help, my 3 year old and 19 month old are so bad

Brandi - posted on 02/13/2015 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I have a 19 month old and 3 year old. They are both so bad, especially the 3 year old. If I yell at the 19 month, the 3 year old will run over and do exactly what he's doing just to be bad. He does not listen at all. He will listen when he wants, he knows what I'm saying when I say it. I try to put him in the corner, and he doesn't stay, he just screams and runs out. When I finally get him to stay there, he will inch over and over til he's out of the corner and run. In public, all he does is scream and run around. I used to work at a fast food place, when his dad would bring them in when I was working they would be complete monsters. Every other kid that age are wicked good. I've never seen such bad kids ever. It makes me so mad. They both don't play with ANY of their toys, all they do all day is just run around the house touching stuff they KNOW they aren't supposed to. Its ridiculous and I'm so sick of it. When they're eating, they will just throw their food everywhere. I don't know why they're so bad. The 3 year old was the best behaved kid until about 9 months ago. I don't know what happened. The 18 month old will just randomly throw himself on the ground hit his head over and over and scream for no reason at all, all the time. My 3 year old, if he's doing something or has something he's not supposed to he will go hide with it or be quiet so we don't hear him. When we see him he will either hide it behind his back or run as fast and as far away as he can like maybe he thinks if he runs away he won't get in trouble, but he does every single time. Idk why they like getting in trouble. It makes NO sense at all and I'm so sick of them not listening and doing the exact opposite of what I say EVERY time I say something unless me or their dad stand up and stomp our feet like we're running over to them to put them in the corner. I don't know what to do.

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Sarah - posted on 02/13/2015

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Because they know you will tolerate their behavior. the sitter and grandparents do not.

Sarah - posted on 02/13/2015

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Sarah H and Raye are correct. You need to get firm and consistent. They are acting out to get attention. I agree with the time out for the 3 yo. Explain the rules ahead of time and what will happen so he knows what to expect. When he is misbehaving, give one warning. When he continues, get down to his eye level and say "You did not stop banging the pans when mommy asked so you must sit in the naughty (corner, step, chair) for three minutes (one minute per year). Say it firmly, in a serious tone but don't yell. Put him there, when he moves, say nothing just put him back and start the timer over. Like Sarah H said, you may have to repeat this hundred times for him to sit there for three minutes. When he finally does, go over, and say "you were in the naughty spot because you did not stop banging the pans, please say your sorry" He can apologize or stay put. When he apologizes, give hugs and move forward. You can expect his behavior to actually get worse before it gets better, but I promise it will get better. If you follow through and are consistent, it will improve. Your kids may look like they are having fun, but they aren't, kids want harmony just like you do.
Do you have a daily routine that you follow? That can help a lot. Getting up, eating, playing, reading, quiet time, snack, independent play, lunch, nap....all at the same time will give them a sense of certainty.
The food on the floor, pick it up and put it away and end the meal. Of course, you need to warn them both before the meal starts "if you throw your food on the floor, then you must not be hungry and i will put the food away and lunch will be over" No child ever died from missing a meal or two.
I agree with Raye that at this age, a visual reward system can help you. Poker chips are cheap and easy. Hang in there! It will get better.

Raye - posted on 02/13/2015

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Why are you yelling? You have to be firm with them, but not yelling all the time. Yelling is attention, and that's what they want. That's why they're bad, to get your attention. That's why your oldest starts being bad when you yell at the youngest, because the youngest is getting attention and he wants attention too.

If you put one of your children in the corner and they run out, be calm, don't yell. Go get them and put them right back in there and tell them that since they got out they now have to stay there longer. And each time they move before their time is up they have to stay longer. You will have to be consistent and put them back in the corner a lot, but eventually they will learn that running away doesn't work and makes it worse for them. It might help to have a timer or something visual so they can see how much time gets added on when they move from the corner. If you give in and just say well they're uncontrollable there's nothing I can do about it, then of course they're not going to get better. If they just will not stay in the corner, then maybe they need a different punishment that would work on them better.

They're touching all the stuff they know they're not supposed to probably because you're giving them attention for doing it. If they're not allowed to have something, try to keep it out of their reach or tell them no and give them their toys that they are allowed to play with. If he's hiding it, then he knows it's bad. Tell him if you catch him with something and he hides it, his punishment will be worse than if he admits to it. If they start kicking and screaming then try to ignore them. Tell them as soon as they're done pitching a fit to go stand in the corner and then you walk away.

If they throw their food, don't yell, just calmly take away their food and they don't get anything else until the next meal. If they throw food at that meal, their food gets taken away and they don't get anything until the next meal.

Be consistent. It will take patience, but they will learn.

Also, one of the most important things you should try is to praise them when they're being good. You will have to pay attention a little more to catch them in the act of being good. But tell them they are good, hug them, kiss them and maybe give them some kind of reward. This doesn't have to be something that costs money. You could make a chart, put it on the wall, and draw smiley faces or something every time you feel they've been really good. Then, when they get 5 or 10 smiley faces they get something special like junk food or extra tv time, or whatever motivates them to want to be good more.

