M.T. asks from Nyack, NY on December 15, 2008
I Can't Stand My Child!
My child is driving me crazy! Technically she hasn't hit the terrible twos yet but she may as well have. She gets into everything and she doesn't listen when I tell her no or don't. I've tried reasoning, I've tried the tough approach, time outs- nothing works! I literally have to walk away from her to keep my temper under control. I am so stressed out, lately I don't even want to be near her. When does this madness end?
L.P. answers from New York on December 16, 2008
Instead of No & don't be more positive and have her do things that she is allowed to do. When you say No & Don't that makes them act up more. Distract her with something she is allowed to do. Give her choices. Show her 3 things she can do and have her choose which one she wants. That helped with my daughter. I do the same thing with clothes and food. When they feel they have choices they feel more independent and content. You will still get tantrums when she is frustrated but it will happen less and less.
M.H. answers from New York on December 16, 2008
These are tough times, but hang in there just remember she is a child. ( not two yet) My son 1 1/2 is a terror, he take everything out of my cabinets pots,pans,baking bowls etc.... I work full time and have a 6 year old daughter that needs my help as well. It does get overwelming most of the time. But, I stand back and say people have it worst then I do. They have a sick child or children that have bigger problems than this. Like you said just take a step back, breath.
It gets better around 3 years of age. They are still learning everyday, my son and daughter mimic me everyday and sometimes not good things.(yelling, getting angry) I see them do it to each other and that is my fault because they see this with me. So now I try even harder to control myself. Everyday its a struggle to remain sain. Keep in there, it will get better. :)
D.S. answers from New York on December 16, 2008
this is the toughest job you will ever have.... I know it gets crazy sometimes... my advice would be not to sweat the small stuff, but follow through on the times you say no. This is the age where they HAVE to learn that you mean it when you say no... I ran after my kids constantly at this age, but once they learned that mommy was the boss, it gets better. Kids try to show their independence and it's good to let them learn and do some things on their own, but certain times, you really need them to do what you say and that's when you have to follow through. Good luck! You are not alone!!
V.M. answers from New York on December 17, 2008
The madness doesn't end until you end it. Watch a few episodes of Supernanny. The techniques really do work. But you have to be consistent, calm, and in charge. I would also suggest talking to your doctor about the way you are feeling. I was diagnosed with post-partum depression more than 2 years after my daughter was born. I didn't feel depressed, I was ANGRY all the time.
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S.L. answers from Binghamton on December 16, 2008
Read the Happiest Toddler on the Block and the Toddler Book by Dr. Sears.
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A.K. answers from New York on December 17, 2008
Wow, it scares me to read that a mom can write "I Can't Stand My Child", especially a child that is only a few years old, if that!! You can not expect a child of that age to NOT GET INTO THINGS! It's normal behavior. Trust me, my daughter is 2 1/2 and still gets into things....but using the whole negative approach, i.e. "no" and "don't" DOESN'T work! You have to divert her attention and try to explain to her in a nice manner, not an angry one why you don't want her doing what she was doing. Do you have any help at all from anyone? Seems to me like you have a short fuse, and no compassion at all for your daughter. How can you not want to be near your own baby girl? GET HELP NOW. There's nothing wrong with asking for help. Sounds like you really need it, and fast. Don't be the next statistic we see on the news!
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H.O. answers from Rochester on December 16, 2008
This is such an important time in the life of both you and your daughter. Please, please be patient. Your daughter needs your unconditional love, no matter what is going on. I have a hunch, that if you work on your own reactions, your immpatience, and have trust in the growth that can happen for both you and your daughter, things will improve.
She is your teacher, teaching you about your own mind, and how to be a more loving person.
Practically speaking, I hope you receive some good advice from other mothers, but I think the more you work on less reacting and more patience, the more her behavior will improve. Also, she might be extra inquisitive. Perhaps there are toys, or things to do that might interest her, keep her attention for a spell.
Good luck to you and I wish you well.
