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Not coping well with the terrible twos

(95 Posts)
Sunshine567 Sun 02-Aug-15 18:35:48

My dd is 26months and has started the terrible twos. I'm really struggling to the point where I don't want to go anywhere. Everywhere we go turns into a nightmare. We can have a nice day at the park or swimming or soft play and as soon as we start to leave she starts the screaming and lying down and won't move. I don't even have the strength to lift her sometimes coz she hits out and it's hard to hold while dodging the blows. This can last for about 45mins at times. We can't even go to a supermarket because as soon as she sees a trolley she starts screaming. So I either have to leave her with my partner or need to make sure someone's with me. She only has about 6 words which I think also doesn't help as she gets really frustrated when we don't understand her and can take to biting herself. She seems to listen to my partner more than me. I always seem to the bad guy. I've tried ignoring her, being nice, shouting and nothing works. Bathtime the other night was awful. She refused to go in. She stood screaming and hitting me while I got upset and sat and cried. I feel like a total failure.

Griffomais Sun 02-Aug-15 18:57:29

I posted a thread earlier about Tantrums. You're not a failure it's just incredibly difficult to deal with - I'm struggling too. It's very draining isn't it.

Sunshine567 Sun 02-Aug-15 19:06:02

It's soooo draining. Doesn't seem to bother my partner at all which makes me feel worse about myself. Keep holding on to the fact that she'll grow out of them soon but then I feel like I'm wishing time away which makes me feel worse!

Bikegirl77 Sun 02-Aug-15 19:16:41

It's an age I've always found difficult. It IS a difficult age, no matter how well you cope!

My dd1 had the most awful tantrums between the ages of 1.5 and 5 (!). I hated it and felt so out of control, never knowing what the best strategy was. In fact, we put off having another child until she was 5.5 because we just couldn't face it all again. You can imagine my horror when #2 turned out to be twins [shocked]!

My twins are almost 3 now and it hasn't been almost as bad (yet....). This time I've found that ignoring works. I simply don't have the time to negotiate with them. I leave them on the floor to cry, letting them know they can come for a cuddle when they're ready. I've definitely learnt to pick my battles. Some things are non-negotiable, eg, holding hands near roads, teeth brushing etc but some things I've learned to let slide (even if my inner self is screaming!).

I do my grocery shopping online which has reduced the amount of stress any an unbelievable amount! Tesco do a mid week delivery saver plan for £30 per year. It's an absolute god send!

Griffomais Sun 02-Aug-15 19:23:05

I'm the same I keep trying to remember she's only small and will grow up soon enough. I think maybe my patience is just not great at the minute as I'm pregnant. I just want her to be happy and when she has a meltdown I worry that she unhappy.

Sunshine567 Sun 02-Aug-15 19:35:13

I would hate anyone to feel like I feel but I'm glad to know other ppl feel it too. I look at my friends who have kids and they seem to be coping so much better than me which could just be a cover up but then I do have a friend who gets stressed when her ds is having a tantrum and I think 'that' is a tantrum??? I could handle lying on the floor for 10mins and not moving or not screaming. But guess everyone is different.

I've also been considering not having a second child. My partner has been talking about trying for a second child but I don't think i could cope doing it again. Although the fact your #2 turned out to be twins and hasn't been as bad is filling me with a wee bit of hope.

I'm starting to do late night shopping after she's in bed just to get away for half an hour and time to myself. Although that makes me feel guilty too. But my partner seems to be out all the time so one night a week shouldn't kill him. The online tesco shop is good to know though. Thanks.

I guess I just want to know I'm not the only one who feels like this.

GetTheFudgeOutOfRodge Sun 02-Aug-15 19:35:21

No advice I'm afraid but my DD is 19mo and is really channelling the terrible twos already.
It is draining and upsetting and stressful, you're not a failure.
Some kids throw more/worse tantrums than others.

Agree with PP about picking battles.

We'll get through it, one day grin

wine for you

Sunshine567 Sun 02-Aug-15 19:37:34

I used to think I was quite a patient person griffomais but right now I'm not and I don't even have the excuse of being pregnant. I'm just tired. Haven't been sleeping well at all. Hats off to you coping with it while your pregnant.

Sunshine567 Sun 02-Aug-15 19:41:23

I need to learn this different coping strategy of picking battles. I guess if she refuses for 40mins not to go in a bath it won't hurt her one night just to skip bath. It's helped a bit getting it all written out tonight and knowing I'm not alone. Although she is in bed so I might not be saying that tomorrow when she has another one!

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 02-Aug-15 19:41:52

You meed to stay calm and say nothing. Keep a safe distance, and watch from the corner of your eye without looking at her. Repeat to yourself `yes i do have all day` and wait it out thinking nice thoughts while ignoring all smirks and well meaning comments.... it also helps if you say before you get any where `if you come away nicely we can do this again, play up and we wont. Stick to it ... even a few days to a child is a life time of no park.

Sunshine567 Sun 02-Aug-15 19:53:12

I've tried the whole be good coming away or we won't come back and it doesn't work. Ignoring her in the park doesn't always work coz she runs away whilst screaming

Bikegirl77 Sun 02-Aug-15 20:20:45

Glad it's helped to write it all down. I think if more people were honest about the aspects of parenting they find difficult, we'd all feel a bit less alone! People often like to look like they have everything under control when in fact they're finding it tough too. Maybe their child doesn't tantrum but maybe they won't eat or sleep!

