I'm sad...I feel like I am failing at GD - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 05-31-2010, 12:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is almost 22mo & I have a 6wk DD.

I read UP, these boards for a while & now reading Raising Our Children/Ourselves. I 'get' the concept of GD, but find it so hard to put it into practice, especially when DH is CONSTANTLY telling me to hit him. It makes me second guess the way I want to parent my DC. Not that I want to hit, but DS's behavior doesnt seem to be improving much & the few times DH has hit DS the behavior stopped immediately - of course out of fear

We start the day out great. Calm & happy. I just dont know what happens to me & DS during the day, but he gets so bad sometimes & I get so angry. I feel so out of control. I hate the way I am parenting him right now & it makes me sad. I yell, have caught myself cursing, saying things like what is wrong with you, grabbed him by the arm & forced him to move locations... all things that I regret... all things I dont want to be doing.

I guess what I am asking of you guys is how do you keep your cool all day long? Do you ever 'lose it' & sway from the GD or am I really out of control. I read these boards & most of you seem to have it so 'together'.

Also I am going to list some of DS's everyday angering behaviors. Can you tell me if they are normal at this age & any tips you may have to deal with them.
-throwing food to the dogs
-not staying seated to eat & wanting to run around with food in hand
-throwing things
-hitting (usually when he doesnt want to do something/anger & now tries to hit his DS)
-climbing onto kit counters/moving chairs to reach things on counters
-pulling all of our books off of the shelves
-laying down 1/2 way up stairs & not wanting to move
-hitting/pinching/pulling at dogs

At this age how long do you stick with trying to redirect & correct behavior before you see a change?? DH thinks you only should have to tell him a few times & the behavior should stop. I dont agree.

I just want a day where I am able to parent without yelling or getting mad - does such a day exist?????

 Wife of 10 yrs to Oaties, Mama to Bubs 08/06/08, Rizie 04/19/10 & MRae 02/02/13 & to dog2.gif

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#2 of 24 Old 05-31-2010, 12:58 AM
 
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All of those things you mentioned are very typical for a 2-year-old.

You are six weeks postpartum? Please be gentle on yourself. This is probably the most challenging time you are ever going to have raising children. This is the worst.

It WILL get better.

How to handle things without resorting to screaming, cursing, and getting physical? I think for this time period its best to let a lot of things slide, try to find some time to yourself (impossible, I know), remember that your DS's life has also just been turned upside down, babyproof babyproof babyproof so there is less to say "no" to (put those books in a box somewhere for a year or so, set different limits on food such as only in the kitchen and don't require sitting for too long, give him safe things to throw like socks and remove all dangerous things, get a doggy gate the dogs can go behind to stay safe).

Make your life as easy as possible during this time.
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#3 of 24 Old 05-31-2010, 01:06 AM
 
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It's easy to seem together when you're typing on the internet.

A day without yelling and getting mad - well, you have to work on yourself as well as your child. My biggest flaw is saying mean things when I get mad, so I have had to develop strategies and ways to NOT say things, to give myself a time out instead of lashing out verbally.

How long to need to redirect behavior at 22 months? Probably constantly. That is very young. It will be worse for developmentally normal behavior, because you're trying to accomplish the impossible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by olien View Post
-throwing food to the dogs
-not staying seated to eat & wanting to run around with food in hand
-throwing things
-hitting (usually when he doesnt want to do something/anger & now tries to hit his DS)
-climbing onto kit counters/moving chairs to reach things on counters
-pulling all of our books off of the shelves
-laying down 1/2 way up stairs & not wanting to move
-hitting/pinching/pulling at dogs
All of these are totally normal for this age, IMO. Now, whether you can or should try to change them is another story.

Obviously hurting the dogs is not OK. Can you keep the dogs out of his area?

Hitting other people isn't OK, but his Dad is teaching him that hitting is fine because he does it. Whenever he sees an adult hit someone, whether his dad is hitting you or him, it sends a message more powerful than any words. You want to work on giving him words to express himself, and have zero tolerance for hitting. For us at 22 months, that meant remove him from the situation and don't give him any attention for a minute or so.

The other things are easy - just babyproof your house. Put him back in a highchair, or remove his plate when he leaves the table (you can probably start the meal again in a little as five minutes at this age and he won't realise it's been so short.
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#4 of 24 Old 05-31-2010, 03:23 AM
 
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You've got two children under 2 and one of them is a newborn. If you get the kids fed, changed and through the day without an ER visit, you're doing well.

