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Question
Posted by: Edie | 2011-07-11

Terrible twos or not?

I have a 2 yr old. I know about the whole terrible- two thing, but this is more than just that. On the one hand he is the sweetest little boy: playful, funny, well mannered, curious, busy, everything one could wish for. He is so sweet with his little brother (3,5 months). But on the other hand, its as if, even when he was a baby, he cries about everything. When he was a baby and he was hungry he would scream like he hasn''t been fed in days. And now he cries over everything. It us really draining. Before he gets up and before he sleeps, if has to get in the bath and then when he gets out. I was very patient with him sunce the start always trying to figure out why he us crying and then to make it better, but now with his baby brother being so cheerful and relaxed, never crying, it has made me less patient dealing with this emotional rollercoaster and what I need to know is what am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to handle him, because what we''ve been doing is not working. Should I ignore him or should I be giving more attention ( at this point it feels like I have been taking a lot away from the baby already). I just dont want to mess up and I just want him to know that we love him and that he can trust us, because it really feels yhat he only take in the negative things (like when we ask him not to di something) rather than the praise that we give him all day long. I''m exhausted thinking and trying everything. Maybe hd doesn''t have enough boundaries and he is spoiled? I just dont know. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks ( sorry only read abt the 8 to 10 words at the end)

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Lets see what some of the experienced mothers among our readers have to say, here.
If I understand you, he cried a lot even before the birth of his brother. But still part at least of what maintains this pattern may be an issue of rivalry and wanting more attention. Crying is such a potent weapon, which makes parents, especially moms, feel guilty and inadequate. And it brings attention, whether loving or angry, it's attention none the less.
And maybe the contrast with his more sunny and calmer younger brother makes his behaviour seem all the more puzzling.
Manipulating the attention can help - withdrawing attention when he cries ( without obvious cause for the crying, of course ), saying somehing like "I'll come back when you stop crying " ; and at the same time giving MORE attention when he's NOT crying, saying :" Its so nice for us when you don't cry - its nice being with you". Are there more ways to involve him in caring for his younger brother, so your attention is less divided, and praising him for being the Big Boy who is so helpful ?
You are not messing up, and will not mess up, him or yourself ! Are there also more ways to keep him occupied safely while you are otherwise busy ?

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: R | 2011-07-14

Just what the doc said is all right!
From the first tantrum my soin thro, I wouldn''t entertain it, leaving him in his room until he was ready to talk. Children understand more than we realise. My one is now turning 4, and he''s wonderful, and he has his moments, just as we all do, but not over-the-top.
The more attention he gets during that time, the more he will tantrumise.

Reply to R
Posted by: Lu | 2011-07-12

My Daughter 3.5 years has always been the more emotional one, she''s got a little brother now 13 months and it has taken us about 3 years since she was born to figure out that, what the dr just said is about all you can do for your them.

Do not scream or scold, rather leave and tell him you''ll come back when he''s done or redirecting his attention etc etc.

If your son has been crying like this since birth then that is how he will be, hopefully just untill he''s old enough to know how to handle situations and emotions effectively (with your help of course).

Lots of praise when his calm and evertything the dr just said is all you can do. Never doubt yourself, mom and dad knows their kids best!!

Reply to Lu
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-07-11

Lets see what some of the experienced mothers among our readers have to say, here.
If I understand you, he cried a lot even before the birth of his brother. But still part at least of what maintains this pattern may be an issue of rivalry and wanting more attention. Crying is such a potent weapon, which makes parents, especially moms, feel guilty and inadequate. And it brings attention, whether loving or angry, it's attention none the less.
And maybe the contrast with his more sunny and calmer younger brother makes his behaviour seem all the more puzzling.
Manipulating the attention can help - withdrawing attention when he cries ( without obvious cause for the crying, of course ), saying somehing like "I'll come back when you stop crying " ; and at the same time giving MORE attention when he's NOT crying, saying :" Its so nice for us when you don't cry - its nice being with you". Are there more ways to involve him in caring for his younger brother, so your attention is less divided, and praising him for being the Big Boy who is so helpful ?
You are not messing up, and will not mess up, him or yourself ! Are there also more ways to keep him occupied safely while you are otherwise busy ?

Reply to cybershrink

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