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dd a nightmare!! can't cope with her

(11 Posts)
Janna Mon 21-Mar-05 20:50:41

my dd who is 2.5 has never been an angel but the last couple of months her behaviour has really started to get to me. Everything is one hell of a battle over everything we do whether it's putting her shoes on, coat, getting her dressed, undressed, bath time, brushing her hair, getting her in the car seat, when she's in the car seat she will climb out of it when I'm driving or stand up laughin while the car behind me is flashing me. I've tried everything, bribery, turning it into a game, talking to her, distraction, trying to get her to help me to no avail, she stonewalls me with 'no i won't do it'. She climbs everywhere, has drawn on my new painted walls with her brothers felt tips and on herself too!. She's also headbutted me on a couple of occaisions leaving with a bruised chin and nose. This behaviour is everyday and it is really really starting to wear me down. Her brother wasn't like this really although he can be hard going. he responds well to certain behaviour methods that you see on the telly but when I say to dd for eg. Would you like to help mummy do thyis and praise her she throws it in my face. i don't think she's hyperactive because she is a great sleeper.

I find it difficult to deal with her as I'm on my own and I find it hard to give them both the attention they need. I haven't felt well this week, nasty tummy bug, and just feel really drained and down. I feel like such a crap mother too as I smacked her on her legs a couple of times before but sometimes its the only way to stop her behaviour. Has anybody else experienced this and does it get better?

milward Mon 21-Mar-05 20:53:26

Sounds like you're having a tough time here - just to send you lots of best wishes xxx

Fran1 Mon 21-Mar-05 21:03:56

You are not alone.

Do you think things are escalating because you are unwell and don't have the patience to deal with it at mo??

I find me and dd go in ups and downs like this, and i'm sure its when i'm working more and/or feeling unwell or tired. I have less patience to grin and bear the fact that we have to go back into the house three times to collect various teddy's before we can actually attempt to get into the carseat without a tantrum, just to go run what was supposed to be a quick errand!!

Then when i'm more relaxed, she seems to act like an absolute angel. Bless them!

I guess i'm trying to give you hope that once you are feeling a bit better, it will rub off on dd and her behaviour will improve.

I tell you what helped me, was when we spent a week indoors with no plans to go anywhere or do anything. I booked a week off work, dp had the car, so me and dd were just indoors together and my time was all hers, i really enjoyed myself (surpisingly) as usually i plan to see friends and go places becuase i "assume" we'll both get bored if i don't. But it was quite refreshing to not have plans!

stitch Mon 21-Mar-05 21:05:56

yes, it does get better.

you havent said anything about how she is in other situations. for example at hursery. or playgroup. or of how things are with you. perhaps she is responding to your stress?
what i mean is, what is the bigger picture?

Janna Mon 21-Mar-05 21:12:51

she's ok at homestart group away from me but she is like it with people she knows really well like her dad and her grandparents too. My dad in particular finds her very hardgoing.
She's not a horrible child in fact she can be lovely and very affectionate but very stubborn, strongwilled.
Nice to know i'm not the only one. Like your suggestion fran1 about not going out for a week and spending all my time with her. I also think she does pick up on my stress to.

LooneyLaura Mon 21-Mar-05 21:20:11

My DD, just turned 2, is going through the "Vile Child" stage, as I call it. She has major mood swings and temper tantrums. Some days I am so stressed out and at 6months pregnant, it's not good.

DH and I have just introduced the "naughty stairs". If she screams out of control or does something really naughty or unacceptable, we make her sit on the stairs until she calms down.

We have also not been well lately with flu and tummy bugs doing the rounds again and I just haven't had the patience to deal with her either.

Have you tried changing her diet? I've heard that some foods can trigger problems like this.

Hope it gets better for you, know what it's like!

wysiwyg Tue 22-Mar-05 12:54:53

You have my sympathies too. I'm told girls are "worse" than boys for this - that they are more independent.
Sounds to me like you are doing all the right things, so it must be frustrating for you that it doesn't seem to be working. I have some experience of this - DD aged 5 very independent too - but the bad bits do tend to go in phases, and all of a sudden you realise that she's stopped doing certain things now.
Perhaps the way to approach this is to work out the best way you can get through it - and I agree with Fran1 that it's much easier and less stressful if you don't plan loads of activities or have big expectations of what you want to get done. If it takes ages to get ready to go out then try to give yourself that extra time.
One thing you might try is - not to react to her bad behaviour. Don't give her the attention - but obviously praise her SOOOOO much when she does the tiniest thing well.

Good luck - I'm sure it will pass.

mammasoprano Tue 22-Mar-05 13:11:23

loads of sympathy janna, my ds was and can be a nightmare at times and it is always worse when I'm not feeling well!
Does time out work at all? I found that time out in his room with the door shut some times worked really well at that age, only a minute per year of their age of course but it just separates you and stops them getting a direct response for a bit.
I also have always used withdrawal of telly for really bad behaviour, he hates that too, and the withdrawal of bed time stories. One thing a teacher said to me which has helped as well is to never ever threaten something without carrying it out, I think that's true but it's not easy to do so! Best of luck, some children do go through phases of real rebellion and turn out to be angels so you're not alone...

KarenThirl Tue 22-Mar-05 13:17:21

Sounds like a bad case of Terrible Twos, but few people who don't have one can fully appreciate just how Terrible they can be.

Have you tried starcharts and token jars? Some people might not think she's old enough yet but I reckon it's worth a try. Sounds like she might benefit from positive reinforcement and a reward for good behaviour.

Or turn her bloody-mindedness back on her. When she says "I won't do it", just say "fine, in that case I won't turn on the tv for you when you want to watch it". Might make her think.

Mum2Ela Tue 22-Mar-05 13:22:33

how do token jars work

dd is alo being nightmareish and need a new strategy

sorry about one-handed typing, holding ds!

KarenThirl Wed 23-Mar-05 07:55:49

I use a regular star chart to reward positive behaviour, that's self-explanatory. For the token jar: first choose your tokens. Currently we're using a combination of seashells and moulded glass shapes (including the kind you put in the bottom of vases) because that's what J is into at the moment. It helps if the child chooses the token because then it has a personal interest.

Every morning we choose five tokens and put them in the jar. They are J's to keep if he deserves them, but one will be taken away if he behaves inappropriately. There are warning stages before the token is taken away (I ask him to cooperate, then threaten to count to three, then start counting... when I reach three I calmly take a token from the jar but say no more about it. Usually the loss of token inspires cooperation, but more often than not I rarely even get as far as '2'. One point - the child has to understand the consequences of reaching 3 well in advance of it happening, so you need to discuss the token jar and how it works thoroughly before you implement it.

Another angle to try is to turn threats into promises. EG: "If you don't tidy your toys away you won't be going to the park this afternoon" becomes "If you tidy your toys away, then I'll take you to the park later". Works much better!

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