I don't keep it together all the time. I yell a lot more than I like. At the same time, my relationship with our kids is good enough that when I'm out of line, they'll say things like "you shouldn't yell at me". They're right and I apologize.

Things to think about:
Toddlers (your 22 month old is still a toddler, even though he looks a heck of a lot bigger and more capable than your newborn) have very little impulse control, so they can't stop a behavior easily once they've started. Thus, it's much better to prevent things you don't want happening then to try to stop them in the middle.

Toddlers learn through repetition. You want your son to learn the rules and behaviors. That takes time. You can get him to react out of fear, but all he'll learn there is to not do things when you can see him.

Also, your son is probably adjusting to the new (less) amount of attention he's getting. Some of his behaviors sound attention getting, some sound like frustration (very common for 22 month olds), and some sound just plain like toddler behavior. If you can give him as much positive attention as possible, that will help cut down on the behaviors that are purely attention seeking.

How to stop these? None of these are fool-proof, but I'd try:

Throwing food to the dogs: Keep the dogs in a separate room (away from his sight) when he's eating. When he throws food, he's done eating. Then you clean it up (with his help) before the dogs come in. Throwing food is a very common toddler behavior, and it's even more exciting when dogs are around!

Staying seated -- have you tried a high chair or a booster chair? Are there snacks he can carry around? My kids got pretty good at keeping some foods in a small bowl, but I'll confess I don't remember what age they were OK to do that.

Pulling books off the bookshelves: Move the books. Or just get used to putting them back. The first thing our ds did every morning when he was a toddler was take all the puzzles off the shelf and throw the pieces across the floor. I think he liked the sound. Every night, we'd pick up the pieces and put the puzzles away before he went to bed. Every morning, he'd take them our and repeat the cycle. He's 9 now. He hasn't thrown a puzzle piece in at least 6 1/2 years. My point is that he will outgrow this.

Hitting: Separation. If he hits you, move away. Say "ouch that hurts. I don't want to be with you when you hurt me." You don't have to move far and don't make a big deal of it. At times, we also plopped our kids in their crib when they hit. That 2-3 minutes of separation enforced for them that this was not acceptable behavior. (No, that's not the UP response, and I'm OK with that.) The separation also helped me cool down so that I could deal calmly with him. Since you have a lot on your plate, I'd recommend that for you. It's as much a mommy time out as a toddler time out.

Hitting sibling: Sorry, but the only solution is to not leave them together and watch like a hawk when he's near the two of you together. Eventually you will be able to trust them together, but it won't be until your younger one is mobile and can defend herself. You can also try removing him and then attending to her.

Climbing: Is there a way to provide him with a place where he CAN climb? And block off access to the places where he can't?

Hitting/pinching/hurting the dogs -- give the dogs a place to go. Separate him from the dogs when he hurts them.

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#5 of 24 Old 05-31-2010, 04:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olien View Post
DS is almost 22mo & I have a 6wk DD.

I read UP, these boards for a while & now reading Raising Our Children/Ourselves. I 'get' the concept of GD, but find it so hard to put it into practice, especially when DH is CONSTANTLY telling me to hit him. It makes me second guess the way I want to parent my DC. Not that I want to hit, but DS's behavior doesnt seem to be improving much & the few times DH has hit DS the behavior stopped immediately - of course out of fear
Hitting is abuse and I would not tolerate it at all. I am all for different parenting startegies but hitting is not allowed

Quote:
Originally Posted by olien View Post
We start the day out great. Calm & happy. I just dont know what happens to me & DS during the day, but he gets so bad sometimes & I get so angry. I feel so out of control. I hate the way I am parenting him right now & it makes me sad. I yell, have caught myself cursing, saying things like what is wrong with you, grabbed him by the arm & forced him to move locations... all things that I regret... all things I dont want to be doing.
He doesn't get bad, he's barely two! he does things to discover and because to him they are funny or exciting. why do you get as angry as you do? find that out because it will make your life a lot easier. I realised that I got as angry because of two things 1 I expected children to obey because thats what they should do and 2 things he did where like mirrors from my past

Quote:
Originally Posted by olien View Post
I guess what I am asking of you guys is how do you keep your cool all day long? Do you ever 'lose it' & sway from the GD or am I really out of control. I read these boards & most of you seem to have it so 'together'.
Everybody has good days and bad days. some people have large support networks and some don't. Don't compare yourself to who you think is behind a username! compare yourself to you yesterday. are you having a better day? great! if not why what is different? what can you change tomorrow that went wrong today?

