Parenting Toddlers (1-5) Community
Troublesome 23 month old
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Troublesome 23 month old

I have had SO many issues with my daughter since shes been old enough to walk and get into things. At this point, she will be 2 at the end of December. I have nowhere else to turn!!! None of the other children I have ever seen or been around that were her age have ever behaved the way she does. I feel as though she "gets off" on tormenting me during the day. Whenever I tell her "no", or to "please stop", she laughs and runs away from me - I am a stay at home mom/wife, and I really have no help even when my husband gets home - he's so tired from working 14 hours a day 6-7 days a week. She listens to my husband better than she listens to me, but the behavior itself doesn't really change when hes home. I am constantly having to tell her "NO, no no" - stop doing this, stop doing that, get out of this or that, over and over everyday, over the same things to the point that I find myself yelling constantly to the point that I'm an emotional wreck, in tears. Here are just SOME of the things she does - she refuses to go down for a nap - I cant let go of her hand for any reason, she runs from me and thinks its funny, basically, I have to bring a stroller for a simple in-and-out trip to the bank (I refuse to get a leash), she drags things out of the trash (several times a day), climbing into the dryer while I'm putting in clothes and throwing the wet clothes out as I put them in ( every time I do laundry), taking things out of drawers and running around the house scattering the mess about (over and over several times a day), she can break into our child safe cabinets and get things like very sharp knives and she'll run around the house away from me laughing and waving them around!! Don't even get me started on a trip to the grocery store - she always screams and cries when she can't get out of the cart, or get something that she wants - its like that EVERY trip! I can't just drop everything to keep her in one place (not that it would work anyway) I have obligations, vacuuming, mopping, dishes, dinner and laundry - the house would be a DISASTER if I didn't pick up after her 38 times during the day. I've tried to just talk to her but she laughs and continues to do the same things - just like she doesn't understand nor care. I am pregnant with our second child (11 weeks tomorrow) - and I fear that the constant stress on me and yelling will affect the baby in a negative way...I feel so overwhelmed and over worked that I just want to give up one really understands - my husbands family used to want to have her spend the night all the time when she was younger but they never even offer to keep her overnight anymore (they wont say it but I can't imagine why they wouldn't) or be around us - I just want to be able to love my daughter the way I loved her when she first got here and through her infant sounds AWFUL, but I just feel like she hates me and does things despite me. I know she doesn't, but i just don't understand what is going on, that she won't listen and obey better the way all the other children I've met do. I know that no child is going to be perfect all the time, but this is beyond that. She's good about the amount of time that a normal child is tempermental and out of control CONSTANTLY!!!
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Have you thought about bringing her to a child psychologist?

I have a very active todler, always on the go ( but he does obey fairly well), we put him in a large playpen with toys here and there for alone time and we go in an other room nearby. He yells at first then quietly plays with his toys. You could try that to have some time to yourself.
It sounds to me like it's become a constant battle.  That is no good for anyone.  I too have an extremely busy and active little boy.  He will do a lot of the things described.  What works for me is calm but firm.  I try really hard to not yell, as I find that just makes things worse.  So I stay calm and in control, calmly warn him, then follow through.  For example.  He also doesn't like to sit in the cart while shopping.  So I tell him - you can walk next to mommy if you stay with me.  If you run off or don't stay with me, you go into the cart.  If he runs off, I tell him, "you had a choice, and you chose to run, so now you have to sit in the cart.

The key is to always stay calm.  She is pushing the boundaries normal kids her age push.  Do not compare her to other kids as you don't see what goes on with them all the time, know what I mean?

I will also tell you that leash is one of the best things I ever bought.  Nothing wrong with them.  He loved it...he could run, had his hands free and he was safe.  Now at almost 3 we don't need it anymore, but from about 18 months to 2 1/2 it was fantastic!  Everyone was happy.

Pick your battles.  Know that she is going to get into things.  Stay calm and in control, and follow up with what you say you will do.  And try to get some time for you.  When my son goes to bed, I typically crawl into a warm bath with a book.  1/2 hour or so to recharge those batteries can do wonders.  Best of luck.
I agree with Adgal on everything she said!!
I have a little guy that just turned 2 and OH's like we have close to the same kid!! I really do feel your pain. I too don't have many ppl that will take him on because he is THAT busy! I have found that he is much better when you put him to work...I get him to put laundry in the washer and then the dryer with me and he gets to push the buttons I tell him. I have him put away all the things he takes out of the drawers (might want to put safer locks on knife drawers) I have many cupboards and drawers and I think I only have locks on the food cupboards really.
I've been using lately the ONE, TWO and then he doesn't like 3. I speak firm with him.

