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DS has been going through a hard time the last week. He's 30 months old, recently weaned, and while weaning itself was not problematic, I think he's got some insecurity going on. Also, his very beloved teacher at preschool left and he has a new one.<br><br>
Anyway quite a few times this weekend he was acting up. We have certain rules, like not throwing toys or food, which we feel he is old enough to understand and comply with. Several times he threw a toy across the room, and when asked to stop, just picked up more and threw them. We've never spanked, and don't really believe in time out, but I'm having trouble with just having faith that he'll "outgrow" acting bratty or inappropriate, and that all it takes is "modeling" appropriate behavior. Case in point, our SIL and BIL have 3 kids who are pretty out-of-control (mouthy, rude, jumping on and off furniture at other people's houses, etc.) and if "modeling" good behavior is all it took, you'd think they wouldn't act that way. I mean BIL and SIL are two very pleasant, calm, well-mannered people. But their kids are practically insufferable. There is a lot of pressure on me and DH to discipline DS more strictly.<br><br>
One thing that has been a sore spot with DS' cousins is crawling under the table at family meals. The oldest started this up at some point, crawling under and pretending to be a dog and whatnot, and for a long time his parents tried to ignore it, or just take him into another room, but as his two younger siblings have taken to imitating him, other relatives would complain, and it got a lot less easy to ignore. (We have dinner as a large extended family at the grandparents' house pretty often.) Last night was awful, DS' 3-year-old cousin went under the table, so his mom took him into another room, and then DS started crawling under. Meanwhile grandmom is saying if the kids just got spanked they wouldn't keep doing it, and why don't we at least give him a time-out, etc. Well he hadn't had a nap all day and was pretty wound up, so I didn't think ANY intervention had any chance at that point. So we just got up and left. I didn't want to stay in a situation where DS was apparently not capable of behaving appropriately, and DH and I are facing all this pressure to MAKE him behave.<br><br>
That worked for last night, but I don't think we can just up and leave anytime he's acting out. What about when we have a second child, and that child is NOT misbehaving? And what about the toy-throwing at home?<br><br>
Sorry if this doesn't make any sense...
 

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It's pretty normal for one child to see if the same rules apply to him when another child is told not to do something. Not going under the table during meals is something we are working on, too, just by taking the child into the other room when neccessary. Keep in mind that by the time you have another child, your ds will be a whole year older (unless you are already pregnant and didn't mention it) and by the time your second child is old enough to mind following along, your ds will be two years older. I think you took the right tact by leaving when your ds was overly tired and stimulated. It's likely that your ds will not need naps in two years and won't have the difficulties relating to being tired. It would be great if your family could have it's gatherings to include a noon meal rather than an evening one to set up the little ones with a greater ability to behave appropriately.
 

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I'll start out by saying that my ds is only 18 mos, so anything I have to say is theoretical... take it or leave it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I did want to post, though, because when I read your message, I could not help thinking of some things I have read in Althea Solter's book.<br><br>
As for the "testing," she suggests you not look at it as testing YOU. Look at it as testing the rule. If he throws something, you could say, "It's not safe to throw toys inside, but we can go outside and throw a ball." If the child is seeking attention, he can get positive attention outside while throwing the ball, and if he is seeking rule clarification, he gets that too.<br><br>
Another thing Solter is very big on is crying to relieve stress. Since your child is going through some major changes, he may have built up stress. Allowing him to cry, while giving him your full attention, hugs, etc., might help him relieve his stress. Solter says sometimes kids ask for/to do things they know you will say no to, just to have an excuse to cry. In observing my son, I think this really does happen.<br><br>
I agree with the PP that kids often want to see if rules apply to them. Like the throwing situation, if ds crawls under the table again, I'd try to think of an alternative that would work for everyone. "We can't crawl under the table while people are eating, but you can crawl under the coffee table in the other room. Let's go do that for a little while." (You're used to eating cold food, right?! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> ) This will remove him from the situation, teach him limits, and give him an alternative activity.<br><br>
HTH!! Good luck.
 

