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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm really unhappy with how discipline is in our home... and I need something that works but I don't know what to do.<br><br>
My daughter is 2. She's stubborn, defiant and whines... CONSTANTLY. the whining drives me up a f***ing wall, to put it bluntly.<br><br>
My son is only six months.<br><br>
For my daughter, she gets spanked... and yelled at, but I really don't feel right about it. But I don't know what else to do???
 

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You won't find anyone here who is OK with spanking.<br><br>
2 year olds are whiney. She's exhibiting normal, age-appropriate behavior, and you're hitting her for it? There are a million better ways to deal with it than that.<br><br>
For starters, realize that it's normal, and it's a phase that won't last forever. But you making a huge deal out of it will make the phase last longer.<br><br>
Try saying "yes" and rarely saying "no." For example, "Yes, sweetie, I know you want to XYZ right now, but (fill in logical reason why not)."<br><br>
Some people like and have had success with "I can't hear you when you're whining like that" or "Your whiney voice hurts my ears. Can you say that again in your normal voice?"<br><br>
If you give some examples, posters may be able to give you a better idea of how they would deal with particular situations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I never said I was "hitting" her for whining, and I'm kind of offended that you say it like that. It almost sounds like you're trying to berate me for it. I understand that this is the GENTLE DISCIPLINE board. Which is why I posted here. Like I said, I'm unhappy with how discipline is in our home. I'm searching out alternatives. I didn't really have any parental figures growing up, so I really have no experiences to draw from and I literally have no clue where to go from here. I'm asking for help. Being condescending is NOT helpful. Whether it's passive or not.<br><br>
And she is NOT normal. She is INCREDIBLY whiney. I worked in a daycare. None of the kids were this whiney. I dealth with 40+ 1-3 year olds and NONE of them whined to the extreme that she does. She can't go more than 5-10 minutes without whining about SOMETHING.<br><br>
She also refuses to talk. Shes just recently been enrolled in a speech program. It bothers me because I know she CAN. She just WONT.<br><br>
Even with words she knows, she won't use them. She knows the words milk and juice. But she won't use them. She will whine. And deliberately so. She will literally sit in front of the fridge and go "Uhhhhhh. uhhhhh. uhhhhh." to the point she's forcefully and monotonously doing it just because she dosent want to say the words she DOES know how to say. She will do that for HOURS. She does NOT give up. No matter how many times I nicely ask her to tell me what she wants.<br><br>
I tried to use the "Maddi, I don't understand you when you whine." approach, but it didnt work. She just whined more.
 

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You can't be sure that she simply won't talk and that she can. And honestly, even if she just won't, you need to find out why she won't instead of getting upset about it.<br><br>
It sounds like you're in a bad cycle of anger and punishment, and she might be responding to that with whining. And with being afraid to speak.<br><br>
I would step back and relax and simply give her affection.
 

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The book _Happiest Toddler on the Block_ has really helped me with my daughter. She's 20 months, so not quite two yet, but so far it's been great. The basic idea is to affirm their feelings before you tell them no. So if my daughter wants to touch the hot pan on the stove where I'm cooking, I'll say, "you want to touch the pan! You want it! You want to help cook!" until she nods and says yes. Then I explain, "But you can't touch it sweetheart, it's hot! It will burn you!" When she knows that I really do understand what she wants, she's much more willing to hear my explanation. The key is to keep repeating what she wants (and to match her level of emotion in your tone of voice) until she calms down or stops whining. That's when you know that she feels heard. Then she's more able to hear you. Read the book, or at least check out the videos on the website.<br><br>
As far as defiance, honestly, two year olds are SUPPOSED to go against what you say. They actually really, truly need to "defy" you, to an extent, in order to become independent. Your daughter is learning that she's a separate person from you, and in order to establish a sense of her own identity, separate from you, she needs to disagree with you. That's why she says no whenever you say yes. It's very important for her developmentally. So don't feel like you need to get your daughter to obey all the time in order to teach her. She actually needs to differ from you sometimes in order to become a mature person. It's a stage. Obviously if her behavior is dangerous, then you have to stop it, but if it's not dangerous, well, the easiest thing to do is to limit your rules as much as possible instead of limiting her! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> The more she's allowed to explore and play, the less she'll need to break rules. The best way to do this is to set up a "yes" environment as much as possible, so she's allowed to explore, touch, and play with pretty much everything in her environment.<br><br>
Another book that's helped me is Playful Parenting. That can work really well with whining sometimes. You could try whining yourself--maybe at a time when she's NOT whining, so she doesn't feel like you're making fun of her. Or we play the yes and no game sometimes--if my daughter is saying no, then I'll repeat it with her, "no! no! no!" until she calms down, and then I'll tell her to say no, and then to say yes, and then to say no, and then to say yes. By then we've both forgotten about whatever she was upset about. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> That only works if she's mildly upset, though.<br><br>
Hang in there, mama! It must be SO hard to have a two year old and a six month old. I'm sure your patience is stretched to the limit every day! But seriously--there ARE better ways than spanking and yelling. Make sure you take care of yourself, too--it's very hard to parent effectively and gently when you're exhausted and overwhelmed. Do you have help with the kids during the day? Getting breaks, even little ones, can do wonders for you. Make sure you get enough rest and nap when the kids do if you can.
 

