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Old 07-15-2007, 10:48 PM   #1
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Terrible TWO's? What a joke!

Isn't there some kind of saying 'Whoever said terrible two's never had a 3yo?'

I need some help, fast. My 3.5yo is getting the best of me (and not in the good way that it sounds). I wake up in a horrible mood because I know I'm going to have a horrible day.

He doesn't listen, AT ALL. Not in the LEAST. And when I say he doesn't listen, I don't just mean that he ignores me (which he does that too)...but he'll hear me and nod in agreement (me: don't touch that, it'll hurt you. him: okay mommy, it'll hurt..i won't touch it) and then turn around THAT second and do precisely what he was told not to. And it's not just with minor things, but has been with MAJOR things..life-threatening things. He's disrespectful, destructive, mean...and any other 'ugly' thing that you could use to describe horribly-behaved children.

I feel like I'm up his butt yelling and spanking all day...and it does NO good. I don't WANT to yell and I don't WANT to spank, but I'm at a loss?? I don't have *any* idea what else to do. Today I broke down in tears and I just really need advice!

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Old 07-15-2007, 10:59 PM   #2
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Re: Terrible TWO's? What a joke!

The only thing that I can recommend is to take a step back and breathe. My daughter is about 11 months younger than your son, and she is definitely a handful some days. I hit my breaking point when she started looking at me and then doing exactly what I told her not to...while givin me a look like she dared me to do anything about it. She then started getting time-outs on a chair in the middle of the room. This makes her so mad, but it really gets the point across. She really hates not being able to play, get up, and etc. (I got this idea from my own parents, cuz they used this punishment for me and my siblings when we were little, and I remembered how it really made me sit and think...which I hated. ) She now knows that if I say no to something that she will have to sit on that chair if she doesn't listen, and if she listens and is good until her "cartoon time" before her lunch, then she will get to pick the cartoon movie that they watch. I try to reward the good while punishing the bad, and it seems to be working so far.

I understand your frustration though. There are times when my DD will get under my skin to the point that I pick her up and put her in her bed then leave her room just so that I can calm down. She knows how to push my buttons for sure, and if I stay in the room with her sometimes I will just keep yelling out of frustration. KWIM? I figure it's better for us both to take a breather than for us both to keep getting angrier and more vocal towards eachother. When I go in her room to get her though, we are both calmer and usually she will give me a hug and say she's sorry...or she will try to share a special toy with me, and this shows me that I must be doing something right, cuz this little girl really does love me.

I'll send you a pm mama. I know how lonely it can be dealing with toddlers.
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:12 PM   #3
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Re: Terrible TWO's? What a joke!

Mamas we need a support group because I just said to dh I feel horrible like all I do all day is raise my voice. But he doesn't even stop to hear me if I don't. Not that yelling makes that much a difference except it gives me a few seconds to catch up to him before he pulls off anything else.
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:21 PM   #4
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Re: Terrible TWO's? What a joke!

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Mamas we need a support group because I just said to dh I feel horrible like all I do all day is raise my voice. But he doesn't even stop to hear me if I don't. Not that yelling makes that much a difference except it gives me a few seconds to catch up to him before he pulls off anything else.
Exactly. If I don't scream, I'm not heard. And if I don't use the ugliest, nastiest, most mean face and tone of voice that I have...I'm laughed at!

I seriously feel like all I do alllll day is follow them around on their heels and yell and swat. I feel HORRIBLE. I feel like a horrible, horrible mother. I truly know that it's the age and probably somewhat "normal" behavior..but I have NO idea how to deal with it! I know there are children out there who ARE well-behaved...there has GOT to be SOMETHING I can do.

I've done timeout (regularly) and it hasn't worked. I can certainly try again..but he simply doesn't care. When I say, "Okay, go sit in timeout" he'll cry for about 3.5 seconds and then everything is hunky dory. Even IN timeout, he doesn't care. He'll play with whatever he's sitting on or around (like the wall, the chair, the carpet..etc) and I could scream until I'm blue in the face telling him to leave things alone. When/if he manages to make it out of timeout (which, he does..I'm just saying..), he'll go RIGHT back to doing whatever it was that got him in timeout and we could do that repeatedly for hours!! He has absolutely the most AMAZING memory I've ever seen, I know he hasn't forgotten why he was punished or that he was punished at all.
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:29 PM   #5
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Re: Terrible TWO's? What a joke!

