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Can anyone help me help my friend? She's just been in tears at a party...

(16 Posts)
TheGoddessBlossom Sat 30-Aug-08 14:34:47

We both have DSs the same age, 4 and 2. At a kids party where the older ones are all loving the entertainer and where the younger ones weren't that bothered they were either sitting on laps or playing, or running around together. Her 2 year old will NOT partcipate in anyway, he is forever trying to get up the stairs, out the door into the road, up on the tables or chairs, or just generally tank off in any direction apart from the one he is supposed to. She has to physically restrain him, which is very wearing on her as he fights her and lashes out when she tries to stop him doing what he wants to do.

He has always been like this, does not participate at all with any other children, is a permanent escape artist and it physically exhausts her and upsets her. Of course she knows she can't compare children to each other as all are different but it's hard when in a group of 30 kids she is the only mum unable to sit down.

I have tried to reassure her that he is just a busy kid, into everything, wants to explore and tried to see the positives of his behaviour but I am no expert and she can see I am trying to make her feel better. Can anyone advise that might have been through a similar thing? My 2 year old DS is Mr Cling so although that has it's issues at least I get to sit down occasionally!

TIA.

Bloss

TheGoddessBlossom Sat 30-Aug-08 14:35:24

....today got to the stage where she ended up physically restraining him by putting him in the car for 10 minutes just to get a breather.....

onceinalifetime Sat 30-Aug-08 14:38:10

Does he go to nursery, playgroup or anything like that? Maybe he needs more encouragement and experience of being with other children. However, have to say that my 2yr old ds is going through a similar phase and I don't think a lot will change until they're a little bit older. Mine does interact with others but doesn't stay still for longer than 10 seconds!

giraffescantdancethetango Sat 30-Aug-08 14:39:22

Not sure sorry, but im sure she appreciates you could she have a word with health visitor? does he seem really hyper? is it constant or is it only certain times...ie could party style food be linked?

scanner Sat 30-Aug-08 14:41:18

Has she tried trying to wear him out, long walks to play park etc. DS has always been a lively chap, when he started school I worried he'd never sit through an assembly. He's 5 and absolutely fine at school a bit fidgety, but nothing more. I used to take him out every day regardless of the weather and get him to walk rather than buggy as much as poss. Lots of running about with a football, that sort of thing used to do the trick and he'd drop off to sleep easily too.

TheGoddessBlossom Sat 30-Aug-08 14:45:24

all good advice here, thankyou. I do agree with trying to wear him out.

I think she is worried that the tactics she sees being used with ods his age just DO NOT work at all on him. I use the naughty step equivalent, my DS says sorry when he has offended, all the usual things you employ to teach them what is acceptable behaviour (do not get me wrong my DS is far from an angel, and god knows if anything I am doing is working) But she said to me today that her DS has NEVER said sorry, that she CANNOT get him to differentiate when he is doing something naughty to something good, ie, throwing stones is bad don't do it, or I will do this etc etc.

Who knows, he is still very small, probably going to be a genius of some kind. I did feel for her today though.

BoysAreLikeDogs Sat 30-Aug-08 14:51:00

2 is still just a baby really.

Lots of fresh air and exercise.

Find the good, ignore/distract where safe to do so.

Empathy and saying sorry and truly understanding sorry comes much later.

Tell your friend to chill, and that this stage too will pass.

3littlefrogs Sat 30-Aug-08 14:56:16

He is only 2, so maybe expecting him to understand what is required is a bit ambitious. I had 2 like this, the only thing that worked was walking them miles, every day, come rain, hail or shine. Outside, all the time. (It was exhausting, but it sure kept my weight down).

