Is it possible to guide a 2 yo to express himself to parents with less belligerence? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 08-31-2011, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm wondering if the hive mind has suggestions about how to guide a 2 yo child (a spirited, highly verbal, very active child) to speak to his parents with a little less, well, sass. Or just tell me he'll grow out of it.

 

I'm not sure why he's decided to try this on, since we don't talk this way to each other at home, but lately our little guy will tell his papa, as soon as papa walks in the room "don't look at me!" or "don't talk to me!" or if papa says "hi little guy, how are you this morning?" he'll say "no! don't say hi little guy how are you this morning!!".

 

Papa is mildly amused by this, and in general just agrees that he won't do it and changes the topic of conversation or says ok "I'm going to put you in your car seat without looking at you" and makes a big deal of having his eyes closed.

 

Mama (me) tends to think that we need to let him know in a gentle way that it isn't ok to speak that way with your family. I'm fine (I guess) with him not wanting to interact with his papa (he still is at the age where I'm the numero uno choice) but I'd like him to learn how let us know what he needs in a kinder way. Telling him "we don't talk that way to papa, we say "papa, please don't look at me right now" doesn't really make any impact with him, which makes me think this is just some phase?

 

He goes to daycare with a mama who has a 3 year old and a 5 year old and then a couple of older kids (12 and 15). I'm thinking of asking her if he does that sort of thing or if he's seen/heard something that has made him want to try it on, but it almost doesn't matter where he picked it up, it seems to really be something he is enjoying wearing right now and I'm wondering what our options are.

 

thanks!

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#2 of 11 Old 08-31-2011, 04:22 PM
 
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I just usually rephrase things for them, in the tone I wish to hear it in.

 

So, I would very cheerfully say, "Papa, may I have Mama, please?"  And fulfill his request.

 

And just totally ignore his disagreeableness.  If he persists much longer, I would make him repeat it nicely before moving on, but he's pretty young for that. 


"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

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#3 of 11 Old 08-31-2011, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So hmmm. This isn't really about wanting me, I can be sitting right there beside him at the table when papa walks into the room and gets that response.

 

I don't think it's reasonable to ban papa from the breakfast table! We do try to model a better way of expressing, but if it's not that he wants mama, just that he doesn't want papa to be in the room, I'm not really down with that.

 

What I meant with being number one choice is that he never does this with me, just with papa and if given a choice, will still nearly aways choose to have me do something vs. papa. I think the preference bothers me a lot more than papa (I would like to some day go to the bathroom on my own!! heh).

 

thanks

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#4 of 11 Old 08-31-2011, 06:07 PM
 
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There is still probably something appropriate he CAN say instead, even if opposite.  Like..."I love you, Papa."

 

When my kids are being disagreeable about doing something I've asked, I prompt them to say, "Yes, Ma'am" because that's the polite thing to say.

 

When Papa comes in in the morning, the polite thing is to say good morning, or i love you, or something like that.  Just replace it with whatever you want him TO say. 

 

If you keep telling him "we don't do ...", please consider that one of you already DID.  So, apparently, what you are saying doesn't make sense to your ds.  You can say it isn't nice, or that you don't want him to, or whatever, but if you say "we don't ..."...well...that just doesn't make sense.


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#5 of 11 Old 08-31-2011, 06:54 PM
 
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It must be a 2 yr old stage because our 25 month old just started doing this exact thing with almost the exact phrasing.

She does it mostly with me, but has started to occasionally do it to her Mama and nanny too.

I react basically the same way as your partner and my wife is reacting basically the same way as you!

Sometimes she also just yells "STOP!" when she doesn;t want me to talk to her or look at her.

 

It was almost constant for the past month...but has started to die down a bit now...so I am thinking/hoping it is a short phase in the life of a very verbal 2 yr old.

 

Personally I don't think she is intentionally being rude or sassing. I just think that she really isn't wanting to interact in the way I am wanting to interact...or she is wanting to control the situation and she just doesn't have the skills to do it yet. Sometimes I will just gently correct her. I will say something like "I am not going to leave, but if you dont want to talk right now just say I do not want to talk right now daddy". And she will sometimes rephrase for me and then strike up a conversation with me on her terms a minute later.


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#6 of 11 Old 09-01-2011, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think you're right, and it's reassuring to know that this is just a developmental stage for some kids.  I don't think he's being intentionally rude either, but at the same time, I want to let him know there are better ways of expressing himself, ykwim? 

