I dont know what to do when my child acts up????

April - posted on 11/11/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 2 years old. Whenever she doesnt get her way she'll get in my face and yell and scream. I'm not sure what to do. I've been just ignoring it, but tonight I was stressed and her "dad" wasnt helpping and I was trying to get her ready for bed and she didnt want to. I didnt wanna let her stay up past 9pm cause I have to wake her up at 7 to go to daycare so I can go to work. I ended up yelling back. Her "dad" came out and told me to leave and said I dont deserve her. He isnt her biological father but hes been there for both of us. I've never been soo hurt by such simple words. I dont know what to do

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Felishia - posted on 11/13/2009

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That's never ok for her to do that and he doesnt need to be that way with you. Sit down and try to talk with him and tell him how you feel and that he needs to help you out with her even he is not her biological father he is there and that is the only father she knows. Get firm with her when she acts up try putting her in time out first and dont give in if she gets up put her back. I know you dont want to but you can try popping her sometimes that is the only thing that will get they attention and work. Good Luck!!!

Diana - posted on 11/13/2009

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I love Dr. Dobson's books, but I learn a lot from the Supernanny, too. We have a 'naughty chair' that faces the wall in our kitchen where they can been discretely observed from pretty much anywhere in the house. If one of our boys gets sent to the 'naughty chair,' they must sit with their head down and hands in their lap. And they are pretty much-they think-ignored (while we of course are very well aware of them and what they are doing). If they're screaming and crying when they sit, they have to wait to get the egg timer. I ignore them till then. When they are quiet, I give them the timer set to one minute per year of age and they can hold it till it goes off. Then they get up and come to me so we can talk about it. If they get up, try to play, start crying, etc, I take the timer away and don't give it back till they are once again sitting like they're supposed to-and it gets reset for the FULL time. My three year old is famous for acting up 30 seconds before it goes off.

When we first started implementing time-outs with our boys, we learned that it is important to be impassive. When they won't sit and constantly get up or throw themselves around and won't even let you get them in the chair, a pop in the butt and a straight face work wonders. Not talking to them except when absolutely necessary is also important during a tantrum.

When I worked in daycare, we had a teacher and an aide in each room. As the aide (and of course, not being allowed to pop kids in the butt), I often was the one sitting indian-style on the floor, holding a squirming kid in the time-out corner till they were ready to sit without getting up/fighting. So that's an option, too if you don't spank.

Tough love and pretended indifference. You may be so boiling mad you could just smash something, but you can never let them know. One of two things will happen: they'll either be scared to death of you, or two, they'll keep doing it to get a rise out of you.

The whole, "no, no, Susie. We don't do that." in a sing-song, sacharinne sweet tone crap will NOT work. Children crave love, yes. But they also crave discipline and order and security. If you're wishy-washy, the child can feel terribly insecure. And yelling back just makes you no bigger than she is to her point of view.

It's okay for them to push the rules and boundaries, as long as you keep them firm and don't drop yourself down to their level. Just keep reminding yourself that she's not trying to hurt you, she's just trying to make sure that there is a 'line' somewhere that she cannot cross.

I know more than most that it's hard not to take it personally. I'm always having to remind myself that my kids are NOT out to get me. I yell a lot, too and I'm constantly having to start over, but when I'm not lazy and inconsistent, things are much better and my kids are happier, too.

Having agreement between parents is very important, too. Get him involved and work out a system you both agree with and can follow through on. Otherwise, she'll play you off each other. Arguing parents is free entertainment for kids.

Good luck!

[deleted account]

I'm struggling with this as well, except I have 13 month old twins and they get rough with each other sometimes wrestling and playing. I put one in the pac in play to seperate them and give them a time out. It's not easy I feel like I'm a referee sometimes. Good luck!

April - posted on 11/13/2009

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I really appreciate all your suggestions. I will deffinately try the time-out. I do agree with not doing it in the bedroom also. Is 2 minutes long enough though? It seems soo short. I did have a talk with her "dad" and he wasnt sure what I wanted him to do since I didnt ask him for help. He apologized for saying I dont deserve her and said he did it out of anger. Again thank you for all your help

Noelle - posted on 11/13/2009

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Thank you Donna! It is such a relief that someone else treats time outs like our household!!
Here is what works in our household...
I strongly agree to try not to use the bedroom as a timeout area, some have found if the bedroom is considered punishment, bedtime as a whole could quickly become difficult as the child may associate sleeping in their "naughty spot" as punishment on its own. We use the hallway that joins our kitchen to garage back door, simple hallway, nothing exciting going on and within view of the kitchen. My son's timeout chair and the garbage can are the only things there. He's 2yrs old and his time outs are 2 minutes long. Right from the beginning of escalating behavior, I give 2 warnings by first trying to redirect his attention to something fun or exciting then explaining (calmly) that if the behavior isn't stopped, he will be place in time out. When time out is the next step, I place him on his chair (a small little tykes chair) kneel down in front of him and calmly explain that he will sit in time out for 2 minutes because he... (expalin what he did) and that it is not acceptable. Understand they may be crying/screaming/attempting to leave while you are explaining, but I think it is an important step to give an explanation. I then set the kitchen timer, start when he is sitting, stopping every time he gets off the chair, place him back on the chair (without saying anything) and resume when he is sitting. I do my best to regather myself during this time too, really giving us both a timeout from the situation. After the timer goes off, before releasing him from his chair, again, kneel down before him and explain the situation and that it was not acceptable. I ask if he understands and I say sorry for my behavior (likely out of frustration, my own behavior may have not been acceptable) and have him say sorry, lots of hugs and kisses, then he is released.
with that said...
I also strongly agree that you and your partner have a private conversation on supporting each other on discipline in your situation and being on the same page. My husband and I even walked through a "mach time out" after bedtime one night, it was very reassuring that when we are alone with our 2 yr old, time outs are consistent.

