Thursday, October 8, 2009

So I have this 2 year old

Yes, Cooper.

I am looking for some feedback as to what is really going on with this little man.

Lets just say he has challenged us much more than Kylie ever did. Yes, Kylie. Cooper has invented a whole new level of stubbornness. Now don't get me wrong, he is a great little boy. He is a mama's boy and loves to snuggle and kiss us. BUT, since Addy arrived he has really struggled. Here is what I am talking about...
  • He is CONSTANTLY hurting Addy. I cannot leave the room for a second without him attempting to poke her eyes out. He always says sorry and really loves her but also LOVES to hit her.
  • He bites, punches, hits
  • His food ends up everywhere but his mouth. He doesn't enjoy eating and likes to play with his food. I have started giving him nutritional supplements to make up for the lack of food he is eating.
  • He is ALWAYS complaining of a stomach ache
  • His eczema gets so bad that he will scratch his skin off at times
  • We aren't even going to talk about the poop thing...lets just say, it is really gross
  • He doesn't sleep much and wakes up extremely hyper
  • Rough is his middle name
Now here is what we have done to try and correct his behaviors...
  • a 2 to 5 minute time out with a spanking for hurting others
  • taken his trains away (he loves his trains)
  • talked with the Doc about it and looking into a wheat allergy.
  • spend one on one time with him and let him know we love him lots.
  • talked about how to "love" Addy and Kylie the right way
  • Put him on a "whole foods" diet. I know all the ingredients in everything he eats.
  • Limited his gluten intake
I am prety sure he has a food allergy of some sort and this is what is causing it but I also need to address his behaviors NOW. What shall I do fellow blogger friends?? Looking for some feedback....


Anonymous said...

Having a girl first and then a boy is a huge awakening, no matter if you do the same things or not, they are so different. We are having many of the same problems with our little guy since the baby arrived. We did many of the same things you have done without much relief. So now we are trying really really hard to focus on the good things and not pay attention to some of his outbursts, unless someone, ie the baby is going to be hurt. I find this has made the biggest difference. The other thing that has helped, is trying to keep him busy, with activities or playdates. Let me know if you are able to find a tactic that does work. Oh ya, and lots, I mean lots of praying. good luck.
Christina B

Nicole said...

Ok, this is a tricky one. I've been reading this over and over again, and pondering my response. I even asked my mom what she thought! Here is what I've come up with...

Unfortunatly Cooper's terrible twos are coinsiding with the arrival of his new little sister. And on top of it there is a strong posibility that he isn't feeling good. I would make the allergy thing my first priority and would still pursue it with the doctor. Probably once you get that under control then some things will start falling into place.
I don't know what you tried as far as the eating thing, but my experience with working with kids is that the more you make a big deal about them eating, the more they resist. It really is the one thing that they can control because you realistically can't shove food down their throats. I don't know exactly how Cooper is acting since I don't see him, but I would put the food in front of him and not say anything about it. If he starts playing, make him leave the table, and say something simple like "no, we don't play at the table". Hopefully sooner or later he should get the point, and he should also eat if he gets hungry. One of these days it should click.
As for Addy, this definitely sounds like a jealousy issue. I think you are going about it the right way by giving him one-on-one time, and telling him the right way to love his sister. Maybe you can make him feel more included by making him a "big helper" with Addy. Hopefully if he sees that he can be a big boy and help you out with his baby sister, then he will be more accepting of her. And this is also focusing his energy in a more positive way.
Now, I definitly am an advocate of spanking in certain situations. But, maybe spanking him when he is hurting others might be sending him the wrong message? I might go about this a different way. I'm not sure how good Cooper is at communicating with you, I would try to get to the bottom of his frustration. Definitely give him a firm punishment, but then try and ask why he was hitting, and then you can explain to him how to "use his words" instead of hitting. If he can understand this concept you can catch him in the heat of the moment when he is getting frusterated and guide him on how he can handle the situation. Do this in a simple way for him to understand, of course.
Make your expectations clear, and simple for him to understand. Maybe you and your husband can even go over a simple list of family rules with him and Kylie. Being a nanny for years I have found that parents can be too wordy, and they ASK for their kids to do something instead of telling them. I have totally been guilty of this myself! For example "Do you want to come and sit and eat your dinner?" As opposed to "It's time to sit down and eat your
dinner". The first way is more likely to get a no for the response.
Last, along with addressing the negative, focus on what he does positive. Even if it is a little thing. If he sees that he is making you guys proud then he might be apt to do it more
Ok, I will take my payment in cash. Haha, just kidding! Good luck, hope this helps!

