My 22 month old daughter is making my daily life miserable. What can I do to reexert control over my own life?

Heather - posted on 01/23/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I put up with her incessant screaming and crying from sun up to sun down each day. If I try to feed my 3 month old son she throws a tantrum and I have tried to follow the pediatrician's advice and just ignore it but she will carry on screaming and crying at the top of her lungs until I give in and stop feeding him. If I go and get the mail and open it to read it she willl scream and cry until I eventually cave and give her the mail. If I chew a stick of gum or drink a bottle of water and I refuse to give it to her for obvious reasons like her dumping the water all over herself or on her brother or on the floor or whatever surface she is standing over or to prevent her from swallowing or choking on the gum, she will keep screaming for 20, 30, minutes to even hours at a time. Sometimes, she will scream and cry if I am doing my homework or talking to someone on the phone and she will scream so loud you can't hear anything else or even hear yourself think and when I stop what I am doing to pay attention to her or play with her, she will pull my hair or gouge my eyes out. Also while she is throwing her tantrums she will throw things at me like a remote, hairbrush, or a shoe and on other occasions, she will start slapping me. I can't live like this anymore, I am so STRESSED OUT that I have started smoking cigarettes again. I have tried spanking, ignoring, screaming, timeouts, and talking to her civiilly but to avail what do I do to get my life and sanity back?

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Kate CP - posted on 01/23/2012

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Here is your problem right here:



"...until I give in..."



She's doing it BECAUSE IT WORKS. It is going to get worse before it gets better at this point. Why? Because she knows that if she just carries on long enough and loud enough you'll eventually give her what she wants. My advice? Buy ear plugs and genuinely ignore her until she stops her tantrum. If you have to lock yourself in the bathroom with the baby then do it. But you have to show her that throwing a tantrum won't get her what she wants; because at this point it does.

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ReneeP - posted on 01/25/2012

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Oh wow, Heather, I am in the SAME EXACT BOAT...except mine is blue (I have a baby boy 22 months).



As I sit here now, my 22-month-old is SCREAMING, SCREAMING, SCREAMING!!! He's been a crybaby since birth, but he was sick recently and now ALL HE WANTS is me, holding him constantly. He prefers I stand (of course), but he will lay in bed with me and watch his movies. Unfortunately, I can't just lay around all day. I have three other kids (9, 15, and 20), two elderly parents with medical conditions, two dogs, and a husband, so sitting down for hours on end is not an option. I also work from home as an MT and he has to sit on my lap while I work, sometimes falling asleep! It's the only way I can get my work done!



I noticed this in the beginning...literally from the second he was born. I tried to explain to my husband that he was going to be like this. So, I tried "ferberizing" (sp?) him from the get-go. Well, the 'ol hubby just thought it was so awful of me and would go save him...just pick him up and do whatever it took to make him stop crying. We had a huge fight about it...a few times!



To make a long story short...this man has stopped every tactic I have tried since day one! In doing so, he has created a monster that I HAVE TO DEAL WITH ALL DAY LONG!! But since the baby has gotten worse since being sick (which is he over being sick now, but he's still expecting to be picked up constantly and given what he wants), the hubby now understands what he's done (yeah, nearly two years too late!).



My son sounds a lot like your daughter, Heather...A LOT!! It's mind boggling because all my other three kids (who all share the same father) were so good...I mean really, really good and happy all the time. I keep thinking I must be doing something wrong, but I cannot figure out what! I play with him all the time, the other kids come home from school and play with him, and of course when daddy gets home he plays with him, so this child has constant attention. However, now he only wants me or his father! He hardly plays anymore with his toys and just spends his days crying and screaming. And this kid is good...he can go on for hours and hours and hours! We are on day 3 of just letting him scream it out. I will let you know if this ever works!



Oh, and I'm glad to hear I'm not alone with this...I seriously want my sanity back too and felt so guilty for thinking that my kid makes me miserable...but, God forgive me, lately he has made me very miserable!! I just want him to wake up smiling...just once...then be happy while we enjoy our day...*sigh



Thanks for letting me ramble...and I hope things work out for you, Heather ;)

Chrystal - posted on 01/24/2012

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My son is a bit younger but he's a big whiner partly just his nature but mostly because I've allowed it. A few months back he began to through huge fits over the littlest thing, whine CONSTANTLY, not do what he was told, and started biting and throwing things. This behavior went on from the time he woke up till the time he went to bed. I realized that I was creating a brat. I realized that not only was I not happy but imagine how he must feel being that way all day long not even 2 years old and he's running the show no child really wants that. I realized it was ALL my doing because I wasn't disciplining cause all I saw was my little baby not the toddler he'd become and frankly because I just wanted him to stop. I built a schedule and we followed it so he knew exactly what to expect everyday. He lost trust that I was running the show so I needed to show him that I was in control. So I gave timeouts and I was militant about it the slightest breaking of the rules he went to timeout and he stayed there and completed it. That was not easy starting out he ran from time out a 2 minute timeout once took over an hour and he's got a little sister that's a year younger so it took a lot of energy on my part to juggle both. I also started focusing on my son more when he was being a good boy not just when he was being a bad one. I worked on praising the good behavior and giving him focused one on one attention showing he didn't need to act out to get that focused attention. All that has worked for us he showed improvement within a week and now he's back to a "normal" toddlers rebellion he still has a fit every so often but were talking going from 15 a day to 3 a week.

Melissa - posted on 01/24/2012

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OMG Heather-

I know EXACTLY how you feel. my 22 month old daughter is driving me insane! She crys and throws fits with everthing even if we go out somewhere. She doesnt take her nap anywhere but in her highchair and she wont even stay asleep the enitre night. She gets up and MUST sleep with me or no one in the house gets any sleep.

I am at my breaking point with her. I have a 7 year old and if I try to do homework with her or anything my 22 mth old flips out and has to be in the center. I know she is VERY MUCH spoiled but what I dont know Is how to STOP this behavior.

Ive decided today to take her pacifier away for good. I think that may be one of her problems.

If anyone has ANY advice please post it would be greatly appreciated!!

HEATHER: I just wanted to let you know YOURE NOT ALONE when it comes to this!! It drives me insane also!

Amy - posted on 01/23/2012

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I agree with Kate you've reinforced the bad behavior by giving in. If she screams for an hour as long as she's safe let her. Every time you give in she wins another round. My suggestion is start picking your battles, if you think you're going to end up giving in because you're too tired just give it to her to start.



Also start reinforcing the positive behavior, if she plays by herself for 5 minutes make sure you acknowledge it and make a big deal about it. At 2 they want attention and really don't care if it's positive or negative, the more attention she gets for the positive the more the preferred behavior will be reinforced!

Kyleigh - posted on 01/23/2012

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I would do more floor time with both of your children, soundslike your youngest can use belly time, and do more things with your DD, if possible when your dh comes home do something just with her, same thing for your dh, swap, try to find the middle ground where she is always comfortable. Although Im not pro spanking parent, I have a 2 yr old DD and we go to another activity where I spread out some of her favorite toys, shes my little helper of pressing the "dryer start button," as I do some mama duty! She loves to follow me everywhere, and loves helping.

Maybe you can have someone watch your kids for at least an hour per week to find some "me," time.

If you ever find your self really stressed go into another room and collect yourself for a few minutes.

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