I've been really short and snappy with DD1 lately. Need some support — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

I've been really short and snappy with DD1 lately. Need some support

I'm finding myself getting really irritated by DD1. Obviously a lot of it is my tiredness with an 11 week old baby. She is a really good little girl who obviously can be challenging as all 2 yr olds can, but she is very sweet, caring and listens well most of the time.

But on the days when I have to tell her something 10 times, or she persists with a behaviour that I am asking her to stop I feel my blood boil.

She is no way in any physical danger with me, nor do I name call, but I'll end up yelling at her or grabbing her to get her to stop something.

Then she looks at me with this little face full of surprise and sometimes a bit of fear and I feel awful both for my role-modeling and for how she is feeling.

So I guess I just need some tools to help me to stay calm in the moment. You know the classic, "count to ten" type stuff.

Any tips for how you calm your frustration when your toddler is being challenging.

 

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Elizabeth 5yrs old Jane 3yrs old
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Re: I've been really short and snappy with DD1 lately. Need some support

  • I can offer nothing but understanding. I feel very lost in regards to DD's behavior since #2 arrived. But instead of looking surprised or hurt she mocks us and almost seems amused by wreaking havoc. I'm using the TV right now as a tranquilizer simply to avoid another confrontation for 30 minutes or so. Tomorrow is my first day alone with them both and the thought of being with her for 9 hours is giving me anxiety. If you find something that helps let me know...
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  • Good Luck

     

     


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  • Good Luck

     

     


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  • DD is currently sitting in a drawer of the entertainment center that she first emptied. This has been going on since DS was born and I've tried everything. Instead of screaming at the top of my lungs like I really want to at the moment I'm trying to ignore it until DH can install the drawer locks. At least she has stopped trying to climb the floor lamp since it fell on her Confused Not really advice, just commiseration. I'm tired and coming down with something and her attitude is exhausting. We have to go to Target today and I'm dreading the meltdown that comes with getting in the cart.
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  • Things that help me release anger: 

    Quick fix - Screaming into a pillow, punching the pillow, throwing the pillow (If I get super frustrated or angry I will go into the bedroom and do this, then come out and i really do feel refreshed.) 

    Longer term - a long shower, some exercise, some me time, going outside (where LO can do almost whatever she wants and I don't have to say no)

    good luck! It's hard enough with one, I can't imagine having two.  

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  • I've been there and know how awful it can be. DH recently went OOT for a week and I really struggled without him there to serve as a buffer when I'd just had it. I started a reward chart where DD got a sticker for doing certain things without a fight (getting dressed, taking her asthma inhaler, etc) and if she earned 3 stickers she could watch a Thomas the Tank Engine episode. I know it's not the best strategy in the world, especially using TV, but it is helping us make a little progress where nothing else was working.  I have also been using a tip from Positive Discipline and trying to use fewer words.  Instead of telling DD not to do something for the 800th time, I just calmly move her or remove the object, or put her clothes on her, whatever the case may be, without talking.  One particularly bad night while DH was gone I stopped talking altogether except to respond when she spoke and to read bedtime stories.  It was actually one of our most peaceful nights, surprisingly.  That's all I've got; I'm interested to see what suggestions others have.  This is tough!  Glad to know I'm not alone. 
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  • What are you doing for yourself to recharge? That bit at the end of AP philosophies about balance is really important! If  you're exhausted and never have any time to relax and do what you want to do, you're going to have a hard time having patience.
  • image WildcatPrincess:
    At least she has stopped trying to climb the floor lamp since it fell on her Confused Not really advice, just commiseration. I'm tired and coming down with something and her attitude is exhausting. We have to go to Target today and I'm dreading the meltdown that comes with getting in the cart.

    My older son is currently refusing to velcro his sneakers, so they fall off and trip him when he wears them. He then claims they aren't actually what's making him fall. At least your DD has some sense, hee hee. 

    Kate - hang in there. My older son has been really trying lately, and I have to continually remind myself that getting angry doesn't solve anything, but it's really hard to do in the heat of the moment. 

    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • Hang in there.  I only have one DS right now, but I understand where you are.  I have days where I'm not as patient with him as I should be.

    I can't offer any real advice, but I found this on Pinterest:

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6MgaJ-ygxwU/Td2kh2hnDeI/AAAAAAAABI4/GLbAja7owhQ/s1600/IMG_3633.jpg

    Good luck.

    DS1 November 2009
    DS2 August 2012
  • image solidio:

    Things that help me release anger: 

    Quick fix - Screaming into a pillow, punching the pillow, throwing the pillow (If I get super frustrated or angry I will go into the bedroom and do this, then come out and i really do feel refreshed.) 

    Longer term - a long shower, some exercise, some me time, going outside (where LO can do almost whatever she wants and I don't have to say no)

    good luck! It's hard enough with one, I can't imagine having two.  

