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Thread: Toddler problems: biting, not listening, tantrums = tired mommy

  1. #1
    Smart Canuck Jina's Avatar
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    Hello moms out there,
    I hope some of you might be able to help or offer some advice. My 27 month old son has bitten 2 kids at his daycare on Wednesday and another one yesterday, because he wanted a toy from them and they wouldn't give it to him. He's been a different kid for the past few days. Tantrums, not listening, frustrated easily. He even bit DH's finger last night when his hand came close to his mouth. He bit really hard and left marks. I can't imagine how painful it must have been for the kids at the daycare. He bits when he's frustrated or having temper tantrums, like at the supermarket he wanted to get out of the trolley and I said no, he threw a tantrum and bit the trolley. He's been putting his fingers in his mouth, has had low appetite.

    I'm wondering if he's teething. I couldn't see tooth coming out but I guess the pain is there some time before the tooth cuts through? or is this just a way to show his frustration and is turning aggressive?

    He doesn't listen either and it's hard to get attention from him. I come to his height and look at him in the eyes, he would just look away or laugh. Getting a "please" is mission impossible. Time-out works but most of the time doesn't. He is very strong-willed. Was born like that. At the hospital he was the loudest of them all. Would cry and hold his breath until he turns red.

    He is also bright for his age. Recognises all the alphabets and numbers (he obsessed with these), shapes, colours, counts to 20 in 2 langues, builds gigantic towers with his legos, aligns every car/trains he can find (20 of them) in size, colours and all facing the same directions, he said the number 6 then turned it upside down and said 9, these are just a few examples. We always have to think ahead of him (like if he says he wants yoghurt, then we open the fridge, he would grab something else what we would not usually give him and knows he's not allowed. So before we open the fridge, we have to keep him occupied with something else.) DH and I are tired mentally and physically. I'm getting anxious because when I research on the internet, I come across terms like Asperger and Autism and it's freaking me out. Some people have suggested that he might be gifted, so constantly needing new things to stimulate him or he'll get bored and misbehave.

    He doesn't sleep well, never have. I can count on one hand the number of times he slept through the night since he was a baby. He had reflux as a baby. Teething stage is difficult. He has eczema (which is getting better now), and nightmares (he oftens scream and cry in his sleep). He also counts/sings/talks in his sleep.

    He was recently tested level 5 for peanut allergy after we had to take him to the ER. His eyes were swollen and left eye was completed shut. We've had to make adjustements, read labels, carry epipen etc.

    We don't even yell at home or hit or let him watch too much TV. We spend a lot of time with him and give him all the attention he needs. He's affectionate, likes to give hugs and kisses. He likes daycare, so it's not like he's miserable there.

    Anyone with a similar toddler?
    This thread is currently associated with: Guess, Mark's


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    Smart Canuck juniperjune's Avatar
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    Google Sensory Processing disorder and see if he has a lot on the checklist. This is on the autism spectrum, but it involves the senses and not the intellect.
    Time outs do not work. At least not for us they don't. We lost our minds until a psychologist diagnosed SPD. Now we go to an Occupational Therapist and it makes wonders! Who would have know to massage his gums to calm him down?

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    Smart Canuck Jina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by juniperjune View Post
    Google Sensory Processing disorder and see if he has a lot on the checklist. This is on the autism spectrum, but it involves the senses and not the intellect.
    Time outs do not work. At least not for us they don't. We lost our minds until a psychologist diagnosed SPD. Now we go to an Occupational Therapist and it makes wonders! Who would have know to massage his gums to calm him down?

    Thanks Juniperjune. I'll check this out.

    edit: he displays a lot of the signs here http://happylandjb.wordpress.com/200...n-dysfunction/
    mostly with me, not with others.

    It's definitely something worth mentioning to his doctor at the next visit.
    Last edited by Jina; Fri, Jun 1st, 2012 at 12:57 PM.

