DESPERATE for some advice/help in dealing with my 2y 5m old daughter

Nicole - posted on 07/31/2012 ( 22 moms have responded )

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I have a 2y 5m old daughter and am currently 32 weeks pregnant with another little girl.

My girl is what i would describe as the toddler from hell and it's making me hate being a mum, i know it sounds horrible but i'm at breaking point trying to deal with her, nothing i do is good enough NOTHING whatsoever!!

I am tired of hearing people say "oh it's the terrible 2's all toddlers are like that" beacuse NO they are not, she takes it to the top and keeps going. I knew parenting would be hard and that i would have to learn along the way but i honeslty cant handle her anymore, i always wanted to be a mother and love her with all my heart but her behaviour is beyond ridiculous.

examples: I can not take her to the shops for anykind of shopping because she starts acting up before we even get in the doors.

I can't even take her to swimming lessons anymore as she just goes mental for no reason, she loves the water which is why she needs to learn to swim but chucks the worst tantrums because she cant do what ever she wants.

Taking her to a playground indoor or outdoor is impossible as she will play for 5 minutes and then just shart going stupid, acting up screaming etc.

Going for walks hahaha implossible as she just keeps trying to run away and grab everything she can.

Even car trips to the corner store cant be done so if i need something i have to wait for my husband to be home with her so i can go.

Those are just a few examples, I cant go anywhere with her as it's just too embarassing and i cant control/handle her.

she doesnt listen to anything we say and we know she can hear and understand us but just chooses to ignore us, she is a danger to her self and no amount of discipling of anykind has ever worked even tho we have been consistant!!
just this morning she ran unto her dad at the table and stuck her hand in the bowl of boiling hot baked beans next to him and started screaming, no warning at all just ran up and stuck her hand in!! She keeps running into the kitchen esprcially when i'm at the stove and grabbing my legs even tho she get in trouble for it every single time but just doesn't care. She keeps trying to get into the cupboards even tho i have locks on them (just doesnt get the point)
I could go on forever, this is just a short nice version of what she is like and it is constany, every hour of everyday with no end or hope insight and i am terrifed for our new baby as i dont want my toddler hurting her!

I need advice and helpful hints so much cos i'm losing my mind and so is my husband

(and no she does not have autism/adhd/ador deafness) she understands very well what we say and do.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jamie - posted on 07/31/2012

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You won't like me for this but here goes.... spanking. My 3 year old son only responds to spanking and boy does he shape up!. My husband was one of 4 boys and his dad was strict and spanked. All 4 boys grew up to be strong Christians, respectful and issue free. I was a raised by a single mom who should have spanked me. I'm not in ANY WAY suggesting you beat your daughter but a "lovin spoon" or pink paddle might do the trick and serve as a great visual aid in the future.

Tamara - posted on 07/31/2012

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Nicole, it sounds as if you are doing everything you possibly can to help your daughter learn appropriate behaviors. For your sake, I would follow through with your thoughts on having a professional evaluate her. However, before going to a psychologist, I would, as I mentioned in my previous response, look for any medical reason for the behavior, such as a food allergy/intolerance. Also, does your daughter have any preschool or social time with other kids? I know you said you are hesitant to take her out anywhere, but maybe enrolling her in a preschool or mom's day out might benefit both of you. Having her in the care of another adult trained in childhood education will provide your daughter the opportunity to not only learn to accept instruction from another adult but give her time with peers as well. Maybe your child will be totally different with her than with you (as is the case with my youngest son), and the teacher can also be a valuable resource as you seek to determine why your child behaves as she does. In my opinion, a good pediatrician faced with a situation such as yours works closely with teachers and any others involved in the daily life of the child, including parents, teachers, sitters, and any other doctors involved. (As a teacher, I've had to fill out medical forms for students regarding their behavior/concentration/focus in the classroom as well as their relating to peers.) On top of the opportunity for your child to interact with another adult and other children, you will have some time to rest and remember just how much you love your daughter. It might be good for both of you (and hubby, too)! Remember in all of this that YOU are the parent making you worthy of respect and honor from your daughter. Also remember that you need to take care of yourself. You cannot be a good wife and mom if you are not taking time to rest and refuel, whatever that looks like for you....massage, girls' night out, date w/ hubby,etc. You will be much more able and ready to face your daughter when you are refreshed, and that baby you are carrying needs you to take care of yourself, too. Praying for you that all settles down and your daughter sees just how much you love her and truly are wanting the best for her.

