Help with my crazy toddler - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 01-25-2011, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I am so lost on how to handle Boo. He’ll be 2 in March. He is for the most part a great kid. Very smart, too smart for his good and a smile that melts your heart.  We have been using the “naughty spot” for major things like hitting, biting and pinching, things that cause harm to other people. I am not sure if we’re doing it right because it doesn’t have much effect. Typically he gets one warning, naughty spot for 1 min and 45 seconds (we’re working up to 2 mins). We hug, he apologizes to the injured and I explain simply what he did wrong.  But sometimes he goes right back and does the same thing that caused the time out again. Which to me means he’s not getting the concept of naughty spot= I’ve done wrong. KWIM? Any Ideas?

Also I am having a hard time just knowing what to do with typical toddler behaviors.  He is curious mischievous and stubborn. All these behaviors are important tools he uses to learn about the world. I am so glad to know he’s perfectly normal.  But how do I keep him safe now that he can climb the gates and open doors. How do I set limits while still allowing him to grow and learn and keep my sanity? He does things like open the refrigerator and takes a handful of pasta and runs off with it. He breaks into his sister’s room and steals her crayons and writes on everything. What do I do when he insists on dancing on the kitchen table? Rips his books into shreds?  Right now we redirect/distract. Say things like that’s not nice, or no.  Do these things warrant a time out? We try to use positive reinforcement. We try to catch him being good. What else can I do? We feel like we can’t take him anywhere and nothing is safe. He won’t sit in shopping carts or highchairs. Buckles do not hold him. Dinner is always a disaster he throws his food everywhere. We can’t wait for naptime and bed time just to catch a break.  TIA.

Isn’t he just the sweetest?


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#2 of 4 Old 01-25-2011, 06:44 PM
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Just a few quick thoughts...


Going back and doing the exact same thing again - developmentally appropriate. Impulse control really doesn't start developing until around three and continues easily until much, much older.


Climbing gates and opening doors - take down the gates and make the area safe for DS or truly lock the door so he can't get to an unsafe area.


Opening refrigerator and taking food - make a spot that always has food that is specifically for him (healthy snacks)


Rips books into shreds - give him something appropriate (but fun) to shred


Throwing food at dinner - he's not hungry - let him go play and enjoy a peaceful meal


As you can see I am not a fighter. I think my DS needs to explore the world to learn and I find every way I can to say yes. 


Finally, try reading Playful Parenting by Lawrence Cohen and find some info on Time In's versus Time Out's.


Sorry so abbreviated but have to run.


Good luck. 


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#3 of 4 Old 01-25-2011, 07:21 PM
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I love all the ideas that healthy momma gave you :)


Baby Boo is soooo cute! :) Just wanted to give you a virtual hug, and to ask you - how do you drain his energy, what is your daily routine with him? 



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#4 of 4 Old 01-26-2011, 02:58 PM
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I also have a little one turning 2 in March.  First, pick your battles.  For me, that's mostly hurting someone else (including someone else's property) or seriously hurting herself.  If she's doing something that could get her a bonk on the head, I warn her that she's responsible for her own balance, and that's usually enough to keep her safe.  If not, I kiss boo-boos.


Second, prevention.  Kids at this age do not have much impulse control, and they sometimes need help to make good decisions.  Prepare by making sure he's getting enough food, enough sleep, and enough of a chance to let out his energy.  DD seriously needs some good running wild time every day, and if she doesn't get enough, she takes it herself, and sometimes, she's dangerous.


There are times when you just gotta be right there.  When your kid s the one pushing, hitting, biting, etc, and it seems like every time you turn your back, something happens, don't turn your back.  Whatever you are working on can wait.  Your child needs you.  He needs you to catch his hand before he hits and tell him that hitting hurts, and if he tries again, he needs to know that you're not going to let him hurt somebody else.  I can tell that this is going to be needed when we have 2 or 3 incidents within a couple minutes.  If I can catch 2 or 3 more in the next few minutes, DD generally gives up.  I can tell when she's in one of her moods where she can't be safe and just needs some extra help and some extra room to let her energy out safely.

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