December 2010 Moms

Terrible Two's Check In

Mobile: Terrible Two's Check In

I just wanted to see how everyone's doing now that we are in the middle of the "terrible twos" stage. Although I know some started early. lol

I feel like overall Jack had been doing really well. He doesn't throw many tantrums, and timeouts have been effective for getting him to calm down when he does throw them.

He's really set on doing things by himself right now, which of course makes everythibg take 10x longer. But if I try to help we get a tantrum.

He's been really bossy as well. Mommy, don't sit there. Mommy, don't look at me! Mommy, don't talk to me! I'm trying to teach him about respect, but I'm not exactly sure how to go about it. I'm not sure he understands why mommy gets to tell him what to do, but not the other way around.

He has also taken to whining and saying no no no no when he doesn't get his way. He'll do it quickly so I can't get a word in edgewise and it will escalate.

Before he turned two we watched the Happiest Toddler on the Block video and have adapted some of the techniques like acknowledging what he wants and why he is upset and that helps some. We have definitely noticed that he had more trouble if he is hungry or tired!

Anyway, how is everyone else doing? How are you dealing with 'bad' behaviors and encouraging good ones?

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Re: Terrible Two's Check In

  • i think our "terrible twos" started at about 19 months.  like jack, oliver wants to do everything himself, is often bossy, and whiney :)

    we haven't seen happiest toddler on the block, so im not sure about all of the techniques, but we do try to always acknowledge what he wants and why he's upset.  we tried time-outs for throwing, but it made it worse. he liked the attention. for throwing, we have to ignore and remove all things that can cause harm. for hitting, we have discussions (because clearly we can just ignore it when he hits his brother).

    honestly, the biggest challenge for me is juggling behavior management with both boys together.  i find that i get frustrated easily and it makes it worse.  the boys do best when i keep an even temperament, but that can be so difficult when you've got two screaming, or one refusing something while the other is crying, or one taking FOREVER to "do it by himself" while the other really needs to get down for a nap :)

  • We don't have too many full on tantrums. But like you said, he's pretty bossy, lol.

    We've had good success avoiding tantrums when we give him warnings as to what is coming up next. Like we say "Just a few more minutes of playing outside and then we have to go in for dinner" or "This is the last story before bedtime". He really has caught on to the "one last time..." warnings.  

    Right now we are trying to teach him to say "I'm sorry", but he just won't repeat it when we ask him to. And when I try to explain it to him like, "You need to say 'I'm sorry' to Benny because you pushed him down and he got hurt, even though you didn't want him to get hurt" - he just kinda looks at me funny and says, "it's ok, Benny". Which is close, I guess. Who knows - maybe the whole "I'm sorry"/Forgiveness  thing is over his head still.

     

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  • Jericho is awesome...I honestly have no complaints at all. Then again our roughest age with the triplets was 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 so it could still be coming LOL.
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  • My LO sounds a lot like yours - very few tantrums (I'm thinking 3 is going to be bad), time-outs are effective and we've got a bossy pants here as well.

    I don't worry about the respect part of the bossiness yet, but I don't comply with what he wants either. If he tells me, "Mommy sit here!" or "Mommy, Daddy no talking!" we tell him that we are happy doing what we're doing, and then redirect, "Hey, why don't you make us something to eat in your kitchen?"

    I ignore whining. It really really gets on my nerves and makes me crazy, so I completely block it out to save my sanity. Without any attention, he knows whining gets him nowhere and he (thankfully) doesn't do it much.

