DS is 20 months old. While on the changing table he likes to kick us, but just when he’s getting ready for bed. I’m 37 weeks pregnant so getting kicked isn’t pleasant. Normally my husband does this part of bedtime, and though he does get kicked he just holds his legs gently and leans in to tell him, “No kicking, it hurts,” and waits for him to stop; it’s just straight simple talk and DS stops usually after two or three kicks.
The other night I had to put DS to bed and it was a nightmare with the kicking. Nothing I said or did worked; I moved away so he couldn’t kick, I told him no, I used the stern face, we had stare down, I yelled at him, I didn’t yell at him… I know, I laugh because this is way too much for a 20 month old and it’s no wonder he kept laughing at me, which really does wonders for your parenting self-esteem. I think I just got through it quickly and moved on.
My husband heard us struggling and later told me about his technique, but wouldn’t you know tonight DH had the same exact experience with DS as I did! (So happy to know it wasn’t just me). DS laughed at him with every effort to discipline his kicking. It was like watching a TV show with a mirror image of what I went through the other night.
So… what do we do before this gets out of hand? I thought about just putting him on the floor and walking away, but we need to get him ready for bed, and I suspect part of this behavior is because he’s overtired and wound up so getting him to bed as soon as possible is part of the solution. I'm pretty sure this is part of the problem because during the day he gets disciplined for other things and doesn't act this way.
What do you suggest? We use a lot of redirecting with toys he can play with on the table, but he probably has more fun kicking us because the “reaction” is like a game to him. So how do you end the game so he knows you’re serious?