Toddlers: 24 Months+

Two Year Old issues - Help!

Help! I have two little girls (25 months and 13 months). My 2 year old has really been terrible the last month or so. To begin with, she is very active ? on the go unless she is sleeping?never walk ? always runs. Repeats everything I say, tells me at dinner she wants something else (point of me mentioning this is that she has a lot of words in her vocabulary and tells me what she wants). My husband and I work full time and he travels 2 days a week. I usually have everything under control for dinner and packing lunches. We have time to play for an hour before baths and books. I feel like a broken record.

 

Here was a recap of last evening. We leave daycare, I bring a few toys in the car, after 5 minutes she throws it on the floor We get home at 5. The girls play in the living room while I pull together dinner (15 minutes). In that 15 minutes, she stands on the couch and jumps (every night I ask her to sit down so she doesn?t fall), hits her sister, screams over nothing (screaming has been a HUGE problem the last 2 weeks ? in church, when it is time to clean up, any time she has to do something she doesn?t want to (high pitched- nails on a chalk board scream). We sit down for dinner. I always give her a choice, do you want carrots or cucumbers? She use to pick one thing, now she just says NO. So I get something for my younger daughter. I ask my 2 year old if she wants chicken or a peanut butter sandwich (in the past she would say which she wants). Now she says no. So I put the chicken away and she starts screaming she wants chicken. SO I pull back out the chicken cut it up and put it on her tray. She then takes it and puts is on the table or throws it on the floor and says she wants something else. This continues with fruit choice ? strawberries or melon. So I get her to finally eat something.

I clean them up and let them play for 5 minutes while I load the dishwasher. In that time she is jumping on the couch and trying to open the baby gate to go upstairs. She gets it open and of course my youngest is following her. Every night, I tell her she is not to go up the stairs with out Mom or Dad behind her (thus the baby gate to prevent). So she comes back down stairs and I ask her to pick up her toys so be can go take a bath. She starts telling me that (my youngest) made the mess and tells her to clean it up. I always help her clean up so it is not just her that has to clean up.  So we finally get upstairs to take a bath, I change my youngest and my 2 year old runs in her bed room and starts pulling all the clothes out of her drawers (she knows better). I bathe the girls together ? they play so I can put clean clothes away etc. ? I am right there, their bedrooms are next to the bathroom. My 2 year old starts drinking the bath water?again every night, we tell her not to drink the bath water. At this point I lost it. I feel like all I do is tell her no and each time I have to do it, I get angrier and angrier. What should I do? I put her to bed and cry for 10-15 minutes. She is going to hate me.  Sorry so long. I feel so guilty I can hardly breathe. I want to have fun with my kids in the evening? not be the mean mom. Any suggestions? Thank you.

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Re: Two Year Old issues - Help!

  • I just wanted to let you know you are not alone! I have a 25 month old, who does most of the things you mention. Mealtime has become challenging. He's on the skinnier side, so I try to make sure he eats. He will tell me he wants something, then refuse to eat it, and throws it on the floor (he's pretending to be cookie monster, but still, same idea :)

    He drinks the bath water after we tell him not to. He tells us "no", and refuses to comply at times. I guess it's part of the "twos" we hear about. I don't have any good suggestions, but will be checking in to see what others post.  

  • OK, so I've parented 2 toddlers and I know how chaotic it was (add in that they didn't speak English and my Spanish consists of "juice" and "milk" and "dog" etc). So I know things have to be more regimented in your house than mine, but honestly it sounds like you do say "no" more often than you need to, and she's reacting to that with her age-appropriate need for some control. Key words "every night I tell her not to"...  For the car, I got a bin that holds toys. I had to do some "tough love" because after I explained that she needed to put toys back in the bin and she threw them anyway, well, she didn't have toys and we have a LONG commute. She learned. For dinner I would have her help me prepare it, or give her a bowl and spices and some rice and spoons and let her mix and pour her own dinner. This keeps her busy so she isn't jumping on the couch or hurting her sister. Then give her a plate and let her fill it with the foods she wants. And it sounds like she's still in a high chair; she may do better with more freedom. Can she go upstairs and downstairs safely alone? If so, teach her to shut the gate so her sister can't follow but let her go. As for bathtime, well there are a few things you can do. 1) It's not a big deal if she drinks it. It's gross, but it won't hurt her. 2) It's a power struggle and nothing more. You can play it off with a joke "Ewwwwwwww grosssssssss!" and make her laugh. Or you can let it go. Or you can give her a cup of clean water and enforce the rule if it is important to you. I hope that helps. I'm not trying to be hard on you at all and many people think I'm too lax so take it for what it's worth but you seemed worried that you say no too much so trying to offer suggestions. Hang in there, mama! You're doing great!

