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i can't cope with my 2.4 yr old anymore. out of control doesn't begin to describe it

(18 Posts)
totalmisfit Wed 16-Jul-08 11:56:09

i can't cope with everything being a battle right now. She just laughs her head off whilst defying everything i try and do. The worst thing is I know she's a 'good' child. I know it's a phase yada yada... but right now it's like living with.. i don't know what - this absolutely contrary, infuriating, contradictory mini despot.

So i try and get us ready to go to the park for example and she's so strong i can't even get hold of her to put her shoes on.. and not only is she trying to get away constantly and kicking me she's also pulling down the curtains and rolling around finding thw whole thing hilarious and then when i give up i get 'i want go park! i wan' go park! i WANT GO PARK!!!!'

that's just one example of the thousands of times a day when i think 'if this was 20 years ago i could quite legitimately give her a light smack on the bottom to try and get through to her.' and then i remember that i'm dead against all that, and how terrified i was when i was smacked as a child. and how it's just wrong.

but i am completely at the end of my tether with how to deal with her - she has a 'time out corner' but tbh its' a waste of time. she likes sitting there fgs! and if i was to put her there every time she did something 'unasseptable' she would be there all day.

totalmisfit Wed 16-Jul-08 12:01:22

i am actually going to attempt getting to the park now (again). i have to get out of this flat. so apologies in advance if i don't reply to any posters who might offer advice...

christiana Wed 16-Jul-08 12:04:28

Message withdrawn

christiana Wed 16-Jul-08 12:05:28

Message withdrawn

juuule Wed 16-Jul-08 12:10:09

Don't fight for too long. When she starts shouting that she wants to go to the park, say okay then but let's get your shoes on. Would that work?
Put her shoes in a bag and take them with you. She would most likely want them on quite quickly.
I wouldn't bother with the time out corner if it's not working. I tend to just get on with whatever I'm doing and try to get them to join in with me and chat to them, hopefully trying to get them to understand things that way.

HonoriaGlossop Wed 16-Jul-08 12:34:21

I agree with juuule not too fight too much. At this present time she is finding her 'oppositional' muscle and is learning BIG time how to flex it!!! and you are handing her daily practice, nicely on a plate.....

give her much, much less to defy.

If there isn't anything to oppose, she can't be oppositional.

I know that some things are non-negotiable but most things there's a different way round if you can find it. I think it's about tallking to her and treating her very differently. So rather than "OK DD let's go to the park" what worked for me with ds was a bit of reverse psychology; as in <theatrical sigh> "I just don't think I can be BOTHERED with the park, ds"......then of course he's breaking my legs to go! Same as juuule with shoes, let her learn 'experientially' - a few steps without them and she will want them on!

Basically during this phase with ds what helped was not talking to him in a straight down the line way (too easy to defy) you need to be a bit cunning and get round them without you even realising what you're doing.

HonoriaGlossop Wed 16-Jul-08 12:35:24

without THEM realising, I mean!

juuule Wed 16-Jul-08 12:44:49

Good advice from Honoria for the oppositional stuff.
Also, as you said she's "rolling around finding thw whole thing hilarious " it's probably a game to her. Rough and tumble with mum. She's probably not realising your frustration and just thinks it's a good game.
So that's another thing to be aware.

coolbeans Wed 16-Jul-08 13:14:52

And you know what – rolling around on the floor is pretty good fun. If you can take a deep breath and go with the flow - let it turn into a game, where’s the harm? - it will stress you both out less.

My lo is 2.6 and is the most defiant, tantrum throwing creature I can imagine.
All I can do is distract, distract, distract and ignore, ignore, ignore. There’s an unexpectedly high concentration of dragons, spiders and helicopters in our neighbourhood…….

Some of this works, some of the time. Sometimes, nothing works.
But when I give him less to push against, our days are definitely easier.

I also really liked the book, “Toddler taming” – it provided some really useful strategies (he suggests bribing, when necessary!) and also helped me to see how normal this behaviour is.

manumum Wed 16-Jul-08 13:33:36

i have a 27 month old little boy who for most of the day is lovely but say something to him he disagrees with then his temper comes out he starts hitting or kicking either his 2 elder brothers Or me or daddy. it is starting to cause a lot of stress any one have any ideas

manumum Wed 16-Jul-08 13:35:07

hello coolbeans whats this book you mention please

totalmisfit Wed 16-Jul-08 13:44:47

christiana - ditto the nappy taking off routine -only replace the word wee with poo shock 'poo-poo evey-where mummy' she says with such a sense of surprise in her voice i can't help but stifle a small giggle. do let me know how you get on with the hv.

totalmisfit Wed 16-Jul-08 13:57:30

juule, hg, coolbeans -good advice - agree in principle about the whole 'giving her less to be oppositional about' thing.