Kara said...

Love it girls! Yesterday I was able to have a whole day of mommy/kiddos time. I did my housework the day before and focused on them the whole day...we baked, played cars, watched a movie, etc. Cooper had a MUCH better day and was only in time out once right before daddy came home (crazy time in our house). He also tried a new food last night ;o) but I gave him NO gluten yesterday and limited him TV time!

Nicole, Great are going to be a great mom. The hard part for me was that I used to be a child therapist. People would bring their kids to me with the same problems but when you are in the situation yourself you forget the basics. Thanks for reminding me! I like the dinner idea as well..we will get right on that.

Courtney said...

My friend's son suffers terribly from eczema and she has tried many things that haven't worked. She was told about this product and it has made a huge improvement in his skin.It is called Dream Cream and it is made by Lush Cosmetics. You can go to and click on the American Flag and you see all their products. I think it is like $30 but it did help Patrick. They say to keep the skin very moisturized and use 1% Hydrocortisone ointment on the red, flared up areas. I hope this helps for at least one of the issues!
Having 3 boys has made me realize that they are very different creatures! I love my boys dearly but they are very rough, loud and can be sooooooo stuborn. I agree with the other comments that have been left so try those. Keep telling yourself that he will grow out of this!

Pamela said...

I totally understand your frustration. It has been our experience that when a new baby comes, there's a (short) period of honeymoonishness (hello, new word, welcome to the English language), and then all kinds of naughty behavior from the former baby.

Have you played baby with C? Since he's a snuggler, would he let you hold him like a baby, tell him what a cute baby he is, etc? Would he let you spoon his food into his mouth? Sometimes H wants us to feed him, and if we don't he'll make a huge mess. It's hard to revert to treating him like he's little, but let's face it: they were only just babies practically yesterday. They're not going to college with us tagging along for mealtimes. It couldn't hurt anything to try (except, of course, our view of how they should be doing it, and really, we're grownups with well-developed coping skills, and also a set of big-girl panties).

We also found with J and H that if we pull them into our laps and cuddle them instead of addressing the hitting/biting/hurting behaviors, and just love on them, they chill out a lot quicker. Granted sometimes enforced cuddle time doesn't start out well, it ends up well.

It hurt my brain for a while to use cuddling for discipline, but I got over it. Not to say that I don't discipline my children when they act like angry, unruly apes, because I do, but I try to look at why they're doing the stupid things they're doing before I exacerbate the situation with inappropriate discipline. And by inappropriate, I mean inappropriate for the root cause, not beating them with a bat.

We also let the boys determine their own relationship with E. We don't ask them to be helpers, we don't ask them to give E love. We also don't let them beat E up, but we let them approach E as they choose.

Maybe when he's hurting Addy, remove him from Addy, instead of picking Addy up? I don't know how you handle that, but it just popped in my head, so I threw it out there.

Growing up is hard, being "replaced" with a new baby is hard, and being 2 and 3 years old is just plain hard. He might just need to be loved on 24/7 for a while.

As for the eating, my mother-in-law says we are not responsible to make our children eat, we are responsible to put good food choices in front of them. That helps me chill out about food.

You should talk to Hanna about the new doc she's seeing for G's celiac. Her skin is clearing up beautifully.

Is he in cloth or sposies? Eliminating the sposies helped H's skin when he was all rashy and itchy. Also consider laundry soap, corn products and dairy.

There's my 18 cents. You're a good mama, and Cooper will be a good grownup. Hang in there.

Corrie said...

I hesitate to give this advise about raising children because it is so controversial, but when I don't know what to do I pray. God is our Father after all. He's been one for centuries and has infinite wisdom.