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2 and a half year old DS ignoring me

(23 Posts)
GoldenSnitch Fri 18-Sep-09 17:42:33

I love my DS to distraction but in the past few months, he's begun to ignore me and it's making me so frustrated I could cry!

Today I took him to soft play. The first thing we do at every trip is find a locker and take our shoes off. We've been going to the same place for almost a year so he knows the drill.

We get there today and he runs straight to these tubular bell things they have on the wall and starts playing. I let him have a minute or two then say "come on DS, time to take shoes off" He ignores me. I then say "DS, come on, lets find a locker" He ignores me. I call his name - he looks at me and carries on.

Later, we're playing and he runs off, I say "DS, come here" multiple times and he looks then carries on running.

At home, I tell him to leave MIL's cockatiel (which were sitting while she's on holiday) alone and he carries on. Or I tell him to not be so close to the TV and he carries on.

I've tried getting down to his level and talking to him but he refuses to make eye contact. I've tried sitting him on the naughty step and talking to him there but he won't make eye contact. I've even tried shouting.

I feel completely out of control and very frustrated and scared. We walk to toddler group every week and he doesn't always want to hold hands. I don't mind him walking with me but am so scared that one day he will run off and ignore my calls to come back and end up getting run over on the road.

We've got a new baby due in December and I'm going to need him to listen to me as I'm not going to be able to run after him all the time (while feeding or getting her into buggy etc) I'm so scared he'll run off and I'll lose him.

How do I make his listen? I'm so fed up of shouting - I must look like a horrible mother

Bensmum76 Fri 18-Sep-09 17:46:26

My DS is almost two and just started doing this so I now overpraise him when he does listen and do as he's told. I hate it when he ignores me especially as my nephew used to ignore my sister when he was younger and is now eight and has zero respect for her and never listens! I think I have a fear that my DS will end up the same!
It is frustrating, but I would just try the pverpraising thing when he does listen and don't know what to suggest for when he doesn't listen! (sorry) x

AnybodyHomeMcFly Fri 18-Sep-09 18:03:15

I think it's just a thing they do at this age. Ds is 2.8 and just the same. It's v frustrating but I guess it's part of them pushing boundaries / gaining sense of self. Ds is fiercely independent so I usually threaten to do stuff for him if he's not getting dressed for eg.

I'm afraid that sometimes reasonableness just doesn't work with toddlers because they need you to lay the law down so they know where the boundaries are.

It is horrible having to shout / physically intervene (eg removing cockatiel) but necessary imo...

Also discussing things like road safety when you both are calm really works. Ds and I often have discussions about how you mustn't go in the road bc a car might squash you and it means it's (hopefully) drummed into him so he would listen if in danger.

Congrats on the pregnancy and good luck.

cory Fri 18-Sep-09 18:08:24

with a child this young I really don't think you should overanalyse or, worse, show him that you feel upset with his reaction

he is going through the totally normal stage of discovering that he has a separate will to you

if he doesn't come with you when you need him to, just grab hold of him and walk off talking pleasantly and cheerfully

if he is sitting somewhere he shouldn't, then just pick him up and move him

if you are walking near traffic, he will either have to hold hands (whether he likes it or not) or wear reins

if he screams, just let him- screaming never hurt anyone

you simply cannot rely on the maturity of a 2yo never to run away from you

the fact that you will need him to when the new baby is there is not a magic wand that will make him develop- but reins are pretty magic wink

stay calm and cheerful- you are the adult

it doesn't matter at this age if he demonstrates that he understands or respects: the important thing is that he gets used to the idea that Mummy always gets her way wink

cory Fri 18-Sep-09 18:09:52

shouting has better effect if you only use it once in a blue moon: cheerfully scooping a toddler up and saying, 'no you know that's not allowed', is far more effectful

GoldenSnitch Fri 18-Sep-09 18:13:14

I just feel like a screaming fishwife some days!

We do talk about not runing off in car parks etc and he can repeat what we say word for word but then we'll have a day like today when he's just not listening to anything I say. I almost wanted the cockatiel to bite him just so he'd stop pestering her and I could stop saying the same thing over and over.

Pysically intervening is getting harder and harder too as I'm getting less able to run after him (sore hips from preg) and will be even harder when I have a feeding newborn/buggy/c-section scar

AnybodyHomeMcFly Fri 18-Sep-09 18:28:09

Are you with him every day? Could a friend or relative come over one day to give you a break? Ds was 2.3 when dd was born and I did find I just needed physical help with him towards the end, you have my every sympathy.

