My daughter will be two in December. She is extremely verbal and so I do think that sometimes my husbands and I can treat her older than she is (and perhaps expect more developmentally/cognitively than she can handle). She has always been pretty rough and tumble, and I chalk most of it up to surviving her first two years with a close in age, energetic older brother. Lately though, I feel at a loss as to how to discpline her. She does things that I can only describe as "naughty" and I know thats not a fair label, or really truely accurate but it sure feels like that sometimes.
For example, she has always been a messy eater - from day one. We had recently grown out of the throwing food off the table phase, and in the last week she has regressed to doing it again. I try hard to focus on how I want her to act i.e. "please keep your food on your plate or in your mouth. If you're all done, tell momma" and its almost as if the instant I try to correct her, she speeds up what she is doing, throwing as much food as she can before I can take the bowl away. Today as I went to grab it she threw the bowl off the table and it shattered. I have no idea what a logical consequence would be for this, telling her "You're all done" and removing her from the table seems a bit silly to me, since clearly thats what she was trying to convey. But I feel like it is a deliberate action on her part to get a response from me, and I find it hard not to punish her for it, for lack of a better term.
Another thing is we just recenly got a kitten. Kitten is only 2 months old, so very small and fragile. I am well aware that this was probably not a very fair responsibility to put on a 2 year old, but kitty is now part of the family. She is obsessed with it, and wants to carry it everywhere. For the most part, she is pretty gentle with it, but at times I feel like she is over the top with carrying it around so I will ask her to gently put the kitten on the floor and watch with her eyes, or play w/toy with kitty. Sometimes she will be acting too rough with it - bouncing on the couch next to it, grabbing its legs etc - and when I tell her that she needs to be more gentle or is acting to rough she will grab the kitty and throw it, while looking at me. Its almost as if shes giving me a big middle finger. I've never used time outs until today - but I was so frustrated, and worried she is going to seriously injure the kitten I didn't know what else to do. What is another option? I am aware that getting the kitten was probably not the best idea - but she is rough like this even with bigger pets. I don't want her to think it is ever okay to touch an animal like that, little or big - but how do I get this point across? I know giving her a time out isn't probably the greatest response - but what else can I do when she is being deliberately rough to the cat?
any responses/advice/tip or ideas would be so greatly appreciated.