Two year old behavior nightmares! Help!

Kristin - posted on 01/29/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I could really use some parenting advice regarding my daughter who turned two years old in January. Like a switch went off, my little girl because Miss. Independent with a Vengence. I ask her to do something or not do something and her consistent reposnse is a defiant "NO". Which is lately her favorite word. I try to give her choices to facilitate her independence, for example "you can have a bubble bath if you eat two more bites of her dinner" or "would you like to color or read a book". Sometimes it works really well, other times is seems like we get into this yes no back and forth "arguement" that I seriously thought I would not be having with her until she turned 13. When she misbehaves, or does something potentially dangerous and we have to discipline her, we use time outs/"go to your room" or take away things and return them she she behaves (if you throw the toy, can't play with it until well behaved). She remains in time out until she calms down, then can get out, say "I'm sorry" we hug and I tell her that I love her, and tell her what bevior was naughty. I try not to get to the point where we need to spank her, I hate it.. and always feel like bad parent if it gets to that point. We have spanked her, but it seems like it is more frequent and I am not happy with that. I don't think it is sending the right message. We don't EVER spank hard, always over a diaper and only a light spanking.

Today she seemed to be possessed. The little things seemed to send her into screaming fits, and when we took something away (which this evening was a bubble bath) she would go into hystrerics and do this blood curdling death screaming. We would send her to her room to calm down and she would scream LOUDER. After one of us went in and sat with her hugging and rocking her she finally would calm down, say she was sorry and behave. Very strange. I am wondering if it is an attention thing? She had a 8 month old little brother whom she loves, but maybe sharing mommy and daddy is getting harder? We give her special attention, reading books and painting nails.... just not sure.

Another concern is pounding on her bedroom door at nighttime. We will put her to bed and she would pound on the door/cry until we come back in. I got her the "I'm scared" book thinking she was afraid of the dark, got her night lights and have a set bedtime routine. The "I'm scared" book helped her learn what that means and she is able to tell me if she is scared. We now have this game that we play that if she is scared she say to the scary thing "your not scary" and that really helps. We talked to the pediatrician and she said it is just separation anxiety. I even hung pillows on the door to try to decrease the pounding and prevent her from hurting herself. Any thoughts on how to end this?

I know this is long, but any ideas I would love!!!!

2 Comments

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Kristy - posted on 01/29/2011

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With time outs have you tried a chair say in the dineing room. Time out needs to be in a place that isn't fun like the bedroom. When they stop eating, it is normal. My daughter and her friend who are the same age went through about 3 months of maybe eating one meal a day, this behaviour is normal and its not worth the fight to get them to eat. It is there way of asserting there independence and realising they have control over something in their life. The tantrums are to get attention or something she wants. My daughter turned 3 in december and she started it. It has taken 6 weeks to stop the screaming!! Jut ignore the tantrum, if she does it in the lounge room where you are playing move her into the next room and ignore it. I know how hard this is, 9pm at night with little miss screaming at you for a whole hour,but if you are consistent, don't yell back explain that you wont talk to them until they calm down and talk back nicely, then it does get better. If it is a tantrum to i started sending my girl to the naughty chair. Im not sure about pounding on the door at night. My girl kicked the wall for a few nights but as usual i ignored it. I know this is hard and it is like they are posessed but it does get better. Good luck :0

Mandy - posted on 01/29/2011

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Your parenting techniques sound similar to ours. It sounds like she is trying to test her boundaries. It sounds like she may be a mature 2yo if she is able to understand some of the choices you are giving her. Most 2yos wouldn't understand, eating 2 more bites to get such and such.... I would just make sure the choices you are giving her are age appropriate. I think a 3yo would understand though. If she does make a choice don't let her change her mind, it sounds like that may be a game to her. If she does choose no then you the parent get to pick for her. "No" is not an option. I'm not quite sure about the banging on the door thing. It's hard to think of an appropriate consequence for it. I would probably try to ignore and see if it just ends soon.

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