the terrible twos

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by David54, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. David54

    David54 Member

    I'm heading into the terrible twos with my first child, and I've just got to say that I am the best dad ever! Combined with having one hell of a good kid.

    We've been struggling with temper tantrums for a little while now, but I think I've got them under control. I came at it with a solid strategy, and I'm being really firm and consistent about it.

    First of all, I figure out what he wants and teach him how to express it. If he can't have it, than I tell him that he can't have it and explain why. He starts going off on a fit. I tell him that I understand that he's frustrated, but that fussing isn't going to get him anything. Then I ignore any tantrum that he throws.

    If he's asking for something that he can have, than I tell him that he's going to have to calm down, and I wait until he does. Then I tell him to ask nicely, and when he says please, I give it to him.

    This strategy seems to be working. It's gotten to the point where he knows the drill. When he starts fussing, all I have to do is look at him. He calms down, tells me what he wants, and asks nicely. I win! He wins too, come to think of it.

    The other issue that we've been dealing with is hitting and kicking. Supposedly, 2-year-olds aren't supposed to be able to learn not to hit yet. But he's not even 23 months, and I think we've almost got it. Our big problem has been that he hits or kicks as a game. He doesn't understand my reaction to it. He thinks that it's funny and just laughs and laughs when I say "ow" and tell him no.

    Whenever he gets hurt even a little bit, he always asks for me to kiss it. I decided to use that as a basis for teaching empathy. Whenever he hits me, even if he's just playing, I make a big show of being hurt, and then ask him to kiss it. By mirroring what he does when he's hurt, I'm showing him that his actions are hurting me. He's starting to catch on. His behavior is improving.

    Can anyone give me some advice on what to expect later in the terrible twos? One thing that I've noticed is that he's starting to get more competitive and aggressive with other children, and I'm not too sure how to handle that.
  2. scratcho

    scratcho Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    hahahaha. Oh David--think the TT's are bad--wait 'till he's 3!! About 4-4 1/2 mine started to become human. You just have to drill it into him not to hurt other people--that it's wrong and it hurts just like when he gets hurt. Good luck,man. The raising of kids got so much easier for me when rationality and explanations worked with them. (single parent here,of 3)
  3. FlowerMama

    FlowerMama Member

    My little one is just starting to gear up! But instead of throwing tantrums, she makes a big, dramatic deal out of things and cries with her bottom-lip out and does the "nononononono" song.
    I'm trying to be consistent with helping her calm down or leaving her until she can, but she's 20 months, and still not able to really verbally communicate exactly WHAT or WHY she's frustrated, so that can be difficult sometimes.

    ~ FlowerMama
  4. David54

    David54 Member

    You should treat her like an adult. You know, get really annoyed and ignore her just like you would an adult who's throwing a fit. *sarcasm

    I don't see the difference between what you described and a tantrum.

    I think a lot of the time, the not being able to communicate is the biggest part of the frustration in the first place. Have you tried talking through her feelings for her? That works really well with Dylan. If I tell him that I know he's frustrated and talk about why he's frustrated, that usually calms him down. Calms me down too!
  5. creampie00

    creampie00 If you can't DODGE it....RAM it!

    Same here, mine will be 2 in July, she's a pistol and loves the word NO, she also loves to do the exact opposite of what we ask her to do so lately I've been trying to tell her to do the opposite of what I really want. For example....honey, please scribble all over my white walls with your blue crayon.....I've noticed it has started working! I know, it is silly but whatever works.
  6. I agree that the main reason for the tantrums is that a toddler can't fully express themselves verbally so they express themselves through a tantrum. I also try to encourage the verbal responses.

    Another thing to look for is the desire to be independent. For me, this is the part of the terrible twos that requires the most patience. What works for me is constantly giving options, but making sure that either option is okay. Like "Do you want to brush your teeth first or get dressed first?", "Do you want a banana or apple?", "Do you want to leave the park in 3 minutes or 5 minutes?" [FONT=&quot]
  7. creampie00

    creampie00 If you can't DODGE it....RAM it!

    the option idea sounds good, I might have to try that. I am not a yeller but my husband will raise his voice and she usually listens to him. When she acts up when my husband is not home I say....shhh, Dadda will yell if you don't stop. Is this bad? the other day I saw her going for a chord, trying to pull it out of the wall....I better not and she replied...dadda yell? Now I am thinking that was a bad decision. I don't want her to think he's an ogre. She just doesnt take my stern voice seriously.

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