feeling frustraited n sad

Annemaree - posted on 02/06/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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my son is 2 n half he just does not listen n he very violent with his sisters n me and extreamly distructive .... i feel i cant handle him anymore.... im constantly yelling (which i know dosnt help) i just dont care to spend time with him any more n feel my self wanting to drop him of at day care everyday, all day , (he only goes 2 days a week now) dont get me wrong i realy love my son just dont know what to do anymore...... help?

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Teri - posted on 02/09/2010

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I've had these days/weeks too! I'm of the belief that if my kid is having a real hard time -- then it's likely that I need to reconnect with him/her and make a special point to get some mommy and me time.



I believe strongly that all kids are trying to be successful (at whatever they do) and when they feel thwarted (usually through no obvious issue on our end) they act out. this is their rudimentary way of telling us that they need something extra from us right now.



I was just on a con call (parenting support) in which I discussed a similar issue with some behavioral challenges of my 3.5 yr old.. what we realized from talkking about it is that my son probably gives me some clues that he is spiraling down a rat hole a while before he gets to his obviously mis-behaving stage. I committed to start figuring out how to stop what I'm doing and sit and connect with him one on one when i first start seeing that he's overwhelmed/overstimulated and in a few short days, I've seen a real change.



I have also committed to try and NOT get angry at him for the behavior .. his behavior is the symptom of his issue -- not the issue itself. I am the adult here so I must calmly try and help him out --



Just thinking this way really removed a mental block that I had started creating thinknig my child was "difficult" and a "pain" these mental thoughts are real damaging over time as they stop me from wanting to remember that he's probably just a kid that feels he can't be successful and is calling out for help.



as my attitude changes, it's amazing how miuch more patience I have to deal with his digressions. There are some great books on dealing with kids when they push your buttons.



I like to think that if my kid is pushing my buttons it's because they are trying to get my ATTENTION -- and I should stop everything and relate to them to help the whole situation.



hard to remember in the heat of the moment -- but always remember -- kids are NOT trying to get you mad, they are trying to get your attention. the mad part is just overall damaging to the relationship.



add to all of this that the model for communication we have with our kids from age 1-5 is the model that they will use when they are teenagers -- so I am double conscious about trying to figure out how to affectively communicate now and give them the benefit of the doubt.



see: proactiveparenting.net for similar parenting advice - they have a free webinar on wednesdays at 1pm est.



Oh, I have twins too and a younger one -- so I get it when things get crazy.

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I have 3 children 20yrd, 16yrs, 15yrs. My 16 yos had an anger issue. He of course took it out on his little brother. He would throw terrible fits, scream holler, hit and just not calm down. One thing that we did that helped was keep track of what he ate. Anything with BHT (almost all cereals), and MSG would set him off. He got real good at reading labels even at 4. He knew that when he ate things with this chemicals in them he would get "mad". There were other things that would set him also, and when went through a lot of trial and error. Some of it was also personality and we had to deal with that also. Now at 16 he still gets mad, but does not lash out. We are still working on the talking things out part, this helps but he has a real tough time doing it.
I see you have lots of advice, I wish I had a place like this when I was going through the bad days. Staying calm and in control no matter how hard will help you as well as him. I was not good at that part of it. God bless you in raising your son.l

Maura - posted on 02/09/2010

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So you are doing most stuff right. You have to stick with the time-out/naughty chair though, my daughter still has time-outs at eight years old. Perhaps you are expecting too much or put too many boundaries on him. As you mentioned, your girls were different and so were your expectations of him. He needs to be rough and tumble apparently. Does he also get time alone with dad? My daughter threw a lot of tantrums and is still very stubborn, it is in her character. We had the most terrible twos (tho mostly when she was 3!). We used a reward/sticker chart that helped a lot. Later in life her stubborness and iron will will hopefully be an asset. It nearly drove me bonkers. Another question, what is he watching on tv? Could be bad for him. Finally, have you thought about his diet? Sugar and artificial coloring can cause this behavior in kids. Diets are hard to switch, but well worth the effort, especially for boys who might get diangosed with ADHD when they hit school. Good luck, let us know how it goes.

