I love my son... I really do, but he

Dawn - posted on 08/02/2010 ( 24 moms have responded )

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My son, Gannon, is 2 (as of March 19th). He's so destructive- he bites, hits, screams, jumps off the furniture, throws things, and has the worst tantrums. He doesn't behave like this all the time, but enough to make me ask for help. I realize all children are different, but none of my other children (they're 17, 16, and 9 now) were like this so I'm lost. Is this just "terrible twos" or should I be concerned?

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Deborah - posted on 08/04/2010

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Its 1 minute per year of life, so in theory he should only be there for 2 minutes. Some kids just don't respond to the naughty step, everyone is different...



Mostly this is normal behaviour but he does need to learn its not acceptable behaviour otherwise he could still be doing it in 20 years! Also time out works to give the child a chance to calm down, as opposed to it being a "naughty step" maybe you could make a chill out corner as well and when he has a tantrum he has to go there until he calms down, at which stage he can come out. If you are doing this then let him just come out on his own, even if he sits in there for 30 mins... let him come out of chill out when he's ready.



Are the tantrums linked in any way? Is there something that sets him off? Each time he has a tantrum while he's in chill out, try to work out why, what caused it, was he trying to do something he couldn't do? (like put a square into a circle) .. Was it because he didn't want to do what you told him?



Mostly tantrums are an inability to deal with the frustration of something, so we need to teach them how to cope...



Try to find out what the problem is, and after time out offer an alternative solution that your boy could have done ie "if you couldn't get the lid on you should have just asked mummy, there was no need for that carry on and you didn't achieve anything, look the lid is still off the pen" When Laura was going through this stage I taught her to take deep breaths, it doesn't always kill the temper, but it worked sometimes and when I could see her taking deep breaths I could try to her before frustration took over.



2 year olds understand a lot more than we give them credit for, and thats were a lot of the frustration comes from.



make sure when you're telling him he can't do/have something you explain WHY he can't have it, obviously he can't bite people, but its because he may hurt someone, and he wouldn't like it if someone bit him etc...

Tracy - posted on 08/05/2010

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If you check out the happiest toddler on the block by dr Harvey Karp there's a lot of great tips in there to modify behavior before it escalates and require time out. My son doesn't respond well to time out. My biggest behavior modifier for him is to "catch" him doing something good and give him lots of praise for it. That way he knows if does good he'll be rewarded. The other thing is make sure he's not hungry or tired.

Cheryl - posted on 08/04/2010

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HA HA HA HA OMG I quickly forgot what 2 was like Mine are 15, 5 and 7 months Im laughing at my self cause i know whats about to happen. Ladies listen up tieing them in a chair might seem sensible but it only works if you dont tell your friends!!!! in all serious ness my oponion dont waste ur breath ACTIONS speak to your small child I used spankings for my 5 and 15 year old Yep I said it Spankings, of course its more of a "pop" we dont jump on the couch and put them on the floor, 10 min later kids back on couch jumping, without a word "pop" we dont jump on the couch and put them down again. long talks never worked for me trying to explain WHY ITS A NO is just too hard...Your two year old doesnt even KNOW half the words ur saying.... I never pop my kids more than once in a five min period but i make the one count normally on the back of the leg, a little sting never hurt long but a trip to the ER can be several hours long

Kimberly - posted on 08/04/2010

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My daughter has her moments when she is exactly like this, and it used to be a lot worse than it is now. She is quickly approaching her 3rd birthday so I am hoping she is phasing out of it. We use timeouts where she has to sit by the front door away from everything, and I do have to put her back there a few times before she will stay, but she sits the 2-3minutes, sometimes sobbing and wailing, but I ignore it until she can leave the spot and we talk about why she was there.

I have always known since she started walking early she was a very spirited child and started looking for ways to deal with that. Always having to try something new and be on top of things, but I guess it keeps me young! He will get it, it just takes a lot of understanding and patience:) Good luck!

Deborah - posted on 08/03/2010

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I assume bye "the coner" you mean the corner of the room? Generally a naughty/bold step should be away from everyone and any entertainment, bottom step on the stairs or in a utility room or something tends to work best, the aim is temporary isolation with nothing to look at and nothing to do.. but think...

Make sure you tell him when you put there why you are putting him there, and before he gets off explain why you put him there and make sure you get an appology before he moves. I started the naughty step with Laura when she was about 18 months. And don't ever underestimate a 2 year old! they understand a lot more than we could ever give them credit for! Especially how to wind mummy and daddy up!

