HELP!!!!!!!!!

Sabrina - posted on 08/12/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My little guy seems to have hit the terrible twos a little bit early, and he has no respect for me, his father, or anyone else for that matter. We have been trying to hold him still in one place until he says sorry for hitting us or something, I ask him to give me his hand so I can put a sticker on it and he screams. |I just don't know what to do! this makes us look like terrible parents to the ladies at day care because none of the other kids do this. Are there any suggestions on how to teach him discipline and that Mommy and Daddy are in charge and not him?

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[deleted account]

Okay I am going to start with pick up/drop off at daycare and expand from there.

At drop off if he starts with the hitting and yelling just get down at his level, take his hands in yours, firmly tell him we don't hurt each other with our hands. Demonstrate nice, gentle hands on him, have him reciprocate and then give him a good bye hug and leave. If he starts furthering the tantruming, tell him you still love him and good bye and leave. As a former day care teacher I can tell you the tantrum will probably stop almost immediately upon your exit. Why? Because it literally is a stall and attention tactic kids you to tell you that they are unhappy that you are going to work.
Toddlers tend to keep going with a behaviour if they are getting a reaction. For the time you are trying to get him to sit still and say sorry/hug better he has your undivided attention. Just not in the manner you want.
At pick up time. Talk with his teacher, have him help get ready and if he starts the screaming and yelling, don't argue with him (you will always lose... they are just more stubborn and determined then we are and it's really not worth it).
Tell him you understand he's upset because you were at work all day, but you know he had a good time at daycare playing ___________ (this is why talking to the teacher is key). That you love him and that you'll give him hugs but only when he is calm and you know he's not going to hit you.

This can be carried over at other times.
You need to help him label and understand what he is feeling.
Restraining is obviously just becoming a battle for control so walk away after you place him in area where he can't hurt himself or destroy anything (I have a toy tosser when he loses it so we place him in the middle of the room and just keep him corralled there till he calms down). Allow him to throw the fit (if you are out in public just pick him up and go back to the car).
There is no point trying to talk with him when he has hit the point of a tantrum because he won't listen anyway.

Pay attention to when it's happening. Is it happening at certain parts of the day? Is it worse before a meal or nap time? Is there too much happening all at once and he's feeling overwhelmed?

Once he's calmed down, sit on the floor and talk with him about why it's not okay to hit when your angry. Encourage him to hit a pillow or cushion instead. Tell him it's okay to be angry. But it's not okay to hurt people when angry.
Show him nice and gentle hands by caressing his arms and cheeks and then have him do it back to you. At that point you can talk about apologizing and getting the hug.

Will this work every single time? No, but with consistency and perseverance I have found that the tantruming gets less as they get less attention for the negative behaviour.
Try to avoid getting to the point he starts having a fit. If it's because he is hungry get him a snack, if it's from being overwhelmed find a quiet place to sit and relax, snuggle maybe read a book or color.
If it's because he doesn't want to stop playing or clean up etc. Try giving warnings of 15, then 10, then 5, then 2 minutes till play time is over. No he can't understand time directly, but he will understand what the warnings mean.
Try offering choices between two things to help him feel like he has some control and that way you can keep the control by giving him choices you can live with.

I hope that helps or at least gives you some ideas.

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[deleted account]

I work in child care and what your child is displaying normal behaviours for his age when not complying with instructions.
Some days my son is awesome and does what I ask right away and other days... well they are almost two.

How long has been in day care? The other children may be complying and coping better for many reasons, they may go full time (5 days a week), they may have been going to day care from an early age, they may adjust to structure and change easier then your child.
Your child is normal. Anyone telling you differently does not understand children.
You are under stress, Dad's gone from being around all the time to not at all and he is reacting to that.
Try finding a play group or a parent group that you can get out to to meet new people and offer your son some less structured social time. Try checking out the local library and see if they run any childrens' programming.
The other suggestion is considering the possibility of putting your son into care 5 days a week at the center. They pick up on the routine and such quicker when there full time. Also make sure that they are giving him ample warning that a transition in the routine (ie from free play to circle time) is coming so he is prepared. Also consider you might need to look into a different center that has a different philosophy to how they work with and view children.