Kelly - posted on 02/06/2010

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Calm, calm, calm, is what you need to be. And patient, patient, patient. I know it is so hard when a little one is stressing you out, but when you get so upset, you are letting the stress get the best of you. Boys are a lot different than girls, by nature. I always found that distraction works well, and physically (calmly) removing the child from the situation. I don't think time-out in his room would be a good idea, as there are distractions there. I always have a time-out spot that is away from all toys, and where I can check on them easily. Ours is at the end of the hallway. We shut the bedroom doors that are there, and they just sit on the floor with nothing around them. But even if you don't do the time-outs, if you see him hitting or being aggressive or rude, I would immediately go to him, get down and look him in the eye to get his full attention, and hold his arms if necessary, and calmly telly him that no, we don't do that because that is not a nice way to treat our sisters, or mom, or whomever. Of course you will have to do this over and over, but eventually hopefully he will calm down. If you yell at him, you are also adding to his stress, which is already high because he is angry, frustrated, whatever. Hopefully you can teach him to mellow out and learn to control his emotions, before he becomes a much larger child with anger issues. I also don't think it is a bad idea to put him in childcare more days, if it gives him more structure and discipline, but that is only if he is in a really good place. It could be that the childcare situation is a source of his stress. Just stick with it, it will get better! Good luck!!

Maryanne - posted on 02/06/2010

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Oh, I totally understand. I'm not sure what the problem with him is. Has he been check at the doctors? My girls are 6 and 7, and the scrap constantly.So i feel your pain. Have you tried putting him in a time out - in his room maybe.? He needs to calm down when he's like that. Try to determine what set him off. But make it know - rationally- that that behavior is not accepted. If he's removed enough times, eventualy he'll get the idea.

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Heidi - posted on 02/11/2010

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There are some great suggestions here! May I ask if he has any other behaviors other than aggression? Many times in a child that age its is out of frustration and a lack of ability to communicate. Most children at that age do not have a firm grasp on communication (verbal and non-verbal) and get frustrated very easily and the 1st thing they do is lash out. If you are seeing any other things about his behavior/development that are concerning I would suggest that you may want to consider having him evaluated by a psychologist or behavioral therapist. The first clue we had that our child had a problem was his aggressive behavior and he has since then been diagnosed wit hAutism. This doesnt mean your child has any problems but a psychologist or behavioral therapist can help you figure out ways to handle and correct the behaviors before they get worse and he gets too big for you to handle.

Laura - posted on 02/11/2010

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I wonder if there is a chance of an underlying behavioural problem? ADD, ADHD, or possible even something like Autism or Aspergers. These can cause children to act out in ways that are violent or destructive. You can look up symptoms online, if you google it you can usually find checklists of symptoms. Go through and see if your son seems to fit any of those profiles. If so then you can print it out, take it to your dr and discuss your concerns with him/her. My son once he started crawling would hit his head on the floor when he got frustrated, often leaving a bruise. This became a weapon against his siblings (very strange seeing a toddler headbutt his older brother, I tell you). He doesn't deal with his anger appropriately, his first instinct always is to yell and/or hit. I did some research and found he does fit the profile for aspergers and is now on the hospital waiting list to be assessed by a professional. I would never have suspected he had aspergers if it wasn't for the fact that I have a brother who has it.

Whatever the cause is for your son, I recommend talking to a health professional. They can give you ideas or advice to deal with such behaviours and possibly give you a better insight into what could be causing it. It could just be that he needs more attention, affection or more constructive things to keep him occupied. But if it's something that may need medicating to calm him down (like ADHD) or something that needs a different psychological approach than other children (like Autistim or aspergers), you need to equip yourself now before things get any worse.

Also keep an eye on his diet. I would suggest avoiding things like red food colouring, and yellow food colouring as these do affect some children. (One of my brothers would go absolutely crazy, completely beyond control when given sweets and such. Red was an absolute no go).

In any case, your son needs to know you love him. Make sure you show him that as best as you can. I hope you find a peaceful solution:)

Sarah - posted on 02/08/2010

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Has there been any big change recently, like a move or divorce or a death? Could something be happening at daycare? It sounds like he is looking for a way to control things, that often happens when they are feeling out of control in other areas. I have had pretty decent success with validating my kids feeling when they are having a tantrum. At that age they can't always put what they are feeling into words so you have to be specific - "Are you mad because you don't want to take a nap?" or "Are you mad because your sister took your toy?" Then tell them "it's okay to be mad, but it's not okay to hit and it's not okay to yell. If you are mad, you can say, "Mommy, I'm mad!" and we can work it out together." As for the time outs, sometimes moms need a time out, too! If I find myself getting angry and yelling, I tell the kids I need a time out and I go to my room until the timer goes off (I don't go quite as long as a minute for every year though, lol! more like a second for every year). When they see you come out calmly after being quiet in your time out, they will see the correct way to behave. I also have a lot of luck with tickle therapy! Let them tickle you, too, you could all use a laugh!

Tania - posted on 02/08/2010

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Hi Annemaree I am pleased you feel better. Boys really are different I have a little 10th baby girl and a 13 and 16 yr old boys and I am so amazed at how easy she is to take care of. Boys can really push the boundarys and love and time help and lots of counting to 10 for everyone.