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I spent so much time on my last post that there were several new posts up by the time I submitted it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
So now that I saw your newer post, I want to add: you say she whines more than a normal two year old, and I believe you--but it's possible that she's only doing that with YOU. And it's because you're her mom, and you're the person she needs to establish independence from, so her behavior is going to be worse with you. Those daycare kids were probably better for you than they were for their parents.<br><br>
Also, with the not using words...do you think it might have to do with her having a younger brother? Maybe she hasn't finished adjusting to the transition of having a new baby in the house, and she's trying to act like a baby? If that's the case, then you're right--telling her not to whine is NEVER going to help. Sounds like she's strong-willed and will wait you out forever! But again, you really don't have to get her to behave correctly all the time right now in order to teach her--this is a stage that she WILL outgrow. It might be that what she really needs is for you to go ahead and treat her a little bit like a baby. Respond to her whining as if she really couldn't talk. Give her the milk or the juice, and then hold her and cuddle her like you would if she was a baby who couldn't talk. And tell her, "this is juice! Mmm, juice. Juice is yummy!"--like you would if she were a little baby and you were trying to teach her a word she didn't know yet. Maybe she needs some babying to make up for the fact that she's not your littlest baby any more. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Another book that folks on here recommend a lot, but that I haven't read yet (I've got it on hold at the library right now <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">), is Unconditional Parenting. One of the main principles in it, from what I've read on MDC, is that we should try to assume that misbehavior comes out of need, not intent. So if a kid is doing something we don't like, they're demonstrating a real NEED in the only way they know how. A baby cries because it's hungry, not because it's trying to manipulate you. In the same way, a two year old whines because she needs more attention, or she needs to pretend she's a baby for a little while, or she needs to be more independent, or...something. Could be a million things, and the hardest part of being a parent is figuring it out! But the principle is that if the child's need is met, then the behavior will improve on its own. Trying to control the behavior might or might not work, but if all you do is control/change the behavior, then the need will still be there and will show itself in other ways--in a different bad behavior, or in emotional problems, or something. Meet the need, and the child grows past it.<br><br>
Good luck! Like I said, you have a lot on your hands--make sure you're meeting your OWN needs too, and getting enough rest and help so you can bring creativity and patience to the challenges of parenting a whiney, strong-willed toddler!
 

