What to do with an 2 yr old who doesn't listen to his mother?

User - posted on 04/01/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )




I'm constantly having to call my son's name every time he has done something that he shouldn't be doing. And I have many times repeatly said no, and has given him warnings. He would said no right back and he would NOT LISTEN...as he would contiune to do whatever it is that is making me mad. I'm really starting to lose my patience with him as starting to lose my temper. I have no idea what else I could do with him as I've given him spankings, tap his mouth, slapped his hand, and I honestly do not want to do it anymore as I could be hurting him. He won't listen to me....and when I tried to give him attention and love, i get pushed away and he would whine for no reasons, or when I said no or even whine while I was talking to him. DRIVE ME NUTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I got to the point tonight after I snugged with him in bed, which he cried because he's going to bed, and I have spoke to him on what's tomorrow is going to be, he was making his noise, I have tried few more times, and he does it again. I just had it and literally grabbed the DVD player out of his room and I said to him, " I'm glad I'm taking you away tomorrow!" and walked out. AS I said that, I felt ashamed for that it just came right out of my mouth. ( I was talking about dropping him off at daycare for the day.)

We have a 2 month of baby in the household as well, and so I'm also feeling that he may also be jealous because mom is giving the baby more attention, but yet, when I give my 2 yr old attention, it's a slap in the face. I have given him timeouts, i have taken his toys(not that he really cares about it.) and yet, I'm still feeling quite upset about this and I just don't know what to do.


Mary Renee - posted on 04/25/2012




I agree with some of the other posters. Stop the spanking and mouth tapping, all that is going to teach him is one of two things a.) to hit and tap when someone doesn't do what he wants and b.) it's ok to misbehave as long as I don't get caught.

What I recommend is this. Schedule pockets of time through out the day, maybe ten minutes at 10am, ten minutes at 2pm, ten minutes after dinner, where it is your special time to pay attention to him and play with him only. Make this a priority that you follow through with every day. There is a theory called the "Soggy Potato" Chip theory on toddlers. To a toddler, a soggy potato chip is better than no potato chip at all, and in that vein, negative attention is better than no attention at all. Give him that time (it's better to do short burst through out the day because they have short attention spans) to play whatever game her wants and praise him through out the day.

Catch him being good. Even if he misbehaves, praise him every time he does something good, whether it's as small as picking something up that you dropped, thank him for helping you, thank him for being quiet while the baby is sleeping, praise him for anything. The best way to stop BAD behavior is to give incentives for good behavior. Also, you will feel better about yourself if you're building your child up with praise than tearing him down with "I'm glad I'm taking you away tomorrow," comments.

Also, when he really IS misbehaving, I would set up a time-out. My daughter (she'll be 2 in May) has a time out chair that we've used since she was around 18 months. She knows what "Time-Out" means. Always give them a warning unless the behavior is physically harmful (like hitting the baby doesn't need a warning, or trying to open a hot oven). But for behavior that's not dangerous, like pressing keys on the computer, you can say

"If you touch Mama's computer again, then time-out" (Keep it SHORT and use SIMPLE words so your toddler can understand and focus). Always follow through with a time-out threat or else it will be useless.

If they touch the computer again, say "Alright. Time Out" Pick them up and take them to time out (my daughter actually goes to her time-out chair on her own now) and have them sit down a minute for each year (at 20 months, I think 2 minutes is close enough). When you sit them down, repeat what they did wrong and that it's unacceptable, but keep it short and simple!

"You touch Mama's Computer. No. Don't touch. Now Time Out." or "You bit Mama. No biting. Time-out" and then leave. Go where you can keep an eye on him but where you aren't necessarily in the same room and interacting. Go back after two minutes. I say "Say you're sorry and give Mama and hug" (she does) and then time-out is over. Some people say don't make them say they're sorry. But I like it. And then drop it up and don't dwell on them. Give them a chance to behave well afterward and praise them for it so they know they can redeem themselves. A child who believes he can redeem himself will behave much better than a child who thinks "I'm just going to get in trouble again so who care, might as well be bad anyway"

I use time-outs consistently (but only for major infractions) even if we're in the grocery store. If she bites me in the grocery store I just stake out a place for her two sit and do the same thing.

I also use "1...2...3" and if I get to three (which I RARELY get to anymore ever) I go and pick her up or physically remove her from the infraction. All these things give the child a chance to be "good" and a chance for you to praise them and will lead to a better behaved child than spanking or mouth tapping.

Jenna - posted on 04/02/2012




HOLD ON! it does get better. Parenting is never easy (and not always fun, either), but it does get easier. If you have a new baby, he might feel left out and nothing you can do will fix it. It will get easier over time though.

When I had my second (20 months ago), I had to stay in hospital for 3 weeks due to complications. My then-4 year old daughter didn't handle it well. She got shunted around the relatives for 3 weeks, and then I had such a long recovery time. She told me when she was about 5 1/2 "I hated you for having Cooper, you weren't my mummy any more and you weren't any fun".

My advice would be to try and understand that no matter what you do, you can't win with him at the moment. I would guess he's doing it to get attention, because when he misbehaves he gets attention. The best thing my daughter's teacher does at school is distraction - when he's doing something he shouldn't, try distracting him with something else... "Hey bub, come and watch a movie with me... how about Toy Story? Come read a book with me, or would you like a grape? Banana?" Distraction often works well with young ones. Good luck xxx


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Jeorge - posted on 04/26/2012




My ex and I both did something amazing with out knowing it. We didn't use the word NO. I have three kids Twins(5) and a daughter(3) so I had plenty of chances. What I found my self doing was explaining to them why we didn't do that. I would say "Be gentle with your brother we love him and don't want to hurt him. Baby that is hot and can hurt you very bad so we are going to stay away"
Something else that helps at that age is to give them some control over things you don't care about. I had a drawer full of shirts they could pick from to wear. It gave them some control over there little world. You could have him help you with the baby getting the babies blanket or toy. Make him feel like he is a big boy and a good big brother. He's just testing that you still love him even though you have a new baby.
Don't feel bad for yelling just let him know you love him. My kids make fun of me and say"Mama are we driving you up the wall?" That's how many times I've said it to them it's a joke now
It gets better hang in there

User - posted on 04/25/2012




Thank you guys!! There are some really good suggestions of what I could do with him. I really appreciate the comments. And I hope that the whole praise him for his good behaviour would help him out and myself as well. And I would defiantly try the whole Schedule pockets of time throughout the day and praise him as I go along with him. Thank you so much.

Ruth - posted on 04/25/2012




Try to notice when he is doing something good or helpful, and praise him specifically. Even if he is just playing quietly with his toys...you can say something like "I love how you are playing with your toys so nicely!" and give him a little kiss or cuddle. I also have a 2 year old son and I think it comes naturally to always notice the challenging behavior they tend to show, but noticing and reinforcing them for good behavior will eventually go a long way! Also, I would suggest including him in caring for your new baby. Ask him to get you a diaper when you are changing the baby...etc. Praise him when he does things like this too. Still set limits when he is challenging you, but make them realistic. Sometime distraction is all that is needed, or simply making something unavailable. Try to ignore his whining. I know this is very hard because my son also whines, and it drives me crazy, but we must remember old they are, and that this is typical for this age.

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