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Difficult stubborn 2 year old

(33 Posts)
madame Sat 22-Sep-07 18:09:34

Please some one out there just offer any support or pearls of wisdom. I have had to walk away from dd daughter 2 years today as I feel so frustrated and upset. She has been poorly this week and therefore her mood has of course been affected but she is just being so difficult at the moment sad.

These are the bad habits and I know they are but we are in them now and really need to get out of them. She will only eat if I play with her at the table and then I have to spoon it in half the time! and she is constanly waking us at night demanding milk and because we are so tired and busy people we give in and take the easy way out and give it to her. I know these things all need to change and I need to get some of the power back.........I just don't know how to start without dd starving and us not getting any sleep whatsoever.

Dh and I have found that weekends when we should be enjoying ourselves with her become a battle ground and we both end up upset and frustrated by her.

I just want her to start eating independently and go back to sleeping the whole night which at 2 surley she should be doing. I also want her to listen to some things we say to her when it matters like not running off in a shop!I just feel so deflated and basically a crap mother at the moment with a very short fuse!

Please help

NAB3 Sat 22-Sep-07 18:14:20

You may have a short fuse (hardly surprising when you are so shattered) but you are not a crap mother.

Maybe you could work backwards. Stop the mikl in the night therefore making her hungrier in the day. She needs to start feeding herself and you need to stop playing with her at the table.

It depends whether you want to go cold turkey in which case you will need to get an iron will and be prepared for little sleep. Just stop the milk completely and keep taking her back to bed, no talking, until she gets the message. It can be horrendous but children learn v quickly.

Or cut down the milk each night, or water it down, until she is having water and then nothing at all.

Kids just home from sleep over at nanny so have to go and give cuddles. HTH to start with.

bossybritches Sat 22-Sep-07 18:21:16

Awww madam you're not a crap mother just a normal tired one!! A crap mother would keep on doing these things & not care about her daughters behaviour!!

MAy I make a few sugestions?

Take a drink of water to bed with you & if she wakes just give her that, don't make a fuss or cuddle her, or give her any attention that makes waking up fun. A firm "night nght, sleep time now." & leave her. it may take a few screaming fits but persevere-she'll get bored & realise it's no fun & drift of to sleep. It may take a few nights of gritted teeth but it WILL pass! If she's been ill she is probably out of routine (all the usual rules go out the window don't they?!)


At the table try and eat with her & ignore any bad behaviour and praise the good. be firm & keep up a flow of chat about anything you have been doing or will be doing. She won't starve herself, and if she hasn't eaten much just give her a glass of milk afterwards to top her up but don't feed her all the time.She can do some & you do some, then increase the spoons SHE does & decrease your, praising her for being such a big girl.

You're right to try & tackle it now, it's early days she's only a babe but they can soon become little tyrants if allowed to be!!

Good luck!

madame Sat 22-Sep-07 18:23:28

Thank you NAB3, I think I needed to get it out and just for somebody to talk to as I feel so angry inside about how things are going at the moment. I lost my mum 3 years ago and I find it so difficult not having anyone to talk to about issues.

madame Sat 22-Sep-07 18:27:34

Bossybritches, the night thing, how long do you think I should leave her to cry before settling. I mean we are at the moment doing it totally wrong as we go in keep it low key but we do pick her up and sit and soothe her and then put her back down.

Most books that are sensible about this sort of thing say go in a 5 mins intervals and build it to 20. Is it safe and fair to leave her for 20 mins, I have never done it.

She gets herself off to sleep no problem at first put down so I know she can

Scootergrrrl Sat 22-Sep-07 18:29:11

You could start by eating with her - can't play with you, I'm eating my dinner kind of message - and no milk in the night. What about star charts and stuff?
Perhaps you could tell her she'll have to wear a wrist strap or something to stop her running away. Either that or walk in the opposite direction (making making sure Dh is keeping an eye from a distance obviously) and see if that does any good. It's horrid when everything's a battle isn't it? DD is in one of THOSE moods today too!

NAB3 Sat 22-Sep-07 18:30:37

madame I totally know how you feel. I only had my Nan and she died just before my youngest was born and I miss having someone to talk to about anything, nevermind baby stuff.

madame Sat 22-Sep-07 18:31:02

Also do I offer her dessert for example if she hasn't eaton her main. She also keeps standing up in her seat which doesn't have her strapped in, what would be the sensible thing to do with that. Do I go back to strapping her in? I was trying to give her independence but we end up with a stand off and I say if she isn't going to sit down then she can get down. This may be after only 2 mouthfulls angry

Scootergrrrl Sat 22-Sep-07 18:34:27

If she is choosing not to eat her main, then certainly no pudding, IMO. When DD started refusing her food, she had nothing at all until her next snack time which was something like cheese and crackers or fruit.
Strap her in if the chair has straps - less stress all round! Don't be too sad about all this, she'll probably be a mega businesswoman with an iron will when she grows up!

madame Sat 22-Sep-07 18:35:54

Oh god now I have started I can't stop.........it's all coming out, what about disipline. I did try the naughty step a while ago but people on mums net said it was too early and I agreed as it didn't seem to work. Is it something I should re visit?

