What can I "expect" from a 2yr old. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 05-28-2004, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Like many of you, I have a spirited toddler (which is kinda fuuny beause IRL I know very few ppl who have a "normal" child when it comes to activity...).

When can I start expecting him to listen. I'm trying really hard not to spank or yell but I find myself coming back to it. I'll do really well for about 2 weeks then it all goes downhill. I even have my dh spanking and yelling less.

My issue is that I think I expect too much from my 2yr old and then I get aggrivated and revert back to old ways. i forget that a 2yr old doesn;t think on my level. I can get so overwhelming.

What can I expec from him and what level can I related to him in a way that he'll get it?

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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#2 of 11 Old 05-28-2004, 01:58 AM
 
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I think you little fella and mine are nearly the same age - my guy was born late April 2002.

It sounds like you know what you can expect from your two-year-old - some listening, some not - mostly not. A two-year-old is still putting it all together and needs your reinforcement through repetition (yes, I know, it gets old quickly) and, then when that doesn't work, gentle re-direction or distraction.

I would suggest working on strategies about how you're handling his behavior. When I find myself going for the loud voice (I grew up with loud voices) I make an effort to turn myself instead way down. It calms me - and him too. And it helps him listen better - I think.

I also silently talk to myself and remind myself that I can handle this quietly and gently - that I am the one who has mature self-control and can model that for him - after all, that how I want him to be.

My latest strategy is to make me explain my request to him - just to make sure that they (my requests) are indeed necessary. For example, I often catch myself asking him to do something or do something a certain way that really isn't necessary. For example, I might say, sit on the step and eat your cheese and crackers and he'll say "no" and then go and sit on the floor by the step. If I have to explain my request (to him and him) then I may discover that a lot of the things I ask him to do aren't really that necessary - do you know what I mean? That may not have been the best example but I had found msyelf getting all worked up over requests or things that weren't that important. Since I've instituted that strategy, there's been less stress on both of us. I make fewer demands and the demands I do make are important ones - not piddly things.

I don't spank. I don't think it teaches a child anything except parents can hurt you when they want to.

Good luck.
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#3 of 11 Old 05-28-2004, 02:05 AM
 
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s

2 years old is generally a spirited age for every child. this is when they begin to develop a sense of independance (and begin saying "no" and asking "why?" and "why not?")...

2 years old was the age when my son snuck into the kitchen one morning when i was sleeping, got into the pantry, opened up the containers of water we had and tried to make juice... on the floor... after pulling out just about all of the other food we had and opening all of it. he ruined almost all the food we had stored up (not to mention the bottled water and juice mixes).

and then the next day he did it again.

and then i put the baby gate up and two days later he had figured out how to take the baby gate down... and did it again.

i stopped keeping bottled water in the pantry. :LOL

i mean... now i can laugh about it but i was literally in tears when it was happening. i had no clue how to deal with it ~ i was so mad, and he was so innocent.

i'll go look this up in my child psych book and post again in a few minutes.
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#4 of 11 Old 05-28-2004, 02:22 AM
 
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Megan:

check out this thread: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=149394

It's cool. Loads of suggestions about communciation, etc. I just found it for myself and thought you might find it useful.
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#5 of 11 Old 05-28-2004, 11:20 AM
 
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Okay -- my experience is that until somewhere near age 4, you have to get up, walk over, and "help" them "listen." Everytime. Follow-through is not the strong suit of a 2 or 3 year old. Even after 4 -- it seems like they get easily distracted and need "coaching." But its definately better.

But I don't think its reasonable to expect a 2 yo. to simply do what you say, unless you are also prepared to stand up, walk over, and guide them through it.

I 2nd the idea of coming up with "strategies." I used to work in mental health, and we came up with written "strategies" for coping with behavior issues in our adult clients. The strategies were written with the client's individual needs and temperment in mind by the people who were most experienced with that particular client, then reviewed by the entired staff, and adhered to consistantly by everyone for a period of time. And then re-evaluated for effectiveness.

I know it sounds like overkill -- but DH and I have used this approach with our kids. Brainstorming a strategy for a specific behavior problem, writing it up formally, reviewing it together to see that we are on the same page -- and then applying it consistantly for 2 weeks to see if it helps. (Without resorting to less constructive measures within that time frame.)

It helps us to have a plan. "This is what we're gonna do when he hits -- and we're gonna do it evertime, and we're both gonna do it... and in 2 weeks we'll talk about whether it helped or not."

