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HELP! I'm CONFUSED! 2.5 yr old wearing me down

(12 Posts)
Natsam Sun 17-Apr-05 22:31:58

Help needed please.

I am so confused and feel that my toddler must be feeling the same. She is a wonderful child in many ways. Very well mannered, beautiful and very smart.
She is so strong willed and knows what she wants. Her speech is brilliant for her age and I think we often forget she is only 2.5.
She was starting to become a handful and can be very demanding. Knows what she wants, even if it is to call us back up the stairs to hold her hand... she is very competant at coming down and we are only a few steps ahead but she yells if we dont go back. (this is a minor example but gives you the idea). She also started to bite and has great frustration at things and clenches her teeth!). I have recently had a new baby (7 weeks) and the behaviour is getting worse. We are using the step, setting the timer etc. Using sticker charts to encourage good behaviour but we still have very challenging days and I feel I am battling against her all the time.
Am I expecting too much from her? Am I forgeting she is only 2? Today we had a huge paddy at friends for dinner. She wanted to play with all the new and exciting toys around her and didnt want to sit at the table.. once I say something I like to stick to it (as all the new programmes tell us) do you think me and my husband should stick our heels in and insist she sits at the table or is that something that should be expected of an older child and should I give DD some leeway?
Should I just have rules about biting/smacking and use the step for these? Should I let some things go and worry about them when she can understand more?
What do I do when she wont do as I ask - ie. put her shoes on? share a toy? not shout!? etc etc
Help me please....

sacha3taylor Sun 17-Apr-05 22:36:31

my dd is nearly 3 and we find she is even more difficult now then when we diddn't understand her when she was a baby. I do think that if you let the little things pass by without an argument, she is more likely to listen for the more important things (she wont just think, oh mums yelling again)

Have you tried the Pasta jar? works wonders for my dd and ds.

Natsam Sun 17-Apr-05 22:53:13

oh whats the pasta jar!?

Fran1 Sun 17-Apr-05 23:02:29

Hi, she sounds very much like my 2.5yr old. I agree with sacha that letting the less serious things pass by, so she knows when you do mean business.

Things like sitting at the table, my dd normally happilly comes, so on occasions when she'd rather carry onplaying with her toys, I ask her about three times to come and sit down, then i say oh well you'll be hungry. Then me and dp sit down to our meal and make exagerrated noises about how delicious it is, she always comes to the table within a minute! If she didn't come at all, i wouldn't fuss, and if hungry later she can have some bread and butter or fruit, but definitely not another meal specially prepared.

Sharing toys is really tricky, my dd is a lovely angelic girl when alone, but when she has a playfriend round, she gets really possessive and will snatch toys, or push another child. First of all i try distracting, playing really exagerrated games of sharing, oh aren't you kind giving this to so and so etc. If it continues i take her hands and make her face me while i quietly tell her that if she doesn't play nicely she'll be on the naughty step. If she continues to snatch i start counting to three and she normaly gives a toy back, if not she spends two mins on the naughty step.
Now i've told you what to do, but this doesn't stop it happening the next time and the next time! so there must be something i'm doing wrong!!

Although i don't think its that, i think as you say, when they get older and more able and more understanding, there will hopefully become less and less of this behaviour.!!

Natsam Sun 17-Apr-05 23:14:24


Reading lots of the messages it does seem that I am not alone...

Do you think our parents had the same trials and tribulations? Do you think all these programmes confuse us more or are a help?

One comment from my mum that made me feel better - was that 'in her day' the mums seemed to stay at home more and spend more time with children alone. I am out and about with my DD most days, so she mixes with lots of different children in lots of different situations. I then see more of her biting, not shareing etc (then if she was at home on her own with me) IYKWIM

She just seems to get out of control and in lots of situations it is hard to control ie. at her weekly gym type class, she runs off onto other equipment that we shouldnt be on. I try to get her back but she is on the verge of creating a big scene. I then decide to ignore the behaviour, but she is climbing higher and higher etc with no supervision - I cant leave her!!! What do I do then?

