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#1 of 9 Old 12-03-2009, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm wanting to know if there is a book or a parenting book out there somewhere in la-la land (lol) that explains why my 2yo is acting out and behaving very naughty, testing limits, etc. Yes, I am well aware it's normal but is there a book that explains WHY it's normal? As in, "A 2yo can't control themselves b/c of this or they behave/act out this way b/c their medula oblongata isn't fully formed (i made that up) but I hope some of ya'll understand what I'm getting at. I think having an easy to read book on the brain/dynamic aspect of this age would make things super helpful.

So, does such a book exist? Please say yes.

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#2 of 9 Old 12-03-2009, 02:49 PM
 
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"How Children Learn" by John Holt is really good....it's not so much about the biology of what's going on in their noggins, but about how they learn and what LOOKS to us like "misbehaving" or utter nonsense may indeed be very important work that a child needs to do in order to figure out the world around her.

Also, I couldn't help but see the value-judgment inherent in your statements "acting out" and "naughty", etc. I suppose we'd need to hear examples of what you mean. Because what to adults is often very inconvenient, messy, and disobedient, might make total sense to a little kid. Our often arbitrary rules of "behavior," as seen through their eyes, must sometimes seem utterly insane when you think about it.

So examples of the behaviors you speak of would be great.

I hope I'm making sense. I accidentally took a melatonin today when I was reaching for the cod liver oil. (duh!) So I am pretty sleepy. LOL!
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#3 of 9 Old 12-03-2009, 02:55 PM
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Science of Parenting by Margot Sunderland. The book is about how our parenting effects neurological development. The author goes into behavior and discipline based on developmental needs. She also shows how certain things, physical play and exploratory play for a couple of examples, we do with our children effect their intellectual and emotional development because of the hormonal and brain chemistry involved. Oh, and according to the book, it's the frontal lobes that aren't developed enough for 2 year olds to have impulse control yet. They don't do high level reasoning yet, so they can't manipulate yet either.
It's one of my two favorite books. The other is Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Kurcinka, which is a book on how temperament traits effect behavior. It goes into how to identify your child's temperament traits, what behaviors to expect and how to best deal with it.
I really like knowing why a behavior is happening. Understanding the why has really helped me be a patienter more proactive parent.
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#4 of 9 Old 12-03-2009, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't understand the phrase "value-judgment."

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#5 of 9 Old 12-03-2009, 04:08 PM
 
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You have a little smiley-face there, so I'm not sure if you're serious. But I will answer as if you are...

Just as an example. Say you and the little one are building with wooden blocks, and every single time you try and make a tower, she knocks it over. You might think "that's wrong; stop knocking down mama's towers!" (I'm not saying you'd say this, but it's a hypothetical). Actually this used to happen with me and my son. It's hard not to get annoyed! But anyway that was when I was in the old way of looking at stuff....I digress...

My point is that from MY point of view, the tower-knocking behavior could have been labeled misbehavior or wrong or rude, whatever. But in truth, the pre-verbal child could probably be thinking "hey, check it out! these hands of mine really can do this! I hit these blocks, and BOOM, every time, they go over. Awesome! Look at my power! Why is Mama frowning; isn't this what blocks are for?" and so on. The child could be innocently learning, but the parent could be putting a value-judgement ("wrong" "rude" "misbehavior") on it.

Some things are not misbehavior, but are really child-appropriate behaviors that are happening in a really inconvenient time & place from the adult's point of view.

But look at me....I could be veering all over the place here. If I had an example of the actual behaviors that prompted your original post, I'd probably make more relevant comments.

But value judgement....that's just what it says. It labels an action "he cried when I put him to bed" with a value judgement "that's misbehavior". There are other ways to interpret the "cried when I put him to bed." Instead of misbehavior, maybe he was frightened of some big shadows on the wall, or maybe he's just frustrated from being a pre-verbal child all day and none of these grownups knows how it feels and he can't deal with the pent-up feelings, etc etc

Anyway like I said I may be way off the mark because I don't know what your child is doing that prompted the original post. bye for now; gotta run!
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#6 of 9 Old 12-03-2009, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The smiley was the "embarassed" smiley b/c I really didn't understand, but, I have a better grasp now I think?

