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toddler getting the better of me

(15 Posts)
bodsmum Thu 05-Nov-09 16:37:59

I have never had problems with my daughter (2 and 9 months)snatching,pushing other children but this week suddenly techniques like withholding park visits and confiscating toys to encourage good behaviour are no longer working.it feels like my daughter has picked up on how vulnerable i am(i'm 5 months pregnant) and is kicking and hitting me when upset/frustrated.my husband works long hours and his word seems to hold more sway with her..i have been reduced to tears and don't know how to regain control..i want to plan/do fun stuff with her again but her behaviour means i have to withdraw these treats..so is it boredom making her act up.i know i am really exhausted too as she is waking up a few times a night(with nightmares)so my sleep is v broken.please help..i really don't know how to figure this one out.sad

MissJoanHolloway Thu 05-Nov-09 16:41:15

Oh no, I had this it is awful! What worked for us was buying a fancy pink star chart on ebay and using at as a bribe system for good behaviour.

It worked wonders and she has calmed down quite a bit since then!

samsonthecat Thu 05-Nov-09 16:42:03

It sounds like you are caught up in a cycle of bad behavoiur and punishments. You need to break the cycle. Don't withhold park visits, you are only punishing yourself grin Can you try rewarding the good behasviour and ignoring all but the really bad?
You are obviously really tired so Cbeebies is always ok for something to do in your situation. I hope that helps.

peachygirl Thu 05-Nov-09 16:44:20

No real ideas but I just wanted to know we are going through this exact thing too at the moment.

Last night at my parents the tantrm was excruciating!!

DD1 is almost exactly the smae age as your DD and I have an 8 week old too.

You are not alone!!!!

LeninGuido Thu 05-Nov-09 16:44:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lionstar Thu 05-Nov-09 16:46:19

Take a deep breath and think "this too will pass" smile We are at exactly the same 2.9 year old contrary stage and it is sooooo frustrating, but it is only a stage, it will get better.

chibi Thu 05-Nov-09 16:51:43

Aunt chibi's coping tips

don't withdraw treats

ignore inappropriate behaviour - eg if she is hitting, leave the room, you don't have to stay there and let her do it

catch her being good - praise her when she does what you want

get her involved, let her help you with things, maybe getting stuff ready for the baby?

re the sleep you could do gradual withdrawal or a controlled crying thing (NOT letting her cry it out but telling her 'I will come + check on you in 2 min' then leaving + returning, then checking after 5, then after 10, then after 15, and in 15 minute repeats until she is asleep). your dp if you have one can/should be helping with this

be kind to yourself, give yourself a break - do something nice for yourself, or just let housework slide. no one will or should care.
it is normal to feel at your wits end, this is no reflection on your mothering skills

toddler groups will let her play and let you sit and chill

know that this will pass

start each day fresh - pretend yesterday didn't happen

parentline are v kind if you need to bend someone's ear

I speak as a mother of 2 - a 2.5 year old + a 5 month old who finds that these things work. I still have crap days, dd coloured a wall today and was up playing silly buggers all night. Sometimes nothing works though, in which case, tomorrow is another day!

congratulations on your pregnancy, hth

Jamieandhismagictorch Thu 05-Nov-09 17:01:46

I really sympathise. My 2 are 2 and a half years apart. It's terribly hard being pg with a toddler as well.

I wouldn't withhold park visits or other treats at this age, I think that is just shooting yourself in the foot. Fair enough, if she is naughty while you are at the park, warn her you will leave, and then leave if she carries on (or if it is particularly bad, leave straight away).

I know it is really hard, but if she does things like hitting you, try to remain calm and firm, keep your voice low, look her in the eyes and say "NO hitting". This is going to sound a bit weird, but try not to take it personally - she is too little to mean to hurt you, it just feels that way to you.

Maybe she senses things are changing and feels confused. Lashing out is the way she expresses this. If you cry, it will make her feel more vulnerable, so please try not to do it. If you feel very emotional, leave the room (I know what it's like, I struggled with depression while Pg with DS2)

Does she go to playgroup ? - if not, I'd really suggest that she does - to give you time apart, and opportunities for you to miss her wink, and as a routine to go back to once the baby is born.

She is still your lovely little girl and this is just a phase which will pass - try not to jump ahead and worry about the future (if that is what you are doing).

Look for any good behaviour and praise her to the skies. I used to give DS2 stickers to put on his coat, for instance, if he behaved well in the shops.

Jamieandhismagictorch Thu 05-Nov-09 17:14:09

X posted with chibi - I agree with what she says.

bodsmum Thu 05-Nov-09 17:48:28

Thanks for such a rapid response...i was a bit wary when i posted i would get a volley of abuse for being a useless mum but it's reassuring to hear a lot of other mums have been there too..and i really take on board i should pick my battles..it's no fun for either of us being stuck indoors(though DD does do 3 a.ms at preschool)...cripes i really lost perspective...these crazy hormones probably arent helping!grin..i'm really going to focus on the good behaviour again..when i have been saying 'stop hitting' and leaving the room i think i have probably hung on to the upset for far too long(hiding in my bedroom crying for half an hour)..when i think of how quickly my toddler gets over falling over i know i could learn a few lessons about letting things goblush.you're all superstars ladies..much appreciatedsmile

Jamieandhismagictorch Thu 05-Nov-09 18:17:43

bodsmum glad you feel a bit better. You are not a useless mum. It is bloody hard coping with toddlers, and sometimes you can't see the wood for the trees. There were times I would have gladly walked out the door and not come back.

Ironically I now work with 2 and 3 year olds (never would have done that a few years ago, when the scars from my own were raw ..). It's fascinating to me how much easier it is to deal with their behaviour is you don't take it personally (which of course, you don't with children who aren't yours ...). My DS2 used to hit and bite other people and i was convinced he'd become a delinquent. he stopped all that at about 3 and a half.

I hope you are getting help from your DH. I know he works long hours, but I hope he is getting up in the night some of the time for your DD.

There's a nice, positive book called Playful Parenting which might help with those moments of confrontation.

Another book I found helpful was "Tantrums" by Michelle Kennedy - lots of little tips and hints

bodsmum Thu 05-Nov-09 20:18:22

JAHMT..i have just ordered playful parenting..if it has half the wisdom of the responses on here i'll be a v happy mum.i can see why you work with 2 and 3 year olds..you really know what you're talking about..i realise i have general issues with not taking things personally so i need a bit of help to reign that in..i am pretty strict with my daughter probably in a bid to avoid her going off the rails(at 2!)but always feel incredibly sorry for other toddlers when i see them getting told off(i think.. aah..they're only small)so i need to chill out a bit and stop extrapolating minor setbacks eeyore style!CHIBI,LG and LS are totally right..one day at a time and things will move on(hopefully in a positive waysmile)

LeninGuido Thu 05-Nov-09 20:38:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jamieandhismagictorch Thu 05-Nov-09 20:48:31

exactly, It's very hard with your first because you don't have the vast benefit of hindsight, and you worry about the future all the time. Lenin - you are so right about feeling resentful when they are not grateful for all we put into them, but that comes much later. At 2 they are completely egocentric. It's a drip-drip approach with them. Messages get through gradually.

Thankyou for your compliment bodsmum. Now can you help me with a truculent 9 year old ?grin

bodsmum Thu 05-Nov-09 21:13:22

It is hard not to take it personally when you give them your all.

Tell me about it..i can feel myself wanting to say "after all i've done for you AND i'm pregnant" in a tragic whiney voice..is it really only 2 year olds who are egocentricblush

LG..you're so right about the overextensive explanations..i need to get off my soapbox and keep it simple.

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