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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really wanna be a gentle and happy mom to my 2 year old son, but I find it so hard to stay calm. Now don't get me wrong I've never hit him or anything, I do yell and I wanna stop. I do want him to listen and respect me but without me having to yell. He is a very hyper and wild little boy hardly ever sits still. What having trouble with is getting him to listen if it's changing his diaper or getting out of the tub he will fight me on it till I'm about to lose my mind. He also has a problem of taking thing from people or hitting them if he gets angry. If anyone has any tips on this so I can stay calm and not yell at him that would be great.
 

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I also have a very energetic two year old. I have found the parenting advice on Dr Laura Markham's website, ahaparenting.com very helpful. I am pretty sure she has advice specifically for the types of behavior you are struggling with. Parenting such a spirited child has really made me a better person because in trying to find ways to better deal with my daughter, I have come to recognize my flaws and work to be a better, more understanding parent. After all my daughter is two and like your son, just trying to assert her independence and have control over some things in her little world. I have also found that when I am stressed or really busy that is when she acts up and needs me the most so I have to remind myself to take a couple of minutes, stop what I am doing and really give her my full attention. Many times this helps to calm both her and me down. Ultimately, two is a challenging age and we have to remember that we really want to help our kids through it all, not fight them. (So much easier said than done especially since she is sleeping right now ;)
 

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A lot of toddlers really like this book, because it is very rhythmic and appealing:

Hands are Not For Hitting

http://www.amazon.com/Hands-Are-Hitting-Best-Behavior/dp/1575423081

I would stress gentle hands, gentle body. Say it over and over when he is starting to hit. Praise him for gentle hands-- go over board with praise for gentle actions of all kinds.

I second the recommendation of Dr. Marham's website.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yea he is very very active lol. Trying really hard to be patient and give him more attention. I hate how I feel at night when I look at his little face and he's sleeping so peacefully I think "how could I yell at this tiny person who needs me?" Then he wakes up and won't listen again and I'm ready to pull my hair out. I'll read that site as soon as I get my son to bed. Thank u very much.

Ill cheek out that book too. I also have read him no bunnys perfect that will show how some bunnys hit and bite when there mad and how you should share and stuff and when he sees seine biting or hitting in the book he'll say bad there bad but then he'll do it sometimes so I guess it's a working progress.
 

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My best trick for avoiding yelling is to use a super-quiet voice. It helps to keep me calm as well as setting a good example. Sometimes it is necessary first to stop the behavior physically, for instance by scooping an arm around the child to hold his arms down and pull him away from the thing he should leave alone. This also gets his attention so that he'll hear what you say softly. If you find that you're yelling because he is far away from you, try to go closer to him before you speak. I know sometimes it isn't possible (like you're using the bathroom and you can see him drawing on the wall in the hall!) but when you can, take action instead of yelling.

I tend to yell when I am frustrated because he repeatedly didn't do what I said, so now I'm saying it louder and meaner! Sometimes it works (but at the cost of scaring him), but around 3-4 years old he started responding, "Mama, don't yell! :nono" and doing his best to divert the whole conversation to discussing appropriate tones of voice and word choices instead of the original issue. It's better if I quickly give a consequence for misbehavior and then consider offering a second chance to behave correctly. Here's more about that, with examples: http://articles.earthlingshandbook.org/2009/01/06/second-chance/

My mom got great mileage out of, "Do it before I count to 3," said in a Calm Firm Voice, and that worked very well for me with my son at first, until he thought to challenge it in a way I never did when I was little! But even after it backfired, there was no serious consequence other than it not working on him anymore, so try that technique to see if it works for you: http://articles.earthlingshandbook.org/2008/02/28/counting-to-three/

For hitting or anything else that hurts you, I think the best response is to emphasize that you're hurt and look shocked like you can't believe he would do that to you. Don't tell him he shouldn't have, don't punish him, just pull away and give him the puppydog eyes while you clutch your sore spot. For many kids, this triggers a huge wave of feeling that they've done something very wrong and wanting desperately to make it right--and this is much more useful to learning self-discipline than having the consequence of hurting another person be something that's imposed on them. When he's hurt someone else, same thing: "You hit Emma! That hurt her head!" in a shocked voice. Give him a chance to WANT to make it right before you make any suggestion about how to do that. If he does something on his own, you can kind of explain it: "You're sharing your teddy because teddy helps when you're sad. That's a nice thing to do. You're sorry about hurting Emma's head. Teddy will help Emma." That helps to get across to the other kid (and her parent, who's probably at least as upset as she is!) what your son is trying to do, and it reinforces to him that this is a good way to apologize.
 
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