Is it just the terrible two's or is it something more serious? Desperately need advice.

Casey - posted on 04/01/2011 ( 14 moms have responded )

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My two and a half year old son is the sweetest little boy you will ever meet. He shares everything, is very polite, is super friendly and does as he's told. However the minute our back is turned he does the naughtiest things for example this morning while i was in the shower he got a red crayon and did lovely drawings all over our walls. Not one wall in the house was spared, and a week ago while i was outside pegging washing on the line he opened the dishwasher and took out a steak knife and cut holes in our lounge suite, he took eggs out of the fridge and smashed them on the floor, he's taken my makeup out of the bathroom and poured it all out over the floor. If you give him anything to eat or drink he has to eat and drink it in front of us otherwise he'll throw it on the floor and walk it into the carpet, and he also takes his pants and nappy off and pee's and poops on the carpet. I am really at my wits end. I don't know what to do anymore. We've tried yelling at him, getting down to his level and talking to him, timeouts and we've even smacked him. When we do discipline him for what he's done he cries and says sorry but the next day, the minute my back is turned he'll be doing something else just as naughty.

I'm very worried cause I am having another baby in 4 weeks and I don't know how I am going to keep control of him and care for the baby. It's getting to the point where when I have to have a shower or something similar, I have to put him in the backyard and lock the door so he can't come in until I am finished and i don't want to have to do that but i really don't know what else to do (when he is outside playing he usually pulls the washing off the line and rips plants out of the garden.....sigh).

I don't want people to get me wrong or anything. He's not naughty like this all the time. Sometimes he's great but when he's bad, he's really really bad and we feel like he is destroying our home :(

I just wanted some advice from you all as to whether this is normal behavior for a kid his age or do you think maybe there is something wrong with him, and how would you deal with it all?

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Kate CP - posted on 04/01/2011

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Most two year olds LOVE to do grown up stuff like the wash and sweeping. Can you get him some kid sized brooms and mops and have him help you? Granted, you'll probably have to go over the stuff he's done later to make sure you get it the way you want it but it WILL keep him entertained. AND it teaches him how to do chores for when he's older. My daughter was helping me vacuum, sweep, and do laundry when she was 2 years old. She vacuums her room by herself now and she's 5.

My kid was into everything if I wasn't watching her like a hawk. It's a pain in the butt and you feel like you won't get anything done but there are two things you have to remember:

1. They DO outgrow it.
2. You'll miss this. It doesn't seem like it...but you WILL miss this time. And when you look back at when they were this small and think about the time you had with your kids do you want to think "I should have spent more time with them" or "I'm glad I let the laundry go that extra day"?

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Hang in there Casey, my boy was the same as yours. He is 4 now and I tell you he has matured a lot in the last six months. You will have to work extra hard to keep your boy out of mischief, but it does get better. Hugs to you.

Nakia - posted on 04/01/2011

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If hes only two put him in a pac-n-play with a few toys while you shower or when you need to hang laundry. Set him in the high chair while your cleaning the kitchen and sing him a song to keep his attention. Im not sure how much he weights but you could get him a johnny jumper and he could bounce while you clean up.

BTW for the red crayon or even black MAGIC ERASERS are fabulous..

Belinda - posted on 04/01/2011

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I know, it is tough, but it really does sound like he is being a normal boy. I think that he is also aware that there may be changes coming in a short while and he might not know how to handle it.
Just remember that he is probably testing his boundaries, exploring his world and generally being a 2 year old. Will anyone be staying with you after number 2 arrives? They might be able to help you to distract him at first and then help you to have him help you with the baby.

I was also wondering if he might be ready to begin potty training - not something that you want to tackle now, I know. However consider it. You are only 4 weeks away from giving birth, so it all seems very overwhelming, when your second child gets here things should work themselves out. Try not to stress.

Kate CP - posted on 04/01/2011

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Yes. You have to stand over him every second of the day. His actions have obviously shown you that.

You can shower with him or wait until he's asleep and shower when he's sleeping. Take him with you and have him help you put out the wash (he can hand you the clothes or the clothes pins). Have him help you change the baby when the baby comes by handing you wipes or the diaper. My daughter takes the dirty diaper (after I've rolled it up and made it a neat little package) and throws it in the diaper champ for me.

I am surprised you don't keep him glued to you after he got a STEAK KNIFE out of the dishwasher. Do you know how badly he could have hurt himself? You're lucky he only cut up your sofa.

If he's taking off his diaper and going on the floor that's a sign he's ready to potty train. I know it's tough to do while pregnant but he's telling you he doesn't want it on him any more.

Get the kid involved with your daily chores, don't leave him alone for a second, and deal with the fact that like many moms out there (such as myself) you may have to go a day or even two without a shower.

