Any suggestions for Discipline?

Kassandra - posted on 05/17/2012 ( 53 moms have responded )

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I have an almost 2 year old and I'm having a horrible time trying to deal with his temper tantrums. Anytime he doesn't get what he wants, he starts screaming and crying. I try time-outs, but I'm chasing after him getting him to go back into time-out. It's exhausting chasing after him for 10 or 20 minutes just so he can stay in time out for one minute. He likes to throw or topple things when he's angry. I've taken to putting him in time out, I'll hold him in my arms while he's screaming and crying, until he settles down enough to sit for one minute. This can go on for ages. I did two things that I told myself I never wanted to do today. 1) I spanked him out of anger (this was after I had been trying to deal with him for 10 minutes and he bit me - not trying to justify it, because I feel horrible about it, just giving background) and 2) put him in his crib and let him be for a couple of minutes. I never wanted to use the crib as a punishment. I don't want to associate his bed with something negative (we have a hard enough time trying to get him to go to sleep - a whole other story). I guess this big ol rant is to see if someone has any suggestions with how to handle a toddler and their tempers. It gets so embarrassing going out with him. If anything doesn't go his way he'll start up in public. To me, that is my hardest issue with disciplining... I'm out of the comfort of my own home. I was thinking, since I don't want to use his crib as a form of discipline, maybe bringing out our playpen, and anytime he as a fit put him in there? Any sort of suggestion would help! Sorry to ramble so much, but this has actually helped me a little bit, getting this all of my chest. So thank you to those of you who took time to read it!

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Sylvia - posted on 05/17/2012

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I found this technique super helpful when DD was at that stage: http://aolff.org/grace-based-discipline/... (sorry for the religious weirdness of the rest of the site -- the 5 Steps really is useful, though!). Walking away works sometimes for some kids (and I don't by any means think it does them any harm at this age to stand there and howl in a playpen for a few minutes! I once, in EXTREME frustration, picked DD up and plunked her outside on the balcony "until you're done screaming" -- not my best mommy moment, but ...), but it also can have its drawbacks :P.

They do grow out of this. At this age, very little of it is malice. It's partly a mismatch between what they want to do and what they're able (and/or allowed) to do, and partly frustration at being inarticulate and small and not having very many choices, and most often with DD I found it was related to being (a) hungry, (b) tired, or (c) both. I have the same problem myself LOL. So that was a lesson for me -- do not run errands right before dinnertime :P

Some kids freak out a lot less when they have certain foods are removed from their diet. Stuff like certain additives, a particular kind of red dye, that sort of thing. I've read that with kids, food sensitivities can manifest as behavioural issues rather than physical issues. But I wouldn't necessarily leap to that conclusion -- 2-year-olds have meltdowns, it's a thing they do. You start to worry when they're 4 or 6 or 8 and still doing it, not when they're 2, IMO.

Megan - posted on 05/20/2012

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Most of these responses make me really sad. An almost 2 year old has big emotions that they don't know how to cope with (when they are emotions they wish they didn't have). Trust me, I know. I have an almost 2 year old too, and a 5 year old. And they've both had their share of meltdowns. I don't call them tantrums as I feel that's a loaded word in our society. A child the age of yours is not trying to cause you harm or anger you, they are only trying to meet their own needs.

Young kids need us to be big and help them understand and cope with these emotions. They need us to stay with them and label their emotions for them until they are able to do it themselves. "You're really mad at mommy because I said you can't hit the tv with your toy! You like the sound it makes but mommy said no. It's hard when mommy says no to something you really want to do. You're frustrated that you can't just do what you want." Showing them that you understand why they are upset often helps diffuse the anger or at least not escalate it. And, letting them work through that upset and get to a place of softness and connection with us again is also so important. Sending them to a time-out sends them into alarm and works against this softening. Also, showing our children that they can be mad at us and we still love them is so important. Isolating them when they have "undesirable behavior" only teaches them that there are parts of them which are unlovable. Being calm and consistent (and continuing to empathetically say no) in the face of their rage teaches them that we are in charge and that they can't manipulate us, AND that we love them and care about the fact that they are sad, mad, frustrated, whatever. Kids don't like having these feelings which is why they try to change the situation so that they no longer have these feelings. They need our help to learn to cope with these big emotions. They aren't capable of being more reasonable until between 5 and 7 yrs old.

