Saturday, August 28, 2010


Many of you have probably seen me posting a bit about it on Facebook, but Elias' terrible twos are in full swing, and I am just fairly bewildered. He is just Mr. Meltdown now. All. The. Time. And the bewildering part is that I rarely know exactly why he's crying. We're playing together, and suddenly he's crying. What the heck? I know a lot of it has to do with the frustration of not being able to communicate. He just can't tell me what he didn't like about the way I was playing, and so he just cries to express himself. And the rest of it is that he just doesn't understand everything. He doesn't understand why it can't always be his way. And so he cries or whines. Oh, the whining! Sooooo, we're trying to figure out exactly how to deal with this. I mean, I know this is just part of growing up. And I have a very passionate and intelligent child that I want to encourage as he blossoms. Yet he still has to learn how to handle himself properly and be a productive member of society, not to mention of our family!

So our general approach is to tell him to use words to tell us what he wants. He's getting very VERY good at asking for something and saying "please." Today I was washing dishes and asked him if he wanted to call Grandma after I was done. He ran to the phone and said "Grandma, please!" How sweet is that?? Of course, he screamed through our entire phone conversation, and I have no idea why, but that's not the point. Often, though, what he wants is something that he can't express in words or something unreasonable, like he wants to break all the crayons. Well, I understand what you want, but I'm just telling you no. Hence, meltdown.

Then, our course of action is to tell him that it's ok to be sad/disappointed/frustrated, but it's not ok to scream and cry about it. Then we put him in his room until he calms down. The point we're trying to get across is that if you want to be with other people, you need to behave civilly. If you want to scream, you're going to have to do it by yourself. It's only been a couple days we've been trying this approach, and the jury's still out on how well that's going to work. But this isn't something I expect will be solved overnight, but hopefully at some point he'll learn self control!

Soooo, I'm just putting this out there so that you all know where we are, and because I know a lot of the mamas who read my blog can relate! Feel free to comment, but only encouraging or sympathetic comments please!

And to balance it all and keep me from going insane, my pumpkin muffin also is doing some really precious stuff, and I have several videos I need to get uploaded and posted. So stay tuned for that this week!

In the meantime, here's a reminder of what his meltdown face looks like. This is the only picture I have of it right now. (It's from his birthday party when he couldn't get the frosting off of Thomas.)Yep, that's looking REEEEEEALLY familiar these days... :)


Jessica said...

I remember Patriot was completely unbearable at this stage. No one wanted to be around him. I'm afraid it lasted through his 3s, but magically got better just before his 4th birthday.

Can't tell you how many times I said "Crying does not get you what you want."

Stick to your guns, stay consistent even though it's exhausting, and you guys will be OK.

Tracy said...

Joni, I think you are doing the right thing by having a "punishment", but I would (and did) have a time out chair in a place other than his room because at some point he may equate his room with being in trouble and decide he doesn't want to go in there when he needs to (you know, like to sleep)...just a thought.

Anonymous said...

I loved the book by Harvey Karp, The Happiest Toddler on the Block. It was not about how to keep your kid happy, but had a lot of insights into their world and how to speak their language. He has a great section on tantrums. It is broken into the different age groups of toddlerhood. With all books, you take some nuggets and leave the rest, but a lot of his stuff really worked for us! Hang in there! Nicole.

Ashlee said...

Noah started whining a bit too. We tried to ignore him when he whined as best we could so as to not encourage him to use whining to get attention. When he would whine at the table we'd make him get down. and sit on the couch or take him to his room until he calmed down. It's better but not all the way gone. Sometimes it happens when he's getting tired but I still don't let him use it to communicate. I felt while it's true that he doesn't know how to communicate everything, he can communicate most of what he needs by saying/signing words he knows and pointing if he doesn't know the word.

I think you're on the right track and like anything, consistency is tough but it pays off.

Andrew's Mommy said...

Yes, this stage is "normal" and yes, it blows. :)

We also had that at 2 with A, but he's 3 now and amazingly better. We just got through with the phase of leaving somewhere and not throwing a huge fit if he wasn't ready to go. Sometimes we're still whiny, but I can now say "Excuse me?" and I get a "Yes, Ma'am".

Nathan is getting into this phase, but at least we know that "THIS TOO SHALL PASS!"

The biggest thing is that while his logic and reason are developing, it will be hard. When he gains more speech and logic, it just gradually gets better. Hang in there!

Makes you miss having a "baby", doesn't it? LOL!