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Adjusting to 'terrible' twos ...

(49 Posts)
mummylonglegs Sun 13-Feb-05 21:01:21

Ok, I know everyone's already posted loads about this but I'm struggling slightly to keep up with the pace at which dd's changed from co-operative, sunny, fun, affectionate to stroppy, negative, difficult child. She's not very well at the moment so I'm sure that's part of the problem. But for the last few days all I've heard from here seems to be 'no!' plus she's so impossibly fussy about having things 'precisely' as she wants them. Virtually every thing we do is a battle and I'm knackered.

Anyway, you all know the score but if anyone's going through similar and wants to share notes and if anyone can tell me how long the 'worst' of it goes on for I'd be grateful!

Frizbe Sun 13-Feb-05 21:15:10

umm not sure how long the worst goes on for, but dd is 15mths and is starting to try it far naughty step twice has done the trick, and I'm using distraction techniques for the 'NO' instances, attempting to cut down on the amount of times I say that word!

misdee Sun 13-Feb-05 21:16:11

till they move out!!

Frizbe Sun 13-Feb-05 21:18:21

argh! and dh says she's not allowed to move out, or go out, or....protective daddy eh!

Clare1406 Sun 13-Feb-05 21:22:23

Apparantly, my mum reclons this phase lasts till they're about 16!!! lol
My DS is 3.5, & he's going through the 'Go away' stage. You just haev to try to ignore the tantrum thing, coz its another way for them to try & get our attention. If DS is having a wobbler, we do the 'Little Angels' thing, time out for 2/3mins in a different room. Then go back in & explain why he was put in there, & that he should say sorry. I does work, honest.
But it is hard work, & you have to stick to your guns, don't give in.
Sounds a bit like being tortured doesn't it!!!

mummylonglegs Sun 13-Feb-05 21:37:24

We haven't had a full blown tantrum yet. It's more continual little dramas about anything and everything. And kind of hurtful things like 'don't touch me!' and being pushed off if I try to touch her. . Other times of course she races up to me yelling 'I love you, mummy!!' and hugs me spontaneously. I guess I find it hard feeling so dominated by her mood swings.

logic Sun 13-Feb-05 21:40:13

My neighbour says that once they get over the terrible twos, it returns at 13...

I am also a terrible twos victim at the moment, mummylonglegs. I try and ignore the non-important stuff and use shameless bribery for the rest

mummylonglegs Sun 13-Feb-05 21:50:49

Yes, I do that too. But at the moment it's become pretty non-stop, the negativity. Very draining. Probably much worse because she feels crap.

mummylonglegs Sun 13-Feb-05 21:51:20

And I realised just now I didn't say, she's 2.4.

Clare1406 Sun 13-Feb-05 22:10:58

I know what you mean, you feel like you use all your energy trying to keep your cool. Then when he's gone to bed, i get really upset thinking i'm a crap mum.
He went to my mums this weekend, from thurs, came back 1pm today. They live 60miles away from us, so it's nice for him to spend one2one time with my mum. Apparantly he was the perfect child, no contradictiveness, no shouting, no strops, perfect.
He'd been in the door 5 mins & he started, mum says, 'We haven't had any of that' That makes me feel even better!!!
But i know i'm not the only one feeling like this, makes it all seem normal when you talk to other mums & they've got the same problem.
Lets hope we're all producing highly intelligent kids, then we can put it down to overactive minds?

logic Sun 13-Feb-05 22:11:11

I really sympathise. It is so much worse when they are ill. My ds (2 and 5 mths) is going through a no-eating and no-sleeping phase combined with chronic teething and boundless energy. Until this week he wouldn't wear clothes either. I'm also 28 weeks pg so there's very little that I can do about most of it He is such a wonderful little angel usually but there are days when I think that he has been secretly replaced with an imp.

Can you arrange to go away with your dp/dh for a weekend without dd? Dh and I did this recently. Ds got to stay with his beloved grandparents and we got a much needed break.

handlemecarefully Mon 14-Feb-05 10:53:16

I broke the wardrobe door last Friday because I was venting my fury on it having been so wound up by my terrible two

I felt completely murderous towards her so the wardrobe door got it!

