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Thread: Needing some strategies for DD

  1. #1
    kirsty_lee Guest

    Question Needing some strategies for DD

    Now I don't really class myself as any "type" of parent and I don't really follow a certain 'style' I just go with whatever works ITMS But I am really after tips for my DD's (2.5 year old) behaviour. Its actually at the point where I wake up dreading 'not-kindy' days. I realise that we have recently just moved at that could be the cause of her unsettledness (if that's a word lol ) but I honestly think there is more to it then that because she was displaying some of the kinds of behaviour before hand ya' know. I'm not even really sure where to begin, there's so many things she's doing at the moment that are just making me want to rip my hair out. So, I guess i'll just list some examples of the things that I am really struggling with at the moment.

    1. The whinging! The whingy whiny voice until she gets her own way, most times even tears over absolutely nothing until she's getting what she wants.
    2. The shouting and demanding. She'll be in another room and just shout at you and call you over and over demanding what she wants. Even if you say 'please wait Ava' she'll still keep repeating and shouting what she wants over and over.
    3. The hitting. She's been having these tantrums lately, again when she's not getting her own way and sometimes not even a full blown tantrum where she will see no problem with slapping me or close fisting me in the face (of course doesn't do it to daddy) This is one of the ones that is just really grinding my gears, i just hate being slapped in the face (by anyone lol )
    4. Dinner time has just turned into a nightmare. Im a firm believer of not making 3-4 meals a night because she doesn't like what is put down in front of her. The dinners that I do make she usually loves but lately i'll put dinner down in front of her and she'll say NO! and push it to the side and cause a big fuss over it and want to get down from the table and go do whatever while me and dp eat. The negotiating part is just so draining. Its become every single dinner time before i've even gotten to the table with my own dinner she hasn't even tasted it, just looked at it and pushed it away.Or will have maybe 3 mouthfulls then say im done and want to hop down.
    5. The not listening..... ohh man this one is sooo hard and I realise maybe I need to learn a bit more patience but i'll ask her something she wont listen and I can feel teh stress and anxiety rise in me straight away. I don't want to have to keep repeating myself severel hundred times I just want her to do it the first time. By the end of the day I am so sick of the sound of my own voice of the No, stop that. Don't touch that, ava that's dangerous, ava put that down, no that's enough please etc etc. God even typing it makes my eye twitch lol This is also a problem when she asks for something and either me or my dp say no to so she's not getting her own way and will continue to ask and nag and carry on.
    6. Sleep time. This kid knows how to work us I tell you what. She's put into bed she asks for all these different books ( I swear she goes to bed with like 7 books a night and sooo many of her toys) and then she'll lay there calling out "daddddyyyyy" and does it over and over, if you ignore her she gets even louder, whingy'er and then it turns into I want different books/more books, I want a drink, I threw my toy off the bed... this can go on anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and a half

    Um.. I think thats all I can think of right now, but they're the main ones that are just driving me bonkers. I do do time out and it seems to do nothing. Im thinking maybe I need to get the sticker chart going again that did seem to help once before If you got this far thank you, I know its mammoth


  2. #2

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    hun... TBH hun this sounds like a normal stage to me, my A is going through similar at the moment.
    They are at an age now where they are trying to push the boundaries, they have a voice (IYKWIM) and are learning how to use it.

    At the moment i am going through the same thing with tea, she eats a bit then asks for a drink, no drink she cracks it and wants to get down.. even if she was enjoying her dinner she says NO and wants off.
    Instead of letting her down now we strap her in (we have the travel seat on a normal chair) and wotn let her down until we are finished.. she's not allowed any other foods either.

    The tantrums are another thing too, she's getting good at throwing herself on the floor, kicking and screaming.
    I try my best to ignore her, i am giving her a warning like you stop that or you'll go in your room, she gets 2 warnings and if she doesn't stop i put her in her room.
    The screaming when i do that is HEARTBREAKING but i have to follow through with the threat so i close the door and walk away and come back in a minute or 2, make her say sorry, give her a cuddle then go back to what we were doing.. it's a hit and a miss most days though.

    If it's something your really worried about maybe speak to the MCHN, i have a horrible feeling they will say it's terrible two's... am going to discuss the same issues with mine when we go in a couple of weeks.
    In the meantime hun your doing a wonderful job... when she's doing it take deep breaths and count to 10 BEFORE you say or do anything.. then you go at it with a calm head.