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    Senior Canuck matty's mom's Avatar
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    My little guy was a bitter too. Though he never bit another child- he had bitten DH and I, alot. And he is bright. And he is busy. And he is cuddly & affectionate. And he suffered with severe reflux. He is in daycare two days a week- and she has never had a problem. And he is stubborn- soooooo stubborn. Tonight for example, he directly disobeyed my 5 times in a two hours span! I had to call DH for help because that fifth time really sent me- well to another room to cool down. Sometimes, like tonight, he would rather cry himself sick to see if it will get him out of time out. He is over his reflux- but I am still cleaning up unpleasantness. A good clean up and he is back to the spot as he was. ("MUST BE CONSISTANT" is my mantra LOL ). He will be three next month.

    One of the things that I discovered about 18 mos was that his severe reflux had masked the signs of sleep apnea. When DS had a bad night with it, the teething sent him into bitting frenzy. Even now that the apnea is much better- if he has a bad night- he has an off day. A sleep positioning pillow really help him in that way.

    With your son's sleeping issues, have you looked into what might be causing them? It is amazing what constant disrupted sleep can do to even the most civilized person!
    Last edited by matty's mom; Fri, Jun 1st, 2012 at 10:51 PM.

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    Smart Canuck Jina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matty's mom View Post
    My little guy was a bitter too. Though he never bit another child- he had bitten DH and I, alot. And he is bright. And he is busy. And he is cuddly & affectionate. And he suffered with severe reflux. He is in daycare two days a week- and she has never had a problem. And he is stubborn- soooooo stubborn. Tonight for example, he directly disobeyed my 5 times in a two hours span! I had to call DH for help because that fifth time really sent me- well to another room to cool down. Sometimes, like tonight, he would rather cry himself sick to see if it will get him out of time out. He is over his reflux- but I am still cleaning up unpleasantness. A good clean up and he is back to the spot as he was. ("MUST BE CONSISTANT" is my mantra LOL ). He will be three next month.

    One of the things that I discovered about 18 mos was that his severe reflux had masked the signs of sleep apnea. When DS had a bad night with it, the teething sent him into bitting frenzy. Even now that the apnea is much better- if he has a bad night- he has an off day. A sleep positioning pillow really help him in that way.

    With your son's sleeping issues, have you looked into what might be causing them? It is amazing what constant disrupted sleep can do to even the most civilized person!
    Ahhh I remember the reflux days: laundry almost everyday, cleaning the sofa, floor, wall, carpet lol
    I have to laugh now, but at the time, it was really frustrating!

    sleep apnea... I noticed a few things that pointed me to this, like snoring, holding breath, breathing from the mouth. DS use to go on top of me during his sleep so he was in an upright position. We thought maybe that's why he sleeps so poorly. We mentioned this to his doctor the other day, he said not to worry.

    DH has sleep apnea. Maybe an hereditary thing...
    Last edited by Jina; Sat, Jun 2nd, 2012 at 01:44 PM.

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    It's time to win lekate's Avatar
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    I'd consider what he's eating, is it a lot of processed sugary things? Even items that you woudn't associate with a lot of sugar, they tend to fill them up in order to make the product more enticing. Juice is also loaded with sugar, if that's most of what he drinks during the day it could cause problems (highs and lows). Not that this could be a cause for it, but it could add to stress. (I think of how often I get antsy and anxious when I have too much caffeine, it DOES affect me in a negative way).
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    Senior Canuck matty's mom's Avatar
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    Sleep apnea can be inherited- it is about the facial structure... DH has it, Pop has it, Grandpa had it, Mummum had it.... So little man was predestined... But little guy "looks" like it might be an issue- his facial structure is such. Where as DH is completely opposite, so his former doctor always told him not to worry because he didn't "look" like it was severe enough. It may be worth keeping a sleepytime log.

    Lekate has a good point about watching foods too. My niece has a horrible allergy to a food additive- it made her very aggressive.

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    Smart Canuck Jina's Avatar
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    Regarding foods, while at the daycare during the week, he has cereal in the morning, lunch is prepared from scratch there. He gets a snack at around 3pm, fruits/muffin. The kids are only given plain milk (no flavoured) with all meals, water between meals. At home we give him toast/cereal/croissant before going to daycare. For dinner, the usual, rice/pasta/etc. No dessert, just fruits.
    He doesn't eat sweets (never had it). He only eats chocolate when he gets a chocolate chip cookie, not chocolate on its own except for last Easter. He has juice at home at diner time but diluted with water (1/3 juice, 2/3 water). Before bed its milk or water.
    Not much processed food either.