Quote:
Originally Posted by olien View Post
Also I am going to list some of DS's everyday angering behaviors. Can you tell me if they are normal at this age & any tips you may have to deal with them.
They are not angering behaviours, they are triggers for you and your DH. for your ds they are games explorations and ways to develop himself.

-throwing food to the dogs
as in feeding them? give him dogbiscuit to feed them, I used to save some of the dogs dinner so ds could feed it to him


-not staying seated to eat & wanting to run around with food in hand
why is that an issue?

-throwing things
give him throwing toys like badly stuffed cloth balls and a bin to throw them in

-hitting (usually when he doesnt want to do something/anger & now tries to hit his DS)
patience and redirection, he isn't verbal enough to express his frustration

-climbing onto kit counters/moving chairs to reach things on counters
remove the chair into a location he can't get to them

-pulling all of our books off of the shelves
move your bookcases
-laying down 1/2 way up stairs & not wanting to move
leave him till he's ready
-hitting/pinching/pulling at dogs
show him to pet them instead and repeat repeat repeat. never leaving him in a situation where this behaviour could go wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by olien View Post
At this age how long do you stick with trying to redirect & correct behavior before you see a change?? DH thinks you only should have to tell him a few times & the behavior should stop. I dont agree.
he's two it will take a long time for him to change behaviours you don't like quickly tell your DH about an annoying habit he has and tell him to stop it see how easy it is for him

Quote:
Originally Posted by olien View Post
I just want a day where I am able to parent without yelling or getting mad - does such a day exist?????
yes they are the good days

I now how hard it is I had twins no support or family or anything nearby and dh works 12h+ days you know you get trough you will regret things and you will find things you are really proud of allways remember this too shall pass.

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#6 of 24 Old 05-31-2010, 07:53 AM
 
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I'm only going to address the hitting (you AND the dogs) - while all of the behavior is "normal" at his age (including the hitting), the hitting can hurt and can lead to the dogs (properly) correcting him themselves.

I never allowed either of my kids around the animals unsupervised. Then, I made a point of modeling "gentle touches" - stroking the dogs, gentle pats, belly rubs, etc. - both by doing so myself (all the while saying stuff like "what a good dog, dogs like gentle touches, etc.") and by holding their hand and showing them what gentle touches feel like. I did the same with Mommy and baby - Mommy like gentle touches, we pat Mommy's cheek gently, see how gentle touches feel nice to A, we all like gentle touches. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

The animals also always had a safe place to go where the little one was simply not allowed to go alone. I would tell them that was dog's special place to go and have a nap, and we don't wake dog/kid/Mommy/Daddy up when they're having a nap.
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#7 of 24 Old 05-31-2010, 03:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by olien View Post
I guess what I am asking of you guys is how do you keep your cool all day long? Do you ever 'lose it' & sway from the GD or am I really out of control. I read these boards & most of you seem to have it so 'together'.
How do I keep my cool? Years of practice! Oh, and I still sometimes slip, but not nearly as bad.
In the beginning, yeah, I was slipping into cruddy behavior a lot (a lot of the stuff you're doing, plus my own baggage stuff). It doesn't mean you're out of control. It means that GD hasn't become second nature yet.
People tend to post their ideals, and how they work on good days. I'm not nearly as together as I may sound in some of my posts. I don't mean to imply that I am, but sometimes in the interest of space, I just post what I think might be helpful, kwim?

Quote:
Also I am going to list some of DS's everyday angering behaviors. Can you tell me if they are normal at this age & any tips you may have to deal with them.
-throwing food to the dogs
-not staying seated to eat & wanting to run around with food in hand
-throwing things
-hitting (usually when he doesnt want to do something/anger & now tries to hit his DS)
-climbing onto kit counters/moving chairs to reach things on counters
-pulling all of our books off of the shelves
-laying down 1/2 way up stairs & not wanting to move
-hitting/pinching/pulling at dogs
throwing food to the dog- seems totally normal to me. He wants to feed the dog, the dog reacts, the dog likes the food. When my ds does it, I see it as him wanting to be nice to the dog. Is there a way you can reframe your thoughts about this? Perhaps keep the dog in a separate location when your ds eats. It's not a trigger for me at all, so I just tell ds that it's his food to eat, and if he tries to give more than a few pieces to the dog, I assume that ds is done eating and get him out of his seat.

