Terrible 2'S Are Draining Me....... and Another on the Way

Updated on August 06, 2008
J.D. asks from Sealy, TX
43 answers

I have a 2 1/2 yr old daughter how at times is the most wonderful daughter I could ask for, and then the majority of the time lately she has been so horrible for me and my husband I could just run away.. She still has her pacifier which she is attahced to her hip it seems like. She will not give it up for anything, if we try and take it she screams and hollers until you give it back... She throws the worst tantrums you could imagine, throws herself on the floor, screams at the top of her lungs, etc... He have givin her spankings at times and makes things worse and makes me feel like a horrible mother, tried timeouts and she doesn't stay, I pretty much have to sit on her to stay in timeout... I try to ignore her tantrums but being pregnant right now, and daily headaches I can't take all the screaming. Daddy takes her to daycare in the mornings and lately she will not get dressed or brush her hair. and on top of it I am 4 1/2 months pregnant. I try to be calm with her as much as possible but it seems like there's no talking to her.. She won't even give us kisses anymore, which kills me. I don't know what to do about her anymore, it is starting to come between my marriage and I just about cry myself to sleep everynight because she is so horrible towards us. If anyone has any advise please help, I luv her to death but something has to change asap before the new baby comes.

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K.G.

answers from Houston on

J., I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter and I can tell you from experience the best way to get rid of the pacifier. My mother in law came over to visit and I told her i wanted to get rid of the pacifier and I had read that you cut the tip of the pacifier off and give it back to them and they will not want it anymore. I tell you it worked. The trick is finding all the pacifiers in the house and cutting them all. My mother in law cut the tip, gave it to her, she put it in her mouth made a funny face and threw the pacifier back at my mother in law and never took a pacifier again. It is worth a shot. Best of luck
K.

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A.C.

answers from Waco on

I have a 3 year old girl, a 2 year old boy, and a 6 month old boy. I've been with my husband for almost 4 years, going on 1 year married. My little girl too has these tantrums but the best thing is to never give in. It did get to the point where we wouldnt go out becaouse of older two childrens behavior. Stick to rules such as time outs and offer rewards for the good behavior. It just takes time but you must stand firm.

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K.W.

answers from Corpus Christi on

A couple things you said held the key to me on what is happening in your home.

1st was "She will not give it up for anything, if we try and take it she screams and hollers until you give it back... "
2nd was "tried timeouts and she doesn't stay"

What it sounds like to me is she is in charge right now. You take her paci, she throws a fit, you give it back... fit gets her what she wanted, behavior continues. You put her in time out, she gets up and leaves, what is the consequence of that?

What I have found works with tantrums is simply ignoring them, BUT , to make life livable for you, you have to remove the child from your presence. Pick her up, take her to her room, tell her she can throw a fit all she wants but you don't have to listen to it, then closer her door. It muffles the sound :) Install a little video camera if it gives you comfort and watch what she does after you close the door, you can always mute the sound. Do not give in, do not go in, nothing, until she calms herself down. Do this a couple times and once she realizes that fit throwing a) doesn't get her what she wants and b) makes life harder on HER, she will quit the behavior. Right now the behavior gets her what she wants so no way will she stop it.

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E.B.

answers from Houston on

When my daughter was almost 2, her pediatrician realized how dependent she was upon her pacifier, too. He did not suggest just taking it away from her, but to cut a bit off of the end each week. By the end of 3 or 4 weeks she would realize that it wasn't the same, and just decide for herself that she didn't want it like that. The key is to make sure you cut ALL of them off - and just tell her that's all there is. Believe it or not, it really worked! That way, she was the one making the decision not to have it anymore. Regarding her behavior, try finding some books about being a big sister. Do a search at amazon.com about new baby siblings - there are lots of them out there. Be sure to include her in as much as possible. Getting the nursery ready, washing, drying, and folding baby clothes, etc. Let her help you pick out the car seat - get the choices down to the 2 that you think you want, and if they come in different fabrics, let her help choose which seat baby sister would like, etc. Let her know how special she is to you both and reassure her that that will not change.

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H.B.

