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Old 04-20-2013, 03:26 PM   #21
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Re: I am a horrible mom

Thank you everyone. It honestly helps just to know I'm not alone. Her grandma took her for the day and it has been such a peaceful, relaxing day. I have a mothers helper come twice a week as well and she will gladly take the kids if I ask her. So breaks ARE a possibility. I need to find what works for her, and utilize it. Right now im just experimenting with things and acting of frustration and anger, and afterwards I regret my behavior and how I handled the situation. I need to find inner peace and STAY CALM. Holy moly, who would have ever thought this parenting thing would be the hardest thing you ever do?

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Old 04-20-2013, 04:27 PM   #22
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Re: I am a horrible mom

I honestly don't think this is "normal". I have known two year olds for over 30 years, and have never had this seem "normal".

It's not just the defiance. It's the lack of sleep, the constant need for movement, the waking at night. None of this is out of the ordinary exactly, but it's also not normal.

Obviously you know that, or you wouldn't be asking.

If it's just a stage, hopefully it's a short one. All kids make us nuts for a few months, then the problem slowly goes away (especially if it's new) and we forget about it until months later when we look back, and say "Oh wow.. I forgot how awful she was".

Sleep begets sleep. If she's not sleeping, she can't wind down, and she can't ever feel happy and relaxed. When you are sleep deprived you are anxious, moody, tightly wound... but, when you are getting enough sleep, you can feel like a normal happy person that others want to be around. Parents who claim "She just doesn't need much sleep" but, still have a difficult miserable child, just don't remember what it's like to sleep all night.

I would change the diet. Learn all you can about diet and behavior, then make a huge change for a month or so to see if the behavior improves. I'd also try to find a way to help her sleep. If everybody is co-sleeping, maybe you are waking her up? Maybe she needs a dark cool room to sleep alone.

Then, once you have tried to help her with any physical problems she might be having that are making her uncomfortable, i'd try a consistent discipline tactic.

I, personally prefer a healthy mix of all parenting books. I don't like only one. I love Kevin Leman, I love Love and Logic, and I love Gentle disciplne.

I also love free range parenting, and some good old fashion "GO PLAY" parenting. Kids have been going to play for centuries. It's just been in the last 25 years that parents hover and say things like "No.. you might get hurt", "Don't stand on that chair, you might fall" Set things up so she's less likely to get hurt, but don't over parent or hover. Let her learn through play.

If you have a back yard that has a good fence, let her go out and play. Check on her, but don't let her see you constantly. Provide her with fun, messy kid friendly things that she can get into. When it's warm, let her play with the hose. Have her friends over. Two year olds like other two year olds. They are messy, destructive, slobbery..but, if she's not rubbing soap in her sister's eyes, and she's happy, and hasn't hurt anybody, then let her get into stuff.

Say "no" less often, then when you say it MEAN it. Only say what you mean, and mean what you say....or don't say it. If you are too busy or tired to back it up, and it's not really worth the fight, let her do it.

If you have a backyard, you can buy those dollar store buckets, fill them with water, and give her some cups, spoons and dishes, maybe a baby doll, some colored water, and leave her alone.

http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=twins%20at%20play

But, like I said, if you say "Stop" or "No", you need to mean it, and back it up. Just say it so much less that she will hear you. If you say it all the time, she's not hearing you. And, clearly, she thinks it's optional.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:57 PM   #23
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Re: I am a horrible mom

She sounds overly tired to me. Ds had some major sleep issues that started around 2ish. We tried everything for a good year - he was naughty, defiant and the temper tantrums drove me up a wall. When he was happy he was wonderful but watch when things didn't go his way. We finally talked to his pedi (I was exhausted) and figured out he had restless leg syndrome. So we figured out what worked for that and he gained about anoer hour of sleep at night. He behaviour omproved a ton - he was all around happier and more pleasant to be around. Then we addressed bedtime issues - he needs melatonin to get to sleep in less than 2 hours. That added almost 2 hours of sleep to his night. He is a whole different kid now. He listens, he rarely has temper tantrums, he helps me out. He's so happy all the time. He just needed more sleep.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:24 PM   #24
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Re: I am a horrible mom