Sarah - posted on 02/13/2015

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They sound like a normal 3 yr old and 19 mos. old. Yelling is not going to work and you are going to get the results you are getting. Kids know that you could yell till the cows come home there is no consequence. Time out works but you need to be firm and consistent. You need to in force the time out spot......this may mean putting him back in the spot for hours until he stays for the 3 mins. The 19 mos. old is going to need redirection not being yelled at to not do something. I would suggest some parenting classes to help.

Sarah - posted on 02/13/2015

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Kerri, I love that phrase "connect before you correct" LOVE IT
Brandi, I know I mentioned in passing in my very long post that a routine might help. You may even feel like you do have a routine, but try setting a specific schedule for your kids. You can make it with pictures and symbols rather than words and post it on the fridge or wall. In my experience, I was expecting my kids to self-entertain for too long at one time. Yes in total they can spend 2 hours in independent play, but not those two hours in two one hour sessions. Does that make sense? Alternating the time you play with them directly, with fifteen minutes of independent play will work better.
Also, you can engage your kids into almost every chore with a little patience and creativity. Yes, you can dust the family room in ten minutes. They can put old socks on their hands and "help" you and get the job done and have fun in 30 minutes.
The other big change that helped me, was no tv after dinner at all (we only have one and don't watch much anyway) But dinner, then they play with dad while you clean up the kitchen (or vice-versa) followed by bath-time, books, snuggles and bedtime, helped me get them down earlier and I had some time for myself.

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June - posted on 02/15/2015

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Hi, I think it's the age and how we as parents respond to it. My daughter turned 3 in November. Terrible twos were not so terrible but when she turned three the NOs and talk back seemed to escalate over night. I tried time outs on the couch (and holding her on the couch when she refused to sit on it), I tried yelling (which turned into a yelling match). Then I read "Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting". to be honest I found it to be a fairly dry read but the book does have some amazing 'aha moments'. One key takeaway was that change will come in the children when you stop trying to force change in them and instead find change in yourself. For instance, I realized i was only getting 4 hours of sleep and being tired I had less patience so was quick to yell. (I'm sure with two little ones, sleep might be a luxury of the distant past!) I also used to feel that if I didn't yell at her and curb her misbehavior at once, I was proliferating it and she somehow 'won'. In reality I was just escalating and exacerbating it, turning minor misbehavior into monstrous full-out tantrums. I stay calm now (sometimes it's still extremely difficulty), and I tell her I'm going to walk away and give her a minute to call down. Sometimes she comes screaming after me and I ask her if she wants me to hold her and pick her up (and that's usually all that she wants, some attention and love after a long tiring day at daycare)... If that doesn't do the trick and she's still misbehaving I resort to taking away a beloved toy for a few hours (but not her favorite stuffed animal that she sleeps w/ every night) or there's the "no i-pad" punishment for a day . Punishment is only if she hasn't managed to calm down after a few minutes and is hitting me, and is always delivered in a firm but not psycotic screaming voice. once two or three toys wind up on top of the fridge,she usually calms down and we hug and talk about it. the hugging and connecting part at the end, letting her know I still love her even though I didn't appreciate her behavior is really the key. hope this helps! i think w/ technology (iPhones, laptops), siblings, and a million errands and chores, children often just act out b/c they need some undivided attention and love. good luck!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/13/2015

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Consistency. The reason that your children misbehave with you is because you have allowed it to continue to happen. When you yell, you are on their level, but not connecting as a parent.

They do not behave so for the sitter and others, because those people have consistently corrected their behaviour, and they know that it will not be allowed.

Dove - posted on 02/13/2015

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I agree w/ every word the other ladies have said. It can be SO hard to be patient and consistent AND not yell when your kids are pushing every button you have... but the sooner you start being calm and consistent... the sooner things will change. And yes, it will certainly get worse before it gets better. They have gotten away w/ their behavior up until now, so they will try REALLY hard to see if you will cave or not by being even worse, but if you do cave... it's all going to start over again and the cycle of insanity in your home will never stop.

Hang in there. Three is HARD even w/ patience and consistency... add into that a toddler... and yeah, you certainly do feel like you are losing your mind. Just take the advice you've been given here and stick to it. There CAN be peace in your home.

Kerri - posted on 02/13/2015

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Sorry to hear all this Brandi. You sound deeply disappointed.

I want to respond to the comments below about attention. Of course your children want attention! Attention = love! When we are focused on our kids and relaxed and paying attention to them they THRIVE.

We all have an attention tank, and we all cope much better with life when our attention tanks are full. Children need us to fill up their attention tanks every single day.

This isn't easy though. Besides the fact that we might feel bored sitting on the floor for 20 minutes while our kid says, 'watch me mommy!' one hundred times, we might not feel like we have the time to sit on the floor and pay attention to them for 20 minutes. But I think it's an investment that will pay off. In my experience, when I give my son my undivided attention for a little while, then he feels good about himself and he is able to act 'good' more often.

i know I'm not actualy addressing your question about your kids being 'bad'. But this is what I do know: we need to CONNECT before we CORRECT. (I got that from a parenting book called Hold Onto Your Kids). If you and your kids aren't feeling a positive sense of connection, no amount of punishing or discipline will help. CONNECT first. Then try for the CORRECT part.

Brandi - posted on 02/13/2015

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Also, they are both very very good for the babysitter and grandma and grampa. as soon as they see me or their father, they just get wild.

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