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Deeeeeee - posted on 09/14/2012

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My DD is almost 2 and I've also got a 5month old baby boy. Some days my 2 year old drives me through the walls. I take her to playcentres and she does not want to play, but wants to be held most of the time which is a bit difficult with the 5mth old. I have stopped doing any shopping and started looking at online shopping as Im absolutely sick and tired of always having tantrums when we walk into the shops.

I do time out with her and that seems to be effective. I've got two spots in the house - one for when she did something wrong, and another when she is having a tantrum and needs "to get it out of her system" and calm down.

As for getting through day to day living. I've resorted to bribing. I'm surprised at how effective this is, but it works. e.g. if she's acting up I'll tell her FIRST xxx and THEN xxx. The THEN is normally something that she loves e.g. watching Mickey Mouse, painting, playing with bubbles, etc. I know she might misuse it in the future, but right now, this is working for me and she's learning that you have to "earn" stuff.

Ah, and I've also enrolled her in preschool from next week onwards. I think it will do us both good to have some time apart.

Good luck, and remember (I tell this to myself everyday) - this is just temporary.

Jess - posted on 09/13/2012

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Wow, you sound like I used to! And I know its not nice at all. As soon as my son hit 15months, he was a terror. To the point where my friends wouldnt visit me and people made up excuses not to be around him.

I couldn't take him out or anything until recently, I was at wits end, then, one day, he just snapped out of it and became an angel (well, almost)!

He stopped it all for no good reason when he hit 3y 1m. I know thats quite a long time to put up with the behavior but it does get better eventually.

As a mother, you just gotta do what you gotta do. It probably took longer for him to come right too, because I am a single mother and never had the other parent for help and support.

My son is now 3y 5m, we sometimes get a tantrum when going shopping or leaving a park but thats about it.



I cut sugar completely out too if that helps, he has always only ever drank water or milk or juice but I cut juice, and flavored water.



Really, I think its just a matter of stick to your guns, keep at it and she will eventually snap out of it. As for your baby coming, I'm not sure with that as ive only got the one bub.

But as a counselor, I would suggest you see someone to discuss how your feeling and perhaps some stress relieving techniques?



Also, day care is a good option, two days a week help my son a lot



goodluck

Janet - posted on 09/08/2012

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Oh my, that sounds horrible! My son is deaf with a cochlear implant so I know there was a language barrier between us. However I had very similar situations with these types of tantrums. I had tried time outs and they didn't work most of the time, it just gave him an excuse to continue screaming (on purpose) to get my attention. Once he understood the 'rights' and 'wrongs' that's when I was able to use discipline and fix his behavior.



I tried to add structure into my day, which was hard for me since I wasn't raised with any.

Communication was him for whatever we did was key (especially since he and I cannot have full-blown conversations). I tried making whatever we did fun and if he threw a tantrum I gave him three strikes and the game (or w.e) was put away. I have a lot of patience, and will only use spanking as an absolute last resort.



Ex: I had a Early Steps team meeting one day and he was in one of his worst moods. I had given him warnings, didn't work. I Ignored the bad behavior so it wouldn't be encouraged, and toys began to fly. I placed him in time out and the time out chair flew about 7 times before I had enough. I excused myself, calmly went over to my son and told him if you throw this chair one more time you will get a spanking. Well, he threw it, so I took his hand and we went to another room and he received a swift spank on his bottom. I sat him back in time out and once again warned him. The chair flew twice more, and got two more on his bottom. He finally got it and cried but didn't throw the chair again. I gave him 2 more minutes of time out and went over to him, gave him a hug and explained why he was spanked. He has only received 2 major spankings (including this one, no bruising obviously) since he started understanding language.



My son might have a hearing impairment, but he understand a lot more than people give him credit for.



Don't lose your cool. If she removes the seat beat, buy something that prevents her from doing so. If she doesn't control herself in the kitchen, place a gate preventing her entry with an explanation. Let her cry and yell at home if she won't listen to reason. Let her see that she gets more freedom when her behavior changes. If she cannot behave when you go out, let her know why she cannot go. Give her a choice. I am not saying you don't, but maybe it's something you could try.



As for the new baby on the way, that's going to be tough. Maybe you could have a small party just for her for becoming a big sister. Let her know all the fun responsibilities a BIG sister gets to do. Get creative using charts, stickers, rewards, etc. I would suggest a therapist for her. To help with her behavior and to give you tips on dealing with that behavior without having a breakdown. Watch Super nanny if it helps.