    Sorry prob no help at all

  3. #3

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    have you tried 1-2-3 magic?? you can borrow the book or sometimes the DVD from the library, definatly worth a try, its aimed at 2+, there are two parts to it, the first part you can try, which deals with whinging, bad behaviour but the second part aimed at getting them to do stuff shes too little for

  4. #4

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    i dont really have any real advice, just wanted to say that this is how our DD has been as well. it is a variable feast, but i guess it is a sign that it is an age thing, rather than a behavioural mishap ITMS.

    our dinner thing is really annoying too. we have now told her that although she doesnt like it, that's ok (remembering robin barkers 'mighty toddler' here...not to associate food with yuckiness itms). BUT that she has to stay at the table with mama and papa until they have finished. it seems to work well enough. even if she has a bit of a grumpy face lol. but we do find that then she *might* pick at a couple things, if not actually start eating...just a thought...

  5. #5
    kirsty_lee Guest

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    Thanks for the replies guys!

    ZF- so glad I am not the only one lol.. so tiring

  6. #6

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    Izzy is a bit older but far out it's so hard hun. I have to make a conscious effort not to say "no" a million times a day, by rewording whatever it is she is doing, we look after J, we can do painting a bit later, you can have cheese on toast or spag for lunch (instead of NO you can't have a lollypop haha) etc. I have also found that it takes a bit of time but I give her 2 options for lots of things where the outcome will be what I want it to be but she gets choice, for eg. it is time for bed, do you want dad or me to help brush your teeth, because if we jsut say time for teeth she might sometimes say NO. This way she knows there is no way out and she gets to choose, and we get a win win.

    She sounds old enough to understand bed time too hun, can you sit her down way before bed time and explain there will be one book, one cuddle then sleep time or whatever you decide, and then get her to choose which one and remind her over and over that it will be ONE story and that is it. It might take some time but if you are consistent and don't give in and she realises you are serious it may work. Iz is a shocker for wanting water, loo, etc. at night. We now give her the bottle in her room, make sure she's gone to the loo and tell her if she calls out and carries on we will have to shut the door so J doesn't wake up. A bit different but hey the bribery might work! Good luck it's so hard!

  7. #7

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    KL have you read 'The Science of Parenting' by Margot Sunderland?? It is awesome and has tips for all of the things you've written there. I HIGHLY recommend it. Ok, so some things I've picked up from the book that might help, or you may have already tried:

    1. The whinging! The whingy whiny voice until she gets her own way, most times even tears over absolutely nothing until she's getting what she wants.

    Don't give in! Decide quickly if you're prepared to give her what she wants this time or not. If it's no then stick to it. If you give in after a lot of whinging only a few times you will encourage her to whinge more. So this is going to be hard because at first she will try even harder and whinge more! But stand your ground! If she gets distressed comfort her and use calm soothing words tell her you understand it's frustrating when she doesn't get what she wants, etc, but don't give in. So she knows if she gets truly upset mummy is there for her but there are still rules and what mum says goes.


    2. The shouting and demanding. She'll be in another room and just shout at you and call you over and over demanding what she wants. Even if you say 'please wait Ava' she'll still keep repeating and shouting what she wants over and over.

    Try going to her and saying something like 'I'm really happy to talk to you about what you would like when your voice is quiet like mine'. Then go back to doing what you were doing and wait for her to come to you calmly. Pay no attention to her when she's using control and dominance as a way of asking for something. If you try and reason with her it will just reward her behaviour because she is engaging you and getting attention for it iykwim?


    3. The hitting. She's been having these tantrums lately, again when she's not getting her own way and sometimes not even a full blown tantrum where she will see no problem with slapping me or close fisting me in the face (of course doesn't do it to daddy) This is one of the ones that is just really grinding my gears, i just hate being slapped in the face (by anyone lol )

    Let her know that violence is never ok by using a type of time-out. Maybe save the time outs for only violence. Put her somewhere and tell her that you are putting her there because she did xyz and it's never ok to hurt someone.

    4. Dinner time has just turned into a nightmare. Im a firm believer of not making 3-4 meals a night because she doesn't like what is put down in front of her. The dinners that I do make she usually loves but lately i'll put dinner down in front of her and she'll say NO! and push it to the side and cause a big fuss over it and want to get down from the table and go do whatever while me and dp eat. The negotiating part is just so draining. Its become every single dinner time before i've even gotten to the table with my own dinner she hasn't even tasted it, just looked at it and pushed it away.Or will have maybe 3 mouthfulls then say im done and want to hop down.

    I would tell her the rules before you give her her dinner, i.e. this is what we're having, if you don't eat it there's nothing else for you and you'll have to wait until the morning. Don't negotiate. When she's finished I would just let her get down but leave her dinner there in case she changes her mind. Might be cold by then but too bad, lol. No negotiating!! This is what I do with DD anyway. I was getting sick of the throwing food and after about a week she got the idea.

    5. The not listening..... ohh man this one is sooo hard and I realise maybe I need to learn a bit more patience but i'll ask her something she wont listen and I can feel teh stress and anxiety rise in me straight away. I don't want to have to keep repeating myself severel hundred times I just want her to do it the first time. By the end of the day I am so sick of the sound of my own voice of the No, stop that. Don't touch that, ava that's dangerous, ava put that down, no that's enough please etc etc. God even typing it makes my eye twitch lol This is also a problem when she asks for something and either me or my dp say no to so she's not getting her own way and will continue to ask and nag and carry on.

