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Normal for 2.5?

(14 Posts)
User24689 Sat 02-May-20 07:10:43

Hi all. My DS is 2.5 and we are having a tough time with him at the moment. I realise that lockdown could be affecting kids in all kinds of ways but he has always been difficult, it's just really ramped up in the last month.

Main issue is he doesn't listen at all. He seems bright and his speech/ vocabulary is good. But he ignores most of what we say if we are giving him any instruction or particularly if we are telling him not to do something.

Example: constantly takes things out of kitchen cupboards and drawers (figured out locks at about 18mo). I tell him to close drawer please, he ignores or says "no, I want XYZ" carries on. I say stop, close drawer. You can't have that. " He runs off with it. This is usually while cooking for example. I have to leave what I'm doing and chase him for the tongs or whatever.

Pulls chairs from dining room constantly so he can reach things he isn't supposed to reach. I can tell him repeatedly not to do it while he is doing it, ignores. I end up grabbing chairs while he holds on, refusing to let go until I physically peel his hands from chair. He then has a huge tantrum.

We have a tantrum like this about every half hour. It is exhausting. I know people say pick your battles but often we are talking dangerous things so I just can't let them go.

We have an older child and I remember this stage being hard but nothing like this.

We have been sitting him on the bottom step for not listening. We stay with him, or he will just run off. He then days "sorry!' in a sing song voice with no remorse at all and seems totally unaffected.

Getting him dressed or changing his nappy is a nightmare because he won't sit or lie still or listen to any instruction to do so.

He also still wakes 3 times a night. He's had short periods of sleeping through then back to the same pattern. So he's on the go from 5.30 through to 7.30 every day (dropped nap before turning 2) and then repeatedly needs to be cuddled back to sleep.

Feel like I have no idea what I'm doing, despite having successfully got a 5 year old through the toddler years before!

Does anyone have any advice?
And do you think this is within the realms of normal twos behaviour?

OP’s posts: |
Thefifthbeatle Sat 02-May-20 07:17:02

I don't know whether it's normal, but I could have written your post. DD2 is also 2.5 and your post describes her behaviour perfectly. Except that she has also started hitting and biting us. Nursery aren't going to recognise her when she goes back.

istheresomethingwrongwithme Sat 02-May-20 07:22:55

Oh God OP mine is a nightmare as well. I'm finding this really hard. I have a 1 year old as well and it's just impossible.

Mine is speech delayed so that doesn't help. He does have understanding and some phrases but it's frustrating for all of us. He is also an incredibly fussy eater and this has got a whole lot worse recently. I can literally only get him to eat Wheetabix, toast and yogurts now really. He has always been fussy but I managed to get a limited amount of fruit and veg into him before.

Sleep is not quite as tricky as yours but still not great. He will sleep from 7 and then come and get me from sometime around 4am. It's pot luck if I can get him back to sleep or not and if I can't it's a nightmare because he's then really grouchy and will fall asleep on the sofa around lunchtime. Then of course he won't go to bed in the evening.

Very temperamental, big tantrums and just overall hard work at the moment. We've always gone to lots of toddler groups, swimming, park etc and we are all really struggling without the routine. I tried to resemble some sort of routine, but it's hard with nothing to do! Luckily we have a garden and are fairly rural so we can walk, but he's getting bored of doing the same old walks so even that's hard work.

I ended up speaking to the speech therapist I've been dealing yesterday because I'm at such a loss with what to do. She's also specialises in looking at the relationship between speech delay and fussy eating. She's said to just not worry about the food for now, so I'm just got to let him eat what he wants (within reason, obviously!) and just try to develop some new coping strategies to get through this lockdown. Then I'm just going to cross my fingers that when some sort of normal comes back things may sort themselves out. I'm sure people will say I'm making a rod for my own back by giving in, but we can't carry on like this.

So I have no advice, other than I agree, it's crap!

Cantchooseaname Sat 02-May-20 07:26:43

I don’t know, and recognising that nothing is ‘normal’ at the moment I would not worry about that aspect. I think trying to find a way to survive with sanity intact is way forwards. Can you create a safe space/ play area for him? Tall baby gate on the kitchen so that he can’t get in to raid drawers. Just don’t fight the behaviour- “if you can’t leave the drawers alone I will shut the gate”.
Is there a way to prevent him moving chairs to get to high stuff- maybe something that goes round them and prevents them being pulled out?
I would then go all out with physical activity - again this is really difficult at the moment, but a mini trampette or trampoline could help.

Can you and a partner tag team him? So someone deals with him during most stressful points, and give each other a lie in at some point.
I think I would focus on surviving this period by any means, and deal with other stuff later if it didn’t settle.
Be kind to yourself.

Burgerandchipvan Sat 02-May-20 07:29:56

Sounds about right in my experience! It's just pushing boundaries (and my patience) all the bloody time.

I don't think lockdown is helping - DS is getting less exercise than he would do on a regular day, not as many activities, less people to interact with, missing his grandparents and cousins so I think it's all starting to take it's toll.

Sipperskipper Sat 02-May-20 07:35:58

Sounds normal I think (DD is 3 and doesnt do some of those things but does do others). She is forever moving chairs to get to the worktops etc which I do just allow, as she’s not doing anything dangerous. I tend to try and get her involved in cooking etc (she has her own safe knife) - she tends to play up when she hasn’t got my full attention.

If she is being silly / annoying in the kitchen say, I give her a warning - ‘if you do that again I will need to shut you out of here, it isn’t safe’ and always follow through. I take her out the kitchen and shut the door on her (and any other room that I don’t want her in). She will then be left there for 3 minutes. (So sort of like time out, but means I don’t have to keep walking her back or stay with her - the least attention she gets in this situation the better - she hates being ignored!)

