Coping with 2 year old and 8 month old(10 Posts)
I'm feeling really rubbish and guilty at the moment. We have a gorgeous 2yo son and a 8mo daughter.
I feel like I'm really struggling with dealing with ds's behaviour. He throws things constantly so we warn him and he will carry on and we take it off him. He's pushing his little sister over a lot or trying to hit her. I understand he may be feeling a bit left out as a lot of attention goes on dd.
he doesn't seem to listen to us or take note of anything we say. Is this normal?
I know he's only 2 but if I'm honest I'm finding I dislike him at times and I feel terrible for it. I don't know how to bring discipline in and get him to actually listen. I don't want to be a shouts mum I just want to cry sometimes I feel like I'm really crap with him and I shouldn't be.
Anyone had problems like this or can give me some advice please? It would be greatly appreciated
I could have written your post, op, except ds is three and dd is nearly 7 months. I feel like he and I are constantly at logger heads and I have no patience with him he is also showing aggression towards his sister after a long honeymoon period! It makes me see red but I need to remember they're both my babies in need of protection. Oh, and ds is also a thrower, which drives me mad!
No solutions I'm afraid, but lots of sympathy. I find chocolate and crying help a bit...
Thank you misty9 for replying
Nice to know I'm not alone but I feel your pain.
I just don't know what to do I feel so awful and drained from telling him 'no' so many times. I feel sorry for him as I try to think of what he could be feeling like 'mummy's always shouting at me and never at ds' etc
I think I will have a good cry I know it's probably just a phase but I know I'm not dealing with it in the right way and I really don't want to upset him or make him feel left out of anything.
Parenthood is so hard!
It is just hard and yes it is normal. 2 yr olds are great with selective hearing! Good news is eventually it will get better. Distraction and thinking ahead is really key. You can avoid lots of tantrums by giving warning in advance, eg in 5 mins we are putting the toys away, do you remember in 2 mins we will tidy up etc! Or turn things into races, or just be plain daft. For example. Refusal to put on coat might lead to Mummy deciding it is her coat and trying to put it on in a comedy fashion. Usually it will be ripped out of your hands within seconds after that. Also, never let him get tired or hungry. Pre-empt low blood sugar with bananas, cubes of cheese etc at 2-3hr intervals.
If he goes for his sister, distract, distract, distract. Maybe even have some pre-prepared rouses (wow, look an aeroplane/squirrel/spider/unicorn!!). Distraction for 2 year olds doesn't have to be high brow, or even make sense, in order to be fun e.g."can you wrap yourself up in this toilet roll?", "Look at these bright post-it notes, can you put one under every chair in the house?". "Wow, I bet you can't find all the notes again can you?". 2 yr olds love repetition
Can you try to phrase the negatives positively? (eg, if toddler were to move to bite baby, intercept and say "gentle kisses, remember"; or if they too enthusiastically pat them on the head or pull hair, guide their hand and say "stroke pandora's hair gently like this, that's nice" with a big smile
grimace". I always felt a tit, and it was hard to stay calm, especially when sleep deprived, but they do eventually get the idea. Admittedly, not the first time, you have to persist. Physically redirecting them gently before or during the act is more effective than telling them off afterwards (though totally understandable!). Very few people find all this easy.
Toddlers are like Labradors -fresh air and exercise twice a day . Far less interesting to prod baby if you're in a playground, though of course that is harder in the current weather. A waterproof snowsuit is a godsend.
I found baby on floor with young toddler in proximity didn't really work. It is harder work as they start to crawl then cruise and need to be able to stretch out. You need to be down there with them and present all the time with eyes in the back of your head more than when the baby was just carried around. Some people use a playpen or room divider to keep baby separated from toddler for times when you can't do that.
Good luck, and remember you're doing a really good job. You don't have to be perfect all the time, we all shout sometimes
a lot. Just give them a hug and a kiss afterwards and say sorry. Crying is OK too, we all have bad days. Have a (((hug))).