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  • The last two weeks have been fantastic!  We have had no tantrums, she is happy all day long, and is just soo much fun right now.  She's even more polite - when we sneeze she'll say 'bless you momma/dadda' or if we give her something she asks for she says 'thank you momma/dadda'  and if we ask her to put her toys away she says 'alright' and goes and does it.  LOVE IT!  Still not interested in potty training but I'll take what I can get.  I hope the worst is over. 
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  • Eh, it's going. My child has an iron will. We have real meltdowns when she latches on to something she can't have -- like a popsicle at 7 am. She is stubborn and independent, and while I know that will serve her well later on, it's a pain now. I have the best luck with ignoring tantrums, whining and screaming (after telling her the first time that we don't do X and here's what we do instead when we're upset). We do have more good days than bad, though. She's an awesome kid, but she drives me crazy sometimes.
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  • The worst things we are dealing with are:

    his refusal to eat most meals

    getting him to settle down to focus on a task b/c he is SOOO hyper

    getting him to follow instruction & not run off & have us have to chase him down to do whatever it is we're trying to get him to do. If I ask him to come brush his teeth, for example, he will start running toward the bathroom & then hook a right & go running away, lol. Sooo frustrating!


    Having him understand he has to wait for something he's asking for. I will say, "yes, but not right now", but that translates to "no" to him, so he continues to ask a million times. I have to say, "Buddy! Stop! I said, YES! But, PLEASE, you just have.to.wait.a.minute!" 

     

    He's not too big on the temper tantrum, thankfully. He's thrown himself on the floor exactly 2 times. When he starts to get whiny, we tell him to take a deep breath & to talk like a big boy b/c we can't understand what he's saying when he's whining.


    He's very polite overall - Says thank you, please & I'm sorry. He does need to be reminded sometimes to say things nicely, though b/c he has a tendency to say, "Put my shoes on, I said!" or pretty much "fill in the blank, I said!" He can get demanding!

    Time outs are not that effective for him. We put him in time out, but he doesn't stay put or stay quiet & we end up just yelling at him more to stay in time out & the chance for it to be a learning moment is lost.

    What works very well for us is giving him two choices. For example, "play nicely with your sister, or go in time out".

    Counting to 3 works extremely well, too. We are both actually really shocked at how well it works- almost too good to be true. Example: "You have to the count of 3 to come here & put your shoes on or you will be in big trouble!...1..2..3!" He will seriously stop what he's doing & come running by the count of 3. I wonder how long that will last for us!

     

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  • lrn327lrn327
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    Well, we're definitely not in the "no tantrums" camp.  He definitely has them, but it's usually about one per day, he gets upset for a couple minutes and then is great.  He's been getting them since about 18 months so guess I'm used to it now.  He occasionally hits and we use time outs which are pretty effective.  He has no other discipline issues except for sometimes goofing off before bed too much in which case he knows he loses his extra story.
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  • I think the worst thing for us is that she rarely does something timeout worthy. It's a bunch of little things that just drive me flucking insane all day long. She asks for food pretty much constantly when we are home (I think she does it out of boredom and just because she can see the fridge), and getting her to pick up toys has become such a chore, where she used to do it willingly. Getting her to listen is a hassle now too. It's definitely all getting worse. It's all so much worse when she's tired, but because she's tired the process of getting her in bed takes a million times longer. I miss my happy, cooperative baby.

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  • Funny you ask this tonight, because we had three, (three!), timeouts at dinner. It's very atypical to have one, let alone three, but S really wanted to pound his fork on the table, even after he'd been asked not to and warned. Then, when I later took it away from him to avoid a third timeout, he started pounding his spoon. I think he just wanted to be done with dinner, and, in some ways, he was, I suppose.

    But other than craziness like that, we're doing pretty well so far. He complains sometimes about not being able to play with a toy, or leaving someplace, but it doesn't last too long.

    He's definitely bossy like halo said - mama, do this, mama/daddy do that. We've been trying to get him to do more independently lately, especially his dad.

    His somewhat entertaining blackmail complaint is "But you're fun, [insert mama or daddy]." e.g. S: Come play with me in the playroom, mama. M: You play by yourself - I'll be there in a few minutes, honey; S: You're fun, mama!


     

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  • I think we are doing better. We still have our good days and not so good.  And we still hear whining and have the tantrums on the regular, but now that A communicates a bit better it isn't as bad as it was from 20months to 2 years.

    We still struggle with the transitions. Sometimes he does great, others even if we tell him what fun, exciting, next thing to do or give him the count down timer, he still melts down.  It's a work in progress. 

