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Dealing with a 2 year old

(23 Posts)
Jennbear Fri 02-Jan-15 10:33:04


I'm new, delving into the world of mumsnet in the hope of some fresh advice!

I have a very normal 2 year old boy, when I say normal, that includes the temper, tantrums and general defiance at times. He really knows how to push my buttons and I desperatley don't want to be a shouty parent but I find it increasingly difficult to keep my calm and deal with him when he's playing up.

Please share with me your tips on how you deal with your toddler.

Thanks in advance!

ppeatfruit Fri 02-Jan-15 15:21:04

Well as you say it's normal BUT if he's tired or hungry is he more likely to be 'stroppy'? That's your answer grin. I used to make sure to take a healthy snack with me when I took my dcs out (I speak as an ex CM\nanny and ey teacher also mof3 also a buggy if he gets tired.

Make sure he has plenty of running about exercise every day too. Another tip is to make getting dressed or whatever bugs him into a game (use his toys to talk and play with him).

Guin1 Fri 02-Jan-15 15:40:58

Avoid over-tiredness wherever possible.
Try to anticipate possible triggers/situations where he might play up and have a strategy prepared.
I think routine helps, as long as it has flexibility.

Take advantage of any toddler's love of attention and vivid imagination:
-Talk to him as much as you can, irrespective of whether or not he has been acting up e.g. if you are washing dishes and he is playing nearby, if you are doing some gardening while he is playing outside, if you are both at the supermarket. That way he knows he has (some of) your attention all the time.
-If you are playing with him and he starts acting up, make it clear that you will stop playing with him and follow through if necessary.
-Use his toys to communicate with him. For example, this evening my DS's cuddly caterpillar 'wanted to read The Hungry Caterpillar with him', but couldn't do so until he had got into his PJs. Caterpillar was sad about this, so Mummy had to cuddle Caterpillar, etc.

ppeatfruit Fri 02-Jan-15 15:51:33

Yes also remember to encourage 'good' behaviour by mentioning how well he's doing (even if it's not perfect, don't completely ignore the quiet times) and only notice him when he's stroppy,that's how to get more stroppy behaviour!.

Jennbear Fri 02-Jan-15 17:50:40

Thank you. That's all great advice. I find him stroppier when we're at home, everything is MINE or NOW and there seems to be no reasoning with him.

Is it worth ignoring his tantrum rather than attempt to distract if it's not working?

ppeatfruit Fri 02-Jan-15 18:17:27

He is only 2years old you'll have to wait for the reasoning to develop if it ever does grin.

Why not sit and read him a story or get him to 'read' to you or his toys if he's in need of stimulation, does he go to nursery?

Jennbear Fri 02-Jan-15 18:24:05

It's really things like, just now, he said he wanted some milk. So I went to get him a cup of milk and he spots the bread. I WANT BREAD NOW and cue meltdown because he can't have any it's nearly bed time. He can't be hungry because he's had a lovely big tea and some cereal. He just wants everything he can't have.

He does two days at nursery but they're closed over Christmas so he's back there on tuesday.

ppeatfruit Fri 02-Jan-15 18:42:39

Give him some bread it's not a big deal, you don't know if he's hungry or not because you're not him, he may just fancy some, we all do that sometimes don't we? I would say relax with him. I know 2 year olds hate the word NO.

A lot of advice on here would be to pick your battles.

Jennbear Fri 02-Jan-15 19:52:26

Aren't I just teaching him he can have what he wants all the time?

2 year olds are tough!

cooper44 Fri 02-Jan-15 20:04:49

I agree with above poster that you really need to pick your battles - so with things that don't matter so much like the bread I'd just let him have some.
But be tough on the more important stuff.
seriously you will be exhausted if you think you have to stand firm on everything - and I've got two very headstrong boys. I don't think by giving in sometimes you are creating a monster - probably a more chilled out child.
and yes two year olds certainly know how to push you to the limit.

