My 2 1/2 year old is very defiant... I need hope.

Christina - posted on 12/04/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I have tried all forms of discipline, but nothing seems to be working and now I am a complete wrek,and starting to cry on a daily basis. I love him and cant stand having to be so negative with him all the time. I desperately look for moments to be positive but its so hard. He has a loving side, but I feel like its slowly disappearing. I need hope, will he ever grow out of this?

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Christina - posted on 12/05/2012

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Ashley,



I have not found anything that works 100% yet.... but I have a hunch that ignoring the behavior is going to work the best, as a last resort, I only say this becuase I have made all the boundaries very clear and my son knows when he is doing wrong, he just loves to get a reaction. So at this point as much as I hate to and as hard as it is, I am ignoring as much as I can within reason. When it comes to issues with defiance, like putting on shoes or big boy under wear, clothes etc. I give him to two choices... he always pushes away, but a few seconds later he will realize he has control and then come and make a choice. Its all about control for them I am realizing. I will keep you posted when I see something working the best.

Holly - posted on 12/05/2012

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mine are older now, but they were toddler's once, and only 11mo apart, so they were toddlers together.... wow..... so many times i just wanted to throw in the towel.... but i was a single mom and nobody else could take the reigns. I HATED when the kids thought it was funny to misbehave... time outs will be your best asset... put him in time out for each year of age. and stay stern... I am the strictest parent out of my family... i don't put up with anything... and my sister nags me about taking toys away and making my kids earn them back with good behavior... they are 8 & 9 now, i wouldn't suggest doing that until 3 1/2 or 4... but time outs and make sure he stays in time out for a full 2 minutes. 2 minutes seems like forever for a 2 yo... keep him SUPER busy so he has no time to misbehave.... this also helps.... bys are SUPER ACTIVE and if you don't keep them busy they will find a way.

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Ashley - posted on 12/05/2012

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i really wish i knew the answer, because my baby just turned 2 and he is the same way! i cry almost every day also. he listens to daddy sometimes, but never to me. it is so hard, especially being a SAHM, and having to deal with it 24/7. i feel you 100% on this. if you find something that works, let me know and i will do the same.

Christina - posted on 12/05/2012

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Rebekah,



Thank you for the awsome post. Yes your right "this to shall pass"...it is a matter of being consistent and maintaining clear boundaries. This phase of his started at age one, so when I say I have tried all forms of discipline we had time to try them out and get tougher as time goes by. He has days wheres he nicer, but its usually around others kids and people that hes the worst, so there seems to be triggers. I have faith that he will grow out of this, he is a super smart litte fella and needs to be kept busy. His behavior has caused me to have anxiety at night when I sleep so with that said its tough to keep up at times, but God is a restorer.



Thank you for the encouragement!

Rebekah - posted on 12/04/2012

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Have hope! It will get better. My son is now 6, but I remember those days. His tough time was 3, rather than 2, but it was rough and it did pass. Till he got to 4, and he was fantastic. 5 was pretty good too. So take heart. (6...probably shouldn't talk about 6....we've entered another phase, but we're managing!)



In the meantime, strengthen yourself to keep those boundaries and clear expectations. Enforcing the rules can be exhausting, but it is so important. If you cave and/or are inconsistent, it could potentially lengthen the defiance because he isn't getting a clear message of what is/isn't ok. Kids those age are looking for the boundary lines and they test them repeatedly to see if its the same every time. Although they may buck the system, it gives them a sense of security to know where the line is. They need it.



Be sure that you are meeting your own needs (enough sleep? enough exercise? Time with the girls? etc.) so that you can weather the storm.



You mention that you are trying "all forms of discipline..." Hopefully they are not too drastically different, otherwise you may be sending mixed messages, as I mentioned. Choose the method that most resonates with you and stick with it, even if you don't always see immediate results. The more you do it consistently, you will likely see the results. That, plus him simply growing out of it. I think its important to apply the discipline and they do learn from it, but in reflecting on that time, I think there just has to be some growing that helps get them through that stage, and unfortunately we can't rush them out of it. In the meantime, he's learning that mom has rules and what she says, she will do--that behaviors have consequences. That's real life. Personally, I used 123 Magic (Thomas Phelan), but there are other good resources too. Find what suits you best and stick with it.



If you haven't already, try to "catch him being good." Its good for both of you. It will help reinforce his good behavior (and make it happen more often), and make you more conscious of the times when he is behaving well. Hopefully you'll find its more often than you think it is.



If you are really getting disheartened, can you lean on your support system a bit? Are you with his father? Do you have close family members or friends you can blow off some steam with? It really helped me talking to other moms with toddlers. It was reassuring to know that, although it was hard, it was completely normal. And it helped me sort out if my expectations (for him or me) were realistic or not. Favorite quote of this time period... "this too shall pass."



I'm using that quote now, as we go through age 6. :)



Hang in there and stay strong!

Christina - posted on 12/04/2012

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Thanks Holly, hes a tough one to stay positive with. I try so hard, but he pushes EVERY button that he can. He thinks its funny when he is bad, and then of course I lose empathy and just have to walk away. I dont want to play cry myself and then him think that he has won. Although I cry when hes not looking. Do you have a toddler yourself?

Holly - posted on 12/04/2012

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try not being negative. try positive reinforcment and timeouts together... and just keep at it. and remember to recite this "He is only 2, he is only 2, he is only 2". 2 yo boys are killer! but they get better... remember to teach him empathy, this is the most important time to instill empathy. once he begins to see that other people have feelings, and that those feelings matter, the sweeter he will be.

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