I think insisting that dc stay seated while eating is a valid rule. If this were a rule I wanted to have, I'd just say that he can only eat while sitting, and not give him food if he's up and running around.
I have more of a case-by-case basis viewpoint- as in, I'd be ok with ds eating rice puffs (not a choking hazard) while not sitting, and I'd be ok if he was eating something if he was just standing calmly. But choling hazard stuff while running around is a no-go. Either he sits, or I take the food.

I really really recommend the book Becoming the Parent You Want to Be. It really helped me a LOT in the beginning. Here's an article by the authors: http://www.becomingtheparent.com/all/subsection13.html

Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
 

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#8 of 24 Old 06-02-2010, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post
All of those things you mentioned are very typical for a 2-year-old.

You are six weeks postpartum? Please be gentle on yourself. This is probably the most challenging time you are ever going to have raising children. This is the worst.

It WILL get better.
Thanks! I do have to keep reminding myself of this. It is so hard right now trying to figure out how to handle the two of them all day long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delicateflower View Post
It's easy to seem together when you're typing on the internet.

How long to need to redirect behavior at 22 months? Probably constantly. That is very young. It will be worse for developmentally normal behavior, because you're trying to accomplish the impossible.
true...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
You've got two children under 2 and one of them is a newborn. If you get the kids fed, changed and through the day without an ER visit, you're doing well.

Things to think about:
Toddlers (your 22 month old is still a toddler, even though he looks a heck of a lot bigger and more capable than your newborn) have very little impulse control, so they can't stop a behavior easily once they've started. Thus, it's much better to prevent things you don't want happening then to try to stop them in the middle.
Toddlers learn through repetition. You want your son to learn the rules and behaviors. That takes time. You can get him to react out of fear, but all he'll learn there is to not do things when you can see him.

Hitting: Separation. If he hits you, move away. Say "ouch that hurts. I don't want to be with you when you hurt me." You don't have to move far and don't make a big deal of it. At times, we also plopped our kids in their crib when they hit. That 2-3 minutes of separation enforced for them that this was not acceptable behavior. (No, that's not the UP response, and I'm OK with that.) The separation also helped me cool down so that I could deal calmly with him. Since you have a lot on your plate, I'd recommend that for you. It's as much a mommy time out as a toddler time out.
This is what I am having such a hard time with. Our DS is so tall - he seems like a big kid. Last night DH actually said to him 'stop that you are acting like a child'. Later I said to DH 'he IS a child - a toddler - still in many ways a baby'

Any recommendations for books specifically related to a toddler? Many GD books apply more to kids a little older.

I like what you do/say when your DC hits you - simple, yet it seems like it may be effective - and I often do need time to cool down.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mum21andtwins View Post
He doesn't get bad, he's barely two! he does things to discover and because to him they are funny or exciting. why do you get as angry as you do? find that out because it will make your life a lot easier. I realised that I got as angry because of two things 1 I expected children to obey because thats what they should do and 2 things he did where like mirrors from my past

compare yourself to you yesterday. are you having a better day? great! if not why what is different? what can you change tomorrow that went wrong today?

he's two it will take a long time for him to change behaviours you don't like quickly tell your DH about an annoying habit he has and tell him to stop it see how easy it is for him
Your right - he doesnt get bad - he is just being a toddler.

I do have to work on myself. I love this wisdom: compare yourself to you yesterday...


Quote:
Originally Posted by DevaMajka View Post
How do I keep my cool? Years of practice! Oh, and I still sometimes slip, but not nearly as bad.In the beginning, yeah, I was slipping into cruddy behavior a lot (a lot of the stuff you're doing, plus my own baggage stuff). It doesn't mean you're out of control. It means that GD hasn't become second nature yet.
People tend to post their ideals, and how they work on good days. I'm not nearly as together as I may sound in some of my posts. I don't mean to imply that I am, but sometimes in the interest of space, I just post what I think might be helpful, kwim?