September - posted on 05/17/2012

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Personally I think it's best to address his behavior rather than ignore it, since ignoring our son just pisses him off even more. I have found that offering choices to our 3 year old when he's not getting his way has been extremely helpful. If there is something that he wants and I'm not ok with it then I offer a couple of choices that are ok. If you think time outs are effective but you dislike using his crib then do give the plan pen a try as you've suggested. We use time out with our son using the staircase as the location and of course I sit with him. If he is really upset I tell him to let me know when he’s ready to talk. Sometimes I have to just sit there while he screams but sooner or later he lets me know he’s ready to talk. Sometimes he tries to get up and run away and I don’t let him and reaffirm that he can get up after we talk. I ask him why he’s in time out, he answers, we talk about a solution, hug and move on. Tantrums can be hard to deal with but it does get better. Whatever you deiced to do just be sure you’re consistent. Good luck!

Katherine - posted on 05/17/2012

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Let go. Let him have his tantrums and walk away. As far as having them in public instead of getting stressed, go about your business if you're at the grocery store and bring, juice, snacks, and make sure he isn't tired. Trust me, been there. If my toddler was having a tantrum and people stared I'd just smile at them.

But really, you need to just walk away. Putting him in his crib was a smart thing to do. If you spanked him then obviously you needed a time out. I have had to do it myself. And I have also spanked out of anger and then felt horrible after. You are definitely not alone!!!!

Debbie - posted on 05/19/2012

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This video helped my husband and I with our daughter. We bought it but it seems to be on youtube. Watch both parts.



Everybody wants to be *heard*. Don't they? Toddlers are NO different. Never ignore, how do you like to be ignored? Does that make you stop being upset? Being ignored makes me even MORE upset. Watch the video you will LOVE IT.

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Kaye - posted on 05/28/2012

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First pray! (always with any problem or concern). But I think which ever punishment you decide, you have to make sure that you remain consistent I don't believe there is one certain punishment or form of discipline that works on every child. Children are born with a unique personality and what works on one child may not work on another child. But children are very smart and they will learn quickly that unrelenting persistance will get them their way, if they know their parent has a history of not following through with punishment or discipline. I also think starting early is key. As soon as I knew that my daughter knew what "no" meant, I made sure to follow through with warnings given. And she was aware before age 2 what "no" meant just by things like my tone of voice, facial expression, and coming down to her eye level to emphasize a point. But ever since I've never had to work or struggle for her respect She is clearly aware of our roles in the house......( my husband and I are the parents; she is the child). :) Parenting is so difficult You are not alone.

Sylvia - posted on 05/23/2012

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Yes, talking about expectations beforehand is a big help! Sometimes we tend to assume that kids know what's expected, what's appropriate for a particular place, what "good behaviour" means in a particular context, and they just don't know or don't remember. Reinforce, reinforce, reinforce.

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Like Connie, I've found informing my girls what behaviour I expected them to have when we're going somewhere (shops, going to family/friends etc) really helps. They are set up (mentally) for what the boundaries are. It might only be - 'best behaviour please as we're going to X. If you use your best behaviour then you will get a reward'. (Last bit depends on situation and to if it's something they like the activity/place we're going. Certainly reward is used for when we're spending time food shopping.)

Connie - posted on 05/22/2012

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There are many Super-nanny programs on YouTube. She is the best at getting to the bottom of behavior problems. The important thing is use every step as she describes. I am the mother of six, four were boys. I did not spank my children, but I did talk to them and found talking about what was expected ahead of time was a key to being in public. If we had a problem in public we all went home right then. There was a lot of peer pressure with this large number of children. Nanny has the most respect for the child, but also knows how to teach the child who is in charge, with lots of love and encouragement. Watch one or two and see if you can pick out what will get you the results you want to see. By the way all of mine are great adults that people love and respect.

