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2 year old uncontrollable bad behaviour - is this normal??

(49 Posts)
LimesMum Sun 27-Mar-16 21:28:29

My 2 yr and 1 month daughter is currently being a complete nightmare. Wondering whether this is just normal for her age or not?

We are currently on holiday and she is hands down the worst behaved child in the whole (massive resort) which is partly what has made me question this.

She is not in anyway afraid of us as parents as in if we say if you do that again then you won't go to the disco or won't go to the pool (both of which she loves) she just laughs at us even if we carry through with what we have said it isn't making any difference.

At meal times she hits us, throws food and cutlery in the floor and is generally badly behaved

When we have eventually had to take her home and put her in her cot she screams for 20-30 mins and has now started to shove her fingers down her throat to make herself sick....

It's definitely been much worse since on holiday but was also becoming quite bad before we left.

Any advice greatly appreciated!! Thanks

poocatcherchampion Sun 27-Mar-16 21:31:38

It doesn't sound totally normal to me I am afraid - it sounds like you are not in control. My litties know what is expected of them - if we tell them off thry stop immediately. I think you need to set some boundaries. I hope that is not too harsh, I'm trying to help

IBelieveInPink Sun 27-Mar-16 21:34:37

Watching with interest.

My dd is similar. She is 2yrs 4mths. She does have good stages and bad stages, currently in a slightly better one but she can be just awful.

Things I've found that have helped: consistency with discipline, picking only the important battles, remembering that although the talking is good, she doesn't necessarily have the understanding that goes with it.

Things that don't help; shouting (she shouts back) or withdrawing affection as a punishment. A lot of the time I've realised that makes her really worried, and doesn't help matters.

I feel your pain!

thatstoast Sun 27-Mar-16 21:36:13

Just turned 2? Mine is about the same age and he wouldn't understand 'if you do x then y" it's a bit complicated. I would just distract/scold depending on severity. The hitting is the main thing, I wouldn't really worry about dropped cutlery.

Sometimes unfamiliar environments can make things worse.

Buzzardbird Sun 27-Mar-16 21:40:54

We found that a naughtly step/ corner worked well as she had time (and no attention) to think about her behaviour. It sounds as though she needs boundaries.

Audreyhelp Sun 27-Mar-16 21:42:12

i think holidays are more stressful than being at home to be honest.
You can set boundaries I am sure you do but I think a lot is down to personality of the child.
I am sure yours isn't the worse behaved. Have yet to come across a perfect child and I have been a nanny for twenty five years...

Haffdonga Sun 27-Mar-16 21:42:48

. Nonsense.
2.1 is far too young to understand consequences if you don't do X then Y wont happen at some unforseeable point in an unimaginable future

2.1 is all about the now. Distract distract distract.

PacificDogwod Sun 27-Mar-16 21:45:07

Totally normal.

Don't punish her - she is too young to comprehend 'If you don't stop x you won't get y'. She might understand the words, but not the concept.
She is pushing boundaries.
Stay calm, don't engage in to any kind of debate with her (she'll win! The unreasonable ones always win grin), but stick to your guns.

Oh, and chose your battles…

Thank god I don't have an insane toddler anymore

PacificDogwod Sun 27-Mar-16 21:45:38

x-post haffdonga grin

PacificDogwod Sun 27-Mar-16 21:47:24

Oh, and btw it's not 'bad behaviour'. It's a normal and necessary step in her development.
She is discovering that she is a separate entity from you, and that she has the power to say 'no'. She is exploring how far that power gets her.
They say the most strong-willed toddlers are often the intelligent ones - that is my only hope anyway….

Haffdonga Sun 27-Mar-16 21:50:59

Also totally normal and right that of course she's not afraid of you. You wouldn't want it any other way would you? hmm

VagueIdeas Sun 27-Mar-16 21:51:06

Haffdonga is spot on. She's far too young to understand consequences such as "if you don't stop X then Y won't happen in Z number of minutes/hours". She's basically still a baby.

And yes, it's normal for two year olds to be absolutely hellish to be around, especially if they're in a totally unfamiliar and unsettling place like a holiday resort.

JolieMadame Sun 27-Mar-16 21:55:10

What is she doing wrong exactly?