answers from Austin on

J.,
I know how you are feeling. My daughter is 2 and as TERRIBLE as they come when she doesn't get her way. She whines and cries about everything. But here's the thing...she only acts this way around me. My husband hasn't put up with her behavior so she behaves for him and is mostly pleasant around him as well. I've started to place firmer boundaries with her now and am noticing a difference - for the better. When she starts to throw a fit I tell her "Use your words" Then if she doesn't and continues, I take her straight to the "naughty spot", get down on her level and look her in the eyes and say "You will sit here until you stop screaming". The eye contact lets her know I'm serious. Then I FOLLOW THROUGH. No matter how many excuses are running through my mind like "she's just tired or she's not feeling good, I don't give in. That is the key. Let your daughter scream and throw a fit. Believe it or not, your daughter WANTS boundaries and NEEDS boundaries. It provides security for them. They may not like the boundaries, but they KNOW they are there and eventually they'll GET IT. JUST AS IMPORTANT is to reward the good behavior or the changes in behavior. For instance, my daughter started to EXPECT a popsicle AS SOON as she got home every day. She would throw herself down and scream and wail if I didn't give her one. Well, I finally had enough and said calmly "No popisicle until AFTER you eat your chicken" I'd keep offering her the chicken and she'd hit my hand away and carry on. If the crying didn't stop, to change things up I'd say "Do you want a popsicle? and I'd get excited right along with her and say OK, I want to give you one BUT FIRST you have to eat your chicken." She'd fuss at first, but then she started to get it that if she wanted "X" then she'd have to do "Y" first. There are different approaches that work for different kids, but the main thing is that she saw in my eyes that I wasn't giving in - even if it meant she didn't eat anything for an hour. Eventually she'd either eat the chicken and then get her popiscle or ask for something else to eat.
TRUST ME, I KNOW you think you're being a "bad" mom if you don't keep your child from crying and "meet their needs", but you're setting yourself up for MORE headaches later on if you don't step up and change the behavior now. As far as the pacifier goes...we calmly but firmly took it away and said "Passy has to go Bye Bye" "Say Bye Bye to passy" and we all took turns saying "Bye Bye" to it and then tossed it into the outside garbage can and never looked back. Baby threw a major fit but guess what....that was the end of passy. No temptation to go and dig it out of the nasty can and daughter forgot about it eventually. If she brought it up we said, as you'd say about a friend who visited but had to leave, "yes, Passy had to go bye bye." And then distracted with a book or toy or whatever.
You CAN break the behavior patterns. You and hubby have all the responsibility on your shoulders therefore YOU have the control button and set the tone. If you don't take the reigns back EARLY, then baby will not only keep disrupting your life, but could also start mistreating the baby too. She'll fight you at first, but will adapt and actually thrive better in the structured environment. Blessings to you guys! I know how hard this is!!! But be strong now and things will get better.

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H.B.

answers from Odessa on

Take a break girl! Ok, I don't want any hate mail, but here's what I think. Don't force the little stuff, like brushing hair and teeth or giving up the pacifier. If she won't do it for herself, do it for her. When she throws her famous tantrums, ignore her. Seriously. It's really hard at first, but trust me, it works. When she starts, pick her up and don't cuddle, and only say - very calmly - when you can talk like a big girl, I will listen. Put her in her room and make sure there is nothing that can hurt her, then leave. It works best if there is a child proof gate, so she can see that you are having no reaction and will not tolerate the ugly behavior. Then, when she is done, sit down with her and cuddle and give kisses and praise the new big girl. Don't think it will work in one day, it may take many days or weeks until she realizes the ugly behavior is ignored and the good behavior is rewarded. When these pass, timeout will work better, the pacifier will be gone and the kisses will return, but now it's obviously not an option. Trust me, you want to deal with this now, well before the second one comes!!
Good luck!

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J.V.

answers from Austin on

How does she do at daycare? You might set up an appointment with the teacher and get their input.

I am concerned that she does not kiss you anymore. Has she shown any other loss of skills? How are her communication and play skills? You say she screams a lot-- can she use words? Sometimes kids who do not have any other way to communicate will do whatever it takes.

So many times kids are having developmental issues and everyone just thinks they are just being a brat. When my baby was 6 weeks old, my older son was 2 and a half and newly diagnosed with autism. Please talk to your dr. It is probably nothing, I do not mean to alarm you over nothing, but I wish someone would have told me that my son was maybe not just difficult...

Good luck!

J

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C.E.

answers from Dallas on

I see you have lots of responses so I'll make my tidbit short and sweet.

My little boy (21 mths) LOVES to help. He helps me unload the dishwasher...he hands me the dishes and I put them away. When I ask if he wants to help he runs right over and opens the door!

Dont get me wrong...I'm experiencing tantrums! Well, he is the one throwing them, but I WANT to sometimes, ha! Good luck, read the advice and do what you feel is right in your heart. good luck and congrats on the newly arriving bundle of joy.

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K.N.

answers from Austin on

Her behavior could be due to a number of reasons... Age and temporary phase being the biggest considerations. However, you might want to consider her diet and what she's eating as contributing to the extremeness of her behavior. If she primarily eats pre-made or highly processed food, foods made with white flour or rice white, or foods containing high fructose corn syrup, her body might be metabolizing it directly into sugar... which might explain why she seems out of control and constantly on a sugar rush.

Foods with dye additives or preservatives can also trigger out of control behavior.

Start reading the labels of her foods and snack items... Consider increasing the amount of protein (eggs are the wonder food!) and non-processed cheese instead of carbohydrates. Natural sugars (honey, agave nectur) and fruit sugar is metabolized differently than processed white sugar and corn syrup.

You might also want to consider her routine. Do you stick to a daily routine? Can she predict what the next event will be for her during the day? A structured routine may help calm her behavior by providing the ability to know 'what's coming'. A routine with no boundaries and little structure can create anxiety in children and foster an attitude of rebellion and pushing all limits because the child is used to functioning without any predictable expectations or limits.

