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DS 2.3 is doing my bloody head in - please help before i strangle him

(26 Posts)
littlemissindecisive Mon 07-Jun-10 10:33:42

Seriously - he's driving me insane! I can't stand his behaviour anymore - i really don't like him very much at the minute sad
I know he's only 2 but DD was never like this so i feel way out of my depth. I've tried praise, shouting, rewards, blummin naughty step. Nothing seems to sink into his brain about right and wrong. You have to tell him 3,4,5,6,7 times to stop doing something or 'no' and he just looks at me like i'm mad. He laughs if i tell him off ...which mae me feel like slapping him (i haven't and don't believe in smacking) and i have to walk away to calm down.

I know/hope eventually it will pass but some tips please .....

Kathyjelly Mon 07-Jun-10 11:41:20

LMI, I feel for you. Mine's like that. He's a manipulative little sod. I try always to "reward the good & ignore the bad" but he's worked out that when I ignore his bad behaviour he can get a reaction by taking a football and smashing down the veggie garden it has taken me two years to build. He just laughs at me and he's not even 2 yet. My health visitor insists children that young can't be manipulative and I'm imagining it. So no help from her.

The only thing I've found works is to distract him, take him out to the park and run his legs off until he's so tired he just wants to sleep. But I worry that I'm just giving in to him and he'll end up horribly spoilt.

It really isn't fun at all.

littlemissindecisive Mon 07-Jun-10 12:01:05

Oh dear kathy....I think DS started way before he was 2 also.

I feel i can't take him anywhere - which doens't help him get used to situations i know. But it's got to the point where DH and i take turns to be at home with him, rather than go to any shops etc together. He just causes trouble

Kathyjelly Mon 07-Jun-10 12:38:15

On the good side it's better in summer because we can visit people and sit in gardens rather than go inside which helps. And we go to the park all the time. We're practicing eating a meal in a pub garden, I always take a plastic plate with me so there's not too much harm he can do.

But I've yet to find any penalty that he gives a hoot about so setting boundaries is really difficult.

littlemissindecisive Mon 07-Jun-10 13:34:28

We're going to try beer gardens too smile as he can't sit still for 30 seconds. With DD we would often go out for lunch, she'd sit happily or colour in etc.

Even going to the park is a nightmare as he never wants to leave or get back in the car. Same at playgroups....

I need a new approach. He's having a nap now and I don;t want to get him up cos I can't be bothered with him sad He'll be lovely for half an hour til he 'comes round' then it'll be torture again.

I've been looking forward to 7pm tonight since 6.30 this morning sad

He can be funny, affectionate and totally wonderful. I think I'm waiting to get cross with him these days. I think I need to look at each incident in isolation and think about what i would do if his sister had done the same. as I think I'm giving him a hardtime because its him that's done something rather than what he's done...if that makes sense???

Turk1 Mon 07-Jun-10 13:50:52

I'm going to keep an eye on this thread. DD 2.9 has transformed from fun- loving little girl into an absolute whinging brat. DS arrived 9 wks ago and we congratulated ourselves on how well DD was coping. No. 4 wks on and she is unbearable to be with. I have even planned activities- craft, sticking, baking, paint etc- all stuff I've avoided like the plague, but I'm anxious that she still feels that she still gets plenty of attention. She enjoys herself for about 40 secs and then remembers to whine, demand something else, stab table with scissors... Bedtime, previously, calm has become a 2 hour snot fuelled, hysterical screaming session as she stands at the door of her room (stair gate at threshold now). She doesn't value any of her toys enough to not risk losing them, says she likes the "time out" mat, expects rewards for nothing and is generally a real strain to be with sad. I am relentlessly consistent and now each day has become a battle of wills before breakfast. Forced positivity is so wearing... I wish I could offer some advice, but I do feel your pain. Hopefully someone with magic suggestions will be along soon.

Rollmops Mon 07-Jun-10 14:30:23

He is reacting to you and to your obvious inconsistency of parenting.
Calm down and set some rules.

littlemissindecisive Mon 07-Jun-10 14:40:36

I haven't tried different things every day but over time to try and see if a new approach will work with him. Children are all different and what worked with DD when she was 2 obviously isn't working with DS.

Thanks for the help hmm Must be lovely to be a picture of calm all day every day....

littlemissindecisive Mon 07-Jun-10 14:43:24

Oh and we have rules, consistent ones....he just ignores them

Kathyjelly Mon 07-Jun-10 15:24:51

Hang on in there LMI. Although I can't claim experience (ds is my first) I have to believe it will get better.