Ellen - posted on 05/21/2012

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Playpen is a good idea. I had to bite my kids back when they bit me or others just hard enough to let them know it hurts . Don't know if that is right but it cured the problem. Some kids need more bites back if you know what I mean. Never to hurt just to show that biting hurts and is not good. When out in public and tantrum starts leave the store if you have that option. If you have to stay on your errand just mumble terrible twos and people will understand. We have all been there. Sometimes as a grandma I offer to hold unruly child as a tension breaker and distraction to the child if parents give me positive eye contact. A stranger offering to take or hold you child is sometimes all it takes to change their behavior. Be persistent you are on the happy path. Bring snacks and small cool toys that are all one piece as extra distraction. Good Luck

Gousia - posted on 05/21/2012

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First of all chillax!
All of us go thru this- the little ones bring out the best and at times the worst in us.
Almost all kidz throw tantrums. My 3 yr old son is behaving this way now coz he learned this from his 1and a half yr old brother. though extremely hard but you have to keep your calm. dont let go of your temper because we have to teach them self control too! sigh sigh! And yes a little spat here and there is not gonna do them any harm but we feel sordid for this esp when the fall asleep and look like angels.
i have got used to it now and dont lose my temper(almost) anymore
when they start their tantrums i try to address the issue quickly like replacing an icecream with a lollipop or candy if they have a flu but all things are not replaceable.I try to walk away and try to look indifferent: next comes the warning and i say it as a matter of factly" plz stop shouting / start behaving or ur gonna go to ur naughty chair . i use the high chair as a naughty chair but i face it to a corner designated as naughty corner, fasten the belts and make sure the kids are safe and sit down on the couch with a straight face and tell them softly when you have cooled down and ur ready to behave and say sorry lemme know i will put u down- it alwz works.
If ur consistant with putting the child in the chair every time after the warning he will eventually know whats coming up and usually stop b4 hand.
when outside and a see a tantrum coming i usually take them to the candy or chips section and let them have their pick telling them that because they are good boys they can help themselves to something special. bribery but i have to pick the groceries!

Rose - posted on 05/21/2012

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hie.. i had my son 12 yrs ago.... and the upbringing has been tremendous.. believe u me... for one second have u ever tried to ask God for help with your 2 yr old. God gave you that child and he is also very able to help you with the child's temper tantrums.
a child cannot keep you running around. its happens but when you pray for the situation it gets better.
i prayed for my son when he was little for being mean with his toys to his friends but when i prayed the spirit of meanness was broken. just try it.
i trust you believe in God. if not you can trust on him today and all shall be well with you and your family.
nairobi kenya

Ellen - posted on 05/20/2012

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Tell him this is no way to get your attention. You love him and please do things that please me. Then lead the toddler to the thing you would like them to do. Make it fun and safe. Lots of love and kisses. Have some fun. Take time to enjoy some part of each day. :)

User - posted on 05/20/2012

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Get like a play yard - set it up and use it as a time out space - only use like 4 panels to make a small square. No toys, chairs, etc - just him, four walls, and the floor! He can't run out that way - or use the play pen (i just know my 2 yr old can climb out of that) -- make whatever it is a time out spot - never anything else.

I agree with the bed, but something that is the "safe" place to be until he calms down until alternatives are figured out.

I agree with spanking (as in do it sometimes) but NEVER out of anger - I think you believe the same listening to your post - it happens, don't beat yourself up over it, just figure something else out. And ensure it wasn't a habit - just a mistake, moms are human.


Also - I sometimes just ignore my 2 yr old - we have a baby gate to keep her in her room - i put her in there and let her play/scream, etc on her own until she is done, then I normally go ask if she wants to play with me or do something else, etc. I find the screaming gets less and less - sometimes more if what she wants is REALLY good :) I know she is safe in there - we keep her room set up for her

JoEllen - posted on 05/20/2012

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I found that if i ignore him until he is finished. Then talk to him and tell him crying and raving will not get what he wants.

Jenny - posted on 05/19/2012

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Hello! Kassandra. I have a 2 year old soon to be three. I was lucky with her as only now really she's started with the tantrums. I find if she is screaming just walk away out of sight but make sure you can see the child and don't speak to him until he has calmed down. With my daughter when she's naughty she goes on 'naughty chair' to calm down she absolutely hates it. (so maybe use the play pen) but after a few mins she calms down and says 'sorry' you just need to stick to something. It's just an age thing I think. I have been told it gets worse when they get older. :'( good luck!

Melissa - posted on 05/19/2012

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READ THIS BOOK: 5 Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman. I swear this should be required reading for everyone, especially parents. Toward the end of the book, a chapter describes that children who "feel" loved tend to misbehave less. But he also teaches you how to disipline according to their way of perceiving love. That concept explains why a spanking (or time outs) works for some kids and not others (even within the same family). Even if you don't think the info isn't applicable, you will NOT be sorry you took the time to read it. It is that good!

