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I don't know whether I will ever be able to cope with him...

(27 Posts)
bellababe Sun 06-Mar-05 10:23:55

I am at my wits' end. Ds2 is driving me demented and I just don't know how to deal with him. Ds1 is 6.5, dd is 4.7 and ds2 is 2.10. He is a fiend. He does and says exactly what he wants and nothing I say or do has any effect. He picks up all the others' playground vocab (his latest is "you IDIOT"). He cannot see anything without having to touch or interfere with it. Handbag has to be explored. Torch has to be turned on. Key has to be jammed in a lock. It is not physically possible to put everything out of his reach and he'd find a way of getting to it anyway. I am at screaming point about the state of the house - all the fridge magnets get swept on to the floor. Felt tips pen lids taken off and left. Jigsaw puzzles emptied then left. If I'm cooking he comes and fiddles with the knobs or reaches up for knives or open packets. he won't stay in front of the telly for more than 5 mins. He beats up his sibs who scream and fight and make the situation worse. He is at playgroup now for 5 mornings a week but it only gives me half an hour to myself, once travel time counted. When I put him on the loo he needs to try to take my earrings out or push my specs right into my face. Etc etc etc.
i am so frightened that I am never going to be able to control him. I just can't see how to cope with this. He is a tearaway. Help!

Nemo1977 Sun 06-Mar-05 10:27:55

im no expert at all but he sounds quite he different to how your older kids were? Might be worth asking hv for some tips? there may be things in his diet making him hyper etc so she could offer help
sorry not much help

WideWebWitch Sun 06-Mar-05 10:29:14

What does he eat? Does a certain type of food make him worse? Is he better when he's slept more? Or exercised more? Just trying to think of anything that might help. But 2.10 is just like this to an extent I think, so not necessarily abnormal I don't think. Can you move important things like keys/handbag so he doesn't get them and try not to worry about the rest, like jigsaws? What about a stairgate across the kitchen while you're cooking? Or bribing the older ones to occupy him usefully while you cook? And praise the good behaviour and ignore the bad (to an extent, I know you can't ignore all of it). It will pass!

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Sun 06-Mar-05 10:29:39

I'm sure that there are people here who can help. I just wanted to say that you will be able to cope with him. He's probably at one of the most difficult ages (for us as parents).

Sorry that I can't be more practical. The only thing that I know to do is to put down firm boundaries and be consistent. DD2 is the bane of my life at times and all I want to do is put her out the window, but panic not people I don't.

{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} to you because I know it isn't easy.

curtains Sun 06-Mar-05 10:30:10

bellababe, so many of the things you said could apply to lots of little boys aged nearly 3.
Try to remember he will mature and things should get easier, I'm sure your older two went through tantrums around 3.
If you are really worried have you spoken to your HV? She might give you some pointers!
Good luck

Cam Sun 06-Mar-05 10:31:19

Haven't got a ds myself but yours sounds just like my younger brother (the youngest of 4 children) when he was little. My mother used to say that if he ahd been her first child she wouldn't have had any more! I remember him trying to climb into the washing machine full of boiling hot water(top loading twin tub in those days) when he was about 2 and another time when he was about 3 he climbed into the driver seat of the milkman's electric cart and pressed the button and drove off! My mother screamed and the milkman legged it down the road, managing to catch up and grab the vehicle and stop it. Seems to be a trait of youngest boys in families.

bellababe Sun 06-Mar-05 10:37:09

Thank you.
There is nothing bad in his diet at all. They have fruit, milk and cereal for b'fast (usu. rice krispies, just right, weetabix, etc), then a sandwich with cheese or ham or tuna for lunch, and a decent meal for tea - often pasta! Snacks are fruit, and they only drink water or apple juice.
I can try to keep things out of his way, but as I say it physically isn't possible to do so with everything. And the other 2 get so abused by him, mainly scratching, that there's no way they'd help out. One of them would be constantly running to me telling tales and that would drive me to screamin point.
Yes, he's better when he's slept more. I put him for an afternoon nap wherever possible (most days but occasionally not poss) but he messes around in his room and won't settle 3 out of 4 times. He wakes v early so he really needs more sleep during the day. He is in bed by 6.30 pm. Please no-one tell me to try putting him to bed later cos that does nothing but make him tireder and me stresseder.

bellababe Sun 06-Mar-05 10:39:02

But do these "youngest boys" come out of it? I am terrified that he is always going to be a tearaway. I just sit down and cry sometimes, literally, as I feel I am failing so badly.

