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I have been around this board for a while, have a couple books, but just need some "how does your house do it" kind of help...<br>
The past couple of days have been horrendous. DD, 2 1/2yrs old, only child, has been doing TAP DANCES on my last nerve, starting from the waking moments of the day in the past couple days.<br>
Let me preface this by saying, she is a (mostly) well behaved little girl when she is at our DCP's house (our cousin, actually). The cousin has an almost 2yo who is home with DD during the day, and 3 school aged kids. When over there, DD plays well, shares, doesn't yell (or skreech!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">), and when she does get a time out she sits quietly on the couch until it is time to get up.<br>
Now, when she is home with me, is a DIFFERENT LITTLE GIRL. She slaps. she skreeches, at the top of her lungs when I am both telling her to whisper and making a game out of it (SIL sleeping on the couch for a week more, usually until 9ish). She tells ME 'don't speak to me like that' and 'your getting a time out' and other 'disciplinary' phrases. To 'you're making mommy very sad' type of thing she will say 'oh, poor mommy' and give kissess and 'make up' then go RIGHT back to what she was doing!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: She runs away from me (we live in a circular cape) which I know is a toddler thing, but i have to yell to make her stop. She does things that she KNOWS are wrong, like jumping on the couch, ripping books, etc and calls attention to it. I swear she likes to be scolded/redirected!!<br>
Lately we are trying to potty train, and I know this isn't a behavioral thing, but it just adds to the stress of a 'bad' day. She will sit on the potty (with much coaxing sometimes) and do nothing, stand up saying 'I didn't try' (which I think just means she didn't actually pee). Then, maybe 5 minutes later, I hear 'mommy, I peed!' and there she stands in a puddle. I know this is a learning thing, but we have tried and held off on PT so many times that I am afraid I am doing more harm than good by giving up for now (which is what some are telling me to do...)<br><br>
Mostly it's the defiant thing. Yesterday (Saturday) we had a rough morning. My SIL was going to take her out for a drive like she did Friday b/c I was near melt-down on Fri btwn DD's behavior and other household stuff. So, yesterday I said, no thank you, that we were going to work on rules. My SIL is great and all w/ DD, but a day with her means McD's for lunch and garbage possible unsafe toys, and *some* rules (better than NONE like MIL). And work on rules we did. She spent a solid 30 mins on the couch with me trying to talk about being listening with our ears, hurting mommy's feelings, etc. What did it get me? Kicked! and pushed away, and those other hurtful things that just get right under my skin. So, I calmly (to my surprise) kept putting her in an upright sitting position about a thousand times, and that's when she started kicking me. I admit I slapped her 4 times on the thigh. Not hard, truly, b/c she just kind of looked at me, almost amused. So, I decided that wasn't working and I wasn't willing to slap her hard enough to inflict real pain.<br>
Finally I gave up and she got down. I walked away, the TV stayed off for the rest of the morning until nap time (usually I let her watch or listen to a couple Noggin shows) and she played in the LR until lunch. I tried to let the episode be in the past, and only referred to it when she asked for the TV. I told her we would try again after nap.<br><br>
*sigh*<br>
she drains me. I don't like to hit, I don't want to. I am trying to break the cycle, but when NOTHING else works that you have read/heard about, then what? Just let her run amok with no rules?<br>
And the cousin that she is so behaved for? She came to the house about a month ago, when I first got so fed up, and she sat and watched DD play. First thing off, she said it was like watching a different kid. DD did share when reminded, but did not respond well to redirection, had the typical tantrum when put in time-out (or "a moment to think") to the point that I have to sit WITH her and physically hold her there. Which she freaks out mroe about but tries to get up and walk away from.... But otherwise, the cousin said that we approach issues the same way, and that she doesn't know what the problem is. And FTR, she doesn't spank and so is a huge inspiration to me. But, she looks at my kid and says that hers weren't so difficult. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
OK, sorry that was so long. It has been a really rough end of the week.