User - posted on 05/19/2012

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When his temper starts walk away. Tell him after a bit that when he calms down and is ready to talk you will listen. Keep an eye so that he isn't hurting anyone else or himself, but let the tantrum ride out.
Also to avoid tantrums, keep an even schedule. Like when to eat, when to play. But allow time to sway a bit. Kids throw tantrums when they are frustrated and stressed, and its normal. Some do it more and some do it less. Its a release.
It doesn't work on the first time, be consistent, he will figure out its not working. He may still need to tantrum once in a while, but if he knows its not to get his way, they will get less and less, till one day you will realize its been a while.

Pamela - posted on 05/19/2012

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Sounds like you don't know how to apply a firm hand, firm sound in your voice and be the "one in charge" of the situation. I do see that so many parents these days have become so lenient....doing so much for their children, pampering them, giving them what they want, etc. that it is easy to see that the CHILD is in control of the PARENT!

The terrible twos are not a "fun" stage of growth, but they are easier if you start out "in charge" which it seems you have not.

First, what is a "time out" to you. If it is having him sit still and be quiet....forget it at this age.
A time out should be given in the following manner: First sit the child down with his face across from yours where you can make eye contact. Keep the eye contact, even if you must gently hold his chin and bring his face towards yours. If the child resists, Just say. I am waiting for you to be still and look at me in my eyes. Once eye contact is established .....say "Child's name"..Mommy is not happy with what you're doing (name the action you want corrected). Then say, I want you to think about what you just did and tell me how you can correct that.
(ie. You just threw your toy across the room....or what ever the behavior is you want corrected.) I am going to give you a few minutes to think about it. At this age 1 or 2 minutes max. Then ask. What can you do to help me solve this problem? If the child goes blank, make suggestions. "I would like it if you would go pick up the toy and put it away until you can play with it nicely, etc."

Children at this age can correct their own behavior but it takes TONS OF PATIENCE and REPETITIVE ACTION on the part of the parent.

I cannot tell you how to be firm. You must find that quality in yourself. :Look up the word in the dictionary or in a Thesaurus and see what comes to mind when you reflect on your own way of dealing with your child.

I was reared by strict parents and though I was not as strict as my parents were with me, I always demanded respect from my children. You do that by modeling such behavior with them. if you are embarrassed by your child's actions in public it is because you have lost, or never had the control as a parent. Look at your own expectations of your child and how you are teaching them. Perhaps when you see how you are parenting, things will become clearer about handling and correcting behaviors you do not want.

My prayers for your situation and for you finding the ability to be firm and be the parent !

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Certainly found that even know I know my girls go into 'meltdown'/full blown tantrums when they're tired, hungry etc.. Watch for the warning signs. Like Kate McCabe said, having a coping method with distraction can work wonders. Its amazing how they can get distracted by an imagninary creature. As where I live has quite a few helicopters flying overhead (air ambulance, police etc), near Christmas I'll say something along the lines of do you think that Santa or one of his helpers is in the helicopter (Easter it turns into the Easter bunny). It can be used as an incentive for good behaviour. Also used on occasion the imaginary creature - certainly children like to use their imagination, so use it to your advantage. I do like the pink elephant idea. Certainly the creature near where I live is the dragon - wonder if it's watching. If you don't drink your milk up the big Mummy dragon may come round and wonder why you haven't had all your milk.....

Certainly, if you can nip in the bud before it goes from a niggle, then it helps. Certainly having a back up plan (ignoring, time outs ) helps as well. I

Sharon - posted on 05/19/2012

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I'm one of the bloggers for Circle of Moms RoundUp and a parent educator. If you're looking for a different perspective as to why kids behave the way they do and what can be done, please read the articles listed on my page on the RoundUp. I think you will find something to help you. http://bit.ly/tpPZBk

Kate - posted on 05/19/2012

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Distraction, distraction, distraction! Kids that young have big emotions they don't know how to deal with, and will often get stuck in a rut, especially if they are tired or hungry.

