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Question
Posted by: Edie | 2011/08/15

Two-year old

Hi

A while ago I posted on your page about my 2 year old who cries so often. You suggested that it might be because of his new baby brother. We made him part of everything involving his brother since day 1. He is actually quite sweet with his baby brother. I now try to spend even more one on one time with him and try to involve him even more with looking after the baby.

But I think it is more than that. On Friday when I picked them both up from babyschool, he was fine until we climbed into the car. He just started to cry for his dummy and then his blanky and then for a botty (which he doesn''t even drink any more) [This is another issue, why would he need his security objects when with us as opposed to when he is in difficult situations {say, with people he doesn''t know}?] He cried for about an hour or two. Then again Saturday and yesterday he was fine again.

When we went to the pediatrician the other day {and also the feedback from the school} is that he is very independent and socially and emotionally very well developed. The other day I saw an incedent where one of his classmates was quite sad and sitting on his own and my LO went to him and put his hand on his shoulder and asked him whether he was ok? The other boy didn''t respond and he just sat with him for a while and then left.

So, I''m thinking that perhaps he gets quite overwhelmed in social situations where he not only has to be independent but where he is already looking out for other kids'' wellbeing??? Or am I taking it too far and is completely on the wrong track???

The thing is, if I understand why he reacts like that maybe I''ll be better at providing him with what he needs. Because both his father and myself become so emotionally drained ourselves when he is like that and nothing we do seem to help. And then we become impatient with him and needless to say it just aggravates the situation.

It''s just so bad to see him so sad a lot of the time especially because the rest of the time he has a huge smile on his face is quite funny and loves playing outside and his imaginary play is going to whole new level every other day. Of course I''m not saying he has to be happy all the time and obviously he has all the emotions we have, but if I could assist him in any way I would be very happy.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Interesting and indeed curious, as you describe it. Maybe he acts out to gain your attention, because he has learned he WILL get extra attention from you, and maybe he doesn't do this at babyschool, because they won't respond so reliably or warmly if he does it there ?
What you describe of his comforting the distressed other child shows admirable character on his side, and you must be doing much that is right.
There can often be a negative feeedback loop, where highly caring and careful parents become so distressed when a child cries or seems distressed and the don't know what to do about it l that this in turn distresses the child, who picks up on the adults distress, and so on.
Try to concentrate more on rewarding and showing approval for his smiles, so that they get even more attention and reward than crying, and similarly to reward and encourage his play, and his calm ( not necessarily obviously happy ) behaviours.
What do other parents think ?

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Caro | 2011/08/17

Mantra: This too shall pass, this too shall pass.

Reward good behaviour
Comfort when sad
Turn your back on a tantrum
Smack when lives are threatened (wont sit still in car or runs across a road)

Good luck.

Reply to Caro
Posted by: Racoon | 2011/08/15

Hi Edie

What you describe sounds pretty much like the text book 2 year-old! they whine and cry a LOT. I have 3 sons (6 yo, 2.5 yo and 1 yo) and both the older ones were/are like that. Sometimes they are simply just exhausted and don''t know what to do with themselves. And - it is the best attention grabber, as CS also said. It will get better...I can now understand why some species eat their young : )

Reply to Racoon
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/08/15

Interesting and indeed curious, as you describe it. Maybe he acts out to gain your attention, because he has learned he WILL get extra attention from you, and maybe he doesn't do this at babyschool, because they won't respond so reliably or warmly if he does it there ?
What you describe of his comforting the distressed other child shows admirable character on his side, and you must be doing much that is right.
There can often be a negative feeedback loop, where highly caring and careful parents become so distressed when a child cries or seems distressed and the don't know what to do about it l that this in turn distresses the child, who picks up on the adults distress, and so on.
Try to concentrate more on rewarding and showing approval for his smiles, so that they get even more attention and reward than crying, and similarly to reward and encourage his play, and his calm ( not necessarily obviously happy ) behaviours.
What do other parents think ?

Reply to cybershrink

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