Monday, 10 May 2010

How Do You Deal With The Grumps?

BG has been having the odd tantrum for a few months now but this past week has been a complete nightmare. There are has been tantrums, screaming, tears (hers and mine) and shouting (not something I'm really proud of).

I don't know if it because she's teething or the change in the weather but she's been pushing hard this week and I'm been to almost breaking point with her. Saturday was the worst day, she keeps climbing up on the arm of the sofa then trying to lean over to press buttons on the TV, Sky + box and grab CD's (we need to move it all but means a big re-shuffle). 

It didn't matter how many times I told her to get down she wouldn't move. So I started counting to 5 with her and if she didn't get down I would get her down my self, this worked for a while and then she thought it was a game. I tried explaining that its dangerous and that didn't work.

As the day went by I found my self getting more and more annoyed and snapped and shouted at her and called her naughty which is not the type of parent I want to be. I had to put her in her cot three times for a time-out because she kept screaming and throwing her self around.

By the time OH got home I had a glass of wine ready to go and a bath half run, I passed her over and had half an hour to my self. I can't go on like this, she has tantrums in town when we go out, its completely draining.

I need help parents what's the best way to approach this? She's 17 months old I'm dreading the terrible twos!

NM x 


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  1. big hugs we've all been there xx

    I actually count down from 5 to 1 and find that more successful.

    You do have to move ammunition out of her reach though otherwise she will keep on doing things with it. I am glad we no longer have a huge shelf of DVDs right behind the sofa...

  2. Couldn't read and run on this one!

    It's a tough time, and I found 18-22 months a really hard time. I think it was frustrating more than anything with T. But once his speech came on a little bit more things got a little easier - it's still no picnic, but it is better!

    During my time at Uni I worked with a well respected developmental psychologist. One thing he told me that will never leave me is that up until about age 4 children cannot see the difference between attention for positive reasons and attention for negative reasons, they just see attention. The more you ignore the bad behaviour and reward good behaviour the easier things will be in the long run. Keep a solid & consistent "punishment" method as well - we do 1 warning and then time out, with reasons explained clearly in a low tone of voice. And if all else fails good old distraction goes down pretty well here!

    Like anything, there are good days and there are bad days, remember that they will pass and it is not forever. Every parent goes through this at some point! xxx

  3. Huge supportive positive feelings heading your way, I can only echo what has been said above, and keep solid on any punishment and heavily reward good behaviour. It really does get easier I promise

  4. Sending you sympathy, this time is hard work. I don't think there's an easy way of dealing with it, it's just them learning to express themselves and push boundaries and drive you completely up the wall. I'd love to say it gets easier but toddlers are really hard work, just see it as reassuringly normal behaviour. When you get really cross, take a deep breath and walk away from her for a minute or two. And ignore her when she's tantruming, and go back to her the minute she's quiet. If you give her lots of attention while she's being naughty or throwing a tantrum then it reinforces it. That said, she'll still do it. My four year old still does it and my 23 month old does it BIG time. Parenting is tough!

  5. My son is the same age and I'm going through the same kind of tantrum behaviour you described. Some days I wonder where my little angel went!

    The other people who've commented have given some helpful advice such as where possible, ignoring their 'naughty' behaviour. I guess we just have to remember it's not them really being naughty but more just developing their own independence and seeing what they can and can't do.

    When I'm having a particularly tough time, we go out for a walk which helps me calm down, removes my son from whatever he's doing in the house that he shouldn't be doing and we all feel better when we come back home a bit later.

  6. Oh I have it all ahead of me. What worked with Marie was the counting down from 5 and then the time out / bold corner. It's not easy but it does get easier!

  7. It's just a hard time. She's not really old enough to understand things like time out, but she's old enough to test you. I found this age much harder than two, because their language skills are so limited. I'd pick your battles and only try and stop her doing things that are dangerous rather than annoying. Hide the remote etc as she won't really understand why she can press buttons on her toys but not on the TV remote. It'll make your life easier. And try and get out as much as possible. That way she can't trash the house!

  8. Toddlergirl has days like that - we've introduced the sorry step, 2 minutes on there with the timer counting down tends to help with most things, as does a complete change of activity right afterwards

    Remember the Mummy Mantra - this too shall pass

  9. I remember when PP started getting tantrums it started at about 14 months and i actually thought my perfect angelic child was ill and kept giving her calpol as i was convinced it was teeth and then after some time accepted the fact she was changing into a toddler and my sweet innocent baby had gone. Now she is 2 1/2 and a right diva! the tantrums come at least 3 times a day its horrible, you just h ave to leave the room yourself, grit your teeth and smile. I always find it just best to leave them as long as they are safe when they are having the hissy fit. Now i can reason with her a little bit and try to talk to her after she has calmed down. Its really hard, stay in there you'll get through it x

  10. It's all about them finding their voice, their identity and pushing the boundaries - you've set limits and they are nudging those to see how much of a pushover you are ;)

    You have to re-arrange your lounge if that is half the issue. Find the time to do it. I know it's difficult after a full day of being mummy but once cd's are out of the way or she can't climb from the settee to something else then half the battle is won.

    I went on a parenting course at one point because I was convinced I was failing. The "experts" told me to do what I was already doing:
    - Keep your voice one one level - quieter than normal if you can because the child has to quieten down to listen
    - Get down to your child's level and look them in the eye if you are speaking to them. Towering above them only teaches them to fear "tall people"
    - Speak in age-appropriate language
    - If you need time out (either of you) then take it. She isn't going to suffer from five minutes in her cot but eventually, you're going to have to work something out about putting her somewhere whilst time-out is going on or she'll associate her cot with "naughty time" (if that makes sense).

    I promise you - this won't last forever x

  11. Thank you all so much for the advice, we're going to move everything on Saturday as it involves putting the TV on the wall.

    Been counting down from 5 to 1 has been helping, will be using all the advice x

  12. Oh sweetheart - I so remember Charlotte at that age - it is so hard. I did find ignoring tantrums however public they were really helped (but you will have to put up with disapproving looks from others who think they can handle things soooo much better!!) - it does stop eventually - but being consistent is the key - and really hard work. Wasn't so bad with cam as Charlotte kept him entertained and in line (still does!!) Now all i have to deal with are her teenage tantrums and hormones!! take care sweety xox

  13. I have 4 children, 3 girls, aged 6, 5 and 2 and a son who is 7mths.
    What you are going through is the dreded 'terrible twos' my girls each started around the 13mth mark and it continued until around 3.5yrs.. I am still going through it with the 2 yr old (she will be 3 in July) but will then have to go through it all again with the boy.
    Breathing helps, deep breathing I mean! and letting go sometimes also helps.
    What is really important to you and what isn't?
    Eg, jumping on the sofa/bed.. slightly dangerous, yes, is it worth the continous arguements about? no, kids will be kids and that is what they find fun. place cushions/duvets around them to help with any falls.
    React only if it is something you feel very strongly that she needs to learn not to do. At this age they simply don't understand so don't get all het up trying to explain it to her, it just won't work. But you can set the grounds for future good parenting in a year or so when she will be able to understand the concept of right and wrong. Hope that helps, and good luck!

  14. Cheeky is exactly the same, he is nearly 21 months now, and is beginning to understand a lot more of what i say, which is making it so much easier, he does what i ask, and wow his behaviour has improved as a result. I too have shouted, cried, stressed about it, analysed it, asked every one what to do, but the only thing really is just ride it out, stay calm, explain the dangers, although she may not be showing you she understands, she is storing the information,and will eventually surprise you by responding! :) x


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