WideWebWitch Sun 06-Mar-05 10:41:54

Oh sweetie, you're not failing! It's hard that age and he does sound particularly hard work. I don't know what else to suggest. Do you suspect anything else is up with him?

WideWebWitch Sun 06-Mar-05 10:42:26

And can you get some help and support with him? Do you have a dp/h? What do they think?

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Sun 06-Mar-05 10:49:10

soory, trying to feed and settle DTs.

I echo www. You are not failing. You are doing what all of us are doing, your best. He probably needs to run off a lot more energy than the others. He may just turn out to be really active high energy boy. It may just be his age. You need to stop beating yourself up about it. If it's a phase it will pass and you'll survive. Find some one in RL to give you a hand. 3 kids isn't easy. But let me say it again, you are doing a great job!

MaryP0p1 Sun 06-Mar-05 10:55:37

I sorry to hear your problem 3 children so young is very hard work.

My son has just turned 3 and has been a demon since the moment he could move. I half laughingly say he's an accident waiting to happen. From the minute he could move he's been into everything and does things my DD or any other child I have looked after would never do (I work with children). When he was smaller and when I'm tired I dispare of him but the rest of the time I try and relax and enjoy 'his zest for life' If I didn't I go mad and drive the rest of the family mad too. My Mother said I was exactly the same and I was spoilt by my daughter, who is very placid.

I find the park, even when the weather rubbish, a good place because it gets rid of some of his energy. We go and chase the dog and let him roll around in the mud he feels better and I'm calmer.

ponygirl Sun 06-Mar-05 11:07:57

Hi bellababe, your post gave me the chills! I have ds1 (6.2), dd (4.2) and ds2 (2.1) and we could be where you are soon! Ds2 is definitely shaping up to being a little whatsit. My only tactic is the usual: be firm and consistent. We make great use of the bottom of the stairs and he hates being there (it's a very boring place in our house) so it's quite effective. He also adores his sister and brother and will do things for them that he won't do for me. And he's dreadful to dh atm, he won't even talk to him, never cuddles or kisses him, just turns his back and says no. How do you react to his bad behaviour? It sounds to me as though he senses your frustration and fear of being able to cope and so provokes your further. All I can suggest is being firm enough to let him know that you are in charge here, not him! Easier said that done, I know. My ds1 was a little tinker too...

ponygirl Sun 06-Mar-05 11:10:53

Sorry, my post took a while to come as I got distracted with a nice breakfast! I echo everything everybody else said too. Please don't blame yourself, I think we all feel like we failing some time or another. I know I do. He will grow out of it, I'm afraid you just have to tough it out. As do I...

Cam Sun 06-Mar-05 11:13:44

Bellababe yes they do grow up and get better - a sporty single sex boarding school helped my little bro no end even as an adult he was always more daring than the rest of us though - black ski runs etc.

bambi06 Sun 06-Mar-05 11:44:31

how is he at playgroup? have they noticed the same things or is it lets wind mommy up cos i get wonderful reactions!!!is he adhd? or just full of energy and exuberance?

bellababe Mon 07-Mar-05 16:28:41

I just don't know if there is more to it than just being a particularly active almost-3 yr old. I do think he's very bright. His verbal skills are incredible as is his imagination - he and his sis play amazing make-believe together. Sometimes he definitely senses my frustration/anger/despair and it definitely makes it worse. I know that as it's happening but I almost feel removed from myself, watching scenarios take place. Don't know if that makes any sense to anyone. I hear myself shouting, even screaming at him, and I'm saying to myself "no, you silly cow, how stupid is that?" but at the same time nothing reasonable or rational works. He won't stay sitting up at the table at mealtimes, no matter how many times I calmly put him back, so I end up flipping. He used to sit on the stairs, but now he doesn't. He just gets off and walks away. he seems to be in control of every situation.
How is he at playgroup? Hmm. He has days where he's just downright stroppy and hits everyone, even the adults. But other days he loves it and gets a lot from it. He particularly loves being read to I think (yes, he gets a lot of this at home - well at nap and bed times). I get the impression that he likes dong things as long as it's his way. Cutting and sticking, for example, he would only do in the way he wanted to, he would never accept instruction. he loves singing, I think he has a good ear. But he doesn't particularly like being asked to sit still.
I think part of the problem is that his/our lives are so rules by the routines of the others. In and out of the car, dropping off and picking up, he probably goes down for his nap later than is ideal, due to time constraints, and there are days when he doesn't get one at all due to the others, although his routine is high priority and there is only one day when their extra-curriculars interfere with him.
I just really feel that he has control and I don't know how to get it back...

