Thread: Whatever
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:48 PM   #18
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doodah
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Re: Whatever

I am going to deviate just a bit from what the other poster's have said. While I do think there were some good ideas posted, I don't personally agree with the "wait it out" logic. Yes, what your child is doing is normal for his age but there are things you can do right now in order to improve the situation. You don't have to just wait and hope that things get better. You can make some changes now to direct your little guy and make some changes to benefit the whole household. These are just some ideas that I have and hopefully you will see something that can be a help to you.

1. Regarding the sleep issues, I don't think it is necessary to be nursing him throughout the night. He is toddler age and really it is more of a comfort thing than him actually needing nutrition. I would began by closing the "milk shop" after a certain time and concentrating on comforting another way. It may be very tough for him those first few days but he will get and will go to sleep eventually. Then you can work on getting him to sleep without nursing (if that is your wish) and start instituting a bedtime and bedtime routine. I am not sure if you are even wanting to quit co-sleeping but either way, you can improve the situation by agreeing with your DH about night time rules and sticking very firm to those. He will get used to it. I would also research sleep techniques and figure out what you feel comfortable with doing. Keep the goal in mind (having time in the evening to get some things done and take a break) and just keep working towards that. Some kids DO eventually work out sleep issues on their own at a certain age but many do not because they have certain habits just ingrained in them after doing it that way for so long. It could get better if you wait but it could also get a lot worse. Maybe you are just venting and not really looking for advice really, but I thought I would give my thoughts and again, hopefully something will be of a help to you.

2. Regarding the cleaning issues, you mentioned that he has tons of toys. I would purge that right away. Keep only those toys that are active (fitting with his personality) and age appropriate. You might consider push toys, a ride on car, small climber/slide for indoors and other active toys where he can really get out his energy. Plus if there is less items it makes sense there would be less to clean up. Organize his room to child proof it and what I call "tornado" proof it. Put his dresser in the closet if you have to or organize everything he should not be getting into in the closet and put a latch or door knob covers on the door. Child proof other areas of the house with cabinet locks, gates, etc. Whatever it takes to keep the destroying to a minimum and keep him safe from getting into things that could hurt him. He is not too young to learn how to clean up after himself. Also, work on teaching him to clean up an activity before taking out another. Keep him focused on "his" things and be very consistent with not letting him touch things he shouldn't. I know it seems easier sometimes just to clean up after him all day but I think you should take the time to teach him more about things he can do instead of chasing after him about things he can't. It might take 100x of saying no to a certain thing but he will get it and that would be better overall than just not saying anything at all. You might also think about how you feel about timeout or other consequences for breaking the house rules and no, I don't think he is too young for a timeout.

3. Again, just really kid proof your house to keep him safe and concentrate on teaching what he is and is not allowed to do. It is not going to change overnight and is a process but you will see the progress when you stick to it.

4. Regarding his "rejection" of you, I think it would help for you to accept where he is right now, not take it personally and maybe rethink your perception about what he is doing. It is a wonderful thing for your child to have a dad he can admire and spend time with. Try and be thankful for that instead of feeling rejected that he is preferring someone over you. There will still be some things that only mommy can do and you will have a place in his heart that no one can fill. He is an active little boy and it is only natural with his personality that he just doesn't slow down for hugs and kisses. I would concentrate on finding other ways to bond with him outside of physical affection and just really cherish those hugs and kisses when they do come around. It is not a personal thing if he doesn't say goodbye when you leave him somewhere. It shows that he loves activity, socialization and independence. That is a good thing plus it would be way harder on you if he was screaming in terror every time you went somewhere new. It is great that he adapts well and you and dh can enjoy dates together.

5. I think you are stressing a little too much over his eating habits. If you are concerned with his weight gain, speak to your ped but it does seem like his habits are common for his age. Try more finger foods so he can feed himself. He might just not want food when spoon fed and wanting to do it himself. Add some variety to his favorites, add peanut butter on top of the crackers or put the banana slices on top of yogurt and let him try using a spoon on his own. If he is taking small bites of new foods than that is great, at least he is trying. Don't make meals into a battle because right now, it seems that you have more than enough battles to deal with first.

6. Keep encouraging him to talk. I know it is easier sometimes just to give him what he wants if you know what he wants but take the extra time to make it a learning opportunity. If he wants his truck, you can say "look there's the truck, would you like your truck?, say truck please, okay here's your truck" and then give it to him. Yes, it sounds sort of crazy like you are talking to yourself but repetition is the key to learning with your little one. Keep signing and make a big deal if he tries to say another babble or sign for something. As far as him making numerous requests, sometimes you need to make the decision for him or give him a this/that choice so he is not overwhelmed with options. If he is confused about which toy to have, pick two for him and ask him "do you want your truck or teddy bear". Organizing and purging his toys will really help with this too. Encourage him to play on his own and make his own decisions so he is not constantly looking to you to figure everything out for him.

7. Just because you and your dh are very mellow does not necessarily mean that you were like that as children or that your son won't be like that when he grows up. Comparing is not going to do any good for now. It sounds like a lot of his tantrums could be due to being overtired or bored. If you don't have a daily routine, I would figure one out asap. Keep him engaged throughout the day. That doesn't mean that you have to entertain him. It means that he knows what to expect with the routine and he has plenty of opportunities to keep his mind and body active (and wear him out!). Do activities with him, go outside, take him places, whatever it takes to keep him from wandering aimlessly and getting into trouble. Start a game for him and then step back and let him take over. Some kids need a little extra help to learn how to even play with their toys. As for tantrums, I would make sure he is safe and then walk away and do not give him attention for that sort of action. You just have to teach him that kicking and screaming is not the way to get what you want. I do a "cry corner" for my kids. They can be upset as long as they need but they have to stay on that rug in the corner until they are ready to be happy again. My two year old will cry and then say "happy" when she is ready to come out. I don't try to figure out what is wrong in the middle of the cry fest and don't try to offer this and that in an effort to console them. They are allowed to be upset and express those feelings but they are not allowed to hurt anyone else in the process and will not receive what they are wanting until they calm down (of course, they don't get what they want if it is against the house rules).

Don't worry about what he may or may not due in the future at play groups. For right now he is doing well and enjoying it. It sounds like he is behaving well there and that is just another indication that he really thrives on socialization and activity. You are not doing anything wrong by sitting back as he and the other kids work out their social skills with each other. Of course intervene if he is honestly getting hurt but otherwise, let him have the independence to work it out on his own. I am sure he will push or take toys on occasion especially as he becomes one of the older kids and step in if you have to to teach him what behavior is acceptable. It is just something that happens as kids get together and it doesn't sound like it is bothering him too much so I wouldn't let it worry you.

I hope that nothing I said came off as critical or too harsh. I am honestly trying to help. I would just keep some goals in mind of how you want your son to behave and keep working towards those goals. It is hard when you have all those baby memories so fresh in your mind but I think it is time to regroup like you said and begin to face these issues knowing that you have a little boy now and not a baby. He can understand some basic rules and structure and your whole family will benefit. Get dad involved...he might have some ideas that you have not thought about or might be able to teach and influence your son in a way you can't. It sounds like you have a great heart and the best intentions for your son. Teaching and training and saying no sometimes shows your love as well. Best wishes to you mama!
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