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Hi everyone, this is my first time posting on this section of the board.<br><br>
DH & I have a wonderful DD who will be 2 this December. We are also expecting another DD this December. We have come to a definite hurdle in our efforts (or lack of) or whatever (because I really just don't know anymore) in disciplining our daughter.<br><br>
She's a very rebellious little girl. She tests us whenever possible- I suppose all children go through phases like this and it's completely normal. OUR issue is dealing with it. The constant utterance of "no" by her, the defiance.. sometimes I feel like I've got a teenager on my hands instead of a 2yo.<br><br>
We have never leaned towards a certain parenting style with her as far as discipline and right and wrong go, which I suppose put us in this situation in the first place. When she turned a year old, my DH started the hand-smacking, which I didn't agree with. I felt like it was moreso him taking his agression out on DD. I admit that I have done a few spanks and hand smacks, and felt terrible about them afterwards. My DH spanks her.. alot. Sometimes all it would take would be an explanation of why she shouldn't do whatever she did, but nonetheless, this is how he was raised and he just can't understand.<br><br>
I know my 2yo doesn't understand.. "why are mommy and daddy hurting me?". I think a spank or smack is enough to make a child forget about what they did wrong in the first place, and basically gets you nowhere because they're not understanding the whole "consequences" thing. Especially at not even two years old.<br><br>
I just don't know where to start, where to turn our parenting style around, or how. I was hoping someone here could offer up some helpful advice or "basics" that work with your kids (around the same age, preferrably).<br><br>
DD is big on doing things she is told not to (and knows she's not supposed to). She also doesn't listen to us- at all. No matter what our tone of voice. Sweet as pie, angry, or right in between. She'll defy us right in front of our faces. How are we supposed to handle that?<br><br>
I'm assuming the things she does are kid things that normal kids do, but I may be wrong. She colors on walls and knows she's not supposed to. She's constantly at Daddy's computer desk. She pulls a chair up to stuff that's up high that she can't reach (her independence is tough to deal with- she doesn't ask, she does it herself. Even if I am willing to help). She constantly says "No" and already has an "attitude" with us. She seems to push us around, essentially. Other than that, she's her typical michevious toddler self, and that's acceptable. I just don't know how to draw the line between right and wrong for her... I really have no idea. Is it too late? Thanks a ton in advance.
 

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Hey!<br><br>
My DD will be 2 in February, so I know where you're coming from. Honestly, I think it's not just normal but necessary for toddlers this age to say no and go against what you say. I don't usually think of it as defiance, because it's an important part of developing independence. As far as things that she really can't do, like coloring on the walls, she really isn't old enough to have the self-control to not do it, even if she knows she's not supposed to. Best thing to do is to only let her use crayons under supervision. Just like with a baby--toddlerproof instead of babyproof, so that her environment has lots of things she CAN do and very few or no things she CAN'T do.<br><br>
And yeah, sorry about your DH wanting to spank. Definitely not helpful at this age--not at any age, really, but ESPECIALLY not with a child so young. The most helpful technique for me with my DD is the stuff from Happiest Toddler on the Block--great book. Very helpful techniques. Another book I like a lot is Playful Parenting. Honestly, I know it's hard to feel like she's never going to learn right from wrong if you don't give her consequences and stuff, but you really don't have to--not at all, really, and especially not when she's so young. With things like defiance and saying no, I either affirm DD's feelings (per Happiest Toddler on the Block) or just turn it into a game. Two year olds NEED to defy you and go against what you say in order to develop their independence and sense of self. So yeah, in a lot of ways, you ARE dealing with a little teenager. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
So...for the issues you mentioned, I would say some toddlerproofing will help more than anything. Put Daddy's computer desk behind a closed door that she can't open; only use crayons under supervision; put snacks and things that she's climbing up to get down where she can reach them. Get her a stepstool she can push around and teach her to climb it safely (if she's climbing up a chair without help, then she's probably plenty coordinated enough for a stepstool! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> ). For the saying no, just expect it. It really isn't a bad thing--it's important and necessary. Two year olds are oppositional because they're figuring out that there is such thing as two people in the world--Me and You. Right now it's tough, but this realization--of which "no!" is the symptom--is what lays the foundation for empathy in the future. So think of it this way: her defiance of you right now is the first step on her path toward understanding other people and caring about other people's needs. It's not something you need to break or get rid of--just a stage that you all need to get through together.<br><br>
Hope this helps!
