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Failing with 2 year old

(29 Posts)
AlanMoore Mon 24-Sep-12 18:52:38

She is delightful, clever, funny, behaves beautifully at nursery etc., but she has no respect for me. She ran off from me earlier in changing room at the baths, wouldn't even turn round never mind stop and nearly ended up in pool. She did not get to choose any sweeties as a sanction, she understood.

Just now she climbed up to touch things she knows she is not to, ignored being told no so was put straight in time out. As soon as she got out she went to do it again sad I ended up shouting at her.

Nothing seems to work. I am afraid something bad will happen to her and it will be my fault.

AlanMoore Mon 24-Sep-12 19:37:06

Anyone? She has gone to bed in high dudgeon and I feel crap.

trixie123 Mon 24-Sep-12 19:40:17

please go easy on yourself. I think at 2, they understand the sanction for about 5 secs but, like goldfish, forget immediately afterward. It DOES eventually start to take effect though. DS is 3.2 and I despaired for ages. He is still far from perfect (in fact we are specifically working on basic obedience to instructions about walking, waiting, stopping etc) but he IS improving. Your DD may well get herself into a few scrapes but all you can do is up your vigilence, get reins (the backpack ones are great) and allow a few tumbles where the danger is not too great. Be consistent, don't shout and follow through on achievable threats, that are as immediate as you can make them.

mum4041 Mon 24-Sep-12 19:41:17

They are a bit like undirected missiles at this age. You just have to keep at it - and they need a lot of supervision. Try and stay one step ahead what is she climbing up to get, move it out of her eyeline. Set up something that will keep her occupied for a while. For me it was sand and water but not so easy if it's winter. Tell her how you expect her to behave before you go. Use a changing room with a locked door then hold her hand. Rewards can work. If you behave nicely we'll go to the park for a bit. But in general IME you won't and can't expect complete obedience/respect from a two year old. They are v hard work and need a lot of supervision. They also like to test the boundaries. It does get easier, hang in there.

AlanMoore Mon 24-Sep-12 19:47:06

I do my best but I can't get her changed while she's on her reins or dress myself and hold onto her at the same time, there are no cubicles at this pool.
Guess we can't go swimming any more.
I can't take her many places in case she runs off while I'm feeding the baby - DP was looking after him when she legged it.

AlanMoore Mon 24-Sep-12 19:50:30

Don't mean to sound like an arsey cow. Sorry. It really upset me, I feel a bit funny still.

mum4041 Mon 24-Sep-12 20:40:54

Sorry I didn't realise you had a baby as well. You can only do your best and no harm has come. There are lots of near misses with them - well I had them anyway. Just do things you can cope with. No harm in missing swimming for a bit if it's too much. I couldn't cope with supermarkets with mine - so avoided them for a while. Hope you're ok x

trixie123 Mon 24-Sep-12 20:51:08

well ok, take her swimming when your DP is around to look after the baby and when you are changing, strap her in the buggy. I do get it honestly, DS was 21m when DD was born and I have had my share of feeling literally torn in half trying to keep her safe and run after him. Double buggy / buggy board / sling / reins in various combinations is how to do it basically. I still haven't taken them both swimming alone yet (though DP has, he's braver than me!) Make your living space as safe as you can so that you CAN take your eye off her for a minute - realistically you need to be able to when you're changing the baby. Please don't be upset - we've all had those "Christ, that was close" moments.

sanam2010 Tue 25-Sep-12 10:52:36

Completely normal. They respect strangers more but use parents to test the boundaries. It actually means they do understand some things they're doing is naughty. My DD 23 months sounds v similar to yours, absolutely lovely and when we're with others they all comment how calm and charming and well behaved she is, and at home sometimes she still sometimes throws food or cutlery at the table, throws her toys at me when angry, thinks it's fun to pull my hair, bite DH's leg etc. it seems to get better over time but I really think it's quite normal.

butterfingerz Tue 25-Sep-12 22:10:50

It's true, they are like goldfish at that age, don't take it to heart... you're her mum so of course she respects you - actually I'm certain at that age they don't really have much of a concept of 'respect' like we do but I'm sure she loves you very much.

It's common for young children to behave at nursery/school and misbehave at home, my mum tells me it's because they trust us whereas a nursery nurse or teacher is an unknown quantity so they play it safe. My mum thinks its worrying if a child is perfectly behaved at home, like she used to be because she was afraid of her dad - she knew what was coming if she misbehaved!

