In my ongoing quest for answers as to why my son has suddenly turned into the type of monster that I often see throwing tantrums at Wal-Mart, I consulted with my friend Amazon this morning. My dear friend is sending some documents my way that will help me find find all the answers I am seeking. I expect to them to arrive tomorrow and by Monday I will know all of the secrets to turning the little demon back into the angelic little boy that I have come to know and love.
If this doesn’t work, then perhaps I will have to consult my other friend, ebay, and see exactly how much toddlers are going for these days.
In all seriousness, I am just about to the end of my rope with Zach right now. He is frustrating me so badly that I’ve actually had to stop and use the “count to ten” method to try to calm myself down before dealing with him. I’ve pretty much ruled out that this attitude is being caused by pain and now am theorizing that his frustration is coming from the fact that he can’t communicate his wants and/or needs with us. I get that when he’s saying “no” he is telling me that something is wrong, but I can offer him the world and he is still not happy.
Being the bad (and extremely frustrated) parent that I am, I have resorted to letting him have his pacifier when he is upset. I can already tell that I’m going to regret that but sometimes amidst the screaming I feel I have no other choice. At this point I’ll do almost anything to save the little piece of sanity I have left. Previous to the last week or so, the pacifier was only being used at bedtime and I was really hoping to get rid of it all together very, very soon. Now, he is suddenly asking for his “noonie”, the hideous name that his dad gave the pacifier, and I am doubting that we’ll ever be able to get rid of it.
The part of this that is breaking my heart right now is that he is totally one hundred percent fine at day care. He gets upset when I leave and cries until he can no longer see my car. But, once I am out of his sight he calms down and is perfectly fine the rest of the day. He eats, plays, and naps just like he is supposed to without any break-downs. As soon as I get there to pick him up he starts crying, screaming, and fighting me with every ounce of energy he has and it pretty much continues until I get him in bed that night. I’m glad he’s happy at day care and all, but it is killing me that he is so unhappy at home right now.
I’m usually pretty confident in my parenting skills, but right now I’m feeling like a total failure. I’ve done everything I can think of and nothing seems to help. So, I’m caving. I’m really hoping I can find some answers or some new techniques to help us get through this phase because I feel like I’m sinking fast over here. I know some of you readers are parents and even some of you that aren’t often have a lot of insight so if you have any suggestions or words of wisdom please feel free to share.
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You’re ahead of me in the game, so I don’t have any answers. I did get Harvey Karp’s Happiest Toddler on the Block – while the techniques are cheesy, I do like his stance that toddlers are developmentally only capable of so much and that we should not treat them like adults and should not expect too much of them. He has a DVD on this book too that is available from the library, but i haven’t seen it yet.
The other book that I just love, that has a similar biological stance is the Science of Parenting.
However, we haven’t entered tantrum stage yet, so I can’t really report back on my experiences. Sorry.
I can say that I wonder if Zach isn’t just tired by the end of the day? It seems one of the hardest parts for working parents is getting their kids to bed early when you’ve just barely gotten home. My toddler sleeps from 8pm to 8am every night and I can’t begin to imagine how this would pan out if I was working. it seems a lot of working parents struggle with this issue of getting their kids into bed for long enough since at this age, they need about 11-12 hours a night.
Also, Zach has been sick, so that can’t be helping.
And finally, I’ve been reading you long enough to know that you are hardest on YOURSELF. Remember to give yourself a little bit of slack, too. You’re not a bad parent. You’re a TIRED parent.
P.S. Toddler 411 is an AWESOME book by the way. Very easy going, not stressful approaches to parenting. Great medical information, too.
Thanks for the book suggestions. If the books I bought don’t satisfy me I’ll be checking those out next.
I don’t think sleep is an issue with Zach. He usually gets at least 11 hours of sleep each night (8:00 p.m. to around 7:30 a.m.) and generally gets at least a two hour nap at day care. His behavior is the same even when he has just woken up in the morning so I don’t really see that as being a problem.
I know I am hard on myself sometimes, but I suppose that just comes along with being a bit of a perfectionist. I do sometimes need a reminder to just let up on myself.
hey, you. i’m sorry you’re having such a rough time right now. honestly, here is my advice: ask mary p. at http://daycaredaze.blogspot.com. she has written so many amazing posts about tantrums and various common toddler problems, and she is just so good at dispensing appropriate and much needed advice. i really honestly recommend shooting her an email, ’cause she will have good advice, and i highly respect her and her opinion when it comes to childcare. wish i could personally do more for you, but i think that’s the best advice i could give you right now. feel better soon i hope!
oops, my bad – she recently moved and is now at http://daycaredaze.wordpress.com
I’m a big fan of the, “If you are going to scream then I’m going to ignore you” technique of parenting.
I can’t help but wonder if Zach is getting what he wants(as much as he actually KNOWS what he wants) when you hold him and give him his pacifier.
I try to walk out the room. My little bugger always follows me though.
Note to self: put up more baby gates.
OH my gosh you and I are at the same stage right now. Nolan isn’t in daycare and I am dealing with the same behavior ALL DAY. I know it’s part and parcel of the ‘terrible two’s’. I remember the same stage from my daughter. They are learning to push your buttons, how long to push them, also pushing the envelope and trying to get control of their little worlds. It’s so frustrating but please don’t beat yourself up over the ‘noonie’… he won’t likely go to kindergarten with it.
It’s a bit of give and take I’ve found but when you stand your ground you have to stand firm or they walk all over you at this stage (because you/me get so frustrated you/ME give in to the screaming). Find a few survival tools and stick with them.
I have good days and bad days and so does Nolan…
Remember it’s only a stage and the Angelic boy will return!!
Thanks for the link. I will definitely check it out. I’ve visited there a few times but it has been a while.
I have a hard time with the whole “ignoring the screaming” thing. I actually set up the pack ‘n’ play and put him in it the other night and walked away. If he isn’t caged he just follows me and screams louder. I ignored it as long as I possibly could and then rescued him because I really needed him to eat dinner.
I have a feeling he’s getting what he wants/needs when he gets the pacifier and some cuddling too. That’s why I keep giving in to it.
I’m glad to know that I have company! I’m am trying to be firm with him and not give in but it is really hard sometimes. I’m trying extra hard to listen to what he is saying (which is pretty hard to distinguish most of the time) and give him what he wants when it is appropriate. I don’t want to give in all the time, but I do want him to know that if he expresses his wants he will sometimes get what he is asking for. Last night was much, much better than the previous few so I’m hoping we are getting somewhere and that it wasn’t just a fluke!
I remember those days all too well and I agree with not-so-pregnant in texas. She hit the nail on the head in my opinion. All three of mine did the same thing.
If he was 5 or 6 years old and acting that way, I might would seriously freak out, but at his age.. sounds pretty darn normal.
Don’t worry, it will be over with before you know it.. if of course you can keep your sanity while it’s happening, lol.
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