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Please come and tell me if this is normal?

(7 Posts)
absentmindeddooooodles Mon 06-May-13 21:31:10

My ds just turned 2 at the beginning of April. He is an only child. When he was born he would cry and cry only stopping to feed. He woke every hour through the night until he was almost 10 months old. He improved slightly but still wakes up a fair few times most nights. Not for food or anything, just because he seems unable to stay asleep for long! His behaviour has always been very very demanding. From a few months old, if you we're not quick enough with whatever food/toy he wanted then there would be tantrums. Now his behaviour is getting steadily more disruptive. He is genuinely the loveliest child, very loving and cheeky, but 90% of the time he is just too much for me to cope with. Regardless of situation, he will not sit still, not eat without throwing it around the room, not listen to me AT ALL, do silly things like run out into the middle of the road. He has to climb on everything, pull everything out of every cupboard/drawer and fling it around the room. Regardless of how many times I tell him something, like not to touch the cooker/fishtank etc, he will keep on and on. I cannot go to anyone's house without him taking everything out of all the kitchen cupboards and literally doing everything he shouldn't. I know a lot of it sounds like general toddler behaviour but it really is not imo. I can never sit down for a second. In social situations we leave because he disrupts everything and I end up getting stressed to the point where I'm this close to losing my temper. His speech is slow, but he understands absolutely everything. We tried to go for a BBQ on the beach today and it was a disaster. He just kept running away. Throwing sand in people's faces. Jumping all over people. Screaming and crying when he didn't get his own way. I'm at my wits end. He never stops moving. Even when he's asleep he's constantly moving around. Some people seem to think it could be ADHD. Does anyone have any similar stories? Like I said he is such a lovely boy, just does not seem to be able to control himself. Thankyou if you have read this far. I apologise about the lack of paragraphs, there's no way I can do it on my phone. X

you poor thing, he sounds like a bit of a handful sad I've no idea if it's normal or not but my DS is almost exactly the same, he's 2.3 and very much as you describe. I've a DD who is 6.5 months and doesn't want to be put down for a second, can't/won't sleep without a lot if help too so I know what you mean about never relaxing!

I'm finding it very hard to cope but I think I would be without a baby as well, he just doesn't stop! I find if I keep reminding myself that most of his behaviour comes from natural curiosity (how does this work? will this get the same reaction it got 5 seconds ago) helps me to stay calm (sometimes) - I'm trying to pick my battles and be as kind and understanding of his feelings and frustrations as possible as well. I don't think it's easy suddenly realising you can have control of things but you aren't allowed to a lot of the time. I don't think being 2 is all fun and games grin

If it makes you feel any better his speech is very good and I'm still having most of the problems you mention. Not that I'm saying it won't get better as your DS's speech advances just that sometimes they just don't like being told no! I also think it's easy to overestimate their understanding of things sometimes, for example I thought DS was too clever to fall for distraction so I didn't ever try it until recently and have found it does often work. I've also found giving choices between 2 different things to help with him feeling in control...even if it's "we're going this way, would you like to go now or in 2 minutes?" or "it's time to change your nappy, would you like to walk to me or run?"

Have started to read "raising your spirited child" which is helping me to see the positives.

sorry for rambling but you're not alone, I feel your pain..I think part of the trouble is we love our DC so much and value their good points immensly so we feel guilty for even thinking there might be a difficult/negative side to them..but they're only human and there wouldn't be ups without downs, I think we just have to try hard to model the right kind of behaviour and try to understand the feeling behind how they are is not malicious, they're just working out who they are grin

