screaming 2 year old who wont stop

Cori - posted on 04/26/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )

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my 2 yr old continually throws fits, screaming "i dont like" crying, hitting, and biting. He has two older brothers who dont act the same way. No matter what I have done to stop the behavior he continues. We cant leave the house for fear of his fits. he ask to potty also but gets mad when you take him to the bathroom. Please help

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Bobbie - posted on 04/27/2011

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Bless your heart you have a very smart little man who is trying his best to be the boss. He is winning at the moment since you are unable to leave the house for fear of his fits. Here are the fast fixes. You won't believe how fast they work!
First and foremost don't hand over power know what the outcome will be. Such as, if he always refuses to sit in the cart yet you know he will grab something he shouldn't and refuse to let it go then you are setting yourself up for failure and handed him the control of the situation.
To prepare him for an outing tell him he will be sitting in the cart. End of subject.
1- tell him in advance how you expect him to act in public and the consequence of acting up. Which should always be "we will leave and take you home".
2 -Take him out with the mind set, both you and hubby, that he will sit in the cart at all time, He will not be permitted to whine, scream or otherwise act up. Of course he will immediately on the first and maybe even the second time you take him somewhere so be prepared to turn right back home. When he acts up the cart is parked immediately and you tell him, lets go, and you go home, period. You state to him that you left because he acted up and that each time he acts up he will be brought right back home. Once home you place him in the care of mother or father, not the same person all the time, and the other children and the parent go out again immediately to finish what you started. Sounds like work but believe me. When they know that you mean business and they aren't allowed to push all your emotional buttons in public, they quickly conform rather than be left at home. Now, he is smart and so far he has fought to master all the things he can do to make you give in. So after a few times out he may act as he once did just to see if you are still on the top of your game. If you give in and let him walk you can be sure the fit is next. Then if you stay at the store he knows he has again gained control.
Now when his fit, biting and hitting happen at home there has to be an immediate consequence, regardless of who is around, or what you are doing. When is out of control and screaming that he wants to get up you don't give him choices. There are no choices. Many moms say, "if you stop crying you can get up" or "apologize to your brother then you can play" These are choices that still keep him in control of his actions. He can choose to behave or not, it is still up to him. Rather, to put the control back where it belongs the choices are taken away. It becomes " You bit so you are going into your room. He isn't told how long, he isn't given any answers. This allows you to decide with each offense how you want to handle it. Emotionally this is the toughest times for you too and who needs to follow exact steps or setting timers at a time like that?!
No answers are given even when he screams "how long? can I come out now"? When you decide you open the door and allow him out. This gives you time as well to breath, access how bad of an infraction it was and how much time he needs to be alone in his room, or wherever he is. This is very important. When it's over it's over. You don't discuss his behavior, you drop it completely. You go back to life as it was before the fit. If he refused to sit still without talking back or screaming for 2 minutes. No time outs should be longer than a min per age, but he doesn't need to know that info. Then you have to come up with your own plan but it must be consistent and immediate with a consequence for the action. True story, my son threw a fit at two and started going ape over something he wanted.
As I looked at him without speaking and picked him up out of the cart he knew he was in trouble. As he screamed and I dragged him out of Kmart he grabbed a woman's leg and said, Help me, she's going to beat me! He screamed it again and cried out for someone to rescue him. But because I was calm and didn't react to his fit with more than an eye roll and a slow paced walk to the car, no one became alarmed or feared for him. They could truly see the only one out of control of the situation was him. My daughter was walking beside him and she too was just shaking her head to his antics.
When we got to the car I put him in his car seat and he said, I'm sorry mommy, I am really sorry mommy. Then he cried himself to sleep. When we got home I put him in his bed, coat and all and let him sleep though I knew he would be overly hot and uncomfortable. When he woke up I took his coat off and said nothing to him. He said, I am sorry mommy, I love you. I said I love you too and we hugged. The lessons learned from that one experience were many. 1)no matter what he did I was the one in control 2) he was not going to stay in public if he couldn't act correctly in public
3) forgiveness given rather than a lecture

Karen - posted on 04/27/2011

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Don't worry - you're not alone! My 2 year old is constantly having tantrums when things don't go her way...I have tried reasoning/compromising with her, ignoring her, putting her in time out but nothing seems to work until she suddenly decides she's done enough screaming,shouting, kicking etc - can last for ages especially if I ignore her.



I'm hoping it's just a phase that passes SOON!!!

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