Saker Mon 18-Apr-05 08:23:04

I think she may well be reacting to the new baby and testing whether you will still do things for her. I would give some leeway where possible and not enforce rules just for the sake of it. However I agree when you have said something it's best not to back down. The number of times I have said "No" and then had to stick to it although I have started thinking to myself that it wouldn't have done any harm really . I would be inclined to do like Fran1 and ignore naughty behaviour rather than make a big thing of it. If she is competing with the baby for attention then she will learn that being naughty is not the way to get it. And plenty of praise for good behaviour even everyday ordinary things that you think she should do anyway.

ChocolateGirl Mon 18-Apr-05 13:33:29

Natsam, I think I agree with what the others have said about letting little things go and only insisting on the really serious stuff - like biting and hitting.

Sounds like you are doing all the right things, praising etc. I have a nearly 3 year old who also has good speech. His older brother has very poor speech and I'm always expecting too much of ds2 because he seems so much older than he really is.

Sorry I can't be more help. Just wanted to sympathise really. I'm sure it will pass (not much consolation, I know) and is just partly age and partly a reaction to the new baby. Don't be too hard on yourself.

mummylonglegs Mon 18-Apr-05 21:19:18

My dd is also 2 1/2 and is very verbal and, I think, pretty bright. She's also 'testing' boundaries more and more after having been a little darliing up to now. well, she's still a darling of course but she's a 'confused' darling I like to think of it. Now, she's aware that she doesn't have to just do what I say, that she has wants and desires of her own. What I'm trying to do is treat her in a reasonably grown-up way. When I say 'no' I stick to it. But the reasons I say no have changed lately so that I am letting her have a bit more say about what she wants to do.

There are situations of course in which there's no negotiation and they have to 'behave.' In the situation you described at the gym, if I were you I'd get down on her level, look in her eyes while holding her hands and tell her firmly either she comes away from the other things or you'll go home. If she ignores you, without saying anything else, put her in the buggy or whatever and leave. No going back, no discussions, no response to tantrums. You may find that next time she doesn't do it if she knows it's so unnacceptable that you will remove her immediately from the situation.

skiingmummy Mon 09-May-05 21:10:26

I know this thread is a few weeks old however I've been searching on the words 'biting' and 'toddler' (yup another one doing it!) and this was the best thread that came back.

I also think my little boys behaviour is in some measure due to his new little sister (12 weeks old) and his age (nearly 2.5) however I was just wondering if there was anyone out there who can give reassurances that this behaviour - particularly the biting - will go away and also can anyone give me some idea of how long its likely to carry on for. Its breaking my heart that my otherwise loveable, generally well behaved, slightly mischeivious toddler is biting. btw I'm doing the down to his level, warning, naughty step routine but it doesn't seem to be making any difference.

Ta muchly. xx

skiingmummy Mon 09-May-05 21:22:18


zippy539 Mon 09-May-05 21:33:57

Hi skiingmummy. Sorry to hear you're in the wars at the moment. I've got a similar age gap as you and it was a bit brutal to start with - ds was really pushing the boundaries. I'm trying to remember when it stopped ... I think things calmed down a bit once ds got used to dd being around (probably by the time she was about 6/7 months) but improved massively by the time she was about 1.5 and could 'join in' with his games to a degree.

DS didn't bite so can't help you with that - he was more into whinging, snatching etc. TBH there are still days when he plays up but on the whole things are massively improved, and I wouldn't change our situation for the world. Just hang in there - give him lots of positive attention, things will improve!

skiingmummy Mon 09-May-05 21:46:01

Thanks Zippy.
It feels like its never going to stop at the mo - compounded by the fact DS is now waking up 2 or 3 times a night and will only go back to sleep again if you sit next to his bed. Not the right answer I know but after spending 4 solid hours one night putting him back in bed I physically couldn't lift him anymore and ended up sitting on the floor outside his room!

Why does it feel like the biting is my fault and I'm doing something wrong to cause it?!

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