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30 months is too young to expect him to follow rules by just saying them. He is throwing toys because he has something to say. He is frustrated or mad or going through a growth leap and he is calling out for help in the only way he knows how. You do not have to just simply model appropriate behavior and expect him to comply. You can take him aside, talk to him about appropriate behavior, and try to get to understand what he is feeling and why he is acting up. He is not being bratty - he is calling out for help. As for being under the table, well his cousin did it and it looked like fun so he did it. You did the right thing by leaving.<br><br>
My child is 36 mos and if she were to throw toys around the room, I would hold her or sing to her and comfort her and make sure she was able to tell me what was really going on in her head. We would try our best to solve that problem (being tired, hungry, scared, frustrated, angry, bored, whatever) together and then we would clean up the toys together, all the while talking about what could happen if toys are thrown and why it is imporant not to throw toys. We would also talk about and model and role-play better ways to express oneself. If my child was really wound up at a family dinner (she does not nap) and was seemingly incapable of behaving in a calm manner, I would take her home. If grandma suggested spanking, I would bluntly tell her we are not using any kind of violent force on our children and would appreciate it if she did not bring that up ever again. If she did, I would go to the gentle discipline spanking sticky and print up some information about why spanking is not a good idea. The references from the American Academy of Pediatrics are probably the most powerful. I would give them to her with another blunt statement about how we are not spanking and here is why and please do not bring it up again.<br><br>
I think it would do you good to read some books about gentle discipline and toddler behavior. A good place to start, if you have not already read these, is <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Becoming the parent you want to be</span> and <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Unconditional Parenting</span>. Information is in the gentle discipline sticky. 30 months old kids act the way they do for a reason. There is a lot you can do besides just model good behavior or spank. But, if you are thinking your child's behavior is bratty, chances are you are not approaching each situation as a learning experience. Read more about gentle discipline and the behavior needs of young children and you will be able to approach each challenge with a better attitude. And, your child will love your for it.
 

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Sometimes I think my hubby just flat out misses the boat about this issue.<br><br>
We have a set of fireplace tools that of course Baby (25 mo) wants to play with. I could care less, really, but papa doesn't want her to get dirty, or they might be hot, or some are kind of sharp...<br><br>
Baby has long known that she's not allowed to play with them. If we're watching a movie and she gets bored, or she's had a rough week, or she's frustrated about something, she'll go over and start to pull on them - usually while looking pointedly over at us to make sure we see and react.<br><br>
Papa starts his 'NO! Put that down!' nonsense, which she ignores, until finally he yells or goes over and pulls it out of her hand. Now she's mad and feels ashamed, on top of already feeling ignored and frustrated. Now she is fussy and upset at bedtime, and he's scratching his head saying 'I wonder what's gotten into her tonight?' <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes"><br><br>
What works best for me is to try to ignore the behavior (which as a 2 yo she has limited control over when she's unhappy) and concentrate on the underlying sentiment. For example, what would I normally do if Baby was bored? Well, I'd go over and sit down with her, talk to her, sing, play games, help her find something to do.<br><br>
Similarly, what would I normally do if I knew Baby'd had a rough day at school, or was otherwise feeling frustrated or sad? Well, I'd take her in my arms, snuggle her close, take her and put her in her warmest, coziest pajamas, all the while teasing and playing and laughing with her.<br><br>
This way Baby has an 'out' - a way of extracting herself from the situation which leaves her feeling intact as whole person, not shamed or isolated. Usually I'll see her starting to act out and say 'oh no, honey. Daddy doesn't like you to play with those because he's afraid you'll get hurt!' She responds with kind of a 'oh right, I forgot' type response - willingly putting down the tongs and turning toward me. Now we're at level ground and can move forward with solving her particular dilemma (the boredom or frustration). Because I'm not 'getting on to her' she feels okay about herself and our relationship and she's willing to accept my help.<br><br>
We can then go on to have a lovely night together. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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It is simply a mistake to expect words to control actions at this point of time.<br><br>
The words are good.They tell a child what the expectations are and they lay the ground for the future. But the only way to discipline is hands on. AND I dont' mean spanking.<br><br>
So the child crawls under the table. You say "DS come out from under the table. That is not allowed it is disturbing to everyone else." And at the same time you go and move him (gently) out from under.<br><br>
If he goes back you simply say "DS you need to stop going under the table."<br><br>
WHILE going and picking him up.<br><br>
Your voice can be low and serious. I will tell you that this voice definitely helps the child understand and it makes the other adults feel that you are doing something.<br><br>
Your affect should be not 'mad' but bored.<br><br>
YOu can make it clear that you will pull him out from under the table as many times as it takes, that you will not allow him to do this PERIOD.<br><br>
The answer to "how many times do I have to tell him not to...." is "Many, many times." No reason to be mad or upset about it.
 

