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Tips on coping with eternally frustrated 2.9 yr old DD..

(5 Posts)
monkeybump Mon 05-Nov-12 15:06:37

From about 6 months old I noticed how easily frustrated and wound up DD got over the smallest things, and its simply exhausting. It got a little better when she started to speak and communicate her problems, but now she's resorted back to just moaning & whining & crying instead of explaining to me what the issue is. I expect a certain amount of this, she is only young still after all, but the bad days massively outweigh the good and it's really wearing me down.
Most of the time I am quite patient and explain what's happening, then negotiate or distract. Sometimes, I totally lose it and shout my head off at her- but I know that's a crap way of dealing with it as she responds much better to the calmer approach.
Any tips on how to deal with this? She's not really naughty, just so easily angered with frustration when she can't do something, then goes into meltdown.
Probably doesn't help that I'm 6 months preg with DC2 too.. Phew! Feel better already just for writing this down!! smile

AngelDog Mon 05-Nov-12 20:15:55

All 2.5 - 3 year olds are frustrated - it's a developmental thing. You can read about it here and here (reading the comments on the second site is very reassuring IMO).

Is she getting enough sleep?

DS1 is 2.10 and things have got loads better in the last couple of weeks. Putting him to bed earlier is working again (we tried a month or two ago to get earlier bedtimes when he dropped his nap but it didn't work) and has made a big difference.

I've been really 'firm' with DS and keep telling him that it's okay to be upset but that if he wants me to help he needs to ask me calmly and politely. He does respond well to reason though.

We also have a 3 week old and I've noticed a huge correlation between my tiredness/mood and DS1's behaviour.

DMCWelshCakes Mon 05-Nov-12 21:00:35

DiddyDragon is now 4 yo but I remember all too clearly being where you are now. DiddyCakes was a new born, I was knackered & hormonal and she was permanently pissed off with not being able to control the entire world. smile

I spoke to the HV behaviour speacialist and she said that it's normal at this age, it wasn't actually my fault (had been doing the major guilt thing) and that I was trying too hard to fix it. Sometimes all DiddyDragon wanted was to have a good yell about whatever it was that had got her all frustrated. She explained it in terms of a DW coming home after having had a bad day, offloading onto DH and him then offering lots of solutions & trying to fix the problem, rather than just letting her let off steam. I started ignoring the whining and ranting, telling her to come & ask me when she knew what she wanted & that I'd help her then. It made a HUGE difference.

The other thing that made a difference was time (sorry!). She did grow out of the "major tantrumn every two minutes" stage & is now a joy to be around.

That's not to say she's perfect & we now live in an advert, but it's a lot easier & has given me confidence that when DiddyCakes gets to the same stage I'll be able to deal with it.

Good luck!

monkeybump Wed 07-Nov-12 13:25:31

Thanks for the replies, I've noticed there are quite a few other similar threads so obviously it's a phase and need to grin & bear it!
DH keeps moaning that I'm not being strict enough with her, so maybe this is part if the problem too. Just bit tricky as I'm SAHM and don't have any family/friends around to help- I'm trying to pick my battles but it means I let a lot of things go unnoticed, otherwise we simply wouldn't go anywhere/do anything.
Funnily enough tantrums I can deal with, I make boundaries clear and she knows essentially what is right & wrong. It's the frustration meltdowns part I find tricky.. The other day she couldn't close a door as there was something hanging over the top--meltdown. She got a tiny bit of porridge in her hand--meltdown. Trying to make her toys hold hands, they don't-- meltdown. That's what I find really tiring.
She is definitely better if she's slept yes, she's never been a great sleeper but these days will sleep 7-7 and if that's broken she's a lot worse for sure.
Even my DM keeps saying she hopes DC2 is going to be an easier one for me! smile

Stevie77 Wed 07-Nov-12 13:42:25

Mine has just turned 3 so I know what you're talking about.

I find that periods of major meltdowns about minor issues come and go in waves. Best thing is to ignore. Walk away, go and do something else, pretend its not happening whilst keeping a sneaky eye on, making sure she's not hurting herself. I also tend to ask her to calm down, breath in and out (they do that at nursery) and ask her to repeat herself in her normal voice. That seems to diffuse things.

Also, most importantly, don't be do hard on yourself! We all have good and bad days where we have more or less patience. You're only human and toddlers are annoying wink

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