One of my friends little boy 2 years also is such a good, well behaved boy who listens, my dd can be such a minx and all I want is for her to be well mannered and natured. I just want to get it right and for us all to be happy. We are trying for another baby and I just can't see me coping at the momentsad

NAB3 Sat 22-Sep-07 18:36:54

Just a quickie as off to put the kids to bed, but my son is 2 and 3months and he goes on the step.

madame Sat 22-Sep-07 18:38:46

Scootergrrl, do you know I think you may be right and I will be like the proud mum boring everyone with details....

bossybritches Sat 22-Sep-07 18:41:53

Madame she just sounds like a normal wriggly littel 2yr old minx to me worry not!!

(ok you're a mum it's in the job description-sorry!)

re the night thing, I'd jsut leave her as long as you feel you can & re-visit her calmly & give her a big hug but don't get her out even if she cries. Gradually increase the length of time between visits as you feel able it takes a while.

I think the balance between independance & safety is difficult but if it takes straps then use them,for a while then try again. One of my friends has a little back-pack which her DD uses & it has a wrist strap that she can hold. Her D has "her" bits in it (dummy.rabbit,cardi)when they go out so she feels independant but Mum has her restrained.It's great!

madame Sat 22-Sep-07 18:44:56

Just going to bath dd, I will be back. Thank you smile

Scootergrrrl Sat 22-Sep-07 19:31:07

I don't think she's too young for discipline - you've got to remember that she won't be naughty toddler, naughty toddler, naughty toddler then all of a sudden be a well-behaved three-year-old.
When you're putting her on the step (do you think she'll stay there?) or whatever, think that you're guiding her along the way to learning that this is how you behave in order to have a happier time all round.
(Sorry, am less than eloquent, have had glass of wine blush)

tori32 Sat 22-Sep-07 19:57:44

I CM and have dealt with eating probs.
1st dd will not starve unless she eats nothing for 2 weeks.
2nd she has no need for milk at night.
3rd she needs firm boundries to respect you. She has clearly been pushing them and you have been giving each time. STOP!

Introduce time out. Give a warning - if you continue doing this you will sit in hallway on your own. Follow through every time.

Meals - put meal infront of her and say eat your lunch, dinner etc. Give a warning after 15mins, if you do not eat it you wil get nothing until next meal and no desert. Say I am taking your plate now (after another 5 mins) Give one chance to continue. If not eaten just remove it with no comments and give NOTHING until next meal( no snacks/ yoghurt/ fruit etc.)
She will realise that not eating meals equals hunger.

Milk at night - the only sure way to stop this is to put a stairgate on the bedroom door and ignore demands saying ' its sleep time, go to sleep' the subsequent times just keep returning her to bed until it works- up to 50 times perhaps the first night, but will get progressively easier.

DO NOT START ANYTHING UNLESS YOU HAVE THE DETERMINATION TO FOLLOW THROUGH as this will then make her hold out longer next time you try to sort out the behaviour.

Hope this helps. shock

tori32 Sat 22-Sep-07 20:03:20

My dd is 20mths and has been time outed for the past 2 mths (from when she could say naughty, after doing something she shouldn't do) They are all different, but if she looks sheepish when she misbehaves then definately time out because she is showing understanding of what she shouldn't do. I only have to say to my dd now 'stop it now or I will put you in the hallway' and most times she stops doing whatever is naughty. smile

madame Sat 22-Sep-07 23:40:35

God I feel like I have been a bit of a soft touch from reading these points. Lots to reflect on and think about.

Didn't know it was all going to be this hard, thought more of being a parent would come naturallyhmm

tori32 Sat 22-Sep-07 23:44:36

Don't be too down on yourself, its not easy and there is no handbook. grin Good luck with everything. Take the control back smile

UCM Sat 22-Sep-07 23:50:01

Can I add that we did the naughty step but gave in every now & then, my next door neighbours who are foster carers and are caring for a little boy who is 9 months younger than DS, also do the naughty step but never give in. They are really strict about it.

It hasn't made an iota of difference. They have gone through the same naughtiness (if you can call it naughty) regardless of this step and me smacking my DS on occasion.

I am now convinced that all children are the same, it's just the parents who are different and deal with stuff differently.

She will get past this, and will give you 'oh so new' challenges. I am going to hang in there with my DD (8 months) and not stress whatsoever, because I know, no matter what I do, she will go through these phases each year.
Not much help, but I wanted to post.

UCM Sat 22-Sep-07 23:50:25

DS is 4 by the way.

madame Sun 23-Sep-07 12:34:01

Well, a quick update. We gave her a cup with a lid of water to take to bed last night and explained to her what was not going to happen with the milk! She actually went through the night....Now I am sure that was a fluke but she had drank nearly all the water so maybe....

Not having to go into her during the night has given me energy today to start the naughty step, she has been on it 5 times this morning and each time has said sorry and done what I have asked hmm. I know it's early days and I am sure we will have a battle about milk but I feel so much happier just feeling like I am back in control of the situation. I think I really hit a wall yesterday.

I also ate with her this morning and she ate much better, still not lots but then I think thats just her. I know she won't starve herself and her body will tell her what she needs.

As I am so new to this time out business, can someone give me advice on how to do it, is it best to put her in another room or where you can see her, how long do I leave her on it?

madame Sun 23-Sep-07 12:35:20

By the way Tori32 you gave me just the kick I needed, so thank you

edam Sun 23-Sep-07 12:44:22

one minute for every year, so two minutes for a two year old. I put ds on the stairs so he's not in a different room (our stairs are in the sitting room) but I walk away so I'm not in sight.

edam Sun 23-Sep-07 12:44:59

I treat naughty step as def con three, btw, so only go to it if he is really being horrible and refusing to stop despite distraction/several chances.

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