Ask an expert
Question

11 Jul 2011

Terrible twos or not?
I have a 2 yr old. I know about the whole terrible- two thing, but this is more than just that. On the one hand he is the sweetest little boy: playful, funny, well mannered, curious, busy, everything one could wish for. He is so sweet with his little brother (3,5 months). But on the other hand, its as if, even when he was a baby, he cries about everything. When he was a baby and he was hungry he would scream like he hasn''t been fed in days. And now he cries over everything. It us really draining. Before he gets up and before he sleeps, if has to get in the bath and then when he gets out. I was very patient with him sunce the start always trying to figure out why he us crying and then to make it better, but now with his baby brother being so cheerful and relaxed, never crying, it has made me less patient dealing with this emotional rollercoaster and what I need to know is what am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to handle him, because what we''ve been doing is not working. Should I ignore him or should I be giving more attention ( at this point it feels like I have been taking a lot away from the baby already). I just dont want to mess up and I just want him to know that we love him and that he can trust us, because it really feels yhat he only take in the negative things (like when we ask him not to di something) rather than the praise that we give him all day long. I''m exhausted thinking and trying everything. Maybe hd doesn''t have enough boundaries and he is spoiled? I just dont know. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks ( sorry only read abt the 8 to 10 words at the end)
Answer 433 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Lets see what some of the experienced mothers among our readers have to say, here.
If I understand you, he cried a lot even before the birth of his brother. But still part at least of what maintains this pattern may be an issue of rivalry and wanting more attention. Crying is such a potent weapon, which makes parents, especially moms, feel guilty and inadequate. And it brings attention, whether loving or angry, it's attention none the less.
And maybe the contrast with his more sunny and calmer younger brother makes his behaviour seem all the more puzzling.
Manipulating the attention can help - withdrawing attention when he cries ( without obvious cause for the crying, of course ), saying somehing like "I'll come back when you stop crying " ; and at the same time giving MORE attention when he's NOT crying, saying :" Its so nice for us when you don't cry - its nice being with you". Are there more ways to involve him in caring for his younger brother, so your attention is less divided, and praising him for being the Big Boy who is so helpful ?
You are not messing up, and will not mess up, him or yourself ! Are there also more ways to keep him occupied safely while you are otherwise busy ?

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
33% - 9322 votes
No
67% - 18662 votes
Vote