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2yo barely eating and hit 'terrible twos'

(8 Posts)
Queazy Sun 06-Dec-15 16:27:23


My dd has always been a determined little character. She wasn't well a couple of weeks ago, a nasty cold, and her behaviour has taken a turn for the worst. She throws things, refuses to do as she's told, and has completely gone off all the food she used to like. I know this is all pretty normal boundary-testing stuff but I'm due to have dc2 in a couple of weeks, and ill myself. I'm trying my very best to be patient and to try not to give into demands or refusals to do as I ask, but it's bloody hard...!

We went to a cafe for lunch today, she threw bits of it on the floor, and refused to eat it. Then had a tantrum about putting her coat on. Then a tantrum about getting in the buggy. I'm exhausted.

Other than just realising she's a toddler, and advice or sources of advice you could suggest? I'm looking up supernanny but can't seem to find a DVD set (mad I know).

c737 Sun 06-Dec-15 21:36:04

I'm in a very similar situation - 22 month old very strong willed DD and 10 week old DS so know how you feel. For me, I do try and pick my battles - I don't challenge her on everything, just the things that matter and when she is blatantly testing me and being naughty I take her to sit on the stairs for two minutes (recommendation is one minute for every year of their life) and stay with her (so she doesn't keep getting off) and then explain to her at the end why she was there and then go back in to the living room to play/have a cuddle.

It's really hard because I do feel like sometimes she like the attention of being told off, even negative attention, so I question whether it's just best at this age to ignore negative behaviours instead of reinforcing them with attention.

Soooo hard but I guess it's to be expected at this age. Fingers crossed for both of us this defiant stage doesn't last too long!

Queazy Mon 07-Dec-15 06:16:30

Thanks so much c737. I think I do need to start with naughty step now, as her behaviour is just getting worse. I want to start focusing on it before new baby arrives so she doesn't associate the new baby with a lot of 'time out' on the stairs!

I watch other kids sitting serenely eating their dinner in restaurants and wonder if it'll ever be like that. The other day I turned around to find her painting the restaurant windows with hummus....

annandale Mon 07-Dec-15 06:20:54

I do sympathise and found that I just stopped eating anywhere but at home for six years quite a while when ds was that age. I read a post on here which said take them to the places where they behave like this frequently so that you can work on their behaviour, but I just didn't have the energy! Also as you say, otherwise it becomes a constant negative chorus of 'don't... no.... not that...' and you don't even get to have your bloody drink anyway!

IpsyUpsyDaisyDo Mon 07-Dec-15 06:47:59

Personally, I think two is too young for the naughty step, they don't understand actions and consequences at that age. They feel the rage, a whole load of new emotions that they don't know how to process or what to do with.

Is she getting enough sleep? Combined with a growth spurt it might be exhaustion aggravating her behaviour.

I wouldn't worry too much about the not eating, try not to turn mealtime into a battleground. Offer all the food you normally would, take it away if she refuses it. Eventually she will eat something because she'll be hungry, but it will be her choice, and that's important to her at the moment.

It's a horrible period, you have my sympathy! It does pass though wink

BrianButterfield Mon 07-Dec-15 06:55:18

I do use time out for a 2yo but only for those things that are dangerous such as throwing or hitting. I wouldn't use it for general stroppiness or refusal to follow instructions as I don't think they'd get the link.

With a newborn you have to 'fake it till you make it' - channel your inner kids TV presenter and use that fake bright voice to jolly along even when you feel murderous inside. Jump on any good behaviour and praise lavishly. Give one thing you know she'll eat at every meal so you can praise her for eating it and don't stress the rest - 2yos are fussy by nature.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Mon 07-Dec-15 07:03:56

I read this in a sleep deprived haze thinking 'did I write this in a sleep deprived haze?'.
I have a just 2 year old and a 5 month old. DD1 has always been strong willed but the past few weeks have been a nightmare. She's had a nasty cold and has barely slept, and her behaviour is awful. A lot of it I'm
putting down to tiredness and am hoping she'll come out the other end of it soon. otherwise I'm just watching this thread for ideas!

Queazy Mon 07-Dec-15 20:30:48

Thanks so much all. I was also told to take her out to restaurants more, and to cook a range of things and refuse any alternatives. The problem is that I too just don't have the energy to make endless dishes that get pushed away at the moment, and I end up eating cold food in restaurants because I'm trying to stop DD from hurting herself or driving other people nuts.

I might hold off on naughty step and just try the praise for all the good stuff. She's as stubborn as I am though, and it's honestly impossible to get her to do anything she doesn't want to do! Hoping it is partly to do with being tired and getting over a cold, but I am a bit nervous about dealing with it alongside a newborn!

I heard a treasure chest for toddler to play with is useful when newborn feeding...DD would honestly throw the stuff even if she actually wanted to play with it. It must be a confusing time for them - all the emotion, but they can't express it in words and can't make sense of it all. Sounds like me at 37 weeks pregnant...: wink

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