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Beware of the Toddler

Whilst I’ve always been a bit sporadic in my blog posts, it occurred to me recently that I’ve actually been completely absent for a while! There are a few reasons but one rests firmly at my youngest daughters (very cute) feet!

Flos ToesThe last few weeks have been ‘challenging’. I’ve written more than once or twice about the challenges associated with parenting, working full time and even the way the two go together (or not as the case may be!).. It’s no secret that I struggle with being a Mummy. I’ve said time and again I adore the girls but being a parent is different.

To be brutally honest it’s not all that and I’m not actually that keen on it! Before the judges start tutting and huffing – or worse still calling Social Services, I say again LOUDLY for those at the back, my feelings about being a parent are entirely different to my feelings for my children!

Current challenges see me attempting to deal decisively but gently, firmly yet calming, with largely unprovoked aggression from my very bright two year old. I know, I know, all parents think their off-spring are mini geniuses! I don’t and she’s not, but she is a very clever and aware little girl!

Behavioural challenges range from the mildly irritating and anti-social (throwing food) to the downright unacceptable – think kicking, biting, punching, hitting with objects and then laughing when she’s told off. The rages are massive, unpredictable and mostly without obvious trigger. I thought I was doing OK but the last few weeks have totally shattered any confidence I might have been developing in my ability to raise a child.

150820In a bid to avoid her being expelled from her Childminder (Yep it’s actually got that bad) I have turned to these books, in addition to extra support from my SIL (the BEST child carer I have ever met – curses to the SFC player who has snaffled her as his Nanny!) and advice from a friends wife who has training in dealing with behavioural issues in children.

I have improved her diet (well, reduced her sweet allowance even though she didn’t really eat that much ‘bad stuff’ anyway), reinforced stricter boundaries at home, invoked a household ban on shouting (I can’t tell you how HARD that is!), implemented various new rules and many other things to try and manage the unwanted behaviour. And still it continues.

The hardest thing is that, on a good day, she is one of the easiest going, affectionate and funny little girls you could wish for. How does she swing so far from one extreme to the other?

If you have any wise words, funny stories, on dealing with a feral toddler who actually still turned out OK, or coping strategies for you and the rest of the family, I’d love to hear them. 

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2 thoughts on “Beware of the Toddler”

  1. Oh Liz, what you say is so familiar!!!!! You truly have my sympathy! If it’s any consolation, when they hit 3 they’re slightly easier to bribe!! xx

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  2. Wise words, not sure about that, other than to reassure you you’re not alone. I am a fan of that How to Listen…Talk book because the examples in my experience actually work. So many of the tantrums are the child basically saying “listen to me!” that if you can acknowledge that it takes the heat out of them. And play for time by just reflecting back what they are saying to you.

    For example:
    “I’m hungry, Mum”
    Rather than saying “But how can you be hungry now when you’ve just had your tea?” That kind of question confuses them
    Play for time and say as calmly as you can “You’re feeling hungry?”

    And as with everything, it helps if you have had a good night’s rest.

    Good luck, it does get easier eventually. x

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