Anyway, she is 2.5 so she is verbal and is starting to answer back in the "correct" way when I ask her a question i.e. "Where did you put your cup" and she'll say "I dunno mommy" (it's too cute) instead of just staring at me when I asked the question.

My problem is more along the lines of when she doesn't get her way or is told to do something she doesn't want or think she should do she slaps/bites/kicks/knocks her 10yo sister's glasses off and I was just wondering about the science behind the behavior, i.e. their frontal cortex isn't formed enough so there is no impulse control or whatever and hoping maybe if I can understand the biology and science behind her behavior then maybe it will help me understand her better. Does this make sense?

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#7 of 9 Old 12-03-2009, 05:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2pinks View Post
The smiley was the "embarassed" smiley b/c I really didn't understand, but, I have a better grasp now I think?

Anyway, she is 2.5 so she is verbal and is starting to answer back in the "correct" way when I ask her a question i.e. "Where did you put your cup" and she'll say "I dunno mommy" (it's too cute) instead of just staring at me when I asked the question.

My problem is more along the lines of when she doesn't get her way or is told to do something she doesn't want or think she should do she slaps/bites/kicks/knocks her 10yo sister's glasses off and I was just wondering about the science behind the behavior, i.e. their frontal cortex isn't formed enough so there is no impulse control or whatever and hoping maybe if I can understand the biology and science behind her behavior then maybe it will help me understand her better. Does this make sense?
Two year olds haven't learned how to correctly handle their emotions. When they are frustrated or angry they are going to hit, lash out, etc sometimes. It's our jobs as parents to guide them and teach them the appropriate behaviors. Totally normal.. they are still learning and taking in everything you do like a sponge.
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#8 of 9 Old 12-03-2009, 05:42 PM
 
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Also, I don't think it's per say an issue with their bodies brain development. It's just that we learn from example. Here's a neat response from a doctor on a site I just found.
Answer
Temper tantrums are often referred to as the terrible twos and they often begin in children as young as 18 months and persist until the age of four.

Two to three seems to be the worst age: about 20 per cent of all two year olds will be like your son, having at least a couple of tantrums every day for one reason or another.

Head banging is an extreme form of temper tantrum and stems from the intense frustration children experience at not being able to express themselves as well as they would like.

Because they are unable to make it clear exactly what they want and are unable to always get their own way, their anger shows itself in these outbursts.

I appreciate your concern about this physical self-harm, but the critical feature is whether this is merely attention seeking, which it usually is, or whether it represents some deeper anxiety or behavioural problem.

Sometimes these episodes occur when a child is hungry or tired. So always have healthy snacks available and make sure he gets daytime sleep if he needs it.

Try to distract him from the early stages of a tantrum with something more interesting or different going on around him.

Any attacks stemming from jealousy of his brother or sister are best responded to with extra care and attention rather then punishment.

It is very unusual indeed for head banging, biting and hitting to cause any lasting harm.

The best policy is to remain firm and consistent, and above all, not to back down once you have made a stand. Giving in to your child and offering bribes will merely encourage worse behaviour in the future.

Try to appear completely unfazed by your child's outbursts, because there is no point him performing if there is no audience.

You might be reassured to chat to your health visitor or doctor about your son. Certainly if the tantrums persist beyond the age of four, a further assessment should be carried out, perhaps with a child psychologist if necessary.
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#9 of 9 Old 12-03-2009, 05:55 PM
 
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I also enjoyed John Holt's books.

Have you ever read Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves? It's not about scientific brain development, but it is my very favorite parenting/child behavior book. It's easy to read, straight forward, and gives you a deep understanding of how your child is acting and why, and how you should react.

Momma to Sweet Rosie 7/06, Lost Baby J 1/09 at 12 weeks pregnant, Spitfire Ada born 4/21/10, and Baby Boy due July/August 2013!
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