Similar things to you - refusing to get dressed (normally I don't give a stuff and leave her to dawdle but we had to be there by a certain time), irrational stuff like when she has refused to eat her dinner and I take her plate away and discard the food on it, she then goes ballistic because the plate has been removed. It is very wearing....

mummylonglegs Mon 14-Feb-05 14:56:18

hmc, that's SO familiar. 6.30am this morning dd got up early (she DOES have a lousy cough and IS worse than normal, BUT) and came into our bed where she usually has a small cup of milk and chats to herself for a while so we can wake up more slowly. Today:

'Where's my milk?' (petulant voice)
'It's here, darling' (patient voice)
'I don't WANT it' (more petulant voice)
'Ok, I'll just leave it on the side' (still patient voice)
... puts milk on the side ...
'I don't WANT it on the side' (borderline hysterics)
'Where do you want it then?' (borderline patience)
'I don't want that milk!!!' (mild hysterics)
'Don't have it then, just forget about it' (feigning patience)
... Dd thinks for a minute with an increasingly purple face ...
'Where's my milk mummy?' (lip beginning to protrude)
'It's here. Do you want it?' (more feigned patience)
'No no no no no no no. I don't want it!!!' (breaks into hysterical crying and bashes her hand across my face)
'Don't hit me, it's not nice' (getting cross)
... Dd screams and cries and gets very hot and snotty, then collapses back on the bed ...
'I want my milk!!!' (whiny, tearful voice)

Now can anyone anywhere tell me why she didn't just have it in the beginning?

mummylonglegs Mon 14-Feb-05 17:34:56

And why does she always do this kind of thing with me and not dp???

Gwenick Mon 14-Feb-05 17:37:01

Because in most cases they see mummy more often than daddy so they're little angels for daddy so that daddy will think mummy' just making it all up (although my DH knows that's not the case LOL).

DS2 (14 1/2 months) has already started the tantrums - we've discovered sitting him firmly on the floor and not letting him move for a few minutes seems to be working so far.

beansprout Mon 14-Feb-05 17:40:43

Someone told me they are worse with you as they trust you and know you won't reject them. That might sound a bit mad but it makes sense when I am watching dp and his daughter (she is 17 and we have had a few years of really difficult behaviour).

Fran1 Mon 14-Feb-05 18:04:07

You have my sympathies my dd has just turned two and shes always liked to be independent and a bit awkward with it! but things got ridiculous a few weeks ago.

Shes just potty trained too, so is in big girl knickers, and it was getting ridiculous trying to get out the house.
I'd start with asking her to sit on potty before we went out. Which resulted in her taking all her clothes off, doing a wee, and then me chasing her round the house to get her dressed again, with dd kicking and screaming all the way. Only to be told " i need a wee" aaaaaargggggghhhhhh!!!!

Anyway i now have a solution.

She has the opporunity to dress herself quickly and sensibly, otherwise mummy will count to three and if i get to three i pin her down, dress her quickly and march out the house.

When i first started using the i'll count to three trick she used to laugh and carry on 4, 5, 6. But i showed her i meant business, with being quite tough and forcing clothes upon her that now i don't even get as far as counting, she quickly does it herself.

Give it a go! its made my life soooooo much more pleasant.

JakB Tue 15-Feb-05 10:23:11

Oh blimey, can I join this club?!!!! Mummlonglegs, I am having a hellish time with my two-year-old son at the moment. He is so contrary and it really is exhausting. I hate being negative about it, too, as my other child has special needs so I feel as if I shouldn't moan about 'normal' behaviour! . But it's very had and he doesn't do it with anybody else but me. What is the answer?!!!!!!!!!!

novah Tue 15-Feb-05 10:31:05

oh, this sounds very encouraging, i am already struggling with my 20 months son, can imagine it will get worse (specially i am excpecting a baby in 4 weeks).
he used to sleep in his cot and wake up around 5 have his bottle and sleep until 7.30. now he sleeps in the big bed and evry ight he comes to our bed at 2 am wanting his bottle and sleep with us. i know u will tell me we have to put him back in his bed, but we r so tired.
any possitive experiences pls???????

