Need "Mom" advice....(off topic)

  1. I didn't know where else to put this so I stuck it here.

    I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter, and she's a great kid, but I'm having some discipline issues with her and I'm at a loss as to how to handle it. I'm usually extremely patient, I feel bad when I lose it and yell at her for something..it scares the poor little tyke to death..but I am just at wit's end on a couple of things.

    I'm a single parent.

    *Yesterday when we did some shopping, she got "stuck" on alternating words and said them over and over again, in rapid succession...and would not stop. This is getting to be a habit when we are out in public. It stops as soon as we leave the store.

    *She suddenly began to try to pull out electrical cords, and tries to stick things in sockets..now I have caps in everything..but I don't let her mess around those in case we are at someone's house that doesn't have them. Pulling out cords is dangerous.

    *Pulling anything and everything off the table...she has NEVER been allowed to do this, so I don't know where the sudden interest is coming from. My house stays a wreck b/c she pulls everything out and I can't keep up with it. If she has something in her hands that she isn't supposed to have, and I come to take it from her, she throws it down on the floor. She broke a small plate yesterday and tried to run when she did it, and got a small cut on her foot from the glass.

    I'm at the point (and please don't think I'm a horrible person for saying this b/c I love my daughter so much), where I sometimes hate being "Mommy". I give her ALOT of my attention...sometimes we sit on the couch and snuggle and watch SpongeBob together, I'll run a bath in my tub, we'll get in it together and just spend an hour getting wrinkles and splash up a storm, I read to her at least twice every day, go over her ABC's, etc.

    I just don't know what to do when she starts to approach something on the coffee table and I tell her, "Do NOT touch that..No! No!" and when I can see she's going to do it anyway...she takes her whole arm and knocks it to the floor before I can stop her, and then looks me dead in the eye.

    None of this sounds very bad when you look at it individually, but keep in mind, she can combine all 3, and keep up the "game" hour after hour...THAT is when I feel like I'm going to lose it.

    <sigh> Any and all advice welcome.
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   rclimbr
    OK I am not a woman but I take care of my daughter and go to school while my wife works full time. You sound a lot like me a while ago. I found that kids as kids change they need different kind of attention. Is your daughter jealous of something else in your life? I went to a community college and one day over the summer they had a petting zoo come into the common ground at school, I took my daughter and we had fun......I started class in the fall and she was in the childcare center on campus. for about the first three weeks she was mad at me when I would pick her up, one day I asked her what was wrong and she told me that it wasn't fair that I got to go to the petting zoo everyday. Some times its something simple..
  4. by   BSNtobe2009
    I would give anything if she could verbalize it. She'll go to the refrigerator and just start screaming, and here I think she's hurt or something and go flying in, and she'll be pulling on the door, in tears, screaming, "Ba-Ba" (she's not on a bottle, a sippy cup, but that is still what she calls it).

    This is again, a change, before she used to just come up to me and say, "Ba-Ba peeze", and I would just go and get it, and praise her for being so polite, etc.

    When she throws the tantrum, before I give her the sippy, I kneel down and say, "No! This is not how we ask for things!", I get her to calm down and ask me calmly, and then I say, "Now that's my girl!" I cover her with kisses and give her the sippy with more praise. I even tried NOT getting it when she does this.

    Either way, I feel like I'm doing it wrong.

    Where is the book that is supposed to come with these things!
  5. by   Altra
    Quote from BSNtobe2009
    Where is the book that is supposed to come with these things!
    By now you realize that that is God's little joke ... kids don't come with instructions.

    However, if you're looking for reading I highly recommend any of John Rosemond's books on raising kids.

    My dd is now going on 13. I've found her emotional, intellectual & even development to be not so much a straight line progression as a series of steps or plateaus, with some predictable regressions.

    Sometimes these setbacks are the result of some change in the environment or routine - little ones don't yet have the intellectual capacity to work through or rationalize these minor life stresses, so their frustration comes out in other ways.

    Hang in there, and keep doing what you're doing - giving her some devoted one-to-one time and, always, your unconditional love. Might want to think through the refrigerator scenario though ... she's getting positive feedback from her outbursts. (i.e., you stop what you're doing, give her your undivided attention, and then she gets a drink) She will not die of thirst if you ignore her outbursts (yep, this is difficult ... but doable) and only give her a drink when she asks appropriately.

