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feeling like a failure.

My son will be 2 in a few days. He refuses to sleep (he just went to bed 10 minutes ago... 11:45 pm). He refuses to eat. His favoriate thing to do is dominate me. He tears apart the house and will not listen to anything I ask of him.
I know that twos are supossed to be difficult. I feel like I am not disciplining him well and am afraid that I am bound to end up on Nanny 911. Sometimes I am afraid to tell him to stop something because I know I will yell- and my dad yelled a lot and looking back I don't want my kids to feel the way my dad made me feel when I was young.

Any advice/kind words is welcome and greatly appreciated.


Asked by Anonymous at 12:57 AM on Oct. 29, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • First, you're not a failure or a bad mom. Bad mom's don't care if they're messing up or not. Good mom's worry about this stuff.

    You can't be afraid to discipline your child. 2s are terrible because they begin to test their boundaries. By being intimidated by discipline you're teaching him that boundaries are farther out than they may be. He's pushing and if you don't find a way you're comfortable reigning him in, he's going to keep pushing. Kids DO need discipline. yes, there are wrong ways, not as good ways and just ways that don't work for individual families. BUT, they need something. Try some of the options others have shared already. Take a deep breathe and count - for you AND him. Lay out cause and effect for him "If you continue to do x, then y will happen." Y can be loss of a toy. Loss of a movie. A time out. Etc.
    (continued in next box)

    Answer by ldmrmom at 10:19 AM on Oct. 29, 2009

  • you need to get to his level and just talk with him and let him know what you want him to do. If he doesn not want to go to bed then put him there and tell him not to leave his room. @ is the age to challenge parents and see what reactions they can get and how to push buttons.. Just keep the strength and take deep breaths

    Answer by magnane at 1:06 AM on Oct. 29, 2009

  • I say don't force him to eat, eventually he will get hungry and will ask for something to eat. If you are letting him have snacks or too much milk before a meal time then he won't be hungry. Have him wait until after his meals.

    Sleep? Does he nap? That could be the reason why. If not, then wake him up early in morning after a short night sleep. Then maybe during the day he will be so tired that he will ache for a nap or he will be in bed by 8:00pm. Hopefully all this will get him on a regular schedule.

    Hope everything works out for you.

    Answer by mommy1245 at 1:07 AM on Oct. 29, 2009

  • don't be so hard on your self, lots of kids have phases, and maybe your showing your anxiety to him, no bigge, just go to the room and talk to him, my DS and I make up stories and what not, or read, whatever you do just say one more,....pretend there are sheep count ohhh>>>>mommy will help, the rule is you close your eyes and we will do whatever, you are a good mom, don't worry, I know it will get better!!

    Answer by kimigogo at 1:19 AM on Oct. 29, 2009

  • Also consider talking to his Dr about your concerns at his 2 yr well baby check up- there might be something that they can suggest to help. As for his aggression and such definitely mention it as there could be underlying problems such as ADD or something that is making him act out. 2 is young to diagnose, of course, but getting the thought out there might save you trouble later if his behavior continues in this manner. Good Luck, hun you are so nt a failure- just knowing that you dont want to be like your father means you have a very good chance of breaking the cycle.

    Answer by Jezture at 1:29 AM on Oct. 29, 2009

  • When he won't eat, put the food away. No healthy child that has been offered has ever died of starvation (said by a pediatrician) Offer meals and snacks and if he doesn't eat wait until the next meal/snack time (not before then). He will eat. Do NOT let food become a power struggle. It's one he can win, because you can't force him to eat.

    Tearing up the house- pick him up and put him in his crib. If you put it away already GET IT BACK OUT! Get him out when he has calmed down.

    If he's totally out of control and the crib option won't work sit on the floor with him wrap your arms around and legs around him (not angry) and wait for him to calm down.

    Try whispering instead of yelling. Sometimes they listen better that way.

    You need to gain control before he gets much older or yes you will be on Nanny 911.

    You are not a failure!

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:36 AM on Oct. 29, 2009

  • (cont) if he's not getting enough sleep that will impact his behavior too. Kids are like us. Their moods are likely going to be sour if they're tired, hungry, scared, stressed, etc. Establish a bed time routine. My kids have a bath/shower at 7. Stories at 7:30. Bed at 8. If he comes out of bed, quietly put him back. You can stay near by singing softly or reassuring him for a bit, but he's got to develop self-soothing mechanisms to get himself to sleep. Once he's sleeping better you may see improvement in behavior.

    Picky eating, sleep issues - these are often control issues in kids. They are trying to find SOMETHING to control in their lives. Give him some. Let him help decide what's for dinner and help cook it. Let him pick out the books you read at bed time. Give him things he CAN control and he may stop trying to seize it everywhere and anywhere else.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 10:23 AM on Oct. 29, 2009

  • It will all be over soon!!

    Answer by YoungTwinMommy at 11:28 AM on Oct. 29, 2009

  • I totally agree with Anon 2:36. The whispering, especially. If you whisper while they're yelling, they have to get quiet to hear you. The crib idea, definitely. My daughter is 15 months and I am still using the crib for this exact reason. If she can't be good and get control of her attitude, she can sit in solitary for a few minutes until she cools off. They get sick of listening to themselves if they don't think anyone else is listening. Holding baby down is good too. Not forcefully, but in a way that gets the point across and in a position where he can't hit you. My daughter hits and when I tell her no, she laughs. She thinks it's a game. I refuse to hit her back (it kind of defeats the purpose by making her think it's okay) so I pick her up with her back to me so she can't reach me to hit me. Something usually distracts her and she's over it. As far as tearing up the house goes, move everything above his head so he can't.

    Answer by MommyHess at 11:36 PM on Oct. 29, 2009