GD and defiant 2 yo behavior - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 6 Old 01-05-2004, 09:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, my DD is showing some limit testing/defiant behavior. For instance while we were picking up thing the other day rather than picking up things she was throwing more toys and things around. She understands the concept of picking up because we have the cleanup song and he usually helps pick up or at least goes and does something else.
I told DD that I did not like her making more mess while I was trying to clean up and told her she could go play in her room (not by means of time out or anything, just another option for something more constructuve to do) and I offered to get down a toy she likes, or she could help me pick up. She looked at me and grabbed a box of toys and dumped them while looking right at me in a defiant way.
My friend told me that this is what time outs are for, but we don't do time outs, but then what is the GD way to discipline this behavior. It really makes me crazy actually and feeling tired at the time I yelled at her that I was angry that she did this and I picked up the toys and started to do something else. I guess that showed her I really really didn't like it.
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#2 of 6 Old 01-08-2004, 12:15 AM
 
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I look at it this way: right now, you have a little power struggle. If you try to extinguish this behavior thru punishment (time-out), you will have a BIG power struggle. And dd has already shown interest in a power struggle....how interested are you? lol

You might emphasize the natural consequence of the behavior ("Now we have a LOT more to clean up! Mommy will be busy cleaning this up for a while, and not able to play with you for a while, unless you help me clean up the big mess!" or "That makes me very angry! You've made more work for me! Mommy will have to take a break to calm herself down."--and then take a break). My dd (3 next month) has learned that I need time to recoup if we battle (it's true, I do)--and that is a natural motivation to work things out without battling, kwim? Work things out--not "do as mommy says". I'm open to negotiation

Couple other ideas--does she have the vocab to express frustration/anger/etc? Maybe labelling her feelings when she responds this way might help. In certain circumstances, the toy could go in time-out instead of the child. And finally, making sure you get all of your needs met (yeah, right ) so that you can take her little "acts of independence" in stride. I found this age to be VERY trying, and dd is much more cooperative 6 months older.
HTH!
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#3 of 6 Old 01-08-2004, 02:46 AM
 
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I just wanted to suggest that you try to shift your interpetaion of her motives a bit when you address these hard situations. If you assume she is being "defiant" than it is much more difficult to negotiate. OTOH -- if you assume the best of her intentions it will be much easier to stay positive. To say that she is being deliberately defiant just sets you up to be in conflict with her.

Its very hard for me sometimes, but "assume the best of their intentions" has become one of the gentle discipline ground rules I have set for myself.

In the toy throwing situation, I would try to assume that she just wasn't ready for her toys to be picked up yet, and was communicating that the best way she knew how.

However, I'm *not* saying that you need to give into her whims and fits. Just that you can hold your ground AND be sympathetic to her feelings at the same time.
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#4 of 6 Old 01-09-2004, 02:30 PM
 
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NuggetsMom,

My daugter was born on Sept 18, 2001. I know what's going on. Mine is just starting the things you described. I hope the help keeps comin' in because I could use it too!

Is your daugher getting bored? Mine has totally lost interest in the old things that she used to love. What is your child into? I can't seem to help Aya find some new things to do...I fear we need more crap, fine, but what?

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#5 of 6 Old 01-09-2004, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it was true in that instance that DD was bored. She is used to going to a home care and having kids and friends and activity around her. But over the holidays she was home a lot because she got sick and then the daycare closes for two weeks. Maybe she was missing her friends. We visited one of them and they fell into each others arms. It was too cute. Plus she was asking for different friends too. Plus the holidays are a weird time too. I was feeling tired (on account of being pg) and stressed (on account of having work that I couldn't do going undone) and it was raining all the time. There are no good places here to play and run indoors either because it doesn't rain much. We ended up going to McDonalds with playland!

I think keeping in mind what the emotion behind the bahavior is is a good idea and then making clear that I understand her emotion but that I don't like the behavior and taking myself out of the situation is a good idea. Of course easier said than done.

But DD is also very interested in devoping her emotional vacabulary. Particularly if it is my emotion. "Oh, Mommy is angry?" "mommy is sad?" So I think part of the motivation is that she is experimenting with the world. "Mmmm what makes mommy angry?, sad?, etc" I hadn't really noticed that untill you mentioned it sunnmama, and that is a good point. That may help keep me from things excalating too.

Finally a disclaimer that things are not as bad as they seem really. I am not finding two's terrible (which I attribute to AP and GD) and usually I am able to handle things in a more composed way.

Anyway any more ideas are welcome, and thanks for the ones that I got.
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#6 of 6 Old 01-10-2004, 03:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by mamaduck
I just wanted to suggest that you try to shift your interpetaion of her motives a bit when you address these hard situations. If you assume she is being "defiant" than it is much more difficult to negotiate.
This is so true! It helps to think, "What is she trying to tell me?" In this case it might be that she was having fun playing w/ her toys and doesn't want to stop. Well, show her that even cleaning up can be fun. Here are a couple of ideas that work for us:

Get a laundry basket and, standing a couple feet away, try to toss in toy. Yell and cheer when you "score". Repeat until all the toys are collected.

If time is a factor, say, "Let's see how fast we can put these toys away" or "I wonder if you can pick up more toys than me". Kids love to race and they love to win! My dd is almost 7, but she still loves it when we say, "I bet you can't do (whatever task she's balking at) before I count to 10!" Sometimes it's hard because I just want to get things done and don't always feel like playing games, but life is much nicer when the kids are laughing. Hth.
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