All I'm planning to do is keep up with the praise/ignore as appropriate and give him lots of physically tiring things to do. And go to lots of places where he cannot do much harm. Large fields, woodlands, beaches, anywhere where screaming & throwing things is acceptable.

Picnicing is the new eating

meandjoe Mon 07-Jun-10 16:07:59

Rollmops tthere was really no need for that! All 2 yr olds are pretty much demanding and whingy but some are worse than others, nothing to do with your parenting I am sure. My ds is 2.10 and in many ways (though he was a nightmare baby) he hasn't been a bad toddler, he mostly follows instructions (but even then has to be asked 4 or 5 times sometimes). He is very stubborn and strong willed. I have to say that shouting with him dowesn't help, he just cries and shouts back, sort of gives him fuel to be even angrier!

We couldn't go anywhere with ds until a few months ago when we finally dared going to a cafe and managed to get him to sit and eat nicely, which he had NEVER done in a strange place before. He now is a lot calmer in new places and will sit and coulour while waiting for his meal. He is still a bugger in shops though, wants to grab everything and touch everything on the shelves. I keep being consistant and praising him when he's good etc but it's hard work doing anything with a toddler!

All I can say is that they will grow up... 2 and 3 are notoriously difficult ages. Not babies but don't really have the conscience or the understanding of an older child. Just wait it out and know that you are not alone!!!

angemorange Mon 07-Jun-10 16:25:53

Try to remember this is just a phase - it really will get better!
My DS is 3.5 now and out of the terrible twos but he really had his moments for a few months back then.
Remember too that boys are different - they don't respond to the pleading etc as well as girls do!! However, when they get bigger they are usually far more straightforward than girls!!
Don't listen to mums who try to make you feel inadequate - there's a lot of competitive idiots out there. Everyone finds the going difficult at times smile

ANTagony Mon 07-Jun-10 16:45:58

I second the its a phase and it will end. As a mother of two very lively boys who thankfully are no longer 2(4 and 6)

Are there any nurseries or playgroups you might be able to get him into soon?

Depending on where you are and what you have available near you are there mum and tot groups that you could get out to for some active play? At least its a change of scene and you'll see its not just you with a lively one.

With my first we used to walk 4 - 6 miles a morning come rain, shine or snow to get him to burn off energy (from memory it started when he was about 18months.) Then he'd eat, nap and we'd play for an hour before another long walk/ outside play session. I lost loads of weight - but it was a bit all time absorbing.

With DS 2 I put him in a nursery a couple of mornings a week from 18 months. He thrived and so did I with the knowledge I had those sessions to get everything back in control and done. I was working from home so it meant less burning the midnight oil.

Oh and reading between the lines don't forget to congratulate yourself for the bits that you have achieved ... If you look forwards to 7pm (have you got a good sleeper?) and he's down for a nap!

Heres hoping you can carve some sanity time for yourself.

BlueberryPancake Mon 07-Jun-10 17:00:59

We don't do ignore. If they do something wrong I tell them or punish them.

Anyway, we have a two-tier system where they have yellow cards (three warnings that they are doing something wrong) such as snatching a toy, jumping off the bed, saying something mean, you get the message. Two warnings, and then they go in the corner for 3 minutes.

A red card is for something they know they absolutely cannot do - such as pushing, hitting, throwing a toy at each other, etc. Go straight in the corner for three minutes, no warning. They know it's wrong.

Some things they just don't get a tall. I can repeat 100 times to oldest to use utensils, he still doens't do it. It's not considered an 'offence' in our house, so I just end up repeating myself and hopefully it will sink in.

If you write down your own strategy and stick to it, including rewards and anything else that you think makes sense, you just have to stick to it religiously.

BlueberryPancake Mon 07-Jun-10 17:01:17

Oh yes, I have two boys, 3 and 4.

littlemissindecisive Mon 07-Jun-10 17:21:47

Thanks for your support and advice.

I do take DS to playgroups twice a week and in comparison to others he's not bad. I'm thinking of pre-school for him for a couple of mornings but thought it would be a cop-out? I'm a SAHM so have no time without him which is not helping. DH only has 1 day off so i'm pretty much on my own.

littlemissindecisive Mon 07-Jun-10 17:24:26

Will definitly try the 'card' idea when he's older - sounds a great ides

3littlefrogs Mon 07-Jun-10 17:29:07

I had 2 boys, 2 years apart. Think of small boys as puppies. It helps a lot. They need long walks, lots of food and sleep and consistant discipline.