 

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I could have written this post, I actually came to this forum looking for advice for the same EXACT situation with my 2.5 yo DD. It's funny how similar our situations are. Unfortunatly I don't have any advice, as I said I'm looking for some myself, but I can definitely sympathize with your situation. I'll be checking back to see what advice you get from other people, because nothing has worked for us either.
 

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And another book you should read (if you can find the time! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">) that you'll hear recommended a LOT on this forum: Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. Seriously...if I could get every parent in the world to read one book, it would be this one. It won't give you a lot of techniques, but it will totally change the way you think about your relationship with your kids. There's an Unconditional Parenting support thread on this forum where you can read about a lot of the ideas from the book.
 

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Well I have a 2 year 3 month old daughter who is very very spirited. Despite this we have never ever spanked her and I can say that most days she is very well behaved.<br>
First of all finding out what triggers her to misbehave and avoiding that is a huge goal of mine. In my daughter's case her triggers are being allowed to do things independently and getting enough sleep. If she is tired than she is completely unable to control her actions. If I try and take over control of everything than she feels powerless and acts out. Knowing these things makes our days fairly pleasant most of the time.<br>
I let her have every opportunity for independence...having a step stool, climbing in and out of her car seat by herself, snacks in a cabinet where she can easily reach them etc.<br>
I think raising a toddler is all about knowing your child and being creative. Turn their defiance into a game...example my daughter doesn't want to get into her car seat well lets see how fast she can do it. Negotiate whenever possible...example my daughter did not want to wear her shoes yesterday to the store so we brought them along with an explanation that they would need to be put on once we got to the store. Offer choices thereby empowering your child...example would you like the blue cup or the red one. And lastly pick your battles...what is really important to your family and not negotiable.<br>
I also think consistency is very important. If something is non-negotiable it needs to be that way every single time. My daughter knows what is non-negotiable and so that makes those situations a lot easier to handle.<br>
I think spanking is an easy way to distract the child and thereby stop the misbehavior...but what are they actually learning from it. NOTHING! Are they learning why not to behave in a certain way...no. Are they learning alternate ways to behave...no. Are they learning that bigger people should hit little people...IMO yes.<br>
As for your specific issues I agree that she is too young to have the impulse control not to draw on the walls. At her age is is your job to avoid these situations as her parent rather than expecting her to be able to refrain from the behavior. As for her saying "NO"...the more chances to give her to do things herself the more likely that the NO's will lessen. And as for her not listening make sure to get down on her level so there are no distractions when you speak to her and again decide what is non-negotiable. By setting firm limits that she understands she will know when it is important to listen. Another thing is say YES whenever possible as it will make her more likely to listen and hear you when you do say no.<br>
And good luck as I have found this to be a very trying age. Lots of creativity and patience is needed. I try and read a lot of these gentle discipline posts to get ideas and lost of gentle discipline parenting books. Both of these things help me get perspective. When I do lose my temper and yell at my daughter I always apologize and we start over.
 

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And by the way 6 months ago my parenting techniques were also a little different. More re-direction and distraction was used as a child under the age of 2 just does not have the capacity to truly understand or control their behavior. And depending on the child they may not have the capacity to negotiate either. I happen to have a very smart, spirited, and very verbal two year old...but still 6 months ago she needed a lot more direction from me then she does now.
