"Terrible Two" how do you cope?

Lacey - posted on 01/15/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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My son has been gradually been getting worse and worse on the fits and the temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way. He will throw things, throw himself to the floor, you name it this kid has done it.. Now he has been learning that he can climb on things! He puts this farm that he has up to something and uses it as a stepping stool to reach what it is he wants. Now he has never seen anything like done before so he figured it out all on his own. He has been a naughty little thing since about 1 years old, not as bad as it is now, but still, bad enough. Can you give me some tips on how to control those tantrums, and how to easily and effectively let him know that it is NOT okay to do those things?

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Lauren - posted on 01/16/2010

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in moments of pure desperation and not knowing anything else to try I have thrown myself on the floor and mimicked my son, thrashing around, screaming, and it actually worked, after about 30 seconds I looked up and he was just looking at me like I was insane. The other things I have done is immediate distraction like earlier posted, or I actually have ran away from him and ignored him......if he has nobody to put on a show for then it's not much fun! He's 2 1/2 now and pretty good with the tantrums, goodluck!

Gina - posted on 01/18/2010

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I found that giving them choices in everything, helps calm to furry and increase self dependency. In getting ready in the morning, I show him two shirts and say which one would you like to wear today? For breakfast, I show him two options, in letting him believe he is in control, helps alot. I also acknowledge his feelings, like "it is alright to be upset, I would be upset too if I had to leave the park, but now we are going to go home to have dinner, and we will come back tomorrow so you can play"

Tiffany - posted on 01/17/2010

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I do not like spanking my son, so we have taught him time out. where he has to stick his nose is a corner or a circle on the wall...he hates this because he can't do anything or 2 minutes. I give him a warning first..For instance, my son know how to climb onto my counter. He uses the stove to climb on and the pulls himself right up!!! He is doing it because he wants something up there. he isnt able to say to much yet, but he understand me. I ask him, "Sean do you want to go to time out" he usually says "no" and then i get him down. I tell him big boys dont climb on things. if you want something use your words. then I try to figure out what itis that he wants... Trust me I understand terrible two's, Sean loves the word "NO" and he sticks to it!!! He climbs on anything and everything. He can opoen any door, he can unlock our front door and walk right out! It is crazy, but it is just a phase. So i do not think spanking is a good thing for the solution yet because I think it makes them worse... so good luck and remember to breathe!!!

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Jennifer - posted on 01/24/2010

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My daughter used to have tantrums and what I found worked best first was to just hold her and calm her down. She would kick & scream, but I would just tell her in a calm voice to calm down and stop crying. Once the crying slowed down I would tell her that she can not do that. I would explain that that was silly behavior and that she had to sit in time out (on her bed in her room) to think about this. She would continue to cry in time out, but would stay there. I would leave her there a few minutes and then go and talk with her about her behavior. Then I would model the appropriate way for her to deal with her frustration. Now, the fits have (for the most part) stopped and she is more verbal with her feelings. Ex. She has a twin brother, and when he does something to bother her she'll tell him "Stop! I don't like that" instead of having a meltdown. Then if he doesn't then he has to deal with the consequences. All kids are different, though, and you just have to find what works for you! Hang in there and be consistent with whatever you try.

Mama Ka Likha - posted on 01/24/2010

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Donyele,I'll try that to,but I doubt if that will work for me as he will just laugh @ me.

Donyele - posted on 01/21/2010

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I personally think the best way to deal with it is to put your son in his bed and make him stay there or sit it time out for a few minutes then have a stern talk with him. I know it sounds kind of crazy since he is so small, but I used to have that problem with my daughter and I would sit her in time out or make her sit on her bed until she was done, then we would talk about it. It seemed to work for me, also I would take away some of her favorite toys that she liked to play with. Also I know a lot of moms might disagree but sometimes a good old fashioned spanking is what a child needs.

Maxine - posted on 01/20/2010

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My son started doing the same. I used to get upset about it but I am learning ways to calm him without getting too upset myself and losing patience. I watched an episode of "Super Nanny" with my Grandma one night and she was helping the parents with an outrageously wild child (he was even abusive). One thing that she mentioned was getting down to their level (on your knees) and get their attention first. I now kneel down and ask my son to look at me so I know he is paying attention. I ask him what it is he is throwing a fit for, and if he wants something he's not allowed to have I calmly explain why he can't have it and let him know what he can have instead. Diversion is the best tool. I use time out but only for a minute at a time, after one minute I ask if he can tell me what he did wrong. If he laughs then he gets another minute, it normally only takes two minutes for him to tell me what was wrong and apologize.
I have seen a dramatic difference in his tantrums since I started implementing the idea of "going down to his level". It's hard to remember to do all the time and I still have to walk away sometimes just so I don't explode.
Sorry this is so long, but I hope it's useful. Good Luck!