30andtired Fri 02-Jan-15 20:05:48

I have a DS who's 2.1 and to say he's spirited would be an understatement grin however, I agree with "Pick your battles", my rules are pretty basic with him, no hitting, no biting, no breaking things that are important, help tidy up and no snacks before mealtimes. Other than that he pretty much gets to do things that mean a lot to him. My health visitor once explained to me that if he tantrums it's because he feels it's important, however insignificant it seems to us so take that into perspective. Saying that, if I really don't agree with him doing something, I'll divert his attention elsewhere.

If I were you, I'd give him bread if he wanted it. They don't stay little long and to battle over something that just isn't important makes life hard, he'll be happier and you'll be happier smile

Jennbear Fri 02-Jan-15 20:09:51

Thank you! That's all such good advice and makes me feel so much better about it. You're right, I need to pick my battles and not sweat the small stuff. really appreciate all your replies smile

Gintonic Fri 02-Jan-15 20:19:02

I agree it is important to be flexible, Toddlers like to have control and so letting them control some things can help. Obviously there are some things which are absolute red lines, but the bread is not one of those.

RabbitSaysWoof Fri 02-Jan-15 20:55:30

I would take pick your battles to mean if you have a strong willed child and you know they will strop over everything to only say 'no' to the things that you are willing to let him tantrum over.
Saying 'no' then changing it to 'yes' because of a tantrum is different IMO.

RabbitSaysWoof Fri 02-Jan-15 21:01:29

Sorry posted too soon....
When ds was in full on tantrum mode I found it helped alot to go somewhere with less reason to say no, we obviously have house rules so wrapped up in the park I would mentally write off he's outfit before we left home and he could do what he wanted for a god half hour at least without me needing to rain him in he could climb, splash in puddles, collect leaves, get muddy and run without my restrictions.
WRT the control thing I would (and still do) give a couple of choices (park or woods? peas or green beans?) things I didn't mind either way. He has a say on stuff without it putting him in charge.

RabbitSaysWoof Fri 02-Jan-15 21:02:29

good not god blush

Jennbear Sat 03-Jan-15 08:36:20

I think I'm noticing it more because we've had two weeks off with him and he's had no nursery inbetween that. Out and about is less tantrum filled than being at home and we've tried to keep him entertained and stimulated. Maybe he's ready to go back to normality (I know I am wink)

ppeatfruit Sat 03-Jan-15 09:29:11

Jennbear By saying no to everything, you're teaching him that the world is a negative place. My 3 had boundaries but basically were allowed to express their personalities (Which is what the tantrums are about IMO and E ).

A child has his own character and we need to be aware of that. 2 is very young indeed to expect reasonable behaviour, especially just before bed!!

ppeatfruit Sat 03-Jan-15 09:31:13

I forgot to say that my dcs have grown up as lovely responsible people who are not 'entitled' at all.

Jennbear Sat 03-Jan-15 11:32:38

You're right, I need to set myself some boundaries on what I expect rather than worrying I'm giving in all the time. I do feel that it's me who needs the right approach rather than him changing his behaviour. I guess I just struggle when he shouting at me all the time when I'm trying my best.

ppeatfruit Sat 03-Jan-15 14:50:10

Yes thanks for thinking about it grin. We tend to be set in our ways by our own upbringing which wasn't necessarily ideal. It's not easy bringing up a baby at all especially in a thoughtful way, but he will thank you when he's older .

Don't take his shoutiness personally, boys are often harder to control(and I know some on here will disagree with me) I just go by own experience and in class a lot of boys are loving and sweet but not ready for the structure of school, even some nurseries seem to be discounting child development, it's crazy.

Jennbear Sat 03-Jan-15 16:52:36

Funny you say that but I've often found boys more boisterous than girls, he's certainly not afraid to stand his ground whereas the girls I know seem calmer. I'm also 15 weeks pregnant so my tiredness is taking its toll on my patience, so that and a testing time with my toddler makes a grumpy mummy. He's been with my mum today so fresh start when he comes home. Thank you again for your advice, it's really made me think about a new approach to things

ppeatfruit Sat 03-Jan-15 17:21:21

You're very welcome grin Good luck and congrats on the pgn. I know that can make you a lot tireder than usual too!

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