 

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First, you are not alone! There are TONS of 2 year old threads! I think honestly it's a phase. Really. They just do not have the impulse control to stop themselves, EVEN IF they KNOW it's not what you'd like them to be doing. My dd is just like that. We don't use any punishments at all, but I do spend a big portion of my day teaching her and going over the 'why' of what we do/don't do. I think too, at 2.5 (at least with my dd) they are capable of a LOT more than we give them credit for, and are craving freedom. A week ago, I started a post about my crazy dd, who is into EVERYTHING. I got a ton of great suggestions, and one of which was to really honor he impulse to be independent. So, even though I've allowed her a TON of freedom her entire life, I've been even more aware of it. If she wants a drink or snack, I simply help her get it herself. We purchased another step stool ($2.99 from IKEA) which is very light and easy for her to carry. She can pour her own milk and get her own snacks. I'm enabling her in every way possible to become self sufficient. Of course, this means we have spilled milk more often, or her outfits are CRAZY (pink shirt, camo pants, one suede boot, a pink croc, and a red sun hat) SHE did it. She picked it all and dressed herself and that's what counts. We were having an issue with her unraveling the toilet paper. I realized I had never taught her e.x.a.c.t.l.y. how much tp she needed, so I showed her a way to measure the tp. She is so proud that now she knows how much tp to use and she hasn't unraveled it since (of course, it's only been a few days!) GOtta go I'll be back in a few...
 

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Wow things sound really hard for you right now!!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><br><br>
My DD is a bit younger than yours (just turned 2) so some of my ideas may not be on the mark but I'll just share what comes to mind and hope that it's helpful in some way. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
The first thing that came to my mind was that if she's with a care provider most of the day, she may be very excited and happy to see you and just overwhelmed by all her feelings about being with you and unable to express them in a way that doesn't seem defiant. Maybe it's like an energy overload when she's back with you and she just starts bouncing off the walls. Also she may feel more relaxed/safer in asserting her independence when she's with you (which is a positive thing) and so she seems to be "acting out" more. Maybe try giving her lots of concentrated attention when you guys are reunited at the end of the day, play games where she initiates/leads/or calls the shots---give her lots of love AND a chance to act powerful.<br><br>
My DD LOVES to be the leader in follow the leader, and she loves it when we play games where she tells me what to do "Mommy you hide with me on the bed" or whatever. I find when I take the time to play with her like this we have an easier time.<br><br>
I also try really hard not to think of things in terms of power and defiance. So if I need DD to change her behavior I try to look at it like we are on the same side. So if she's stading too close to the TV I might say "DD please step back from the TV." If I repeat that a few times and she doesn't respond I might say "Please step back from the TV. Can you do it by yourself or do you need me to help you?" If she still doesn't respond I would then get up and say (Very calmly) "OK I"ll help you" and then move her to where I want her to go. Usually she moves on her own. Another example would be getting dressed, If it's time to put on pants and she's resisting I might say "OK, let me know when you're ready." and then wait a moment or two. She will often then say "Mommy put my pants on."<br><br>
In general I try to aviod getting into a power struggles with her. If I find myself feeling like I must MAKE her do xyz thing, I take a step back...take a breath and try to change my perspective a little bit. MY DD is VERY stubborn and does not respond well to being pushed or forced to do anything. I find that if I step back and take the pressure off of her she will eventually get around to doing whatever it was I was trying to force her to do. It may not happen right whe I want it to happen but it does happen (usually.)<br><br>
Ok this is getting too long, I hope it's of some use. And I hope that you get some more good ideas from the awesome GD mama's on this forum.