You will change your mind about a leash once baby comes. My son was only 20 months when our daughter was born...I can tell you, holy cow! It's a struggle and I'm the only one that can take them both out in public on my own. Hubby just did it the first time by himself today and our daughter will be 5 months in a couple days lol

As far as naps go..he needs one and he wont nap unless I put the gate up at his bedroom door. If he's tired enough, he will fall asleep watching tv after lunch. I find he is worse at listening when he is tired or hungry.
It's also a good idea to take snacks to the grocery store. I always get the fruit jube jubes and have him eat those when he starts getting impatient. I've opened a box of Ritz crackers in the store before, I bought them obviously and it worked like a charm. You just need all those little tid bits to help you along.

Let her know who's boss! Don't let her run your house...she knows how to push all your buttons so far.
I do alot of those things too...i never thought to gate her in her room to make her sleep before though, i may try that...i do find that shes such a good baby when she naps...but its a battle to get her to lol. The only other thing is, when i try to count to 3, after i get to 1, she counts for its a game. I cant believe i havent thought of some of those ideas before, i just hope they will work :) thank you! I'll update on progress!
haha mine counts with me too. But I find that he still stops whatever he is doing.
He is non stop all day and we use the corner if he doesn't stop after 3. He willingly will go in the corner, which is nice. Some kids aren't as good for staying and I'm sure he will get to a point where he won't go so willingly. I will resort to a spank at times but that's more if it's something that he's been told a million times about or if it comes down to safety and he hasn't listened. All it takes is persistance I guess. I'm stubborn myself so if he came out of there 10 times I would just keep putting him back. lol Same with bedtime.

The gate I find is the best. I find it's more for safety as well. He gets up SUPER early (6am) since the time change and I'd rather him not get into things if I'm still sleeping. His whole room is safe for him to be in on his own so I leave him there until 7ish and he just plays quietly.

They just haven't learned self control yet and are in the process of learning. They are only this age once so we have to enjoy and savour it. Try and let a few things slide and enjoy her while you can. Thinking this way has really helped me and my attitude toward my busy man! :)

OH and if she has a hard time leaving things behind, like at a store she wants a toy or something...I always use the "bye bye" tactic. Not sure if it works for all toddlers (probably not) but it's worth a try. I always give him a toy to play with or look at or something and when we put it back on the shelf we just wave bye bye to it and he usually plays along. We say "see you next time" and he lets go a lot easier. Or if we pass by the rides at the mall we say it too. Helps him not tantrum. Distractions are key! lol
There are a lot of great suggestions here.  My first child was a real "explorer",  and would get in to EVERYTHING,  although he didn't have the defiance issues that your daughter has.  He just absolutely was curious about everything and opened cabinets,  climbed on things,  tried to wander outside,  etc.  

Locks are your friends.  ;D   I don't mean the cheesy child proof things you can buy at Walmart,  those things don't work.  You'll need to rethink the way your house is organized - things that you don't use and can be stored in locking footlockers in a closet should be,  some things should be place high up with actually locks bolted on to the cabinets,  etc.  You can redesign your house so that try as she may,  she simply will not be able to access things you don't want her to.  

Get a leash.  They have those cute little monkey on your back things now,  but I don't see anything wrong with a regular harness and leash for a child.  You can say people will stare,  but they're already staring at you because your child is out of control.  Staring because you have a leash isn't really different.

