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How can I be a calm and serene mother instead of a snappy shouty one?

(23 Posts)
TheCongaLineOfTruth Wed 14-Oct-09 12:45:19

I am finding my 18 month old so wearing at the moment and I keep losing my temper with her.

I feel like we can't go anywhere or do anything without a screaming, wailing, thrashing, head-banging, occasionally clawing and biting tantrum.

Help!

Geocentric Wed 14-Oct-09 12:46:23

Are you getting enough (or any!!) sleep? I get really crabby with my DCs when I'm tired... sad

TheCongaLineOfTruth Wed 14-Oct-09 12:49:07

Yes, although am still up in the night.

She is a very strong-willed and feisty child, and I am a big marshmallow.

paisleyleaf Wed 14-Oct-09 12:49:59

You've really got to ease up on the biting and wailing etc wink

Do you get any time apart? While she's at a nursery or anything?

Hassled Wed 14-Oct-09 12:52:34

Pick your battles. Weigh it up, everytime, as to whether it's worth making an issue or whether you might as well go for the ignoring policy. And the ignoring approach does get easier with time - count to twenty, make a cup of tea, do some deep breathing, then distract her with something else.

TheCongaLineOfTruth Wed 14-Oct-09 12:52:52

Haha!

Yes, she goes to nursery one day a week.

She is very sociable and loving but the tantrums seem to be getting out of control - or is this just, as they say, a phase?

nellie12 Wed 14-Oct-09 12:53:05

Is she getting enough sleep? Mine are nightmares if they do too much.

HeidiT Wed 14-Oct-09 12:55:55

have you tried ignoring her when she has a tantrum???? she prob wants attention and is getting it for being naughty.

It is v hard when everyone wants a bit of you all the tim

sugardumpling Wed 14-Oct-09 12:58:11

I agree with Hassled, my DD used to be exactly like yours at that age, she's 3 now and although still very strong willed she has calmed down a bit with the tantrums. I know how you feel though, sometimes I would dread going out with her!

MrsBadger Wed 14-Oct-09 13:01:23

agree with picking your battles

dd (2.2) is currently a carseat nightmare, but I have discovered there are two ways we can go

1. I bribe, coax and cajole through a tide of rising hysteria, then eventually lose my rag, pick her up physically and shove her in, provoking hitting, thrashing, scratching, ear-splitting wails and, once in, 10min of tears as she recovers.

2. I say 'dd, we can go when you are sitting nicely in your carseat' then stand by the car door acting as if I really couldn't care less whether she gets in or not and not reacting in the slightest to her backseat antics. Eventually she gets into the seat and I do the straps, smother her with kisses and tell her how beautifully she is sitting.

Strangely timewise the latter takes no longer as her patience at being ignored runs out at about the sametim emine does...

linspins Wed 14-Oct-09 20:33:31

I like your advice Mrs Badger! It's true isn't it that it takes as long doing it the 'nice' way but at least there is some pretence at calm! smile

starkadder Wed 14-Oct-09 22:15:11

Nothing helpful to add but wanted to say that I think Mrs Badger's advice is brilliant...I shall be bearing it in mind myself.

andirobobo Wed 14-Oct-09 22:18:30

When you find the answer will you let me know as I am sick of the sound of my own voice!

said Wed 14-Oct-09 22:21:48

Pretend you're being filmed for a reality tv programme. That forces you to act differently to how you feel. I also talk in a different accent. It catches them off-guard and makes me calmer. Obviously, don't try that in public.

Rosebud05 Wed 14-Oct-09 22:54:06

From about 18 months to now (my dd is 2.6), there are areas of life that I just do not even attempt to delve into to minimise the possibility of exactly this. These include shopping, being in buggy/car for any length of time, getting insufficient sleep (definitely her, hopefully me!), ditto food/drink, doing anything spontaneously, not responding to first inkling of discontent etc etc. I found that it soon became second nature to try to foresee possible 'trigger points' and avoid/distract etc.
I do also pretend that Super Nanny is watching me on her laptop!

slowreadingprogress Wed 14-Oct-09 23:09:01

MrsBadger's advice is right - if YOU are calm then you are in control of her, in the end. It doesn't mean she won't act in an age appropriate way, eg have tantrums and be a human being completely devoid of logic, but YOU being calm means that you allow your brain to think.