With my two year old i will often say oh where's the birdie, did you see that birdie? Where did it go? She will usually gasp and look around then say gone! Then i'll say let's go find the birdie. This often gets her way off whatever miserable track she was on. With my son i used to say all kinds of rediculous things just to get his mind focused on something new - like i'd say oh my word did you see that pink elephant? Where do you think a pink elephant lives? Do you think she does ballet? Or boxing? Or surfing - usually by then he'd be laughing.

But you need to kind of know where the behaviour is coming from, if they're bored or getting worked up but not in full meltdown, distraction will often work. If they're overtired or hungry you need to sort those things out... ignoring is a good strategy when you know they are pushing you to see what you'll do.

Katie - posted on 05/19/2012

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Completely ignore him, it's so hard especially when in public, but walk away, turn your back (trust me nobody is going to kidnap your little darling in the middle of a rage) You have to set the guidelines now that the only way to get mommy's attention is with controlled behavior. Be there for a hug and a compliment when he gets back from his meltdown but DO NOT JOIN HIM. It takes time( and lots of deep cleansing breaths on your part) but it is worth it down the road when this doesn't become the way he knows how to get your complete undivided attention. Good luck you're doing fine!

Sherry - posted on 05/19/2012

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I ignore the tantrums my son has (thankfully not many) and when he's done, he knows I'm there and he will come to me for a hug. I haven't had any luck with time-out either.

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Certainly found that by having known rules/boundaries helps. We don't have the 'house rules' written down, but my girls know what I expect them to do or not. They know that I will not tolerate them fighting excessively or use foul language. My eldest knows that I do not want to hear her swear in ear shot of me or her grandparents (as well as other family members), but she is allowed to ask what they mean. So she knows the difference between using swear language for the sake of it, because of an 'appropriate' situation where she's allowed to (just about) and asking what it means is three different situations.



Certainly terrible twos, followed by terrible threes, is hard work as children are finding out about themselves and pushing boundaries. Once they have learnt that certain behaviours get no attention/reward (negative or positive) for it, they soon drop them. Also by having clear consequences helps as well. Best technique I've learnt (like Super Nanny uses) - time outs is really effective. By giving a warning, placing in time out (explaination why), staying in time out, explaining why again they're in time out, apology then hugs/kisses. It means that both you and child have a chance to calm down, reflect on behaviour etc.. Also they learn that time outs are boring and spoil having fun time. They also learn that having a time out is a good way for them to waste their fun time, so they learn that if their behaviour improves so they don't have a time out, that they have more fun time and less boring time (as a child will see it).

Carly - posted on 05/19/2012

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My son is 6 now but I remember the "terrible twos" well. As hard as it is I agree with eveyone else, I refused to entertain his behaviour, I have lost count of the things he smashed in a temper! But eventually when he realised that I would completely ignore him when he was doing something I didn't want him to do it stopped! If we were out I would remove him from the situation and go straight home, no threats or warning just get up and go! (I left a cart full of shopping on many occasions) it took a few weeks but he got the message! I firmly believe as a parent you have the right to disapline your child how you see fit but we all know spanking in anger actually does no good for either yourself or the child! Your left feeling guilty which normally means you'll treat the child to compensate for your actions! Have you tried house rules? Get a large piece of coloured paper and get lil one to help you write house rules. Its helps them understand actions and concequences and boundaries and it gives you a clear guide of what behaviours have what consequences! Its also easy for hubbies and family to follow if your not around?
Good luck
X

Aimee - posted on 05/18/2012

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Haven't any of you watched Supernanny? I think she has some great ideas and they seem to work great on all ages of kids. There are always repeats of it on, so if you get a chance I would advise watching that. She doesn't agree with spanking ( I see no problem with it) but her time out and coll off techniques seem to work great. And she's always great about positive reinforcement. Just another idea for you. Hope everything works out for you. Good luck!!

Vanessa - posted on 05/18/2012

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I agree with Katherine Collins... walk away... withdraw the attention... shower him with attention and praise when he is playing nicely, or being loving, give him no attention when he is behaving inappropriately.

Katherine - posted on 05/18/2012

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Yes, I found fruit snacks to be the main culprit. It's the dyes and high fructose corn syrup in them.

Rebecca - posted on 05/18/2012

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This kinda goes off topic. Whilst all kids have tantrums when learning limits I have noticed something else beside the usual (being tired or hungry) is food with my 3 year old. Found food additives increase the intensity and make strategies less effective. I never realised how many hidden ones there are. (see www.fedup.com.au).