Annemaree - posted on 02/06/2010

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thanx for all the advice n encouragement . everyone says boys are different n i never belived them as my girls were angels lol cant have it all i spose!! lol...yeah ive tried the naughty spot for some time never worked weve been using his room at time out but he screems for hrs n hrs on end even if we let him out after 2-3 mins.. i actually have allocated days with each child 1 on 1 he gets to go to the park with just mummy for a picnic n to fly the kite we do all sorts of stuff together .... but yes ive gotta learn yto b more patient easier said than done when there is a hysterical 2 yold screaming non stop for hrs on end no matter what the distraction it still dosnt stop him grrr thanx again ladies to take the time in helping me .....i will stick with it ...

Jane - posted on 02/06/2010

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well, i am 48, and have 3 grown boys....23,22,20. i have been through a lot with them.....but i dont believe in slpanking a child until they are old enough to understand what it means....about 4 or 5, and only as a last resort.....no my boys are not perfect, and i have had and still do have my share of problems with them because of choices they made as adults.....but no matter what they do or how bad they were, they have not raised their voices to me or talked to me in a bad way.....i still maintain reslpect.....respect him, and he will respect you.....i believe it is a fase, and with proper guidance, he will outgrow it...but you want control of the situation when he does........when my kids would try to yell, at that age, i let them know it was not allowed......the few times they tried to talk back, i would lightly tap their mouth and tell them no no...it is not allowed.......im not doing that to you, and dont do it to me......they will follow your guidance....guide with love....love will conquer all....

Arielle - posted on 02/06/2010

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yes its hard, and you do need a break but have you tried spankings? maybe you need to be stronger and tough love!!!!!!

Tania - posted on 02/06/2010

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I have two sons 13 and 16 get help ring parent line, get a rest if possible ,don't feel bad it's just a phaze, try to stay calm and not shout riead any books on child troubles, try talking but I am sure you have tried that, maybe cut out any violent kids videos some old ones can be pretty violent anyway good luck your not alone it's a hard job to raise a son but it will all come good google Dr Phil he has some good ideas and then decide a plan best wishes

Veronica - posted on 02/06/2010

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Stop yelling at him - and start spending quality time WITH him -- and him only. Reverse psychology - talk to him - ask him what the matter is - ask him why he is doing not nice things? Leave the girls home, and take him out with you somewhere (shopping, lunch, etc.) Just you and him. Always tell him how proud of him you are, when he accomplishes things - even little things like playing nice, cleaning up, even going potty.



good luck - things should turn around - if not - if its really that bad - i would take him to a counselor - there might be worse underlying issues.

Jane - posted on 02/06/2010

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it sounds like you do need a little break. poor thing..i know how hard it is dealing with 2 yr olds....you are not a bad person, because you want and need some pressure relived to give you a chance to reqroup...and get your bearings together.....this is truely a tough place to be wtih a 2 yr old....first thing you need to do, is put the kids to bed and then take a good long bubble bath, and just relax....quit beating yourself up and treating yourself like you have failed.....you havent........you are actually at a crossroads....it is time to make a decistion...which way do i go from here.....it is always a tough one to make....maybe, for your own sanity, and to give you a chance to get your game plan together, you could put him in maybe 3 days instead of 2.....that will give him a little more structure and you more time to get your structure together.....it is time to let him know who is in charge......YOU!!!!! by letting him know, will help matters a lot......as hard as it is, you can not raise your voice...you can speak firmly,, but do not raise your voice.....you matter of factly let him know the way it is.....what i do is, i litterly tell them this behavour is unexceptable.....it will not be tollerated.....it necessary, i will count to three.....you must let them know the conciquence for not stopping and you get to 3, and then follow through if you get to 3....remember, 2 yr olds are not quiet capable of sitting for very long for punishment....if they throw a fit, and wont stop, you very politely tell them if they insist of screaming, then you will put them in their room until they can calm down.....one they calm down, they are allowed to return with everyone else.....do check on them every couple minutes, they are still babies....you are trying to train them to handle their emotions for themselves.......it is not easy.....we dont always handle ours well, and we are adults......so dont expect perfection......you cannot allow hitting in any way shape or form, especially to you....yelling will only shut him out....he will litterly tune it out and do more.....also, see if there is anything around which may be over stimulatting him....sometimes they cant handle all the stimulation......teach him to verbally tell you how he feels, and that is ok to feel that way, and show him a better way to handle the feelings he is having....once he knows what to do with those feelings, he will start doing a little better.....so many things are hitting him at once at the age of 2, it is quite overwhelming....just remember to take a deep breath, and then talk....also, write down how you want to handle different things, and put it where you can see it as a reminder of what you want to do.....this is it .....his crossroads......help him make the right turn.....

Christa - posted on 02/06/2010

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sounds like he is very agressive and angry....is there a reason he might feel this way?

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