    Because she's only little her brain is underdeveloped and she finds it really hard to switch from one task to another. So when you want her to do something try and pick a good time when she's not really involved in something or try giving her some warning, i.e. in 5 mins we have to get dressed, in 1 min...etc. When she does what you ask go overboard with the praise!! If she doesn't just pick her up and take her to do it, she's had warning. Don't keep asking and asking until she finally does it otherwise she'll just get used to nagging and tune it out, lol.

    Maybe also pick your battles. Decide how much of a big deal things are. Be very firm when something is dangerous that she needs to stop immediately though. But sometimes I find I am saying 'No' all day and DD just ignores me coz I say it so much so I have to stop and think does it really matter? Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't.


    6. Sleep time. This kid knows how to work us I tell you what. She's put into bed she asks for all these different books ( I swear she goes to bed with like 7 books a night and sooo many of her toys) and then she'll lay there calling out "daddddyyyyy" and does it over and over, if you ignore her she gets even louder, whingy'er and then it turns into I want different books/more books, I want a drink, I threw my toy off the bed... this can go on anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and a half

    Do you have a clear routine? I would make sure I had a clear routine that she knew so she knew what was coming next and announce the next step each time, i.e. now it's bath time, now we put on our pyjamas, now we will read 3 books, can you choose 3, now it's time for lights off. No negotiating on the number of books and when she goes to bed, she can have some little choices like which books and maybe which pyjamas so maybe she feels like she has a say?? And then ask if there's anything she needs before you leave, try to be prepared like she already has a drink beside her etc. And don't negotiate with her at bedtime, that's just making you stay longer and draw it out.


    I hope something in there is helpful, some is from the book and some off the top of my head. I have been reading the parts on tantrums, discipline, etc recently.

    Maybe also look at some things that might be causing her behaviour first before deciding how to act on it e.g. is she tired or hungry? Has she had any sugars or lollies or food additives that might have affected her? Is it bc of her underdeveloped brain?? (unable to cope with big emotions like disappointment/anger and needs help with them). Understimulation? Needing more attention from mum or dad today? Needs more structure in her day? Is she picking up on your stress?

    From the book:


    Are you activating the wrong part of your childs brain? Your way of relating to your child may be activating the wrong part of his brain. E.g. if you shout and issue endless commands - "Do this, don't do that" - you could be unwittingly activating the primitive RAGE and FEAR systems deep in the mammalian and reptilian parts of his brain. In contrast, lots of play, laughter, and cuddles are likely to activate the brain's PLAY and CARE system. These systems trigger the release of lovely calming opioids. So hey presto, you have a calm, contented child.
    I should totally sell these books, pmsl.

  8. #8
    kirsty_lee Guest

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    Thanks Heaven! That was really helpful! I might look into getting that book

  9. #9

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    Or maybe I shouldn't sell them bc I don't even know the title, pmsl. That is what it used to be called. It's now called 'What every parent needs to know'. It's great. There's so much more stuff in there and it actually explains WHY your child behaves like this. Even just reading why has helped. Because I know there's a reason and I understand I feel so much less frustrated.

  10. #10

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    Here's what we do - for some ideas.

    Argh, the whinging and nagging! It must be the age
    I mostly ignore the first 2 - I figure there's no point engaging when he's like that. DH keeps trying to talk to him and just gets mroe and more frustrated
    If he's really insistent, I just tell him I don't like the way he's behaving and reiterate my answer 'no'. But also offer him some alternative activity, sometimes that helps. Or I'll suggest that if he does what I want him to do, then we can do x together.

    3 - DS doesn't do this much. I generally just make it clear that it's not ok and remove myself. He's more likely to hit himself or the furniture, actually. I make a joke about the 'poor furniture'.

    4 - If he's mucking around at dinner, we ask if he's eating or playing. If he's playing he's done. Or we might threaten to eat his food or give to the cat. If he still doesn't want it then he can go. I'd like to keep him at the table, but even DH won't sit there through a whole meal....so I have discipline issues there too
    Anyway, I would not make a fight about this. If he doesn't want to eat, then I see no point pushing it.

    5 - If it's something important, i get right down and make eye contact. To be fair, I don't pay attention to a lot of his chatter, so maybe it's just poor role modelling on my part
    If it's something he is not allowed to be doing, then I intervene - remove him or the object or whatever. They get so caught up in things sometimes I don't think it's always entirely on purpose.
    The other thing is that we always give lots of advance warning when changes are coming. We use 5-3-2-1 countdowns and tell him what's coming next. We also give him choices if he refuses. Don't want a bath, ok, then we'll go straight to bed. His typical response: ummmm. Want a bath!

