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

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.