    Glad to know that's considered valid stress relief - I might have left the room to do this the other day when they were both crying and I couldn't seem to get either to stop.

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  • Thanks for all the ideas and support ladies. Definitely helps to know I'm not the only one.

    I'm working on the balance thing but DH is working fulltime and doing his masters. he has two big assignments due soon and so he needs space to focus on that in the evenings on the weekends. Normally he's very hands on with the girls, and this too shall pass, it's just hard work right now. 

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    Elizabeth 5yrs old Jane 3yrs old
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  • image WildcatPrincess:
    image solidio:

    Things that help me release anger: 

    Quick fix - Screaming into a pillow, punching the pillow, throwing the pillow (If I get super frustrated or angry I will go into the bedroom and do this, then come out and i really do feel refreshed.) 

    Longer term - a long shower, some exercise, some me time, going outside (where LO can do almost whatever she wants and I don't have to say no)

    good luck! It's hard enough with one, I can't imagine having two.  

    Glad to know that's considered valid stress relief - I might have left the room to do this the other day when they were both crying and I couldn't seem to get either to stop.

    lol - totally valid. ;)

    When I was going through my divorce my therapist suggested a punching bag. So I used to have a punching bag in my basement. I would go down there and punch the heck out of it and it felt awesome - such a release of tension, anger, frustration. I got rid of it a long time ago, but the theory is the same - physical release really helps mentally. screaming, punching, throwing. sounds like a toddler's temper tantrum? but it works! I've also read about how doing it in a controlled environment will help LO learn how to release anger in a responsible way too.  

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  • All I can offer is that I am right there with you. It's really hard to stay gentle all the time when I am exhausted and DS is acting like a normal toddler. Tantrums and hitting and acting out when I am nursing the baby are among many of our troubles. I am also the only parent for them for the next 6 months or so until DH comes back from deployment.

    For me staying busy has been my sanity, and DS has a lot more fun out of the house too, so we have been doing as many play dates as possible. Luckily, I am much better at nursing out and about this time, and DD is a very quick eater, so I just put her in the sling and we get out and play. I've also been putting together a lot of art projects or sensory bins for DS, which he really enjoys. It results in a mess of course, but that doesn't bother me and it passes quite a bit of time. And yes, sometimes I just need to put on Curious George and let him watch some TV, but I try to use that as a last minute resort. I just try to take one day at a time, and learn from my own mistakes as a parent when I do respond negatively to his behavior. It's hard mama, hang in there!

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  • Right there with you. And DD1 looks so sad when i use my mad tone with her. It breaks my heart because i know a lot of the bad behavior is just attention-seeking. I try to not use the word "no" unless it's for serious stuff (running into the street, unbuckling her seatbelt, hitting, etc). I try to explain why instead, which keeps me rational. I also find getting out of the house works wonders (pain in the arse that it is, with two small ones!) if DD1 is at a park with space to romp and run, there is less trouble to get in. Plus, she ends up a lot more chilled out when we are home from having exercise. Try including the older one in things you do--like laundry, for instance--instead of getting mad when she unfolds things, involve her from the get-go by having her mate socks or sort by color and praising her on a job well done.

     It is exhausting. In ways few can understand. Just do your best and make sure to take a little time for yourself!

  • I'm there too, and so hoping DS will grow out of some of it before #2 gets here in September.

    Is it bad that I *wish* DS would look sad when I use my stern voice? He smiles. It drives me crazy.

    I have no energy and I'm in a lot of pain with this pregnancy, and he is coming into his 2s like crazy. 

    The worst part is that when he poops or pees a lot, he fights diaper changes by kicking me in the boobs and belly. I try to calm him down gently and it just escalates and escalates until I'm super stressed out and STILL trying to change his poopy diaper! He is pooping once or twice a day, always while DH is at work now.

    Then, when it is all over and he is changed finally, not only am I at my wits end, but my stomach is hurting and I'm even more sore from all the abuse I'm getting from my toddler!

    He is such a sweet kid most of the time, and doesn't hit anyone but DH and me, but we can't seem to make any headway with it no matter what we try. When I get upset enough to cry, he sometimes cares, but only sometimes. It doesn't seem to help out next time, though. :(

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  • image fredalina:
    I only have one but I've been there :). I find this helps me. I tell LO that my patience is the size of a watermelon. Then the size of a cantaloupe. Then the size of a grapefruit. Etc etc etc. It helps her visualize what is making my patience "shrink" and I feel like I can always find something smaller than the last thing. An apple seed. A poppy seed. A crumb. Etc. Thinking about something smaller helps me concentrate on that and seems to keep my top from flying off.

    I like this idea! When DD gets older ill have to remember this! 

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