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R.C.

answers from Houston on

J., don't buy into the guilt issue when disciplining your child. The Bible actually tells us that "if you don't discipline your children, you don't love them." (Proverbs 13:24) Hebrews 12:6 tells us that The Lord disciplines those He loves. There are many more but just know that you are NOT a horrible mother. God associates discipline with love! Whatever form of discipline you choose just be firm and consistent. Your daughter might have a strong personality but you and your husband are the grown-ups in charge and she needs (and wants) to understand and respect that. Imagine being in a meeting where no one was in charge and you had very little knowledge. It would be chaotic unless or until someone took charge, then everything would be in order. There is also proper order in the home and if you don't have that, you will have chaos and stress. I know it's hard at times but parenting isn't easy, it's very rewarding and still the best job ever but not easy. I sure hope some of this helps you. I would have loved to have had a forum like this when my kids were little but The Lord did supply me with some very wise, experienced moms to which I am still very grateful. God bless you and congratulations! By the way, I LOVE the outside too! I wish my husband loved it as much as I do.

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B.B.

answers from Houston on

It is really a great time for you and your child. I raised three children and at two, it is you that needs to be the adult. The child is discovering that he/she is a person. They say No a lot. Half the time they don't know if they mean no or not. They have only been here for two years. Time in their room, be sure and use a clock because three minutes is a long time for a small child, is a great way to let the child think about what they did that was wrong. Structure is a great way to teach your little one was is aceptable and what is not. Everyone has strong points to draw on. You can teach them songs, show them how to finger paint. Take them to the zoo. Reward good behavier. Time out is in order if they act up. Stay in control. Be firm, not angry. Remember you are teaching them life lessons. Anger is a choice. You can decide not to be angry and take control of the situation because you understand the cause, and you are the Mama. Kissing will start again when the child is ready. In the meantime, it is time for you to develop some structure. For example, In the morming make out a rough draft of a time line that you will stick to. For instance, Baby wakes up, you change diaper and feed breakfast. The child may not want to eat. No big deal. Go to the next order of the day. A TV program, while you clean up the kitchen and make the beds, throw in a load of laundry. Then maybe while it's cool go outside for a time. You can get some fresh air take a little walk with your child, swing, or play in the water. When it's time to go inside, a snack might be in order. Some fruit, cheese and crackers ect. It is 9:30 or 10:00. Then some free play until lunch. After lunch is nap time. Time to take bath, change clothes, put on a clean diaper, a nice warm bottle and while you rock your child, read your child a story. This is your time to take a nap, call a friend. What ever floats your boat. Clean something you can't clean while your child is up. Throw in another load of laundry. When your child wakes up you are together. You have had a little rest. It's 3:00 time to fold the clothes while your child has a snack and plays. Time to dust and vacume. Pick a room each day. Clean one room really well each day. Think ahead. Don't leave pens, pencils, crayons, out for your child to get get in trouble with. Choose toys that are on his/her level so your child gets the most benefit from play. Love your baby don't expect him/ her to know what you need. Say please and thank you and they will say it back to you. Have respect for your child and they will show you respect.

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J.M.

answers from Houston on

TRY THIS!! I too had a horrible time trying to get my daughter to stay put during a time out so I gave myself a time out instead. (I learned this in a parenting magazine.)When my daughter would start really misbehaving or screaming and throwing a tantrum I would simply and calmly say, "Mommy doesn't like your behavior right now and it's really upsetting me so I need to take a time out." Then I would walk into my bedroom and shut the door. At first this really upset my daughter because she realized I had taken the power away from her. She would stand outside my door and scream and cry for me to come out, but I would remind her just once(through the door) that I would not come out until her behavior changed and she calmed down. The first time I think she sat outside my door and screamed for over 30 minutes, but I knew she was right there so I stuck it out. After that I rarely ever had to give myself a timeout because as soon as I would mention that I didn't appreciate her behavior and needed to give myself a timeout she would change her behavior. Of course this only works when you're at home. The thing I really liked about this method was that it took the power away from the child and you didn't have to physically try to restrain your child in a time out spot or in their room. Also many do not agree that you should send your child to their room for punishment which makes sense to me.

Now about the pacifier. I would get rid of it now...way before the new baby arrives. I know it's a lot to deal with but you will be so glad you did. My daughter also loved her pacifier, but by this age it interfers with their speech and their teeth and mouth development. It caused my daughter to have a tongue thrust which she now has an appliance in her mouth to correct. It typically only takes 3 days for them to adjust to be without it. Start by making a small hole in the tip of each pacifier. Each day make the hole a little bigger. When your daughter complains about it tell her that they are warn out from being used so much so it's time to throw them away. Let her decide when to throw them away which she will probably do quite easily because they won't work.