 

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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 totally understand your frustration. I have been there. I have very spirited children.<br><br>
Unfortunately, It sounds to me like you are expecting more than your DD is capable of. Neither my DS nor my DD could follow a set of rules at 2.5. They have reached an age where they do understand what the rule is, but they really do still lack the impulse control required to prevent themselves from taking that action. Most toddlers are not capable of reflecting on the consequences of their actions and preventing themselves from acting upon impluse.<br><br>
I find the best tool for this age is preventing the situation from occurring to begin with if possible. Take any behavior that is an issue and look at how you can avoid the power struggle, prevent the situation. I'll give you a current example from my life. DS would be happy snacking all day on granola bars and crackers, never eating a bite of dinner or lunch. He takes the chairs from the table and pulls them to the counter, climbs up and retrieves the snacks. Rather than trying to drill the rule about not climbing onto the counters into him, which would be fruitless, I prevent the situation. First, I place more acceptable snacks (apples and other fruit) where he has access to them. Then, I clip the kitchen chairs together under the table to prevent him using them to climb on the counter. I did the same thing with DD at this age. Now, DD at 4.5 can unclip the clips or can climb on the counter to get to the cabinet without the chairs, but she doesn't, because at 4.5 she is able to understand the rules, she will ask me if she can have a snack before attempting to get one.<br><br>
Take a close look at the rules you are fighting over and see if you can find ways to avoid the struggle, this forum is a great resource for that. For things you cannot change the environment on, gentle redirection and consequences will have the best results in the long run in terms of your relationship with them. However, you will feel like a broken record for a long time, they do eventually start to get it, but not until they are developmentally able to do what you want.
 

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It's easier for me to respond if I just quote what stood out to me, so.....here goes:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sweetirishCT</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9888646"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Now, when she is home with me, is a DIFFERENT LITTLE GIRL. She slaps. she skreeches, at the top of her lungs when I am both telling her to whisper and making a game out of it (SIL sleeping on the couch for a week more, usually until 9ish). She tells ME <b>'don't speak to me like that' and 'your getting a time out' and other 'disciplinary' phrases.</b></div>
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Good for the goose, good for the gander, eh? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I think the easiest way for me to deal with such times is to put me first - <i>"that hurts me - and I don't have to stand here and let you do that." "The screeching hurts - I need quiet right now."</i> and make that happened for me - instead of direct orders - <i>don't, you will not, stop that, I will do....to you.</i><br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">To <b>'you're making mommy very sad'</b> type of thing she will say 'oh, poor mommy' and give kissess and 'make up' then go RIGHT back to what she was doing!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: She runs away from me (we live in a circular cape) which I know is a toddler thing, but <b>i have to yell to make her stop.</b> She does things that she KNOWS are wrong, like jumping on the couch, ripping books, etc and calls attention to it. I swear she likes to be scolded/redirected!!</td>
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She's NOT making you sad. YOU are in control of your feelings, she is in control of hers. I'd be tempted to flip someone the bird, too, if I was told that as much as we tell our kids they're "making us sad/mad/upset'". It's stressful to try to control someone else's feelings and it's not fair to expect a 2yo to have that burden.<br>
As far as yelling, you don't have to. You have arms, use them. "The couch is for sitting" Remove child, put her on the floor. Second time, "the couch is for sitting." remove child, put her on the floor. Third time, "the couch is for sitting." Pick up child, take her to another room with another activity.<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">]And work on rules we did. She spent a solid 30 mins on the couch with me trying to talk about being listening with our ears, hurting mommy's feelings, etc. What did it get me? Kicked! and pushed away, and those other hurtful things that just get right under my skin. So, I calmly (to my surprise) kept putting her in an upright sitting position about a thousand times, and that's when she started kicking me. I admit I slapped her 4 times on the thigh. Not hard, truly, b/c she just kind of looked at me, almost amused. So, I decided that wasn't working and I wasn't willing to slap her hard enough to inflict real pain. Finally I gave up and she got down. I walked away, the TV stayed off for the rest of the morning until nap time (usually I let her watch or listen to a couple Noggin shows) and she played in the LR until lunch. I tried to let the episode be in the past, and only referred to it when she asked for the TV. I told her we would try again after nap.</td>
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She's 2. I would have a hard time expecting my 8yo's attention for half an hour, especially if having such an unfair verbal advantage. What about playing with the dolls? Role play it with her - make learning manners and social skills a game and let her be the teacher.<br><br>
What responsibilities does your 2yo have? It sound like an odd word to put in the same sentence as a 2yo, but this is the age when they are willing helpers. I'd suggest getting a Montessori in the home book to look for ways to incorporate her more into your daily routine so she feels a part of the household and not an outsider with seperate rules and punishments. Right now, just reading your post, it seems that what mommy can do, 2yo can't do. Mommy can scream when she gets mad, but 2yo can't. Mommy sometimes hit, but she can't.<br><br>
I really, really suggest a discipline book like <i>Easy To Love, Difficult To Discipline</i> (Becky Bailey). The focus is on gaining control of ourselves and our emotions before we attempt to teach our children.<br><br>
In the meantime, when I was learning GD I put together a list of things that worked for both a hyperactive, running around boy and a quiet introverted one (along with other kids I've come in contact with). I put it online here - <a href="http://www.wikiparenting.com/wiki/Positive_Discipline_Ideas" target="_blank">Positive Discipline Ideas</a> though if you like the original, more candid version I wrote for myself I can post that. It's slightly sarcastic, though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
This is a hard age, mama. Hang in there - it does get better and easier.