I really really recommend the book Becoming the Parent You Want to Be. It really helped me a LOT in the beginning. Here's an article by the authors: http://www.becomingtheparent.com/all/subsection13.html
I'm comforted by hearing that it does take time for others too.

Thanks for the link. I have this book - just haven't read it yet.

 Wife of 10 yrs to Oaties, Mama to Bubs 08/06/08, Rizie 04/19/10 & MRae 02/02/13 & to dog2.gif

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#9 of 24 Old 06-02-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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I really really recommend the book Becoming the Parent You Want to Be. It really helped me a LOT in the beginning. Here's an article by the authors: http://www.becomingtheparent.com/all/subsection13.html
I was going to recommend this book also. It changed my life. I would suggest saving your current book for later and getting to this one ASAP. This book is very practical with real life scenarios and sample scripts on how to talk to toddlers. Start by reading pp. 226-239, which summarizes useful strategies for GD with toddlers in 13 pages. I find myself rereading this section every couple months, so I would also suggest getting out a highlighter while you read. Then go back and read part4 on difficult behavior, part 2 on children's feelings then eventually chapters 23 and 24 on socialization. It is a written like reference book so feel free to skip around. I acaually haven't had time to read the whole thing, but I'm sure there are other good parts.

Your boy sounds a lot like mine. We sit at the dining table to eat only when there is another adult there to help me with the twins. The rest of the time I cut their food into bites then pass it out to them while they are playing one piece at a time. This has the added benefit of keeping my daughter from eating all her brother's food. This really saves me a lot of time setting up and cleaning up. I also will pack a baggy of food bites and bring it grocery shopping but at that age ricecakes worked better with my son. If you don't think your boy would use it to climb on, you could try feeding him at a short table. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl7jlIrfsQE
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#10 of 24 Old 06-02-2010, 08:37 PM
 
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If you haven't already, you might want to check out:

Adventures In Gentle Discipline by Hilary Flower

The No-Cry Discipline Solution by Elizabeth Pantley

They're not toddler-specific, but I believe they have sections appropriate for toddlers.
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#11 of 24 Old 06-03-2010, 08:40 AM
 
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Echoing some of the comment above, "don't beat yourself up".

Hitting any child shows a deep lack of understanding of parenting and the roles and responsibilities of adults and roles and abilities of children, but to hit a child under 3 is for and reason is a red flag.

Some homework for your DH is in order. We guys like to watch rather than read.
Why don't you get him some Super Nanny (Jo Frost) DVDs to watch. I believe she has done both a US and a UK series. Anyway, plenty of her on u2b.

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#12 of 24 Old 06-03-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by olien View Post
This is what I am having such a hard time with. Our DS is so tall - he seems like a big kid. Last night DH actually said to him 'stop that you are acting like a child'. Later I said to DH 'he IS a child - a toddler - still in many ways a baby'

Any recommendations for books specifically related to a toddler? Many GD books apply more to kids a little older.



My 'go-to' book for this age is out of print: It's called "Parenting with Purpose" by Lynda Madison. I like it because it talks separately about "Walkers" (1 year olds), "Talkers" (2 year olds), Threes and Fours. A four year old is such a different being, developmentally, than a 2 or 3 year old. The one thing about this book that probably will bug some people here is that it advocates a reward (token) system for 4 year olds, and it's OK with timeouts for 3-4 year olds. It also talks about consequences that aren't really UP. We've not done reward systems (except for bribing ds to become potty trained), and only very limited time outs, so like all parenting books, you can take what you can use and ignore the stuff that doesn't fit how you parent.

But I like descriptions of why 1-2 year olds are doing what they're doing, and the connection of discipline to developmental stages. I love the fact that it differentiates parenting philosophy from techniques. Her basic point is that 'techniques' won't do you any good. Just applying time out, for example, is useless if you don't know why you're doing it. If you have a teaching purpose or principles, then you'll be able to find techniques that fit your philosophy.

For example, we use timeout as a cooling off period - for either child or adult. It's not a punishment, though it sometimes feels that way, I'll be honest. It's a separation because one (or usually both) of us are out of control. Because my philosophy for time outs is to regain control, I don't have to enforce an arbitrary time limit. Once one of us is calm enough to deal with things, we can regroup.





