Help! My two year old is out of control!!!!

Jennifer - posted on 12/29/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )




My daughter Molly is 10 months younger than her three year old brother. Aidan was a challenge at two and had tantrums and such.
Molly is having me throw my hands up in the air...
Any and all suggestions would be helpful.
Molly tries to break things intentionally. She doesn't care if she goes to time out 17 times in a row. She constantly the moment you turn your back grabs anything and all things that are off limit. If we go out to say story time (which we did today) she clears books, screams until we have to leave.
I try and interest her in painting, drawing, reading, cooking (play and real.) She has no interest in TV and is driving me insane lately.
I have tried NO time outs and positive reinforcements. That hasn't changed anythng.
I don't believe in hitting kids, but Molly will bite my son and kick and hit me. I have spanked her on occasion.
I am desperate to have her interested in something....I am desperate to make a deeper connection with my only little girl.
Maybe I had an exceptional two year old the first time round, maybe this is a phase but I need some feedback pls.
Thanks for reading


Tracy - posted on 01/06/2011




I feel for you and the frustration. I have 3 kids, and while my 2 year old is the little angel my oldest son is now 6 had me where you are now.
My older son is very strong willed and high energy. I have noted that it is not the surgary foods/drinks that effect his behavior but as his sugar level gets low he starts to really act out. I have also noticed that sugar substitues like Nutrasweet and Splenda make him mean. He is normally a good natured loving child that if left undirected his lack of self control and high energy gets him into big trouble. I was refered to a book which I am working my way thru but have noticed my toddler responding to the exercises. The title is "Parenting the Strong Willed Child" it is for parents with children 2-6 years old and has a 5 week program with exercises that are comon sence and build on eachother. I would recomend this book, and it should be easily found since the new edition came out last year.

Each child is very different and each child will respond differently to certain consequences. My daughter, my oldest, is 8 and all I have ever had to do with her is raise my voice or in the extreem send her to her room. My youngest it is all about redirection. My oldest boy, it takes it all, he responds best to time-out if I can get him to sit still. My biggest challenge with him is he has no fear of consequences and he is incessant. He wears me down, he knows what he wants and will keep trying the boundries until they break just by his sheer force of will.

With your child I would first look at diet and is it attention seeking. See if some special regular one on one mommy time with Molly, away from the house (ie the park) where you are not distracted by other family members, phone or housework. See what she wants to do and do it with her (no direction, no questions) just enjoy being together ** and laugh well and much ** It was some of the best advise my husband and I received about child rearing from our pastor and his wife that will carry thru life in tearms of your relationship with your child. It will also give you an insight if something else is bothering her, children are amazingly perseptive but don't always show thier stress in ways we understand. And she may give you clues to what she is interested in. She may need something more physical such as climbing, slides. Try rolling in the grass, kicking balls, nature walks. My son (2) is always distraced by birds, it was one of his first words. Play is best if not structured at this age, it is a time of exploring. It is also the time of pushing boundries. With my oldest son I have just had to put locks on things and pack things away till he is older. I like that there is less clutter and I don't have to worry about chipped crystal.

Use your resourses, such as this site, older moms that have been there, your pastor, pediatrician....

I will leave you with something my daughter (8) said just a few months ago that broke my heart but woke me up. "Mommy, why don't you laugh like that with us, anymore." We were just riding in the car and it was nothing but a good belly laugh and it was all that I needed to make my kids happy.

Laura - posted on 01/04/2011




Right at this moment, he has been sent to his room to play alone.... I've cried, screamed and cuddled him this morning but the bit that really gets my goat up is the not listening... As you described its when u know full well he understands and hears you, but completely does what he likes.... AHHHHH not resulted yet to smacking, just giving us both time outs.... I think or put it down to me being a play toy... his favourite... But yes anyone any ideas please help!!!!


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Shelbie - posted on 10/15/2013




I have all the same problems you other ladies are having I am ats loss she screams hits bites pinches throws stuff she is an only child and me a stay at home mom. I dont even have a clue whst else to do with the behavior I have tried time out she wont stay still I have to stand behind her spanking postive reinforcement HELP and doctor just says she looks like an angel she couldnt be thst out of hand

Sunrise - posted on 01/29/2011




It's tough to discipline when you feel like your beating your head on a wall because it doesn't seem to be working. Refresh yourself on the super nanny style and be consistent and persistent. The same actions should always lead to the same consequences. You might also contact a local headstart/ preschool and see if they can have her evaluated from both learning and physical problems. Sometimes something like an inner ear problem can cause a child to lash out in any way possible. They don't understand how to get you to see they are in pain or something is wrong. For example I had a relative who's son was a little terror and uncontrollable. After testing and evaluating him for everything they finally figured out he had overly sensitive ears and the littlest sounds were amplified to the extreme for him. Poor kid was in pain every time someone spoke to him or the TV was on. They put in a hearing air that toned down the noise and he's been fine since... not to say he's been perfect, he's still a little boy but he's vastly improved.

