Please help I am falling apart! I have a 3 1/2 yr old and 20 month old- girls. They both scream and have fits constantly or constantly making a mess on purpose! I have tried time outs but they just scream the whole time. I do not give in to these fits. I have spanked, sent to bed, taken away toys/ movies. It seems to only get worse- any other ideas?

Anne - posted on 05/21/2012 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Please help I am falling apart! I have a 3 1/2 yr old and 20 month old- girls. They both scream and have fits constantly or constantly making a mess on purpose! I have tried time outs but they just scream the whole time. I do not give in to these fits. I have spanked, sent to bed, taken away toys/ movies. It seems to only get worse- any other ideas?

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Louise - posted on 06/10/2012

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It sounds to me that you are stressed out and the children are reacting to this. Kids have been known to club together to wind mum up. It is a favourite past time. You need to get your emotions under control and show no signs of freaking out. A reaction from mum is a reward for behaviour, even if it is a negative reaction. Just ignore completely the tantrums. No eye contact just walk away. When she has stopped having a wobbley then talk to her on how to handle that situation and how she should react in the future. I am guessing that most hissy fits are about sharing.

Limit the amount of mess the girls can make by giving them limited access to their toys. If they want to play with the cooker stuff for example then get that out but have everything else away. When they have finished playing with that tell them they have to help tidy up before you get anything else out. If they dont then the cooker stuff stays out until they tidy.

You have to play hard ball sometimes. It is the only way to show them that you are in charge and you have control, otherwise they win and you stress out!

Sarah - posted on 05/25/2012

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Hi, I am a mother of 4.
Try to calm down. Take a breather (: Okay so try talking to her not yelling but talking to her. When they get sent too time out, Do they stay there or is it like you try to keep them there and they start screaming and having a fit and you just give up?? Are you a single mom? If not try taking a break try getting the hubby/biyfriend whatever he may be, To watch the kids. When they make a mess on purpose have them clean it up. If the 3 year old back talks use dawn in the mouth. It works on my kids because I make them swallow. If you need to please feel free too message me! :)

I meant NOTHING to be Offensive!

Janice - posted on 05/21/2012

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It may help to try and pay close attention to when the fits are happening. It may be the older one is looking for attention and the little one is just following along. If it is an attention issue that would explain why other techniques have not helped. young children seeking attention will accept negative attention just as readily.
Try getting your older one involved in helping you out. Create a reward chart and give a sticker for good behavior. Give her attention for being good rather than punishment for bad behavior. Most likely the little one will follow her sisters lead.

At 3.5 she is smart enough to be reasoned with. Sit her down when she is calm and explain your expectations and the consequences - example: sticker on chart for being good and a time out or loss of privilege for bad behavior.

Your 20 month is just starting to be independent so include her in everything you implement with your older one but know that she wont get it all.

Good luck!

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Katherine - posted on 06/11/2012

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Bethany, you still get Banana's in Pajamas? I used to LOVE that show, but we don't get it here anymore :(

Bethany - posted on 06/09/2012

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your doing so well, i have a 28mth old and hes a denis the menis for sure, as for disapline with him its a smack on the butt and for a while the whole do you wanna smack "no" then dont do it worked now its time out, these usually only occur when he hits, kicks or really agrivates the dog (she 10 and very sore due to the cold and very less torrable of a toddler than i would like) as soon as hes in time out, the hallway with all doors shut and baby gate closed tight its an instant sorry harley and lots of tears.

positive rewards do work the best or as i call them bribes (lol) usually an eppisode of bananas in pyjamas or toy story time works well as stickes just get peeled of and are useless after a while... good luck and stay strong as this to shall pass lol ;)

Bethany - posted on 06/09/2012

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your doing so well, i have a 28mth old and hes a denis the menis for sure, as for disapline with him its a smack on the butt and for a while the whole do you wanna smack "no" then dont do it worked now its time out, these usually only occur when he hits, kicks or really agrivates the dog (she 10 and very sore due to the cold and very less torrable of a toddler than i would like) as soon as hes in time out, the hallway with all doors shut and baby gate closed tight its an instant sorry harley and lots of tears.

positive rewards do work the best or as i call them bribes (lol) usually an eppisode of bananas in pyjamas or toy story time works well as stickes just get peeled of and are useless after a while... good luck and stay strong as this to shall pass lol ;)

Bailey - posted on 06/09/2012

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Maybe try looking up relaxation techniques, for you. I have had similar issues with my step daughters and patience is the key. If they see you getting upset then they will keep on and on. I use a variation of things so they don't always know what will happen. That may sound sneaky but if I do the same thing each time, they see it coming and it isnt effective anymore. So, sometimes they get a pop on the butt, sometimes its timeout and sometimes they get toys taken away. But everytime, after they calm down, I explain to them why they got in trouble. One thing my 4 y/o use to do for attention was to go into the bathroom but instead of using the toilet she would stand there and pee on herself. I started making her clean it up and it eventually stopped happening. I hope this helps and good luck! Just remember these are tough years and that they aren't mini-adults. They don't think like we do so try to be understanding :)

Anne - posted on 05/29/2012

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Thanks for everyone's help! The positive attention has helped. The 20 month old seems to follow big sisters lead. There is still a lot of noise/ messes but full blown freak outs are less often. I have a husband but his form of discipline is yelling at them. ( I am guilty too). So I'm trying to stay positive. The 3 yr old screams that she is sorry during time out- goes into freak out mode when I dont give in. She also vomits if she gets too upset- fun-fun.

Sol4J - posted on 05/24/2012

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It seems that you are in a busy spot right now, and it won’t be always this way. Parenting toddlers is challenging enough and adding two to the mix certainly make things harder. As a mom of four boys, who are two years apart from each other, I know there are no shortcuts to success. I came across this Q&A http://bit.ly/IFiWtn during my time with Focus on the Family and always share it with my family and friends; and, I hope it is useful for you, as well. It talks about on how you get your strong willed toddler to obey and listen. Best to you and your family!

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