18mth DSS stressed?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
18mth DSS stressed?
7
Mon, 08-27-2012 - 3:28pm
The weekend has come and gone along with DSS. Thankfully it was uneventful. Except I think this separate housing thingy is rather stressful on DSS. He is 18 months and on the last weekend he was such a sweetheart. This weekend however he's been running around like a little zombie!

He'd toddle up to DF, smile so sweetly, laugh and drool and when DF reaches out to pick him up... DSS bites! He literally clamped his little teeth on DF's arm, cheek, chest (any exposed area of the body) and refused to let go. He'd also swipe at DF's face! 

I had no such problems when carrying DSS. My parents dropped by on Sat morning to say hello and DSS did the same thing to my dad. DSS did not bite neither my mom nor I.

My mom is convinced DSS is feeling a bit stressed. That because he lives with BM w/o any other male presence during the rest of the week, he feels threatened by an adult male presence?

When we took him to the park, he did not bite or attack any other children. 

DF had to bring me along to send DSS home because he would bite and swipe at DF. DF is upset about this as it was only last week they had their father and son bonding. BM is just as shocked by the news. In fact she was on her way to throwing a hissy fit at seeing me outside her front door but went quiet when she saw her DS being hostile to his father. 
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 08-27-2012 - 4:53pm

Well, kids are intutitive.  So I am sure at some level it effects even little ones. 

But, I also know that biting and swatting is not uncommon.  It is good he didn't do it at the park.  My DD12 used to bite other kids at that age.  Ugh!  So grateful when she out grew it. 

So, even though it isn't uncommon, doesn't mean any one wants to sit around be hit at and bitten.  Opions vary on what kind of consequences are appropriate under these circumstances, so I would suggest DF does a little homework on that. 

As far as it being a result of visiting dad EOW, hmmm.....I suppose it is possible.  I remember going away on a 5 day trip when my DD was only 6 months old and when my DH at the time came to pick me up at the airport, he was holding DD and she just looked at me and totally turned her head the other way and wouldn't look at me.  And she was only 6 months old!  Total cold sholder. 

In other words, I do think young children are intuitive and acting out may be expected.  I just think biting happens to be DS's way, whereas other kids may act out in other ways.  He would probably be a biter, either way. 

Let us know what you DF decides to do to work through this.  You could also check out the parenting boards here on ivillage.  My DD26 struggled with her DS when he refused to take a bath.  It was litterally too dangerous to force him.  She found a parenting board and found out it happened to a lot of other mothers and was given hope he would out grow it.  And he did.  :smileyhappy:

 

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
Tue, 08-28-2012 - 8:32pm
DF and his (its so hard to keep referring to her as STBX so I shall just say x to keep it simple) x have agreed to allow him play time with their DS during the week while under her care. Honestly, not my idea of a "Eureka! A fantastic idea!" But for the sake of DSS i hope that helps.

However, I told DF that since he will be spending more time with his x, he might feel he wants to R his M instead. I want to fight for the relationship but I have no heart to keep a father away from his DS. 

DF tells me not to jump to conclusions so I just smile and say ok. I just tell him to give me some notice if he decides he wants to go try R with the x. I am clearly out of the Affair fog right now. And whoever says getting a D while the kids are still too young to know obviously don't know what they're talking about. 

Sorry i digress! LOL. I have a friend whose DS refuses to bathe too! Now the boy is 8 and they have tried all sorts of ways to get him to step in the shower. It cracks me up to listen about the bribery, threats, towel baths while he was sleeping etc.! I'll bet she can't wait for the day he outgrows this behavior.
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 11:48am
Hmmmm....I am not sure that is the answer, but I am not a child therapist, either. As kids get older, I know that is not a good idea, as it can confuse the kids. But this little guy is so young, I just don't know.

In all honesty, this is why it is better to work through all of this before moving on into a new R. My SO's kids were already teens and there was still this ackward transition like you are experiencing. Ugh, I cringe thinking back to all of that.

My first post here on MSMW was my SO going over to his xW to watch a football game with his DS. I was suprised to get replies such as "hey, enjoy the time to yourself." Not everyone said "oh, that is wonderful," but I learned quickly that there is not one right or wrong way.

I only have one living area in my house and my DD was still pretty young back then. So honestly, my house wasn't the best place for them to enjoy the game.

Eventually, they outgrew that and SO wouldn't dream of doing that today.

Anywho, I hope you stick around and let us know how things go.

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 7:35pm
QUOTE:
.
DF and his (its so hard to keep referring to her as STBX so I shall just say x to keep it simple) x have agreed to allow him play time with their DS during the week while under her care. Honestly, not my idea of a "Eureka! A fantastic idea!" But for the sake of DSS i hope that helps.

However, I told DF that since he will be spending more time with his x, he might feel he wants to R his M instead.

-----Hmmmmm....you said he HAD been seeing DS at his mom's house----how long had DF been living apart from DS ? I would think that this isnt much different than being at grandma's/DF'mom's house-----?? If that stuff didnt go on at MIL (DF mom's house), I'd think a more appropriate thing would be having much visitation at gramma's, with both you/DF there----then take DS to your place for the overnight---then a bunch of time back at (familiar) gramma's.

You are an angel to do the smiling thing RE:
I want to fight for the relationship but I have no heart to keep a father away from his DS.

DF tells me not to jump to conclusions so I just smile and say ok.

DF might want to go (alone--not with exW) to child's pediatrician and ask for advice re: situation if it continues.


(((((((((((((((hugs!!))))))))) and BEST WISHES!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 9:02pm
Since their separation his x never disallowed him from dropping by in the evenings to play with their DS. Only when he moved in with me, she requested that he stick to the agreed schedule. 

I've never seen DSS and DF interact at Grandma's place because I'm not welcome there. LOL! But I do know DF's mom has always been an uninvolved grandma due to illness. 

I will suggest to DF to see if a familiar environment will help his DS to be more receptive. Though he seems to exhibit hostility only to adult males i.e. DF and my dad.

DSSis still a sweetheart to us women folk and children :smileyhappy: I would say the only person who's heartbroken at the moment is DF.
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 08-30-2012 - 12:02pm
Yea, I think I would talk to a professional of some kind about the hitting and biting, but honestly, like I said before, this truly is not uncommon for any toddler, divorce or not.

I think, just my opinion and experience, that your DF needs to find a way to deter the behavior, as much as that is possible with a little one. I guess the only way to know whether it is anxiety from being a way from mom is to see what happens if the 3 of them are together. But any kid needs to experience at least a little bit of time away from mom, which has nothing to do with divorce.

So guess what I am getting at is even IF DS does not hit BD while in the same room with BM, it isn't fixing anything or teaching DS that BD can nurture him just like mom can.

Hope that makes sense. :smileyhappy: Let us know how things go.

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
Fri, 08-31-2012 - 7:04pm
Gosh! I realized I've been slow to get what both you ladies are trying to tell me. Basically biting is a common behavioral problem with toddlers and we should be dealing with this like how we deal with other behavioral problems right? 

I know this is kind of evil of me but when DF went over for his playdates with his DS, he kept being bitten he came home every night this week miserable. I'm more than happy to hold him in my arms to comfort him. We'll be picking DSS up tmr and i've armed myself with stuff i've read from 

http://www.zerotothree.org/child-development/challenging-behavior/chew-on-this-resources-on-biting.html 

and hope this will help after sometime! If i had realized what both of you were trying to tell me earlier I could have shared this resource with DF earlier. LOL! Not so easy being a paranoid new parent after all :smileyhappy:

Thank you both!