Ashley - posted on 05/18/2012

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When we first started to do time out with our daughter early on, our doctor suggested using the pack and play as the place for time out if she wouldn't stay put. After a bit she learned she needed to say in her time out spot. But your son is getting the attention he wants when you chase him around to get him, and its not making you feel any better doing it either. And holding him until he calms down isn't good for either of you. I'd say, use the pack and play or something like that to keep him in an area where he can't hurt you or get to anything else to throw or totally flip out and then just ignore him or then tell him he can come out when he calms down. If he knows you are serious and mean business with it, he won't have as many horrible tantrums. We didn't want to use the crib since our daughter had issues sleeping as well. My daughter is 2 now and will sit in time out for her 2 minutes now. She may cry about it, but she does it. She also gets other punishments like getting toys taken away as well, or getting her show taken away or turned off depending on the situation. Good Luck! You will find what works best. But just remember, BE CONSTANT! :)

Fiona - posted on 05/18/2012

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If it's any consolation, I did the crib thing too and worried it would have negative effects, but it didn't. She has no problem sleeping. Sometimes you just need to contain them. If you are worried, get a time-out playpen that is reserved only for that. Sometimes, they just need to be contained and safe. Don't feel guilty about that.



I would NOT spank a child so young. I believe tantrums are because kids are too young/undeveloped to communicate well.



Also, PLEASE make sure your kid is getting enough sleep. In my opinion, many tantrums would be avoided with enough rest. Also make sure he is not hungry, which is another prime cause.



Whispering does work well with some kids, as someone suggested. Choices can help. But the most important thing is to be consistent. If you say you are going to do something as punishment, DO IT. Otherwise, he won't learn, and it will probably take a while anyway (since he's so young)

Coco - posted on 05/18/2012

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Next time he throws a tantrum, turn your back and walk away. My guess is that he's learning to get your attention by throwing a fit, and he probably thinks it's a fun game to get you to run after him to put him in time out. Let him scream and wale and pitch a fit, but ignore him. Then, when he's behaving well, engage with him and give him lots of attention. Also try consequences. "If you throw a toy there will be no playtime at the park today." You get the idea. And always follow through.
You may want to look into the book Positive Discipline for Preschoolers. Lots of useful stuff in there.
Good Luck!

Jessica - posted on 05/18/2012

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my son is exactly the same, he's 3 in July but has always had a firey temper. I do use the time out and it does work for me, but i do use other techniques. I take away his toys or turn the tv off and he only gets the bk if he behaves and says sorry. My son also has a habit of playing up when we go food shopping or out for a meal. If he really starts throwing a tantrum i ignore him he soon stops because im not responding to him. I don't care what people think because every child does it. Bedtime used 2 be an issue 4 us my friend taught us a thing where we put him to bed read him a story say our good nights and leave him and if he plays up wait 2 mins got bk in tell him its bedtime leave him again if he plays up wait 5mins then go bk in not say anything and just lie him down and cover him bk over then same again after 10mins. Can't remember y she says it works so well but bedtime was cracked within 2 days. Hope this helps.
xxx

Heather - posted on 05/18/2012

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Stop holding him while he is throwing a tantrum or in time out. The BEST thing that you can do for him, is to give him choices. He is 2, after all. Tell him that he can go to bed or sit still while you read him a book before bed. Tell him he can choose to have this or that with his lunch. Let him feel some control. Let him pick from two outfits everyday to wear. Little things like that, including letting him choose what books you read to him.

Try making things fun, and making them into a game, like racing, etc. Kids love to run and race!

Also, try Ignoring the tantrums. You are reacting to them and giving him attention when he acts up. So he is getting the attention that HE wants from you when he throws these tantrums. So stop. If he throws something, then tell him, no throw, that someone could get hurt when he throws things or that he could break something when he does that, and then WALK AWAY.

Time outs aren't going to work for him. I would know, they don't work for my kids. If one Spanking on his little butt works, then go for it. If he laughs about spankings, then when he does something wrong, tell him that he is going to go in his crib for 2 minutes until the timer goes off.

Time outs are one minute for each age of the child. He is 2, he should be in time out for 2 minutes, not one.

He won't associate his bed with time outs, my daughter hasn't. She still loves her crib, and she's almost 3!