 

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Thank you mamas so very much. I agree that our home needs some toddlerproofing- but it is more difficult than just that. We've got three rooms. One room is the giant open room, which is the living room (where the computer is), kitchen, and our bedroom. DD has her own room, and then there's the bathroom. I've tried my hardest to keep things out of sight (out of sight=out of mind), but it is very trying in our scenario with a very small home.<br><br>
She is very verbal and smart, so negotiating etc. is an option within reason. She really has no desire to negotiate though, most of the time, unless I'm offering up something she really wants to do. It's very difficult to negotiate with her without crossing my boundaries and letting her do something I'd otherwise be uncomfortable with her doing, or not let her do, period. I'm working on that though.<br><br>
I also admit, I do yell. Though I try not to, I do. I always apologize to her after the fact (immediately though), and she's okay with it. I still feel terrible about it though. She has also started apologizing for things she has done wrong, and understands what an apology is because I apologize for my actions. Example- she opens up Daddy's Stereo and puts a few coins in the CD disk tray (yeah, lots of toddlerproofing needed. She shouldn't even have coins but my husband and I don't see quite eye-to-eye on alot of aspects of parenting). She knows not to do this, and like you all said, she is still under two and doesn't have as much capacity as I'd wish she'd have in controlling her behavior. After explaining why coins don't go there, that they go in the piggy bank, she apologizes. On her own- without me asking her to. So I do know that she understands everything after it is explained.<br><br>
I've heard conflicting things, even on this forum about giving explanations and negotiating. My DH doesn't like to explain himself to her, he's pretty much "what I say goes". He didn't have a wonderful childhood- much like the recent post about the poster's 4yo daughter and her husband- DH didn't do Xmas Trees, or much else as a kid. He doesn't embrace childhood. His parents were very rough on him, He'd get hit for even very simple small things... YET he was very spoiled, as is his sister (who is 15 currently). There was no sense of right and wrong once they got older, and he kind of learned to escape his family's ways. When he was young though, which was probably the key time for him to LEARN, he couldn't, because everything was so mixed up as far as discipline goes. I think he's in a way holding us back. DD is much more well behaved with me, and when DH gets home, all hell breaks loose- and she doesn't really do it to him, she does it to me, mostly. She tries to push MY buttons. I get agitated, ask DH for some help here, he gets agitated, and she eventually gets the inevitable smack on the hand or in the butt- from him. Whereas I think the situation would have been solved had I been alone.<br><br>
DH isn't a big reader or a big listener, he's actually pretty ignorant and refuses to- because he feels that I'm questioning him as a human being and he goes on the defensive. He's really clueless- is there any way I can get HIM to come around as far as a more gentle method of discipline goes? Or do I continue to try and do what I'm doing (with some revisions clearly), and leave him out of it and try to avoid a situation? My best guess is that I'd have to make him understand that this is common for a child of this age and you kind of have to "bear with them". BUT.. with the history of how he was brought up- I have a feeling he won't want to hear it.
 

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From the sound of your husband, you need something that will allow him to feel like he is parenting, without raising a hand.<br>
"Parenting with Love and Logic" (they have a book specific for ages 0-6) has been a wonderful tool for us in that way.<br>
It talks about how allllll children are conducting experiments. They are trying to figure out how the world works, and that is why they do things that we don't want them to, or defy us.<br>
Children need to know that mom and dad have self control and control over the situation when the child is out of control. Hitting, yelling and etc show the parent to be out of control. It puts a lot of pressure on the child to try to feel secure about their environment.<br><br>
Since we started using the techniques in the book, our DD has been happier, more free, we have been less stressed, and she is still developing those skills she will need when she is making decisions for herself as a teen and an adult.<br><br>
That would be my suggestion considering your husband's background. Plus, it is a fairly short book (the 0-6) and it has a step by step process.<br><br><br>
Good luck with whatever you choose. I know finding what works for you, your husband and your family can be difficult.<br><br>
Also, find a way to consistently praise your husband for the parenting he does right, and thank him, even for the silliest things.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I completely understand where you are at. I also have a tot who sounds just like your DC. And I also have a WONDERFUL DH, but we disagree on how to handle our DC behavior. He sees spanking as an acceptable form of discipline, and I despise the idea. I came from an abusive home, and the few times when I have gotten frustrated and spanked out of desperation I felt like an abuser. And it really is harder to hide things in a smaller home, like the computer or the crayons when your homeschooling... With that said, I am looking for ideas too, and I am looking forward to reading some of the replies to your thread.