Agree she's way too small for consequences. Just remove and distract. Stopping her from doing something nice just ends up being punishment for you when she screams for two hours....

A firm no, remove and off you go to the pool for a lovely afternoon. Going overboard and spending the afternoon in the room just means you pay a lot of money for a crap holiday

Bluetang Sun 27-Mar-16 22:01:18

Also lots and lots of praise when she is behaving appropriately is always a good idea too!

Haffdonga Sun 27-Mar-16 22:06:48

For the same reason it's far too young for the naughty step approach. A 2 year old does not and cannot reflect on their behaviour and decide how to do things better next time. All they will understand is that they have been left alone and they don't like it, so they will do whatever they can to attract attention - scream, bite, vomit etc.

If your dd is throwing food or hitting you, remove her from the scene. Pick her up and walk out of the restaurant for a while. Show her the pretty flowers or the lights and chat to her happily. Try her with a bit more food later to see if she's hungry but don't assume that in a strange place with strange food that she'll eat when you want her to.

Amummyatlast Sun 27-Mar-16 22:08:57

I don't entirely agree that she is too young for consequences - my 2.5 month old understands that if she is exhibits naughty behaviour there will be consequences, and I'm fairly sure we have been applying consequences for quite a while. That said, your consequences sound like they occur too late. It needs to be something fairly immediate, such as removing a toy they are playing with or putting them in time out (if that's a method you choose to use).

trilbydoll Sun 27-Mar-16 22:10:49

You can do consequences that are immediate, so bad behaviour in the pool = removal from the pool. She is unlikely to understand the abstract concept of "we were going to the pool but you were too naughty"

Chucking cutlery / food - remove them. If she's still hungry she gets one mouthful at a time. I would ignore hitting as attention seeking, DH would give a rollicking.

Lots of praise.

And if she's anything like dd1, no iPad / tv - makes a huge, instant, difference to her behaviour.

LimesMum Sun 27-Mar-16 22:20:14

Thanks to those who have made helpful comments, will try all of the above.

Unfortunately this little girl definitely understands consequences and has for a while! We have used a naughty step for some time now at home which has helped a lot!

Just now before bed she has said to me "sorry mummy I didn't mean to make you sad. Little girls shouldn't hit mummys, won't do it again, promise" then hugged me.

I'm not saying she's intelligent but she ha always done everything way ahead of the time she is supposed to and I wonder if that's making it harder - even tho she talk well maybe her understanding isn't so great?

I know for a fact she responds better to discipline rather than just removing and cuddling/ distracting as I've tried that!!

I honestly think I set boundaries which is why I find it difficult to understand why I seem to have zero control?!

I don't find it helpful being told what I say is nonsense by other mums either!!!

Thanks tho!

Haffdonga Sun 27-Mar-16 22:24:17

Yes Amummy , but as you say, the conequences must be immediate and directly connected to the act for any learning to happen.

if I hit mummy with the spoon then the spoon gets taken away (bang bang spoon gone) OK

if I hit mummy with a spoon then she wont take me to the swimming pool tomorrow afternoon (spoons have no connection to swiming pools and she probably can't remember what the swimming pool is right now when she's got the spoon banging mummy's head) not ok

Haffdonga Sun 27-Mar-16 22:26:25

My nonsense was directed at poocatcher , telling you your dd is not normal. Not you, OP. Sorry if it felt as if it was at you.

LimesMum Sun 27-Mar-16 22:27:37

Oh sorry I do apologise!! Obviously tired and over sensitive!! Also 25 weeks pregnant which isn't helping matters confused

Amummyatlast Sun 27-Mar-16 22:29:49

Oops, meant to say 2.5 years, not months.

Audreyhelp Sun 27-Mar-16 22:30:10

Well I think a naughty step is not a great idea.
If it works why not just use it in the restaurant.?

LimesMum Sun 27-Mar-16 22:31:47

Tried but it doesn't work here! She just laughs and runs off!!!

Audreyhelp Sun 27-Mar-16 22:37:05

I would just take her out for two mins and really try to distract her.
As soon as she plays up take her away from the situation., if she won't be distracted.

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