    Timeouts work for us. He gets them for not listening after 3 warnings, and if he hits or pushes down J.  He bawls his little heart out for 2 minutes but he doesn't move from the step. We started the 1-2-3 but that hasn't quite sunk in yet. 

    The whining....oh my the whining....some days I want to just wear ear plugs it is so bad and over such random stuff.   I hope this disappears soon, but then I'm sure J will have picked it up. I'm already starting to see some minor temper tantrums that he's trying to mimic big brother on.

    A hasn't gotten too bossy yet, mostly because I don't think he has enough ofthe right vocabulary to do it.

    Still have daily struggles with getting him to share with baby brother and he has done better about bringing toys to trade. It's just J is starting to realize he's getting the short end of the deal and isn't as keen on the trades anymore which means I referee now and meltdowns ensue.

     On the positive note though- A surprises us with how much he takes in from hearing what we say and talk about even though he doesn't act like it at the time. He still is an avid reader, and has learned to play by himself a bit better. My favorite thing to hear him say nowadays is "snuggle mama" which sometimes he uses to delay bedtime or cleaning up but most times he just needs a little extra snuggles and I'm glad I can give it.  He also LOVES to help us cook our meals. For the longest time we've let him sit on the edge of the counter so he can see what we are doing, but now he helps pick out the eggs, grate cheese, stir the bowls and even pat his quesadillas and grilled cheese with the spatulas. DH wants to buy him a little kitchen, but I declined saying its fun to play with at our friends' houses but I think he'd lose the novelty and besides at home he cooks in the "real" kitchen.

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  • It sounds like most of us are in the same boat!  You guys have mentioned some things that Jack does that I didn't think of at first. :/  I'm so glad that I am able to come here and compare toddler 'war' stories. lol  

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  • J is doing OK.  He's bossy at times, trying to tell us where to sit mostly, and he will actually try to physically move you on occasion.  Meltdowns are mostly reserved for when he's tired so far.  He still isn't listening the best... on occasion he'll break a rule that he's been breaking for over a year (throwing of a TV remote, throwing a toy over the gate and into the "mud" room, or throwing a ball when we aren't playing catch), and he'll get his timeout... which usually doesn't seem to both him too much.  All in all, he's still a pretty happy kid.
  • E's pretty good, but she is VERY stubborn and independent. She is definitely the definition of 'pistol.' Honestly, 3.5 has been the worst age ever with Landon, so I'm just biding time until then. 90% of my friends agree with the 3.5 age, so yea it sucks.

    E does pitch tantrums if she wants to do something herself, or doesn't want you to do something for her. I just ignore her, and after a bit ask her if she is finished and I am ready to move on. This usually stops her tantruming or it stops soon after.

    She is also into doing things herself, but usually after a few minutes if I ask her if she needs help she will say 'yes' and let me help her. She is proving to be pretty particular and borderline OCD on a few things, and they have to be done in a specific order. She wants to walk every where now like Landon, and not be in the cart. If I can get her in the cart, it's the big part not the seated part.

    Timeout usually works, and if she needs to say sorry but refuses I take her hand and sign sorry for her. That way she doesn't get away with not saying it.  

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  • Luckystarz, tell us about what we have to look forward to at 3.5! lol I want a heads up so I can have some tactics in place. :D
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  • image --halo--:
    Luckystarz, tell us about what we have to look forward to at 3.5! lol I want a heads up so I can have some tactics in place. :D

     Landon was awful, I almost forfeited taking taking him out. Just huge fits when not getting his way, stubborn, hitting, biting (that was ended quickly), rude, impossible to talk to or deal with. I couldn't get him to go to bed or stay in bed. It was gone about a month before he turned 4 but holy cow, I'm glad I had a second kid before he hit that stage. Some of it could have been associated with the divorce, but I was shocked FI didn't go running because I sure wanted too. My definition was and is 'pure hell.' My best friend called me one day and said, 'please tell me I'm not the only going through this.' It was a huge relief, her daughter is 6 weeks older than Landon, and did basically the same thing.  