With regrades to the freaking out to saying sorry.
Drop the getting him to sit down first. Just get down at his level and firmly go through why what he did is not okay and that he needs to say sorry either by saying sorry or by giving you (or the person involved a hug). If you get both great, if you get one or the other good. He is only almost two, sometimes getting the words out when upset, just doesn't work.
Start having the conversations about whether or not he would like it if you came and threw his toys and broke his things and how you feel when he does these things.
Make sure you are very clear about the fact it is the behaviour you don't like and that you love him no matter what.
If he starts to have a tantrum then sit him down some where safe and out of the way and tell him you will be waiting for him when he is calm and ready to talk and leave him be. The only thing you need to worry about at that point is keeping him from hurting himself, the environment or you. There is no point in trying to reason with him while he is having a tantrum, he won't 'hear' you. Just wait him out.
Get a book and sit down beside him and read. Once he realizes that he is not getting your attention he'll calm down.
If he escelates things to try and get you to engage him, just firmly place him back in the safe, quiet area and firmly tell him that you are waiting until he is calm to talk to him and go back to reading or what have you. This takes an incredible amount of patience and work, but once you've been through it a few times and he realizes that you really aren't going to give him any attention or fight with him the tantrums will drop off to nothing more then a good cry/scream and stomp fit at being frustrated to eventually nothing.
It's tough being so far away from your friends and family. And if you can even just take 5 minutes for yourself here and there for the time being. Change is hard for everyone.
Good luck!

Sabrina - posted on 08/18/2010

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I should clarify that we don't have problems with him crying when we drop him off at daycare, he only goes two days a week and he loves going. the problem is during the day when he doesn't listen to the 'teachers', they tell him to sit down at the table, or come to circle time, or whatever it is, and he pretends like he can't hear them and just goes on doing his own thing. We are told that none of the other children act this way. This is similar to the problem we have at home, that he just won't listen. He used to hit me, but that has stopped. He's not intentionally destructive, just very very curious and he accidentally ends up breaking things or whatever. When I sit him down and try to get him to tell me that he's sorry, that's when all hell breaks loose. Otherwise he's normally a very kind very sweet little boy (other than not listening to instruction very well). We never spank him, only occasionally smack his hands if he touched something he knows he's not allowed to touch.

Some issues, in our lives that are complicating things, Daddy just went from being more or less a SAHD to a full time working dad who only gets to see our little boy for about 2 hours total a day, which is taking a big toll on all three of us, and I know that this big adjustment is difficult for the little one. Also, I am from America, but live in the Netherlands now, for the majority of the last three years, and I'm very isolated. My boyfriend's parents live on the other side of the country, and his sister works full time (and is rather unreliable regardless), so getting her to stop by when I really need help is pretty much out of the question. Other than that, I'm pretty much on my own. I don't really know anyone here and my own family is 8000 miles away. Taking a little time for myself doesn't really get to happen either. ugh.

Melissa - posted on 08/18/2010

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I haven't experienced quite what you have but what has worked for us is similar to what others have said. 1st- the hardest thing is to try to stay calm and talk to him calmly about his behavior. My husband and I also use a sort of time out that we call the" naughty spot". We've been using it for so long our daughter doesn't even think of getting up yet. We haven't really had to spank our daughter yet but if/when her behavior deems it then we will probably use it. As of right now we talk to her firmly and we try to "ignore" her bad behavior and just keep talking and modeling appropriate behavior. My younger sister was a VERY demanding child so try not to be so hard on yourself. Anyone that has ever had a stubborn and assertive child will empathize with you. The simple fact that you are trying to teach him good behavior is the best sign you are doing what is right. All kids are different and ALL kids test our limits. They want to see how far they can push you to your breaking point. If you get angry and yell when he does something naughty he will continue to use those same tactics as he gets older. People think my husband and I are strange because when our daughter is doing something naughty we talk to her in a more adult manner. We are firm but we don't loose our cool. And as hard as it is to listen to her throw a fit when I drop her off at nursery, I always hear from the teacher that she quits as soon as I am gone. Our methods don't always work either and sometimes when you get to that point you have to remove yourself and/or them from the situation. There have been many times I just needed to go in the store for a few things and it has been a nightmare. I just try to remember that teaching my daughter what is right is more important than whatever it was I needed in the store...or that I need a break and its time to get someone to look after her for 10 mintues so I can go back to the store. One day she was throwing such a fit...I was so angry she was rolling on the floor and I just started laughing....it was either that or cry or yell and laughing is what came out first. She was so surprised my my reaction she started to calm down and stop screaming and finally said "I done cryin" and got up and that was that!
I have read alot of articles from the babyzone website and they gave me some good ideas on how to handle my daughter. hang in there and have faith in yourself and in him. :)

Julie - posted on 08/12/2010

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FYI after they sit in time out let you little one know why they were put there and let them know that u still love them and make them say sorry.

Julie - posted on 08/12/2010

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From the time both mine turned 1 whenever they do something major they go into time out. For example when we tell them no at something their doing and they keep on doing what their not suppose to be doing than they go in time out for every minute of their age. They do get spanked occaisionally. If they hit one of us or bite us not so much my 3 yr old but our 22 mos old than we slap on the hand and say no that not nice or just bite back a little and they soon realize they don't like that. Hopefully this helps u with your little before the situation gets worse.

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