Terrible twos can't be this terrible. Can they?

Tara - posted on 08/15/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My son just turned two in July and I cannot for the life of me get him to listen. He doesn't have any problem listening to others. Its just me. It starts in the morning when I go to get him out of bed. He just starts screaming at me and throwing himeself into the rails of his crib. He yells at me and hits me and spits at me when I try to punish him. A two minute time out turns into 30 minutes because he won't sit in one spot. He doesn't like me to change his diaper, when I try to feed him his food usually ends up on the floor instead of in his belly. Toys don't get put away when asked they just get thrown acrossed the room. If I give in and give him what he wants he still acts this way and at times I feel he hates me. Im not a fan of spanking and yelling. I've tried both and I feel like they are getting me nowhere. I just don't know what to do anymore. Its just me and him all day until his father gets home anywhere between five pm and ten pm. How can I get my son to relax and just listen to me?

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Keri - posted on 08/16/2011

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Refuse to indulge him. Several instances in which he gets no response from you, he will figure out it doesn't work. I'm not saying ignore him, but you need to go on as if there's not a problem. Honestly, I think time outs are stupid. All they do is make a kid sit in a corner for the designated time and then they just get right up and do what they were doing. I, and I'll wait for you to pick your jaw up off the floor, am a supporter of spanking. Once I started giving my son a quick swat on the butt (never intending to hurt) his attitude and behavior calmed after knowing there were real consequences. By the way, what does your husband do that keeps him out until 10 pm?

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Driekie - posted on 09/08/2011

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ohhhh yes my daughter also turned 2 this year, she is potty traning, with feeding well, i learned a big tip (proparbly wrong but it worked)
she has a favourite cookie those round ones with a cherry in the middle, so if she doesnt want to eat that piece of veggy, i show the cookie and promise a piece, as soon as she eats a piece of veggy i give her only a little piece of cookie and exchange a bite for a bite!! she ate all her food...

Daisy - posted on 09/08/2011

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I agree with Keri, i am going through the same thing with my soon to be two year old in 8 days and it is not fun. It never happened with my daughter now 5 because she was about to throw the biggest tantrum on the floor of a Walgreens store and i picked her up and struggled with her for a good ten minutes without putting her down and she knew i mean't business, after that never did it again. With my son it's a different thing. He will throw a tantrum for the silliest things, if he doesn't get his way, if he's upset with a toy, if we tell him off when he does something wrong. I have tried leaving him alone but he will continue until i get headaches and can't deal with it. I'm sorry if this is upsetting to some moms out there but sometimes you do have to spank your child and trust me they will survive, not seriously hitting them obviously, but a spank here and there to let them know that now they do have something to cry about as before they didn't. Unfortunately, nowadays if you spank your child in public or wherever it is considered child abuse and then you wonder why your kids end up calling child services because you hit them. If my brothers and I even did the things kids do nowadays wow let's just say it wasn't pretty and here we are decent, hard working men and me lol..we turned out fine. The problem with Gabriel is that even if i spank him, he seriously just keeps on walking like it wasn't with him lol...I try to calm him down when he gets like that and see if maybe he's not teething or he needs a diaper change or something else is wrong, if not then lately i just let him get it out of his system and usually it works. But i am still dealing with it. What i will never ever allow him to do, is do it in public. If it will embarrass me or my husband and end up being more work for us, he's in deep trouble. Anyways, that's my opinion...

Jane - posted on 08/16/2011

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First of all, do NOT give in and give him what he wants. Ever!

Instead, if he screams at you when you go to get him out of bed, tell him "I see you aren't ready now," and leave him in bed a bit longer. If he throws food on the floor say "I see you are finished," take his bib off and send him out of the kitchen.

Stay calm throughout. If you can't, then put him someplace safe and go outside and let loose out there. He needs to see that only good behavior will get him what he wants, and that even the most egregious behavior won't get your attention.

Caitlin - posted on 08/15/2011

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My daughter is almost 3 and was definately going through the same issues for a while, but she learned that I don't give in to her tantrums, and we have time out as a consequence, and if thats not working and shes haing a screaming fit or being violent, she goes into her room to calm down (there are no toys in there except her stuffed animal she takes to bed) and that seems to work well. Sometimes when she freaks out now i'll pu her in there and let her scream and scream all she wants, and occasionally go check on her (we live in a 1 floor house, so it's not hard to hear her - I can't escape the screaming). Eventually she calms down, and then she comes back out for a cuddle, but in the house, she knows that tantrums and screaming fits end with her sitting in her room alone being "ignored" and since their goal of the screaming is to get atttention and get their own way, they eventually learn that it totally backfired for them and will calm down more easily.

When she starts to get out of hand I bring her over to me and asks if she needs to go calm down in her room, and usually that stops her. I ALWAYS follow through with what I say, and many a meal has gone uneaten by her because of her temper, but she soon leanred that she doens't get any options after that until the next meal is offered, and she HATES being hungry.

Listening is hard. We've been working on this for about 8 months with her to get her this far. This IS the reason they call it the terrible twos and the good news is that it will end.. someday.. if we're lucky ;).

Oh, and a sanity tip i've devellopped for myself since i'm pretty much with my 2 24/7 as well (hubby works nights and sleeps days) is that it never hurts to put them in a "safe" place, like their rooms if YOU needa breather as well, because kids pick up on frustration very easily, and it sometimes just makes everything worse.

As for the morning behaviour in the crib, my daughter used to think I had to get up when she did. This is no longer. SHe's in a toddler bed, so I use a baby gate to confine her to her bedroom in the morning. I used to get her calling "mommy.. mommy.." over and over, but for the most part, unless it sounded distressed, I would pretty much ignore it, if she was upset, i'd make sure nothing was wrong but explain that it wasn't time to get up yet and put her back in bed (with much screaming). In the morning she knows I go in at 7:30, change the diaper and then get her breakfast ready. If she fights me changing her diaper, then I leave her in her room until she is ready for her change, and feed her little sister instead (which makes her frustrated, but she NOW knows that she doens't eat until she is changed - end of story). If she fights any part of the morning routine, she gets "left behind" in the room until she's ready for it, and usually she'll whine and pout for a few minutes now, and then call me over so I can "change the poo" and she goes off happily as ever after. I find when they know what to expect it REALLY helps them stay in control. I find our worst days are when something isn't on schedule or we have a vistor or are late for lunch or whatever, because it confuses them. They are creatures of habit after all.

Julie - posted on 08/15/2011

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Routine, routine, routine. I am a firm believer in it. If he knows what to expect then it will be easier for him to rap his mind around it. When it's time to pick up toys (same time everyday, before lunch and dinner around here), help him...he is only two...and make it fun! Make it a race and show how fast and easy it is if you just do it! If he doesn't help o well, I bet he will the next day if you don't make a big deal out of it.



Meal time at my house is simple. You eat the food I put in front of you...or you don't. If he throws it on the floor, the a simple "Ok, I see your all done!" is good. Wash him up and put the food away. Nothing else gets offered until snack/meal time.



He is two and you are the mom. A few days/weeks of natural consequences and he will figure out what is expected of him.



3 is even more fun! Just a forewarning! :)

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