struggling and don't know where to turn to(6 Posts)
I have an extremely articulate, and lively little boy who is 2 and a half. Unfortunately he has become a complete nightmare and I'm stuck in a shouting/screaming telling off ritual with him copying.
He had always been quite highly strung but I won't lie the last 6 months have been traumatic. we have had massive life events of.moving home and another baby coming along who is 6 months.
he refuses point blank of adhere to anything I say or even follow simple requests for something. he theneeds gets shouted at. it's now to the point that I have to shout so ferociously that it scares him and leaves me hoarse. I've also had to smack him when he has kicked out in my face or head or ignored me when I've asked him to stop doing something. I know it completely goes against what I'm disciplining him for but I'm now pretty much at breaking point as a parent. His dad also has to tell him off alot but daddy is currently the favourite parent so he's more inclined to obey him rather than me.
I'm pretty much ready to pack up and get in the car and just drive. I spoke to a healthy visitor 3weeks ago who was supposed to follow up with me to see whether their suggestion of 3 warnings and then removing him from the situation, stopping the naughty step as toddlers dont really understand it and taking myself away from the situation if I feel myself ready to meltdown. my son will just throw such a mammoth tantrum throwing himself around I'm worried he'll Hurt himself.
I hate life and it's only because I don't think my 6 month old should miss out on mummy time that I've not gone back to work. I cry daily and as hard as I try its like he knows so he ramps up the bad behaviour.
Oh poor you. Sounds hard work.
Mine have a similar gap, but are a few months older.
I'm no behavioural expert, but as a fellow mum for what it's worth here are my thoughts.
Decide what your 'zero tolerance' rules are. There don't need to be many, but hitting and hurting others would be up there in mine. For those personally I would go with the naughty step. I don't wait for mine to say sorry at the end as he does seem to understand that part, but the immediate consequence of 2 minutes out definitely seems to have some impact (more than some far off threat of 'we won't go to the park later' etc)
Once you've got that decided I'd try to reward the good behaviour, and ignore as much of the bad behaviour, as possible. It sound like he wants attention. Any attention. Try to give it for the right reasons.
Maybe make a tower with duplo blocks, he gets to add a block for everything he does nicely. Plays quietly for a couple of minutes. Drinks his drink whilst sitting down. Passes you a nappy for the baby. As many blocks as you can give him. It'll keep him feeling special and you focused on looking for the good. you can give praise him for how tall his tower is and let him have a treat of some kind. Favourite tea. Small toy. Comic etc.
Oh and I think you know this already but definitely no smacking, and no shouting. You can speak in a firm voice without resorting to making yourself hoarse. It's not working and he'll only copy your behaviour.
I know it's tough, he sounds like a really smart boy, but the downside of that is he's learnt exactly which buttons to press. If it's a no to something he wants just tell him and the reason and walk away, don't engage with shouting from him.
Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
It will get better. It's loads easier when baby is a few months older and they can interact together a bit more. But a small baby is quite frankly dull for a 2 year old.
It's not him, it's you. Sorry
I say this because I found myself in exactly the same situation with the same age gap. You need to take a step back from what you are doing now (the yelling, the smacking, the constant battle ground) and do almost the opposite of what you are doing now.
When he whinges and whines give him a cuddle rather than push him away and find a different way of dealing with his defiance. Time out works for me (sometimes). Mine are now 3 and 1 and we've survived - just - but the smacking and yelling linger and I wish I'd never started either of them.
Get out of the house as much as possible. A change in the daily routine removes many of the flash points and gives you an audience. I always parent better when there is an audience
Best of luck managing your way through this. It gets better but really the challenges just change a little bit.
Try to think about what the different options are for various types of disobedience. Almost always there will be a different option to shouting and smacking- and often the calmer option works better
because it looks more impressive
A few possible scenarios:
you tell him to stop playing with something/throwing something, he refuses: briskly and cheerfully remove object and start talking about something else
if the object can't be moved, then move him
you tell him to come, he ignores you: briskly and calmly take him by the hand and walk on whilst starting to talk about something else
he whines: ignore him, sing to yourself, put some music on
he has a tantrum: make sure he cannot damage any property or seriously injure himself, then leave him to it
he hits or kicks you: put him down so he can't get at you, or alternatively hold him calmly but firmly
you don't need to scare him, eventually, he will work out that whatever it may seem like at the time, it is what mummy wants that ends up getting done: if mummy has said we are going out, we will be going out; if mummy has said you must not play with this thing, this thing disappears
the calmer you can manage to stay, the more all-powerful you will seem
I found I got on a lot better once I decided that it didn't matter if mine obeyed instantly or cheerfully or at a command: every time I got my way (even if it meant lifting a screaming flailing dc out of the door), I chalked that up as a success. Cheered me up at the time, and left dc with an enduring
well, fairly enduring sense of my authority.
Of course, there will be times when nothing seems to work- and times when you simply can't live up to your best standards. But if you can cut down a little bit on the conflicts then it will start getting easier.
Hope you're getting on ok. You sounded so stressed and miserable in your first post
What is he doing that's so naughty?
I have a 2.5 year old boy and I reckon he only follows instructions or listens to what I say about 25% of the time. He also has quite poor speech which makes communication difficult.
I think when they look massive compared to their baby sibling, and they're very articulate, it hard to remember they're still very very young. And your expections may be a bit high. I know I made this mistake with my eldest which I regret now in retrospect
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