I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Its kind of awful from a 2 yo. perspective to know that sometimes you are gonna get hit, but never knowing when or why. Having the possibility of being hit by either of his parents hanging over his head is really *NOT* going to help him behave. Its just going to confuse and upset him, and set him on edge -- which will in turn affect his behavior for the worse. I *do* know you are doing your best though.
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#6 of 11 Old 05-28-2004, 07:44 PM
 
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But I don't think its reasonable to expect a 2 yo. to simply do what you say, unless you are also prepared to stand up, walk over, and guide them through it.


redirection is really the only thing that will work for a child that age. that means that if they are doing something you don't like, you need to go redirect them to something else ~ sometimes this means having to physically move them, or remove them from the situation, or remove the object providing the target for the misbehaviour... etc. use simple words while showing them what you want them to do, and guiding them gently (and firmly if necessary) through it.

it takes a lot of time, effort, patience and consistency.

and although i mentioned i was going to post what was in my child psych book, the section is over 4 chapters long (well over 200 pages). i wasn't about to type all that. :LOL
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#7 of 11 Old 05-28-2004, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone in the land of a 2yr old!!

I'll try the strategies thing and see what happens

It's weird because I had no problem when he woke constantly and never considered letting him CIO but when it comes to spanking it, unfortunately, comes natural

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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#8 of 11 Old 05-28-2004, 10:49 PM
 
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Hello lurking bc i'm having similar issues. It seems to me that each child is different in terms of what you can expect and just as you get to know your child they enter a new phase and you have to adjust anyway. at least thats how it is going here. I think the real challenge is adjusting and controlling our reactions. I try to have two kinds of responses the one for when he is just doing stuff that is maybe not nice or well behaved or mess making ie throwing toys pulling the toilet paper roll and the other for real danger situations. The first is a lightweight response and I sometimes wonder if it is even necessary. Like "oh kai mommy is really sad that you unraveled the tp because it is so much work for mommy to clean" or something The danger one is where I get into trouble lately raising my voice and he still doesnt pay attention.
Burritomama Yor advice is amazing just reading your 1st post I felt a lightbulb click on in my brain -- getting quieter instead of louder is brilliant just yesterday ds was in the tub and started jumping around and throwing things I did my strict loud voice telling him to stop that it was dangerous and it only egged him on then I sad Kai whats wrong why are you throwing toys are you angry? It totally stopped him and he talked to me It was such a breakthrough. I also really like the idea of explaining. I seem to get caught up in these loops sometimes where I ask him to do something and we go 5 rounds and by then end im so worked up that he isn't listening and frustrated bc the request now seems silly and not worth all the fuss. What do you do if you find it was an unreasonable request? How do you explain the change to ds? I cant wait to try you suggestions today.
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#9 of 11 Old 05-29-2004, 12:15 AM
 
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Megan, I hope you didn't feel attacked by my post. I do realize how much you are struggling over this -- I didn't want to make you feel worse. I guess I was just trying to say, from a practical standpoint, some of his difficult behavior may well be a *result* of unpredictable spanking. I know that when my children feel "on edge" or unsure, they act out a lot. So that is something to consider when you discipline.
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#10 of 11 Old 05-29-2004, 12:21 AM
 
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kaismom: I agree - I noticed that the loud vocie just seemed to escalate the matter. the soft vocie really took us someplace diffrent.

regarding the realization that I am making an "unreasonable" or "unneccesary" request - well, I just shift gears. I take it back, if I said it -- though ideally I have thought it through before I verbalized it and it never got to that stage. that is, I really try to think before I speak (sometimes, of course, many times, this doesn't happen) --and add a "because" clause of explanation. If the explanation is absurd or nonexistent, well, then, it's over. Does that make sense? I grew up with a parent who was always making arbitrary demands on her children - for no reason usually than just that she was bigger and sadder and angrier than we were. I am trying to avoid that pattern (that loop).

Like spanking. My mother spanked, hit, etc. It was so frightening, especially when I was younger --and then when I got older to watch her spank my younger sisters when they were just toddlers. To KNOW she was going to hit them...Agh. It still gets me - the powerlessness of children.

It's hard to break patterns - but SO important.

More later - gotta put the little guy to bed.
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#11 of 11 Old 05-30-2004, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mamaduck
Megan, I hope you didn't feel attacked by my post. I do realize how much you are struggling over this -- I didn't want to make you feel worse. I guess I was just trying to say, from a practical standpoint, some of his difficult behavior may well be a *result* of unpredictable spanking. I know that when my children feel "on edge" or unsure, they act out a lot. So that is something to consider when you discipline.

Actually I found nothing your post remotely offensive. I'm asking so I have to be willing to hear the answer. I think you are right though.

My parents spanked and such but I don't remember ANY of it. I don't remember one spanking. They only spanked until we were about 4. Then they stopped and things were handled differently.

I just don't want to spank at ALL!

Thank you ladies so much. This is very helpful

Single Mom to 2 amazing little men. T(7) and B(5)
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