the network for radical unschooling families
Mary Contrary said:Today I am going to go down to the doctor and get her a referral for her hearing I think as her words are not as many as they should be for her age and maybe there is something else going on...
Getting the hearing checked is not a bad idea. I wasn't speaking at all by age four. A neighbor told my mom, "You might want to get his hearing checked." My mom said, "He is just quiet because he is good at concentrating on what he is working on." Also, I had no problem understanding what people said. Well mom took me to the doctor and surprise surprise I was totally deaf and apparently had been since I had gotten an infection as a baby.
After some surgeries I was OK though and I find that even now I can still lip read to a certain extent.
Hi all --
I know this is a rather old discussion, but it is very relevant to what I am currently going through with my son, who is just about to turn 3. He has always been one to have occasional tantrums since turning 2 or so, but for the past few days, his tantrums have been extremely intense. He screams, kicks, hits, bites, and pinches me. I have started walking away into another room when he does this, something I do not want to do, but I have to in order to not get hurt by him. I tell him calmly, "I do not like to be hit. It hurts Mama. I have to walk away now." To this, he screams louder and I usually come back in after a few minutes and try again to calm him down. Other times, I try to just sit with him, try to hold him, try to give him a hug, but he won't have it and acts out physically to the point that I have to get up. Nothing seems to be working. These episodes last for nearly an hour and cycle throughout the day. Today he had 3 of them. He says "I like hurting people" and "I want to hit Mama" and "I like to hurt myself" (while hitting his head or banging his head on the floor) and "I'm angry," all while screaming and crying. Nothing remarkable or different has happened during the past few days, as far as I can tell; it has really been just a typical week, which in our home consists of lots of playing, cartoon watching (his latest obsession, Busytown Mysteries), and some outings to toy stores, parks, downtown, etc. (The tantrums do not occur outside of the home as of yet...)
The tantrums usually begin when I cannot "carry him" because I have to carry his 10 month old brother instead, as he is not walking yet. (I put "carry him" in quotes because he constantly says to me throughout the day, "Carry me, carry me, carry me." And I usually try to -- when I can.) If my youngest needs me to pick him up, and I put down my oldest son, he becomes angry. I feel this is all stemming from his frustration at his younger brother and the attention I must pay to him. If I can put down my youngest and say, "Okay, I'm putting him down now. I only want to hold you right now," he is generally happy. However, once my youngest starts crying or needs me to pick him up, and I make that switch, my oldest loses it again. :( I feel at a loss at what I can do, as I do attempt to pay lots of attention to my oldest, spending time playing and reading with him while my youngest naps, giving him lots of cuddles and love throughout the day, respecting his wishes and needs in regard to food, activities, preferences, etc., and attempting to make him feel important and loved. But maybe it's not enough! I feel a bit stretched as to what more I can do...
Also, I'm starting to get tired and discouraged, feeling like I'm not doing something *right* or that perhaps my toddler is just more intense than others... I'm also starting to get feedback from extended family members, things like "time outs might be a good idea" and "maybe put him in a preschool so he can get some time away and you can get a break... It would be good for both of you!" I am not a fan of these types of suggestions and usually just nod and say, "Hmm...yes perhaps" or some such niceties, as our extended family members don't really know much about unschooling philosophy or gentle discipline and I don't care to go into it with them at this time. But these suggestions wear on me because, to be honest, I start wondering if I am doing something *wrong.* I would love to hear some thoughts or suggestions from unschooling families with parenting philosophies more in line with our own, parents who maybe have been through this type of situation. Or maybe just the gentle reminder that "This too shall pass." :) Thanks!
The tantrums usually begin when I cannot "carry him" because I have to carry his 10 month old brother instead...
Look for ways to be in physical contact with the elder at the same time as the younger. A sling or backpack might make that easier, but also get down on the floor or a couch so you can have both of them on your lap and in your arms. Otherwise, you set up a sort of competition as to who is more important to you - so of Course your eldest will do everything in his power to retain his mom's attention and regard.
I do attempt to pay lots of attention to my oldest, spending time playing and reading with him while my youngest naps, giving him lots of cuddles and love throughout the day, respecting his wishes and needs in regard to food, activities, preferences, etc., and attempting to make him feel important and loved. But maybe it's not enough!
He's telling you pretty clearly it's not enough. He needs just as much attention from you as he did before his brother was born, and he'll keep trying to get it. It's up to you to discover how to keep giving him as much as he needs. That may be More than what the baby needs - that's sometimes surprising to parents that an older child can need more attention and support than a younger, but it's entirely possible. My kids are eight years apart in age, and sometimes the elder still needs more care and attention than the younger.
Something else to consider is that your 3yo may need more ways to feel like he's powerful or in control of his world. That's a common issue with 3yos! Make it possible for him to do as much as possible on his own, while still being ready to help with anything and everything since he seems to need your attention, too. Maybe even play some games with him like "Simon says" where he gets to tell you what to do.