Yep, we've soooo tried time-out. I am at my wit's end. I certainly don't want to spank, but he ran into the street . . .AGAIN . . . I feel bad, but really . . . what IS the appropriate response to that when pleading, yelling, time out ,etc didn't work? Wait for him to get hit by the car instead of my hand?? I'm not even getting on to him for little stuff . . . I have self-control/patience for that within reason. Big stuff like the running in the street and other dangers. Really? He knew better. I think I need like a week vacation from him and then I can come back clear-headed.
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:34 PM   #6
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Re: Terrible TWO's? What a joke!

When my son did that at the age of knowing better, I did spank him for running into the street. I do have better options than swatting for little stuff (I don't spank for LITTLE stuff, but...) but he had to know that I was SERIOUS when it came to the road and stuff.
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:40 PM   #7
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Re: Terrible TWO's? What a joke!

Punishments & rewards are not the answer because kids need to internalize the desire to choose good behaviors -- if they were this wouldn't be such an issue.... How's about Googling child development, behavior modication and/or discipline alternatives? The library is an excellent source for ideas on how to get out of this cycle & prevent it in the future! Titles to look up include:
  • Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families
  • Connection Parenting
  • Playful Parenting
  • Unconditional Parenting
  • Kids Are Worth It
  • Parenting with Love and Logic
  • How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listent so Kids Will Talk
  • Parenting From the Inside Out
  • Raising Your Spirited Child
Remember that your actions speak louder than your words & certainly much louder than your thoughts. Parents' actions provide the example that children will learn to emulate.

Parents too often expect more from their kids than they are capable of. Leila ran into the street once when she knew better. But, kids are distracted easily. They forget easily. I used Corporal Redirection to urgently & effectively remove her from harm. Then, instead of twisting my fear into anger, I expressed my fear for what it was. I gripped her body & stared into her eyes explaining slowly, clearly & sternly that I was TERRIFIED for her safety. I pointed out the huge hard vehicles moving by so fast. I showed her that the drivers cannot see children. She burst into tears with comprehension of the danger she was in. Forever after that day she is the one teaching other children the importance of staying out of the road & has never made the mistake again. How has spaking reached that core of internalizing the true issue at hand? It doesn't, it can't. Because the child is confused with more pain & less guidance.
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Last edited by Papooses; 07-15-2007 at 11:45 PM.
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:43 PM   #8
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Re: Terrible TWO's? What a joke!

Oh he knows better, but sometimes I look at him and I think there is so much running through his little brain . . . I don't know. It is just not peaceful in our house much. There is soooo much noise, either from his hell-raising or my belly-aching at him. Ugh!
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:47 PM   #9
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Re: Terrible TWO's? What a joke!

Proactivity. What I'm seeing is a recognition that the yelling & belly-aching is part of the problem. It's obvious it's not part of the solution. Get to the core. Focus on the underlying issues within you as well as your children. Weeds grow back unless the entire root is removed.
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Old 07-15-2007, 11:51 PM   #10
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Re: Terrible TWO's? What a joke!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papooses View Post
Punishments & rewards are not the answer because kids need to internalize the desire to choose good behaviors -- if they were this wouldn't be such an issue.... How's about Googling child development, behavior modication and/or discipline alternatives? The library is an excellent source for ideas on how to get out of this cycle & prevent it in the future! Titles to look up include:
  • Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families
  • Connection Parenting
  • Playful Parenting
  • Unconditional Parenting
  • Kids Are Worth It
  • Parenting with Love and Logic
  • How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listent so Kids Will Talk
  • Parenting From the Inside Out
  • Raising Your Spirited Child
Remember that your actions speak louder than your words & certainly much louder than your thoughts. Parents' actions provide the example that children will learn to emulate.
I agree with you . . . but when he is bent on hell-raising . . . for example . . . he torments our dog. Not out of being mean, but he wants to play with the old hound. He will pull his tail and the dog has been the most patient creature and "warned" him not to do it anymore. Yet he does it. We have shown him how doggy likes to be petted. We have given him time-out for it when that didn't work. We have re-directed with a new activity he likes to do (like painting)--2 minutes then back to tail-yanking. Folks, we are at a point I don't have time for him to internalize the "reward" for being kind and gentle to the dog. He is going to lose a finger or an eye. So, yes, he gets spanked. The other option I see is get rid of the dog.
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