why wont my son listen?

Corlene - posted on 01/02/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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is it really that he just wants the negative attention? hes 3 months shy of 3 and he constantly hits, kicks and screams... we recently aquired a kitten and he terroriszes her, no form of disipline is working for me and my husband. Hes with our son till 2 pm then when i get home from work he heaves and doesnt get home till midnight ( and no the behavior didnt start when the schedule changed ) hes always been this way but it seems the smarter he gets the worse it is..... any suggestions? im losing my mind lol

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Gigi - posted on 01/04/2013

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Well said Ariana!
Corlene, which form of discipline are you using and are you consistent? You said your son has always been like this and that his behaviour is getting worse which is understandable. The older they are the broader understanding they have and bigger imagination. Luckily, they also have bigger capacity to understand limits. You just need to be very consistent with him - if you let his behaviour slide, he will just learn new ways to get what he wants. He won't change his behaviour just like that, it is up to you to teach him.
I have a sort of "tiered" aproach to bad behaviour and consequences. The least serious is - Distracting strategy aka "you can't play with that, but look here, you can play with this!" (enter the appropriate toy). The middle level is Withdrawal strategy which is employed if the offence is bigger such as throwing a toy or hitting a tv (rare occurence but it does happen) - after one request to stop that (I usually add another, more positive alternative in the sentence), the toy (or tv) will be taken away (turned off) and I will nicely explain that we don't throw toys (hit tv) and that she will get them back as soon as she wants to play nicely with them. The most serious is Time-Out which is done in my daughter's bed. I barely use that one but when I do the impact seems to be huge - I just pick her up (calmly and silently) and carry her to her bed, close her bedroom door and put kitchen timer to 3-4 minutes. When I come to get her we talk and she appologizes, we share kisses and hugs and life goes on.
I mostly use only the first one, and the Time Out is done only in extreme situations.
That said, i always try to pick my battles and see do I really need to stop something.
We have a cat as well, and when my daughter was very small we started teaching her how to treat it. We showed her how to pet it gently and pointed out how the cat was happy then. We praised her every time she was gentle. I let her help me give food to it and even pick out "present" for the cat for Christmas (her idea, not mine). I think that terrorizing the cat would get her into a Time Out immediately.

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