Very frustrated mommy!!

  • Hello,

    Hoping to get a little advice on discipline.  I just had a baby on March 25th and his sister has been absolutely wonderful.  Helpful, hugs him, wants to be with him etc...  Doesn't show any jealousy signs.  I keep her home from daycare two days a week and send her three.  Today she was home and everything was no, or screaming when she doesn't get her way.  We have been working hard on time out, but she doesn't sit there.  I don't say anything, put her back in the spot, but she thinks it's funny.  I know that yelling does absolutely nothing and have learned that the hard way.  She is rarely there, but man today was frustrating.  When one stopped crying the other started.  Any ideas for reaching a stubborn 2 1/2 year old???  I'm hoping this was just a bad day and not a sign of worse days to come. 

  • I could have written this. I have a four year old and a two year old and some days I want to head for the hills. Mainly because my two year old has gone nuts the past couple of months. She won't let me help her with anything. She screams and cries if she doesn't get her way. It isn't like she is doing anything bad, just getting mad about everything I tell her. I also her "NO!" a lot.  I too tried time out and scolding her, but I learned very quickly it made no difference.

    I watched The Happiest Toddler on the Block. If you have Netflix you can watch it online. Dr Karp says to use toddler speak when your toddler is throwing a fit. You get down on their level and repeat what you think they want. You say it in their tone. If your daughter is screaming because she didn't want to come inside, you would say, "Mary doesn't want to come inside! She does not want to! She doesn't want to come inside!". Not yelling, but in an angry voice to show that you understand she is angry. You then tell her she is angry and keep repeating in your angry voice and face until she understands that you understand her. It is amazing how fast they stop and look at you like "Oh my goodness! You know why I'm mad." :)

    Then when they are calm, you transition them into something acceptable. This really works great. I haven't tried it in public yet and I'm hoping I don't have to. You really have to see the video to see how well it works (and how lame it looks while you are doing it).

    I also try very hard to make sure she gets enough sleep and is never hungry. Anything to prevent a fit is good. I haven't figured out what to do about the "No!" yet. It seems like my daughter just tells me that to assert her independence. If she is doing something dangerous and I tell her to stop, she does instantly. I normally get a no when I ask her to come to me.

  • Sounds like my 2-year-old just about every day. She could be going through some growing pains, testing boundaries, or just flexing those toddler tantrums a bit. I agree with everything BabyNurse says about trying to prevent these things.

    As far as the time outs go, you have to just keep putting her back in if she gets up. My daughter is really testing her bounds lately and likes to take off her clothes to stall taking a nap. She goes into time out and tries to get out. I actually sit and block her exit. Since we share a room, her time out space is in the corner by the door, which has my dresser acting as another wall. This makes a nice little triangle with plenty of room for her to walk around, but not do anything else.

    I sit on the floor, back to her, and prevent her from leaving the corner. I wait for her to get frustrated and really crying. That way I know that the message of the consequence is sinking in and that she knows that time out is not a game (which she tries to turn it into). Then I hug her and reassure her, pop her back into bed, and she's usually out within five minutes.

    After about three times of this, all I have to do is threaten time out and she stops trying to take her clothes off. The key is to be consistent and follow up with love. Then they'll learn that there are consequences for their actions, but that you'll always be there, too.

  • Reminds me of my daughter - she started her "Terrible Twos" not so long ago. Often I will simply ignore the tantrum until she stops, or if we're in a store I will walk away... as soon as I'm out of sight (I hide barely out of sight so I can keep an eye on her but she cant see me) she stops. I think its because she not only realizes it's not getting her any attention but now its driven me away, shortly after she'll come racing after to find me. Usually its not a constant thing but some days can be nothing but crankiness, those days we cant wait for her to learn more words. I'm hoping she'll be less cranky once she can better express her needs and wants (and understand why she cant have some of them, heh).

  • My daughter has gotten much worse with this over the years.  It wasn't that bad when she was only two, but now she's 4 and she has times where she just has total melt downs.  I think a lot of it stems from her being tired and fighting not to take a nap.  During these melt downs I just tell her that mommy doesn't know what she wants/needs when she's screaming and crying.  I tell her that when she settles down a little and tells me what's wrong then I will be able to help her more.

    As far as the time out goes, it works for some kids, but not for others.  My daughter absolutely despises time out.  When you put her in the chair she will burst into tears and yes, she does try to get up, but we're consistent with her and make her stay there.  It may take several times, but eventually she will sit there long enough to be finished.  Afterwards we always have the little talk about what she did to get there and what she can do to avoid it next time.  When I was a preschool teacher there were children that the time outs just didn't work on, but that was that school's form of discipline so I had to enforce it.   I think that some kids would do better just having talks like one of the other posters mentioned.  The key to any form of discipline is to be consistent.  Once you figure out what really works, stick with it and do that every time.  Good luck!