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Dealing with 'terrible two's'

(19 Posts)
SuperSteve Sat 02-Jan-21 18:49:28

DD has very much hit that phase now and I'm finding it really trying, not helped by almost ex'DP being absolutely fucking useless. Up until 5 weeks ago DD had generally been a pretty easy going kid, had her moments but no real issues. Now, everything is just horrendous. I try to pick my battles but that's not working.

We go to the shops and she wont walk nicely with me holding hands, she wont walk on reins (just dangles herself), loses her shit when I put her in her pram and then spends all her time trying to escape it, wont go in a trolley in the supermarket. After 15 mins of tears shes might calm down, but it might only be 5 mins before she kicks off again. Shes only happy if shes allowed to run riot and obviously that's not allowed.

Getting dressed is a battle, as is nappy changing. I've tried encouraging her to do it herself as she likes her independence but unless she feels like it (rarely) she simply wont get dressed unless I wrestle her into clothes. Sometimes I just leave her in her pyjamas but the issue still arises when it comes to coats, socks, shoes etc.

Brushing her teeth is done on the floor whilst she screams.

Meal times shes back to being strapped in a high chair or she just messes around.

She seems to have lost the ability to play nicely with anything either alone or with me. She just throws things around and if shes told not to she tantrums.

I cant take my eye off her for a second or shell be on the table/tv stand/kicking the cat or something else she knows full well isnt allowed.

Shes currently screaming and banging cupboard doors because she cant have a raw fucking chicken breast she saw in the fridge when I got her a yoghurt. This has been going on a good 10 minutes now. I'm honestly at my wits end. Shes only happy watching hey duggee, though I'd rather she didnt watch it 24/7.

I try go to the park or do some sort of outdoor activity where she can let off steam most days, and I make sure I spend some time doing an activity with her but shes still not happy. When she is being good I tell her so I make a big deal of it but those moments are getting rarer and rarer.

Any advice for getting through this stage?

OP’s posts: |
SuperSteve Sat 02-Jan-21 18:52:22

Oh and if she gets an idea in her head that's it. Wants to throw her self head first down the stairs/eat a whole bar of chocolate/ post things out the door via the letter box and she is adamant she will do it. Neither me or dp give in to her demands but she can go the whole day demanding whatever thing it is she wantshmm

OP’s posts: |
Gandalf456 Sat 02-Jan-21 18:54:53

Eeeeeowwww. I'd almost forgotten this stage. It reminds me of my DD at that age.

Firstly, I doubt you're going far wrong. Some toddlers are more difficult.

Get as much time to yourself and support as you possibly can.

Make sure she doesn't get too tired or hungry.

If you can, shop when dh gets back or send him after work

lemorella Sat 02-Jan-21 18:58:47

Repeat all the time 'it's just a phase'

Get a box or drawer in the kitchen and fill it with things she can touch (her bowls and utensils a few other sage kitchen bits) so not everything is off limits in the kitchen. When she reaches for something not allowed in the fridge ask her to fetch something from her box.

Maybe try letting her push the pram a bit or try a buggyboard. We have a trike which does the trick - strapped in but looks like a bit of freedom with free hands for dc. It doesn't help with you weekly shop though...can you do an online order?

She really will come out of it - keep reassuring her and ignoring / distracting where needed. Try and get your useless ex dp on board with a united front.

I'm in solidarity here with you as going through the same thing. It's not personal, it's a developmental phase and you will come through it daffodil

SuperSteve Sat 02-Jan-21 19:01:05

She sleeps reasonably well and I always make sure she has a nap during the day, when shes tired she honestly drives me to tears.
Shes pretty well fed though i try to stick to specific meal/snack times or she nags relentlessly all day for cheese/ham/yoghurt. Well she nags relentlessly anyway but I feel less like im giving in to her demands if we have set times.

There is no point asking DP to do much, if he goes shopping he spends too much money on stuff that I cant even concoct a single meal out of angry if I leave DD with him I come home to him in a foul mood, DD screeching and the house turned upside down.

OP’s posts: |
SuperSteve Sat 02-Jan-21 19:06:32

She has her own kitchen that is kitted out with more than mine 😂 I try distracting her but why play nicely with your own kitchen when you can scream till your blue in the face because someone said no to playing with a bread knife.

Pushing the pram works but only for a short time, I've tried taking her own dolls pram out but it only lasts so long. She has a trike sort of thing that I can push, it has a harness and bar to stop her getting out but she sort of jams her foot into the wheel and then screams when it gets stuck and hurts.

And now time to get her to bed and my nerves can have a break till morning. brew

OP’s posts: |
PinkSpring Sat 02-Jan-21 19:16:25

DD was very much like how you describe - they all go through it. You just have to ride it out.

Warning though, three isn't any better (possibly worse) angrysad

AuntyJack Sat 02-Jan-21 21:12:37

Maybe won't help yours, but the way my sister gets her two year old daughter to behave in the supermarket is that she is allowed one treat if she stays in the trolley and doesn't whine or kick off. So she spends the whole trip concentrating on what's on the shelves and swapping what she is holding with something on the shelf until it is time to finish. Training her like this involved some pain though - a few times when she kicked off she would have to abandon the shopping trolley and its contents and go home.

SaveWaterDrinkGin Sat 02-Jan-21 21:16:58

Pick your battles.

Focus on what she does well/nicely/when you ask her to. Ignore bad behaviour unless it’s really horrendous or dangerous. Give it no attention.

Avoid triggers- don’t let her get over hungry or over tired and don’t take her to the shops unless absolutely necessary.

Try to spend positive time together doing unstructured play or whatever she wants to do.