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  • Oh, I don't even know if I want to reply to this.  Let's just say my son is his mother's child!  Strong-willed, fiercely independent, intelligent, opinionated little thing with some sensory issues.  Paybacks are a b*tch.  On top of that he has all his speech issues from the ear infections, so he can't always communicate what he thinks.

     

     

     

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  • I have been avoiding this post because G has been such a terrible two lately. Sigh. He has just been soooo willful. Talking back and being sassy. He's so sweet sometimes but things like time outs aren't working anymore. I'm at my wits end some days. I need to find a better way to deal.
    Lilypie - (vGZN)


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  • image Cheekers2010:
    I have been avoiding this post because G has been such a terrible two lately. Sigh. He has just been soooo willful. Talking back and being sassy. He's so sweet sometimes but things like time outs aren't working anymore. I'm at my wits end some days. I need to find a better way to deal.

    I made the stuff to make this chart!  I swear I'm going to glue it together and laminate it this week.  Time-outs work if we keep putting him back over and over, but they've lost their zeal here too.  I need something else.  And I don't feel just have a punitive strategy works for Nate.  He needs the reward/praise part too. 

    http://lifesprinkledwithglitter.blogspot.com/2012/03/coin-chart-behavioral-finance-chart-for.html

    Here's the link with the 2 yr old version.  You have to scroll down.

    http://lifesprinkledwithglitter.blogspot.com/2012/11/compilation-of-other-coin-chart-ideas.html

     

     

     

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  • image pitterpatter129:

    image Cheekers2010:
    I have been avoiding this post because G has been such a terrible two lately. Sigh. He has just been soooo willful. Talking back and being sassy. He's so sweet sometimes but things like time outs aren't working anymore. I'm at my wits end some days. I need to find a better way to deal.

    I made the stuff to make this chart!  I swear I'm going to glue it together and laminate it this week.  Time-outs work if we keep putting him back over and over, but they've lost their zeal here too.  I need something else.  And I don't feel just have a punitive strategy works for Nate.  He needs the reward/praise part too. 

    http://lifesprinkledwithglitter.blogspot.com/2012/03/coin-chart-behavioral-finance-chart-for.html

    Here's the link with the 2 yr old version.  You have to scroll down.

    http://lifesprinkledwithglitter.blogspot.com/2012/11/compilation-of-other-coin-chart-ideas.html

     

     

     

     

    Thank you!  I will see if this works.  G is just too smart for me.  I don't know where to go with him sometimes.  You know?! 

    Lilypie - (vGZN)


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  • We're not doing great, or I'm in a local minimum, or I'm feeling particularly down about it right now. 

    I think the problem that I have is that I'm TOO patient. So I worry that I let DS get away with things that should be driving me up the wall and should be forcing me into more extreme disciplinary measures.

    DS has always had a problem with transitions / following directions, because when he wants to do something he wants it. He's very stubborn. They've complained about this at school and it has been a problem at home. I feel ineffective in what we've done because it hasn't really improved over the past 8 or so mo we've had the problem. One problem is that our routines at home aren't 100% precise, but they are mostly consistent. I know we could do a bit better. Also we might occasionally break a rule like allowing a toy at dinner, and that's probably a horrible idea on our part.

    The other problem with DS is that he hits and scratches. It's just a weird impulse and isn't particularly malicious, but sometimes there is an aggressive nature to it. He does it to us and to kids at school. We're actually getting a professional to look at him with regard to these two issues (at the school's suggestion, and the eval at least is free, even though additional services would be a cost.) 

    I really thought we had an easy toddler but I guess I'm just patient and calm. So the good news is that DS doesn't drive me mad, but I want to do a good job raising him. I want him to be well-adapted socially and the last thing I want is for him to be a monster/bully. That's my worst nightmare. I also want him to understand and carry out good values & habits. I guess he's just such an easy-going and happy kid 99% of the time (and very sweet, too!) that it sort of negates the problems we have with him. DH is also calm & patient but luckily he is more strict than I am. I'm so glad he is my partner in parenting.


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