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Which bits of 'How to talk so kids will listen...' work with two year olds? Fed up of battles...

(27 Posts)
Pinchypants Tue 05-Aug-08 09:29:40

God, what a shit morning already. OK, am 38 wks pg so that's probably not helping my ability to cope, but DD, who was 2 last week, is seriously tricky at the moment. Every single request/statement I make is greeted with 'no', tears, and/or a physical battle. This morning we both ended up in tears before nursery, which is not a great start to the day. And I feel like a rubbish mummy, not being calm and in control.

Ironically, or perhaps not, I am reading 'How to talk so kids will listen' and it makes lots of sense to me, but much of it seems applicable to older children. Anyone have any suggestions for the bits of the book that really do help with tetchy toddlers?

I was offering her a limited choice between two t-shirts this morning for instance, (lola or upsy daisy, natch) and she got really upset because she couldn't decide - DH said when she's in that sort of mood maybe I should just cut out choice altogether and just put her in some clothes so we can get out of the house.

Will be reading Unconditional Parenting after this one (I love a bit of child rearing theory, me, just can't quite get the hang of the practice!) and from the other thread it looks like that might mirror my natural style (on a good day...)

Anyway, thanks for listening. Any suggestions warmly welcomed.

fishie Tue 05-Aug-08 09:37:07

i have it from library but haven't read yet. cod and 100x are experts, perhaps they will be along to pronounce.

and my sympathies to you. my 3yo stood on top of chest of drawers this morning and did a wee all over the clothes, i had to catch it in the bin.

FluffyMummy123 Tue 05-Aug-08 09:41:27

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warthog Tue 05-Aug-08 09:41:50

my sympathies! i'm in exactly the same boat. 38 weeks pg, 2.5 yo who at this precise moment is refusing to come upstairs to have a pooey nappy changed. so can't go visit granny and this time i'm NOT carrying her up the stairs. so far it's been a 20 min standoff.

i will be watching this thread with interest!

i'm glad to know i'm not alone...

FluffyMummy123 Tue 05-Aug-08 09:48:37

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Pinchypants Tue 05-Aug-08 09:50:48

Thanks chaps. Ah, I love the refusing to get up/downstairs without being carried standoff. That's our current favourite. Of course DD knows I can't really physically manage it with heouge bump so that adds another dimension.

Cod, I totally get what you are saying. I know she's not going to be an angel all the time these days, which is fair enough and I'd be worried if she wasn't starting to do the boundary pushing thing. Perhaps cos I'm so tired I'm not being quite firm enough sometimes - DH certainly thinks I could be a little 'brisker' and more matter of fact with her. I tend to treat her like a rational adult rather than a slow one grin - prob sometimes too much responsibility for a just-two-year-old, esp when she's just woken up...

Anyway, this afternoon is another half-day and after her post-nursery nap I will be cheerful and calm and back on top. Yes.

Othersideofthechannel Tue 05-Aug-08 09:51:19

Warthog, as you can't easily carry your child, why not bring the nappy changing stuff to where your child is?

Fun and games works better with 2yr old IMO for getting compliance.

The bits about giving information in 'how to talk' are good for 2 yr olds. Helps cut down on parental use of 'no' and 'don't'.

Pinchypants Tue 05-Aug-08 09:57:04

Am liking the idea of making a game out of the novelty of having nappy changed downstairs. And cutting down use of 'no' can only be a good thing - I bore myself sometimes...

dandycandyjellybean Tue 05-Aug-08 10:42:18

Agree with otherside..I try to say yes to as much as possible, even if it's (9am, yes of course you can have a lolly, after lunch.)
Also read on a thread on here somewhere about asking self all the time, how much the thing your asking really matters? Again, try to take the stress out of my life by only pushing issues which I feel are really important (dangerous stuff and our personal family values etc) but if I think he's grubby but he's absolutely against the idea of having a bath, he goes to bed with a quick flannel wash. He regularly has days when he stays in his pj's all day (can't fault him, i'd do it if i could get away with it!!!) have even taken him out in shorty pj's and his wellies. hth. it's tuff this motherin' lark, ain't it?

KTNoo Tue 05-Aug-08 12:37:24

Are you sure she can make a choice? Some kids can't at 2. On school days I pick out the clothes for my 2 year old, and basically distract her with incessant chat about what we're going to do etc, while I put her clothes on. At weekends she can take all day to decide what she wears, as far as I'm concerned.

Sorry, not much help re HTTSKWL. I have found it useful with the older ones though. It could get better for you soon - my dd (2 and a half) can now explain a lot more of what she wants which reduces the screaming (a bit anyway!)

apostrophe Tue 05-Aug-08 21:13:02

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cookiemonstress Tue 05-Aug-08 21:17:00

I've been in your shoes and I promise it does get better but you might have to be prepared to ride out the storm and believe that it is a phase....

I've posted on here many times due to my then 2 yr old dd1 extreme behaviour age 2. She is now 3.5 and in the last couple of months has transformed into a different child. She was textbook 'spirited' toddler (we had the works, sleeping, eating, tantrum, buggy, sharing, boredom issues, you name it, we've had it!), the HV was shocked by her defiance and she was much worse than her friends who all had their own moments. She still has her moments but things are a zillion times easier with her.

