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Defiant 2 year old, and looking for some guidance/support
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DaniLight posted:
Hello Everyone!

I haven't posted on a forum of any sort, but really looking to hear from other Moms out there. We have a very bright, and lovely 2 year old daughter. She's always been very warm and very loving. She's always been social and loves to meet new people. We have never had problems putting her to sleep, or eating. We of course have gone through the late night flu's and illnesses you run into with children. Nothing out of the ordinary. Life was going well. However, when our daughter was around 21 months old, she started to act up at the home childcare she went to. It was so sudden. She started hitting, screaming, causing a lot of problems. It was a very small home child care with only three other children around her age. Her childcare provider believed there must have been a radical change at home or something to cause this because it almost seemed to happen out of thin air. We didn't see any changes in her behavior at home and were caught off guard. She would push boundaries on occasions, but nothing extreem. She ended up getting so bad in a two week span that her childcare provider didn't want her there anymore. We had no idea what was happening. We also never saw the behavior so we enrolled her in another home childcare. Everything seemed okay. About a month 1/2 ago we were told she has still been acting out and not seeming to fit inline with the other children since she started. It was the first we had heard about it. She was there for about 2 months before something was said. We still were not seeing any changes at home. However, in the last three weeks or so, it seems like our daughter has become another person. She is almost constantly defiant, she tries to hit us, she bites herself out of frustration. She speaks very well for her age. She can speak in full sentences, tell us about her day, she knows her colors, numbers to 20, and can recall all sorts of things from memory. But when she gets in her tantrum she just can't express herself other then physical. It's like night and day all of a sudden. We spoke to her pediatrician who told us not to worry. It's all part of her age. We just have to be consistant. However, her childcare is getting to the point where she's too much to handle and had even said they believe she has a disability because she's different then the others in that her aggression to them seems too extreem. We take our daughter and her health and well being very seriously. We have spoken to a behavioral specialist and she will be monitoring our daughter at childcare next week. We are hoping to get to the bottom of things. We want to help her as soon as possible. I was just wondering if any other parents have gone through this. I know it's called "terrible twos" for a reason. But we can't catch a break. We can't take her out places because she's too defiant. We try and be as consistant as possible. I'll put my hands up and say I know at times I could be better at not giving in. I suffer from being someone who grew up being physically abused and I think I try and make up for it by giving in too easily or wanting to "spoil" her. But I've made a lot of progress being firm and sticking to my rules. Still not even a small improvement. It almost seems to be getting worse.

I know i've been rambling. I know we are doing a good thing by having a behavioral specialist spend some time with her and help us with some tools to help correct these behaviors. I just wanted to hear from others and their experiences. Maybe hear some tips that work for other mothers with defiant 2 year olds. We are up to try and hear anything!

Thank you in advance!
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Elizabeth_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi DaniLight and Welcome -

The community has been a little slow lately, so while waiting for others to respond I wanted to pop in.

Would you describe this behavior as tantrums?

I am not a health professional but when searching for "defiant toddler" this info came up.

Hopefully the behavior specialist has observed your daughter and has some recommendations.

Please keep us posted on how you are doing and what you find out,
Elizabeth
Elizabeth
~To be a child is to know the joy of living, To have a child is to know the gift of life.~ Author Unknown
 
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davis24183128 responded:
I was currious of what you found out. Everything you said about your daughter I could say about my son, turned 2 on March 31. The only difference is I went to work 3 weeks ago and that's when he started, except he is fine at daycare but horrible at home and in public!
 
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BabyParks responded:
I am also curious to see what you find out. Our son will be 3 in October and has been doing what you described for a long time with the tantrums. It's not something that just all of the sudden started tho. We have always noticed his moods/tantrums to be more extreme than other children his age. He was diagnosed this past May with Pervasive Developmental Disorder which is an Autism Spectrum Disorder. He does so much better now tho since he is able to talk more and express how he is feeling. I have heard of children who have had regressions tho and have changed or when they turn 3 or 4 actually had worse symptoms for being on the Spectrum but every single child is different. I am not saying your child is autistic or even on the spectrum but it is something that just reminded me of what our son does, except its a very small portion of what we deal with. It's hard dealing with him and going out has never been something we do easily. Distractions with him are key to everything, keeping transitions easier for him are a constant battle. Just going from the car to the house is a struggle for us each day but we manage him pretty well and keep him very distracted by other things....I am not sure about her behaviors tho or what may be triggering them? Our sons are triggered by different things but mainly when he is tired or hungry I notice them worse. I will be praying for you and for you to get answers soon, I know it's hard and so frustrating not knowing but you do know your child best and know when something's not right, or I did anyways, Even when everyone else told me otherwise, I just knew something was off about him. I love him so much but knew I was right and I was! We now are getting him ABA therapy along with his regular speech and OT therapy he's been doing since last October on his 2nd birthday. He is doing so much better, we also are putting him in a preschool program with other children where they deal with typical and non-typical peers so he will be with children with a few delays and then other normal children so we are very excited about this for him. He needs to be around other children to learn how to play appropriately ect. but can't just be thrown in anywhere that doesn't know how to deal with his Moods/tantrums or his inability to play appropriately with other children so that's why thankfully we have finally found somewhere to help us. Keep me posted on what you find out. We are heading to Vanderbilt in September to redo some test on our son and pray the Diagnosis falls off by then. His ABA therapist is really trying to work with him on it!
 
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An_246902 replied to BabyParks's response:
You will have to bare with me as I'm typing this on my phone. The specialist saw our daughter and told us her behavior was A-typical for her age. She said that she's pushing boundaries and that we needed to set clear and consistent rules for her. We implemented rules and rewards. Making sure not to bargain but making sure we praise her when she's doing well. We asked her Childcare to do the same. Unfortunately they were not following along with our methods. For example, if she hit another child they would let her be in a room to herself and watch tv. They did not want to continue to work with us unfortunately. We pulled out daughter out of Childcare and I will be staying home with her for a bit when she's old enough to clearly explain her frustrations. She has been AMAZING now! Luke a whole new happy child! She's behaving and just do happy. Of course she has her small out bursts when ages tired or hungry. But she's so happy now. I personally feel she may just not be ready to be going to Childcare full time. She's been great playing with other kids at the park. Haven't had one problem since she's been home. Would have been nice to not be on such a tight budget now that we are a single income family. But it's so worth it for us. Watching how happy my daughter is, its amazingly wonderful.


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