    Hugs & peace.
  6. by   CHATSDALE
    a. your mother went thru the same thing with you
    b. this is why they are called the terrible twos because they are beginning to hate boundries...
    c.next year she will come up with something else
    d.all parents feel like this some days being a single parent is more stressful but the rewards are there

    do you have a daycare when you are not working?? sometimes a little YOU time is a blessing
  7. by   txspadequeenRN
    I have 5..almost 6 children and my youngest 3 are 4,5 and 6. But they were all toddlers at the same time. My kids did this type of thing when they either was not getting enough attention or did not feel like they were the center of my world. I have a ADHD child, my 5 year old....whhooo baby this is a wild one. She flooded the house 3 times , we didn't see the cat for weeks...this kinda thing and I find when her bad behavior increases I have to create mommy time for her. I'm not saying you don't spend enough time with your child, this is just me and my situation. I also find that behaviors in this age change as they grow .. Last year I had the sweetest little "princess" now I don't know how to describe her. She talks back and tries to proclaim her independence. What I also have learned is that you must be firm but loving and do what your going to say your going to do ( like putting them the corner for X amount of time and carrying through with that time amount despite the screaming). Does she attend a daycare of some sort. If not you may want to think of some sort of mothers day out program . When I sent my wild one to day care a couple days a week she became a much more compliant child. The structure was good for her and she got to socialize with other kids other than her sisters.. This would give you time to relax get the house in order ..or whatever you need to do ...IN PEACE. I also think what the other poster said is true as they grow they change and need different kinds of attention. I have to spend about 90% of my time with my wild one making sure she don't burn the house down or choke the cat... or just making sure she does not leave the house (she has walked right out the door 3 times ( and had to be searched for).. once in the middle of the night and the police brought her back to me..THANK THE LORD)...But my others get jealous and start the "I need attention behavior". I have to do special things for each to keep the happy medium in this house... I hope things improve for you and you don't pull out your hair...good luck to you...
  8. by   twinmommy+2
    I have four kids. The oldest will be 6 this week and the youngest is 9 months. I think that is just par for the course when it comes to kids. They will come to a point where they will be interested in things and try to see what they can get away with what they can.

    At this age they just don't have the cause and effect other than what Mommy will do to them (and they might not have that down yet). They see a pretty glass thing and dont' have the knowledge to say that might break and hurt me, they just know that it looks pretty.

    Know that you're not alone. Just about every Mom goes thru this stuff.
  9. by   missninaRN
    You have a very normal two-year on your hands. This is a very stressful time for you, but you will get through it.
    It sounds like you are doing a lot of things right: reading to her, sitting with her, playing in the bath. Can you take any breaks for yourself? Even a couple of hours every week may be enough to relieve your stress so that you are better able to deal with her tantrums. And knowing that break is coming again next week may give you some hope in the midst of another tantrum.
    You need to develop some strategies that you will consistently follow every time she disobeys or throws a fit. However, I wouldn't worry about the vowel repeptition in the store. In fact, I would just ignore it. She is either trying out her sounds or is aware that it irritates you and is using it to get to you. If you don't react to it she'll stop doing it eventually. My kids are 22 and 19 now. They did a lot of annoying things when they were little, but I look back and am glad that we didn't try to correct every odd behavior. They outgrew that stuff on their own. We ignored the little things and saved our battles for the big stuff like direct disobedience and dangerous behaviors. Even the temper tantrums are more annoying than they are rebellious, and we got the best results by placing that kid in another room to let them throw their fit all they wanted while we ignored them. You might want to come up with a similar strategy to use when she pitches a fit, and then follow that plan every time. Once she figures out that the fits aren't getting her what she wants and in fact cause her to forfeit the pleasure of your company, those tantrums will happen less and less often.
    When she directly disobeys and looks at you in defiance, what will you do? This is where your plan comes in, and you need to follow the plan every time. What are the consequences when she disobeys? What will your demeanor be when these behaviors occur? How will you respond to her? Will you remain calm and practical or will you let her dictate your emotions and start yelling? Plan ahead and follow your plan every time. Let her know what the consequences will be so she knows what to expect.
    Your consistency will pay off. Your daughter will know what the rules are, and what to expect when she misbehaves. She won't have to act out to see what kind of reaction she will get from you. It will take time, but she and you will get through this stage. And then it's on to the next one!
    (((hugs))) for a tired and busy mom!
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    I have 4 kids, ages 23, 21, 17 and 5. This sounds completely normal.

    One thing I always did is pick up the "gee gaw" things from coffee tables and areas where a toddler can reach. It isn't fair to expect a toddler to NOT want to play with that vase full of flowers or that trinket great-aunt Doris gave you. Put all that stuff away and take that temptation away.

    As to cords, I also used the safety devices - my 5 year old had a fascination with the plug in the hallway when he was younger and even with those safety plugs, he would manage to end up there again playing with the plug . . I had my father-in-law put take out the plug as we never used it anyway and we plastered over the place. Hide the cords behind couches and chairs and the entertainment center.

    As to the verbalizing in the store - just ignore it. Or mimic her back. It is part of learning to verbalize and normal.

    One of the things that helped me alot when the kids got cranky was to take walks and go on what we called field trips. I also limited the use of tv - it seemed to make a cranky kid worse. Physical activity helped alot to calm a cranky child down.

    I'm also a big advocate of naps - my 5 year takes one everyday and if for some reason we miss it I can tell as he gets cranky by dinner time which is the worst time of the day for most parents to deal with this because they are tired . . .in fact I remember a stat that said dinner time is the number one time for parents to lose it with their kids.