If he acts up in public, then don't react. Simply state to him that you are really sorry that he is feeling upset or frustrated, and that maybe after you get back into the car that he can have a snack, or a toy. Let him pick out a 99 cent hot wheels car or a book before he leaves. Explain to him that if he behaves, that he can pick out something special before you leave the store! This might help to distract him. Keep reminding him of his reward. Give him around 5 chances, repeating that he must be good to be able to pick out a new car or new book to take home. After a few times of doing this while shopping, then it's up to you to change the amount of chances that you give him. I give my children 3 chances when our somewhere, but only 2 chances to change their behavior for things and treats at home. It doesn't confuse them, they are almost 3 years old, and 4 1/2.

Bringing out the playpen to punish him in is fine, if you want to do that. But if he tries to climb out, then you have a whole other problem. I would try giving him choices, first, letting him feel as if he is somewhat in control of his world. If your going shopping, ask him if he wants to go to Target or Walmart first. If your taking him somewhere for lunch, give him a choice of 2 places to go! Something tells me that he may surprise you with less tantrums!

Debra - posted on 05/18/2012

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Something you might want to try (and I just learned this a couple of weeks ago and it makes sense) is trying the flower/candle method. I know as moms they say if you get stressed out, to turn away and take 10 deep breaths by breathing in through you nose and blow out through your mouth. Well with you child you have them smell the flower and then blow out the candle. It is the same affect. I have not had to try on by grandson yet, but will if he throws a temper tantrum. It is worth a try....I wish you the best.

Shanti - posted on 05/18/2012

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I had tough time with my daughter too when she was 2yrs (now 3.5yrs). My friend referred this book - The Happiest Toddler on the Block: By Harvey Karp. It is one amazing book. Once I started practicing things mentioned in it, the incidences of tantrums reduced dramatically and when there were tantrums, I was able to deal it with nicely and it would get dissipated in few mins.. I still use the principles mentioned in the book. Do check it out.. All the best :)

Elizabeth - posted on 05/18/2012

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I believe in spanking. But not in anger. You let it go to far. But it happens to the best of us. It sounds like this is not something you do often so don't beat yourself up about it to much. Just make sure he understands that you did not mean to do that in anger and you do love him. The next time he pushes you that far try to calm down then deal with him. If you have to put him in his crib, play pen, whatever to do this do it. You need to be calm so he doesn't think his tantrums are working. Me I would spank him and let him know that such behavior is not allowed. Then go on about my business as if nothing had happened. It might take a few weeks but you will see results.

Daniell - posted on 05/17/2012

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i was spanked as a child, and have grown up fine. I have spanked my children, or smacked them in the mouth for talking back and they are just fine. Don't feel bad about that. I agree with not wanting to use the crib as a punishment, if he doesn't stay still for time out (which i have tried and that never worked with my kids) I would try the playpen. do what works, your the parent, no one else has to live with your kids. but remember, if you don't do something to stop this behavior, no one else has to live with your kids. good luck!

Melissa - posted on 05/17/2012

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Ignore, ignore, ignore. He wants his way and doesn't know how to get it. He's trying to communicate with you and can't do it, which only adds to his frustration. If you respond to him, even in a negative way, he is getting something from that. So when he starts a tantrum, just ignore him. If he starts throwing things, pick him up and put him in his crib or the pack and play and tell him he can come out when he calms down. Keep an eye on him, but don't talk to him until he calms down. You don't want to make him feel bad for having a tantrum (they are scary for him too) but you want to teach him that's not the way to go either. If it's in public, just ignore too. If he starts throwing stuff, them leave the store or wherever you are and have him sit in his carseat til he settles down. This is a frustrating time, I know, but it will get better. But if it doesnt clear up by age 4( there is just a small chance of that, don't worry), you would want to talk to his doctor about it.

Karleena - posted on 05/17/2012

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after the time for both of you to come down, have you tried talking to him? Tell him in short brief explanation what he did wrong and thats why he had a time out. My oldest (who is 18 now) about 1 and half did the same thing. My mom spoiled him, so shopping he would scream and kick. I ignored him after simply saying "that's nice, let me know when you're done" It didn't take long for him to know he wouldn't get attention that way.