 

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It's completely normal for children to be well behaved with another caregiver and not with you. It shows, in part, that she's much more comfortable with you. She's not afraid that you're going to leave her if she misbehaves! It probably also reflects the fact that she's used up a lot of energy holding it together with 4 other kids, and she's not got a lot of energy to be 'good' for you.<br><br>
I agree with the pps who say that you may have to adjust your expectations to meet the developmental level of your child. So, expecting a toddler to be quiet and whisper until 9 am is completely unrealistic. If your SIL is sleeping on your couch, then she'll just have to suck it up and realize she's in a house with a small child. That means that sleeping in until 9 is out of the question. She's lucky to get 8 hours of sleep!<br><br>
I'm also not quite sure what you were expecting from 30 minutes on the couch talking about 'rules'. A 2 1/2 year isn't going to understand much of that talk for that long. Personally, I'm impressed that she sat with you that long. Short of sitting on my children, I wouldn't have been able to keep my kids on the couch!<br><br>
My "rules" for kids that age (similar to what a pp has said):<br>
1. Create an environment that doesn't lead to battles. I've had a rocking horse and a slide in our kitchen for our kids to burn off energy while I'm cooking. My kids can ride their scooters in our house. Most of the rooms are majorly childproofed and we don't keep "good stuff" around that might get broken. They're free to explore, and I don't have to worry. As I type this, my son has a friend over and they are running around the house, climbing behind the couch and screaming.<br><br>
Even when we're out, I think before restricting a behavior. We went to have the kids' pictures taken for Christmas cards on Wed. They were running late so we had a long wait at the beginning, and then an even longer one to look at the pictures at the end. After the pictures were taken, dd wanted to take her shoes off. We were indoors, with relatively clean carpet in the store. I wasn't going to fight her. Alas, the parents of a 4 year old who was there obviously disagreed, because when she tried to take her shoes off, then prevented her. And spent the next 20 minutes telling her no. I felt bad that my dd taking off her shoes made this girl want to take hers off, but I wasn't going to fight dd over her shoes. It wasn't worth it. She was behaving well, just wasn't wearing shoes.<br><br>
2. Spend time with your child every day, down on the floor playing. 30 minutes. This is time where <i>they</i> lead and you follow. With my kids, when they were under 4 and in daycare, this time worked best when it was right when we came home. It did mean that dinner was later. We had a snack in the car on the way home. I make simple meals of food that I know my kids will eat.<br><br>
Also, make sure you pay attention to your kids when they aren't misbehaving. It's so easy to fall into the pattern of only 'noticing' them when they are misbehaving, and it can start a pattern of misbehavior just to get attention. If you fill up their cup of attention in other ways, they won't have to misbehave to get your attention. This won't eliminate misbehavior, mind you, but it will reduce it.<br><br>
3. Ignore when it’s not dangerous or harmful to others, if you can. This can also be called "pick your battles". Do I really want my toddler to pull all the books off the bookshelf? No. Do I care enough to engage in a battle of wills about it? Nope. Do I care if my toddler is hurling blocks at the window? Yep! Am I willing to do what it takes to stop it? Yep!!<br><br>
4. Distract or redirect if ignoring doesn’t work. Find something that the child CAN do that’s not the forbidden activity. So, if he wants to jump on the couch, put pillows on the floor and have him jump on those. If they want to throw blocks, set up a laundry basket and encourage throwing into there. It's most helpful if the new activity is similar to the old one.<br><br>
5. Remember that it really helps to tell a child what they CAN do. So, instead of saying "don’t jump" say "don’t jump on the couch, come jump on the pillows." Phrasing things positively really does help.<br><br>
6. Act, don't yak. Sometimes getting up and helping a child gently comply is 10 times more effective than anything else.<br><br>
