Am I am horrible parent or is my son a hyperactive child.

Amanda - posted on 10/29/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )




My son turned 2 on September 7. He is a fantastic little boy, behind in speak but great with everything else. He's even potty trained.
Anyway, he doesn't hold your hand in the parking lot and will drop to the ground. Then there are times when you go somewhere, like tonight we went camping with my mom where they have a huge trick or treat area. He did great with that, and actualy held hands. But afterwards as we were sitting, trying to relax near the fire. He'd just run off into the woods and DOES NOT listen. If you go shopping, he freaks out, or will just run down the aisle as you yell his name, he doesn't come back. You can say a million times, James don't do that, James come here, James sit down, James hold hands, James no, James stop, James don't throw, and he keeps doing it or will not listen. Needless to say, I get frustrated and begin to feel as that I've failed as a parent.

So a quick back story, my husband 4am - 9am and then i go into work until 5pm. Due to our situation my husband stays home with him which is fantastic. Do you think he is not getting enough stimulation? Enough interaction with other kids? They play all day, granted he is a dad and not to be sterotyping, but dads don't necessarily make a schedule out of a day or have activites planned or even play dates. I just feel like an awful mom and that i have a child nobody wants to be around, my sisters don't want to go shopping with him because he'll touch everything and drive me nuts. I love that little boy more than anything in the world, but just begin to feel like i'm failing as a parent. Does it get easier? Do they get out of this stage of not listening? I see so many other kids, hold their parents hands and listen when they call them back. I hate being frustrated because he dosnt' listen and i can't enjoy myself at events and that i feel like a failure.

please help in someway.


Noreen - posted on 11/07/2011




Firstly, YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE as a parent. I completely 100% know where you are coming from. I have a 7yr old who is exactly like your son, or was when he was two. At 7yrs old, the listening doesn't get much better. I can give you some examples as to what has made parenting my son, Kaleb easier and less stressful.

One way that has worked but it was a TON of work is this. On a day you have tons of time and don't have to go anywhere, drive to a parking lot to practice hand holding. (Don't expect to actually go into the store.) Ask James to hold your hand. The minute he drops and refuses, pick him up, buckle him back up and calmly tell him that he needs to hold Mommy's hand for safety so a car doesn't hit him. Then try again. Repeat this process until he finally holds your hand. It can take 20min, or it can take all day. If he doesn't get it the first day then go back another day to practice. When you finally make it across the parking lot with him holding your hand, start over again until you have made it across the lot 10 successful times. The key is consistency. You can implement this into many other things as well. Like shopping in the store. If he doesn't hold on to the cart, or stay with you, then go back to square one. We didn't start this stragedy until Kaleb was 5yrs old. What we did for him was made him practice unbuckling his carseat. For example, every time I would pull into a parking spot or our driveway, he would unbuckle and start running around the van. I was so tired of it and couldn't stand it any longer. So one day I made him rebuckle. Then I said, "Kaleb, you may unbuckle." Then I would make him buckle back up and wait until he had my permission to unbuckle. I made him do this about 10x until I let him unbuckle the last time and I finished by saying, "This is how you unbuckle. You wait for Mommy to tell you it's ok" I have done this for slamming doors, (making him open and quietly close doors) turning lights off, closing the toilet seats, picking up toys (I'd make him pick them up, then have him dump them out again to repick them up over and over) etc.

Another parenting strategy that works well with almost any 2yr old is allowing for them to feel that they are somewhat in control or have a choice. For instance, "James, would you like for Mommy to carry you across the parking lot, or would you like to hold Mommy's hand?" "James, would you like to sit in the cart, or hold onto the cart?" etc. Either answer pleases you but it allows for him to make a decision. If he can't decide with in a few seconds, choose for him and don't allow for him to change his choice if he decided he wanted to be carried across the parking lot and half way through wants to hold your hand. Allowing for him to make choices can also be carried through out the day as well. For example, "James, would you like Orange Juice, or Milk with your breakfast?" "Would you like to wear the blue shirt, or the red shirt?" You can read, "Love and Logic For Early Child Hood Development" if you want more ideas on how to allow your son to choose some things. I will warn you though, you can get away with reading the first few chapters at a local bookstore and skip buying the book. Its very redundant. LOL

I am so sorry that you feel that you are not a good mom. Feeling like that does not help any. Follow your mommy instincts and reach out for advice when you need it.