absentmindeddooooodles Mon 06-May-13 22:15:22

Thankyou so much for the reply. It's nice to know I'm not alone! Dear god I couldn't cope with a baby too. Well done you! :-) I've tried giving him options like you say. It does seem to work to a point.... Until he gets distracted and sprints off in another direction ( bumping into walls and tripping over on the way!) the same goes with distraction. I find that the favourite Thomas book works for a good min or so ( record) so that's an improvement I guess! Like you say, it can't be a bundle of fun being 2. So much for them to take in and try to understand. Can't imagine how I'd react to it all! The only reason I know he understands everything I say to him is because when he's feeling compliant, he will communicate and tell me or do whatever it is I'm asking etc. he's pretty good at letting me know when he dosnt quite get it. It's just the down right defiance! I literally have to say things a good 10 times before he will even acknowledge me. ( his hearing is fine. Been tested) I'm hoping its just an extreme case of the terrible twos, but would just like to be better prepared and equipped if it is some kind of behavioural disorder. Have you ever thought about asking a doctor about your son? I was wondering wether it would be silly of me to nip up there and have a chat.

BabiesAreLikeBuses Mon 06-May-13 23:24:51

You could talk to health vis (if yours is decent) but most of what yiu describe sounds like normal 2yo behaviour, def the not sitting still, emptying cupboards, throwing sand brings back memories/nightmares!! I doubt they'd refer you for assessing before age 4 for this anyway. The bits in other people's houses is more challenging, you need to repeat rules a ridiculous number of times for toddlers and stay as calm and consistent as poss, not easy when sleep deprived! Once my dts turned 3 life was much easier. Best advice i followed was that boys are like puppies, they need plenty of fresh air and exercise daily whatever the weather as energy levels huge!

oh yes OP I've felt many times like taking him to the doctor and exclaiming "what's WRONG with him?!" - but as a baby I worked out he had silent reflux and was lucky enough to find a way to minimise that, the sleep-fighting I just assumed was a personality thing rather than a medical problem but it has occured to me on occasion that his birth was pretty traumatic (especially having had a very straightforward one with DD) and perhaps it effected him but I think on the whole he just wants to control and play with everything and any deviation from that is met with his fury!

one thing I will pass on is something I've learnt about repeating an instruction over and over again. Firstly I knew I had to stop because him ignoring me or doing the opposite was actually making me really cross angry but also I found that if for example I counted to 3 he would just wait for 3 before even looking up, he had also got used to me asking over and over so he knew he didn't have to do it right away because I'd ask again. I now ask, wait and then say "I'm going to ask again and if you don't do it I will do it/move you away/ask you to leave the bathroom/take that object away" and then I make moves to do it. often he then wants to do what I am asking him to do for himself so I let him to save a screaming fit..I think he then feels he has had a choice even if he doesn't want to do it. I'm also reading "calmer, happier, easier parenting" (got several parenting books on the go at the moment!) and that says that toddlers take much longer to respond to an instruction they don't want to comply with, particularly if they have a sensitive or intense temperament. so I usually count to ten in my head after asking DS to do or stop something, it actually saves time in the long run compared to asking half a dozen times and often saves tempers flaring on both sides

I am also trying to praise everything good, even if it's just "I can see you really wanted to pull that off the shelf and play with it but you just touched it and then came away, well done that took a lot of self control" that book talks a lot about descriptive praise for behaviour you want to see more of and it really does help

gosh I really sound like I know what I'm talking about! I don't at all but I hope if we all share what we've found that works we'll be able to make positive improvements grin

absentmindeddooooodles Tue 07-May-13 15:31:58

Will definitely be finding some of those books!! I really struggled today so took him upto the docs. Just got back. They are looking into the possibilities of ADHD and bipolar as he is showing all the signs apparently. They told me they would not usually refer a child this young, but he seems an extreme case. I really don't like the thought of labelling him so young, and I have no intention of medicating him now or any time in the foreseeable future, but I guess it's nice to know that I'm not going crazy and his behaviour is a bit extreme. I will try as you've said with the commands etc. seems a much better way to go, and as you say will save both tempers flaring up!

MummaBubba123 Wed 08-May-13 06:21:11

I've a friend/ acquaintance whose DS was unusually assessed before his 3rd birthday.

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