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I think it helps sometimes to think of "misbehavior" as a child's best effort to get what she wants, and to think in terms of giving her better tools, rather than in terms of punishing her for it.<br><br>
Since spoken language is something she struggles with right now, I would try to give her some new tools for getting what she wants without whining. I'm thinking in terms of a sort of modified PECS book... maybe just cutting out magazine pictures of a half dozen things she asks for often and glueing them onto notecards, and then doing something like sticking magnets on the back and putting them on the refrigerator, or velcro and making a little book.<br><br>
Then you can try to teach her to use the cards instead of whining... if she starts whining for something, show how the cards and ask her what she wants - maybe just a couple cards at first, like if she's at the fridge, show her "milk" and "juice". She may not make the connection at first, but stick with it... so if you hand her a cup of milk, put the milk card in the other hand at the same time.<br><br>
Eventually, you'll want to be able to ask her to show you the card for what she wants, without whining... but that may take time.<br><br>
In the meantime, I'd be as positive as possible about any attempts she makes at communication without whining, and try to ignore the whining as much as possible. I wouldn't withhold things from her if she whines, but I'd be very matter of fact in giving them to her... but if she attempts to communicate without whining, I'd reinforce that behavior a lot.<br><br>
I think the speech therapy may help her behavior a lot... I know you said she can speak, which is good <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">, but it sounds like it takes a lot of effort for her right now, and maybe the therapists can help make it easier for her.<br><br>
Dar
 

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Hi! I commend you for coming here and asking for help. I was a teen mom too and it was tough at times, but we've survived and my DD1 started high school this year. Then, I turned right around and started all over with DS (19mo) and DD2 (5mo), so I'm in the same boat as you with 2 under 2!<br><br>
I agree with lisavark - Playful Parenting is an excellent book, check your local library - I was able to borrow a copy from ours.<br><br>
Here are a couple of links to articles you might find helpful:<br><br><a href="http://www.connectionparenting.com/parenting_articles/index.html" target="_blank">http://www.connectionparenting.com/p...les/index.html</a><br><a href="http://www.playfulparenting.com/resources-articles.htm" target="_blank">http://www.playfulparenting.com/resources-articles.htm</a><br><a href="http://www.naomialdort.com/articles.html" target="_blank">http://www.naomialdort.com/articles.html</a><br><br>
Hang in there . . . you are on the right track! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
mamazee: It's really hard to explain. She CAN talk and she HAS done it, but it's like, anytime she realizes that we know she can do something, she stops doing it. Just like potty training, she went almost a month, NO ACCIDENTS! And then one day, I went to put her on the potty in the morning like usual, and threw a fit and kicked and hit and screamed at me and has not gone potty successfully since then and it was over 3 months ago. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
lisavark: I never thought about using the Yes approach and it sounds interesting... Like it could work. It's so hard for me to remember all of these little things. But I really think I will try the Yes thing because she seems to get in her little tiffs whenever I tell her no. I like reading, so I'll have to see if I can get ahold of some of those books you mentioned. I know that defiance is normal at this point, but I just feel like she's over the top on the extreme end of the scale. :-( I just feel like I can't catch a break anywhere.<br><br>
I don't know if she's responding to having a new brother because she hasn't done anything that makes it obvious or apparent that she dosen't like him around. Honestly, I never really considered it. She plays with him, and she tries to mommy him a lot. And she has an obsession with tucking him in whenever he's laying in his rocker. The only time I notice her seeming jealous in any way, is when my grandpa holds danny, or when my husband holds him. Other than that she dosen't seem to care.<br><br>
Dar: The magazine pictures is another thing I never would have thought of. I guess it's time to grab some out of the free box at the library and cut up some old advertising magnets, huh? That's actually a really good idea. I thought about sign language, and we tried it for a while, but she couldn't quite get it and she again... just refused to do it.<br><br>
I want to add... I don't think she even likes me. My husband is the one who does the majority of any physical discipline, yet she loves him to death. She's always happy to see him. Happy to play with him. Colors pictures for him, but she treats me like crap and I don't know why. She wont hug me or kiss me (unless I'm sick. For some reason, to her, mommy puking into the toilet is a "hug me" moment). It's like, if daddy is around, or my grandma or grandpa, or anyone really... it can even be someone she's just met, I turn into chopped liver and she dosent care what i say or do. I just feel like she absolutely must hate me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
And it's hard taking any kind of breaks or time for myself. I'm a college student. I'm premed. I'm 21. We're broke as hell all the time. And I feel like everything I do is a wasted effort. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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You're getting it because of the baby. I've got the same thing going on here to some extent, except the older one is 7. But I used to spend tons of time with her one-on-one, and now, of course, we don't have that. And it causes anxiety in her about her relationship with me, which has changed so much since the baby was born, and that shows up in her behavior toward me. I have been trying to do little projects with her when I can, puzzles or reading stories or something, but it's tricky with a baby so it doesn't happen often. Which is what caused the problem in the first place.
 