I hope this helps! I know it is hard, incredibly hard in your case, but in the end YOU and your husband will prevail, not her. You are the adult and you have the power. She needs to learn the boundaries and respect your authority.



Feel free to message me if you want to talk (or rant!) :D

Jacqy - posted on 09/04/2012

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It sounds to me like a child desperate for attention. You probably give her tons of attention(and would have to in order to keep her safe, it sounds like!) but it may well be that the thought of a new baby coming has her terrified that she's being replaced. When my son came home my nearly 2 year old daughter went ballistic. It's calmed down a little since they're both old enough to communicate, but while he was still in the baby stage, my daughter was nearly impossible to deal with. First, childproof your home to the point where your daughter cannot hurt herself without trying really hard. If she touches hot things, you need to keep them out of reach. If she's coming into the kitchen, you need to get gates that make that impossible. Put bumpers on sharp corners and go nuts with getting your home safe. THEN, focus on discipline. You are doing a great job being consistent so keep at it! She's gonna test that for the next 16 years trust me! As for discipline, once your home is safe you can at times simply deposit her where she cannot reach you and walk away. If she is screaming and throw a tantrum, don't give her attention. When she stops, come talk with her. My daughter still does the screaming tantrums and she's 5. I still put her in her room when she does and she knows she will not come out until she stops. Sometimes it's five minutes, sometimes it's twenty. But the screaming happens less and less. Most children(not all) realize that if a behavior doesn't get the reaction they're seeking, they'll search for the behavior that does. Negative attention unfortunately counts as attention for some children. When that happens, you have to take steps to stop that behavior before it becomes a lifelong issue.

Ana - posted on 08/25/2012

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I am sorry to inform you that she is in going through the terrible 2's!



I am 19 weeks pregnant and I have a 2yr and 2mth old.. and she does a lot of the same..



At this age they are going to try everything multiple times..



It's much harder dealing with my daughters terrible 2's pregnant! If I was clear of mind she would not be able to get away with so much with me.



On the other hand, she cannot get away with so much with her father.. he comes to my rescue, because I get emotional and I want to spank her and correct her, but to be honest, there are just too many things that she doesn't understand...she's just a bigger baby really....



it sucks because they can walk and talk, but they are not going to be well behaved...they really don't know what that completely means....and they want to try their parents as well..



My mother told me my daughter can smell that I am weak and pregnant so she messes with me on purpose.. and I have noticed her doing things and laughing at me...sigh..I just have to get through it...



It does help not taking them out as much with you, especially if you cannot handle them.. you don't want them running off in the street or getting lost..



My daughter will stay with me if we are out, but most places I will not even attempt to go without her stroller...so I can strap her in and actually get something done..!

Carmen - posted on 08/08/2012

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I know you said you don't want to hear that it's terrible 2s, but part of it is exactly that. The other part is a lot of toddlers go through an acting out phase while you're pregnant. I think subconsciously they know this little baby is going to get most of your attention, and they just don't know how to deal with those feelings. So they act crazy! My oldest acted really silly when I was pregnant with my second child, even for a little bit after he was born. But then it subsided, out of nowhere. You can get through this! You have to just stay strong, and keep being consistent. Consistency, and love is the key. Of her outrageous behavior should continue about a month afterwards, I think it would be very helpful to seek help from a professional. I wish you all the luck in the world!

Gina - posted on 08/08/2012

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She sounds exactly like my 2.9 yr old son was a few months back before I enrolled him in a preschool program. Putting him in Preschool has been a great success in improvinghis behavior, we are thrilled that now we are not afraid to take him out in public with us. His Preschool teacher also advised that my husband and I watch "Nanny 911 and Supernanny" it sounds silly but they actually give very helpful tips, which are easy to put into action in your own home.



Basically I found out that his tamtrums can be tamed with a routine that is very structured and consistent. Children with temper tamtrums are usually very active and need to get all that energy out of their system, in a productive manner. Sometimes it's good for them to be away from Mom and Dad for a few hours on a daily basis, it's beneficial for her to experience being around other adult authority figures, you may be surprised to learn that she behaves very differently around them. Best of luck.

Anna - posted on 08/07/2012

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Oh, I feel your pain! I have a spirited son and he is now 17, but what you described is exactly what i experienced when he was small. I do agree with the suggestions of looking at diet. The most effective thing i have done is taking my children to a homeopathic doctor. This is much different than advice from a natural grocery store employee. Thisis an intensive two hour (or more) appointment in which the doctor gives an appropriate remedy.