I wish you well.  This too,  shall pass.
Oh my goodness, was I writing posts in my sleep? I think the only thing different Is, the climbing in the washer thing! I get him to help me with laundry, just like a previous poster said.
I swear, the day he turned two (ok the day BEFORE he turned two lmao) he started throwing MAJOR tantrums every time we go to a store! Previous to that, I enforced a "rule" that he could have a treat (chocolate bar, meat stick, a bag of chips) if he was a good boy while we were in the store. It worked well! Geeze DUH that's what I need to go back to! Idk we were shopping for toys for treat bags for his birthday party, and he just started throwing this giant tantrum and I got embarrassed and just started throwing things in the cart and quickly left! Ever since, there's been major tantrums every time we step foot in a store :(
I have a similar situation as yours. My son is 21 months on Dec 24 and I am also pregnant with my secod child now 23 weeks. I get really fustrated sometimes because he takes everything as a joke or playing around. One minute he's spilling his milk and I turn to clean it up, when he's on his next mission to get it something. Sometimes I have to spank him and he'll behave. I try to let things go but when he gets to a limit I give him the"pow pow." I just give him a wack on the hand or on the tush and next time he is naughty, I remind him of the pow pow and he calms down. Not for long though. Toddlers have a short memory span and get distracted easily by the next adventure. I often have to run errands and I think about not going because I have to deal with his hyper activity. Several people have told me that he's acting up because he senses the presence of his baby brother in the womb. They say his trying to get attention and is jealous in his own way. So try to stay calm, it's a stage your daughter and my son are going through. They dont call it terrible two's for nothing. I actually did buy one of those "leashes" because as soon as the front door opens he takes off. Im getting to the point where I cant run after him or carry him so its thr leash. Either that or he can cross the street before I know it. It seems wrong to tie him up, but in my view, its better to be safe than sorry.
I have a 2 1/2 yr old daughter and she at the point where she doesnt like to listen like most kids. I understand your frustration becuase I am 25 weeks pregnant with my second and it hard to stay calm when your little one doesnt want to listin. Do you try time out? For erilin time out hurts more then spanking because she is taken away from what she wants to do. If time out not working old fashion spanking on the butt wont hurt. Right now she has the control and she knows it and you need to get that back. Be firm when you tell her no.
When erilin acts up she gets a spanking and then time out for 4 mins. I put her somewhere I can see her and where she cant get anything. After 4mins I go to her and explain to her y she got into trouble. She understands pretty well she tells me sorry and gives me a hug. All kids are different but you have to show them you are the boss not them because they will walk all over you. You might be a parents that refuses to spank their kids. But sometimes you have to go old school on them.
As for the store I have problems too. Most of the time I give her my phone to watch her movies on or play games. It gets her destracted for the time being and i can shop. But yes there are times a phone wont work and I have to take her in the restroom and get on to her. After that she will act right.
You just gotta find what works best for you. Yelling  At her isnt working. Time to use other techniques.
Hi, it sounds like you really need a supportive friend.  I can see that you are having a tough time right now.  I'm sure you have heard of "the terrible twos".  Your child is going through a normal transition time where she has realized she is a separate being from you and has a choice whether she listens to you, or not.  She is not "getting off on tormenting you".  She does not hate you, nor is she doing things to spite you.  She is a healthy, active two year old that knows no boundaries yet.  You are the one who has to set those boundaries.  Yelling at her will not work.  

Safety must be first.  Put all sharps up out of her reach.  Puts medications in a lockbox.  You must remain calm but in control.  Re-direct your child when she is doing something you don't want her to do.  Saying NO, is anti-productive.  You may have to physically re-direct by lifting her and walking her to where you want her to play.  Since you have allowed this unruly behavior, it will take longer for you to gain mastery again but consistency and patience will pay off.  

I used a "back pack" with a harness or leash when mine were toddlers.  Safety must be first!  20 yrs ago, some people stopped me in a grocery store and scolded me for using it but I told them that I would rather have my child safe and under my control then laying injured or dead in a parking lot because they ran out in front of a car!  Drivers can't see little ones!

We can't reason with 2 yr olds.  They really are not capable of understanding.  Eventually she will understand her boundaries.  She may be acting out because she needs more of your positive attention.  Is it possible, she needs you to play with her, with her toys and activities she enjoys?  Yes, a clean house is important but not as important as active parenting.  Give you child a dry cloth and show her how to "help" you dust.  Get her a toy broom and allow her to sweep while you vaccuum.  

Finally, you are hormonal because you are pregnant.  You may need help from a counselor right now.  I'm not saying you're crazy!  Everyone needs help from time to time.  You seem to be suffering with unmanagable stress right now.  Its amazing how much a talk with a counselor can help at a time like this.  Talk with your husband too.  He may not understand how you are feeling right now.  You need to communicate with people you trust because right now, you are experiencing an unhealthy emotional condition.   You made the statement ..."I feel so overwhelmed and over worked that I just want to give up one really understands".  Believe me, I do understand!  You don't have to carry on alone!  Ask for help because if you don't, your situation can get worse.  Sometimes asking for help is the hardest thing we ever have to do.  We do have to recognize when we need help though!  Thats the key here.  You need help and don't know where to find it.  Contact your doctor.  He/she will lead you.
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