Julie - posted on 01/20/2010

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I am going through the same thing with my 23 month old daughter. I also have a 7week old daughter which is the reason for her acting out.

I have read most of the posts and I just have to add that I think it really depends on the child and yourself and what you feel most comfortable with. I think that you can't reason with a toddler, and that the only thing you can do is get a routine with something and eventually it will stick.

I know my daughter doesn't truly understand why I put her in time out, but she is starting to learn that if she does something like touch the computer when i keep asking her not to, she knows she will have to sit. It is the consistency that matters.

Our biggest problem right now is the wining. I have been working with her by telling her to use a big girl voice and I ignore her when she doesn't. It is working well.

Mary - posted on 01/19/2010

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My son is 2 and hasn't grasped the time out thing. You have to take control of the situation let him know you mean what you say. If he throws a tantrum just walk away. Once he sees your not giving him attention he will stop. When he throws things rub his arms (his triceps) up and down cause you are still working those muscles and it calms them down. these actually work.

Michaela - posted on 01/19/2010

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First off do not underestimate your children they are very smart they can put two and two together. They know more than we give them credit for. At this point they are testing the limits. What will mommy and daddy let me do and if they don't let me do it what will work to make them let me do it.



You need to be firm, consistant and you need to have different levels of punishment.



We tryed every thing with one of our children to get them to behave we did time out we spanked. They only thing that worked was taking his toys away.



Each child is different. You have to find out what works as punishment for them. One of ours one swat on the but and told not to do it again and he didn't.



My youngest who is 2 throughs temper tantrums I just walk away and say good bye and that is usually the end of it. I hope this helps.

Lynsey - posted on 01/19/2010

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My little boy is a complete nightmare! especially since my daughter was born. The health visitor told me to use the time out remedy, but its not working yet. Just gotta keep at it for a while. Good Luck.

Stefanie - posted on 01/18/2010

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I swear, my first child knew when his second birthday was and just tried to become terrible. It did not help that we had a 2 month old, but he was fine until the week of his birthday. And then anything and everything set him off into a screaming trantrum. I found myself walking on eggshells around the house. After about 4 days I just started taking him to his room, putting him in his bed and telling him he could come out when he stopped crying. There were times it took 45 minutes of him coming out, and being put back in his room before he stopped. But after 2 days of being very consistient it stopped and has never started again (that was 14 months ago).

Janelle - posted on 01/18/2010

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oh and yes yes lots of choices!!! (but not all at once lol) We all love choices, have a say in what goes on, thats invaluable stuff.

Janelle - posted on 01/18/2010

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Ohh I went through this with my son too I remember well lol - he is now 11yrs. I've had two girls since which they have all been a challenge in their own ways. I remember he used to absolutely bounce off the walls at home, and cause havok and I used to have to get him outside as much as I could (we lived in nz then - it rained ALOT) I would take his farm thing away and anything else that enables him to do what he's not supposed to and hopefully reduce his tantrums a little =) My boy was a monkey usedto climb on everything, I would simply take him off, tell him that he is not supposed to be climbing up there he might fall and find out what he was after, if he couldn't have it I would tell him so and why. If it was something he could have, I would tellhim next time to ask mummy, and give it to him. Yes most of the timehe couldn't have whatever and he would throw a good tantrum but I say its completely normal for toddlers to throw tantrams it is just their way of expressing their frustration. With my son, I helped him more to calm down after his tantrams ie I spoke to him calmly and quietly to soothe him, sometimes I would put him in time out and come back after a minute, but strictly no cuddles until after he had sucessfully stopped crying and started talking normally. Then of course it was lots of praise afterwards for calming down and being such a good boy. btw after just a few times my son was asking for things out of his reach which I guess he figured was easiet than trying to climb.



I don't profess to knowing THE answer to toddler tantrums as every child is different with their own unique nature, but from my experience a firm but calm approach always worked well for my family.



