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I just don't know what to do with my son

He just turned 2 a couple of months ago. He's a smart and healthy kid. But lately his behavior has been getting on my nerves. I have posted a couple of questions in the past about his tantrums but he's turning into a little monster! People keep telling me it's just a phase, it'll pass soon, but honestly... It's getting worse! :(

If we don't listen to him i.e. don't do what he wants us to do he starts crying at the top of his lung. And past this week his vocal cords have really opened up. He's brawling at top of his lungs as if God forbid someone has died! DH was in the yard the other day and we on the 3rd floor (we live in a townhouse), and he started crying because he didn't wanted to get out of the bathtub although I let him play in there for 25 mins and we had to get ready to go somewhere. DH was like, "what did you do? Beat the crap out of him?" I didn't even touch him!! I just ignored his bloodcurdling shrieks and put clothes on him.

We have tried putting him in another room and letting him cry while we ignored him but he goes on and on forever! We try distracting him with something else but that doesn't work either. He sreams for good 20-25 mins, by the time he's done, he almost loses his voice and I'm having a nervous break down.

Please please please tell me what should I do? I have seen kids, but mine is by far the most disobedient. We do listen to him, play with him, give him attention, let him play by himself, with other kids. We try not to give in to all his demands. What am I doing wrong? Yesterday DH found me in the laundry room, crying!
I'm seriously losing my mind!


Asked by cookie269 at 6:18 PM on Oct. 3, 2012 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 25 (22,244 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • When you respond with acceptance...just acknowledging the situation (as simple as literally acknowledging what happened: "You were having lots of fun and mama said it was time to get out of the tub. You didn't want to and mama picked you up, anyway!") and conveying understanding & acceptance for the big upset he are easing some of his frustration by letting him HAVE his feelings (rather than punishing him or pressuring him with your disapproval for expressing his feelings), which means he is not taking on "extra" baggage of frustration & anger anymore. And you also are modeling what you want from him, a more mature expression, which will come with time and the experience of having a parent understand & accept his feelings, which is the experience of "emotional containment." He develops his own emotional regulation by having someone ELSE stay regulated enough to tolerate & contain his overwhelming feelings for him.

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:24 PM on Oct. 4, 2012

  • yes.
    Some kids need different discipline techniques.
    I have a couple that responded to a firm voice and time outs. One, however, often needed a firm but gentle swat on the bum. After she calmed down she got the hugs and kisses just like the others.
    Truth be told she's still the liveliest of the bunch.

    Answer by feralxat at 6:39 PM on Oct. 3, 2012

  • if you've tried everything- as suggested by super nanny- how do you feel about corporal punishment?


    Answer by feralxat at 6:26 PM on Oct. 3, 2012

  • Like spanking ?

    Comment by cookie269 (original poster) at 6:34 PM on Oct. 3, 2012

  • Honestly feral, I've tried that too. We noticed he started becoming more aggressive so we stopped that
    Silverthreads: paitence ? Ooooooh boy *sigh* I don't think so I have any of that left anymore! We have ignored him countless times. Like I mentioned in my question, he continues to scream and cry for 20-25 mins (yes that's a loooooong time, especially if it happens multiple times in a day!!!!) till his voice dies.

    Comment by cookie269 (original poster) at 10:34 PM on Oct. 3, 2012

  • What if instead of ignoring him, and instead of trying to make him stop (by explaining why something "has" to happen, trying to reason with him, or trying to distract him or placate him in some way), you responded to his upset feelings by really accepting them? This doesn't mean "letting him have his way." It's reasonable & important to have limits. While being flexible, understanding & accommodating is really important with little ones, it's not feasible to ignore your own needs (needing to get ready & leave for an appointment, or to get the grocery shopping done or pick up an older sibling from school or meet Dad's commuter train on time, etc.) in order to keep your child "happy."
    I see this as a no-fault situation: you aren't wrong for getting him out of the tub after a wonderful playtime there. He isn't wrong for being really unhappy about it or for expressing that. The goal would be to make space for those feelings.

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:01 PM on Oct. 4, 2012

  • If you can handle his big feelings yourself (without separating him from you or ignoring him, without responding negatively or disapprovingly, and without responding anxiously by trying to talk him out of them or compensate him in some way to avoid them), then he will learn that his big feelings aren't something to be feared or resisted, that feelings come & go, that he (and you) are still there when they're gone, and that he can handle the experience. He learns this when you can stay emotionally regulated, yourself, in the face of his upset so that he's grounded by your presence, and when he sees that he's not "unacceptable" to you when he's upset.
    I get most dysregulated when I default to thinking it's my job to "fix" the upset. I respond in ways (reasoning, etc.) that escalate the situation & then get frustrated when my efforts "don't work."
    It's different when I don't see it as "a problem," but as feelings that make sense.

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:11 PM on Oct. 4, 2012