Challenging Child

I have turned into a bit of a hermit. You see, I am having trouble leaving the house. When Husband is around, we go on lots of family outings. But when he’s at work, I go into the garden with the kids. And that’s about it. There are the occasional playdates or trips to buy groceries. And my daughter and I sometimes have little outings, just the two of us. But I cannot handle proper outings with both children. I say both children, but it’s not my 6-year old daughter who gives me a hard time. It is my son. My dear, darling, terror of a two-year old.


I have written about Dubz before. But he has somehow gotten more ‘energetic’ in the past two months. In the house, he storms around, destroying the house. He upends baskets, rips books and climbs furniture. In the garden, he smashes pots, digs up plants and bashes the BBQ with a plastic golf club. My Twitter and Facebook feed are full of mums taking two, three, four children out for fun summer days out. I stayed home all day with the kids on Wednesday and Thursday this week, bar one quick trip to buy ingredients to make ice cream.

I am tired of feeling afraid and nervous of leaving the house with my son. I am tired of feeling like my back has to be strong enough to carry him into the car, kicking and screaming, when he does not want to come home (this has happened many times). I won’t even go to the park or playground because I cannot control Dubz in public. And I get so embarrassed when he kicks off when he doesn’t get his way.

So, what do I do? Do I wait until I can negotiate/control Dubz? Or do I bite the bullet and go on lots of outings so that he can get used to going out, and so that he can learn when to stop acting dangerously and when to go home with me?


28 thoughts on “Challenging Child

  1. That is a challenge, bless you. Dubz sounds a bit like my youngest brother. He was born when I was 13, so being a teenaged big sister I did my share of helping out with the child care. I can emphathise. For a couple of years, he refused to sleep properly and would have the worst tantrums, like the ones you describe. He did grow out of it and became a lovely, well-behaved, considerate child. There isn’t much advice I can give unfortunately – but just wanted to send hugs xx #ThePrompt

  2. Have you tried an outing with just your little boy? How did that go? Softplay might be an idea, he gets to run around and burn up some energy. Or the park. Some place where even if there is a meltdown, it wouldn’t matter as much. And then maybe he gets used to it x #theprompt

  3. I know how you feel…
    I mostly dread taking S out but he’s autistic with sensory processing disorder. Going out is ALWAYS a challenge!
    My advice would be that, at two, this behaviour is expected. It’s not called the terrible twos for nothing lol
    Don’t become a hermit – you both need to get out.
    Keep visits short and try and involve him as much as you can – like getting him to hold something in the supermarket.
    Get yourself a big ol’ pillow to scream into when it becomes too much. 😉
    You have my full sympathies. X

    1. Aww, thank you. It was a shock as my daughter never went through the terrible twos. We manage a quick 20-minute jaunt to buy groceries (I keep his hands and mouth busy with snacks), but nothing longer. I’m sure it will get easier. x

  4. I would like to say it’s just a phase, it will pass and spend time in the garden without feeling guilty – At least you’re outside! Next summer you’ll be going here there and everywhere x

  5. Oh I feel your pain, my eldest was the temper tantrum king and drove me to despair. I didn’t go out unless I needed to because of the stress it caused us both, better to be home, safe and calm than dealing with the screaming and drama. The good news is it passes really quickly and is usually a sign of intelligence, maybe you have a little genius in your hands 🙂 #ThePrompt

    1. That does make me feel better. When I’m out, it seems like everyone one else’s toddler is behaving, and mine is the one screaming and kicking. It’s reassuring hearing that other people go through it too.

  6. You are not alone, having two kids is really hard. If you do go out and it all kicks off, it might help to think that the worst anyone is thinking is ‘I’m so glad that’s not me’. No one is judging. Good luck 🙂

  7. So easy to become a hermit, I am like that a lot! BUT, it’s important to get out as it gets them all used to being in social situations and learning what is socially appropriate and not. Hang in there! Love you!