GOOD LUCK AND STICK TO IT!!! YOU CAN DO IT!!! :)

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J.P.

answers from Houston on

Reading your message was like reading my personal diary! I had the same thing happen while I was pregnant with my second. My older daughter was 18 months old when we got pregnant with her. My husband was working nights while I worked days and every night was an emotional and physical battlefield in our house. My saving grace was actually the bathtub. I was physically ill with the second a lot longer and more often than with the first so I was worn out one day and just couldn't take it. I put her in the bathtub and put as many toys as I possibly could and some bubbles in there with her. This was the first time I actually wasn't in the big tub with her. She ended up staying in for an hour and a half playing away! I was able to sit down and rest a bit while she was in there and relax. Of course I was never where I couldn't see her from where I was sitting, but I didn't have to battle her either. I also found that if I put her up on the counter with a big spoon, she'd "help" me cook. I kept giving her job after job to keep her focused on something right next to me. This isn't to say that she never threw a fit. There were times when I considered selling her on ebay but I was afraid they'd ask for a refund! LOL Good luck to you. And congratulations!

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S.M.

answers from Austin on

It looks like you are getting some sound advice about the tantrums. I wanted to tell you what we did about the pacifiers. Set a definite date to end the pacifier and tell your daughter. We set the "When you turn 2, no more pacifier" and then a month before the deadline, tell her "You can have the pacifier only when you are in your bed." Our son spent a lot of time in bed at first but when he turned two he was sad for a day and then he was fine. I've also heard about "mailing" the old pacifiers to a new baby since your child is a big girl and doesn't need them. Best of luck and hang in there...it won't be long before these are only distant memories!

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A.L.

answers from Austin on

J.,
Mine isn't quite 2, but I feel as if we got an early start. I've seen an exceptional rise in the tantrums this last month. This is how I deal with it:

1) Hit reset. This is for you. Every single morning, or before you go to bed, do something symbolic that helps you let go of any anger or frustration toward your child and start fresh the next day. She is likely picking up on your anxiety and frustration and doing what she knows to express it.

2)Goob witch/Bad witch. Use a honey voice and all the sweet words, smiles and caresses that you can when she is being good (or at least not crossing the line). Switch to mean witch, angry voice and frown when she is doing something that is against the rules. State what she is doing wrong in this tone, then switch to good witch quickly to tell her what she could do right. The contrast helps her define the boundaries she is searching for.

3) Have *special* time together as regularly as possible, like reading before bed, or going for a walk together to discover the world.

4) Let her have tantrums. Watch the show and rate the category 1-5 as with hurricanes. She must be calm before you pick her up or allow her in your lap. If the screaming is giving you a head ache or she is trying to climb into your lap, state the rule calmly and walk in the other room or put on headphones for music. I've been doing this with my son and just this week I've noticed that even he doesn't really believe in his tantrums sometimes. He is just throwing out a line so see if something will take the bait.

Good luck!

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K.L.

answers from Houston on

First I understand you are stressed out and that is what your daughter is picking up on. If your calm your daughter will be calm - so when you are giving her a time out or whatever method of punishment you choose, be calm about it. Remember to tell her that she isn't a bad person but the behavior is bad. Then for the temper tantums - tell her that she has to do that in her room and when she's through throwing it, she's allowed to come out, but remember to be calm about it. I did this with my son who is the most stubborn child I've ever met and nothing else ever worked - and when he got put away from me, it made him realize that he couldn't do that anymore because he was the only one listening to it.

As for the pacifier - take a trip - even a day trip and take all of them with you. When you get home (hide one) make sure they are "lost" which you conviently get rid of somewhere else. That was what we had to do again with my son but our trip was a week long. We told him the airline lost them. It worked. The other thing I've heard is to put them all in a bag and tie a huge balloon too them and send them to the Paciy fairy and then the next morning she brings a much wanted toy to big girls and boys. Just a couple of suggestions.

I wish you all the best as I know how frustrating a stubborn child can be - just remember this you are the parent -- not her. Also it's okay to tell her that her screaming is hurting your head and then start playing something that she loves to do quietly. That's something else that might work. Good luck. K.

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K.B.

answers from Houston on

Hi J.-

I think you've gotten some great advice on discipline from the other moms. In addition to trying some of these tactics try to give your daughter some small responsibilities around the house, something that makes her feel helpful and important to the running of the household. This will give you and your husband some more opportunities to praise your daughter's good behavior plus once your baby is born you're going to need her to be "the big sister" so you might as well start now. The feeling of accomplishment and pride that she will feel in being your "special helper" will help to eliminate the tantrums now and also help with any jealousy that might arise after the baby is born.

Good Luck,
K.

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S.T.

answers from San Antonio on

I would suggest reading Your 2 Year Old by Louise Bates Ames. It give a detailed look at the development of a 2 year old.

As fas as the paci goes, I would start by limiting it to naptime and bedtime. If you have already done that, she may not be ready to give it up. If you really want it gone, I would just round them up and toss them. You could also try the paci fairy, who takes big kids pacis and gives them to children who don't have any. She also leaves a present in exchange. Sure, she may scream and complain, but she has every right to be upset. She needs to get those emotions out and doesn't know any other way at this point.

When we have screaming fits, we usually tell our kids (2 and 3) that they are upset because of x, but they are hurting our ears. Then we tell them that they have to stay in their room until they feel better. We also try to help them calm down. We have taught taking deep breaths, reading books, and a big bear hug from mommy or daddy to help them calm down. But, if they don't want that at the moment, it is off to their rooms. If they come out, and are still upset, we offer to help them calm down or they can go back to their room to be angry. If they won't go, we take them there, with no discussion. She needs to know how to handle all those big emotions.