But unfortunately she is so determined to argue with me that often when i'm acquisecing she's still arguing. eg 'not want that one! want this crayon/ball/dolly' 'ok - here you go.' 'no! NOT WANT THAT! WANT THIS ONE!' 'ok, here it is' 'noooo!!!' and then i think 'right, i'll just stay quiet/try to distract her' which invariably means she's still standing there barking orders, even though i'm not opposing her. and distractions hardly ever work with her for some reason. she's too focused, perhaps!

coolbeans Wed 16-Jul-08 14:20:51

Manumum - it's called "New Toddler Taming - A parent's guide to the first four years".
this page

I find it very reassuring and sensible.

TM, the arguing is so frustrating isn't it.
If distraction doesn't work - and sometimes I have to go through a long sequence of "can your hear that cat", "wow, I saw a spideeee!" (all in relentlessly upbeat tone, God! it's exhausting!) - have you tried ignoring her?
Not in a confrontatational way, just in a, "OK, then, but I'm off to do the washing up - wanna come?". My ds usually can't bear to let me out of his sight, so will trot along and follow me and it gives me a quick breathing space while he figures out what next to yell about.wink

UniS Wed 16-Jul-08 20:49:05

I'm slowly learning to ignore my DS 2.4 when he sin that mood. does make getting out teh house slow tho.
I fairly often leave him to eat breakfast or wee with out me in the room as he gets on with the job then rather than wasting time argueing or whineing.

I still sling him over my shoulder or strap into buggy if he won't co-operate with me in public. did it today in supermarket when he refused to hold me or the trolley but wanted to lie down in middle of fruit and veg section. I gave him a count down" If you are not holding my hand and walking by time I count to 3 I shall put you over my shoulder" Hes used to this count down system and it often works , he often decides he will do X just as I get to 3. He doens't like being slung over a shoulder.

bumbo64 Wed 16-Jul-08 21:52:44

My 2.5 yr old is driving me mad at the moment. It's amazing how a child so young knows exactly how to push your buttons to get a reaction out of you! I have to stop myself sometimes from losing it with him. I don't believe in smacking either and have chosen to go down alternative routes of discipline. I've found that ignoring bad behaviour, and praising good behaviour works, alongside the use of reward charts (with a prize/treat at the end) and stickers. It's amazing how motivated children are by stickers! Sometimes turning the whole thing on its head and focussing on positive behaviour rather than the negative behaviour works. I have also found the book "Toddler Taming" very useful.

bumpmakestwo Wed 16-Jul-08 21:55:06

I am watching every reply to your post as I am going throught exactly the same. I have looked after many childrens before having my DD now 2.3 and can't remember any of them being as defiant, bold, challenging or 'spirited'! It is so tiring and demotivating, when every phase of development seems to be dominated by negatives. I love her dearly but end up every night doubting my parenting. The only thing I have noticed is when I go to work and she has to go to childminders, because I have no option than to speed things along, she seems to go with it. So regardless of what time she finally goes to sleep (currently battling with going from cot to bed this week!!) I try getting her up at 7am and speeding the dressing and 'gettign ready to go out' stuff even if we have nothing planned. As my mum keeps reminding me, 'A spirited, active child is highly intelligent and loves being in control and reasoning means nowt to them'. Good luck hun and know you are normal!!!!

divastrop Wed 16-Jul-08 22:06:00

this is not going to be helpful i know but the only that keeps me going with dd2(2.7) is reminding myself that this bit is fun compared to the nightmare that is puberty(which dd1 is entering into).

i dont argue,i dont get wound up,i smile sweetly as i clean the poo from the floor where she has taken off her nappy and then sat down,i calmly remove her from the window where she is standing b*ck naked having stripped off again.because ive seen it all before with dd1,but at 9.6 and only 4" shorter than me,physically removing her is no longer an optionshock.

and i am quietly thankful that if dd2 gets in a mood with somebody she just slaps them then forgets about it(i do punish her for slapping though),rather than having weeks of misery and bitchingsad

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