My son was diagnosed with being on the pervasive developmental disorder spectrum...which is a spectrum. Asperger's, actually. I could tell that you are not fully informed of symptoms of this spectrum which do include and are not limited to adhd, bi-polar, and other disorders including tourette's. These children have a high intelligence level. They are not usually considered mentally retarded in the sense of deveolpment intellectually. They are more or less behind in their emotional maturation. I find myself extremely lucky to have one of these wonderful children as they are widely misunderstood and medicated for being spiritual giants and a sadly misunderstood population in most families.

Spanking will make your issues exceptionally worse. Any physical punishment will be extremely damaging. This causes children to stuff their emotions and expressions for fear of physical harm, causes trauma, and may cause depression and violence later in life. Sorry, this is proven. I have also tried "appropriate" spanking, which made my son's behavior much worse.
Your daughter has sensitivities to sensory input through her senses. This may be through visual (overload of lights for example...or more people), auditory(what she hears), tactile (what she touches or temperatures), or smells. Try this: put her in a quiet, dimmed environment with only you, and see what happens to the behavior.

SHe is a senstive child...a wonderful special child. Please do not feel she is wrong. Just misunderstood at the moment.

Good luck and blessings!!!

Anna - posted on 08/07/2012

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Oh, I feel your pain! I have a spirited son and he is now 17, but what you described is exactly what i experienced when he was small. I do agree with the suggestions of looking at diet. The most effective thing i have done is taking my children to a homeopathic doctor. This is much different than advice from a natural grocery store employee. Thisis an intensive two hour (or more) appointment in which the doctor gives an appropriate remedy.

My son was diagnosed with being on the pervasive developmental disorder spectrum...which is a spectrum. Asperger's, actually. I could tell that you are not fully informed of symptoms of this spectrum which do include and are not limited to adhd, bi-polar, and other disorders including tourette's. These children have a high intelligence level. They are not usually considered mentally retarded in the sense of deveolpment intellectually. They are more or less behind in their emotional maturation. I find myself extremely lucky to have one of these wonderful children as they are widely misunderstood and medicated for being spiritual giants and a sadly misunderstood population in most families.

Spanking will make your issues exceptionally worse. Any physical punishment will be extremely damaging. This causes children to stuff their emotions and expressions for fear of physical harm, causes trauma, and may cause depression and violence later in life. Sorry, this is proven. I have also tried "appropriate" spanking, which made my son's behavior much worse.
Your daughter has sensitivities to sensory input through her senses. This may be through visual (overload of lights for example...or more people), auditory(what she hears), tactile (what she touches or temperatures), or smells. Try this: put her in a quiet, dimmed environment with only you, and see what happens to the behavior.

SHe is a senstive child...a wonderful special child. Please do not feel she is wrong. Just misunderstood at the moment.

Good luck and blessings!!!

Rebecca - posted on 08/06/2012

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My daughter is very much the same way. She'll be 2 this month. When she starts acting up like that, say I won't let her in the drawers or pull out the blankets from the cupboard, I redirect her attention. I'll take her to her room and show her some toys that she might want to play with and that distracts her. I still don't go shopping with her since she does act up a lot.... she runs off in every direction and screams like she's being murdered if I put her in the cart. Redirecting her attention at home though is helping some. I'm hoping she'll just grow out of it.

Amanda - posted on 08/06/2012

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When she throws her tantrums, have you tried just ignoring her, walking to another room and not saying anything to her. That helps with my toddlers. If I stop paying attention to them when they are having a tantrum, they realize that they dont have my attention, will stop the tantrum and come back to play like nothing happened. Also, have you tried time outs? have you tried spanking? If you threaten with a punishment, follow threw on it so she knows you are serious. terrible twos can be bad, but as a warning, 3's are worse (at least for my kids). Kids like to test boundries and get attention. Set her limits and dont give her attention when she throws a temper tantrum. Good luck!!

Michelle - posted on 08/06/2012

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Have you tried time outs? thats what we started with our daughter and she was pretty well behaved then she started pushing boundries again and now she gets sent to her room, which she hates. I was worried about that because I didnt want her seeing it as a punishment to just be in her room but she is still happy to go in and play by herself, just hates being sent in there. I have had alot of issues with her not listening to me I just have to be stricter (as in not let her get away with it at all). Also If she is being over 'naughty' I will give her a light smack on the bottom, it doesnt hurt her (i am more than aware of this as she was misbehaving one day jumping all over her dad and he wanted me to step in and i smacked her bottom and she just laughed because he does it when he plays with her so she thought it was him but when she knows that it's not how I play with her). She usually is just in shock and shapes up.