And remember, as hard as it can be to parent a 2 year old, imagine how hard it is to be a 2 year old. Everyone is telling you no, stop, don't. All these lovely boundaries are being set in place that you are expected to follow (which are necessary, but doesn't mean they are fun from a 2 year old's perspective). You are having to deal with all these new, raw emotionis and don't know what to do with them. It is probably pretty tough.

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S.W.

answers from Houston on

Wow, what a great support group. I hope you realize now that you can beat this and turn the next few months into a very joyable time before my (hopefully)nephew is here. So now, grab that hubby and get a game plan and enforce it together! And remember we are always a phone call away!

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M.B.

answers from Houston on

I'm sorry you are going through this rough time. I personally like some of SuperNanny's methods. Have you ever watched her show? She also has a book out called How to Get the Best from Your Children (by Jo Frost); you can buy it at a book store or maybe find it at your local library. A friend of mine recently shared a video with me called "1-2-3 Magic." There are several books by the same person as the video (Dr. Phelan). These are also available at your public library or book store. His techniques seem very simple and easy to implement. Best wishes.

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L.B.

answers from Killeen on

you are not alone.....she's in her terrible twos as they say. I can relate to you b/c I have a 16mon old daughter who does the same thing that your daughter do/is doing and drives me crazy and on top of that just found out that I am pregnant prob around 1 or 2 mons.

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C.G.

answers from Austin on

Hi J. -

Two's are hard! My son never took a pacifier, but I think it would be worth it for you just to let her keep it until she is ready to part with it. Pick your battles... that one seems like an easy way to avoid further stress on you! She will be ready to give it up soon. It will likely be helpful if she still has her pacifier when the baby does arrive.

She sounds Strong Willed. I would recommend a great book that was very helpful for me with my VERY strong willed son. The title is, "Setting Limits with your Strong Willed Child". It really was helpful for me, and my sister who recommended it to me. Consistence is the key for how you discipline your daughter, all children of course benefit from it, however with strong willed children it is essential!

Good luck, and IF you can have a date night once a week with your hubby and have someone watch your daughter that would be beneficial to your marriage!

Best of luck to you and congratulations on your pregnancy.

Hang in there!

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J.P.

answers from Houston on

My daughter just turned 3 this past weekend and I have a another one due any day now. The book Dare to Discipline by Dr. James Dobson is wonderful. Really helped us a lot with the tantrums.

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S.H.

answers from Houston on

Trust me I know exactly what you mean. I made a request on a similar topic eith my little boy. He barely stopped the bottle. Some advise that helped me was offering to give it up (pacifier) to a baby who needs it or her new baby coming. You should go buy her a baby so she can start knowing as of now how to be sweet and loving to a baby. As far as tantrums what we have been doing is putting him in my bedroom (where there is nothing to get into or harm himself) and We tell him when you are done throwing your tantrums and stop crying you can come out. And yesterday he was in for 5 minutes he just kept crying and kicking the door. But he stoped and he started acting good. Good luck and best of luck:)
S.

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S.L.

answers from Houston on

Thats the way my daughter was.She was 18 months when I had my baby. I stayed home with her the 2nd half of my pregnancy. I would cry because I felt bad at the end of the day. I coudn't take her to the park in the end bc I was so miserable I couldn't move. I tried taking her to the library for story time but I would have to chase her around bc she wouldnt just play and stay out of stuff. I had to stop that.You are probably tired and not giving her enough attention.We both got so frustrated bc she kept getting into stuff and wouldn't stop. I got smart right before I had the baby. Baby locks on everything.I had to put most of her big push toys and chairs in the closet bc she was climbing on them getting into stuff. When my hubby would come home from work (he was gone from 6-6) he would eat dinner then go straight to her room and play with her. A lot of times it would be no tv or time for us.No sex bc I was too sleepy.But together we would give her more attention. Most of the time if you give these kids more attention they straighten up.We have wine and champ.for cooking and made homemade everything but the last year resorted to frozen precooked alot of stuff to give more time to the kids. All my stories. The main thing is get down on this kids level. She throws tantrums you get down and do the same thing.When she stops to look at you calmly or playfully tell her how silly she looked and tell her what she was expected to do. Distract her if she misbehaves add some play to it.Even getting dressed make noises like a robot putting her arm threw the holes or tickle. You are the parent get goofy it can work.

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J.T.

answers from Victoria on

The tantrums are mostly because she knows she can get what she wants that way. If you take her paci away she screams till you give it back. Well basically she has your number. Dont give it back let her scream for a time then tell her its bath time or something very opposite of what the deal is. If you try to give her a diff toy she is just going to throw it. Let her scream put her in her room and tell her when she is done she can come back and play with you. Remember your the mom and its up to you to show her what is approperiate behavior.