I wish you the best of luck!

[deleted account]

You need to take the reigns and stop the misbehaviour. Find what works for her, which means trying a few different things. Time outs, taking away a favoured toy (which can change daily if she tends to drift between toys like my son) or a smack on the bum. I've used all these things at varying times, depending on the severity of the misbehaviour. Ignoring doesn't always work, and it sounds like it's not working for you.

You may have trouble with time outs at first, because she won't know what's it about. If you use a time out, explain to her that she's been naughty and needs to sit in the naughty spot (wherever that may be, but I wouldn't suggest using her room because that should be a place of safety and comfort). My naughty spot is at the hall entrance. My son can see everything that's going on, but can't get to it. It's one minute for every year of their age, and you may have to put her back on the spot a few times before she stays. If she still doesn't stay in the spot, put her on your lap and sit there with her, but don't say anything. After the time is up, I always go over and get down to my son's level and explain exactly what he's done wrong and why it was naughty and then we have big hugs and kisses. At the moment, toy time out is working better for us. He's naughty, I take away his favourite toy. Or sometimes I bag all his toys up and take them away, if the behaviour warrants it.

Good luck with your daughter. I do think a talk with your partner is in order too. What he said was out of line and hurtful. We all get stressed and do things, like yell at our kids, at times. It's only human.

Jennifer - posted on 11/12/2009

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If there is any yelling between you and her 'dad' then that might be where she gets it. My son does the same thing, he sees the yelling when my husband and i argue and thinks thats how he can act when he is upset. Im not at all saying that the yelling needs to stop altogether because its human nature to react that way sometimes. But him telling you that you dont deserve her is an extreme thing to say no matter what and you two need to talk privately about that. when it comes to her acting up she needs to understand who the adult is and that its not ok for her to behave that way. try explaining to her what shes doing and why its wrong after a timeout.

Shelly - posted on 11/12/2009

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As hard as it is you can't let her see that her behavior is getting a reaction. If you've got time to do any reading (I know, I've barely got any) I would suggest two books by Dr Dobson: Dare to Discipline and Parenting Isn't for Cowards. They didn't teach me things I didn't know so much as they gave me confidence in what I do know. You are the Mom and "because I said so" is sometimes a valid reason. Time outs don't have to be just for kids, if yours is starting get under your skin take one for yourself. And have a private conversation with "dad" about how he can best support you through this time. Sometimes the reason men are no good at helping is because they honestly don't know what we need them to do.

User - posted on 11/12/2009

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You do deserve your daughter! Just because you got frustrated and yelled does not mean differently. Personally, I demand respect from my soon to be 3 year old and will not tolerate disrespect. If he were to get in my face that young and yell at me he would either be getting a pop on the butt or he would be in time out. He tries it, but is corrected immediately, I will not ignore disrespect. If you are not comfortable with spanking I would try time out when she disrespects you. Another thing that works with my son is taking away something that he values as punishment. She should definitely know her behavior is wrong and you will not tolerate it. But, once you begin to be consistent every time she is disrespectful and she knows Mommy means it, you will begin to see a change.

[deleted account]

Authority born of love will give you obedience out of love.
Maybe I'm just old fashioned , but nothing beats a hiding. BUT they need to know the difference between a proper hiding and just a whack on the bum. Soon , you can just ask , "Do you want a hiding ?" They'll know exactly what you're talking about and stop their bad behaviour.
Ignoring doesn't help !
If you're in a public place other people get inconvenienced because you're ignoring your misbehaving child. Sort the child out and let him / her know it's unacceptable.
Also , the child's room should be a place of safety and comfort. If your way of handling bad behaviour is time out , it should be in a neutral place where there are no distractions. Surely in his / her room all the toys are readily available ? Where's the point in that ?

Crystal - posted on 11/11/2009

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First, you deserve your daughter. I don't like to admit that I've yelled at my son quite a few times, and he's only 2. Sadly, it happens. Even the best mothers get stressed out. On your daughter acting up, well, that also happens. With my son, I just ignore him and tell him he has to talk to me like a big boy. If he hits out of anger, he gets put in his room, and put back everytime he comes out. They can only scream for so long. If she's screaming in your face, get up and walk away. Keep moving away from her. It might break your heart, and might stress you out, but she will learn she gets no attention when she acts like that. And if she gets to bed late and is tired in the morning, you tell her that's why she has to go to bed on time. She might not understand that, but she will eventually. And honestly, there really isn't too much you can really do. Being a mother you must have patience. And personally, I feel toddlers have tantrums, that's what they do, and we can't change that.

Joann - posted on 11/11/2009

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just tell her she will go in time out and sit her on the chair and when she stop yelling and scream she can get up thats what i do with my two year old boy and it works give it time you will see

Johanna - posted on 11/11/2009

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hmm thats a hard one. My son is the same way at the moment. I just send him to his room and make him stay in their. If he comes out I just keep putting him back in there & I say he can come back out in 5mins

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