Any good discipline/tantrum books? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 04-28-2003, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
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DD is 2 yo. Lately she has been throwing tantrums or just refusing to do things that need to get done (put clothes on, brush teeth etc.).

We have tried everything we could think of
- reasoning
- giving choices (this is just received with "no, no, no")
- ultimatums - "we will read a book when you put your clothes on"
- nagation - "you don't want to take your jammy off"
- ignoring - just walking away, and ignoring her - this can turn into a full blown tantrum which can last 45 min or so...
- trying to talk about feelings - she hates that - as soon as you ask her how she is feeling she cries even more
- distractions - this works sometimes, but we need to go through 100 things to find one that will work - it is getting pretty tiering
- telling her her behavoiur makes us sad

We don't know what to do any more. We don't want to spank and are not even thinking about it, but we want to be peacefull and happy. What can we do?

We also tried to think of what the reason might be for all these tantrums, and it usually is when something doesn't happen her way, for example she doesn't want a Micky mouse waffle that morning, or we won't pick up a book that she dropped and is by her feet, or won't feed her.

This started few months ago, but seems like it has gotten worse lately. She does have a month old sister that she adores, so I am sure she is feeling a bit neglected. We are trying to do out best to spend as much time as possible with her - one on one, as well as everybody together etc. She does not seem to be jaelous of her sister, she always asks about her and wants to play with her and kiss and hug her and give her toys...

I would love some advice or some good book recommendations of how to deal with 2 year olds and their tantrums. I read "Emotianal life of a toddler" which was great, but I need more books that would help us.

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#2 of 7 Old 04-28-2003, 07:27 PM
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Well, I think the reason that she is having tantrums is that she is 2

My favorite book (and I'm sure you are all sick of hearing about it) is "The Secret of Parenting" by Anthony Wolf. Great explanation of why kids tantrums. Why so many things don't work. Not real AP but TOTALLY against spanking or any kind of punishment.

Other people love Kids and Power Struggles.
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#3 of 7 Old 04-28-2003, 08:18 PM
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i also have a two year old (and a 4 year old).

not wanting to get dressed or brush teeth is SO natural at this age. i don't think you should view it as 'poor behavior' developing...
when we're at home our 2 yr old is often in all her glory, running around the house naked happy as can be. and when we have to go somewhere and she does have to get dressed i often literally take the clothes to the car with me where she's more likely to get dressed in anticipation for going somewhere. and there have been times when teeth weren't brushed... sometimes it's much better to just let some things go rather than turn it into a big issue. once something's been turned into a big issue it makes matters much worse.

i have to say 45 minutes sounds like a very long time for a tantrum to me. we might see a couple of minutes of a tantrum before things resolve.

as far as recognizing feelings, asking how a child feels at 2 yrs old is perhaps too advanced. you have to just acknowledge their feelings yourself outloud..."you feel really mad because you don't want to ..." "you're very angry with me because...." "you're sad because you don't want to...." "you would rather..." "you wish i would...instead" and say these things with sincere compassion. your child wants to get along harmoniously as much as you do. when things get rough, it's hard on everyone, not just the parent.

as with most of parenting sometimes things with a 2 yr old just aren't convenient by any standards. you just have to bend and sway and pick your battles and let some things go. this can be a very hard time of life for her as well. and as you noted a new sibling is huge adjustment!!! especially at such a young age.

i probably haven't helped much, but i do wish you the best.....
and i do really like the book 'kids parents and power struggles'
and also i HIGHLY suggest the book "siblings without rivalry" by the same authors.
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#4 of 7 Old 04-29-2003, 08:01 AM
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This is the only book I have read so far on this issue. It talked about the different age levels and what to expect from each one. It is definitely AP. Dr. Sears is a big AP person. I'm at the point where I need to re-read the book. I have not read it in years and now I have my second child over two.

Shane - Homeschooling mom to three boys (12, 1-, 8) and living the open life with my husband.

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#5 of 7 Old 04-30-2003, 12:27 PM
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"How to Talk so Kids will Listen and listen so kids will talk" is really great. I did not find Dr Sears' book that good for young toddlers but maybe I should go back and look at it now. My ds was an easy two year old but will be 3 in two weeks and man are things heating up around here! I have really found that talking about how they are feeling or as Sparklemom said, telling them how they feel, really helps. Also when the tantrum is inevitable, just let it happen. I find that sometimes the more I try to make things better the more frustrated he gets so he starts looking for things to lose it over. So if I just say, "Do you want to cry?" he'll nod his head with his lip stuck out to here, I lift him into my lap and he has a good cry or sometimes not so I guess just recognising that he wants to cry is enough sometimes. There was a good article in Mothering about tantrums a few issues back that was worth the price of a subscription for me!
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#6 of 7 Old 04-30-2003, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the ideas! I read "Sibling without rivalry" and browsed through "How to talk so you child will listen" and they seem like great books, but I think she is too little to really get that approach. I should read it a bit more closely to see if I can use any of the tools from it. I put other recommendations on my list of books to get and will definitely look into it.

She had a meltdown last night before going to bed, and DH was trying to deal with her, but she wanted me for whatever reason (I had to feed the baby - I tried for 20min and couldn't do anything and the little one was crying so DH and I switched places). After I sat down with her, and distracted her, she said "Peachy (her nickname) feels better now". It almost broke my heart. So we read some books and I sang a song and she happily went to bed (45min later than her normal bed time).

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#7 of 7 Old 05-03-2003, 09:24 PM
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Loving Your Child Is Not Enough

I really got a lot out of this one
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