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V.L.

answers from Houston on

Well I am in the same boat as you. I have a 2 and 1/2 year old and a newborn baby. To make matters worse my darling newborn has a rare metabolic disorder....so she screams all the time because of the special food she must get. I have learned that my daughters behavior is directly linked to my stress levels. It has only gotten worse since the babies diagnosis. So I know how you feel. I went to counseling for myself to deal with everything that we went through with the baby. I learned there that kids really do not care about what you have going on in your life. They will react to your stress. In retrospect I realized the tough times during my pregnancy she was the same way. Has your routine since your pregnancy changed? What have you done to talk to her about the physical and emotional changes that you are going through? I by no means am putting the blame on you, but it really is something to think about. If you feel that you have not changed all that much, and feel no stress then you have to try and pick a disciple technique and stick with it. We use time out, and it took us dragging her back there for 2 months straight every time she acted up. I never spoke to her while I put her back in her place and it went on for over an hour in the beginning till she stayed put for a full 3 minutes. Now she goes with me just telling her. I just got rid of her binky this week, and I am so proud of her.....i bribed her! Hey whatever works right!!! I try really hard to look at what is going on in our lives, and hers when her behavior gets bad for a few weeks. It is now 2 months since her little sister came home, and after about 1 month her behavior leveled off . I wish you the best and good luck just keep it up. If you want to know how and what I did to get rid of the binky let me know and I would be happy to share!!!

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H.L.

answers from Austin on

We bought the "1-2-3 magic" video, and it changed our lives! We were having major issues with our son, and it has really helped. I found it on ebay at a really good price. If you get it, make sure you and your husband watch it together. Good luck!

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M.C.

answers from Houston on

Hi J., lots of good advice here you definitely should try what is applicable to your situation. My daughter was exactly like your daughter and she was just shy of 3 when we had our second child. You have 3 separate situations you're dealing with...the pacifier, the tantrums and the new baby. With the pacifier I think the fairy idea or the trip might work but didn't have this issue. With the baby, make sure you involve her as much as possible. Take her to see a sonagram (if you have someone to watch her while you're having the rest of the exam). Buy books about becoming a big sister. Bring a special gift home from the hospital for her and say it's from the baby. Let her help you get the nursery ready. When the baby is born let her hold the bottle while you're feeding the baby (unless of course you plan to breast feed only). Anything simple that she can do to become involved and excited about having a new baby. Now for the hard part, the tantrums. I tried everything and was to the point that I felt like a horrible mother. My daughter was the sweetest, most loving little girl ever until about 2 1/2 years old. Then the super tantrums started and it was 2 years before we got it under control (with another child born in the middle of it all). I can't go into all the details because it's just too much to write. But our daughter was still sweet as could be a lot of the time but when she had a tantrum it was kicking, ear piercing screaming, biting, hitting, name calling, complete DRAMA! You have to take back control and soon or it will only get worse. After trying everything you have tried and most of what's suggested below we ended going to see a psychologist. If you've tried everything without satisfaction you might want to consider it. Our daughter was 4, too young to really explain to him what was going on with her, the sessions were really about us...how we dealt with her tantrums, how we talked to her, how consistent we were, etc. His name was Dr. Saltzman (his office is on Dairy Ashford near Memorial). It takes time like anything but we made immediate, consistent changes and saw a difference in 2 weeks. We saw him about 8 times (we had insurance that paid for almost all of it). It's been 8 months since our last visit and we've gone from 2 or 3 total meltdowns a week to once every 4-6 weeks. By the way, if you do this and your doctor suggests medication please get several second opinions before considering it. You want someone who's concerned with your child's health and well being first and foremost. Medication may be an easy answer but I'm sure you want what's best for your daughter even if it isn't the easiest/quickest route. Goodluck and God Bless!

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D.M.

answers from San Antonio on

We went through those awful times...

best advice, keep up with the timeout but use a gate to 'lock' her in her room. it really makes a big impact. no toys or pacifer when she's in timeout. it is supposed to be miserable for her. we would go up after a min or 2 and if she was still having a melt-down we would leave her in there.

Be calm, do NOT lose your cool. tell her 'mommy doesn't like it when you throw a tantrum. you need to go to timeout and when you can act nice you can come out and we'll do x.' be calm each time you go up there to see if she is ready to behave like a nice girl. ask the question again, repeating that if she is throwing a tantrum then she has to stay in timeout. she'll either stop or fall asleep from all the crying.

we took her pacifiers away and she found her thumb which we try to only have her use at night. just take it away when she's sleeping - all gone. offer to rock and cuddle her when she finds that out. if she melts down she can do it by herself in her 'locked' t/o room.

you have to set very firm and no-bendable rules/guidelines. the hardest part is doing it 24/7, the minute you slack off is when they act back up. this will take several months but you need to do it NOW, before another child takes more of your strength and time.

we would leave stores and restaurants when our daughter would act up! she's very social and hated that. then when we got home she went to timeout. now we just have to ask if she would like to go to t/o or do what we are asking of her.

a good book is love and logic, it helps.