    Your daughter is normal - parenting is a very hard job.

    steph

    p.s. We also had a time-out chair in the living room and my in-laws had one in the hallway for when they took care of my son while I was at work.
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Nov 14, '06
  11. by   babynurselsa
    Hang in there , this too shall pass. She is just testing her boundries, be it vocally, or learning just which of mommy's buttons she can push.
    Tantrums...I ignore them. No hugs, no spankings, just ignore them. I don't care wher we are they are not going to get acknowledged beyond leaving if that is what is neccesary.
    When my now 5 year old was about the same age she learned the art of throwing herself down i nthe middle of a store and howling till folks were peeking abound corners to see if I was skinning her alive. I would look down and say "Where is your mother???" "We need to find her" It was such a distractor for her she would get up and forget about her fit.
    Getting into stuff is normal toddler work, this is how they discover their world. Like infants discover the world with their mouth, toddlers do so with their hands. They want to feel things, manipulate things, see how they work etc. The forbidden is more enticing.
    Hang in there, find a way to take an occasional break for yourself, even if it is just a couple of hours. Your mental health needs it.
    Good luck
  12. by   RNin2007
    Frustrating to learn how normal that lil one is, huh? lol This brings back soooo many memories of my kids when they were that age. My daughter was the perfect 2 year old but was something quite like your daughter's twin at age 3. My son was just a little fearless terror until he turned 5. Hang in there! Take some time for yourself most importantly. ALL mommies need a break. Find someone to watch her at a scheduled time at least once a week and enjoy some non-mommy time.

    ~J
  13. by   smk1
    Quote from stevielynn
    I have 4 kids, ages 23, 21, 17 and 5. This sounds completely normal.

    One thing I always did is pick up the "gee gaw" things from coffee tables and areas where a toddler can reach. It isn't fair to expect a toddler to NOT want to play with that vase full of flowers or that trinket great-aunt Doris gave you. Put all that stuff away and take that temptation away.

    As to cords, I also used the safety devices - my 5 year old had a fascination with the plug in the hallway when he was younger and even with those safety plugs, he would manage to end up there again playing with the plug . . I had my father-in-law put take out the plug as we never used it anyway and we plastered over the place. Hide the cords behind couches and chairs and the entertainment center.

    As to the verbalizing in the store - just ignore it. Or mimic her back. It is part of learning to verbalize and normal.

    One of the things that helped me alot when the kids got cranky was to take walks and go on what we called field trips. I also limited the use of tv - it seemed to make a cranky kid worse. Physical activity helped alot to calm a cranky child down.

    I'm also a big advocate of naps - my 5 year takes one everyday and if for some reason we miss it I can tell as he gets cranky by dinner time which is the worst time of the day for most parents to deal with this because they are tired . . .in fact I remember a stat that said dinner time is the number one time for parents to lose it with their kids.

    Your daughter is normal - parenting is a very hard job.

    steph

    p.s. We also had a time-out chair in the living room and my in-laws had one in the hallway for when they took care of my son while I was at work.

    I completely agree about the nap issue. My daughter just turned 6 a little over a week ago, and she just weaned off of naps this past September through necessity (Kindergarten). However her bed time was moved to 8pm instead of 9pm. I also refuse to respond to a child screaming at me in a tantrum. When my name is calmly spoken and a question is asked politely, we'll talk. Reminders of how proud you are of all of the great things they do are also a necessity. Honestly I found 3 years old to be far worse than 2, and you might simply be seeing some of the normal issues that are coming. Kids also are jealous of anything that takes mom away from them. We have special "dates" every week that we look forward to, where it is just mommy and daughter. (this has helped ease the jealousy negative attitude about me being at school). Constant reminders of what is acceptable behavior is also needed inmho. Also it never hurts to let a kid know that you aren't adverse to disciplining them in public if need be. These little ones become very smart around this age, and notice that they seem to get away with more because we are too embarrased to try and fight with them in public. Nip that in the bud. For me having my daughter on a schedule that was pretty consistent from day to day helped.
  14. by   Spidey's mom
    Hi to all who have contributed to this thread - I have been offline for a few days due to computer trouble and just found this pm from the op of this thread, which she wants me to post for her. :groupwelcome:



    "Thank you so much for your suggestions..the mod moved my thread to a forum and I'm not a premium member...could you post this for me?"

    "Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. I really appreciate it and I have some new ideas on how to try things and will set up my little guinea pig as soon as she gets up from her nap!

    My personal situation is that I started school in Fall, but the pre-nursing was horrible (as in, disorganized and ridiculous, new program for the school, big mistake). I w/drew and I'm attending another school in January w/ a well established ASN program in VA. They have their act together and I know this is the right decision.

    I'm in NC right now packing my house to put it on the market, so I'm not working and she's not in daycare...in otherwords, I have no break whatsoever, and I'm wondering if that's the problem...could she be spending too much time with me and jealous when I have to do other things? This is the most time she has ever spent with me since she has been born.

    I've never packed a house before with a child around, and boy is it a challenge. I put two things in a box and she pulls one out. I've been trying to stay up nights to get things done, but I'm trying to sell my furniture on top of it, and doing yardwork too in order to get the house on the market so I can sell it.

    <sigh> I know, I'm rambling.

    But thanks again to everyone's kind words and advice!"

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