 

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I haven't read all the posts, but I have a two year old and and Dh who has more "authoritarian" views than I do.<br><br>
I <i>really</i> liked the Sears' Discipline book. I was able to talk about some of the principles with Dh, and they resonated with him, too. There is no way that "unconditional parenting" or "consensual living" would work in our house-- because I am not consistent/patient enough, and Dh is sortof hung up on the authority issue. I think the Sears balanced approach (discipline is based on attachment and love, but parents still need to be authority figures) fits our family really well.<br><br>
The Sears discipline book is probably the only AP one I have read that I think Dh would read without rolling his eyes, <i>especially</i> the chapter on Fathers as Disciplinarians and the chapter on spanking.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Distraction, Redirection, and Removal! I may sound a little blase as I am not yet in your shoes, but those principles are the cornerstones of our current parenting philosophy.<br><br>
I try distraction first. Hey - wanna play with this toy? Is that an airplane? Let's go:___ , insert benign activity here.<br><br>
If that doesn't work, I look to redirect the impulse if I deem it appropriate. I understand that my son is very physical: when he wants to climb on an unstable office chair I try to redirect him to something like climbing the stairs with me. Or I take him to our sturdy, low coffee table and help him climb and dismount it with my supervision. I try to encourage him to be adventuresome but aware.<br><br>
So, for example: If she is coloring on the walls, you can distract with another activity, or you could consider taping a large piece of butcher paper to the wall that she can color. If that fails, remove the crayons. Extreme tantrums may best be served by holding the child so they cannot injure themselves.<br><br>
I think removal is an important step. You CANNOT logically argue with a small child. It's pointless, and unhealthy for their development. If they do not immediately agree to your request, and other measures have failed, *I* believe the best thing is to remove the child from the situation. Otherwise you lose control.<br><br>
Also, look for the temper tantrums article here. It's very insightful. Many times an argumentative toddler is really just hitting a (develop)mental wall. Arguments and logic aren't what they need. They may need a nap, a snack, or just to know that you understand they are frustrated. Your frustration only fuels theirs.<br><br>
As for climbing, etc.... I don't want to squash my child's interests. Nor do I want to teach him to fear getting hurt (Injury-anxiety often makes you more prone to injury - ex: learning to fall. If you fear falling you are likely to brace and hurt yourself. If you learn to fall, you will be scraped but may avoid broken bones!). I'd rather he learn to fall skillfully than hope he never falls. He is carefully monitored at all times, but we often observe him closely rather than telling him to stop exploring.<br><br>
Best of luck - we are starting to get to those 'terrible' twos and are interested to see how our parenting style (and sanity) holds up! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I'm going to be honest and say that in our home some things regarding our parenting technique are also non-negotiable! My husband does not like me to interfere when he is trying to parent and that is not negotiable. And I absolutely do not like him to be extra harsh in his words or actions with our daughter. We both respect the fact that these are non-negotiable terms in our home. I think you and your husband need to sit down and do the same with regards to making spanking a non-negotiable term. Decide together what you BOTH agree to be appropriate.<br>
I know my husband does not agree 100% with all of my parenting tactics nor I his, but as long as we stay within agreeable limits then we are able to parent together and successfully. There are times when I call him out or him I though when our patience gets the better of us and I feel that is okay too as it keep us both balanced and focused on what is important...proper discipline and teaching.<br>
Also I would do what you need to do and let your husband see the positive effects from it. Bring it up often and gently and I'm sure he will catch on. You cannot force him, but it is definitely important for you two to get on the same page.<br>