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A.K.

answers from Odessa on

It would help to know what kind of discipline you have tried, but here goes. I love to watch the Nanny and her method works. It's a 4 min time out, in the same spot everytime, and the child has to apologize afterward. You guys have to be consistant with it or it won't work and they can't get out of time out til they apologize. It's tough at first, and I mean very tough. It helped with my kids but there were times I didn't have time for time outs and I felt they were bad enough I had to swat their bums. Good luck with it all. It's really frustrating. Whatever you decide to do, it has to be something your hubby is on board with because he will have to do it as well. It takes both.

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L.D.

answers from Houston on

My grandbaby will be two in September. He is going through the terrible 2's already. He will hit, pinch, and throw things. Does not want to mind, does not listen and spankings and time out does no good either. My daughter talked to his doctor about it and he assured her this is normal and will eventually stop. My daughter is 7 months pregnant and some days at her wits end too. Hang in there..hopefully this will behavior will improve soon.

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L.H.

answers from Killeen on

Hi J.,
when she has a tantram just go out side let her have her fit ,,then when she wants to come and play sit her down and tsalk to her telling her that you love her but you dont like the little girl who acts that way and if she will act nice she can,if she throws another leave her out and go inside
some people throw water on there kids faces to shock them back we know it doesnt hurt them so you could try that as for her pacifer just tell her she is not a baby but a biug girl and big girls dont have them ,,,just give her sippy cups they are for big girls ,,,talk to her about being a BIG sister soon ,that might help ,dad needs to help i know he is but this is going to have to be a joint evert not a daycare concern because some of it she learns there ,,sitting with her on your lap at time out is the right thing to do cross your legs over hers and hold her arms with your hands open tell her ya'll are going to stay there till she can act right she will get the idea
very good luck L.

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V.O.

answers from Austin on

We are right there with you and it is SOOO frustrating. We decided when she was younger not to do spanking, because they don't work. Have you tried sending her to her room? We do time outs first and if they don't work, we take her to her room for her timeout.

Is she sleeping enough? Our DD is HORRIBLE when she is tired. If she won't take a nap when you are home with her, tell her that quiet time is not optional and that she can play in her room for an hour if she doesn't sleep (mine always goes to sleep after playing).

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K.J.

answers from San Antonio on

Try giving her choices on things when both choices are okay. For instance in the morning, "do you want to get dressed first and then eat breakfast or do you want to eat first then get dresses?" "Do you want to brush teeth or do you want me to help?" "Do you want to put paci away now or in 5 minutes?" " Would you like to put paci in this drawer to sleep or in your closet?" Give her 10 seconds to decide then you make the decision and follow through. There was a wonderful book that has really helped with my daughter. It is called "Love and Logic".

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J.P.

answers from Houston on

This is what I learned from my goddaughter when she had
her second child.

When the lst child visited the hospital after 2nd child
was born, she held and played with the first child in the
hospital bed. She waited for the right time and told him
to let her know when he was ready to meet his brother.
It was only a little while, and he felt in control when
he was ready. The nurse brought the baby in and the mother continued to hold son #1 until he was ready to
hold the baby. This was a beautiful way to introduce
son #1 to son #2. Mom gave son 1 all of her attention,
until, of course, they got home.
I had 3 boys, all men now. The baby (22 years old) was
so very hard headed when he was a toddler. Looking back,
I can see those nasty traits in a two year old makes for
the leader he is today. I hope to encourage you
to "try" to view these nasty traits as positive character
traits when they become adults.

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B.M.

answers from Houston on

Call your pediatrician and ask for a referral. Don't just let it be excused away as terrible 2's because if she does not special help, it would be better to get her started now, rather than after the baby comes. She could be having a food allergy, ear pain or hearing troubles, or an emotional disturbance. Better to know now rather than wait it out.

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M.W.

answers from Dallas on

I know what you mean about the 2's - I have a daughter who's a little over two years old, and she's definitely doing some of the same things your daughter is. At this age, it seems they are constantly testing the limits, so it's really important to set those limits and be firm about them. My daughter knows exactly what behavior is unacceptable, and I try to be very consistent in reinforcing that. So if she goes out of line, she gets a time-out. Or, if it's a serious infraction or done multiple times, sometimes a spanking is necessary (which does NOT make anyone a bad parent if done correctly). For example, she thinks it's funny to hit mommy and daddy. She does this at least once every couple of days, just to see if the line is still there. She gets immediately sent to time-out. (If your daughter won't stay there, use the technique where you just continue to put her back in the seat. The first time, tell her, "stay there until Mommy tells you you can get down." The next times, however many times it takes, don't talk to her and don't make eye contact. Just sit her in the chair. She'll give up eventually when she sees you mean business.) Normally I don't send her to time-out without giving her one warning, but there are certain things, like hitting, that she knows will result in an automatic time-out. The time-out usually works for my daughter - after about 2-3 minutes, we talk about what she did and she apologizes, I tell her I love her and we hug. My daughter definitely still tests the limits even with these consequences, and there are days that I feel like she tests me from beginning to end! But these things seem to make her more obedient and me more sane. I definitely use other means of "punishment" if I can, first - like taking away something that she wants if she doesn't listen, or putting away a toy she's playing with inappropriately. But with a two-year-old it seems to me that time-outs, and occasionally spankings (depending on the child), are necessary. Hope this helps; it's not like we've got it all figured out, believe me!

