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Please tell me that DS will eventually stop screaming and refusing to do everything

(5 Posts)
iwouldgoouttonight Thu 25-Jun-09 12:10:21

I feel really really awful saying this but I don't look forward to spending days with DS any more. He is 2.10 and such hard work. I know its just a normal toddler stage but I'm finding it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel and worried that his behaviour is starting to make me act negatively towards him.

We also have a DD (5 months) and DS has been playing since she was born, which is totally understandable. He clearly wants some more attention and maybe still feels unsure about having to share mine and DP's time now.

But a typical day starts with him waking up crying, he then refuses to get dressed and I end up having to literally hold him down to get him ready on time while he kicks me in the stomach and screams. I try to plan activities around things he enjoys, going to the park, playing football, painting, etc and all of them involve me giving him all my attention while poor DD just sits watching. But he still seems to want more attention! He will play happily for a bit and then start playing up, running off, or randomly shouting, or crying.

We use the naughty corner, reward charts, positive comments and hugs for good behaviour, etc but he doesn't even like being hugged any more!

I have to put him in the pushchair otherwise he'll run off or just point blank refuse to walk anywhere with me, but in the pushchair he'll try to grab people as we're going past them and shout things at them. I just find him baffling! I actually started to worry the other day that he's suffering from depression as he just doesn't seem happy with anything I suggest. He will disagree with everything I say and cry at almost anything.

He was quite a difficult baby, cried a lot and slept very little in the first few months. But then he turned into a lovely little child, and was really calm, happy and smiley, he learnt to speak quite early and we had lovely chats. But now I'm finding him exhausting.

Is this normal toddler behaviour? And if so how can I feel more positive about it and look forward to spending time with him again?

Got to pop out now but will check back again later.

tryingtoleave Thu 25-Jun-09 13:13:49

He sounds a bit like my ds who will be three in two weeks, except that I wouldn't say he was fundamentally unhappy. He usually seems very happy and exuberant but he has been very very hard work, completely non-compliant, would scream when asked to do anything and I also couldn't get him to go anywhere with me except by dragging him kicking and screaming. I think his behaviour is on the edges of normal. His nursery wanted me to have him assesed for ASD - the paed said this was nonsense but it shows that he does stand out. I also have a 6 month old dd, so he is dealing with some of the same issues as your ds.

Having said that his behaviour has improved a lot in the last couple of months. I don't know if he is just growing out of it (hopefully!) but we also made some other changes after the business with nursery. I've removed all preservatives and additives from his diet and that seems to have helped. He's still difficult but he's stopped screaming and I would say that he will leave places with me without a fight about 2/3 of the time. The nursery also say he's really settled down.

I have to try really hard not to be confrontational with him. If I start getting irritable and fighting with him things get much much worse. I try to give him as much control and space as is possible, although if he starts misbehaving somewhere I leave right away because I know it will just escalate. He watches more tv than I would like because it gives me a chance to get necessary things done and have a break from him and that way I can deal with him better the rest of the time.

I don't really know what else to say - it is hard to have a difficult toddler and I wish I had some better answers for myself.

iwouldgoouttonight Thu 25-Jun-09 14:45:22

Thanks, at least I'm not alone! I know what you mean about diet affecting them, we try to give DS a healthy balanced diet but on the occasions he has cakes, heavily processed food, etc he is even worse. You can almost see his personality changing as he eats!

ASD had crossed my mind but I don't really know much about it, and whether his behaviour is abnormal or just what toddlers do. His speech is really good, but he does play a lot in isolation, and everything has to be done his way, if anything is a millimetre out of place he gets really upset. At a friend's birthday party the other week, all the children sat down playing and listening to a children's entertainer, but he just ran around the room screaming and shouting and rolling on the floor! I was partly embarassed as I didn't know the other parents very well, and partly worried that there is something wrong with him as he was so different from all the other (same aged) children.

DS also watches more TV than I'd like as its the only way I can get anything done!

tryingtoleave Fri 26-Jun-09 10:49:47

I know about being embarrassed - DS kicked a lovely old lady at the butcher yesterday because he was angry with me - she was just trying to chat to him. But then, I should have known better than to have him at the shops at 5 o'clock, which is a meltdown time for us. I think avoiding those kind of situations is half the battle.

I posted on the special needs board when I was waiting for our paed appointment and fretting. A lot of people said that ds did remind them of their children with ASD or Aspergers. But the paed said there was no way ds was autistic because 'there was no language delay, his receptive language was good and he could interact appropriately'. It was a horrible appointment, very stressful for ds.

We're actually going to see a dietician about doing the failsafe or RPAH elimination diet. I don't think it's much known outside Australia, but it's a research based diet that is meant to help with behaviour. Although we haven't started doing it properly yet I have removed some of the foods it says are likely to be problematic, such as sultanas, fruit juice, jam, bread with preservative (don't know if that's a problem in UK), and I really think it has helped. You could google it if you are interested.

tryingtoleave Fri 26-Jun-09 10:51:55

Here is the book about it. 6009821&sr=1-1

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