You are an adult, you are cleverer and more experienced than an 18 month old and if you give yourself the chance, you can think your way round most things she will throw at you.

If you lose your calm though, you lock horns and really it's like two 18 month olds in battle imo which means hell!

I'd say just remember you can't control her actions but you can control your reactions and remember to think your way round things, don't always come at things head on. And agree with Rosebud, minimise the flashpoints - car seat, shopping etc. Me and Ds rarely set foot in a shop together when he was between 18 months and 3 years IIRC!

sb6699 Wed 14-Oct-09 23:12:21

I read on here that you pretend you're being watched - eventually it will come naturally.

I suppose if you are being calm and serene it will rub off on your child.

Comma2 Wed 14-Oct-09 23:58:57

I have a 19 mo and jsut about lost it today too. I didn't get enough sleep and she missed her naps bc we had to go see doctor and it was a nightmare.

CultureMix Fri 16-Oct-09 14:43:18

I find that things are easier now with my 2.5 DS as he can talk and therefore explain what is the problem. Before then though, what helped at times was to tell him "Show me" and try to figure out the trigger.

For example once he was in the kitchen crying, I said 'show me what you want' and he pointed to the cupboard; I opened the door, lifted him so he could reach it and it turned out he wanted to play with a particular bowl. Calmed right down as soon as he had it.

Still need to pick your battles of course but this does help. I still do it sometimes, if he's really upset he just can't get the words out.

meep Fri 16-Oct-09 14:49:57

when dd1 is being particularly trying I ignore her and sing a song (the sun has got his hat on is my current favourite grin)and start dancing around. It cheers me up and makes dd1 giggle.

Once she has stopped shouting "no singing mummy" dd2 often joins in because she wants to be in on the fun.

I have to say that on sleep deprived days like today I do sing through gritted teeth.

EdgarAllenPoo Fri 16-Oct-09 14:54:24

well, all kinds of ways of bearing up to tantrums....some evidenced here (Mrs badger particularly) v. good.

give yourself a cuddle, tell yourself you will prevail..and tackle each new day as it comes. the battle is never lost - change is always possible.

i alays think of mums advise with puppies 'ecourage positive hewing' - that is, wear them out doing things you want them to do, and they don't have the energy to be naughty...

Comma2 Fri 16-Oct-09 23:57:02

What if what she wants are cookies? All day long! Criminy. I usually know what she wants, but sometimes she jsut can't have it. Enough with the whining already. Offers to play/read/cuddle/whatever with Mommy were screamingly rejected. Followed the Nanny-cam advise and came out much better than yesterday even though the dog ended up not having fun, poor bugger...

What really helps are play dates. She's happily employed, I get to chat with an adult. Such a relief.

Not that I don't love her to bits, of course. I seriously can't imagine somebody more lovely in general. It's just a phase....

sheeplikessleep Sat 17-Oct-09 15:25:20

Just to say my ds is 2 next week and I used to feel exactly the same about 6 months ago. He refused to sit in his highchair/car seat/have his nappy changed/do anything he didn't want to do. He's thrash out and scream and I'd physically have to restrain him.

I was talking to DH this morning about how that 'phase' seems to have passed (to an extent!). Through encouraging and "ooh isn't this fun?" and now challenging him "can you sit in the car seat all by yourself", he is much more amenable and we are having fewer tantrums. He still kicks off when tired/hungry, but less frequent. So not sure if my post helps, but I do think, in my experience, 18 months was the worst time tantrum wise for us <prepares for terrible 2s and doubts the worst really is over>.

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