  8. Oh love – when Buster was 2 and 4 months and Mabel 6mths, he suddenly turned. Doug would come home to me weeping and saying ‘he’s not the same boy!’. I got better at ‘handling’ him, it was hard work, BUT it was definitely a phase. What’s he like if someone else is looking after him? Sending love – and will NOT judge when we meet up so one outing you don’t need to feel anxious about. Have been there and it’s tough xx

    1. He is going to start preschool September. Three mornings a week. I think it will help, because part of the problem is that he just wants me all the time. I’m glad I’m not the only one. It’s tough because he is usually the only kid kicking off at the playground. I won’t be anxious about our meetup, I know I need to just bite the bullet and deal with it on my own. xx

  9. Oh honey, I can sympathise so much, I have written about the same thing! My older two were not nearly such a handful and I am struggling to find a way though with my daughter. I know that she will (I hope!) grow out of the worst of it, but she is always going to be strong willed! Like you, I have started to avoid taking her places, and I don’t think that’s the right thing, but putting yourself through the stress of outings is easier said than done. Sending huge, understanding, hugs xx Thank you so much for linking to #ThePrompt and huge apologies for taking so long to comment, it’s been a very busy couple of days!

  10. Urgh – those tantrums are HORRIBLE! It is just a phase – the girl still has the odd one. But what you need to not worry about is being in public. Yeah people stare and stuff but they have all been there. They just forget. Toddlers be cray cray. I used the naughty step from about that age with the girl. Works a treat xxx

  11. I think the fact I keep saying ‘it’s just a phrase’ helps me to get through the difficult times. We dont get tantrums, well we do but I fear they will kick in at 3 like his brothers did but we get the fact he will not stay still. Like he will want to run everywhere that he’s not meant to. I cant enjoy groups like the other mums, I’m usually parked next to the door to stop mine from running off into the carpark. He will soon grow out of it, or so I keep telling myself! Dont even let what anyone think affect what could be a potentially good time out and about. I’m wondering if the more I go out the more he might get use to it and not want to run off all the time. Or I could just be torturing myself more.

    1. I’ve decided to take Dubz out on my own more often. I don’t want him to associate spending time with me as boring and being at home. It has to get better. I keep telling myself it will get better at 3, but it might be worse so will try and enjoy all the good behaviour I can get. 🙂

  12. I feel your pain on this one. My youngest (4 in November) is something of a tantrum-king and is going through a phase of lashing out when he doesn’t get his own way. It’s so difficult taking him out anywhere and is a lot of hard work each day – fingers crossed these are just phases that they will grow out of. I remember reading once that boys get a testosterone surge around age 3 and epic tantrums and lashing out are quite normal – really hoping this is true!! x

    1. Such a relief to hear that others are going through similar. Everywhere I go, toddlers are so well behaved and mine is the only one shrieking and crying. It’s reassuring that my toddler isn’t the only one giving his mum a hard time. 🙂

  13. I feel your pain – EJ has started to become quite a handful. He likes to throw things and any kind of admonishment sets him off into screaming crying hitting fits! I can’t stand the screaming and I have to walk away sometimes. I couldn’t do that in public. This is quite a recent thing so I haven’t really experienced an awful meltdown with him in public but I feel it is probably coming and it is a bit of a worry for the next year or so… Maybe we should just get all our screaming toddlers together into a padded, soundproof room (we can call it ‘softplay’) and then enjoy a nice coffee together on the other side of the glass? Bad Mum? 🙂

  14. Hugs! I know this well. My almost 5 year old isn’t the problem; my boys are just like Dubz. Both of them. We can’t even do the garden now after the Snail Incident.
    It gets easier as they get older (like when they’re 14 or something?). I think kids need to learn a bit of independence in the house where they can press boundaries without mortifying us parents.
    We’ve started doing walks through the local woodland where they can’t really get up to much mischief apart from eating dirt or sticks and running off doesn’t pose the “getting run over” risk.
    It’s such a tough age. Hang in there x

  15. I have two of your son, am truly (insert rude word).

    The only difference is that i actually find being out easier as they bounce of the walls at home, and drive me insane. I get stressed when we are out but usually there is another adult to moan too 😉

    I also think that every parent feels like their kid in being a nightmare when it’s no way near as bad to others as you think xx

  16. All kids have a tantrum stage but you have to stick with things and follow things through and they will learn eventually. When my kids went through the terrible twos I would time any short outings when they were not due a sleep. Take a snack/toy to keep them amused which helped. I have been doing time out on naughty step since my son was 3 years old and it worked for him and a lot better now

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