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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DS is 2.5 and we have had the worst days lately
I am so upset with him for his behavior and myself because I'm not handling situations well. I've looked at the GD reading list, but is there a single book y'all think is the best place to start? I haven't done much reading about GD, I just know that I won't hit him and time-out type situations don't seem to make much difference to DS.

Within the past few days he has learned how to get in and out of the tub by himself. The first time I realized he could do this, he sneaked out of the tub, grabbed my purse off the counter, jumped back into the tub, and submerged my purse. My checkbook, pictures, money, cosmetics...everything soaked. Also this week he has refused to keep clothes on and has started peeing in the heat vents. Last week he pulled the plastic sink drain stopper out of the bathroom sink and flushed it down the toilet while I was a few feet away talking on the phone. Often when I try to stop him with my hand by pulling him away from something, even if I'm barely even touching him, he yells "Stop hurting me!" It's not that funny when you're in the middle of the store.
: He absolutely delights in these behaviors and I just don't know what to do! When DH comes home from work I am pissed off, which puts DH in a bad mood. This is a horrible cycle!

The worst part is that I find myself letting him watch a video to give us both a break. I am not parenting the way I want to! I know he needs more exercise, but I don't want to reward negative behavior with a fun trip to the park. Plus, watching him flop around on the ground screaming for me to stop hurting him isn't very appealing.

How am I supposed to react when he does these things? How am I supposed to prevent them from happening? I can't watch him every second of the day, and he needs some independence. I can't put a latch on every single door and every single cabinet. I've asked my friends about what they did when their children pulled stunts like this, and apparently their children never did "anything that bad." UGH! PLEASE HELP!

(BTW, before I get slammed for leaving my almost 3 year old in the tub alone, he only has a few inches of water, we talk and sing, and I'm only a few feet away.)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Hemiola View Post
is there a single book y'all think is the best place to start?
Yes! Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn .

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hemiola View Post
Within the past few days he has learned how to get in and out of the tub by himself. The first time I realized he could do this, he sneaked out of the tub, grabbed my purse off the counter, jumped back into the tub, and submerged my purse. My checkbook, pictures, money, cosmetics...everything soaked. Also this week he has refused to keep clothes on and has started peeing in the heat vents. Last week he pulled the plastic sink drain stopper out of the bathroom sink and flushed it down the toilet while I was a few feet away talking on the phone.
I am sorry... but I can't stop laughing... I am so sorry - but it sounds so-o-o 2.5! And what a little scientist you have on your hands


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Originally Posted by Hemiola View Post
Often when I try to stop him with my hand by pulling him away from something, even if I'm barely even touching him, he yells "Stop hurting me!" It's not that funny when you're in the middle of the store.
O-o-oh, this sounds like my "drama-queen" DD


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Originally Posted by Hemiola View Post
The worst part is that I find myself letting him watch a video to give us both a break.
I see absolutely nothing wrong with parents taking a little break while the child watches a video! It's not like you plop him next to the TV for the whole day.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hemiola View Post
I know he needs more exercise, but I don't want to reward negative behavior with a fun trip to the park.
No no no no! You are not rewarding anything! At 2.5 they do not know what "behaviour" is (and don't have to!) Taking him to the park, letting him run the energy that you described so picturesque above is just what both of you need! The more the better!

During this age (and for some time after too
) kids respond WAY better when presented with what TO do than when told what NOT to do.

Human beings are wired to learn learn learn as much as they can in the beginning of their lives, despite what the mother, or father, or outside traffic, or common sense (which only STARTS to develop) tells them! They are little physicists at that age. "What does the water do?' "How does a toilet work?" "Oh cool, I can control where I pee!"

We, parents sometimes assign ourselves too much "importance"
Kids do not do this stuff to piss us off. They actually are not even thinking about us when they do that. They are too busy growing up, exploring the world, and performing one experiment after another. AND they do not have much control over this desire. AND this is good, because otherwise we would never learn!

Childproofing is a necessary evil nowadays. But even more important is finding the ways of safe and fullfilling exploration and development.

Go to the park mama
You have such a delightful kid
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for the reassurance! I do need to reframe my thinking about this and read up on the subject. I'm going to the library tonight!

I also have a feeling that DS has a wheat sensitivity. We have an appointment with the Dr. tomorrow at my insistence. DH maintains he saw no improvement when we tried to take wheat out of DS's diet, and I think there was great improvement. He has been eating wheat for the last two weeks or so, as a trial and since he has to have it in his system for the tests I want done.

But now, we're going outside to play
 

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I agree, Unconditional Parenting would be a good place to start. Either that or Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves (Naomi Aldort). Re-thinking the whole reward/punishment thing and the scripts we carry inside our heads about what parents *should* do is pretty key. Both of those books change your perspective, and that changes your life.

