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Old 05-22-2010, 05:08 PM   #1
corinne76
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Unhappy Need advice on dealing with a spirited toddler

Today we went to Walmart and Sams Club. Before we got there, I asked if she was going to be good and listen and she said yes. Well....
At Walmart, she was fine until we got to the baby section. She wasn't following me and wandering off a bit, but she was ok. I looked for shorts (did you know, out of 4 rows of the same short, I found ONE size 4T? and it took me awhile to find) she looked at toys. I went to get diapers and then told her it was time to leave. She threw a fit and cried. So of course I started to get frustrated. The walk to the register was hard too, with her wandering off and getting distracted. I had to grab her by the arm a few times, and it wasn't exactly gently. She kept screaming and crying, I even told her to shut up once.
Same thing in Sams Club. On the way to the car, I ditched the cart since all I had was a bag of frozen chicken and lettuce and some pizza slices for lunch. SHe was taking her time crossing, stopping in the middle. I saw a car coming and since she wandered father, I couldn't grab her hand. she wasn't listening to my "Come here"s so I ended up screaming "Hurry up!" We get to the car and she starts telling me sorry and she loves me. I felt like s--t. My baby was apologizing for me yelling at her. I keep thinking of stories you hear of mamas beating their kids to death and their kid was saying I love you mommy til the very end.

I dont want to lose patience with her. but its hard. She gets distracted. She doesn't listen. I know she doesnt mean to. I know I did a lot wrong today too. LIttle things could have helped, like taking the cart all the way to the car so I could hold her hand. I'll make sure to always do that from now on. Sometimes we are really in a rush, and it's hard to wait for her to be done looking at something so we can go. How do I keep my cool? If anyone has any book suggestions too, that would be great.
I'm not looking for criticism please. I am honestly asking for some useful advice. I dont want her to be yelled at. I grew up like that and the fact that I even yell at her or say things I don't mean to makes me

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Old 05-22-2010, 05:17 PM   #2
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Re: Need advice on dealing with a spirited toddler

Monkey backpack, perhaps, for the immediate issue of running off? Dd loves hers . And we limit the shopping we do in one trip. She can only handle so much.

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Old 05-22-2010, 05:21 PM   #3
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Re: Need advice on dealing with a spirited toddler

We have one, but DD is old enough, and definitely verbal enough, to tell me she won't wear it. She's pretty verbal so she can be reasoned with some times. Just some days.....
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:28 PM   #4
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Re: Need advice on dealing with a spirited toddler

Love and Logic Magic for Birth to six years old. It is a small purple book. It really helped a lot. I read the wrong version at first and thought it was too harsh- but the purple book was really helpful. I thought it was perfect for us who were at our wits end but didn't want to hit or for him to get hurt breaking the rules.

We get compliments now on how polite our ds son is. Don't get me wrong- he still has his monster days (especially when we aren't consistent)- but over all it has helped more than anything else!
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:36 PM   #5
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Re: Need advice on dealing with a spirited toddler

I have an 18m onl boy who is extremely independent, doesn't want to hold hands, and when we go places doesn't last long in things like high chairs, or shopping carts. I try and keep outings to what his attention span will handle, for example I don't try and do a 2 hour shopping trip as I know it's too hard on both of us. I also reward good behavior with a small treat at the end of the trip telling him why his behavoir was good and that is why he is getting the treat (something like a small snack he really likes, gummi bears for example are popular with my DS). I know how you feel getting frustrating and finding it hard to keep your patience though, I think we all have days like that. I think it's important to stay consistant and follow through but also try rewarding the behavoir you want her to display, even at the time, like thanking her for paying attention or listening (even if you do it like 10 times a trip) it will make her feel good to be pleasing you, and hopefully she will want to continue the behavoir. I sometimes laugh at myself because I sound so funny constantly praising the small good behavoir things my son is doing but I find it really helps, and when we need a time out we have one
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Old 05-22-2010, 07:06 PM   #6
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Re: Need advice on dealing with a spirited toddler

OP, that is exaclty why I began wearing her again. I couldnt go shopping AT ALL and let her walk because she would wander off or pull away from my hand.
DD is verbal as well and doesnt always like to be worn or wear the monkey but i dont give her a choice. She HAS to do one or the other or we leave and go home and she is made to stay home with Daddy while Mommy goes out.

She is very, very spirited and super independant. I lose my patience with her too often because i dont know what to do with her. Im at my wits end as well. Im going to go to Barnes and Noble and look into some parenting books and books about The Spirited child.
Otherwise, its only going to get worse for us.

I have started doing as another mama suggested on here and have turned the TV shows off and turned on the music choice channels and DD and I have been cleaning, playing, drawing. She was SOOOOO good today and I can actually see a large improvement in her already after just a few days.

The more attention she gets, the better she tends to listen to me.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:07 PM   #7
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Re: Need advice on dealing with a spirited toddler

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobynJ View Post
Love and Logic Magic for Birth to six years old. It is a small purple book. It really helped a lot. I read the wrong version at first and thought it was too harsh- but the purple book was really helpful. I thought it was perfect for us who were at our wits end but didn't want to hit or for him to get hurt breaking the rules.

We get compliments now on how polite our ds son is. Don't get me wrong- he still has his monster days (especially when we aren't consistent)- but over all it has helped more than anything else!
Does it have a picture of a mom and two kids drawn on it? I looked it up on amazon but i want to make sure I'm looking at the rigth one.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:34 PM   #8
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Re: Need advice on dealing with a spirited toddler

Mine will tell me she doesn't want to (she's a little older than your dd) but she has to wear it anyway.... She can't get the buckles off, & it's better than her running away.

Wow, that's old. It never posted when I wrote it ages ago
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:40 PM   #9
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Re: Need advice on dealing with a spirited toddler

What do you mamas do when you are out and your LO just won't listen? Like today, DD was looking at the toys and I told her it was time to go. SHe threw a fit. Mayeb I should be giving her a little while more, sort of a compromise? I have given her a one minute warning before, sometimes shes ok with leaving, sometimes she just throws a fit anyway. Sometimes when we go shopping, I feel myself calling her name constantly, to either get her to follow, walk faster, not wander off, you name it. I see parents with kids that sit nicely in the cart ot hold their hands, mine isn't like that. I can keep her in the cart for a little if I bring something for her to snack on, but I can't keep stuffing her with food everytime I need to get something done
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:52 PM   #10
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Re: Need advice on dealing with a spirited toddler

My DD is a couple months younger than yours, and it seems like she's gotten to the point where she understands the whole "If you do this for me, then we can do this" sort of logic. Example: If I'm at a store and she is starting to get bored with my required shopping, I tell her "If you help mommy pick out this one last thing, then we can go visit Elmo in the toy aisle" and she will calm down. Also, another thing that has helped a TON is to get my DD involved in the shopping itself. Like in your situation, if we were there I would pick up the pair of shorts and hold them up and ask DD "Do you like these ones?" She, of course, would say no (because she's a toddler ) and so I'd pull up another pair and ask again - all the while looking at sizes and then when I found one the right size I'd say "YAY! We found one!" DD gets all excited when I do that. Makes me sound stupid in the store but hey, keeps my kid happy. But when all else fails, I ALWAYS always bring a snack cup full of Goldfish (her super extra special treat) that I can give her and it settles the tantruming almost immediately.

I've found that when it comes to dealing with my spirited toddler, it's vital that I'm proactive (find ways to prevent meltdowns BEFORE they happen) rather than reactive (after she is already in freak-out mode, because then she is unreasonable and too far gone to even listen - which only frustrates me more).
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