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Tiffany - posted on 08/08/2010

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Also, there is a good book that is simple and might could help. It's called "123 Magic". Very simple discipline method and gives the child a chance to correct bad behavior themselves. Worth a try...

Tiffany - posted on 08/08/2010

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Well, I have a child that is very much like this! He has been raised in a loving home and goes to a good daycare. But I needed help. Sometimes I think it is just a phase but sometimes it's a spirited child that needs direction. I found that we needed the most direction on how to deal with him porperly without breaking his spirit in the process. I live in Savannah GA and we have a program called babies can't wait that has helped us tremendously with him. You probably have something like this in your area and it is through the state and is based on a sliding scale, very affordable and worth the effort.

Diane - posted on 08/07/2010

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are you letting him get away with that behavior??? Just got to demand respect. I will be damned if my son acts like that and gets away with it.

Eva - posted on 08/07/2010

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The book that helped me alot was "Have A New Kid by Friday" by Kevin Leman stick to what it says and I loved the book but I bowwered it out to a friend now and she says how much it has helped for her 15 yr old hope it helps you!:)

Jessi - posted on 08/06/2010

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I would say the additional sleep and veggies should help some. Also, being consistent with time-out should help too. Unfortunately, it is some personality and terrible two's!
A couple books I found very helpful are Bringing Up Boys and Dare to Discipline, both written by Dr. James Dobson.
Good Luck!! I'm in the trenches with you with my 2.5 year old son! This too will pass!

Wendy - posted on 08/06/2010

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My 2 year old son recently pulled the entire curtain rail out of the wall while climbing up the curtain like spiderman! and broke his first window at 9 months will hitting it with his toy. We took photo's to remember these special moments (and proof so that we can possibly charge him for damages when he is older) and taped the curtain rail back with Duck tape until we think he is old enough not to destroy the new one (no point in wasting money). They are only 2 once - enjoy them. I know it is hard, but try. As a fellow mom of a highly creative and active (the positive light I am currently trying to see it in) 2 year old son, you have my deepest sympathies. (Sigh -I never seemed to have this problem with my type A personality, eager to please, daughter). This too shall pass and perhaps in our old age we will look on these moments with fondness and nostalgia.

P.S. My best friend and I can currently hold an entire 30 min conversation over the phone with 2 two years olds screaming blue murder in the background without any increase in blood pressure or stress levels. Practice makes perfect.



My advice - Hang in there, be strong. Never let them see they get to you. Remain cheerful in the face of adversity. Never give in, never give up, be firm and consistent. Power to the moms who survive and prevail against of the willful and destructive toddler. :)



Oh, and I find Omega 3+6 (fish oil) tablets help somewhat.

[deleted account]

"In the meantime, does anyone know when the terrible twos are supposed to end?"

Terrible Twos end when they are 30.

Claire - posted on 08/06/2010

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Hi there. I am sure this is just a phase as all children try to test thier limits. Have you looked at his diet, sleep patterns?....Maybe incorporate quiet time, i know it will be hard but maybe reading colouring or drawing, tell him stories of what other children behave like, emphasising the good qualities. I know that when children gain negative response from thier parents they seek attention from negative behaviour. My son went through a phase of all you are saying but in the end he was having too much sugar....i cut out the juices, spet quality time with him reading and telling him stories like 'jake helped his mummy clean his bedroom' etc. If these techniques do not work maybe your son needs behavioural therapy, schools usually tend to this. Hope this helps

Lisa - posted on 08/05/2010

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We have a 3 1/2 year old daughter and a 20 month old son. My daughter is very good and my son, while he is such a good little boy and really is a mama's boy, man can he through a temper. Little girls have nothing over this lil' mans drama!! :)

That being said, I am home with him and it's a combination of things. He wants my attention, he gets jealous when his sister has my attention, and he wants to manipulate me. Not in a mean way but it's his age and he's testing the water and pushing my buttons. I have to be firm with him.

When he throws things, he's told that we don't throw, he has to pick it up or he loses whatever it is that he threw. We've started timeouts on the bottom step. And if he's really throwing a temper, he has to go to his bed and 'work it out.' If he's jumping or climbing on furniture, he is given one warning to sit and if he doesn't listen, he gets a pop on the butt and a stern lecture.