Model calm, positive behaviour.

Try really, really hard not to lose your shit even if you need to leave the room and count to ten or punch a pillow.

It’s really hard but it is a phase all toddlers go through.

PegLegTrev Sat 02-Jan-21 21:21:38

I am in the phase too. He’s just learnt “no” and now that’s his answer to everything. I do the wrestling for nappies and getting dressed. I find that persistence leads to eventual acceptance. Same for brushing teeth. I do pick my battles though.

As for the shops I just nipped to the co-op tonight and he was a bloody nightmare. I had to hook him under my arm. Doesnt help that he’s nearly the size of a 3 year old and breaking into 3-4 yr clothes! (His Dad is v v tall).

I normally do my shopping online. I couldn’t manage a full weekly shop with him.

I don’t think corona is helped as I haven’t taken him shopping for so long, it’s all really novel and exciting.

LivingMyBestLife2020 Sat 02-Jan-21 21:29:10

I’m right there with you! Almost word for word what you said. My son will be two and a half next week. We’ve been in the faze for about 3 months. I THINK we are starting to come out of it. He’s still a complete asshole some days but there are definitely a lot more good days now then there was before. The last 2 weeks his speech has come on immensely and he’s talking in almost sentences. I’m not sure if that is helping with communication. He potty trained a couple of months ago and he hasn’t used a buggy since he was 2, he walks everywhere. I find giving him as much independence as I can helps. He always says “me try” for everything.
I’m a single parent so I get no restbite. It’s fucking brutal some days but “it’s just a phase, it’s just a phase, it’s just a phase”

LivingMyBestLife2020 Sat 02-Jan-21 21:31:46

To add, he’s naked the majority of the time (unless out!) it’s just not worth the stress trying to get him dressed! Not even PJs

user1471523870 Sat 02-Jan-21 21:38:19

I also could have written this post word by word. Same exact experience, same age, same behaviour. Mine also sleeps well (but GOING to sleep is a battle) and I make sure he's not overtired/hungry etc.
I read some books on how to communicate with toddlers but honestly I don't think it makes a huge difference. I am normally a calm person, I rarely lose my shit but, boy, this is hard!

Did one reply say it will last well into when they are three? Kill me now! On the other hand, when he's not tantruming he's the cutest and happiest little boysmile

Sausagessizzling Sat 02-Jan-21 21:55:21

This hit with my DD recently too so I really sympathise.
We've found giving her as much independence as is reasonable helps. Like she 'helps' now with all food prep and she puts what food she wants on her plate which means she's now happy to go in her high chair and eat.
And I've discovered by letting her have a bit more independence she's much more capable than I would have thought. Like she's got a sore chin but couldn't let me put sudocrem on it. Instead she stuck her finger in it and I thought she would eat it or something but she started gently smearing it on her sore chin.
Hope your dd gets through this phase soon op xx

Bootsuit Sat 02-Jan-21 22:12:36

DS2 was the terrible twos personified. Every. Single. Day. He would scream his head off about something. We couldn't take him anywhere without him causing a massive scene.

We had the health visitor visit numerous times with more and more ideas on how to manage him. Nothing worked!

Now he is 3 he is pretty much delightful 90% of the time. He just needed to mature and his vocabulary grew and now he's much calmer. Still has his moments, I think he's always going to be a willful child but my advice is to hang on in there and wait it out.

I know that's probably small comfort when you're in the thick of it but they will calm down.

Aot of the time I had to just laugh at him because his behaviour was so irrational that all I could do to keep myself calm was to (with a slight whiff of hysteria) laugh about it

SuperSteve Sat 02-Jan-21 22:22:11

It doesn't get better at three? Fuck.

Shes very independent and I try make everything "her choice"... do you want to wear leggings or a dress? Yogurt or fruit? That sort of thing. I asked her this morning do you want your hair in plaits or pigtails, definitely wanted plaits and sat so nicely whilst I did her hair. Then immediately lost her shit because she didnt want plaits.
I try let her help with as much as possible but she has a tendency to throw things which makes it pretty hard to let her help do much as she just lobs everything across the room.

She had taken really well to potty training, I was feeling a bit smug thinking I might not have to wrestle an angry octopus into a nappy quite so often. Only, if I'm not within a foot of her when shes finished on her potty she throws the bloody thing across the room hmm

Shes pretty articulate for her age which I had hoped would help, maybe if she could communicate why she was upset she might be a little less angry and frustrated? Nope, she can just tell me exactly what completely irrational thing she is going batshit over.

brew&cake for all those with toddlers and have somehow kept it together today. I feel slightly better knowing I'm not alone.

OP’s posts: |
SaveWaterDrinkGin Sun 03-Jan-21 08:58:14

It is hard but a completely normal developmental stage and is also incredibly hard and confusing for your toddler. She’s dealing with big feelings she has no control over. She’s not choosing to be difficult. Sometimes I used to find a big cuddle would totally diffuse the situation and help calm her down. Try to remember she’s not being naughty. It’s hard for her too.

Bootsuit Sun 03-Jan-21 17:15:50

Yes, unfortunately for us it did take until his third birthday for any big change. It was a very long year.

Sometimes we had some small luck with saying whatever he was upset about directly back at him. So if he was kicking off because he wanted an ice lolly but we didn't have any I would say "I know you wanted an ice lolly" over and over so that he felt I was listening to him. Very occasionally that would work.

He's a fantastic three year old, he's definitely made up for the sheer misery of the terrible twos now.

Gandalf456 Sun 03-Jan-21 19:58:31

My Dd got way better at 3. Ds was an angel at 2 and a horror at 3 . Glad to say there's no hard and fast rule

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