    Good point though. DH takes pictures of DS's daycare log everyday (sleep time/duration, what he ate, etc). I'll check what he had on the days he bit the other kids.

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    Two year olds are very tricky creatures . It is the time in their lives where they are going push boundaries like crazy to see what they can get away with, and consistent and solid discipline is very important. I know it's hard to keep at if it doesn't seem like the disclipline is helping, but it will eventually! In our house, if any of the kids (including the youngest, who is 21 months) refuse to say please, they don't get whatever they are asking for. He can throw tantrums with the best of them, but we stand our ground. If a kid doesn't want to be in time out? Too bad. He/she gets placed back over and over until they ride out their time. I remember hearing from some older and wiser parents once that if we couldn't stand our ground now, how could we ever do it when the kids are teenagers and their mistakes are a whole lot bigger? You can do it - pick your battles, but make sure you win the ones you pick. He really will get so much better by the time he hits four.

    I honestly think he sounds like a normal kid at that age! And it does sound like his teeth are bothering him - both of my little guys bit when they were overcome with tooth pain. Does he have all 20 teeth? The back molars are not fun when they come in, and can cause pain for weeks before they pop through.

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    Smart Canuck Jina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppleton View Post
    Two year olds are very tricky creatures . It is the time in their lives where they are going push boundaries like crazy to see what they can get away with, and consistent and solid discipline is very important. I know it's hard to keep at if it doesn't seem like the disclipline is helping, but it will eventually! In our house, if any of the kids (including the youngest, who is 21 months) refuse to say please, they don't get whatever they are asking for. He can throw tantrums with the best of them, but we stand our ground. If a kid doesn't want to be in time out? Too bad. He/she gets placed back over and over until they ride out their time. I remember hearing from some older and wiser parents once that if we couldn't stand our ground now, how could we ever do it when the kids are teenagers and their mistakes are a whole lot bigger? You can do it - pick your battles, but make sure you win the ones you pick. He really will get so much better by the time he hits four.

    I honestly think he sounds like a normal kid at that age! And it does sound like his teeth are bothering him - both of my little guys bit when they were overcome with tooth pain. Does he have all 20 teeth? The back molars are not fun when they come in, and can cause pain for weeks before they pop through.
    He doesn't have his back molars yet. He did not do well when the other teeth came in. Back molars sound like it's a lot worse!

    I'm going to follow your advise about standing out ground now and picking my battles. I admit that I've given up many times because it was an easy way out and I was too tired to deal with tantrums.
    I'll make sure that everyone in the house does the same. The gandparents give DS whatever he wants and don't ask for "please" and "thank you". We have to be more consistent.
    gracesmommy likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jina View Post
    He doesn't have his back molars yet. He did not do well when the other teeth came in. Back molars sound like it's a lot worse!

    I'm going to follow your advise about standing out ground now and picking my battles. I admit that I've given up many times because it was an easy way out and I was too tired to deal with tantrums.
    I'll make sure that everyone in the house does the same. The gandparents give DS whatever he wants and don't ask for "please" and "thank you". We have to be more consistent.
    Ah, that could totally be it, then! My 21-month-old was chomping on everything he could get his mouth on today - his lower right molar is on its way down. We try to give him a blanket or the like to chew on, otherwise he gnaws on his hand. Poor kids - it must be so painful, and so frustrating!

    I know it's really hard to be consistent, especially when we are exhausted and when the kids have multiple caregivers who don't necessarily do the same things. We have a full-time helper (I have health issues that necessitate it), and since our regular helper is away we have two other women filling in. All of our kids have floundered a bit since things are not consistently implemented. We have found that one of the things that helped my husband and I was to take a specific behaviour (or set of behaviours) that were driving us crazy, and decide beforehand what our response will be. It helps with consistency, and helps us stick to our guns.

    And, you might not see results immediately. We found it very hard with our oldest, because the major behaviour changes took a while to come. But it will . And because we put in a lot of effort when she was younger, life with our five year old is pretty great .
    Jina likes this.

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