What I have found during my parenting journey thus far is that the BIGGEST part of discipline...is disciplining MYSELF. That means making sure that I'm setting us up for success rather than catastrophe. Making sure that I'm well-rested and well-fed, making sure that I have some sort of game plan (even if I end up changing it), making sure that I do things like time my phone calls carefully, keeping things I don't want my kids to have out of their reach, etc. Almost every time "bad" behavior happens I can trace the cause back to the grown-up doing something absent-minded or otherwise unadvisable.

In general, kids are good, but they're wired to explore their world. A 2.5 year old doesn't really understand that a purse shouldn't be submerged, or that the sink stopper shouldn't be flushed. They're all about having an impulse and acting on it...ooooh, what happens when...oooh, look! When I'm "on my game" they're able to be kids without me going insane.
That's not to say that I'm always perfectly organized, only that it makes life much easier when I am.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Hemiola View Post
I know he needs more exercise, but I don't want to reward negative behavior with a fun trip to the park.
I used to think this way until my DH pointed out that the only one I would be "punishing" by keeping us at home would be myself.
My kids are much less likely to freak out, tantrum and otherwise get their panties in a twist when they are stuck in the house.
 

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It sounds to me like your son is a little bit frustrated, probably bored (hey, peeing in the vents isn't my idea of a good time, but it was probably entertaining to him), needs some more exercise, but a lot of it is that he's just 2.5.

Don't worry about rewarding him by taking him to the park. When we're having one of those awful days, just about the worst thing I can do is stay home. It's so much better if we get out and go to the playground, go running in a big field, go throw pebbles in the lake, go to the zoo, something! It helps reset both of us and get us out of the negative pattern. The key is to pick an activity where he'll have fun and it won't be too stressful for you.

Try not to worry what others think when he yells, "Stop hurting me!" If he doesn't keep getting a rewarding reaction from you for doing it, he'll eventually stop. Just very calmly continue doing what you're doing, and calmly tell him, "We don't throw toys." (or whatever's appropriate obviously!) If I heard a child yelling that in a store, I'd look over, and if the mom seemed calm and gentle but firm, I wouldn't give it a second thought. I'd only pay more attention if I really saw someone hauling a child away by one arm or pulling them by the ear


I'd also really focus on keeping a really close eye on him for the next couple of weeks. Don't be far enough away that he can do something like that with your purse or the heat vent or whatever. It will be a major pain in the neck to shadow him, but a week or two of it could really change the dynamic. When he does get up to something he shouldn't, be gentle but firm and redirect, redirect, redirect!
 

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Quote:
Within the past few days he has learned how to get in and out of the tub by himself. The first time I realized he could do this, he sneaked out of the tub, grabbed my purse off the counter, jumped back into the tub, and submerged my purse. My checkbook, pictures, money, cosmetics...everything soaked. Also this week he has refused to keep clothes on and has started peeing in the heat vents. Last week he pulled the plastic sink drain stopper out of the bathroom sink and flushed it down the toilet while I was a few feet away talking on the phone. Often when I try to stop him with my hand by pulling him away from something, even if I'm barely even touching him, he yells "Stop hurting me!" It's not that funny when you're in the middle of the store. He absolutely delights in these behaviors and I just don't know what to do! When DH comes home from work I am pissed off, which puts DH in a bad mood. This is a horrible cycle!


I laughed because I can totally relate. We are going through the "terrible twos" too. Today, Kai decided to paint the bathroom door with cream cheese, he threw food across the room, dumped a cup of water all over the table, and found a pool of muddy water to sit in. I have been reading parenting books since I was a teenager, but I still feel overwhelmed much of the time. I think kids at this stage need lots of active play. This week has been challenging, because I am trying to get a paper finished.
 

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Man, I feel you! He sounds 2!!!! I always here people say that three and four are worse but with both of my older girls I have found two to be just HORRIBLE. Three and four have their challenges but no where near as frustrating.

I agree with the PP in getting him out of the house and more excercise. And something I struggle with. Just let it go! Try not to get too angry with the insane stuff he does. It's all a fun game to him. Now I need to start taking my own advice because most days I have to take several time out to keep from throttling my 2yo.
 

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My son does the "Don't hurt me!" thing too. No one has ever laid a hand on him, EVER! It blows my mind.

By the way he's 3 and I leave him in the tub all the time. My logic is he could slip and fall with me right next to him just as easily as if I'm in the next room. As long as I can hear him splashing and playing I don't worry.
 

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another book that is WONDERFUL is "without Spanking or Spoiling" i'll have to get back with the author. It may be hard to find; written in the 70's. BUT GREAT.

I feel your pain to a small degree..... mainly cause my 17mo. is likely to head in that direction.

But maybe he is just wanting your attention. Think about it... you are commited to being gentle with your son, so every time he does something you are *likely* to look him in the eyes and talk to him about it. This is great one on one to him. So, maybe, as a pre-emptive strike -before he even gets to that point offer to do a puzzle with him, or read, or cuddle. Give him a good 15 min. of "its all about you" time.

I have found this to really help with my 3 yo.

**kudos on park time not being a reward... it is a ticket to freedom!
 
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