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Out of control 2.5 yr old

(15 Posts)
TwiggyHeart Tue 22-Apr-14 12:17:27

My DD is 2.5, can be wonderful but can also be horiffic. I really feel like her behaviour is getting out of control. This has culminated today with both of us in floods of tears at a soft play as she wouldn't leave (after me asking her at least 6 times). I had to climb in and get her (no mean feat when pregnant) literally drag her away and which point she hit me in the face quite forcefully 4 times. I have never smacked her but must admit I came close this time....I was crying and she was screaming with every mum and grandma staring at me. She is generally quite argumentative and can be a bit 'rough'. This has got preogressively worse over the last few weeks. She sleeps for 12 hours a night but is a patchy napper (tiredness has a part to play I think but not totally to blame...). We are at then end of our tether and really don't know what to do to nip this in the bud. Any suggestions wid be very welcome!

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Tue 22-Apr-14 12:45:01

Isn't this just the terrible twos? I think you have to pick your battles, lots of positive reinforcement and just try to have a sense of humour about it.

I have noticed that DSis gets quite stressed out about my DN but I just try to shake it off when I feel myself getting annoyed. Obviously I am not a saint and sometimes struggle but just tend to chant he's only 2, it's what they do as he's laying on the supermarket floor tantrumming for a peppa pig biscuit

SpiderRoaster Tue 22-Apr-14 13:01:52

<hands sweet cup of tea to Twiggy>

And breathe.

I'm with you, along with about every other parent of a 2.5 year old. They are hard work . Period.

I describe my dd as Jekyll and Hyde - she can be truly awesome and have DP and I in stitches with her little ways, then she switches and can test me to the brink. Last Friday I walked away and left my daughter with a relative she hardly knows, as if I'd stopped close to her to appease the situation I would have lost it. I was also in tears as I walked away

My best advice, although this is blind leading the blind here, is to reflect on the situation at the soft play, and think what you could have done differently? Why didn't she want to leave? Was there an urgency to leave? Could you have approached it in a different way?

It's already happened now and you can both talk about it afterwards too. Ask her why she got upset about leaving, explain to her your expectations in the future (no tears when mummy says it's time to go) and most of all, say you love her and don't like her being upset, and they you don't like to be upset.

I suppose I want it say it is normal to get upset and normal to get angry too. It is also normal for your toddler to behave this way - she thinks the world revolves around her, and it does in a way.

TwiggyHeart Tue 22-Apr-14 13:13:00

Thank you both, appreciate it! I just find the constant confrontation exhausting, everything seems to have an argument attached to it. We try to speak to her calmly but she just tests the boundaries constantly. I then feel really terrible that we don't enjoy our time together that's when I tend to end up in tears!

HaroldLloyd Tue 22-Apr-14 13:15:23

I'm not sure if it's reassuring or not but I have had DS have similar meltdowns and witnessed many many similar at soft play.

I give a five more minutes type warning etc but that dosent always work.

They are hard hard hard work at times thanks

Coveredinweetabix Tue 22-Apr-14 13:22:29

She's not out of control; she's a 2yro. You're not a bad parent; you're having to deal with a 2yro and you're pregnant. You're not the first persom to have been in this position & won't be the last.
With my DD (now 4.5), I learned the biggest factors were hunger & tiredness. The hunger could be helpful as I could get her off the soft play frame or out of the park with the offer of food &, as she was then eating rather than playing, it was then slightly easier to get her into the pushchair or car. What also worked with her was clear warnings. We're going in 5 mins - what do you want to play on before we go. We're going in two mins - do you want one last turn on anything. We're going now. Oh, you want one more turn? OK, very last turn whilst I count to 10 and then we go. I think shr felt she had a bit more control this way. Obviously, it didn't work all the time but it worked more than saying "we're off now" or telling her 5 mins and then just saying "we're off now". She quickly learned that I would agree to one more turn but not another after that. Her brother is 2.6yrs younger & she was amusingly outraged and told him off in no uncertain terms when, having had one more turn, he asked for another.
I'd also explain why we had to leave, eg car park about to run out & this gave me wriggle room on days when, listening to her pleas, I'd think "sod it, let's stay for another 30mins" & would then say something along the lines of "you know what DD, if we're really quick in the supermarket later/you have X for tea so we don't go to the supermarket, then we can say".
One of the most useful things for me was a fluke. We were in the park & I said we really had to go as the car park was going to run out & our car would be taken away & a police car went past with lights & siren going. DD said "run, mummy, they'regoing to take our car" and ever since has had a healthy respect for the car park ticket running out!