    6 - at bedtime, again, we have specific set expectations. Daddy reads 1 book on the armchair, and 1 book in bed. Then lights go out. Then he has some songs & cuddles. Then good night. He still complains - why? when it's always the same..? - but he accepts it anyway. And if he tries to deviate from the plan, then he has an option - either we follow the plan or mummy/daddy leaves the room and he's left alone.
    This routine is open to negotiation if, for eg, DS is sick or something and he needs extra cuddles or help to sleep.

  11. #11

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    Well you've just described my DD1 to a tee! LOL

    Luckily its just a stage they go through, and it does stop.. eventually. DS got a lot better once he got closer to 3.

    With the dinner thing, we're totally over her playing with the food instead of eating it, so she gets 3 warnings, then stands in the corner for the rest of the meal. We have 2 other kids to watch as well, so we can't watch her like a hawk, otherwise we would never eat our own dinner! LOL

    She stood in the corner 5 nights in a row, and then for the last couple of nights she will stop playing and start eating - when threatened with the corner. So it does work, even though it may seem a little cruel.. LOL

  12. #12

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    OMG our girls must be soul sisters.

    Just tonight Jazz slapped me FOUR times. Tried to make me change places at the dinner table 5 times until I'd sat everywhere, she still wasn't happy, so I just sat and ate so she SCREAMED - blood curdling screaming - the whole dinner. Throwing herself around the floor. Tried to throw her dinner. Sat on the dog twice. Threw toys at the dog. Dumped her toys in a cyclonic fashion around the whole fricken house. Screamed and hit me when I wasn't sitting and playing tea parties, so I sat with her and she threw a fricken tea tray at me because I didn't sit in the right spot.
    And I've only been home since 5.30pm. She just went to bed, after saying NO about a million times when we asked her to come and get her pyjamas on. She didn't end up eating her dinner by the way. Maybe two mouthfuls. Ugh.

    But I can be really patient throughout most of this. The things that get me are the complete ignorance. I can say "JASMINE you need to get off the dog, you're going to hurt her and give her an owwie" and she just looks at me and DOES IT AGAIN. ****. Or she'll be emptying her book cupboard, and I'll ask her to stop, and instead of stop she'll just throw a fricken book at me and keep going. ARGH!

    I don't have mamny tips, except our Mantra is that she's getting to the age where she realises that she is her own person, she has her own opinion, she has her own actions, and she has options. We might not think so, but she does. She doesn't HAVE to stop when we say stop. She's just testing the waters, she just realising that she is separate from us. And that's whats getting us through until she turns 25.

  13. #13
    kirsty_lee Guest

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    And that's whats getting us through until she turns 25.
    That and a wholllle lot of alcohol!

  14. #14

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    LOL non-drinkers here, so a whole lot of chamomile tea!

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    kirsty_lee Guest

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    hahahahha what else is in that chamomile tea? either that or it's bloody strong chamomile hahahaha with like 7 tea bags

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    Some great posts here.

    Just wanted to say that I went to a toddler tactics class recently and they were saying that when you start making changes, pick a couple of things that bother you the most and work on them until you start to see results and then pick another couple of areas to work on. If you do it all at once it can be too confusing and unsettling and you might make all the acting out worse. Of course you know your DD best though. Consistency, whatever approach you take and whatever you end up doing in response to her behaviours is critical.

    The offering of limited choices mentioned earlier was another big issue discussed in the class. Toddlers are learning about having control, making decisions and consequences. Try to have natural consequences reinforced (both negative and positive) and giving her a limited choice in each situation. They also talked about having a rough structure to each day, especially when you're at home. So it might be breakfast, some TV (while you clean up from breakfast and put washing on) some outside play while you're hanging washing out, back inside for morning tea, some craft time inside, lunch, sleep (if she still has one), a walk or more outside play, afternoon tea, inside play while you get dinner organised etc etc. It doesn't really matter what the routine is but having a roughly similar pattern to the day and not letting any one activity go on too long should help. I think from memory they were saying 30-60 mins then change to something different and alternate inside and outside, active and passive activities. If she's not having a sleep, even some quiet rest time with a movie or some stories with you on the lounge in the afternoon might help. Obviously when the weather is bad this type of routine needs to change.

    The other thing they said that hit a chord with me (cause I was doing this all the time) is not to provide lots of lengthy explanations or reasons or instructions. Keep it simple. I tend to rave on to DS about what is happening and why I want him to behave a certain way and what might happen if he keeps doing what he's doing. I think a lot of it goes over their head and gets confusing. Especially when they are caught up in whatever it is you want them to change.

  17. #17

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    Yep - sounds like my DD too. I'm a fan of techniques supernanny uses

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