How to react to hideous toddler(13 Posts)
My DS (2.5) has become absolutely horrific. Tantrums all the time about getting his own way and we are walking on eggs shells to avoid melt downs. I know that's the wrong
Thing today but we have a six week old so a) don't have te energy for it and b) I do feel sorry for him as this is obviously the source. I would ordinarily ignore the behaviour but it's getting increasingly difficult and I also really don't want to create an image of me and the baby going off
Together and ignoring him while he's crying.
He's also regressing a bit. Calling me mama and has wet himself a few times (has been potty trained since before turning two and had no accidents for at least six months).
He's also doing a lot of playing us off against each other (trying to). For example, DH has taken the baby out for a walk, DS unfussed and he and I were playing then eating supper together. He asked to watch a film and I said no. He is now utterly hysterical screaming for his Dada and screeching if I go near him. I really don't know how to handle this.
He is also generally being very moody telling me o DH he doesn't like us, kicking things, being grumpy, ignoring us etc.
I feel like this can't go on but equally I'm not sure if getting tough is the right thing to do.
Please please help.
PS his reaction to the baby has been good (I know obviously this behaviour is related but I mean directly), very keen on her, wants to look after her, help with nappies, says he loves her a lot.
PPS have tried all the obvious: ignoring when I can, trying to distract before full melt down, firm words etc.
When he tantrums or gets upset try cuddling him instead of ignoring or using firm words etc. Talk to him about how he's feeling, even if it's just along the lines of "I know it's not fair we can't watch tv now but we need to play with x"
It works with my ds and he's now 4, when he gets upset he will ask for a cuddle to help him calm down instead of going off on one which means he can't physically be calmed down for hours. It also helps me stay calm which 's much preferable to needing to shut him in his room while he tantrums so I can get away from him!
Sorry should have said. I absolutely do do that. I cuddle (he shrieks and pulls away) try and talk to him and get him to explain how he's feeling. It has never worked. They always escalate quickly into hysteria which there is no reasoning with. I think mostly he forgets quite quickly what e was originally upset about. I think we are talking about different types of tantrum!
Do appreciate your advice, hope I didn't come across as rude. I just need a serious plan of action rather than the usual techniques.
Maybe he needs to exist on his own terms with you, independently of the baby? When my DD2 arrived Ii realised that practically everything I said to DD1 (who was 2.5 at the time) seemed to be in relation to her baby sister.
So I tried hard to just relate to her on a one-to-one level. And let her regress a little if she needed to. But it was hard... I think it's a hard age anyway, without a baby sibling to contend with.
Sorry that probably wasn't very helpful. But I do sympathise, and it will get better!
Have you read the book Siblings Without Rivalry? That's great on managing the behaviour shift (which is a whole lot to do with his age, as well) when a new sibling arrives.
We had this and the only thing that worked was ignoring. Complete ignoring til she calmed down and could ask/talk/interact properly.
I am trying to make sure we have time together. Quite often feed the baby at five thirty and then she sleeps for a couple of hours. He's sometimes up at six thirty and I then spend about two hours just me and him. If I ever get her to nap (which is rare) I try not to get on with household stuff and just play me and him. I feel like he gets a lot of attention from his dad as well. Maybe it's not enough though, maybe things will improve when she can have a bottle and I can try doing a whole morning outing just the two of us or something.
I do really oscillate between wanting to try and fix it to wanting to go old fashioned on him. Because I do feel he has a really great life and lots of attention. And maybe I have been pandering to him too much.
Maybe try involving him more with the baby.
' You're such a big grown up and poor baby is just tiny, could you possibly pass me that packet off baby wipes etc'
Then making a fuss of how helpful he's been, he might feel great if he thinks he's genuinely helping you with the little one.
Are you going to playgroups and stuff? I know this may seem impossible with a 6 week old and 2.5 yr old but believe me, it's easier once you get out of the house. Also try the NCT for mums of toddlers and babies of the same age. I found that once DD1 had someone to play with and things got a bit less intense (all of us sitting around on the sofa, constantly alone together), things also got a bit easier and her behaviour improved.
It is tricky with a baby and toddler though.
Sounds like he's adjusting to your new family dynamic. I have 2.5 yo and a 10wo and we are having something similar - he likes the baby but exhibits some challenging behaviour towards us.
In our case, I make at least 15 minutes (I know it doesn't sound like much but it's manageable with the baby) to have some 1:1 time with my toddler each day. I get down on the floor to play games with him, read stories etc, while the baby naps. If my husband is there ill take him for a walk, just the two of us. Since I've been doing this his behaviour has improved a lot and the worst excesses have stopped. I also try not to be holding the baby all the time - if he's asleep, I'll put him down so that the toddler can get on my knee. Sometimes they miss physical closeness with you.
Try and stay calm and don't be too tough - he's still a baby himself really and he's had 2.5 years of being your baby. It's natural that he might try to push the boundaries, because he needs to know that you still love him and have space for him.
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