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Stifler's - posted on 04/01/2011

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He could be doing this stuff because you're pregnant. My 14 month old seems to KNOW that we're having another kid. My other friends noticed that their kids became clingy or "naughty" or attention seeking when their bellies started to get huge.

Casey - posted on 04/01/2011

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Thanks sharon it's nice to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel :) but I am sure by the time this one grows out of this little stage the next one will be just starting it but at least i will be better prepared for it.

Casey - posted on 04/01/2011

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I might have a look around for some kid sized cleaning things like brooms, mops and vaccum cleaners ect i didn't think of that, he really has no attention span at all but i think thats a normal kid thing.
Nah his way to big for a playpen or a jolly jumper his a pretty big boy for two and half he weighs about 16kgs, he will sit in the highchair buckled in for a short period of time (like right now his eating a cupcake in it) but any longer then 10 minutes and his had enough.
My mum just dropped some of those magic erasers around to me and helped me clean off all the red crayon and omg the really are magic ;)
Honestly now that I think about it maybe it's more me then him maybe it's because I'm tired and stressed that I am letting every little thing get to me, and I am really not a kid person at all I never really have been so i have absolutely no idea what i am doing with this two foot high monster lol and i really didn't think it would be this hard i thought it was supposed to get easier as they got older not harder lol, I just feel like at the moment i'm not coping and i feel like it's all going to get worse very very soon, i know this is a difficult age because his not a baby anymore but his not responsible enough yet either it's just all a bit over whelming, but I will manage and I appriciate the advice.

Casey - posted on 04/01/2011

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He doesn't nap anymore (sadly lol) he stopped napping during the day about 2 months ago and those little safety gates that you put on doorways that are supposed to stop toddlers from getting through don't work for him his learnt how to open them or if he can't get it open he'll climb it so i don't think there is any playpen in the world that is Dylan proof lol, I might have to give up on morning showers and resort to pegging the washing out at night and doing the rest of the housework after he goes to sleep at night.

Casey - posted on 04/01/2011

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I think you might be onto something Belinda cause this didn't just start when he turned 2 it started about a month ago when people started telling him there was going to be a new baby so maybe thats why his acting out. My partner is planning on taking a week off when we have the baby but because I have to have another c-section he'll be nearly due back at work by the time I get home from hospital.
I think I am just feeling very overwhelmed at the moment and I know my two year old is probably feeling the same way, it just feels like the things he does just arn't things a normal 2 year old would do but I dunno maybe they are and people just don't talk about it lol. I am hoping that things will get better after the baby is born but I won't hold my breath for to long.
His not the kind of child that will stay by my side all the time his very independent and likes to do his own thing I have started to make him come outside with me when I peg the washing out and thats fine cause he amuses himself out there but if I was doing the vaccuming/mopping, making beds, doing the dishwasher or cleaning the bathroom he wouldn't walk around behind me no matter how much I encouraged him he would just wander off and do something else so I find I have to check on him constantly other wise his up to no good.
We have been trying toilet training for the last 2 weeks but we're not having much luck with it but we're going to keep trying but your right with 4 weeks to go I don't really feel like doing it now.
I think I just need to take deep breaths and count to 10 but it is nice to know that it's normal 2 year old behaviour.

Krista - posted on 04/01/2011

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Yeah, I think you're just going to have to keep a closer eye on him. Shower when he's napping, or once he's in bed for the night. Take him out with you when you're putting washing on the line.

Either that, or if you have to leave him unattended for some reason or another, consider putting him in his playpen.

Casey - posted on 04/01/2011

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His not alone god you make it sound like I go out shopping and leave him here to fend for himself, most of the naughty stuff that he does is done in the morning while I am in the shower and getting dressed, I have tried to make him stay in the bathroom with me while I have a shower but he won't I have tried putting cartoons on for him him to watch just to entertain him for 20 mins but his not interested, so what do I do with him while I am having a shower or getting dressed? and how am I going to change a baby, put it to sleep, feed it ect if i have to sit there and constantly watch him. I realise a child of his age needs supervision but honestly do I really have to stand over him every second of the day???

JuLeah - posted on 04/01/2011

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Why why why why why do you leave a child this age alone? Of course he does these things when not supervised ... he is not naughty, not bad ... he is a kid and his behavior is very normal, well except for the sharing and listening bit. How could he possabily know not to do the things you have mentioned.... he is given a new toy and his job is to find out what it can do ... he is smart, creative, and searching for entertainment .... so don't leave him alone

Kate CP - posted on 04/01/2011

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Nope. Nothing's wrong with him...he's just two. I suggest you supervise him more.

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