One thing that never changes with boys, they have an over abundance of energy that needs an outlet, room to run so to speak. It will feel like nothing is working at first, all you can do is be understanding of the stage they're going through, that they are much more on to it than you think and most of all, be consistent in your approach. Finally, out of the blue you will see that they now "get it" and it will all be worth it =D

Lacey - posted on 01/18/2010

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I have the same problem with climbing and then also not being able to use an extensive vocab. I know how it feels to figure out the mystery of what they want.. I have found that time out words do help because he knows what it means its just getting him to actually stay there. I havent tried a mat though, so maybe that would help. thanks for the advise..

Joanne - posted on 01/17/2010

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when he has a temper tantrum let him finish. dont say any thing to him then pick him up and sit him some were (same place every time) , and tell him that is not good and to stay there till you say its ok. About 1-2 minutes. then go to him and give him a big hug and tell him you love him and that that behaviour is not good. It worked with my son and they try us in many ways. My sone pushes the chair over to the sink to play with the taps..what a battle. You could also try some physical acttivity. boys have lots of energy. a run around with a ball may help. let me know how ya go,

Megan - posted on 01/17/2010

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Our son Isaac has a severe hearing disability and is able to understand the "time out mat". Probably purely because as Laura said they just dont like having to sit there. The only thing I could add is that in times of stress pick your battles because not all battles will be won! Thinking of you, Good luck!

Laura - posted on 01/17/2010

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to marie, she is just pretending my son was exactly the same, keep pluggin along she will understand she doent want 2 b sat ther and she only gets put there wen she has done somthing wrong xx laura xx

Marie - posted on 01/17/2010

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For the naughty step would this really be effective with a 2 year old. I have tried to use various time out strategies myself, but I don't find they work with my daughter. Im not sure she understands why she's in time out even though I am explaining it. Do I just keep plugging ahead or is she just messing with me. She's a bright girl, so she could be playing with me by pretending she doesn'tunderstand. At the same time... she's only 2...

Elsa - posted on 01/17/2010

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I know it is hard... he will throw his tantrums, but just be firm and ignore him as much a possible. I just tell him that I want him to get up or he will go to time out and I showed him at home what time out was and he is getting better, but it is a challenge everyday... I read in a book that active kids... need patience and just be firm on telling him what you expect. My son is getting better and I am consistent every time. Not easy, but I take it one day at a time. My son is a handful and has actually made me just want one. I don't have enough energy for two. I would introduce him to time and remove him from whatever situation he is getting into and reminded him what you want.

Lacey - posted on 01/16/2010

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I have indeed thrown myself on the ground before just as he has done and I would say it really did work.. I try the whole Time out idea on him and although he doesn't like it, it seems to make the sittuation worse.. I live in quite a small apartment at the moment so running away from him is kinda a problem because he can allways find me..lol.. So that makes it a lil worse also... My fiance and I are planning on moving to a more spacious place in the next month so the idea will be a little easier.. He also works 3rd shift so it makes it hard to really get away from it all and then also have the major authority of his father that he needs due to his sleep schedual... But I am glad you mentioned this because I think if I do it a few more tantrums that he does I might have it under control...

Laura - posted on 01/16/2010

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forgot 2 mention wen he has done his time on the step always explain why he was put there n then ask for a appology xx

Laura - posted on 01/16/2010

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naughty step always works, might take a while but its worth it warn him b4 and if he doesnt listen put him on the step for 1min 4 every year of his life, if he gets up b4 the time has done start agen he will soon get the message, on stopping a tantrum as soon as it starts distract him, make your voice sound really exciting and say oowww look at this, this should work and then he should forget all about the tantrum. hope this helps laura xx

Amanda - posted on 01/15/2010

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yea i have same problem with my 22 month old he fights with my 3 year old over toys and bits him and headbutts him and everything and i am expecting my 3rd baby in 24 days so yea its going to be fun to see how Chris 22 month goes with him as hes not going to be the baby any more i hope he doesn't get worst but yes it can get to u sometimes i know all about anyways good luck with it all most of the time when he is having a tantrum i just let him go and ignore it :) and so i dont have to put up with wanting stuff when i am shopping i do my shopping on a saturday and leave him and his brother with daddy and then just take them to places they would like thats it lol shopping is not fun to take a kid with u thats for sure .....

Ashley - posted on 01/15/2010

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girl i got the same problem with my 18 month old daughter. so i have no idea how to help. ill be looking back when someone responds though lol

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