behavior issues!?

Becky - posted on 03/31/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My son, just turned 2 and is very mean to everyone. He will hit, kick, bite, push, or throw something at other children for no reason or because he dosen't get his way. He shows no empathy towards them and thinks it's funny when they cry or get hurt. I want to get this under control before school starts so that he's not a problem child. I feel like I have tried everything and willing to try more. i have done time-outs, spanked, confined, and soap in the mouth (for biteing). I am at a loss, and don't know what else to do, he is a bully and it upsets me that he acts this way. He has a older sister who is 5 and loves him very much and trys really hard to be nice to him untill he hurts her, and he also has a new brother who is 2 months, who can't be on the floor without someone being right there if my 2 yr old is in the room because he has tried to tip him out of his bouncy and carseat. this is not something that has started since the baby has be born but has gone on for about a yr.any and all suggestions are welcome.

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Kylie - posted on 03/31/2010

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Hi, I know you're trying the hardest you can so hang in there. I found with my boy when he was two and throwing the biggest tantrums that completely ignoring him was the best way. They crave your attention and that hurts the most when it is taken away.
I would make up that naughty corner/chair/spot with no eye catching or stimulating stuff, pics, toys etc. then when he does anything that's naughty you tell him simply 'that's not allowed', take him to the spot and walk away. If he stays there and screams you leave him for a minute after he has calmed down. If he gets off, take him back-silently- and walk away. It's tiring and heart breaking to hear them absolutely scream, but it really doesn't take long (1-2 weeks MAX) for them to realise that you're not giving in. It really does work that quickly once you stick to it. everyone else who takes care of him has to follow the same strategy though or it will not work.
One thing to mention is that my son decided to bang his head against the nearest thing he could when I started this and so I had to find a whole room as the naughty room and placed him in the middle, it stopped soon enough. As long as I could see him and know that he wasn't REALLY hurting himself he was fine.
I was told by a healthcare nurse that at age 2, explaining what they did and going on with a long lecture doesn't work, they get confused and really only remember you saying you're bad, they forget why (i was doing this!) so the simple phrase, that's not allowed, seems to be the best option.
My son hasn't chucked a tantrum for years and when he's told no or has done something wrong, he usually walks himself to his bedroom and cries it out until he's calm, without me telling him to!-it's really quite cute and funny, he's almost 5 now.
I feel like I've rambled but I hope this helps and good luck with watever you try :)

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Becky - posted on 03/31/2010

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this does get worse after punishment, while i am there or not. i thought it was a jealousy issue at first so we have daily mommy dates before bed where we just sit and play or i read a book so he gets extra time with me. i work full time so even this has gotten harder to do, but i make a point to spend at least 10 minutes of alone time with him, and nothing has changed in his behavior.

Judy - posted on 03/31/2010

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Does he do it even when you aren't around? If he is or even if he isn't, it could be his way of testing the water so to speak to see how far he can push you before something happens. Does the behavior get better after a punishment? If it gets a little better right off hand, then it is probably to see which buttons do what. My daughter was the same way (minus the biting part) but once I realized (through the help of some other moms) that she was just seeing how far she could get with which attitude problem and I was consistant with the punishments, it died down. The only other thing (if not anything I rambled about:)) would be to talk to his doctor. They are there to help. Hope this helps.

Barbara - posted on 03/31/2010

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My daughter is almost 3yrs old and she would do almost the samething to other children as well...This is why we have not had another child yet. But from my experience the hitting,kicking,pushing and throwing things is just his way of getting attention and he is the middle child and probably since there are 2 other's he might feel as if he's not getting that attention. There's no right or wrong way of him doing all of these, but what i have learned with my daughter is when she acts like this i do the time out for 15min and walk away and no toys or anything around...and if she continues then she has to lay in her bed and no getting out till she apologizes. They do say boys are different...but it worked for me and all i can do is give you my advice...But also if he does a positive thing then reward him for a little bit with a new book or car or something that way he knows being good is better then being bad...i hope it helps....

Brandice - posted on 03/31/2010

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Have you tried talking to your Pediatrician about it? I have a 5 yr old and she was out of control crazy and after talking to my ped. they recommended an awesome family therapist that helped both of us tremendously. Your ped. might recommend something else, but I would definitely talk to them.

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