StealthMouse Tue 15-Feb-05 10:33:21

oh I've only just seen this - I've just started a thread about being desperate for a book to help me... am about to sit down with tea and read this thread from start to finish

StealthMouse Tue 15-Feb-05 10:38:07

mll - your post re. yesertday morning - I could've written it <sigh> I'm worn out with it all dd is 2yr8mths

booschmoo Tue 15-Feb-05 13:13:04

Oh it's all so familiar , particularly the milk conversation. My dd has just turned 2 but her speech is very limited so she gets even more frustrated bless.
At the moment I am using blatant bribery that if she eats her meal then she can play with daddy when he gets home etc.
I have used the naughty step, to no avail, she starts disappearing up the stairs & I can't catch her. We also do 1,2,3 which is a bit hit & miss. (think it's more for calming my temper than sorting her out.)
As for how long it lasts, give me the terrible two's any day. My neice is 13 & the way she acts towards her mother makes me want to slap her & I'm not that sort of person - got it all to look forward to

mummylonglegs Tue 15-Feb-05 13:42:32

Well, I tried the 'counting to 5' thing ages ago when she was just turned 2 (I thought it was hard then but now!!) and it worked for a while but she's just got more adamant and persistant in her refusals. I haven't really got a 'naughty step' available as we're in a flat and it's pretty cramped, I can't even think of a 'naughty corner' to be honest. The only place I could really put her is in the bathroom but that would panic me in case of an accident or the door getting locked from inside . She does respond when I use my 'stern' voice generally but that always leaves me feeling like a shit. On Sunday we had scene after scene all morning so I decided to take her out for a wander in the park to burn off some energy. By the time we were at the end of the corridor by our lift we'd had non-stop 'I want to wear my had!!' 'I don't WANT my hat!!!' scenarios. So I crouched down, got hold of her hands and said 'do you want to go home? If you don't stop shouting at me you can go home on your own and I'll go and have fun in the park on my own'. Wobbly lip came out and she said 'sorry mummy, I won't shout any more.' Which she didn't. For about 10 minutes. But it did show me that she's capable of listening / knowing what she's doing. It really is extremely wearing. I'm trying to pace myself at the moment because I think this is still just the beginning, I can imagine many ways in which it can get worse!


Posey Tue 15-Feb-05 20:34:37

You have my sympathies
We struggle at times with ds who is 25 months, and generally I am good at being calm (except when we've had c**p nights which are a bit of a problem just now)

Anyway I was going to post a thread separately to encourage people who're feeling drained by it all, but this seems to be the ideal place to put a little story.
Dh and I have been getting very fed up with the DEMANDS. "TELLY ON!" "BISCUIT" etc. So we started saying clearly "You get nothing til you ask nicely" I thought we were just wasting our breath when yesterday I was totally bowled over on 3 occasions. Firstly in the supermarket. I told dd, who's 7, that she could choose a cake from the bakery counter and ds pipes up "mummy, I like a cake too please".
Then we were out at a friends. Dd had disappeared upstairs with her friend, my friend was making tea and I think ds was a bit tired or bored. So instead of creating, he just wandered into the kitchen and said to my friend, "x, my like the telly on please", and then after he'd eaten his tea, he said "my get down now please mummy"
I was so proud of him and felt that we may just be turning a corner.

My advise I think to anyone would be to remain as consistent as you possibly can and to stay as calm as possible, in front of your little one at least even if you rant and rave in private.
It definitely worked with dd, and seems to be on the way to working with ds. I'm not saying we're perfect, far from it and don't want to sound as if I'm preaching. Far from it, I just wanted to offer some encouragement to people who feel like they're fighting a losing battle.

handlemecarefully Wed 16-Feb-05 09:04:03


That's really quite a sweet little story. I'd be so proud if my 2 year old asked for everything quite so nicely. She will say please, but only when prompted and reminded...

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