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#13 of 24 Old 06-03-2010, 04:11 PM
 
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I like "the happiest toddler on the block"... it worked well when my kids were a bit younger. Not as good now (DD is 4, Ds1 will be 3 next month). I'm having similar trouble with my older kids, though, and my baby is 2 months.

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#14 of 24 Old 06-07-2010, 08:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was going to recommend this book also. It changed my life. I would suggest saving your current book for later and getting to this one ASAP. This book is very practical with real life scenarios and sample scripts on how to talk to toddlers. Start by reading pp. 226-239, which summarizes useful strategies for GD with toddlers in 13 pages. I find myself rereading this section every couple months, so I would also suggest getting out a highlighter while you read. Then go back and read part4 on difficult behavior, part 2 on children's feelings then eventually chapters 23 and 24 on socialization. It is a written like reference book so feel free to skip around. I acaually haven't had time to read the whole thing, but I'm sure there are other good parts.

If you don't think your boy would use it to climb on, you could try feeding him at a short table. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hl7jlIrfsQE
Thanks for the recommended pages to read. I took your advise & started reading that night. Wow. I never even thought about REALLY paying attention to his intent. I was redirecting all wrong.

We do have a short table & use it sometimes. He does eat more food when I feed him small pieces while he is playing also. I just think that he is not getting 'practice' eating at the table like he should? be doing. As I type this I realize that is my hang up - he wont go through life not knowing how to eat at a table bec I fed him while playing


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Echoing some of the comment above, "don't beat yourself up".

Hitting any child shows a deep lack of understanding of parenting and the roles and responsibilities of adults and roles and abilities of children, but to hit a child under 3 is for and reason is a red flag.

Some homework for your DH is in order. We guys like to watch rather than read.Why don't you get him some Super Nanny (Jo Frost) DVDs to watch. I believe she has done both a US and a UK series. Anyway, plenty of her on u2b.
Thanks. I do agree hitting is horrible. I thought DH would be more into watching a video - he really doesnt read except for work. I got the UP video a yr ago for us (really him) to watch together. He still wont watch it.

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#15 of 24 Old 06-07-2010, 10:20 AM
 
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I got the UP video a yr ago for us (really him) to watch together. He still wont watch it.
hmmm

cover his inbox with youtube links

Ya know, day by day a couple spread thru the day

they are short, to the point, and if it is in the in-box, kind of hard not to click thru.

and kisses too of course!

The anti-Ezzo king
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#16 of 24 Old 06-16-2010, 07:27 AM
 
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I don't really have advice but I can relate. My children are 23 months apart and I found myself struggling with all the same things. Almost 2 years later I feel like I'm better at GD but I'm not really sure why... maybe it's more experience dealing with the demands of two children, less stress, more sleep, and some regrets.

Try to take breaks- even really short ones help me, I'm able to deal more calmly with my kids after a short walk by myself.
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#17 of 24 Old 06-16-2010, 10:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by olien View Post
-throwing food to the dogs
^^I would tell him something like "If you don't want to eat your food, you may leave the table. Your food is not for the dogs". If he's bored enough to throw food then he's probably not hungry any more.
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-not staying seated to eat & wanting to run around with food in hand
^^"If you want to eat, you must sit at the table". End of discussion. Don't make walking around with food an option. If he wants to get down, fine, but he can't take the food with him.
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Originally Posted by olien View Post
-throwing things
^^My ODS went through an AWFUL throwing stage. I would just say "We do not throw toys in the house. If you can't play nicely with the toy, I will have to take it away so nobody gets hurt".
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-hitting (usually when he doesn't want to do something/anger & now tries to hit his DS)
^^For this, I would do a time-out.
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Originally Posted by olien View Post
-climbing onto kit counters/moving chairs to reach things on counters
^^He is adapting to his environment the best way he knows how; maybe he needs more climbing opportunities outside? If that doesn't work, I would try moving as many tempting things out of sight as possible for a while.
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-pulling all of our books off of the shelves
^^If he takes them down, he needs to help clean them up.
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-laying down 1/2 way up stairs & not wanting to move
^^I would just leave him on the stairs and say "I will be XXX (wherever) when you are ready to get up". Don't make a big deal out of it.
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-hitting/pinching/pulling at dogs
^^I would do a time-out for this also.
[/QUOTE]

This is a tough time! I had two under two also. Hang in there-it gets easier.