I had dd2 when dd1 was 20 months. Looking back I realise (now that dd2 is 20 months) that I expected faaaaar too much from dd1 at the time but in comparison to dd2 she seemed so much bigger so I think I thought she should be further down the line that she was. . I agree with other posters, go with the flow, don't make everything a battle and remember tantrums aren't always defiance. They can just be a general meltdown or due to panic, anxiety or other feelings they don't fully understand. Good luck, it will get better

hairtwiddler Tue 05-Aug-08 21:25:32

I had the screaming to be carried up the stairs thing a few months ago. Not sure if this might work for you but did the trick with DD.
Sheet filled with pic of bubbles at top of stairs. Smiley faces at bottom of stairs. Sticker on bubble or smiley face each time she walked down the stairs on her own. Big picture of a present at bottom of page and told when page filled she'd get a present.
Just in case it helps... didn't think it would work for us but haven't carried up the stairs since.

luckylady74 Tue 05-Aug-08 21:25:42

The bits I took from it when twins were 2 were to basicly be a little less cross,realise that lifes tough for them too and make things that are pissing me off into a game. so repeated requests for food would be met with 'I'd really like a ..(insert smething utterly ridiculous) to eat' child laughs anmd I change the subject. Dragging them home up the street when they are tired is so hard with 3 of them, but now we discuss how we'd all like a flying carpet and it passes the time better!
I found choice giving compicated too - so I don't do it when we're pressed for time!

onebatmother Tue 05-Aug-08 21:31:19

I like the apostrophe school of parenting. this scenario v familiar - the look of fear and loathing on a 2 yr old's face as one acknowledges, relentlessly, their feelings...

onebatmother Tue 05-Aug-08 21:46:54

though it has worked, very well, with DS (6)

Pitchounette Tue 05-Aug-08 21:53:56

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Klaw Tue 05-Aug-08 23:26:58

oh i am just starting to read HTTSYKWL.... and am hopeful...

Not that dd (3.2) is too much of a problem, I just don't want any deterioration.

ATM, the problems arise with her incessantly saying something, but if I don't acknowledge it she reaches crescendo, so I have to talk about every single bit of nonsense, which is driving me to drink..... we have the "I a gural, Ds's a boy, mummy's a gural, Daddy's a boy" conversation on a daily basis, which is sweet the first million times..... If I tell her off she states that I must not shout at her, if I stop her from doing something she tries to hit me, or spits....

I say I don't accept it and try to get away from her... [sigh], I tell her it is not acceptable sternly and get told off for shouting at her.... I tell her that I do not want her to do that ever again and remove a privilege, she just gets more angry.

Distraction tends to work very well, and I am blessed that she is indeed a girl. Was with friend and her wee boy today and it was a job to get him to look at friend in the eye so that she could tell him what he was doing was unacceptable, he wont walk well beside her and this raises safety issues.... am going to have to get her to read HTTSKWL.... when I'm finished methinks....

anyway I digress... not sure what I'm trying to say anyway.... this childrearing is a mine field isn't it?

Will be searching MN for more parenting threads that might help...

Pinchypants Wed 06-Aug-08 09:44:17

DD slept for THREE HOURS yesterday afternoon and has been an angel since, so perhaps she was just particularly tired and irritable yesterday morning and didn't want choice and reasonableness, just to be babied. Which is fair enough for a just-two-year-old, really.

Last night I put out a pair of trousers and a top, said 'that's what we're wearing for nursery tomorrow', and no fuss at all this morning about anything. I have also been trying to say yes to more things, even when qualified by a later time.

Good days and bad days, huh?

HaventSleptForAYear Wed 06-Aug-08 13:21:10

Unlike apostrophe I DID find the acknowledging feelings worked pretty well.

In fact still does. Even on DS2 18mths.

At this age it's probably the only applicable thing but I have seen it stop a toddler tantrum in its tracks.

Works reasonably well on the "I want the same stick as my brother" (not that DS2 is saying anything but we know that's what he means!).

Need to get my copy out again. Siblings without rivalry is pretty good too.

Sunshinemummy Wed 06-Aug-08 13:28:26

Intresting thread. I'm 36 weeks and have 2.5 DS. DS is another one who appears not to listen and I often find myself shouting just to get through which is not what I want. Am currently trying sticker chart to get him to stay in bed which is having some success but he's still up at least once a night.

iamdingdong Wed 06-Aug-08 13:35:01

I found unconditional parenting easier to get my head round than htt, but I think with both seeing the world from child's perspective is the key, also being prepared to abandon some pointless battles that aren't really going to do any harm long term. but then, recently I have lost my way a bit and become tired shouty stroppy mum, so I need to re-read

Pitchounette Thu 07-Aug-08 08:11:07

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FluffyMummy123 Thu 07-Aug-08 08:23:47

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HaventSleptForAYear Thu 07-Aug-08 08:31:30

Oh yes we do that Cod.

"Oh DS1 you are so good at sharing with your brother" (as DS moves to snatch from baby bro.)

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