Fwiw, I found it a lot easier very quickly post natal than when I was preg, even with the feeding and sleepless nights. The baby stuff is much easier 2nd time round and you can do feeds at the park (well maybe not in dec!) and at play areas.

cory Fri 18-Sep-09 18:28:26

That's why I think you should be looking at ways of avoiding this situation rather than relying on his maturity (being able to repeat the rule is not the same as actually having impulse control).

Can the cockatiel be moved? Perhaps before he even gets there?

For outside walks, reins really are a godsend. Or if he really dislikes them, there are little backpacks with reins attached.

It is very likely that he will start playing you up for attention anyway when the new baby is here (congratulations btw!), so you need to start thinking of ways to make life easier.

GoldenSnitch Fri 18-Sep-09 18:35:10

We have one of those backpacks with the reins (he looks so cute in it, it's a little bee ) and chest reins (which are a bit short so he ends up under the buggy almost) and wrist reins (which he can get off) so I think the backpack might be the way to go.

Doesn't really work inside soft play when he's supposed to be running round but at least he can't get hurt in there.

He is beginning to get consequences now and I did threaten to take him home if he didn't come back today (we'd only just walked in but as we have an annual pass, i was wasting no money by leaving) and that did seem to make him pause.

It's just so frustrating and draining.

He collapsed on the floor crying for me cause he'd fallen and banged his hand (not badly, not cut or anything) He was calling for me but wouldn't get off the floor to come up to me and I couldn't come down cause I'm in agony. I left him on the floor and DH shouted at me!!

Catitainahatita Fri 18-Sep-09 20:45:35

Hello Golden snitch, it's nice to run into you again.

I am also experimenting with the consequences thing with my toddler. It works quite well wiith him (although you have to be able to brave the tantrums). I have watched my DH try negotiation quite alot; and have noted that it works not one jot. I think you have to establish that you are in charge somehow. If you can't literally pick him up (sympathy for the hips btw; I'm 32 weeks now and like a whale, DS perches precariously on my bump if need be), taking him by the arm firmly and taking him away from the situation might be easiest.

millenniumfoxtrot Fri 18-Sep-09 20:52:22

cory's said pretty much everything i would have said (except reins, they wouldn't work with mine, who are the types to just sit down in the street and refuse to move, i shove them screaming into sling/pushchair if we actually have to get somewhere).

i would add that the last thing you want to do is reinforcing the ignoring by repeatedly giving/shouting instructions - tell him once what you want, making sure that he's able to hear you - then physically move/stop him if he doesn't do it.

GoldenSnitch Fri 18-Sep-09 21:46:07

He has been known to just sit when we're not going in the direction he wants Foxtrot - that's why I'm putting my foot down with Dh who thinks cause Ds can walk, we don't need a double buggy! Definitely need somewhere to sit him and go rather than trying to persuade him to come with me. Reins would just stop him running off!

Hi Cat, nice to see you again. I'll try the taking him by the arm thing but he can go very fast these days and I am getting slower and slower (had a sprained SI joint in my back which gets worse in pregnancy) so catching him is getting hard!

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I promise to take them all on board and implement where I can

pigletmania Fri 18-Sep-09 23:53:17

dont take it personally, your ds sounds so much like my dd also 2.6 years. I think that she does have selective hearing grin. Its just what they do, they are still only young and they are far more interested in playing and their environment than to listen to us. For me its the same with trying to toilet train, she is just not ready, not acknowledging with she has done something just not interested.

GoldenSnitch Sat 19-Sep-09 09:32:21

Toilet training he did by himself. Got very upset with being dirty and I was confident taking him out and about - even to soft play - in poants within about 3 weeks! I think waiting till they are ready makes the whole situation a lot easier.

I think I am taking it personally piglet and you're right, I shouldn't.

It's nice to know someone else is going through this too.

pigletmania Sat 19-Sep-09 10:20:45

he he goldensnitch, and when dh comes home from work its like i doent exist grin. i tell you, my dh came home from work, he was playing with dd in the lounge, i came in, dd proceeded to usher me out of the room, went back in and closed the door on me shock. I was a bit taken aback but friends said that she is with me 24/7 and just wants a break from me like i would like from dd sometimes lol. Dont worry goldensnitch, when dd does something wrong, i do talk to her in a firm manner, like the other day she had a meltdown in Tesco blush demanding the upsdy dasy toy she already has at home, i said a firm no we have that at home and just walked out, she forgot about it soon enough.