Candace - posted on 11/11/2011




I have a son like this too. I like many of the things the other moms have said. I also give our son a lot of choices. Do you want to use a fork or spoon to eat your peas? Do you want milk, water, or juice for a drink? I also think time out works like a charm! I started using a countdown as my warning. Like today, my son was terrorizing our cat. I asked him to leave the cat alone and of course he didn't listen. Then, "If you haven't stopped bothering the cat by the time I count to three, you are in time out." I usually don't even get to 2. When I do get to three, I follow through with the time out. I've done it so much, I can now just start counting and he starts to listen. I also do it with taking toys away. We have a toy tub of taken away toys and he can get a toy back with good behavior.

We still have hard times and embarrassing public temper tantrums. He's two and lacks impulse control. It is what it is!

Bridget - posted on 11/02/2011




We had difficulties with my daughter not listening. I did tons of research on this topic. She is very strong willed and refuses to listen to my husband, and was only occasionally listening to me.
If you research time out its actually not proper for kids this age- and some think its a bad way to discipline because it is using humiliation as a form of discipline. I dont know about that part, but I know timeout was NOT effective in getting Addie to listen.
One day I decided that rather than give orders, or punnish, I would be patient and explain things to her. IF she was doing something wrong like trying to run away, I would tell her "Addie, you cant run away from Momma. If you run away you could get hurt and if Mommy cant see you Mommy gets scared. How about you sit in the cart and help Mommy find the fruit" or if she was getting into something she wasnt allowed I would tell her "Addie you cant play with X because it makes big messes that we will have to clean up. Why dont we play with this?" and Id offer a suggestion/distraction. I also praised her good behavior- if she would clean up Id say "Addie you are such a good girl! Come get hugs!" and she ate it up. She is much better behaved now, and listens well most of the time. OF course there are times when she just wont listen, but thats how they are at this age. Its to be expected. And Ill be honest, going about things this way was not easy. Im not the most patient person by nature and it took a lot of deep breaths and set backs before it became habbit (of course I still have days where being quiet and patient is nearly impossible) but we are a much happier family because of it.
Positive reinforcement and distraction can work wonders- especially for kids this age. You might want to see if it works for you?


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Amanda - posted on 11/14/2011




I use the countdown. However, my son often waits until I say three, and then he does what I ask. I don't punish him because he completes the task I ask. Like other moms, I do try to offer choice, but it can be hard in the beginning, especially because we are so used to making all of the choices for them.

Amanda - posted on 11/12/2011




Thank you all for your advice, and re-assuring me that i'm not a horrible parent. James is doing good as of late. We are trying very hard to work with him when he does something wrong and talk in a soothing voice to make him feel good (he loves praise) instead of yelling NO. We just need to work on the public experience's that he encounters. I really appreciate the post on how to handle the hand holding situation. I am definetly going to try that out. He does great at home and places other than a parking lot or store. Again thank you all so much. Please check out as well

Elizabeth - posted on 11/06/2011




After I replied to this post I decided I would try a new approach at time out...I set my son in his chair and set the timer and there is absolutely no fuss at all! He actually sits quiet he just watches the timer and he knows when the timer dings his time is up. And he has actually been a little better since! I have read tons of magazines and never read anything about time out not being a good idea. I have usually just read one minute for each year. Every child is different.. where one thing works for one child may not work for another. But all I have to say is don't believe everything you see in magazines but it does help to hear other peoples advice and give it a try :)

Elizabeth - posted on 11/01/2011




My son was born Sep. 3rd and is kind of the same way but a little different at the same time, he just doesn't listen to me is always getting into things (which i understand they do at this age) I couldn't tell you how many time I say "No Parker" on a daily basis, it''s pretty much an all day thing! He takes down the baby gate and runs into the rooms and has found out to get past the baby proof cabinet locks.I put him in time out and he just screams and cries without end. I'm afraid my neighbors across the hall are going to think I'm abusing him or something b/c he is always throwing fits and such BUT the thing is he is only like this with me. My husband only has to tell him once and he practically salutes him. So it makes me feel like a failure as a mom sometimes. I think sometimes I don't lay down the law sometimes and I give in when he wants something. I don't know, I just find it VERY difficult at times and I don't know if its just a stage hes going through with the "terrible twos" or if its just me.

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