Dora - posted on 08/05/2010

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Are you a stay at home mom or do you have to rely on child care? If you rely on child care it could be his way of trying to tell you something is wrong. If your a stay at home mom, then take a look at his diet. Foods can make a child go bonkers. Pay close attention as to when he acts out. That may give you the answer(s) you are looking for. I know everyone talk about the terrible 2's & terrible 3's but you can't always blame it on that. I have a 2yr old and am speaking from experience. Just try to be patient and look at everything.

Dawn - posted on 08/05/2010

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Thank all of you ladies so much! I really appreciate all of your suggestions.
We're going to start by modifying Gannon's eating and sleeping schedule. We've been slacking a little because of summer vacation and I'm hoping that will ease him. His schedule is a bit off compared to during the school year and if I remember correctly, the nastier tantrums started the week after school let out.
Also, we're going to have some down time in addition to nap time. I think some time to snuggle on my lap and listen to music may be good for him and us.
I think his diet is ok for the most part, but I think I'm going to add more fresh veggies to his snacks.
I guess we'll continue on placing him in time out when he misbehaves and explaining why he's there. Hopefully that will work eventually. He's a very stubborn child and also very intelligent, but I know he knows what I'm saying to him. Maybe we'll have better results by putting the other changes into effect.
In the meantime, does anyone know when the terrible twos are supposed to end? lol

User - posted on 08/04/2010

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I had that with my 15 yr old when he was that age and it turned out he has ADHD. Nothing I did would get him to stop.....Not a time out or a spanking......

Cut out processed foods and anything with RED NO. 40.... He is too young for a diagnosis.....

And it's looking like my 3 1/2 yr old may have it as well....

Just breathe and hold on tight!

Danielle - posted on 08/04/2010

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Thank you for posting this. My son is 20 months old and I am going through tantrums and his screaming over everything. I honestly don't know what to do.
My son eats healthy, sleeps very well. I am a SAHM who interacts with him a lot. I just am at a loss for words. Hang in there. Hopefully its a phase.

Dawn - posted on 08/03/2010

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Gannon's corner is at the bottom of the stairs where our coat closet is. He's away from everyone and everything and has to sit there by himself. He gets three minutes maximum when he misbehaves and maybe that's not enough time?

Dawn - posted on 08/03/2010

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Gannon has spent a lot of time in the corner and it hasn't changed his behavior in the least. He doesn't like it, but it doesn't phase him either. We don't argue with or yell at him, but we do speak to him sternly when he misbehaves. We explain why he's in the corner, but I don't know how much of what we're saying he truly understands even though we use simple terms.
We'll do the best we can if we know it's a phase that will pass. We just want to make sure it's normal. Or... well, you know what I mean.
Thank you!

PHYLLIS - posted on 08/03/2010

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I know that this may seem harsh to some for a 2 y.o. But when my little lad acted like this back in the terrible 2''s days, some1 recommended that I try the "bold step" or corner, mat ect. It took a while for him to understand what was happening but if he came off it I put him back on it and explained why he was being put there. Stay calm with him and he 2 will calm down. It took time but to this day if he misbehaves he will still stay on the bold step until this time out is up, that is usually a minute for each year. He will fight against it as first but if its a road you want to take, persevere. It does work! and it saves all the shouting and frustration for yourself.

Shannon - posted on 08/03/2010

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I think it's normal, I think it's their personalities for the most part. My son has been high strung since he was born, he's 17 mos. now and I can SOOO see him acting like this in just a few short months! Good luck, I know it's exhausting, but maybe they'll grow out of it or learn how to handle their feeling better soon! =)

Crystal - posted on 08/03/2010

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I have 3 kids.8,6,and 3. I am currently going through the same thing.My other two kids were angels compared to this one.My daughter is a brute. She throws, hits, fights,takes toys calls everyone poopy head and purposely sticks beads in her nose because she knows she's not suppose to. I am hoping this is only temperary. I try to ignore the bad stuff as long as she isn't hurting anyone. The more attention the more she does it. I would think it's terrible two's or horrible three's, but either way, I think it's pretty normal. We were just blessed the first few times!!

[deleted account]

It could be the terrible 2s. It could also be sleep deprivation. A lot of kids that act this way are actually sleep deprived. What time does he go to bed? What time does he get up? Does he get a nap and for how long? My son is a holly terror if he does not get enough sleep. He goes to bed at 6:30p and wakes up anywhere from 6a -8a. (Always got up early no matter what time he went to bed) He also usually gets about a 2 hour nap in the afternoon. If this schedule is messed up he is a bear to deal with. The book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child was a lifesaver to us. I hope things get better for you. Best wishes.

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