Dd still has a dummy at night to sleep but sometimes demands it in the day which i am not happy with so i just say toher firmly on her level 'no' its for bedtime only. However she told me yesterday that she was tired and wanted dummy and bottle, i said to her ok you will go to bed and have a nap then, took her to bed and lay her down, she then proceeded to jump about and gigglewink. I took the dummy and bottle off her and told her that she is obviously not tired and to go and play instead and they will be there when she goes to bed.

GoldenSnitch Sun 20-Sep-09 20:12:22

Have been quite reassured this weekend that DS has been ignoring DH too - it's not just me

Have been trying out saying it once then making it happen suggestion. I tell him when I want him to do then of he doesn't comply, I've been physically moving him to where I want him to go/away from the thing I don't want him to touch. No change so far but it's only been a couple of days.

Naughty step has also been in use a lot this weekend. Ignoring Mummy or Daddy has been enough to get sent to the step this weekend and he's really been hating it.

GoldenSnitch Mon 21-Sep-09 09:57:00

ooh, ooh, it worked!!!

DS was completely ignoring me this morning when I was telling him to leave the cockatiel alone. I must have spent an hour saying "Ds, leave her alone" "don't touch the cage" "she'll bite you if you put your fingers in there" (and she did over the weekend so I hoped this might work) but he just carried on.

So I picked him up, took him across the room to the sofa and told him to leave her alone in a very firm voice. He's been over there ever since and is now playing with his box of cars!

Excellent grin

Catitainahatita Mon 21-Sep-09 18:06:19

Hurray!
Long may it continue! smile

GoldenSnitch Mon 21-Sep-09 20:17:48

DH announced that all DS does at the moment is shout and cry. I thought it was just me being tired!

Looks like we've just hit toddler-dom big time!

What happened to my smiley little baby?

cory Mon 21-Sep-09 21:12:11

This too will pass. smile

GoldenSnitch Mon 21-Sep-09 21:25:45

in how many years?

anonomousmum Wed 23-Sep-09 10:36:41

Yep, yep, yep! My 3-year old son (sorry don't know any internet 'shorthand lingo!) is exactly the same. Apart from the usual 'I feel like a horrible shouty mother' thing, it also makes me feel insignificant and embarrassed sometimes - BUT, I know these feelings are completely unfounded, as I also am sure that this particular behaviour at this age IS normal - however, it's always useful to acknowledge your own feelings about it and talk to others around you for support about that as much as possible.
I must say that I had a lot of trouble not so long ago with the safety issues and I bought a 'Little Life' stripey black and yellow bee back pack for him - it's great, as it has a detachable 'parent strap' to hold, which in my opinion works much better than the usual baby harnesses (strap not long enough and attached at both sides on those, which gives me back ache and I'm only 5'3"!). He didn't like wearing it much, but I insisted and at least he could feel like he was wearing his own special bag and not just being kept on a leash. At the end of the day, safety (especially near roads) is essential and I really just do not care what anyone thinks when he's not co-operating to hold my hand on this matter - he WILL do it! Otherwise I tell him we will not move from the spot, no matter how late we are or what we miss out on, until he does and I stick with it - it usually works a treat.
I'm also due with next child now - end Jan 2010 and am worried about having the two together. Not because of rivalry because, although I'm sure there will naturally be some, he gets on very well with other kids most of the time (as long as they don't scream at him or lash out first!) It's his behaviour towards me & hubby I'm worried about - he's SO ANGRY and DISOBEDIENT to the point of utter madness and we are lost with what to do next!

Twinsmommy Thu 24-Sep-09 16:47:11

Wow - have been reading these threads and it sounds like my twin boys - 3 years old.

If I'm out without the buggy (into which I normally strap them securely) I tell them that they have to be on reins. No ifs or buts about it.

As regards being indoors at, like a soft play area, and they are ignoring me, I just very firmly tell them "Right - mummy is going now - Bye". They shift quick enough then.

But yes, I too sometimes feel like I'm turning into a "shouty mummy" and, at times, see my own "shouting" portrayed in my children's behaviour - which is awful to witness.

My boys are turning from beautiful boys into demons right before my very eyes - angry, disobedient, impatient and ignoring me. But at nursery, I hear they are angelic. Nursery tells me it is normal and to ride it out!

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