So maybe you should take it as a form of (crazy) flattery that she feels safe and comfortable enough with you to push the boundaries and misbehave! Just be consistent and age appropriate with how you discipline (short time outs, explain clearly what she is being disciplined for).

paranoid2android Wed 26-Sep-12 06:47:06

Your daughter sounds lovely and there's a wonderful reason why she is saving up her bad behavior just
Basically naughty behavior is a red flag - your daughter calling out for you , she needs connection with you.
Perhaps she's a little sad because she missed you a bit, or because of something that happened at nursery.
Sanctioning behavior doesn't work because it just makes your daughter feel even more disconnected and upset so she will find more ways of calling out to you with bad behavior . Instead try to just set a limit saying gently and lovingly that you don't want her running off - she knows that anyway, turn it into a game chase after - her play a pretend angry mummy and get some giggles - this is what your daughter needs a bit of connection with you.
I know it's irritating, but having a laugh together is a wonderful way to diffuse the situation for both of you

cory Wed 26-Sep-12 08:34:56

I don't think naughty behaviour in a 2yo is always a sign that they are unhappy (though it can be): some perfectly happy children just like testing their strength against mummy's, others at that age just believe they know better than mummy. Dd and I both fell in those two last categories.

Having a laugh together is still a good idea, but if you have a strong-willed child you may find that you also need a firm restraint. I got quite good at the restraint thing after a while: holding dd with one of my legs across her legs whilst dressing her, holding onto her reins with one hand whilst dressing myself with the other, feeding baby brother with dd's reins hooked around my arms... I never felt gently telling her to do things worked when she was 2- though it works fine now that she is 15. Somewhere on the way she has learnt that mum does actually have worthwhile points to make.

The main thing to remember is that this is not any sign of failure on your part, nor of anything wrong with your dd. My mantra was "child-rearing is work in progress".

AlanMoore Wed 26-Sep-12 19:47:18

Thanks all, I feel better today. She is utterly lovely but definitely strong willed, she has her dad's temperament! I usually try to ignore bad behaviour and praise good but I find the bolting and potential danger that goes with it very hard to deal with. She is almost always on reins but sometimes it's just not practical.

She definitely does understand quite a bit about what is and isn't good behaviour, adding to the frustration!

QTPie Sun 30-Sep-12 22:31:49

How old exactly is she?

My DS was rather like that between learning to walk (12.5 months) and about 2 years. By 2.5 years he was a lot better (now 2years 8 months). I now have "the voice" (that "not to be messed with but not angry" tone) and am working on developing "the look" ;)

You just have to remain strict and consistent and to be calm: you keep at it and EVENTUALLY it begins to stick (obviously there are occasional relapses...).

I would say "don't bite off more than you can chew": if you can't change her and you safely at swimming, then give it a rest for a while. Are there any changing cubicles? I found that worked best - for containment- for a while.... I always go with my bikini under my clothes (for a very quick change on the way in) and take snacks for afterwards (they are generally too busy sitting eating to get into mischief ;) ).

BooBumpDaddyandMe Wed 10-Oct-12 20:34:06

You have my sympathy, ds is 18 months & during periods of discipline I don't think he generally listens to a single word I say! He's a darling & so much fun but i often end up raising my voice as "a voice" has no effect and "a look" usually results in him copying or just laughing at my funny face! Annoyingly I heard dh ask him to "come here" with a stern Daddy voice and he shot back to him in a second - grr!! What I have found is that when for example I ask ds not to touch something he shouldn't that when he defies me it works if I respond with " if you don't put that back right now I will take your (favourite toy of the moment) truck away", THAT works. I have followed through with it when necessary so ds knows I mean what I say.
I guess it's all just trial and error and persistence & patience - not helpful if the situation is potentially dangerous or particularly stressful.

LapinDeBois Thu 11-Oct-12 22:54:48

Perservere, perservere, perservere. They do eventually get it. DS2 is still a bit of a liability (eg I do let him walk along a pavement without holding hands now, but I run along just beside him in case he veers off into the road). But 3-6 months ago he was a nightmare. Couldn't take him to the library because he'd just take off out of the door. Couldn't take him on a stroll/to the park because he'd just run headlong in the opposite direction of where we wanted to go. But he's so much better now. I think they get to a point where they realise that being deliberately difficult doesn't actually achieve anything, and they might have more fun if they stay and read a book in the library rather than running away and making mummy cross. But I do think consistency is key. So, if you want a rule of holding hands in the car park (one of the things I insist on), then you have to insist on it every time, even if it means picking her up kicking and screaming 25 times in the 25 yards from your car to the shop, and then putting her down again when she says she'll hold hands. And if you don't want her to touch an ornament then you pick her up and move her (rather than the ornament, if possible) every time she goes to touch it. It feels like you're not getting anywhere, but you are - it just takes time.

