New toddler behavior - help on correcting it

Karen - posted on 02/17/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My son is now 20 months old. When he was younger, he was very good about giving me objects he wasn't supposed to have. If he took, for example, a marker, I would tell Him no and ask nicely to give it to me and he would happily do so, however if I just took it from him, he would throw a fit. I found that understandable because he was taught not to rudely take things from people. Lately, this has not been the case. His older half sister continuously takes toys from him and took advantage of him easily offering items up. She would do this until he finally would get fed up an hour later and get frustrated about it. Now he is not willing to offer up something he knows will be taken from him and has tantrums about it while trying to hide and guard what he has. As soon as I ask nicely for it he takes off. It doesn't help that his father yells at him immediately forcibly takes it away. Now I'm at a loss as how to fix his defensive behavior. His father thinks it can be disciplined out of him but my son gets very upset if you simply use a negative tone. I just want to get him back to how he was before. Any ideas?

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DIANE - posted on 03/20/2013

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It sounds like there is a communication problem with the parents. You need to be on the same page discipline wise. It is not right for the half sister to take things from her brother, regardless. The fact that she is not your daughter is irrellivant, your house, your rules. I am not saying you have to get on to her all the time, but set some healthy boundries and allow them both to learn to share. My son is 2 and my step daughter is 8. She has a lot less rules to live by at her mother's house, but she knows, and has known the difference for a while. The reason he is retaliating is becuase he feels that it is his only way of defence. You and his father should talk about how the situtation was before his behavior changed and why it changes. Stick with the calm and asking nicely and you will get him back. They do feed off our emotions so if we are upset and angry, they will be too.

Karen - posted on 02/18/2013

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That is the problem. She is not my daughter and has a lot less rules to live by. She is able to do whatever she wants and they told me I tell her no too much. They don't want her to associate playing with her little brother with getting in trouble and think I am too hard because she is only 4, almost 5.

Gigi - posted on 02/18/2013

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The quetion is why is his older sister allowed to take toys from him? Kids don;t like double standards, so I would start there. If he is not allowed to take toys, neither is she. Make clear lines for both of them and see how it goes.

Sue - posted on 02/17/2013

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i have a three year old, we use a lot of positive reinforcement when she is behaving, and time outs and even talking to for negative behavior. there are days she seems to spend in time out constantly, but we have a child whom everyone loves to watch because she is so sweet, polite and well behaved. of course she has her days since she is only 3, but this age it takes consistency and LOTS and LOTS of patience :) but he must learn to listen to you at this age, especially when having objects he should not, we have taught our daughter from a young age there are certain toys she doesn't have to share, but other things she must, maybe start the positive reinforcement by taking him out to get a new toy and let him know he does not have to share certain toys, but anything else if mommy or daddy asks for it he must listen, good luck, i know it's not going to be easy :( but it will be worth it, remember to reward when he does listen, get some stickers or little toys, or some type of small treat

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