aloha Mon 07-Mar-05 16:35:08

I don't think it's helpful to think about who is 'in control' - I try (and sometimes fail ) to think about 'how can we live happily together?' instead. so if he won't sit at the table, does this really matter that much? I do think the boring old adage of 'give attention to good behaviour and ignore the bad' nearly always works. atm he gets lots and lots of attention (eg shouting) for doing 'bad' things (which aren't really dangerous or wicked) and probably less for doing 'good' things, and kids prefer shouting to being ignored (even benignly ignored) IMO.
I do think felt tip pen lids left off and jigsaw puzzles everywhere is very normal (if frustrating) at this age. I'm sure it's really really hard for you though.

lisalisa Mon 07-Mar-05 16:48:04

Message withdrawn

Gizmo Mon 07-Mar-05 17:07:43

Hello bellababe

Poor old you. It all sounds very familiar: my DS (3.1) does exactly what you have described - the fiddling, poking me, throwing things, pulling things down - and it's definitely a 'getting attention' thing with him. He has a very distinct glint in his eye when he's doing it, that makes it quite easy for me to harden my heart and follow through on the threatened consequences, because it is infuriating

Because I only have one of him it's easier for me to see the pattern of when he starts this and it's definitely a getting attention thing: it often starts if I have been trying to do other stuff for most of the day. Problem being that once he starts with this behaviour, he clicks over to 'silly mode' and it takes ages before we can have some nice behaviour where I can be positive mummy again.

So far, the only way I have found to deal with it is to make sure he has some positive attention from me (even if it's only 10 minutes) before I have to go and do something else. If he looks like he's about to kick off I will usually try to rope him in to 'help' somehow and praise him like mad if he does, but if not, then we use the naughty step, which does help him control himself to a certain extent.

It takes time and it must be a logistical nightmare when you have two older ones, but I'm sure you'll get there - after all you have two well behaved older boys, so you must be doing something right!

bellababe Tue 08-Mar-05 06:59:42

lisalisa - thank you so much. I can see absolutely how your friends tactics must have healped. I know all the stuff you have said already - ie I know so well that when he is given one on one positive attention he lights up and completely changes - but sometimes you need reminding, because sometimes it gets so bad that it seems completely impossible that they are actually capable of being nice. Your friend sounds so similar - whirlwind is absolutely right. I think that the "we" rather than "you" is very clever. His little face lights up when he is told he is naughty, he loves it, so I simply don't do it any more. I talk about me being sad or that being silly - to him, being focussed on and told something about himself is the best thing. Makes me feel awful. You have really inspired me and I hope that other people with similar problems will be encouraged by this.

mamadadawahwah Tue 08-Mar-05 10:17:53

Have to say, it seems to come with the territory. One sweet little boy i know who is now five, seemed like satan's seed at 2.5 and 3. Now he dosent say boo to a goose and does what he is told. They are on the learning curve and not much to do about it. If you can find a toy/activity which he loves, really loves, might help. Though you may spend thousands on finding that right "toy/activity", he he.

Heart goes out to you though. Have you tried meditation/God/gin?

lisalisa Tue 08-Mar-05 11:21:55

Message withdrawn

Stilltrue Tue 08-Mar-05 13:21:40

My ds1 was just like this! He is now 11 btw. When he was your son's age he was just as you describe; touching and exploring EVERYTHING, sometimes verging on the manic, and VERY determined. At nursery he was always the one who couldn't/didn't conform, was always out of line with the rest of the group, (physically and metaphorically !). But we could see he was very bright and curious, and just tried to "feed" his mental and physical needs with as much daytime stimulation as possible. Like your son, he didn't eat junk food, and there were times we were at our wits' end. He wasn't a great sleeper either, and still needs less sleep than most of his friends.

It's been hard work with him, but he's doing well at school, is much calmer, (from about age 7-8 in my own case), is great with his 3 younger siblings, and I wouldn't have him any other way.

So, no magic cure, but best of luck ! Try to go with the flow and enjoy what you have in your ball of energy. He'll probably grow up to be a very interesting little chap.

Btw my ds3 (14m) is showing every sign of being a similar whirlwind, so I'm gritting my teeth once more...

floppsy Tue 08-Mar-05 13:44:50

bellababe-just like to tell u my 2.5 dd2 is exactly the same nothing i do helps,she swears,demands everthing.My dd1 was never like this & i brought the up exactly the same.I sometimes think because shes going to be my last child i baby her a bit,but sometimes she can be such a sweet girl & i think shes not that bad until she starts her bad behaviour all over again.Im in the same situation as you & don't know what to do next.

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