Can I recommend the book, simplicity parenting by Kim John Payne. Really, really empowering read. Also, theparentingpassageway.com is an incredible blog resource for understanding development.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:45 PM   #25
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Re: I am a horrible mom

Oh mama, I feel for you. Reading your post I"m trying to think back to when my now-4.5yo DD was that age. I'm chuckling at it now, but it was hor-ri-ble. From 13 months when she started walking unttil she was almost 3 (so almost 2 years time) was aw-ful. Those time outs you speak of? She stopped accepting those at about 18 months. I would literally be using the entire force of my body to hold her kicking and flailing body in the corner. It was obviously not a solution, so I had to find something else. I ended up putting her in her room, shut the door, and literally be using my whole body strength to keep it pulled closed , sobbing the entire time. As she was kicking, screaming, flailing, throwing her body against the door.

Oh, and at just over 2 years old - she locked me out of the house. No joke. I had to crawl back in thru a (thankfully) open kitchen window.

ONe thing we did was to remove *almost all* of the toys, clothes, etc, from within her reach. I literally spent an entire couple of days putting things into boxes, shoving them pu in closets, decluttering, to get stuff out of her reach (it was very cleansing, actually). It sounds extreme, but it made for much less overhwelmedness and mess because there was just almost nothing for her to attack. If she found something I"d missed - shelf, drawer, whatever - I'd move it or lock it up. And in the process, we realized that we didn't need lots of that stuff anyway!

I also am glad that someone mentioned melatonin, because around this age we would occasionally give it to her too. She was still night waking until close to 3 years. We'd sometimes gives her jsut a smidgen of melatonin an hour or so before we wanted her to go to bed.

Personally, I'd try these things (or something) immediately to give yourself some relief, and some time to think about which books you might want to read, and/or if you want to get her evaluated. I know you've had some book suggestions, but we love John Rosemond in our house - we heard him speak, and have implemented much of what he talks about.

Oh, and the diet recommendations is a good one - decreasing sugars, carbs and such might help.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:25 PM   #26
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Re: I am a horrible mom

Quote:
Originally Posted by mibarra View Post
DD2 is about 27 months and is exactly the same!!!! We've had to be "big meanies" for almost a month to make any headway with her. It is age, but like others said still needs to be addressed. Some things we do:

1) Try not to say No unless we mean You seriously better stop that right this second or else, so she knows its serious.

2) If we say stop and she doesn't, we take it away. Oh the hysterical screaming! But its all that works, and after doing it for awhile now see can say Stop or I'll take it away and it works.

3) Choices choices choices: pick your pajamas or mommy will, do you want to walk to bed or daddy carry you

4) Keep discipline explanations short and simple: You are in time out for hitting mommy, hitting hurts. The more you talk about it the less they listen.

5) Find some way to get a break for your own sanity. Maybe daycare one day a week or something, its SO refreshing!!

Its a rough age, especially with a strong willed LO. I feel like a failure with mine at least once a day!!
I have not read all the responses but this mibara is right! We have a very busy 3 year old. Sounds pretty much like what you are describing.

I want to emphasize and add:

1. Look into some pre-school options if at all available. In our city and cities around us, the recreation centers run a short day pre-school for 3+ kiddos. We only pay $97 a month because the city sponsors the pre-school and it is from 9 - 12:30. Children can go 2, 3, or 5 days a week. Well run. Good cirriculum - not sit on chairs and regimented. Mixture between simple play school and Montessori. It takes care of a lot of my DDs energy. Maybe you are lucky enough to have a city that does that too.

