missing something? Your parenting responabilities dont end just because its dark hmm

I dont see how keeping them in a room and smacking them or shouting at them is going to help them go to sleep.

Have you tried reading to her or even sitting there with her when she goes to sleep?

FullOfChoc Sun 07-Apr-13 22:34:15

Have you been watching the tanya Byron sleep programme? She's got some great advice on there.

I've had real struggles with dd, but have worked through it with Similar strategies to those shown on the programme.

I think you need to start with the sleeping problems because, as I'm sure you know, everything will get easier once you get your evenings back.

forevergreek Sun 07-Apr-13 22:33:49

im sure a child who ate breakfast at 9am, wont wither away if they miss lunch because the dont actually want it.

im sorry but i couldnt force a child to eat cold food thats been there 90mins. i couldnt and wouldnt force any child to eat.

as an aside, i work in pediatrics and have yet to see health reasons why a child or anyone shouldnt just eat when hungry. so i think thats rather made up tbh

i think we will just have to agree to disagree

NonnoMum Sun 07-Apr-13 22:33:44

IT sounds like you have more than your fair share of parenting issues, Krypotonite with the shift patterns and the long days at nursery.

If it's any consolation I find the holidays so much harder than the 'normal' routine. Deep breaths.

Please don't smack, though, it only undermines your positive parenting which I am sure is there the other 99% o the time...

MiaSparrow Sun 07-Apr-13 22:31:47

There are health reasons why a child should not be smacked.

Oh and we're on to force feeding too. Great.

Keep digging!

MTSgroupie Sun 07-Apr-13 22:24:07

I was suggesting that my cousin reinforced the lesson that throwing food onto the floor was not acceptable.

I was NOT suggesting that he should have been smacked for not eating.

In anycase, there are health reasons why young children should be regularly fed as opposed to only when that child feels hungry. So I'm a bit confused as to why depriving a child of a regularly meal is an acceptable way of reinforcing a lesson.

I would sit that child down and if he wants to sit there and take 90 min to eat his meal then I have a smart phone to keep me entertained for 90min. smile He''ll soon learn that the sooner he finishes the sooner he can get back to the fun stuff.

forevergreek Sun 07-Apr-13 21:30:01

sorry kyrptonite!

forevergreek Sun 07-Apr-13 21:29:19

see, i would offer plate of food, child throws, repeat. i would explain it isnt acceptable to throw food and if they threw again then lunch would be finished, and they would have to wait until the next meal.

so it would be 15 mins seeing if they eat, food on floor, food picked up, food on floor again. bin. meal over.
no smacking for throwing, but no bribing to eat either. meal would simply be over.
the lesson here would be that if lunch was at 12, they would have to wait until regular snack time around 4 so would be hungry a bit. im not sure my 2 year old would want to eat if he had just had his hand smacked. it hasnt told him anything.

Kyrptonite Sun 07-Apr-13 21:25:39

Oi!!! No bunfights in my thread!

DD is still awake. I've shoved on the only audio book I can find in her room. It is unfortunately a collection if Disney princess stories but to be fair they would send me to sleep grin

MTSgroupie Sun 07-Apr-13 21:21:42

She is a wonderfully stressed out mother.She has shelved plans to have another because she can't take this stress times two (her words)

MiaSparrow Sun 07-Apr-13 20:57:21

Your cousin sounds like a wonderfully patient mother.

(Sorry to hijack, OP!)

MTSgroupie Sun 07-Apr-13 20:51:54

By the way, I am not saying that children should be smacked if they wet themselves or they can't get to sleep or ...or .....

In my anecdote the child was repeatedly throwing food on the floor and was clearly not responding to the softly softly approach. Lunch time turned from a 15min affair to a 90min affair and this was standard practice

MTSgroupie Sun 07-Apr-13 20:45:55

forever - I 'gently' smacked his hand and left him in his room which had a night light on. His bedroom door was open and the hall way light was on. Hardly a psychologically damaging experience.

As for me being 'defensive' I have been on enough of these threads to know which way the wind blows on the subject.

My cousin came to visit a few months ago. She put a plate of finger food in front of her two year old. The child refused to eat it. The mum insisted. The child took the food and threw it on the floor. The mum dusted it off and put it back on the plate, explained how the DC was being unreasonable. The child threw the food back on the floor. After a few more attempts the mum gave up and put the toddler down. Every 10 min or so the mum would get up, find her DC and get him to eat a piece of food. It took about 90 min to feed her DC.

I am NOT advocating a return to yesteryear when parents would cane their children or where a clip across the ear was a substitute for reasoning with a child. However, I am often shock by parents who think that gently smacking a child's hand and telling that it's naughty to throw food onto the floor is going to turn that child into a damaged man that will abuse his children and hit his wife.

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