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  1. #1
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    Default Big changes

    As I said in the introduction thread, my name is Jack, I'm 23. I have custody of my brother who has just turned 2, he has been in my care since July due to my parents incapacity to safely care for him.
    I'm struggling a bit, we both are. It's a huge change for the both of us. I want to set routines etc early so that they stick but I also don't want to come down too hard - he has been through a lot and what most 2 year olds find difficult - he is likely to struggle even more especially during this wobbly adjustment period.
    At the moment, we're finding a few aspects of our new life difficult and I'm wondering if any parents out there have any suggestions....

    - Bedtime: He was sleeping in a bed before I had him so I've done the same because we don't want to backwards. I've tried to set a nice little routine, bath, a bit of play, book, then numerous night lights go on. He usually settles ok, sometimes struggles, but then he will wake up in the middle of the night - usually between midnight and 2am and scream, bang on the wall etc.

    - Playtime with other children: We recently attended playgroup a couple of knees, Arlo bit other children and pulled hair, when told off for this (multiple times) he would stomp his feet and screech, I tried a few different options but ended up leaving and on the way he continued this behaviour and I was the target

    - Regular tantrums in public (probably a regular 2 year old thing but still diffcult). He will stomp his feet and say no when out in public, the only way to get around this issue is to pick him up which results in an absolute screaming fest.

    Sorry I went on and on... to put it short, I'm looking for ANY sort of advice or help re: routines, being too soft/being too harsh, bedtime, social interactions, tantrums and anything else you've got!!

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    You may get a myriad of different ideas but these are some of my thoughts.

    Any changes to a child is huge for them. Whether it is moving house, changing caregivers or even chaning routine in general. Sometimes kids can lash out or misbehave to get a sense of control.

    In saying that are you aware of what behaviour he was portraying previously? Because sometimes it may be an idea to see a GP/Paed if the behaviour is 'extreme' or unusual.

    Regarding waking - its still somewhat normal for kids to wake. My DS is 3.5 and still wakes up here and there. Does he settle for you when you go in? Because the screaming may be night terrors or just waking up and being alone and scared.

    Regarding biting etc - some kids just bite and hit. Of course its not 'ok' but it is still somewhat normal. Is he verbal?

    Tantrums are again somewhat normal. Dependant if it is a typical tantrum or more a meltdown.

    So, overall go see a GP who is good with kids or a Paed.

    And welcome.

  3. #3
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    He doesn't speak a lot, he says probably 5 words all up, dog, hi, mum, ta and plz (please)

    During the night when he wakes up he usually doesn't settle back down, I end up putting him in bed with me, which is probably a big no to some people.

    I'm going to get in touch with a professional but yeah just wwanted to hear other people's thoughts as this all new to me!!

    Thank you

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    It sounds like he's had a rough time of things. 2 year olds can be willful at the best of times, but with the changes he's dealing with it's not surprising that he is acting out even more.

    It sounds like you're on the right track, with a good mix of discipline and love. It might take him some time to feel secure and calm down a little, but in the mean time keep doing what you're doing - consistency is important.

    Best wishes to both of you!

  5. #5
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    It sounds like you're doing a great job so far - 2 year olds are trying at the best of times.

    The hitting/biting is a common phase and they won't really respond to "punishment" at that age. It's all about encouraging the right behaviour through praise, playing together and redirection. At that age he should be playing alongside other kids but not "with" them, this is called the parallel play stage. They will also NOT want to share.

    I would make an appointment with the local council Maternal and Child Health nurse. They will be able to provide information about discipline/behaviour management courses offered in your area. They can also suss out I his speech seems behind, which could be making the behaviour worse.

    The night thing sound pretty normal. For every person who may consider bringing him to sleep in your bed a no-no when he wakes there will be another 20 currently caring for a toddler who is doing just that. It's also pretty common for siblings to jump in to each other's bed after a bad dream etc. If you're really not comfortable with it, try cuddling, maybe some warm milk and sitting/laying next to him until he settles back down. He really needs to know you will always be there for him just now. You will not be spoiling him or setting up bad habits, he will probably need more than many toddlers who would be getting good at being alone all night by now.

    Also, if he settles once on your chest or into the nook of your arm (eg. Head elevated) it's probably worth getting the GP to rule out an ear infection which starts to hurt when they lay flat.

    Does he go to daycare? If not, it could be worth looking into options for using daycare as respite for yourself. You've really been "thrown in the deep end" suddenly responsible for a toddler, you will need to make sure you look after yourself. A break can help you keep calm during the crazy. Also, the carers there can be very good at helping kids to learn how to get along.

    I know there are some hubbers who are foster carers and I expect some of them could offer some good advice for supporting you little brother to flourish in your care.

  6. #6
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    First off, hats off to you for stepping up and giving your brother a new life. Being a parent is hard work, even more so when you take on a child that is probably going to be going through some emotional turmoil.

    I would continue to let him come in to your bed when he wakes during the night. He obviously needs to feel that security at the moment.

    With regards to the other behavioral issues just continue to be consistent and he will eventually get the idea. It will probably be a battle of wills at first (toddlers have a tendency to do that!) but with consistency it will settle down in time. One of my kids was a biter at 2 and he grew out of it with firm guidance from us.

    In time you will notice the signs of a toddler tantrum before it happens (and they will happen despite everything you do to prevent them unfortunately) and you will find what works for you.

    Definitely see the GP if you are concerned about his speech development. My kids were all big talkers so I am not sure what is appropriate at this age.

    I have 5 children and I found the toddler stage the most difficult. They are still learning to communicate and don't always understand the why's of what is going on around them.

    Good luck!

  7. #7
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    Wow thanks for all your replies!! I will get to everyone individually with answers to questions and all that when I find a little bit of time.
    Yes Arlo is quite behind with his speech which I will be mentioning at our appointment, some parents at playgroup definitely made sure that I knew he isn't saying as much as he should be, which was nice

    He settles down almost straight away when he gets into my bed at night, usually falls asleep with his head on my chest. As awful as it when he gets so upset at night, I can totally see why it happens, he is in a new environment, the people that used to be around aren't around, it must so scary.
    I have thought about just starting off in my bed rather than putting him in his own and then hopefully he stays relatively settled, but I know that probably won't work and if it did it may be very difficult to try and address down the line.

    As hard as it is sometimes, I had one of those take a deep breath and relax its going to be fine sort of moments today when we were driving the car, I looked in the rear view mirror and he was pointing out the window and saying hi to everything we passed.

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  9. #8
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    Yeah, as challenging as they are they are just so cute and full of innocent wonder at the world - it absolutely makes it all worth it.

    It might be worth you googling 'co-sleeping benefits' for some reassurance about the sleeping arrangements. That closeness may be just what your little one needs more than anything right now.

    (Note, I'm not a bed-sharing advocate, in fact I looove my kids sleeping in their own beds, but it definitely helps when they're having a rough time.)

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    People will always have an opinion on parenting. Ignore them.

    I am someone who cosleeps. My 1st was and is terrible with sleep and still does not sleep on his own well and he is 3.5yo. He will get there in his own time.

    Do not worry about bad habits. If he needs the reassurance there is nothing wrong about doing it. He will not need it forever!

    For the speech (while you wait for an appointment) - if you can get him to sit for a bit just read him stories as that can help develop speech. Also, look into using sign (I think that Auslan is used). It may help both of you figure out what he wants and needs until he gets speech sorted.

    And finally kids tend to develop in their own time (generally). Sometimes they may need help but some do things later than others.

  11. #10
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    Yeah I will have a look, thank you!!


 

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