I think you have the right idea about picking your battles. Would it have hurt to miss one bath? As long as she wasn't dirty enough to warrant being reported for neglect, then it's fine. I'm sure neither if you felt great after a 40 minute battle!

Do you have any time for yourself? I'd get the groceries delivered and use that one precious evening a week to do something for yourself. Take a class, go swimming, see friends. It's really important to wind down a little. That's probably why your partner can deal with all a bit better!

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 02-Aug-15 20:27:11

Do you chase her?

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 02-Aug-15 20:29:09

Every child has a price ... it may be sweets, tv time, games, grandma...whatever. Have you tried a treat for coming away nicely? Shopping can she choose a fruit to hold... treat for being good?

Sunshine567 Sun 02-Aug-15 20:32:21

Yeah I never thought of him coping better because he gets time away. Just thought he was superman or something. No I don't get out very often at all unless it's for a shop during the week. My partner is out at least twice during the week and then sometimes a day at the weekend. Last weekend he was out sat and sun afternoon. I don't have many local friends. Friends I do have locally have kids the same age so it's difficult to get time that suits us both.

easytoforget Sun 02-Aug-15 20:35:16

I know it is a cop out but during this time take the easy option unless you really have to. Pick your battles wisely and keep yourself sanesmile

Sunshine567 Sun 02-Aug-15 20:37:09

I let her go so far and then realise she's too far so have to go get her.
Sometimes shes too far in to a tantrum for any kind of 'bribe' to work. Her favourite tv show normally works but sometimes ive lost her and she won't listen to anything I'm saying.

TheBakeryQueen Sun 02-Aug-15 20:38:29

It is such a hard age! They do grow out of it though.

I found distraction the best thing at that age.

So you know the triggers, can you think of something that will make her want to leave the park- like 'come on dd, if we get in the car now we can see the horses in the field on the way home'.

My ds loved seeing the horses so we'd look out for them on the way past a field.

Or 'come on dd, lets have a race to the car!'.

Or a treat of some sort waiting? CBeebies when we get home.

You know what might work best though.

TheBakeryQueen Sun 02-Aug-15 20:39:52

And you really need a break. You will feel so much more patient & ready to manage the tantrums when you've had a chance to recharge your batteries.

Sunshine567 Sun 02-Aug-15 20:50:08

I guess I need to come up with better ideas of what will work because the usual ones aren't having any impact.

I feel like I don't have much right to complain because I work every day so don't spend 24/7 with her. I'm already getting a break. But after work and weekends are tantrum filled.

TheAuthoress Sun 02-Aug-15 20:53:10

Don't feel guilty about having 90mins round the supermarket to yourself! We all need a break.

My DD, just turned 2, is the same. It's been a massive shock to me as DS, 4, never done anything like that. I just ignore the behaviour while still acknowledging her, and remain calm, and ask her does she want a cuddle every few minutes. If she's not ready to end the tantrum she'll scream 'nooooo!!!!' And tantrum even more, but eventually she'll come up for a cuddle and calm down immediately.

This was after a lot of trial and error of telling her off, totally ignoring her (both of which made her more hysterical) and trying to cuddle her when she didn't want to be held.

If it happens in public (very common) I just pick her up and either bring her somewhere to distract her or straight into the car if there's nothing to distract her. And I don't look at anyone else if she's doing this so I can't see if they are judging me. Though I'm a lot less embarrassed about this sort of thing than I was with DS.

Sunshine567 Sun 02-Aug-15 21:13:46

do you not have trouble getting her into the car seat? I can spend about 5/10 mins sometimes. She does the whole sliding out, climbing out, hitting, kicking, get one arm in and she wrangles free from the other strap. And then when I get home she won't come out of it so I need to sit in the backseat with her until she's ready.

She's been having tantrums since about 20 months but just in past few weeks I've notice how bad she's become. But then I guess I've been really tired recently and trying to move house and new job so guess that doesn't help. She's funny and sweet and gentle in company and everyone thinks I'm being ridiculous when I say how bad her tantrums can be.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 02-Aug-15 23:46:54

I think as you work, you really are getting the rough end of her day, think about changing your routine. So for example, instead of getting in and making tea, give her loads of attention, be silly, positive. I know how hard that is when all you want to do is kick your shoes off and get a drink. Shes tired and so are you, she`ll be in the almost growing out of naps phase, so linger days with out sleep - grumpy tea times.

NessaWH123 Mon 03-Aug-15 07:53:28

Just to say Ihave posted with similar story and feel yr pain my little one is like jekyll and Hyde and can be so funny or a total nightmareto take out!! I dread it. He has poor speech and has been diagnosed with glue ear which they say can cause frustrations . I don'tkknow if that is worth looking into. Just an idea hears to hoping things gets better and like you I feel bad at times for wishing time away sometimes. I also don'thave family around so a trip t a supermarket on my own late at night is my saving grace but at least its a start. Hang in there

Sunshine567 Mon 03-Aug-15 12:57:26

Yeah I think I'm getting her when she's at her grumpiest and unfortunately she hasn't been going for naps for months now.

She's had her hearing checked nessa and its fine but she has been referred to speech and language so maybe that will help. It's hard when you don't have help isn't it? I have family but they watch her when I'm at work so don't want to take advantage any other times. It would be good to have more support my age. Maybe I need to look into some groups or something. At least I know I'm not alone!

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