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#18 of 24 Old 06-16-2010, 07:25 PM
 
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Your kids are really little! That is a tricky time! And like a pp said, it's easy to look like you've got it together online. You're not failing at GD, you're just beginning.

My advice is redirect, redirect, redirect and age-appropriate consequences until he's a little older. It is so cheesy, but I tell myself to keep my priorities in check 100 times a day. It helps.

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#19 of 24 Old 06-17-2010, 02:35 AM
 
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When I find myself getting really steamed up, I give myself a timeout. I just tell my DD "mommy is really mad right now. She's going to take a time out." Then I go sit down, or go to my room and lie down, and take a few minutes to collect myself. If it is really bad, like the time she hit me in the face, we both get time out. Each in our own rooms. I don't time them or anything, but just a mini break to get my cool back. Hang in there! I know it is tempting to hit/spank if that is the way you were raised, but I really do feel the benefits of GD show in the long run. Try hard to get DH on board so that you can honestly say "hands in this house are not for hitting."

CD'ing, homebirthing, milk making school teacher. Supporting my family on my income and trying to get out of debt in 2013!
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#20 of 24 Old 06-17-2010, 04:28 AM
 
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I second Happiest Toddler on the block--there is a DVD. DH and Bro in law watched it--big news. Get some popcorn, put the kids to bed and watch together. I think dads would relate to the comparisons.

GO OUTSIDE!!! Get a sling, walk the baby and the toddler around outside and wear him out!!

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#21 of 24 Old 06-18-2010, 12:50 AM
 
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I totally agree with the PP that going outside is such a good remedy!

I think you've received some really great, helpful advice. However, after reading some of the posts, I notice that some of what upsets you may not bother the next mom at all. We are all different in what bothers us and the levels of behavior we are willing to live with (e.g., my toddler feeding the dog really bothered me...stinky gas all night from the dog was not something I wanted to live with). For me, the key was to recognize that it is okay if I am a type A when it comes to my kid feeding the dog or walking around with food (and therefore crumbs) that will exacerbate our ant problem. These might seem so silly to most moms, but they are important to me. So, pick your battles, let go of some other things, and then implement some of the many helpful techniques the previous posters outlined earlier.

A few things I have found helpful:

--Try to smile when your child triggers you. I know it sounds crazy, but when I stop and react by smiling before I do anything else, it's amazing how much better I am able to deliver my message because it is actually hard to get really angry when you are smiling. The smile starts off as a little fake, with gritted teeth, but in no time at all, it becomes genuine. And then the discipline message is so much more gently delivered and the child is usually happier to accept it.

--This sounds really silly, but when my dd was that age, singing discipline was helpful. For example, I would make up a little tune to: "Oh, you're throwing food at the dog now. It makes the doggy's tummy hurt when she eats people food. Let's keep our food on our plates instead. Lalalalalalala." If you are singing, it's hard to get mad and children love music.

One last thing, people recommended such great books, but one that might be helpful is "Playful Parenting"...especially for a mom like me who has some temper issues. It's not realistic to be playful all the time, so be gentle on yourself when your temper gets the better of you. You've got a lot on your plate! Hugs!
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#22 of 24 Old 06-18-2010, 09:46 AM
 
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I would also recommend the book "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline." As it talks a lot about how you need to practice calming yourself down and demonstrating acceptable behavior before it's really all that reasonable to expect it from a toddler with even less self-control. Plus it's also easier to change yourself which you have some control over rather than a toddlers actions. You can model the behavior yourself for him to learn from, just try to change one small thing at a time and congratulate yourself on improving step by step! Plus hey you've got two kids, this is a really really rough time just keep going day by day.

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#23 of 24 Old 06-19-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by olien View Post
DS is almost 22mo & I have a 6wk DD.

I read UP, these boards for a while & now reading Raising Our Children/Ourselves. I 'get' the concept of GD, but find it so hard to put it into practice, especially when DH is CONSTANTLY telling me to hit him. It makes me second guess the way I want to parent my DC. Not that I want to hit, but DS's behavior doesnt seem to be improving much & the few times DH has hit DS the behavior stopped immediately - of course out of fear

We start the day out great. Calm & happy. I just dont know what happens to me & DS during the day, but he gets so bad sometimes & I get so angry. I feel so out of control. I hate the way I am parenting him right now & it makes me sad. I yell, have caught myself cursing, saying things like what is wrong with you, grabbed him by the arm & forced him to move locations... all things that I regret... all things I dont want to be doing.

