Dear Toddler Behavioral Specialists,
I need help!!!!
Who coined the term terrible 2’s anyway? They were wrong! The terribleness as they describe it comes way before 2 (usually starts around 12-15 months) and lasts way past 2 (it may never end…lol)!
Here is my toddler trouble story:
So, my lovely 3 1/2 year old son, let it be known today that the terribleness that they talk about when it comes to 2 year olds has nothing on the what’s to come in the coming years. Lately, his father has been concerned about his behavior and I brushed it off as just growing pains and having a new sibling. Since, he has been doing extremely well at school (I only get good comments about him from his teacher) his behavior was not a major concern for me. Not until today…lol! He threw the biggest tantrum ever and then had the nerve to pee on himself on the bathroom floor, with his pants down while standing next to the toilet (shaking my head and pulling my hair out while screaming). And his reasoning for peeing on himself was because he did not want to wear the sweater I picked out for him. Are you serious?
I almost had a mental breakdown this morning. Everything was going great. I woke up early before the kids and was able to sneak out the room without them waking up (usually I can’t get out of bed without them waking up). My plan was to do some morning yoga, but I decided to have some quiet time and pray instead. After my thankful prayer and mirror affirmations, I was feeling awesome and ready to conquer the world. I cut up an apple for my oldest and boiled some carrots to puree for my youngest. I woke my oldest up so that he could eat his breakfast and started breastfeeding my youngest. Then, I asked my oldest to put on his clothes, he complied up until he had to put on a sweater that he didn’t want to wear (I didn’t know 3 1/2 year olds had fashion sense or cared about clothes…I was gonna learn today (in my Kevin Hart daddy voice…lol)).
“I don’t want to wear that sweater mommy. I want to wear the black and white jacket I had on yesterday”, whined my son. “You can’t wear the black and white jacket today because you wore it yesterday but you can wear it tomorrow”, I replied. I thought that was the perfect negotiation, but oh no, not for Mr. Three and a half year old!
After, telling him numerous times to put the sweater on and him ignoring me, my patience was growing thin. I told him that if he didn’t put the sweater on he was going to get a spanking. I counted to 3 at least three times and still no response or movement from him. He was in strike mode and unwilling to negotiate. So, I did something I hate doing I disciplined him by spanking him. (Side note: I feel really bad about spanking, I tried other ways like talking and time out and it does not seem to work for him, I am especially against spanking since that is what my parents did to discipline me, and its connection to slavery but more on that in the post “To spank or not to Spank…”, but I felt like I had no other option. After spanking him, I left him in the bathroom for a minute to let him calm down and I went to soothe my youngest son. When I came back to check on him, he had pulled his pants down and peed right on the bathroom floor (OMG…are you serious, this is not my life)!!! My first reaction was to laugh. I tried to laugh to prevent me from getting so upset that I would spank him, but to no avail I was so angry and I spanked him again. (Side note: I especially hate spanking when I’m mad.) After, that spanking I called my fiancé (baby daddy), he didn’t answer, so I called my mother. She advised me to tell him to clean the mess up and keep him home to discipline him.
Then, I did what every respectable and intelligent parent does–I googled “3 year old peeing when angry on purpose”. And to my surprise and temporary relief, there were so many parents dealing with the same issue. I read a couple of responses and got some reassurance that other parents are in the same boat as me. Then, I got overwhelmed, because there was no real responses from professionals that gave answers to why this phenomenon was happening. With my psychology and social work background, I then thought to look up play therapy. But now my question is: Should I conduct play therapy with my son myself or get professional help? Stay tuned, I will keep you posted on what I decided to do and my results!
Desperate and Overwhelmed momma in need of respite