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How do you get anything done with a very lively, demanding 2 year old?

(7 Posts)
Jemster Wed 30-Apr-14 09:25:43

My dd is just 2 and is very sweet but I am utterly exhausted by her. She chatters away but is constantly asking me for things or to do things. She repeats her requests over and over and just expects me to stop anything I'm doing immediately to attend to her demands. I have tried asking her to wait please and mummy is busy but her demands continue and get louder!
I find it hard to even go to the toilet without her telling me to 'come here mummy'.

She says she wants toast so I make it and she has one bite and them says get down now.
She wants to play with one thing and then once that's out she drops it and wants something else. She resists having her nappy changed, won't go in the car seat and screams blue murder if I want her to go in the pushchair by a busy road.

My house is a mess, cleaning needs doing, food needs cooking but I'm finding it almost impossible to get anything done. She needs attention constantly.

I know a lot of this is normal for a 2 year old but I don't remember ds being like this.
On top of this I work part time every day and have a chronic illness which can cause me pain when I have to struggle getting her in carseat or pushchair (she is strong!). I also causes me to feel more tired than normal.

Any advice appreciated please? I am worn out, feeling a bit stressed and quite honestly not really enjoying this very much.

Thurlow Wed 30-Apr-14 09:40:24

I feel your pain, DD is 2.3 and things are getting quite interesting!

The only thing that works for us is to try and make the housework that needs doing into a game - so changing the sheets, loading the washing machine, cooking, even the washing up, though that one is very messy... She does all of these with us if she wants to and thinks that they are 'playing'.

Sometimes I get stuff like the washing up when she is eating a meal, and then eat later - this works better with lunch I find, as I'm not always ready to eat lunch at the same time as her.

Othertimes the telly goes on blush Not that often, but you'd be amazed how much you can get done in the 22 minutes it takes to watch The Snowman!

How are her language skills? We're just hitting a stage where we can begin to explain and negotiate a little bit more. For example, it's hold Mummy's hand properly or get in the pushchair, and a few times of following that through has got the message across. Ditto with food - you ask for it and don't eat it, well, you're not going to get it next time. Though that possibly makes us rather strict, I don't know...

Another thing that has worked well for us and that I picked up on here is that 10-20 minutes of concentrated play with them wins you back the same time of them playing on their own. When I started doing this I realised how much of my time I was in the room but only half-interacting with her, trying to get something else done, rather than actually getting on the floor and playing with a doll's house. It's not my natural forte to do that, but it makes her very happy and she then seems happier to keep playing on her own when I go off for fifteen minutes to do something.

Jemster Wed 30-Apr-14 17:40:16

Thank you Thurlow its nice to know someone else can relate. Another afternoon just gone full of tears, tantrums and me pulling my hair out.
She asked me to push her on swing so I did but then she screams at me as if I'm doing it wrong, don't know why it was wrong.
I do tell her she must hold my hand or go in the pushchair but when she has to go in she puts up such a fight, today at school with all the mums staring. Felt like walking off and leaving her to it!

I agree that spending a good amount of time dedicated to her helps but she just wants it all the time so I can't get a thing done.

Her speech is coming on well but she doesn't understand things like cars are dangerous yet or you have to wear your seatbelt so you are safe.

It seems that everything I do is wrong even though Inam trying my bloody best! She literally whines from the time I pick her up at 2.00pm to the time she goes to bed. Oh and apparently she is fine with the childminder which makes me even more upset as I've started thinking does she just not like me?! I just can't wait to go to bed to get a rest from it all.

Thurlow Wed 30-Apr-14 20:17:56

I'm no expert, this is my first DC, but if I were you I think I would be tempted to put my foot down. The difficulty is, as you say, sometimes it feels so public. But they're not really staring at you. I bet you they've done it themselves.

With things like the pushchair, can you take a deep breath and be calm, but just put her in? When DD fights it I find that if I get the pushchair backed against a wall, for example, then when I put her in even if she arches her back and fights I can get my knee between her legs, so it's not hurting her at all but is blocking the way, the get one strap down up and then the other. But I feel like calmness is the key, though it's bloody hard to show that calm face. You said "hand or pushchair" and she had a choice. At 2 she's old enough to begin understanding that.

Ditto with the swing and the toast. Of course children have likes and dislikes, and 2 year olds are not remotely rational (we had an epic half hour meltdown because Nanny brought her ice cream in the wrong bowl hmm) but you almost have to try and decipher the reason. Is there genuinely something she is unhappy with about the swing, or not?

What happens if you don't "come here" when she asks for you? Tantrums and whining are awful to ignore. That's why all kids do them, they are so effective grin But if you have been playing with her for ages and you need five minutes to pee and put a brew on, and she is in a safe room with plenty of toys, then I might be tempted to start riding it out. Go, make the tea, ignore the whining, then when you have finished what you need to do come back and be happy and cheerful and interact with her.

But like I said, that's just what has been working for us (and as it's my first I have no idea whether it is working, or whether it just suits her personality). My gut says at 2, though, children can start to amuse themselves for short periods of time, especially if they understand that you are just nipping away and will be back in a bit.

Lovelydiscusfish Wed 30-Apr-14 22:12:13

My dd is just two and also can be quite demanding, but is starting to respond quite well to reasoned explanations of why things have to happen now, why they can't happen now etc. Sometimes I exaggerate a bit, for example telling her that we have to home from the playground now as daddy will be lonely (even if he won't, really), as she understands the concept of loneliness. She actually seems to accept the fact that doing something will make mummy or daddy happy as a reasonable reason for us to do it, at the moment. Not sure if this helps really, just something I have noticed. Good luck.

Cast1ststone Fri 02-May-14 20:17:07

I know it is hard to listen to screaming but this HAS to be put to a stop. Meaning in order to live together contently she NEEDS to know you are boss. Yes she has a say but she is just running you ragged. It is not healthy for you or her. She will only get stronger and more aggressive. If she wants toast then she sits and eats it if not explain why she is going to her room and put her in there. She will scream and cry but slowly you will establish order. She will know mum is not playing. Also when you say you are busy she need to respect this, unless it is important. The only way to make that clear is to NOT run when she calls. She will prolly throw a fit but if you keep letting her run you to death and be the boss, you will regret it when she beats the crap out of you one day, cuz you won't buy her something.

babySophieRose Sun 04-May-14 08:56:40

I know its not the best thing to do, but i just put her in front of the tv and let he watch Cbebees for an hour or so. Also trying to do as much as i can while she is in bed, or rotating her toys, so there always are some toys she hasn't played with for a week and she is quite engaged for some time.

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