 

I couldn't quite figure out what that was, but reading what you and Just1More wrote helped us come up with some alternatives. What we tried this morning was to tell him that he could say "Papa, I'm eating breakfast with Mama right now" and then later "Papa, I'm spending time with Mama right now". That seemed to give him pause and while he paused his papa told him that he was going to sit down and have breakfast too, and he enjoyed hearing our conversation but Papa didn't have to join in. He didn't rephrase, but just like your daughter he ended up striking up a conversation with Papa on his own terms a few minutes later.

 

I think that because he is so terribly verbal, I forget how young his mind is still, even though I'm a neuroscientist and should know better!

 

They keep you guessing some days, don't they?

 

thanks!

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#7 of 11 Old 09-01-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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yup.. we get that here, only it's "DADDY NO SAY!  NO SAY DADDY!" or "no kiss, mommy." 

i think it has to do with those urges for autonomy, as this bit of fun coincides with the freak-out over dressing herself, etc. 

it bugs me waaaaay less than it does dh, and she doesn't do the same things with me she does to him (unless i just stop whatever it is and ignore it without thinking about it) they had a huge standoff the other day because he was standing beside her with his hand on the table.  she freaked out, he wouldn't move his hand (though i talked to him later about it, it really bothered me) so there was crying, screaming, and drama. 

i think maybe even though your child is very verbal, the developmental stage is still very much in the realm of trying to control himself and to see what he can control of the rest of the world.  (will daddy do what i say?  how about now?  if i yell, will they respond?) 


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#8 of 11 Old 09-01-2011, 12:39 PM
 
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With DS (2.5), we say something like, "DS, please ask nicely," or, "You need to talk nicely to Daddy." It's not done in a mean or threatening or emotional way, just a matter-of-fact, direct statement. We have been doing that for a while now, so he knows exactly what it means, but in the beginning (when he was 1.5 or so) we would explicitly tell him how he could rephrase things, to use a quieter voice, etc. We do not fulfill rude requests (in general... though he's 2, so yeah there are some times when he just *can't* state things nicely because he's too tired or emotional or whatever). At first, we reinforced most of his 'nice' requests with fulfillment, as long as it was reasonable, but now we ask him to ask nicely, even if the answer will be no.

Oh and DS has a mama preference too... one thing we've started is doing things together... so I will help DS put on his shirt, but Daddy helps with his pants... I'm not sure yet whether it will be successful long-term, but it seems to be working right now. DH is home full-time for now, so it's important to us that DS allow him to help him with things.

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#9 of 11 Old 09-01-2011, 01:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Oh and DS has a mama preference too... one thing we've started is doing things together... so I will help DS put on his shirt, but Daddy helps with his pants... I'm not sure yet whether it will be successful long-term, but it seems to be working right now. DH is home full-time for now, so it's important to us that DS allow him to help him with things.


huh.  you know that's our situation, too.  things that make you go hmmmmmm.

 


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#10 of 11 Old 09-01-2011, 08:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leftcoast_trillium View Post
I think that because he is so terribly verbal, I forget how young his mind is still, even though I'm a neuroscientist and should know better!

 

They keep you guessing some days, don't they?

 

thanks!



Absolutely kwym! Our daughter being so verbal and independent makes it hard sometimes for me to remember that she is still really just a baby.

And she sure does keep us guessing and on our feet. Sometimes I feel mean and sometimes I feel like a push over. I never know how to deal with things in the best way and what is worth a fight.

 

One other thing that our DD started doing around this same time is be very particular about how she wanted things to happen and freking out if they didn;t happen the way she planned or imagined.

For example:

If I am on my way home from work and she wanted to come out to the front porch to greet me but I end up getting home quicker and coming into the house it causes a lot of drama. She will freak out, cry and say "BUT I FORGOT TO COME SEE YOU!" Sometimes there is nothing I can do to fix it, but often I find myself trying to rewind things and let her complete the thing that she wanted to do. It happens several times a day and can be about anything. Then I try to rewind and fix it to get her to stop freaking out.

 


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#11 of 11 Old 09-04-2011, 08:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leftcoast_trillium View Post

I'm not sure why he's decided to try this on, since we don't talk this way to each other at home, but lately our little guy will tell his papa, as soon as papa walks in the room "don't look at me!" or "don't talk to me!" or if papa says "hi little guy, how are you this morning?" he'll say "no! don't say hi little guy how are you this morning!!".

 

DD is almost 3 but and does this too sometimes.

 

"Don't talk to me!" etc.  I have her rephrase or reminder her that the place to be where nobody talks to you is in your BEDROOM.  I don't have much patience for it, TBH.  


DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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