I used to think long and hard before taking them to people's houses, especially as ds2 would climb up everything in sight. It improved as they got older.

queenrollo Sat 30-Aug-08 15:01:28

my son is now three and has settled but he was very much like your friend's ds when he was 2........i used to go to a couple of Surestart groups and spend the entire time retrieving him from the cupboards. He never wanted to play with the stuff that was out, he refused to sit still for story time at the end, and while all the other kids would sit with mum/dad and paint a picture/play with playdo/do sticking, my son just wanted to run around, open doors, climb. On several occasions i ended up in tears, but the workers there realised he was just an energetic little chap and would watch him for a while so i could have a coffee/chat with the other mums.
At times i would put off taking him to social activities because i knew i'd spend all my time with him, and it really did feel like i was the ONLY mum in the world with such a hyper kid.

Turns out there were other mum's with kids like this too, who just never went out because they couldn't cope with it. My ds was quite defiant with stone throwing, and has only recently grown out of it.....and saying sorry is something that has only happened in the last 6 months........

It has been hard enough coping with this and he is my only child, but tell your friend from me that she is definitely not alone in having a child like this and it is far too early to tell whether there is an underlying problem which will carry on developing or whether he is simply a very busy, bright and inquisitive child......my ex-mil is a teacher/child psychologist and has said she can already see that ds is very bright, and it's not unusual for bright children to be very busy at such a young age, and also that he is a very secure confident boy and that is part of why he is so active (for example at his first festival this year he just legged it.....straight into the crowd and through to a bar because one of the barworkers had given him a cup of ice once and he knew he could keep charming them into giving him more)

I'm sure he will start to calm down soon, my son still has hectic days/moments but is much easier to reason with now.....

Heated Sat 30-Aug-08 15:21:33

"There is a book called 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 by Thomas Phelan which your friend could get from the library or Amazon. It has excellent reviews.

It's premise is based on whether you want the behaviour to start or stop and you adjust your parenting accordingly. I've only read the stop behaviour bit though!

The counting system 1 to 3 seems simple enough for a 2 yr old to understand, but the key is to be completely calm/non-confrontational in the counting. The power is actually in the 5 second pauses between counting whilst the child evaluates their actions (they might not in the beginning!). At reaching 3 the consequence happens - so in a 2 yr old's case they go maybe to a cot/travel cot if they are too young for time-out on the stairs for 2 minutes (there are other suggestions too as what a consequence might be). There are no long- winded explanations (unless the child exhibits a totally new behaviour) or recriminations/fussing afterwards.

The book doesn't say what behaviours warrant this - they make suggestions - but it's whatever the parent finds unacceptable and it's to nip unacceptable behaviour in the bud, so that in the end all your friend might have say is "That's 1" and he'll stop as he knows there's a consequence.

The other half of the book is about how to encourage good or 'start' behaviour.

cyberseraphim Sat 30-Aug-08 15:24:33

Does she have any other concerns about him ? It might be totally normal but is she worried by a lack of understanding in other areas ?

TheGoddessBlossom Sat 30-Aug-08 15:26:15

thanks so much. Have just sent her a text with the 1 2 3 book recommendation and with some of the other points on here.

FluffyMummy123 Sat 30-Aug-08 15:26:48

Message withdrawn

TheGoddessBlossom Sat 30-Aug-08 15:43:02

Cyber - she has commented before about his lack of speech, he doen'st have that many words. And just his tendency to play alone, run off on his own etc.

cyberseraphim Sat 30-Aug-08 15:53:33

I don't want to worry you or her unnecessarily but it is a possibility that she needs to think about his development in general terms and not just this exhausting tendency to run off. The thing that concerned me slightly was that you said 'he has always been like that' Is that true or a bit of an exaggeration? If the behaviour really is pervasive it could be a concern - but if it is frequent but with some respite to more normal behaviour then it's less worrying.

thehouseofmirth Sat 30-Aug-08 16:03:23

At 2 he's still in the period of parallel play and quite young developmentally to be expected to join and his personality probably compounds this. He's probably just a very physical, busy boy and fighting that is going to make them both miserable. My DS was very similar but has calmed down and I'm sure hers will too given time.

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