Agree with trying to get plenty of physical activity - walks / bike rides in local woods etc? Scooter races? Whatever you can to knacker him out!

daisy112 Sat 02-May-20 07:39:23

Totally normal. My (nearly) 3 year old is doing exactly the same thing. We also have a 5 week old and she has ramped up her behaviour since the baby arrived!

They just love to push boundaries and I think it's just even worse because of lockdown.

No advice at all, but going through the same thing!

ElectricTonight Sat 02-May-20 07:42:45

Honestly you aren't alone my son is almost three and I have the same problems especially the sneaking downstairs into the cupboards , he gives me terrible anxiety incase he hurts himself.

I've found when my son is over tired he "acts up" I really don't have any advice though so il be watching your thread!

hopsalong Sat 02-May-20 07:51:41

My son is closer to three and a lot of the same problems here. I've (sort of) solved the kitchen chair problem by letting him stand at the sink on a chair "washing up" and by giving him a cupboard that he can get things out of (fruit, toys, oatcakes) and open if he wishes. I think a lot of it is wanting to do things (his endless plea) "by my own". I've also found that over the last few months his ability to be engaged by a screen for half an hour or so has massively increased. At a time like now that feels like a big win! At 2.5 he wouldn't really watch a TV programme. Now he likes doing the number blocks app on my iPad (and actually knows the numbers; a few months ago he barely distinguished 1 from 2). He also likes and asks to watch a variety of TV programmes separate from his older sibling: Peppa, Max and Ruby, Noddy (fairly awful). I hear you on the sleep too. Fewer solutions there other than letting him sleep in bed with us which makes him perfectly happy for the whole night.

cheekybekky Sat 02-May-20 08:01:19

Also have 2.5 year old who has been affected by this in a big way- she's become a limpet and literally wants to be laying on me at all hours like a baby monkey on a monkey. She's also become incapable of playing with any toys- she might last 10 minutes if I do it with her but 90% of her time is spent asking for the TV.

With regards to your issue- how about positive reinforcement and reward charts etc?

Phifedean123 Sat 02-May-20 09:38:10

This is my 2.5yo exactly. Such selective hearing "would you like a biscuit?" runs over. "please could you put that back?" runs away with item and has ridiculous tantrum when I take it off him. Like you don't want the ladel that badly surely hmm
I am just getting through it with distraction (TV) and bribes which I know in the long run I'll need to knock on the head.
I've tried reward chart but he just wanted to put all the stickers on it then ripped it up when I tried explaining.
Toddlers are hard work, your not alone

User24689 Sun 03-May-20 07:16:56

Thank you all so much this has been so reassuring!

I have been doing my best with the exercise. We go out for about an hour a day to our local playing fields/ rec area and he scoots for most of that time or rides up and down on his balance bike. We do have a big garden thankfully so he gets some exercise out there too but he is mainly just pottering/ climbing things he shouldn't be climbing so it doesn't really burn much off.

I just feel like I say the same things on loop all day long. Constantly telling him not to do the same few things that he mustn't do. It isn't like we have loads of rules, just a few that for safety reasons he needs to listen to and he just ignores them. Just really annoying stuff like every time he comes in the kitchen and the dishwasher is open he stands on the door of it. I've told him he'll break it but he won't get off it with instruction, he needs to be physically lifted off kicking me. It's stuff that sounds silly when I write it down but is constant!

He has always been really attached to me, wants to be picked up and carried a lot still and that's become worse since lockdown so we have a lot of him standing at the stop of the stairs crying because I won't come and get him and carry him down.

He has had a thing about playing with my hair as a comfort thing since he was a baby and I think this where a lot of the sleep issues came from because when he wakes up he searches for my hair. We did co sleep but I recently had to stop because the hair thing just got to the point I couldn't deal with it anymore and he's also really tall and we were running out of space in our bed!

So now I'm being firm with him about the hair it seems to be getting worse. Every time I sit next to him the hand immediately goes out to the hair so on top of everything else I am spending all day saying "please let go of my hair", "that hurts mummy let go of my hair", "if you don't stop pulling my hair you will sit on the floor" etc etc etc

Husband is working ft from home and does help as much as he can. He takes him for half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the afternoon so I can do something focussed with DD who I am homeschooling. Really really hard to get anything done while also entertaining DS. Had to explain division with barbies (!) yesterday while DS sat on the floor screaming because he wanted to play with the specific Barbies we were using

Anyway I am just ranting now! Thanks so much, in a way it's good to know you are all out there having similar struggles. You have given me some good ideas to try too!

OP’s posts: |
ThatsWhatHeroesDo Sun 03-May-20 07:21:55

My DS was the same (although in his case it turned out that he was hearing impaired, so sometimes he really didn't hear us!) What does help sometimes is telling them what they can do, rather than what they can't. And drawer locks. The Barbie thing makes sense; he just wanted to join in. Frustrating I know.

strawbmilk Sun 03-May-20 07:34:02

I'm in the same boat with my 2.5 yo. The sleep is especially draining as she had settled after I had a baby in January but since lockdown she could be up 3/4 times a night. The baby sleeps better than she does!

I've also spoken to another friend and her 1.5 yo is the same.

I think they are missing stimulation for going new places, interactions with other people. Even simple things like getting on a bus on a train. She is always pointing at the training station and desperate to get over there.

We also have the selective hearing. Her speech isn't great but is improving but she does understand. I've read it is a control thing. Toddlers have so little they can control they find their ways for example eating. My toddler has started controlling what she wears and has started screaming when I put leggings in her even if she picks them out. Then yesterday I put her in a new dress but took it off her to have lunch. I often take her top off and she eats in her vest to save get clothes (has always refused a bib) so nothing new but she screamed and refused her lunch until her dress went back on!

No idea if this is helpful than to say you are not alone!

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