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Spanking is hitting. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
Her behavior does sound very frustrating, and I'm sure it has a lot to do with the new baby. I also think kids save up all their unhappiness for Mom. It really does mean she trusts you more than anyone else.<br><br>
I think you've gotten some great advice here, and I'm going to bow out. I just wanted to say that I totally commend you for wanting to make changes and for reaching out for advice.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
My 2.5 yo is trying so hard to drive me bonkers <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
, and he doesn't have a younger sibling, so it may just be her age and/or personality.<br><br>
I know some people may think "Oh, how horrible" when I say this, but the *only* way for me to stay remotely sane is to emotionally step back when he starts in on the whining. If I tried to empathize and keep up with his emotions, I would be seeing a psychiatrist. His latest trick is "I want/No, I don't want/I want!/No, no, I don't want!!!" He will keep that up for as long as I play along, so I don't play anymore. If it's a glass of water he simultaneously wants and doesn't want, I fill up his cup, put it where he can reach it, and tell him with a smile (and sometimes gritted teeth) "There's your water, if you decide you want it, go ahead and drink it" and then I am *done* with the game.<br><br>
When he cries or whines for something, I get eyeball-to-eyeball with him, tell him I'd be happy to give him what he wants but I need him to stop crying and ask me nicely. Then we go through taking a deep breath, wiping tears, seeing if we can get a smile, and then having him ask again.<br><br>
From your post it sounds like you are taking her behavior personally, or taking at as a sign that you are a failure. I think that is where moving back a little emotionally can help you keep your sanity. She doesn't hate you, you aren't chopped liver to her, and she's pretty much a normal two-year-old. If you can keep that in mind, it'll help you stay calm in the moment and be able to use the advice that folks have posted, to see what will work for you.
 

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I have two thoughts...<br><br>
Firstly, my dd was fairly withdrawn after ds was born. She acted like she didn't like me, and, no matter what I did, rejected my attempts to connect with her. She was 2 also. Only recently did it get better, even though I kept trying to engage her. I made a break-through this year, after a year and a half where I just wasn't happy with our relationship. I felt "too far" from her. I realized she has trouble processing emotional/social things. She just doesn't understand. When she was two, I could tickle her and she'd say, "Why'd you do that?" She didn't get it. I've learned to explain everything emotional/social, and she's doing much better. Instead of assuming she's rejecting me because of her withdrawn and bored stance, I learned to read that expression of confusion and "shutting down". So, I say, I play with ds like x and I play with you like y because you are different people, although I love you both a lot. Or, you like to see me do x with ds. Right now, I'm trying to do y with you and laugh and play, too, but you won't do it. That's what friends do. See, I'm trying to be your friend and play with you now. Do you want to play with me? And she got SO upset and was SO sorry...she didn't know what she was doing. Now, I just give gentle reminders about the old stuff we've discussed before, and keep prompting and explaining and she's my best buddy again.<br><br>
My second thought is that the screamer/impossible one in our family was ds. He's 2.5 now and a joy to be around. He still has some moments (he's 2!..."NO! I NOT want to!), but I think we're (finally!) past the hard stuff. He needed boundaries, and he needed me to back off. More cuddling didn't help him. So, to keep my cool, I would, at the first sign of him being grumpy, pick him up and remove him (usually to his bed, but wherever...it didn't work for him to be anywhere near me, he would just escalate). I would say quietly, but firmly, between his kicking and screaming, "You may not scream (whatever) at Mama. Mama will help ds. Ds must talk nice to Mama. Ds can come out when he will talk nice to Mama." He'd follow me raging and screaming down the hallway, and I'd swivel on my heel, gently pick him up and return him to his bed and repeat. It took about half a million times, and all day everyday for about 5 months, but less and less each time. I am also VERY CAREFUL TO BE SURE HE IS WELL FED AND WELL RESTED. In caps because that is such an important key for him. If he gets hungry it's all over. Anyway, like I said earlier...he's cheerful and pleasant now, and very rarely has an issue. I couldn't accept a half-hearted attempt, either. I had to return him, just like I said I'd do, every single time, right away. If I didn't, the next day would be AWFUL. He needs a predictable routine, and he needs boundaries. Some kids don't, maybe, but he certainly benefited once I became very clear about what I expected from him. I guess a better way to say it is that he did much better after I was clear about what TO DO, instead of his default what NOT to do.<br><br>
Just like my dd needed told what to do/expect emotionally/socially, he needed told what to do to communicate. They were both happy to do it as soon I as explained and they had a some time to develop new habits (with help), but they did need to be told...<br><br>
You don't have to spank (especially if you wait until you are frustrated and at the "i've had it" point, really...there's NO point to doing it...she's past listening/learning, and you are past being reasonable.), but you do have to be consistent.<br><br>
HTH
 

