Desperately seeking advice as a stay at home mom

by GMacdougall
(Ontario, Canada)

My 20 month old daughter, who is the light of my life, has really started to drive myself and my husband crazy with her demands and out of control behaviours. I am an ECE, and work as one from home, and really am down on myself for not having this under control.
The biggest problem that I am having right now is that I have a little one who comes for daycare three days a week and my daughter just cannot stop pummeling her (for lack of better words) I spend my entire day, aside from naptime, keeping my daughter from hugging the little one until she's knocked her over, or sitting on her and then leaning back on her, or pushing her out of the way to get at a toy. My first thought was that it is a jealousy issue, but, really I could be sitting right beside my daughter, playing with her, and she will get up, walk over and do something unless I can get her stopped. I feel that I can't even get up and leave the room without taking her with me. What is really worrying me is that we will have our own new baby in a few months, and this behaviour is so unacceptable, I need to find a way to get things under control well before the baby arrives. As I get further along in my pregnancy, I am more tired and uncomfortable, and am finding it harder and harder to remain calm after the 5th time I've had to intervene for the same reason. There are so many other things happening, this is really only the beginning. I know that a big difference would be if I could just get her to respect me a bit more, so that she'll maybe listen to what I say to her, the way she listens to her dad. Please, any suggestions, or ideas would be greatly appreciated. At this point, I am considering calling in a local agency for support, or finding her a daycare space, even though I am home to be with her.


Dr Maud Answers

I think it sounds as if you have a lot on your plate. You need to concentrate on sorting out what is happening with your daughter and this may mean putting it as a priority over other things.

Your daughter needs lots of positive reinforcement when she does the things you want. You could also use 2 minutes of time out when she is doing things you don't want.

You need to be consistent so your daughter knows that you will follow through. If you sometimes let things go that other times you don't want, then your daughter will get confused.

Set clear limits on what is expected. It is not acceptable for your daughter to "pummel" another child.

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