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K.T.

answers from Houston on

The book, The Happiest Toddler on the Block, was helpful for us. As far as the pacifier goes, have you tried the "Pacy Fairy?" It's just like the tooth fairy, but your daughter puts the pacifiers on the porch in a bag and the Pacy Fairy comes and gets them and leaves a gift. Of course, you have to build it up just like you would the tooth fairy, so she gets excited about it.

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B.H.

answers from Austin on

I am so sorry...I know a bit of what you are going through. In my experience, toddlers begin to act out because they are in a state of confusion as they grow and change. In our home, we brought our 2 year-old little girl into our room to sleep near us at night, and focused on showing her positive attention during the day (no spanking, lots of hugs, reading to her, etc), and the tantrums have almost completely stopped.

I would recommend reading The Continuum Concept or Raising Your Child Not by Force but by Love.

In response to the recommendation to read Michael Pearl's book To Train up a Child...please check out the comments about this book on Amazon and be very cautious of following its advice.

-B.

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M.E.

answers from Houston on

I truly feel for you. I have 3 children. d8,d4 and a s19months. the middle child was the hardest so far. At 2 1/2 she brought me to my knees. She simply wanted to agrue about everything! just to agrue. I was expecting my third when she was 2 1/2. this is what worked.

Do not make a big deal about anything!! Show her that her tantrums don't affect you and she will lose her audience. Just leave the room and deep breath down from a count of 5. it helps!
Hair - don't worry about it. I used to worry people would think i didn't take care of her hair and if you really think about it how much time do you spend staring at all the other preschoolers hair and clothes? not much because you are dealing with your own kids. *I tied a hairbrush on a string to the her bathroom door and told her it was special and she eventually started to use it on her own and loves to do her hair now.
Clothes - pick out 2 outfits with her as part of the bedtime routine. Let her help with this even if it doesn't match to well. (My middle child sometimes comes down dressed like Punky brewster but she has a big smile on her face because she got to dress herself and i had time for the baby or getting myself ready!!) and heck we are only going to Target so who cares!
In the morning wake her up for DC and have her pick one. If she fusses about her choice remind her that is what she chose and if she selects one and dresses by the time you finish singing the ABCs she'll get a gummy bear(any small treat) out of your REWARD JAR. (a clear plastic jar kept high up in the pantry)She loved the jar and learned her abcs early!
We also talk alot about Priveligies in our family ex. priviligies are tv time, extra book time, outside/playground time with mom/dad, playdates. they can be earned and taken away.

Routine is a must with everything! stick with it now even if you are exhausted. Also, try to form a good bond between her and daddy because he is going to be the one to care for her while you bond and heal with baby. so it is important that thier relationship is strong. Let them go on dates together just daddy daughter and make sure you have a couple of presents for her the day the baby is born to celebrate her big sister hood and keep her busy!

I was not consistent with my daugher while i was preg. with my third and when he was born she was a monster and I kept telling myself i'd get around to fixing the problems.

I learned if she had a tantrum move her to a spot and let her have it. call it a Cool Down spot because she needs time to cool down so that mommy can help her with her words. Remined her that her words are the proper way to express how she is feeling in the moment.
Also with food she would fus about how i served it or how it was cut when that's how she asked for it. I learned by just telling her "then you don't have to eat it"(in a nice/passive tone) she would sulk for a minute and then gobble it down while the rest of the family ate. She learned i wasn't interested in the battle and she was not going to get any negative attention!

I could go on and on. My daughter is a million times better but also age has helped. she is now 4. She is very loving and generally can be a good helper. We have recently come up with a family mission statement to also help with behavior inside and outside of our home. Good luck and hugs! Let me know how it goes: [email protected]____.com

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A.L.

answers from McAllen on

You are not alone. I'm 7 months pregnant with a 19 month old who may be mature for her age, because she sometimes seems like she's starting her terrible two's. I have to set boundaries for my toddler, and I felt guilty for disciplining her at first, but I got over it. To me, discipline isn't just for the moment. What you and your husband do today will build the foundation for a life time. Your daughter's screaming, hollering, and acting out isn't a reflection of how good or bad a parent you are...that's a toddler doing what toddlers do. Don't give in if you feel like she is doing something wrong that needs correcting. No matter what happens, remember that once your child has grown up and moved away, you and your husband will be left with each other. So, preserve your marriage. Work together to build coping strategies and plans to combat your daughter's tantrums. Chances are, your husband is as worn out and torn up about this as you are. Good luck.

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C.C.

answers from Beaumont on

You have to let her keep the pacifier--she'll give it up before she starts school :) If long hair's a problen, get her hair cut short. Don't talk to her; hug her and love on her--two is a terrible trial for mama; she can't really tell you what she's feeling, but she needs the positive attention. One thing that worked for me during my last pregnancy was cuddling up and watching tv with the older child when I just HAD to have a nap.

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