Help Please! Trouble with my Toddler - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 02-22-2012, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Being rude does not help anyone. If i could delete this entirely i would. PJ i AM a fabulous mom and for you to be so darn condescending is downright out of line.


Moving on...

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#2 of 5 Old 02-23-2012, 05:14 AM
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You seem to think that discipline = spanking, time outs, punishments and labeling the child "bad"

There are many other ways of disciplining that are not punitive or separation-based, do not involve corporal punishment, and do not make your child "bad".

It sounds like your usual methods are not working so maybe it's time to look into other ways of discipline.

Personally I do not believe in punitive discipline or time outs, and how can you expect a child NOT to be aggressive and violent when he sees you spanking his brother and /or him? That teaches that we solve problems with violence so no wonder when that is what they start doing. It sounds like you are working on stopping that, and I hope you can find the support you need to keep going in that direction.

This forum is full of resources where you can educate yourself about more gentle methods of setting limits. There are countless books and websites, and this one is a great place to start.

For me (I have a spirited 21 month old) I find the underlying thing that is essential is working to keep a strong loving connection with my boy. I found his behavior improved tremendously when I switched my focus to working with him rather than constantly seeing a power struggle. I started focusing on making sure he felt connected to me as much as possible, and lo and behold the struggles got so much less, it was astounding! Many "experts" say that all "mis"behavior is the result of the child feeling unconnected, and I have seen it is, at least a lot of the time, true.


I'm sorry I don't have more specific advice, but to me it seems like your entire approach could use a makeover, since your current one clearly is not working with this child. Good luck Mama!

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#3 of 5 Old 02-23-2012, 05:38 AM
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A lot of toddlers go through an aggressive phase. Your first must not have so this must be shocking to you. But it is normal for them to get aggressive when they don't get what they want. It gets better with language development and when they can describe what they're feeling rather than just acting on it, so I'd show empathy and describe what you think he's feeling. "You look very frustrated. It's hard to have to wait for your turn." You can also hold his hands when he tries to hit and say, "Hitting is not OK. I will not let you hit me." Also, try not to phrase things as "don't" because not all kids understand contractions that early, which can make "Don't hit your brother" sound like "blah blah hit your brother.". And even if they do understand the word "don't" it puts the image of what you don't want them to do in their minds, and impulse control is pretty much nil at that age, so once the image is in their head it's hard to resist. Try to say "be gentle" instead of "don't hit."

Also, to echo a point in the PP, spanking is going to reinforce this aggression, not stop it. What he'll learn from being spanked is that hitting gets people to do what you want. He will learn from what you do a million times more than from what you say. You need to model how to behave.

I'd mainly try to change your view of him from an aggressive child to a normal child who is going through an aggressive phase. Kids will live up or down to whatever labels you place on them.
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#4 of 5 Old 02-23-2012, 11:23 AM
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i definitely hear you! my dd is 21 months and is extremely aggressive. i have been at my wits end many a times too. i understand also having never wanted to spank and yet in a minute of rage, doing just that.


in any case, i like mamazee and p.j.'s ideas. i think what started working for me (dd's a bit less aggressive "sometimes") was when she's scratch, i'd hold her hands and gently say, we do not scratch. that's not ok. hands are to 'love/be gentle/be kind'' with. i also ask her if her friends (elmo and dora) are kind and gentle. she always says yes. for some reason, connecting it to her 'friends' seems to make her understand or even 'hear' me instead of tuning me out.


i also just distract her. after i say my little shpeal, i, in an excited tone say something like, let's go look for " ... " . and she usually will just forget what had happened and move on. 


on another note, when we are outside sometimes and she doesn't get what she wants, i do just let her scream/holler/fuss - yep. out in public. with my dd, i realize that sometimes the harder i try to 'help' the more whiney and frustrated she gets. if i ignore her, she calms down much quicker. 


hugs. keep me posted on how ds and you are doing.

married for 4.5 yrs . dd 5/2010 . expecting 11/2012!!!

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#5 of 5 Old 02-23-2012, 05:52 PM
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PJ, OP asked for help, not ridicule.  There is a fine line between constructive criticism and ridicule.  




OP, I'd just try to find an outlet for his energy, keep him busy, and tell him what "to do" instead of what "not to do" (small to us, but can make a big difference in how a child perceives what you're saying).

Me (27) DW (28) DD1 (9) DD2 (7) DD 3 (4)
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