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  • image fredalina:
    As for bathtime, well there are a few things you can do. 1) It's not a big deal if she drinks it. It's gross, but it won't hurt her. 2) It's a power struggle and nothing more. You can play it off with a joke "Ewwwwwwww grosssssssss!" and make her laugh. Or you can let it go. Or you can give her a cup of clean water and enforce the rule if it is important to you. I hope that helps. I'm not trying to be hard on you at all and many people think I'm too lax so take it for what it's worth but you seemed worried that you say no too much so trying to offer suggestions. Hang in there, mama! You're doing great!

    This is what we do with bathtime.

    FWIW, DH is much more into "rules" than I am and he gets many more tantrums out of LO than I do. I don't care if she drinks the bathwater - I say "yucky, that's gross!" and half the time she doesn't do it anymore. I let her play with things in the kitchen and just clean it up afterwards. She climbs up on a chair and takes spices off a shelf and moves them to the pantry. It keeps her busy for 10-15 minutes while I make dinner/clean up. I let her spoon out her own food, which is a mess but is also teaching her how to do it. I also let her pour things. Yes, there are times where she dumps it, and I tell her "food/drink is not for dumping" and then take it away. I feel like it's a total control/power issue for her right now, and I try to limit those battles to the things that really matter to me. Like strapping her in the carseat or wearing shoes when we are walking on hot pavement. or wearing pants. LOL.

    Hang in there! 

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  • we aren't quite 2 yet....but we have been here!

    i work full time and my husband is a surgery resident....needless to say every morning and evening is chaotic and inconsistent and usually just me! 

    the ONLY thing i would suggest - and only bc i started doing this after learning the hard way - is to not give so many options. bring one toy in the car, and if thats not interesting then oh well. and with mealtime definitely reduce the options!  my cousin told me once, never become a short order cook with kids and mealtime. i offer a divided plate with fruit, veg, starch, protein, etc. and he eats what he wants but that is it. usually after protest, if he is really hungry he will eat.

    hang in there!

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  • My DS is the same way! His new response to everything is NO. He is pushing my buttons and trying to see what he can get away with.

     First of all, you need to realize that you are not a mean or bad mom. Once you let yourself think that, your kids are going to notice and take advantage of you.

    You need to start disciplining. If my son does not follow my rules or doesn't listen, he gets a smack on the butt and a time out. I may have to put him in time out 3 or 4 times a day, but this way, he knows that I am in charge, not him. And that he does have to listen to me. His daycare also puts him in time out when he does not listen.

    Don't acknowledge everything that your 2yr old does. I mean, keep her safe, but don't comment on it. It seems like my DS wants to get a reaction from me and if I don't show a reaction, then he gives up. 

    Also, pick your battles. Drinking bath water is kinda gross, but will it really hurt her? Probably not. It seems like she's doing it for your attention. So should you really get that upset about it?

     

     

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  • I think this must be an age thing, b/c we are experiencing many of the EXACT SAME THINGS you mentioned with our almost 27 month old and it really started around when she turned 2. My daughter is also super active and on the go from wake up to bedtime basically. She was up at 4:45am the other morning and was ready to go then! We also get her out of the house every morning for hours, she goes to the park, art class, gymboree, everything just to burn off some energy.

    The biggest things that worry me are when she does something where she could potentially hurt herself.

    1. She is constantly jumping on the couch and does not listen. I try with warnings, I physically remove her, I sit in the middle so she can't dive into the cushions. Some times she stops when asks, most of the other times she just laughs and continues. She has almost fallen off a few times. She also tries to jump on the bed and everytime she climbs up I tell her, beds are for sitting or sleeping only.
    2. She also drinks the bath water. Thankfully it is no longer every night, but she does it. I tell her she can pretend to drink it and just bring in her regular sippy with water.
    3. Meals have recently gotten better, but she is still a super picky eater. Many nights she will eat crackers only and some toast. She is skinny, so I worry about her eating all the time. Some nights she just says no to everything. I have found that if I don't focus on her and do other things or just feed the baby or whatever, she will end up eating more. It is when I am constantly pushing food at her that she ends up eating nothing.

    So it sounds like an age thing, hopefully will get better instead of worse. Not that it helps, but know you are not alone.

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