I guess what I am asking of you guys is how do you keep your cool all day long? Do you ever 'lose it' & sway from the GD or am I really out of control. I read these boards & most of you seem to have it so 'together'.

Also I am going to list some of DS's everyday angering behaviors. Can you tell me if they are normal at this age & any tips you may have to deal with them.
-throwing food to the dogs
-not staying seated to eat & wanting to run around with food in hand
-throwing things
-hitting (usually when he doesnt want to do something/anger & now tries to hit his DS)
-climbing onto kit counters/moving chairs to reach things on counters
-pulling all of our books off of the shelves
-laying down 1/2 way up stairs & not wanting to move
-hitting/pinching/pulling at dogs

At this age how long do you stick with trying to redirect & correct behavior before you see a change?? DH thinks you only should have to tell him a few times & the behavior should stop. I dont agree.

I just want a day where I am able to parent without yelling or getting mad - does such a day exist?????
First off, Big hugs.
We all have our moments when we feel like we are losing control and not doing things the way we want to. I get super angry, I have to walk away and give myself a time out before I attempt to try to correct a behavior. Sometimes I don't always take my own advice, and I end up raising my voice or yelling and then feel so incredibly guilty about it. It's just not worth it. Take a moment to collect yourself if you need it! You will be much more effective this way in correcting a behavior with a clear head. I think the only time I get super upset is when DS (2.5Y) hits or does something hurtful to me or our poor cat. Like just the other day the cat was laying out in the yard and DS runs full charge at the cat with the broom (which i was feeling all spoiled because he was sweeping the porch for me moments before..)and I just keep yelling "no no no! stop!" over and over because I know whats about to happen. He doesn't stop then just hits the cat with the broom. He loses the broom for not using it properly, and for stuff like that I do a time out. If you want to hurt a living thing, then you are in no way entitled to be around them, so he needs to take a moment to himself.

But the same goes for you! Step away and take a breath, collect yourself. Repeat that over and over when you are starting to feel you are losing control.
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#24 of 24 Old 06-21-2010, 12:50 PM
 
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Oh, Mama, big hugs. I'm sure you are bone tired and that makes everything harder. I wanted to ask if your little one is not also acting a little more amped-up than usual, since his world has drastically changed with the arrival of the baby? You talked about thinking about the intent behind some of his actions, and I wonder if taking that into consideration would also be helpful.

I also have a 23 month old (but thankfully at the moment no infant on top of it all! ). She is very high energy and wild. I find I simply HAVE to get her out of the house. As much as possible! It can be as simple as a walk thru the neighborhood to look for cats, or flowers, or stones, or birds, whatever!

Other posters have made great suggestions. I just have a couple more to add/reiterate.

We, too, have animals - 2 elderly cats and a big, tolerant, gentle labrador. I am sure I have said at least 3600 times (no exaggeration), "gentle touches, please" and modeled what a gentle touch is for animals. I remember with my older DD it was the same thing. Over and over and over and over and over . . . and then finally, one glorious day, it sticks. Be patient - it *will* come.

I laughed at the lying on the stairs. My Dd does that, too. I had an image of your going upstairs with the infant for a diaper change or nursing or something, and not wanting to stop and wait on the stairs. Perhaps the idea of leaving your DS on the stairs presents a safety issue for you, or perhaps you are in the midst of caring for a need of your newborn and just don't feel you have the time to dawdle on the stairs. In any event, think of your DS' perspective. He wants to have fun, attention, whatever. When my Dd does this I just tickle her and yell, "I'm gonna catch you!" (Or poke you, or tickle you, or chase you - whatever.) This usually gets her squealing with excitement and up and moving up the rest of the stairs. Same with clothing changes - she runs away from me and refuses to let me change her. I want to pull my hair out in frustration, esp if I'm in a hurry, but if I indulge her and chase her a bit, yelling that I'm going to catch her, it makes the whole thing easier when I actually do catch her and dress her. Keeping your sense of humor and thinking about what your DS is trying to accomplish, I think, will contribute to making things easier.

One final point - please go gentle on yourself. The spacing between my 2 kiddos is pretty big and I don't know how mamas with little ones close together escape with their sanity. Hang in there!

Mama to 2 mopheaded rascals
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