How do I unspoil my child after a year with grandparents?

Melissa - posted on 06/08/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I am active duty Military, which forced me to be away from my son for a year during which time my parents have created a monster. My son is now 2, he screams when he doesn't get his way, wants to be chased when you call him (diaper changes, getting dressed, etc), throws things, hits and kicks, and has to sleep with a t.v. on. Help! I love my parents for they're help,but I need advice. Thx in advance.

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Bethanie - posted on 06/08/2010

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I agree with Claire but just as important, the grandparents need to understand and implement these changes. You know you'll probably be deployed again (I hope not soon) and if you fix these things and then they just go back to their old ways...you're back to square one.

Claire - posted on 06/08/2010

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Sounds like you need to lay down the law -- and fast! As hard as it will be with a two year old, sit him down and explain that everyone loves him, but Mommy is the boss and there are polite, respectful ways to do things.
Start with the easy one. Tell him it's time to "trade" the TV at night for a nightlight (of his choosing) and a soft music CD. He will probably be quite proud of himself for selecting his own nightlight.

The diaper changes...in our house for tantrums during diaper changes, I keep my socked or bare feet on my kids' elbows to keep them flat on the floor. Yes, it's a firm way of doing things, but it is not harmful --I'm not pressing, just keeping my toes and the balls of my feet there -- and it works. Now it only happens about once a month when they're REALLY wound up.
Screaming, throwing, hitting, kicking...those are more of a "No, that's not how we do things in our house. Time out in chair/corner for XXX Minutes (we do one minute for each year he is old)." I've found it to be more effective to set the oven timer to beep so that there is a definite end to the time out, not just when I'm calmed down, too.

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