2. The choices thing works very well. Example in our house: My DD doesn't eat a wide variety of food. She always asks for nutella sandwiches or milk, no matter what is offered. So, I say: A carrot or an apple? Milk. Carrot or Apple? Milk. Carrot or Apple? Apple. Sometimes now she asks for an apple or carrot first (but not often enough for my liking).

3. I realize your husband is very busy but he needs to chip in. My husband works a lot of overtime. Some weeks are 60 hour weeks for him. When he is home, he is on call constantly. On top of that, he commutes 2 hours a day. However, we got into a routine where he helps out. Most nights he takes my DD to brush her teeth. He always handles time out when he is home, even if he has to stop what he's doing, because she listens to him more readily after listening to me the whole day.

4. We've started making things a game that we want her to get done. It stared by accident from a wrong way of doing stuff. My husband was ready in the background to put her in time out or to take over from me when she did not want to do what she had to. So, it was very negative feedback, but then something great happened. One time I said, you stopped daddy from putting you in time out by putting on your pajamas. Daddy heard and said: "Oh man" just like Swiper the Fox on Dora. All I have to say now in a very excited voice is: Quickly put on your shoes before Daddy comes. She gets so excited she shrieks but she puts on those shoes so fast! It serves three purposes: A game with the parent(s). Attention just on her what they need a lot still at this age. The bed-time routine or whatever gets done in such a short time it isn't even funny.

Oh, and lately, I have also said: "We've got to stop Swiper" when her dad is at work. I can't use daddy when he's not here because she tells me he is at work.

Use these things consistently. Continue even when they fail one day. Adapt and change them as she adapts and changes. It is hard work still though.

Now, having said all that, it works only 75% of the time perfectly. Some days not at all. We forget to make it a game and things fall apart. Or she wants to take the game further and we have to stop it and refocus. etc. And I don't have a little baby.

I hope there are some things you can use. Oh, that DVD about the Happiest Toddler on the Block is also helpful. I did not find it working in its entirety for us, but I learned a lot from it.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:29 PM   #27
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Re: I am a horrible mom

I just remembered something else we did for the tantrums, when ignoring them wasn't working. We told her that she now had a very special tantrum place (the bathroom). When she'd start a tantrum we'd take her there and close the door. With no audience, the tantrum wasn't fun anymore. It helped a lot.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:31 PM   #28
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Re: I am a horrible mom

I wish I had time to read the whole post, but I'm pressed for time- sorry if this has been asked.

I have a stinker. He has electrocuted himself several times, nearly lit the house on fire, just left without telling anyone- he's a stinker.

The cure for him was food. Food can absolutely make a kid behave badly. In his case when we took out wheat, he CALMED DOWN and started to be able to listen. I'd suggest getting a book like "Cure Your Kids With Food" and seeing if a diet change can't make a difference for her.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:29 PM   #29
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I have been thinking and looking into food issues as well. She has NEVER slept good. Ever. As a baby right on up to now. She goes to sleep great with minimal fighting if at all. Usually no fighting. We have a solid bedtime routine. Its the frequent wakings. But, then she throws that monkey wrentch and sleeps through the night (she did last night) for a few nights so I think she's getting better... then we have a bad baaad week.
As far as DH helping, as long as he is home he helps. What I meant was that he's NEVER home. But when he is he takes over bedtime, plays with her, takes her out etc etc. He's awesome.
We are in a homeschooling group so we meet with other kids and do small structured activities twice a week.
I'm really trying here.
I guess I just can't tell if this is "normal" behavior of a spirited child, or if I should be concerned.
If I go the food route, should I just do an elimination diet? How long should I expect before I will see a difference? So I know if this is something I should continue. With a picky toddler this will be challengening.. she doesnt eat much.
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:31 PM   #30
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Oh and I wanted to add. She wakes up from a dead sleep screaming every.single.time. She wants to nurse (that's why she's waking up) and I almost always give in. Yea, that is 100% my fault. I've been trying to night wean her for 8 months. I am lazy and so tired I just don't follow through .
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