What to do when your child pushes you to the limit?

by Hannah

Today has been a particularly tough day and it’s not over yet. I am writing this whilst Beastie is napping, which is a rare occurrence these days as is to be expected. The reason he is napping is because he is worn out from pushing me to the limit.

My husband and I have noticed since his poorly bout a couple of weeks back that he has changed a little. Maybe because he was used to my undivided attention when he was suffering a lot with his mouth ulcers, we are not too sure but there is a definite shift in his behaviour and to put it bluntly, it’s not very nice at all. Don’t get me wrong he is still our loveable, funny little boy most of the time but he has suddenly developed some terrible mood swings.

Today started off as a normal day, it wasn’t without the usual demands, but never the less a normal day. It wasn’t until after he had finished his lunch that the trouble started. When I presented him with a yogurt he pushed it away and said he didn’t want it and instead wanted custard. This was tough luck seeing as we didn’t have any, next he wanted grapes…again these have run out and I need to buy some more. This is when the ‘meltdown’ happened and suddenly I found him screaming at me ‘ No Mummy! no Mummy!’ and stamping his feet. He was bright red in the face and furious and it shocked me so much. After being unable to reason with him, I sent him to his room where he threw himself on the floor and wailed, making horrible noises that sounded like they were coming from the devil child. Fast forward nearly an hour later and various trips back and forth to his room and he fell asleep…on the sofa, sobbing in his sleep from the sheer exhaustion of protesting.

Now normally I would feel incredibly guilty about this but that hour was just the most awful hour. I sat on the sofa and cried, defeated by my wilful child. Blame it on my hormones, being tired and run down but it all boils down to feeling like a bit of a failure with controlling my child. We have never really experienced tantrums, Beastie normally throws himself on the floor and is over most things as quickly as they happen. Maybe this is his turn at tantrums in full swing? what I fear is him getting to a point where he rules us. Bedtimes are still a nightmare with him and I fear they are not going to improve anytime soon. The way I see it with it with Beastie is that he needs to learn to be in his room when we send him and similarly for bedtimes. He gets all the reassurance he needs before bed and we have spent many an evening sat in with him encouraging him to settle, dimming the lights and keeping quiet. Nothing seems to work, if he will settle he will lie there fiddling with the wall and kicking his feet up against it, only to then wander back into the lounge when it suits him.

This is where my Mum’s advice comes in where we should leave him to cry it out in his room and eventually he will learn, this is not for everyone I understand but every child is different. I felt with an extremely wilful child, this tactic (with reassurance) would be the one to work with him but he is winning every time. He will outcry us every time and with my stress levels rising and the constant worry of our neighbours, (living in a flat) I find it almost impossible to carry out that technique leaving us back at square one. I even wrote a post about The move to the big boy bed as far back as February, I am sad to say that we have made no headway since then. I have even consulted ‘Supernanny’  Jo Frost’s Confident Toddler Care which has some great tips and advice. The only problem is I would actually like to hire Jo! and unfortunately I need to return it to my friend tomorrow who kindly lent it to me for that possible breakthrough…Tomorrow is a new day but today has been very challenging and it’s back to work tomorrow for a break.

 

7 comments

HELEN 2nd November 2011 - 4:15 pm

aww poor you. Try not to get stressed about it as Beastie will pick up on this too – I know this as the days that I’m calmer are always the days that Jack is too. He does push me though but I think if you make the rules & stick to them eventually he will give up on the tantrums as he will realise it’s just not worth it. Jack tries the ‘not like it’ food thing all the time but I’m harsh & I don’t give him choices (I know he likes it) & eventually he’ll eat it if he’s hungry. He’s been better recently – not so much screaming,throwing himself on the floor etc so maybe it’s just a phase with Beastie & if you stick to your guns it will pass.
Can’t wait to meet the little man himself in 3 weeks…he’d better behave then & eat all his sausage & mash!!
Remember that us twits are always here when the going gets tough
xx

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Mummybeastie 2nd November 2011 - 4:29 pm

I am hoping that it’s just a phase he is going through. I usually ignore his requests for different foods too and usually he will go back to what he has previously pushed away, he won’t go without you see!

I hope he is good! I am thinking the goujons, chips and peas will go down better, well the chips and peas will anyway. They will be so cute all tucking in together 🙂 xx (I hope!)

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would like to be a yummy mummy 2nd November 2011 - 7:24 pm

I agree with Helen that you need to be calm and patient and all children go through this but Just from reading this post I can see one way you could help yourself a little bit…. you’re not being consistent sweetie. I am far from perfect and by no means a super mum but consistency is the key. Whatever method you use, stick with it and do it every day, dont back down!! I had a nightmare a few months ago with Poppy but we stuck to our guns and a few days later…results: http://wouldliketobeayummymummy.blogspot.com/search/label/tantrums

Its worth putting the effort in now. You might have a few diff days or weeks but its quicker than just waiting and hoping for them to change back into your little angel. Hope you don’t mind me saying and for the record I can tell you are a good Mum and he really is gorgeous xxx

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Mummybeastie 2nd November 2011 - 7:40 pm

Thank you Karen for your words of wisdom! and of course I am not offended, I want people to be honest and give their opinions. Your posts should be really helpful to us! I know we need to start making threats and I am sure soon enough without being able to watch Peppa Pig or playing with his favourite toys should get the message across. We also need a naughty corner for a start 🙂 xx

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Katie @mummydaddyme 3rd November 2011 - 9:14 pm

I commented on this last night but doesn’t seem to have saved. I don’t have any advice for you as obviously I am not going through that stage but I just wanted to sympathise- I find some days with Mads bloody tough and she is just a baby- I bet it seems a lot worse at the moment because you are tired, hormonal and need more of a rest. I hope you get the situation sorted soon.
When I met Beastie a couple of weeks ago he seemed like a lovely, well behaved little boy and I am not just saying that.
Lots of love to you both. xx

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Pinkoddy 4th November 2011 - 4:49 pm

I think I come from the complete opposite perspective. If mine tantrum I usually think its because they are tired or ill – still embarrassing in the supermarket, but then I remind myself it’s normal.

Bedtimes depends on the age of the child but I hate controlled crying.

Best of luck with it all.

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Susan Mann 4th November 2011 - 10:10 pm

Hugs it’s hard when they push you to the limit, but then they give you that big smile. I find that walking away from them and counting to 10 is the easiest way to deal with them or I end up shouting back and feeling bad. Hugs and hope it gets better x

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