I also like what another mom said about offering alternatives. Your daughter is putting coins in the CD player...hand her a bucket instead, crayons on the wall...give her a piece of paper...etc. This is teaching her what is acceptable and she will learn. In a few months she will be able to ask for that bucket or that paper instead of using the CD player or wall because she has learned what is allowed to be done with these items. Though still be prepared for her to make mistakes.<br>
My daughter has never had an issue with coloring off of paper though we still remind her often to do so as we recognize she is only 2. The other day she did color with pen on the computer screen. I was able to get it off, but ultimately I wasn't providing adequate supervision and she was just being 2 so I reminded her where we color but I definitely was not angry with her.<br><br><br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>WindyCityMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14708647"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thank you mamas so very much. I agree that our home needs some toddlerproofing- but it is more difficult than just that. We've got three rooms. One room is the giant open room, which is the living room (where the computer is), kitchen, and our bedroom. DD has her own room, and then there's the bathroom. I've tried my hardest to keep things out of sight (out of sight=out of mind), but it is very trying in our scenario with a very small home.<br><br>
She is very verbal and smart, so negotiating etc. is an option within reason. She really has no desire to negotiate though, most of the time, unless I'm offering up something she really wants to do. It's very difficult to negotiate with her without crossing my boundaries and letting her do something I'd otherwise be uncomfortable with her doing, or not let her do, period. I'm working on that though.<br><br>
I also admit, I do yell. Though I try not to, I do. I always apologize to her after the fact (immediately though), and she's okay with it. I still feel terrible about it though. She has also started apologizing for things she has done wrong, and understands what an apology is because I apologize for my actions. Example- she opens up Daddy's Stereo and puts a few coins in the CD disk tray (yeah, lots of toddlerproofing needed. She shouldn't even have coins but my husband and I don't see quite eye-to-eye on alot of aspects of parenting). She knows not to do this, and like you all said, she is still under two and doesn't have as much capacity as I'd wish she'd have in controlling her behavior. After explaining why coins don't go there, that they go in the piggy bank, she apologizes. On her own- without me asking her to. So I do know that she understands everything after it is explained.<br><br>
I've heard conflicting things, even on this forum about giving explanations and negotiating. My DH doesn't like to explain himself to her, he's pretty much "what I say goes". He didn't have a wonderful childhood- much like the recent post about the poster's 4yo daughter and her husband- DH didn't do Xmas Trees, or much else as a kid. He doesn't embrace childhood. His parents were very rough on him, He'd get hit for even very simple small things... YET he was very spoiled, as is his sister (who is 15 currently). There was no sense of right and wrong once they got older, and he kind of learned to escape his family's ways. When he was young though, which was probably the key time for him to LEARN, he couldn't, because everything was so mixed up as far as discipline goes. I think he's in a way holding us back. DD is much more well behaved with me, and when DH gets home, all hell breaks loose- and she doesn't really do it to him, she does it to me, mostly. She tries to push MY buttons. I get agitated, ask DH for some help here, he gets agitated, and she eventually gets the inevitable smack on the hand or in the butt- from him. Whereas I think the situation would have been solved had I been alone.<br><br>
DH isn't a big reader or a big listener, he's actually pretty ignorant and refuses to- because he feels that I'm questioning him as a human being and he goes on the defensive. He's really clueless- is there any way I can get HIM to come around as far as a more gentle method of discipline goes? Or do I continue to try and do what I'm doing (with some revisions clearly), and leave him out of it and try to avoid a situation? My best guess is that I'd have to make him understand that this is common for a child of this age and you kind of have to "bear with them". BUT.. with the history of how he was brought up- I have a feeling he won't want to hear it.</div>
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