What Happened to My Little Angel?

My daughter is 31 months old.  She's VERY talkative, holds conversations like a 4 year old, and is so active that she literally runs circles around me. 

She was such a good baby.  I never had to tell her no more than twice about anything up until about 6 months ago.  Something changed in her when her father and I started arguing more (though never right in front of her).  I knew that staying there wouldn't help her situation, but going through a divorce isn't easy on her either.  She's gotten to be very stubborn and even though for about a year all she could talk about was being a big girl, now she tells me at least ten times a day that she's a baby.  She tells me "I'm just a little baby, mommy." And this is at the same time that she's trying to dress or undress herself, or go on the potty...(A WHOLE other story).

I know that a lot of her stress is coming out in her attitude and we do talk about it.  Like I said, she's very vocal and I should mention very opinionated as well.  Time outs don't work, the corner seat only works a few times in a week, I do swat her on her butt when neccessary...and that means when she's in harms way and she needs to really understand that she's going to get hurt.  I'd rather be the one hurting her butt than have her stick a fork in an outlet...and yes, I have those covers, but she knows how to get them off too.

She's locked me out of the house three times this week as I take the trash out...luckily I knew she could do this and always have my keys on me.  She crawls around on the floor with shoes on her hands yelling "Stomp! Stomp!" Or screams at me that she wants something, when she knows already that I don't respond to yelling. 

There are times when she is such a sweetheart.  She says some of the sweetest things and is so lovable.  I just don't know where she's getting a lot of the things she's doing lately that she knows drives me crazy.  I don't yell at her... I hold my breath.  I think she sees that and thinks it's funny.  It's her way of pushing my buttons to see how far I will let her get away with it.

Short of checking myself into an asylum because  she really is driving me insane... I don't know what to do but keep on putting on a movie for her when I can't stand it anymore.

So...I join this group that only has one other member.  I don't know.  I read the comments on the other story.  Sure, I know I'm blessed with an intellegent and beautiful daughter and I wouldn't trade her for the world, but I'm losing it.

Help?

mscrazylady mscrazylady
26-30, F
1 Response Feb 28, 2009

I can feel what you are going through. Been there and survived it myself. I found that strong discipline is an effective stop to such behavior. Not abuse, DISCIPLINE, and I raised three children by myself and they grew up well behaved. If you let your daughter continue to control you as she has been by the time shes 4 or 5 it will be completely out of your hands and you will have more trouble. I've seen mothers who have gotten hit, slapped, yelled at, told what to do and it makes me boil that it's gotten to the point where old school child rearing isn't put into place. I feel saddened too because these kids will probably be the next generation of criminals since they have no boundaries now. The teenage years can be a true horror. They weren't for me because I took a firm hold when my kids were young and kept that hold up until they left home. They were not little angels by a long shot BUT, they knew the consequences of "acting out" and causing problems and they didn't want to go there. Timeouts are effective but add the element of not getting something that she wants if she doesn't behave or denying her attention if she's being disrespectful. If she screams at you to push your buttons don't respond at all. Take a seat, cross your arms and just stare at her with a displeased look on your face. No matter how much she yells you just look at her. Don't give her what she expects. See what happens then and change tactics as needed if there are other times that she shows out. I hope that I have been at least some help. My children left my home environment and made their life's choices as adults and I have no regrets. I wish the same for you.