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I just wanted to share about my new friend's 3 year old boy. He has an 8 mth old little brother. I just met this family and I went over to their house for a playdate. The 3 year old said "ba, ba, ba" loudly the entire two hours we were there. I tried to get him to talk to me, but he just kept jumping and rolling and saying, "ba, ba, ba" loudly. I didn't know this family well so I thought maybe he was having a speech problem<br>
Next visit, he starts out the same way. Then his mom asks him to tell me about what happened to his balloon.<br><br>
He said, "I got a balloon, but I did not tie it around my arm. So, therefore it blew away."<br><br>
Iwas shocked. I had no idea he could speak so well. His mom said that he likes to imitate his little brother all the time.<br><br>
Sorry this was longer than I realized. My point is that I think it has to do with the babe. Also, if you are super busy with premed it can make her whiney/whinier. My 2 year old gets whiney when I am my busiest and cannot meet her need for attention/play.<br>
Hope it gets better soon. I can't imagine attempting premed with two little ones.
 

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my little sister was diagnosed with selective mutism when she was younger.It's a type of severe anxiety disorder that manifests oddly. My mother put her on anti-anxiety drugs (for a VERY brief time) and she started talking...a lot.<br><br>
The point being if you think her speech behavior is not normal check it out. There might be a physiological reason<br><br>
I second the speech therapist suggestion. Contact your local public school district. They will have an early childhood intervention unit that can help for FREE
 

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Samanthavv, I've been thinking about you . . . how are things?
 

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If you're still around to read let me tell you how my dh has insisted that I treat our ds from day one. He's a butt about it too, telling me every stinking time. Training me to be (in dh opinion) a "good" mother. If the baby as. Much as said "boo" dh would insist I put down whatever I'm doing and respond to ds immediately. Not wait a minute. Not lemme finish this and then I'll change the diaper. "The baby comes first.". That's all I ever hear from dh. Also dh is a friggin health Nazi. I can eat whatever I want (yeah right-not without being nagged. Wait! When a woman does it called nagging, a child pestering, a man badgering). Anyway garbage in, garbage out. Make sure your family is eating right. Don't keep sodas in the house (apologize to dh for me, but demand a healthy kitchen. The spanking they'll outgrow on their own if you do your job right). When eating out order sprite, nothing with artificial color ever. (coffee and moderate beer, you can tell the kid "no" and have yours. Sodas, not so easy. So order sprite. Cookies, get fig newtons only so you van share with the kid. Never chose fast food. Hide if you're going to eat a chocolate bar. Sounds like a lot of work. A lot of changing your life around a kid. But if you know a better way to make them behave, tell me.
 

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Two year olds don't have any impulse control and they are often very emotional. It's the age where they realize they can have influence over themselves, so it's often a time when they don't listen and say no a lot. My favorites books are Raising your Spirited Child by Mary Kurcinka and the Science of Parenting by Margot Sunderland. I found both books at my library and both books go into why a child misbehaves and practical advice on avoiding conflicts, among other topics.<br><br>
We only use non-punitive discipline and modeling positive desired behavior with my 4 year old DD. It works really well. With my 23 year old year collage student DD I shouted at her, used time outs, and even hit her a few times. I also expected things of her that weren't really reasonable. I wasn't aware of the value of tantrums and discouraged them. I just didn't know any other tools or know much about human development at the time.
 
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