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The 'destructive 2 year old', (when) does it get better?

(9 Posts)
MrsSeanBean Sat 11-Jul-09 09:53:09

I used to have a nice house.. It is now a tip filled with brigtly coloured, (many broken) and tasteless plastic toys.

DS kicks, bites and scratches me and when I tell him off he does it all the more. It is getting physically difficult to control/carry him, he is about 14kg. He takes no notice of anything I say, except to react by pinching me or scratching. (Draws blood.)

He isn't talkiing very well so maybe it is down to frustration. I feel very much a failure as a parent sometimes as I do occasionally snap and end up shouting at him.

Any tips from 'owners' of 3 year olds... does it get better?

MrsSeanBean Sat 11-Jul-09 09:54:37

Oh yes, there are also crumbs and half chewed and spat out lumps of Babybel cheese all over the living room today as well. <pulls hair out>

ImOverHere Sat 11-Jul-09 10:02:04

Hello. Have to tell you 3yrs old has its own challenges too, so in some respects it gets better, in others worse.

But don't despair! I am assured that it all does pass and they don't usually turn into mad axe murderers (us mums on the other hand...).

Anyway, have you got Toddler Taming? Tis a book that I found particularly useful in dealing with my tantruming toddler (now mouthy 3yr old!). It treats you as a human, understands that we shout (I can be a particularly good banshee on occassion!) and gives practical tips and advice.

It does get better the more they understand and don;t feel bad, noone has infinite amounts of patience when a small maniac is destroying your house and your will! grin

MrsSeanBean Sat 11-Jul-09 11:17:46

Any other advice?

I've sent him to his grandparents' today, as I was at wits' end.

saintmaybe Sat 11-Jul-09 12:20:25

You have to chill out about the house for a while. Throw out all possible broken things, and if you have a big aesthetic reaction to ugly tat try to limit it from now on.

Do you have things you really enjoy doing with him, where you don't feel frustrated/ anxious, where you can relax and feel happy with him? Make sure you do them sometimes/ find something like that. It's not going to be loke that all the time, but having lovely times together, really simple, no pressure stuff, where he can't get it wrong, is 'money in the bank' for both of you when times are harder, and it's good to 'practice' enjoying him.

What's going on with his speech? Can he hear you; no other underlying probs? You're right, he may well feel angry when he can't make himself understood. Again, simple no-pressure fun times where he has time to get you to understand will help his communication and your relationship.

Well done for making some time on your own today. Have a rest, do something nice and I hope it's better later.

MrsSeanBean Sat 11-Jul-09 12:40:55

DS can definitely hear me, he can follow quite sophisticated instructions - e.g. go and get me the big red box, or go and get your shoes with dinosaurs on them etc.

I feel anxious a lot of the time I am with him. I especially don't feel comfortable dealing with him in pubblic as I am unsure what the 'right' way to be is. I feel incredibly self conscious. I enjoy being with him when he is not being violent and naughty, and when DH is here to help, as DH has a more relaxed attitude somehow...but it mainly feels like very hard work - and an uphill struggle, as anything I say makes no difference to his beaviour and I end up 'giving in' out of boredom or embarassment. I know this is wrong but can't help it.

saintmaybe Sat 11-Jul-09 13:17:50

I think you've hit on something really important. Imagine how you'd feel, as an adult, if you were with someone who was anxious a lot of the time, specifically anxious as to how you were going to behave, as if you might show them up. Wouldn't bring out the best in anyone, and you are the most important person in the world to your ds, who doesn't even have a strong mental line between what's him and what's the rest of the world yet.

Do you fear being judged? By who, for what? Do you generally feel a bit selfconscious, or just around parenting?

The more you can come to a strong comfortable inner place in yourself, where you're working on his behaviour/ your relationship with him for its own sake and NOT because of what other people think the easier it will be.
Whatever you do SOMEONE is going to judge you; for being too hard/ too lax/ too laissez-faire/ helicopter parent/ veggie/ greggsy/ too much makeup/ letting yourself go. So ignore 'em

You're going to be spending a lot of time with him over the coming years grin. Try to enjoy him/ yourself, firstly. I find a lot follows on naturally from that.

MrsSeanBean Sat 11-Jul-09 13:24:25

"doesn't even have a strong mental line between what's him and what's the rest of the world yet"

I sometimes feel this is true of me, let alone ds.

I had a very odd upbringing, and recall people laughing at us (me / my parents), I used to wonder what my mother had done wrong.

Maybe I have some hangover from this and just want to ensure DS does not endure the same shame.

saintmaybe Sat 11-Jul-09 14:17:45

it sounds like it might be, doesn't it.

Practice, practice focussing on your own joy in him. I've found having dcs has been amazing for healing some of the things I've had hanging over me from chldhood. You can start to put it right.

Keep happy and make sure you get time off. Can you talk to your dh about how he is around your ds? Hang out as much as possible with people who are how you'd like to be with their kids.

Apologies if rambling a bit; posting from bed with 'flu-like symptoms'

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