Julia - posted on 01/27/2011




Something I used to do when my kids were out of control is hold them tightly on my lap, completely restrained, and talk or sing to them gently. If possible, cross your legs over hers, hold her arms with one hand, and if necessary, use the other to hold her head against your chest, to prevent her from biting or throwing her head around, giving you a fat lip. It sounds kind of horrible and she'll likely scream and fight, but it can often calm an overstimulated child to sleep in relatively little time. Make sure you do not get angry. I know she's little, but any time you show anger apologize to her when it's over. You are the grown-up, after all.
Diet is a good idea. If she is not responsive with anyone, you might want to talk to the pediatrician and see if you can get her tested for hearing or learning issues. She might have a lot going on that she can't tell you about.

Lisa - posted on 01/13/2011




I largely agree with what Tracy said. We have strong willed children, these two year olds who don't seem phased by any type of corrective action. What they seem to love the most is the REACTION we are giving them. For example, my son insists on taking our cell phones off of the end table, playing with the phone (usually calling someone) and when we demand the phone back, he runs... then he throws it far out of our reach, then we retrieve the phone, go back to discipline him and he hides under the coffee table. He enjoys us chasing him around. He enjoys seeing us flustered. We have multiple time out spots and we move him from spot to spot until he cries... it's how we know he gets it.

It really does seem like she is starving for attention. From you and from her brother. It also sounds like a lot of "tired and overstimulated" behavior. Maybe she needs more sleep than she is getting or needs more quiet time than she has. I'm not a fan of using bedtime as a punishment, but calmly placing her in her bed when she is out of control might calm her down. Explain to her that she is out of control, she's not acting appropriately and that if it's because she's tired, she should lay down until she can act properly.

I hear the same things that others do, about how well behaved and pleasant he is, but those people have him for a few hours and, frankly, have nothing else to do than pay attention to him every moment. I will admit that my son is the most destructive when I'm trying to get something done at home. It's not a coincidence. He wants me to pay all of my attention to him every moment we are together. Some things I've tried, with some success (even if only for a few hours) was to snuggle with the TV on or off, depending on what gets him to sit still in my lap for a few minutes, then turn the tv off and play a chase game or soccer game with him around the living room, move to a sit down game and then ask him to help me get whatever housework done I'm trying to accomplish. He'll usually either help me, or decide he wants to be by himself. But, he's less inclined to try to get my attention if he feels like it's his choice on what to do. They know when we're distracted, they know when we're only phoning it in and that's when they strike. It's important to be all in if you want the tactics to work. I, for one, will admit that sometimes I'm not and that's something I need to work on.

I know it can't be easy, especially with two kids, but you can only do what you can, when you can, with what you have.

Shannon - posted on 01/03/2011



0 & Laura have both described my son. I can't wait to see the responses you get. My 2 year old son does the SAME THING! He can go into time out 20 times & it doesn't change a thing. Infact, he got to the point where he would pull out the time out chair & sit himself in it! I know he understands what I am telling him so I don't think it's a communication thing. He throws temper tantrums anywhere and everywhere. He doesn't get embarassed about it. He has started to scream "NO" at me constantly when I tell him something he doesn't want to hear. Even as little as "get me your juice cup". He beats his sister (6 years old) up. Bites her, hits her. I have tried the positive reinforcement with no luck. I have resorted to spanking as well (although I HATE it). But even that doesn't work. As he gets spanked he still is acting up. I have run out of ideas. But, like Laura described, he is absolutely PERFECT for anybody else. He started day care in October and has been great for them. The attitude started before day care, so i can't even relate it to being away from me. I was a stay at home mom from the day he was born until September when I started school. Even with Dad he is awesome. Or with Grandma. Not a peep or whine or cry or anything. But the second he see's me he is a little terror. Cries for everything, whines, screams & talks back constantly. & has just started to where he will smack or kick me. Just because I'm there. I don't know what to do with him. Please let me know if you get any good advice!!

Laura - posted on 12/29/2010




Feel for you hun... there are days i feel the same, but your sounding like this is every day.. Have you tired speaking to HV ?? Looking at the foods she is eating? taking he to a Soft play session to release energy? How much time do you and her get alone? Currently my son the same age is horrid when i am about with other people as he struggles for my attention constantly, but get remarks of praise when he is left with anyone and i'm not there, as far as my husband as well. We have taken to me not being involed in bath and bed at the moment as if we are both there he becomes a nightmare. Husband constantly remarks how lovely he is till i walk in then the whining, crying and naughty behaviour starts. Is this the same? Do you leave her with anyone else?

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