They do not, generally, perform well in:

shops, restaurants, libraries, posh houses.

It is far better, IME, to just avoid places that will stress you out. They improve dramatically with age, I promise.

3littlefrogs Mon 07-Jun-10 17:30:51

I like blueberrypancake's style grin

littlemissindecisive Mon 07-Jun-10 17:57:38

Like the idea of dogs grin

Yes i avoid, wherever possible shops and the like. Online shopping has been a saviour!!!

More crazy bombing around it is then smile

Lorry123 Tue 08-Jun-10 15:46:51

Am loving the puppies analogy - I have 2 boys (1 and 3) and there are some days when I feel like locking my eldest in the garden, he is so badly behaved. They scrap like cubs all day long and although my initial reaction is always to wade in as the youngest squaks, I am learning to try and leave them to resolve their squabbles on their own.

Getting out of the house into the fresh air is a definate must, preferably first thing in the morning to set the day up - otherwise it disintegrates pretty quickly into us all shouting at each other.

Is it me or are boys far trickier than girls at this stage?

littlemissindecisive Tue 08-Jun-10 16:24:29

A good day today - DS had a good time at playgroup (only a few spats with others)...and I decided to be chirpy happy mummy too and start the day fresh.

I'm finding DS much much trickier than DD!!!

littlemissindecisive Tue 08-Jun-10 16:24:29

A good day today - DS had a good time at playgroup (only a few spats with others)...and I decided to be chirpy happy mummy too and start the day fresh.

I'm finding DS much much trickier than DD!!!

Firawla Tue 08-Jun-10 16:47:44

I don't think they will be spoilt if you just end up taking them out to park and things like that for distraction, I find it does help to get out the house because otherwise mine just goes a bit crazy if he is inside too long, so taking them out let them run round as much as possible helps them behave better when @ home i think then it makes it easier for u to be more positive with them.

Also helps to remind yourself that this kind of behaviour can be normal for their age and they are not the only one, if expectations are too high it could be making situation worse as you get frustrated with them more easily?

I dont have any girls to compare mine to apart from friends dc but I do think there are differences with boys and girls from others ive seen so if you compare too much to your dd when she was that age it may make him appear worse behaved but if you try to look @ him in isolation and remembering that toddler boys can be a bit crazy and hopefully he will grow out of it, might just help how you feel about his behaviour?

Have you read toddler taming? cos sometimes those books reassure you a bit regarding the behaviour and also give a few tips and strategies, i found it quite good. I bought in a panic thinking oh no my ds is turning into terrible twos, as he started pushing some children in toddler groups but he is not too bad, i think just typical for boys of his age although may be a bit more hyper than some.

If you can find any quiet activities that he really enjoys it can help to focus on his good traits and enjoy each others company? whether drawing, cooking or whatever else? with a very hyperactive toddler we might underestimate them at times how much they can concentrate with 100% focused attention on them doing some kind of activity? ds1 if i get ds2 having a nap then sit and do drawing with him he will behave really good and stay there drawing and sticking stuff for an hour, i think mainly for the positive attention that i just sit there for the hour telling him wow that is so good (i like it cos i get to sit still grin ) and that calms him down aswel like after that he will go off and play nicely, but its definitely about the focused attention cos today i got the stuff out for him and asked him to wait few mins to feed ds2 before i come and sit with him and he scribbled everywhere on the table, tv and toys from the toy library cos i did not get there to start with the attention for him straight away...

Dunno if you do that already, i guess probably you do but i think it does really help when at home to focus a block of time just on them and nothing else @ all, obviously not the whole day cos not realistic..

anyway sorry long reply, hopefully they will all grow out of it

littlemissindecisive Tue 08-Jun-10 17:33:09

Thank you for your input - great suggestion about doing calm stuff after his nap. He's still very chilled then.

Usually do active stuff in the morning too.

Today I have tried to react to his behaviour rather than him (and like you say not compare him to his sister) and things have been good.

You know what its like, some days each incident on its own is fine, its the build up of little things, constantly that can drive you mad!

Has been great to vent on here and get support and good advice! Thanks all smile

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