Rhonda - posted on 05/17/2012

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Try whispering to him. He would have to be quiet to listen to you talk. Also in stores...make a game. Like say..."see if you can found the bread me etc

MISSY - posted on 05/17/2012

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I agree putting him in his room is good if he will stay but if not completely ignore his rants. My son is three in August and that's what I do. When he doesn't calm down on the rare occasion I have taken his toys away. I've only had to do it two maybe three times but it sure works. I either do one favorite toy per bad incident or a few. Then when he's good he can earn them back. Don't feel bad about the spanking. I think all parents do it at one time or another. Being a parent is hard and we all want what's best for our kids. I think you don't know what true love is until you have kids but you also don't know about patience either,lol. Hang in there.

Kappy - posted on 05/17/2012

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I used the "1,2,3" method. So... if he is having a tantrum, I would say, "Name, laying on the floor kicking and screaming is not going to get you a lollypop (or whatever it was he wanted). It never will. You have until the count of 3 to stop, or you will get in trouble. One... two... you're sure you would rather get in trouble than just control yourself? Alright then... THREE." Administer the promised "trouble punishment."

For me, "trouble" was usually a spanking. At first, I would tell him spanking, but later, I changed it to trouble, because sometimes his behavior was not spanking-worthy. Taking away something, turning off TV, stuff like that was sometimes more appropriate for what was going on at the time. Also, as he learns to control himself a little, and the tantrums happened less often, I would offer that he go to his room to calm down if he couldn't get under control instead of the countdown. Sometimes what your kid is carrying on about really IS a big deal, but he still needs to learn to control himself.

When our in public, the "Stop that behavior right now" speech is hissed into his ear angrily and instead of saying he will be in "trouble," I explain that we will visit the LADIES ROOM. In the ladies room, they can't hear you scream. Well, they kinda can, but you give a swat in the Ladies room and you have gone somewhere private and dragged him all the way there the anticipation making him freak out all the way. I only had to use that once, but my own mom used it on me a little more often. ;)

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I've found that if it was a 'small' tantrum, I've just walked away from my girls (when in a safe location, e.g. at home), got really enthused about something else (TV programme, book etc) and let them calm down. When calmer, acknowledged my child and moved on. Quickly learnt that it wasn't worth the effort as I wasn't paying attention.

If you need to 'time out', get down to his level, explain that he has a choice - either he calms down straight away or he goes into time out to calm down. He can be timed out either on the stairs or like September Wilson suggested - a suitable playpen. When he realises that it's not worth his effort because he's not getting the attention and being punished for it hopefully it'll subside.

As for general control - make sure that you have a clear routine so that he knows what's happening next. Also reinforce boundaries and explain why he can (or can't) do something. As for sleeping - have a relaxing routine so that he unwinds. Hopefully if he can get enough sleep each night it'll help reduce his temper tantrums.

I know that it sounds strange, but it could be worth investing in a favourite toy/item that he can have to take to bed that is associated with bedtime and positive. My youngest still on occasion likes having one of her blankets that she had from when she was younger. She's allowed them, but on the understanding now that it isn't allowed to go out with us as really she's too big for a blankie, but they do have their uses. Both my youngest two have a selection of toys that they like to cuddle up to when it's bed time.

Kassandra - posted on 05/17/2012

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Thanks, Sylvia. I just read that article, and that is along the lines of what I have been doing recently. Oh, boy, does he hate the bear hug. But I use it when he's going around the room, throwing thing and knocking things over... I wasn't sure if what I was doing was the right thing or not. It's good to know that I'm trying to do something right! Thank you!

Kassandra - posted on 05/17/2012

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I have a 3 1/2 yr old, also! "No, Mommy! I can do it"... I hear that a million times a day! LOL

Katherine - posted on 05/17/2012

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Just pick his little butt up and move him lol. Every time he tries to throw or push things over. If he throws make him pick it up, even if you have to carry him over and put it in his hand and make him put it where it belongs. They kind of get a kick out of that. My daughter just turned 3, wait for that. It,s "I can do it myself!" Ugh.

Kassandra - posted on 05/17/2012

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Thank you for the encouragement, Katherine. I did start out just ignoring him, but then it just escalates and he goes around throwing things or pushing things over (that's his favorite... he'll look around to find anything that he can push). I just want some way to show him that, although I understand he's frustrated and upset, he can't just go and have tantrums whenever he wants and throw things because he's mad... *sigh* Oh the joys of parenthood!

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