AlanMoore Sat 09-Feb-13 17:04:53

Oh fgs! Was doing a search and found this. She goes longer between "episodes" now but her temper is foul and I am finding her seemingly infinite anger really hard to deal with. I did ask for help from HV eg parenting course but there's nothing. She has now been screaming for an hour and a half sad

annie11 Sat 09-Feb-13 23:21:58

My little boy is much like that, he is 2.2. I have a 6 week old baby and can only take both of them out swimming or anything else like it if someone else comes with you. I found he got worse with running away/ doing things he is not allowed/ screaming since baby came along, could that have been the case with your daughter? Our Heath visitors have 2 nursery nurses, we have one coming out weekly and she's fantastic , loads of advise and support. I did have to stomp my feet a bit to be referred, maybe see if you have access to a nursery nurse? I found health visitors little help I'm afraid.

Good luck, hope it all settles down soon smile

AlanMoore Sun 10-Feb-13 09:08:56

Hi Annie, it's crap innit? I don't know whether the baby is much to do with it, she doesn't get cross with him. He's the only person who doesn't wind her up!

Nursery are sympathetic but she is beautifully behaved there - I think a lot of it is boredom at home but can't afford full time nursery for her. She can go to school in 18 months! Hopefully she won't be so bored then...

matana Sun 10-Feb-13 10:14:25

DS is 2.2 and like this, though I don't have any other DCs so can only imagine how hard it is. I don't actually believe that 2 year olds are naughty. I think they are spirited, curious, inquisitive and sometimes a little defiant and very strong willed but not naughty. They are testing boundaries and I think their natural curiosity with the world completely overwhelms them so they don't listen. I agree that you may have to concentrate your efforts when swimming on your toddler and leave baby to your DP. That also means that for a limited time your DD does not have to compete for attention with your baby. You can have some quality time with her and hopefully the experience will be much more enjoyable for you both. I know how hard it must be, and have shouted at my DS on a bad day when he's pushing my buttons. But i'm sure you kjow it's the least effective means of teaching them right from wrong. Tbh i'm not even sure that time out is very effective at that age. But patience, understanding and standing firm and consistent in dangerous situations speaks volumes. DS now knows that when I am stern there is no room for negotiation, but it took a long time getting there and i've really had to choose my battles and prevent others with sheer bribary or I would have lost my sanity.

annie11 Sun 10-Feb-13 19:51:30

You know you get free 15 hours of nursery when they are 3? I can't wait, can only afford half a day a week at the moment. He loves nursery and is a little angel there ( surprise surprise!)

I would give anything for him to like his baby sister though sad

AlanMoore Mon 11-Feb-13 09:49:42

We need the 15hrs for me to keep working, won't be able to increase her days as childcare for two is crippling us!
Reading 'the explosive child' for some perspective! She's nearer 3 than 2 now so slightly different issues.

AlanMoore Mon 11-Feb-13 09:50:47

Friends dd doesn't like the baby, it must be really tough.

estya Mon 11-Feb-13 10:23:42

Do you think it started as a reaction to the baby?
My DD needed LOTS and LOTS of re-connection when DS was born. After getting to the end of my rope with her I did lots of reading up on bad behaviour in toddlers and the bits about them getting attention from negative behaviour really rang true.
So I give her my undivided attention as much as i can when i can. We have mother/daughter only outings every week or so to the city farm/swimming etc, I take baths with her, cook together when the baby is asleep, that type of thing. Things have got lots better but I still sometimes notice a very sour look on her face when I'm taking photos of the baby etc.
Its been difficult to find the time but i believe she needed it and i do think the effort has helped hugely. She is back to being a lovely child a lot of the time (but she IS still a toddler after all).

My mum always said that I adapted very well to the arrival of my sister but also that i was an awful toddler, lots of tantrums, very strong minded etc.
However, since she has watched from a distance my DD's reaction to his baby brother she says she realises that I wasn't coping well. She hadn't realised that there was more to sibling rivalry than hitting the baby and the loss of my exclusive relationship with my mother hurt more than my new relationship with a sister.
If I'm honest I don't really get on with my sister well. Everything she does annoys me. I am much more critical of her than I am anyone else and I do wonder if its just a continuation of the jealously I felt towards her throughout all of our childhood. I hope some investment now will help them have a good relationship as adults.

AlanMoore Mon 11-Feb-13 10:54:04

It's hard to say, her behaviour didn't change with his arrival and she has always got lots of 1-1, though more with daddy/gps I suppose. I was very sick in pregnancy so it wasn't a sudden withdrawal of attention if you see what I mean. I would like to do more stuff just with her.

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