My own children are older (10 and 7, though I have a 13 month old as well), but I understand that feeling of negativity towards your children - you really don't want to feel that way, so it's horrible when you do). And of course your feelings of protection towards your baby will be sky high, even when it's ds doing the hitting!
My advice to you is to praise ds to the roof every time he is doing anything remotely good. Try and find some time to do things with him, jigsaw as etc, or just play with him. And get yourselves out lots to playgroups, to soft play, to the park if you can bear the cold!
You don't sound like you gave it easy though, and I think anyone in your shoes would feel the same as you do, so don't worry about feeling dislike towards ds, it's just moments of exasperation.
Above all, try the praise technique, even for things like not hitting. "Oh, aren't you being a kind boy to your little sister, you're such a help to your mummy" etc.
Oh, and another thing... I remember feeling with my eldest at this stage that I had lost my beautiful baby somehow, and he was bigger, more monstrous and not my gorgeous little baby any more, which was rather sad. He is 9 now and just wonderful. There are ages when you are closer to them, and ages when they pull away. It waxes and wanes, but you never lose the special bond. 2 yrs is a classic pulling away time. They are learning that the people they care most about do not always want what they want, and it is confusing, upsetting and frustrating for them at times. When they tantrum, all the mixed up things in their heads come out all over their faces and through their little bodies. I found thinking of it that way gave me greater empathy and helped me to stay calm.
I have a 2 yr old as well right now (DC4). I need to practice a bit more of what I preach I think! I have some tricks in my back pocket, but remembering to use them rather than becoming shouty Mummy is still hard. It's the first time I've done it without a baby or being pregnant though, and baby and toddler is far far harder.
Can he help you with DD? Take nappy sacks to the bin etc? Have a treasure box of toys only to be brought out during bfing?
Parenthood is bloody hard, and relentless! Couple of things we try:
- avoid saying no, by which I mean say "yes, you can after dinner/later/tomorrow/when we've tidied this toy away. Can take the wind out of his sails, doesn't always work.
- voicing his probable feelings: "you sound very angry/frustrated, what can you do to help you feel better?" Or, "it must really feel rubbish having a sister sometimes. No one asked you did they?" Etc. But reiterating that throwing etc is not okay.
- the fix game: chasing after him saying you need kisses and cuddles, letting him get away from you then chasing again. If it's both parents then both chase and argue over who nneeds him more. Ds loves this game.
- I'm not sure if you're like me but when I feel rejected I tend to reject right back. Even my own child. So i have to resist that urge and go over the top with affection instead.
Have you got how to talk book? I've started reading it and finding it useful. most of all, go easy on yourself: childcare is relentless and hard work and it's okay to find it a slog and dislike
your children it sometimes i need to listen to my own advice
Hope today is better. I'm hiding in bed as my husband is off work this week!
Thank you all for your replies of advice and kind words of encouragement
I have had such a great day with ds today. Didn't shout once. Made a massive effort to really interact with him constantly giving him lots of cuddles and he was so much better behaved. He only got a bit iffy late afternoon as he was tired after swimming.
Thank you all. Really glad I posted and received the advice!
I'm sure there will be hard days still but I need to keep going with my positivity
First thing - it will pass, and then it will be your youngest's turn to be the one driving you up the wall! I find my two alternate in which one's being "wearing" to deal with (I'm sure they plot it out) - if you're consistent he'll get to the stage where the "if you do X, Y will happen" will start to take effect and suddenly be much more reasonable to deal with - by which point your youngest will be hitting that same age!
I find the late 1s/early 2s the worst to deal with by far - they haven't got the idea of consequences or "no" but they've figured out they can push the world (often literally!) to try to get what they want.
I have a very very small age gap (11 months between my two so I'm not talking out of my arse here!) and I found that I do have to conciously give attention to both kids and give my eldest chances to "help" out - she does things like putting cups on the table for me, and telling her sister it's time to come sit at the table (which gets ignored of course but there's nowt the average 2 year old seems to love more than the chance to boss the world around legitimately!) and things balance out that way a bit better.
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