Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Moms of Boys: I Need Your Help!

Let me begin this post by confessing that I'm about to break a hardcore blogging commandment of mine:  To never use my blog as a sounding board to complain about my children, husband, or family.  But desperate times call for desperate measures, right?  I'm genuinely asking for any and all advice here, because this mama is about to go nuts.  

NUTS,I'm telling ya!

For the past four weeks or so, my almost-two-year-old son has been crying.  Not just fussing... CRYING.  And it seems to never end.  I don't understand at all what's going on with him.  Therefore, I have no clue how to help him.

There's no fever.  There are no symptoms of any illness.  He sleeps a sound twelve hours each night.  He begins the morning happy, which causes me to have false hope, thinking, "Happy, Happy!  Joy, Joy!  Today's the day he's not going to cry!"  Only to have my hopes shattered about an hour or so into the day.

My daughter never went through a stage such as this one.  She did have her own share of strong separation anxiety, but easily transitioned out of it around 19-20 months.  My little sad boy will be two years old in December.

He wants his mama.  He wants his mama to carry him constantly.  If he doesn't get every little thing he wants, he wails.  We've tried ignoring him.  We've tried coddling him.  We've tried a balance of both.  Nothing is bringing this to an end.

Yes, I am a VERY hands-on mother.  I reserve blogging and other personal activities for when the kids are asleep or outside playing with their father.  There's no way my son isn't getting PLENTY of attention from me.  Ironically, the crying honestly makes me NOT want to be around him at times.  Instead of responding tenderly and sensitively, the sound of his crying is becoming as pleasant as fingernails scraping down a chalkboard. 

So, my question to all of you is... What the heck do I do?!  I've read my share of parenting material by Sears, Dobson, etc.  I understand that boys struggle more than females to detach from their mothers.  Could this be an internal struggle that he's going through?  Is he learning so much, so fast, that he can't handle it emotionally?  Arghhhhhh!  This psycho-analytical mother needs answers.  Even incorrect answers would do at this point.  Having the slightest explanation would probably help a tiny bit.  At least I think so... *Sigh*

Did any of you have this experience with a growing toddler boy?  

Losing it slowly-


Leslie Rivas said...

Well you know Jayce and Cade are only a week apart...Jayce is super SUPER attached to me as well. I have been home with him since he was born and I guess I am all he knows. I am still having issues leaving him in nursery at church, he gets so upset to the point of vomiting. I can't tell you how many times he has thrown up, to the point now I bring a change of clothes. He even cries when I leave him at my parents house. He gets hysterical...but at least there is eventually calms down because he is more familiar with my parents. I honestly do not know what I am going to do when he has to go to school! I am still praying this is just a phase, but its been a LONG one. He cries as well if he wants something which we do not allow him to have, but its not all the time. So I am not too familiar with that. Mostly its the attachment issue over here. I will say a prayer for you and little man. I hope things get better. If you remember us, we could use some prayers too! :) Love ya girl.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, that sounds so hard!! I'm sorry you're having to go through that! No, Jacob didn't go through that, but I'll list a few things off the top of my head to think about (or maybe you already have):

Have the doctor give him a thorough physical exam, even though he doesn't seem sick -- he may not be able to tell you if something really hurts or is "off;"

Diet? Is he eating the right things and avoiding the wrong things? Or maybe he has an allergy to something you don't realize? Is he getting enough exercise?

If all the physical factors are ruled out and it's more of an emotional thing...

Is he jealous of the time you're spending homeschooling his sister?

Have there been any other major changes that have happened in your lives in the last couple of months?

Don't know if this would help, but have him sit by himself (or with someone else) every day for a few minutes with a special activity reserved for that time...tell him you have some work to do and that you'll spend time with him in X number of minutes, and then make sure to follow through. :) Start off with just a few minutes, then increase it gradually. If he cries, he cries, but don't give in. By consistently returning to him, he'll learn that you WILL. And he'll learn that he can't always be the center of your universe. :) Praise him profusely if he doesn't cry while you're gone.

PRAY. I'm sure you already are!

One more thought -- and you probably don't want to hear this! -- it could just be a stage. He may get over it tomorrow. I know that's frustrating to hear because we have less control over it and we have no idea when the child will exit that stage. But that may be all it is.

I feel for ya, Carmen! :( Hang in there. Hugs. Sorry for being so long-winded!


Becky said...

Emma has and at times still cries...only now its to the point of screaming but luckily when I ask her to stop she can stop it on command. But of course she just turned 3. She started this around the age of 18 months.

One thing that helped with her was having her do "crib time" once a day. Pick a time when he is well rested and not hungry, put him in his crib with a few toys and a drink, and let him have some alone time. It will probably take a while before he learns to like did for Emma. Then she started asking for it!! YAY!!! And she worked her way up to doing it for about an hour each day. Such a blessing so I can do school with the older kiddos. And you better believe Will is already doing crib time. He also loves it (some days more than others).

Other than that I say hang in there momma! You are doing the best you can so remember that. Don't be hard on yourself. All my kids have been pretty attached and I think that is a factor of them being with me 24/7. Even my older kids still don't want to go to sleepovers sometimes. I just remind myself that one day they'll be gone and I'll wish I still had them hanging on me! And isn't it amazing how children that come from the same 2 parents can be so different?? WOW!!

Laurie said...

Hey Carmen. I read the other posts and they have great things to say. My boys are 6 and 4. We also have a daughter that is almost 3. The thing that comes to my mind is learning how to communicate. One of my sons talked early and one late. My early talker was far more content at the age of 2. I was just wondering if your son is frustrated that he can't communicate what he is thinking. Or does he talk already?

{:miss v:} said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this! I know what you mean about not wanting to be around him when he's crying and such.

Evan goes through fussy spells but nothing that lasts too long. I don't really have any solid advice but I'll definitely pray for you. It's awful when the little ones aren't happy.

Elizabeth said...

I can't offer you an advice, but I can sympathize. My daughter rarely cried as a toddler (she does her fair share of whining now) but my son, almost 1.5 now - cries a good bit because of separation anxiety. He can't stand for me to leave the room and it really wears me down.