Heather - posted on 08/02/2012

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Call her pediatrician ASAP. Get a recommendation for her to see a specialist and get some phone numbers from them. Your daughter might have special needs. She really needs to be checked out ASAP to get her the help that she needs, and that YOU and your husband need. Please don't put this off, as the longer you wait, the harder things are going to get.

Your daughter is not normal in her actions. She needs help with her emotions and she needs to learn how to control them better. Yes, a 2 1/2 year old can be taught these things. Our son was like your daughter.

You think she understands what you say and do, but her mind works differently. You also didn't say that you had her tested. She needs to be. She is also way too young to be diagnosed for adhd. I wouldn't say that she is ADHD, because of that reason.

Some autistic children understand what their parents tell them. But children with sensory disorders or asperger's, act just like your daughter. I would know, my son has both aspherger's and sensory integration disorder.

Touria - posted on 08/01/2012

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I agree with Stacey.
I have a 4 years and a 2 years old daughter who is not easy to handle but with my husband we had to stay firm with her and she learned and now knows that if she goes to time out, she is in trouble. I put her in her room and I don't have any toys in her room so she doesn't like it. I know it's hard and I totally understand what you must be feeling. The key is to be strong and not just give her warnings. If after 2 warnings, she doesn't get it, take her in her room or her time out room. I would suggest to keep the same room. If she gets out, take her back there even if you have to do several times. Also, very important to talk to her after her time out so she understand why she was in time out otherwise, she will never learn. I hope its helps. On a last note PLEASE no spanking, worst thing to do. I was spanked when I was young and I promised myself to never ever do it on my kids. I hated it to be spanked and never understood why I was spanked. I don't think spanking is a solution to your problems. It's just my opinion :) Good luck and stay strong.

Nicole - posted on 07/31/2012

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she definatley does get warnings and punished if she just ignores us, when she is put in her room she stays there untill i say she can come out no matter how loud/hard/long she screams! Only a few hours ago i had to pull over on t he highway cos she got out of her carseat while i was driving 110kmph, i strapped her back in and is was made very clear to her that she must not do it even thos she doesnt care and does it every car trip, then i proceeded to have an emotional breakdown in the car on the side of the road whil she played with her balloon animal. (yes i lost the plot) i am contemplating haveing a child therapist look at her as the last 6 months have been the worst but the last 4 weeks have set a new level.

Tamara - posted on 07/31/2012

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I think I would give her a warning and a consequence if the behavior continues. Then, follow through with the consequence if/when she misbehaves. For your sake and your daughter's, I would put her in her room. (I used to use 2 gates - one on top of the other - to keep my 2 year old son in his room.) I'm sure it's probably just partly the age and partly not understanding the changes taking place in your family with a new baby on the way. There are food allergies (milk and even corn and others, I'm sure) that have been proven to cause behaviors like these, so this might be something to investigate. Regardless, if the behaviors continue/get worse, you should seek outside help beginning with your daughter's pediatrician. If he/she pays no mind to your concerns, I'd find another doctor who is willing to listen and look at alternative ideas as to why these behaviors continue.

S. - posted on 07/31/2012

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My middle daughter was 2 and 10 months when my youngest was born, she ha always been a very strong willed little thing to say the least but I remember my pregnancy been 100 times worse, it was like she prayed on my weakness lol. I remember a few times I would be in tears as id had a argument with a bus driver cos she was screaming so much. the day my waters had broken I was 41 weeks pregnant and she had the paddy of all paddies as she didn't want to leave her friends house I finally managed to get her home and my leg had locked, very painful! My hb had to get home quick from work as I was stuck, in pain and upset, she was screaming the house down later that night my waters broke. I remembering been really worried she would hurt the baby.
The key is stay strong, stick firmly to your guns and do not waver from the punishment (if you say your in the naughty corner stick to it) she will soon realise that her behaviour isn't getting the attention, rewards and praise works fantastic with my daughter, give her lots of little jobs when baby arrives and praise her for them. My daughter did calm down after her sister was born and she never hurt her like I feared, although you will be feeling tired don't show weakness lol I think my daughter feeds on my weakness even now lol. 2.5 is still very young and a very difficult age she will grow out of it, things will just feel worse now.

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