If you're choosing to enforce a consequence, it should be something directly related to the 'offense' (so throwing blocks at window = blocks get put away), and short term. If she hits you, then stand up and walk away. "I won't play with you if you hit me."<br><br>
It should also be immediate. In general, time outs don't work well for kids under 3 because they can't link the 'offense' to the punishment (time out).<br><br>
You'll find that time outs are controversial on this board. I have used them for anti-social behavior (hitting), but I try to frame them as "you're out of control, and we need to go somewhere you can control yourself". There's not a time limit. And generally we go with to help them calm down unless I'm so angry I'll be a danger to my children.<br><br>
If I'm angry, then it's time for a break for me. Stop. Think. Take deep breaths. Try to figure out what the trigger is -- is it really something that my child is doing wrong? is it voices from my childhood that keep telling me it's wrong? disapproving looks that you imagine from other parents (like the shoe incident)? Am i afraid that my 2 year old will never develop empathy and be a spoiled brat for life because she currently doesn't want to share her favorite toy? (<i>Raising our children, Raising ourselves</i> has some nice ideas about this.)<br><br>
Finally, make sure you do some good self care. It might be better to have your dd go to McD's with SIL and you to take a nap and relax than to have a day battling. I'm a better parent when I am rested, well fed and have some time to think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the great responses and ideas. I will definitely be trying to put some of these into actions.<br>
The most PP said to try to phrase things positively. I will say that yes, this has been working for us. If DD wants, for example, a snack (and she will be constantly eating if you supply the food) I try to space them out so that she doesn't develop the 'grazing' habit that has led to a wt problem for me. So I will say 'it isn't snack time now, after XYZ activity you can have a snack.' At least she is pretty happy with healthy stuff.<br>
And as far as the SIL sleeping until 9am, she works until 2 or 3am, so 9am is the minimum for her. And she does realize there is a young child in the house, she loves this young kiddo very much. I just am trying to make her days on the couch as easy as possible, since it is not a great way to spend almost 2mos of ones life, every night. But, that should be better this week, the new house should be ready this or next week.<br><br><br>
Thanks for the many suggestions. I will be trying them over the next few days and let ya know how it goes!
 

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I'm moving into Lynn's house!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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All these great responses are so helpful to me. I'm having a rough week with my three year old. I'm hoping it's just a rough week, not a rough month! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I'm going through really similar things with DS. One thing that has helped to control the "defiance" thing is to ignore it as best I can. If he starts to jump on the couch, the best way to get him to stop is to get up and leave the room. He usually stops immediately. Sometimes just looking the other way when he does something is enough to stop it. If I were to just keep pulling him off the couch, if I give him a time out, any response from me when he's doing something he shouldn't he thinks is funny and it just eggs him on. I wonder if a lot of your DD's behavior is just looking for attention, and maybe your reaction feeds it. Another thing that's helped is having him "help" me in the kitchen. The other day I showed him how to scrub carrots. He did it for about 2 seconds, but he's been much more interested in watching me and participating since then. He "helped" me snap ends off asparagus (with my hands over his each time) and I got him a wooden/velcro veggie set that he can "cut". He also helps me transfer laundry from the washer to the dryer. I think the simple tasks help relieve their boredom and make them feel like they're doing something important. Even just giving him his own paper towel when I'm cleaning and asking him to clean something totally changes his attitude.<br><br>
I wish you luck, though, as I said, I'm dealing with a lot of this with my DS.
 
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