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S.D. answers from Albany on December 16, 2008
At first I recoiled in horror at the heading of your post... That is because I lost a child due to prematurity. After I took a deep breath and read your full request, I could absolutely understand how a parent could feel the way that you do. When a person has lost a child it is hard for them to understand those who are lucky enough to have a child but who are having difficulty with that child. You received a lot of great suggestions. I just wanted to chime in and remind you that you really are fortunate to have a family. I know that this is a hard time for you and your little one but try to remember the good parts of motherhood as well. So many women never have an opportunity to be a mom at all. You must be a loving mother since you are trying to find solutions. You will survive this! Have a wonderful holiday season. Hopefully things will get easier for you and your family. In the meantime, you totally deserve a girl's day out!!!!
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G.M. answers from New York on December 16, 2008
I have an 18 month son who I also think is already hitting the terrible twos. What works best for us is to re-direct him. We know he enjoys the big knob puzzles, so whenever he's trying to turn the light switches on/off or tearing the couch apart, we would point him to his puzzles, for example. The day care that he attends since he was three months old uses the same approach and so far he seems to take to that. We also don't use the word "no" in fear that he'll start saying "no" to everything, instead we use "uh,uh,uh,uh" whenever he attempts to touch or go where he's not supposed to. Amazingly, that works too. Somehow re-focusing their attention to something else (less destructive) appears to direct his energies, rather than simply asking him to 'stop' doing what he's doing. Try it and see if it helps.
A.S. answers from Albany on December 16, 2008
This is funny, b/c mine is a love/dislike relationship as well. I love the days she plays, we do something and all is well. Then there are the days she just whines/fusses over something. Sometime's its things she know's how to do. Take breaks, get a sitter if you can, for one time a week/month what ever and that helps. Try to ignore some of it. Keep toys and games at hand, for the rough times. Always, have things in the car, a snack on hand. If we go to the store, I know we might have a melt down at some point, So I have lots to keep her busy. Even do things the night before. I don't want to say to you it gets better, b/c I am in the same boat, and for me it hasn't. There were lots of people that say that, and we live it every day. but, they do get bigger and better and things will work out. Take care and enjoy the crazyness.
D.Z. answers from Binghamton on December 17, 2008
I know you've already gotten a lot of responses, but I wanted to chime in too. I haven't read the other responses, so sorry if this is repetitive. What you are experiencing is perfectly normal. No doubt your daughter is very smart, which will turn out to be a huge blessing. It is very difficult when our children get into everything. I know, I have 5 and they all have gone through this stage, some worse than others.
First of all...you are doing exactly what you need to do with regards to your temper...just walk away. That is what I do sometimes with my daughter who will be 2 tomorrow and truly can be a terror. I have been known to lock myself in the bathroom just to get a moment to compose myself. That is ok.
I'm sure you have already done this, but you need to have all of your cabinets so that they cannot be opened...child proof locks are great. I would also recommend looking at your home again from your daughters perspective, and putting away anything that you don't need out in her sight and reach. Gone are the days when we simply teach our kids not to touch...it you don't want her touching it, you have two choices...battle with her all day because she will touch them...or just put them up for now (be it books, knick knacks, craft supplies, whatever). So, go through and rebaby proof your home. That might help. Then, and I think this is important...find a spot in your home...maybe a kitchen cabinet, or a drawer in her dresser, somewhere that you can put items that you don't mind her getting into. Switch the items periodically so that she can have her curiosity and not drive you crazy!
Last, if you truly feel the same, that you cannot stand your child, find someone to talk to about this...a moms group, a trusted friend, a pastor, someone who can validate your feelings and put everything into perspective. I'm positive that you would never hurt your baby...after all, what kind of mom who cares enough to be on a moms group online would? But, if you are feeling like you can't control your temper, contacting someone to take your baby, for a couple of hours or overnight or longer, would be a really good way to get a breather. I'm hardly ever away from my child (stay at home mom) but if I sneak away to do the grocery shopping without her, when I get home I feel refreshed and ready to be mom again...and that is only after an hour or two away. Imagine how good you could feel with a whole day or weekend off!
Please let us know how this turns out for you. I wish you all the best. Parenting is the hardest job in the world!
mom to 5 with one more on the way