I feel like I’m raising a monster- terrible twos or something else?

I’m sure every mom questions the effectiveness of her parenting at some point. But in attempt to be a more loving and compassionate mother, I might have become a little too permissive lately. With letting discipline slide a little I have really done my kids (and myself) a disservice. After a couple weeks of implementing time outs, the boys were doing great. All I had to do was threaten a time out or tell them they would have to go upstairs for quiet time if they didn’t straighten up.

Fast forward to today. Mentioning time outs makes them burst into laughter. It reminds me of horrible Nanny 911 reruns. I used to feel so badly for the moms on that show. Look at those silly moms screaming their heads off. Don’t they know better? I can’t believe they let their kids act like that. Shame on me, I had no experience with children, yet I was an expert. Now, however, I feel like an absolute novice and I am failing terribly. Where is Nanny Deb when you need her (she’s my favorite)?

Frankie’s behavior has spiraled so far out of control that he genuinely scares me at times. I can deal with kids throwing themselves on the floor because mom won’t let them have three cookies, or a crabby toddler that doesn’t want to share, but we are far past that point.

Last summer fellow blogger Erin Lane wrote “I might not survive the terrible twos” and I completely sympathize where she was at in that moment of her life. She wrote, “It’s a good thing [my daughter is] completely and utterly adorable because I’ve totally figured out why some animals eat their offspring.” I found this both hilarious and relatable.

Franklin will be two in June and has become downright mean-spirited. Just today he ran up behind Daniel and pushed him so hard that he face-planted on the floor. He fell with such force that he busted his lip open and while I was frantically trying to come up with something to say other than “Frankie! That’s mean!” Dan proceeded to walk all over the dining room screaming, dripping blood everywhere. It somehow ended up getting smeared all over one of the walls and is still waiting to get wiped up.

I used to think his acting out was a way of getting our attention. I was also a middle child, so I totally understood that sometimes you just want alone time with mom or dad. Well, we fixed that. Ryan and I both spend time with Frankie alone at least a few times a week. Nothing was solved with that. My mom says, “Oh my. He’s all boy!” But what little boy doesn’t want to hug or kiss on his mom- EVER?

I really hope I am overreacting. Sometimes Frankie gives me these looks that seem to be pure evil. Do all kids go through this phase and I was just lucky that Dan somehow missed it? At what point do you consider the “terrible twos” more than just a phase?

Dr. Gwen Dewar addresses the question- are parent’s to blame for the terrible two’s? I sure hope not! And I sure hope we grow out of this soon!

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10 thoughts on “I feel like I’m raising a monster- terrible twos or something else?”

  1. I’ve always found that my girls went through a rough patch in the months surrounding their birthdays. I don’t know if it was a growth spurt or what, but every year I’d find myself in the throes of questioning every parenting philosophy and ability (or lack thereof) that I had as a result of their behavior, then it would dawn on me that we were near a birthday. It always seemed to be some kind of transition that affected behavior and attitudes.

  2. Aggression peaks for toddlers around the age of 2-2 1/2. I just finished reading an article on it, but Lord knows I can’t find it again. Henry was AWFUL about hitting, pinching, and kicking me (and ONLY me). Just be consistent with your punishments and CARRY THROUGH. Just like on Nanny 911! He’s stopped hitting me and knows that when Mom counts to three, his little booty better stop doing what he’s doing or he WILL end up in time-out. And when he’s had more than 3 time outs in a close time frame, he has to go have “quiet time” in his bed.

  3. My son will be 2 in June as well, and although we don’t have any other children, he also has been horrible the last few weeks. He’s also getting his molars, and that just pushed him over the edge. Will throw a tantrum out of no where (he asked for crackers, and we gave them to him… commence screaming). It’s been hard on both my husband and I. The more people I talk to, the more it seems this is all “normal” and it’s a phase and he’s just testing and what not, but it does not make it ANY easier while we’re in it.

  4. My youngest was the worst right before she turned 2. She was so bad that when our local infant and toddler program evaluated her for speech they sent a behavior specialist instead. Once she could communicate better and I became firmer, she settled down, knock on wood. My oldest was her worst at age 3. My husband and I still shudder at her tantrums. But she has turned into a very calm and nice young lady. This is a phase. Think of it as getting it over with early, and brace yourself for the threes. They can be even worse.

  5. I don’t want to scare you but the 2s were nothing compared to 3s for us. I’m sure every child is different but I have a very spirited son who has really peaked at 3 with the tantrums and attitude. He’s almost 4 and I think (knock on wood!) it is starting to get better. He has been a little cave man for the past 2 years. He does have his loving moments “Mama, I need some hugs,” but he has his other moments too “Mama, I don’t like you anymore.” WTH?!?! He’s 3!

    It’s a work in progress, that’s for sure. Right now he’s running in circles screaming. My 1-year old daughter just sits down when he runs by because sometimes he’ll give her a shove when he runs by. Then timeout and screaming follows. Fun times!

  6. Just remember, two year olds are just now learning that they are independent beings from their parents and families. With this new knowledge, they are determined to test its limits. They are opinionated and like things a certain way, yet haven’t learned the socially appropriate ways of achieving their goals. As parents we have to do our best to provide them with consistency and teach them those socially appropriate ways. Hang in there! I know it’s hard, especially when you factor in new siblings.

    My children are anything but perfect. Trust me, but having consistent consequences has helped.

    If nothing else, remember, this too shall pass. Childhood is nothing but a series of phases, Frankie will be on to the next one in no time. In the meantime, enjoy the quiet moments with your child when you can.

  7. Reading through this article and these comments makes me feel a little more human and less of a failure. My son turned 3 in February and is a complete menace! He is having fits of hyperventilating when he is told something he doesn’t like, and his latest and greatest habit of spitting. I have not found a way to stop the spitting, and it disgusts me!! We have been dealing with this for months now, and I am all out of ideas of how to stop this from continuing. I am afraid my 2 other kids might catch on! I hope this is a phase, as some others are suggesting!! I hope you are right!!

  8. Where do I begin…I have 3 beautiful girls ages ranging from 7months to 4 years old….oh but my poor little Kalani…she certainly gives her father and myself a run for our money…I’m hoping its terrible 2s and middle child syndrome…she is so mean but lovable at the same time so independent and needy all at once….her mood swings give me whiplash…I feel for and totally understand for our community of mothers who are going through the struggle…it feels as if nothing works…

  9. I will say we just started the threes and it is already looking tougher than last year. My son is very stubborn and welcomes punishment sometimes. He is beating his big sister up right now as he is super competitive and wants to do everything and has pushed her out of the way more than once. She is five and has 10 lbs and 6 inches on him but he still plows her over.
    If he does not get to sit in the seat he wants on the Gator(atv type thing with seats) on the farm he will walk instead of riding in the other seat.

  10. The twos were tolerable for us. It’s the current threes making up go crazy! There’s literally no form of punishment or communication that phases him. He just smirks or pretends to cry. 5 seconds later he’s happy go lucky again. I’m terrified because any day now there will be a baby girl here as well. Oh me oh my!
    Good luck mamas.

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