deepinthewoods Tue 22-Apr-14 13:22:35

Don't ask to leave 6 times. It shows you are not serious.
I would give my children a 5 minute notice at things like soft play and the park, wait that time then leave. Pick up and carry if necessary. She will get the message that when it's time to leave then that's it- although i do think it's nice to give a little warning of end time.

Keep your cool, don't shout or be rough with her other than restrain. Be serious, calm and firm.

Coveredinweetabix Tue 22-Apr-14 13:24:18

PS have also had frequent moments of wondering if I could just give up & let them go feral before reminding myself I can manhandle a 2yro in a way I wouldn't be able to with a 6yo or 10yo so hopefully it is worth fighting the battle now.

Foxsticks Tue 22-Apr-14 13:31:27

This sounds very familiar. My dd is two and a half and I am pregnant, tired and struggling to remain as calm as I'd like. The other week I also wrestled my dd out of soft play with no shoes or coat on because she was kicking and fighting so hard I couldn't get them on her. I also found the stares from other mums really horrible sad

I find myself locked in disagreement with her and I know it will end in a tantrum, but I just want her to listen and do what I ask her for once. I even know it's not worth fighting over but I worry her behaviour will get even worse if I dont stand my ground occasionally!

If I don't lock horns with her I find a combination if bribery, trying to lure her away from the swings with something else tempting such as seeing the ducks. Races also seem quite successful at the moment, she likes the thought of being able to beat me up the stairs or across the park.

It's bloody hard work though and I really don't know if I should be standing my ground for fear of bringing up a hoodlum, or if this is all normal and I should relax a bit more.

TwiggyHeart Tue 22-Apr-14 13:32:56

I agree that giving a 5 minute warning/2 minute warning is the best strategy but unfortunately she just tends to ignore us. She is quite verbal and if the mood takes her will actually try and argue with us (which we don't rise to of course). She was also quite nasty to a friends little boy last week (he is a year and she pushed him over), was quite taken aback as she is occasionally a bit rough but usually very caring with 'babies', I think this is also worrying me. She is quite switched on and actually just came out with 'there is a sort of baby in your tummy isn't there mummy?' Without any mention from us. I am wondering of this is on her mind as the really bad behaviour started at this time. Does anyone have any tips for managing this?.

TwiggyHeart Tue 22-Apr-14 13:34:47

Foxsticks - I could have written your post! I have exactly the same thoughts on a daily basis!

HaroldLloyd Tue 22-Apr-14 14:07:34

Massive sympathy I was here last year and now DS is three he is a BIT better but still very hard work. It's really hard dealing with it all when you see pregnant and tired.

OhPuddleducks Tue 22-Apr-14 14:23:23

Huge sympathy from me too - I have DD (2.5) and 6mo DS and some days just feel unbearable. Please give yourself a break - you're pregnant, probably knackered and hormonal and this is a rough age. One thing that seems to work with DD when she goes ballistic is to say "I can't understand and help you when you are screaming and crying. Can you be calm?" When she inevitably says no, I say "ok. Tell me when you're ready to be calm and we'll have a cuddle" and then I stare into the middle distance or play with DS while she rages. You have to forget about all the other mums who tend to stare as if their little angel never acts like this as it can take a while. After a cuddle she's normally forgotten what the fuss was or is too tired to protest. If nothing else, I find a good tantrum uses up some of her boundless energy!

neolara Tue 22-Apr-14 14:30:36

All of my three (normally delightful) kids went utterly bonkers for about a year when they were 2 and 3. Tantrums. Running off. Total menaces. Then they turned back to their normal selves. It really is a stage, I promise.

babySophieRose Wed 23-Apr-14 08:44:00

I just try to avoid situations which will trigger a tantrums for the time being, although when it happens i am just trying to stay calm and ignore the behavior. Getting their attention elsewhere always helps.

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