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So, my dad was a pest. As a child he was small but a big pest and often got beaten up (after throwing rocks, etc at bigger kids). He still (in his 60's) loves to bug people, and get them angry or cause an emotional reaction. So does my brother. So does my nefew.

My two year old is already showing signs of this behavior. At nap and bed time especially he thinks it is hilarious to kick us, poke us in the eyes or head butt us until we get mad or do something about it. Usually this results in him being put in the stroller or otherwise confined so that he has to go to sleep and can't reach anyone. At playgroup and the park he has started pushing the new walkers (11 - 15 mo old kids) because he thinks its hilarious when they fall down and he wants to see the reaction he gets. Usually this means we have to leave playgroup in the middle or come home from the park. I figure these are fairly reasonable consequences, since we don't get to keep playing with kids / cuddling if we are being a pest.

So far I have been able to mostly catch him and nip his pestering in the bud. But how am I going to get it to stop in the long run? Its like any reaction just encourages the behavior, but especially getting mad or raising my voice. And sometimes he does it because he WANTS to go home or WANTS to be in the stroller, in which case aren't I rewarding his bad behavior?

I'm not at the end of my rope yet, but I'm seriously getting tired of being kicked in the head and poked in the eye. Any suggestions?
 
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