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The way I deal with it is kind of a mix between Maya's and Blessed's methods.<br>
When it's intentional testing, I understand and don't shame, but I also draw a line that's just not going to be crossed.<br>
I guess, in my mind, it's a little like an invisible baby gate. Throwing toys when you're mad is just not ok. I'm not a big lecturer (not that 2 year olds understand deep lecturers, anyway) but I'll sometimes sit ds down on the couch and get really serious every once in a while.<br>
The "talk" usually has 3 points:<br>
1)I know your upset because bla bla bla...<br>
2)But still, no throwing stuff, ok?<br>
3)Now let's go do something fun and be happy.<br><br>
I'm not someone who believes modeling alone is the method for us, either. When ds starts freaking out, I feel like it's appropriate for me to gently, lovingly assist him in learning how to channel his emotions into positive methods of communication and coping.<br><br>
Probably the hardest part for me is accepting that sometimes my son goes through phases...and just because I can't do anything to really fix a bad phase doesn't mean he's going to turn out horrible.<br>
Ds has been angelic for a few months now, but around Christmas I started a thread here asking about what "normal" toddlers act like.<br>
At the time, I felt like I must have been doing something wrong, and I must have been damaging him with gd in some way, because I couldn't even hardly take him out in public!<br><br>
In a way, over-analyzing is probably beneficial, but don't forget to keep things in perspective, and remember that just like every other rough patch, this one will pass, as well.<br>
He's got good reasons for being upset, but it'll be ok. Life just sucks like that sometimes...when you're 2 and when you're 30.<br>
When you're 2 you're not so good at dealing with that stuff, but the skills he learns now will be the ones that, hopefully, will be the base for him being an emotionally stable adult.<br><br>
It's all about compassion, limits, guidance, patience, and time.
 

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well toy throwing at that kind of age sounds a 'normal' kind of way to venting or showing frustration or unhappiness at something going on in his world - the question you need to find the answer to is what ? and then maybe you can have more compassion for why he is doing it in the first place - I think it's healthy that children can occassionally 'rule break' - at any age but especially so young - it really gives us a clear signal (if we are listening) that something is not OK for them - something real, something important and something we should be noticing...<br><br>
the under the table thing - well of course he wanted to try it if his cousins were doing it - why not ? (from his point of view) and see what happens<br><br>
my dd has some really badly behaving older cousins and really I try very hard when they are around not to expect so much of her - because it really isn't so fair if I am firm with her when they can just run around the place doing what they like - I don't think this is me setting a bad model for her - rather I think it is fair on her
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>blessed</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><b>This way Baby has an 'out' - a way of extracting herself from the situation which leaves her feeling intact as whole person, not shamed or isolated.</b> Usually I'll see her starting to act out and say 'oh no, honey. Daddy doesn't like you to play with those because he's afraid you'll get hurt!' She responds with kind of a 'oh right, I forgot' type response - willingly putting down the tongs and turning toward me. Now we're at level ground and can move forward with solving her particular dilemma (the boredom or frustration). Because I'm not 'getting on to her' she feels okay about herself and our relationship and she's willing to accept my help.</div>
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I love the way you said this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
My ds is 19 mos, so....take this or leave it... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
Of all the things that frustrate the heck out of me (toothbrushing comes to mind...lol), testing behavior is NOT one of those.<br>
I do think ds is old enough to not do certain things. He understands enough to KNOW what we are asking. He may not have the impulse control, but if we give him an alternative, he is perfectly capable of stopping the unacceptable behavior.<br>
Hitting people or animals is not acceptable here. Throwing is sometimes ok(that's dp's fault- he throws soft balls and soft blocks in the house...lol). It has to be oft, not thrown at people or animals, etc. Amazingly enough, ds seems to "get it" as far as what's ok throwing and what's not.<br><br>
ANYWAYS...what I wanted to say was this- "testing behavior" seems to me to be such a natural thing. Say, ds has a pen, and I say "I don't want you to write on me." He'll take the pen and very carefully put it up to my skin. He's not writing on me, just touching me lol. He's checking if THIS counts as the same thing, or if its ok. If I keep the exchange light and happy, he ends up knowing what is ok amd what's not, and stops doing the stuff thats not ok. That may be different than what you're talking about though.<br><br>
Any time I notice that he is *blatantly* doing something that I told him not to do, I can almost always look back, and trace it to something that *I* said or did. Especially if I said something even remotely harshly. If I just say "don't do x" (and don't explain and give alternatives) he's likely to do it. That makes sense though- just saying "Don't throw" really just puts the image of "throwing" in their heads. Then there's the fact that "no" really just compels most people to do it. I know it does me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
Sometimes, I think this behavior is what most people call a "power struggle." But neither dp or I think that's really what's happening. I don't quite know how to explain it, but it seems more of an instinct/natural thing that all people do, than a kid trying to "win" in a "power struggle." HOTYK talks about this, and that resisting is a totally natural thing, especially for toddlers.<br><br>
I think the key is *working with*. For the toy throwing, I'd try to find a way to give an alternative- is there something else he CAN throw? balled up socks? or perhaps remind him of the proper way to play with the toy. Or give him a basket that he can throw his toys into. But try to view it from a "working with" and try to see him as WANTING to do the right thing.<br>
I know that with my ds, if I come at it like he was doing something wrong, and he must stop-period, it tends to backfire. If I come at it like he's doing something unacceptable, and he needs my input to remind him that it is unacceptable and to help him find some acceptable activity to replace it with, we have tons of luck.
 
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