28 answers

2 Year Old Boy - Very Active and into Everything

My 2 year old son is always on the go and into everything he should not be into. Whether its climbing his highchair successfully and sitting in it, getting into the toilet, putting everything in his mouth, eating crayons, running away from me and I have to chase him all over (say at social functions or other people's houses), grabbing things off tables or things other kids are playing with, etc. He isn't much of a tantrum thrower (only when hungry or tired), but I have to repeatedly tell him to not do what he is doing or distract him. I am wondering if anyone has any recommendations for what to do. My biggest issue is how to keep an eye on him at social functions, because we are in a new environment and the dangers are unknown or easily available (unlike home), I feel like I have to follow him everywhere and I don't get a minute to breath or talk to anyone. I feel like I am overly stressed about it too because I feel like I am the only one who watches him like a hawk, and when others are watching him that is when he gets into something he shouldn't. At a recent party he keep on going into the bathroom, trying to go open doors and go outside, standing by stairs that where left open by other kids (he can't walk down stairs on his own yet). It was a nightmare!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I want to thank everyone for the great responses and advice!! It was also nice to hear that I am not alone! I started to try the time outs with my son and they do seem to calm him down at least. I hold him and count to 10 and by 10 he is calmer. I do not have stairs in my house (except for scary basement stairs) so that is why he hasn't mastered stairs yet. I am trying to work with him every chance I get at grandma's house and I am thinking about starting him on the basement stairs with total supervision. He has been going to gymboree since 13 months - so this is another place to practice climbing padded stairs or ladder stairs. It is also a great outlet for him to wear himself out. I still have him in the high chair but I put the tray on the high chair when he is not in it. Plus I bought a booster seat and have been letting him sit in it supervised. My next purchases are a toilet lock - so I can leave the bathroom door open and a travel gate - that I can use at other people's houses that do not have one. I also am trying to limit social functions unless totally necessary or I am asking people to come over our house. I do not go to functions by myself with the 2 kids and I always make sure my husband or mom can come with me. We do try to go out without the kids and have a grandparent watch them at our house. These challenges will continue and change so I am doing my best to work through them. This week it is the fascination of the christmas tree and taking off the ornaments (we put the ones he can't touch up much higher!).

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My second daughter was just like that and the only advice I have is breathe deeply, this too shall pass. It is a sign of an active intelligence and imagination, at least it was in my girl, who learned to deal with reason at about 4. And yes, I spent years dashing after her, watching like a hawk, setting and resetting boundaries, grinding my teeth and enforcing time outs for the truly outragous stuff. Social functions were a total drag unless I could enlist the help of others to give me a break. If you can't do that, then all you can do is wait it out and think of all the fun memories you are gathering that will seem amusing in a few years.

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I have a 2 and a half year old and can understand. My question is do you have anyone to watch him when you go to parties? Are these parties where he can go? If not try bringing him a bag of goodies. Things you know can keep hi occupied for a while. They do have short attention spans. It can be hard if he eats things. There are books that are geared for toddler's to keep them happy/busy. The busy todder and the wiggle and giggle big busy book. Many ideas to to for rainy days and whatever. Maybe something will work.

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My second daughter was just like that and the only advice I have is breathe deeply, this too shall pass. It is a sign of an active intelligence and imagination, at least it was in my girl, who learned to deal with reason at about 4. And yes, I spent years dashing after her, watching like a hawk, setting and resetting boundaries, grinding my teeth and enforcing time outs for the truly outragous stuff. Social functions were a total drag unless I could enlist the help of others to give me a break. If you can't do that, then all you can do is wait it out and think of all the fun memories you are gathering that will seem amusing in a few years.

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C.,
Welcome to the "Terrible Twos"!!! I do know what you are going through, I had a girl and then 4 boys, my daughter would sit and watch T.V. or play with her toys for hours, my sons were always into everything. My second son, Jeffrey, was by far the worst because he slept for an hour or two a night from the time he was born until he hit 4 years old. Jeffrey was into everything and did everything way ahead of the norm, for instance he started riding a 2 wheel bike without training wheels at 3 1/2 years old. He got the bike on Christmas morning and was riding it within a few hours of taking it outside. It got to the point with him that I would not go to family functions because he was so hard to handle and I had to do it alone, my husband would watch the older 2. I wish I could give you a solution, but unfortunately their isn't one, except to know that the "Horrendous Threes" are coming next, but eventually he will grow out of all of this, he is just learning all these new things and is very excited about this world we live in. I don't know if this helps, but in May my Jeffrey will be graduating from the University of Hartford - Barney School of Business with his bachelors in Business Management and employers are already looking to hire him, he is still very curious but knows how to get things done and done right. So see there is a bright side to those "Terrible Twos."
Hugs,
T.

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Welcome to parenthood! And to the terrible two's!
L.

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Dear C.,

If I have to sum up my advice to you in three words, they would be: HANG IN THERE! I know of what I speak.

My son, the youngest of three children, was very much like your boy. In fact, my parental goal for him was to keep him alive! I too had to keep my eyes on him everywhere we went. I got those disaproving looks from other parents, as if his behavior was due to my failure as a parent. Upon the advice of his school, I had him "diagnosed" by those in that profession. They wanted to put him on those "calming drugs".

I refused to drug him and instead found teachers that would work with a very bright, probabaly bored, precocious (sp?) little boy.

Today my "baby boy" is 23 yrs. old. He is graduating from college and, due to his creativity, is writing a novel that his professors say is publishable. He is about to "pop the question" to his soul mate - his girlfriend of seven years. He lives in, and very responsibly takes care of, my deceased father's home.

In short: I am VERY PROUD of this young man. His older brother and sister now joke and tell stories about how he could never sit still. You would never know it today!

So again, I say "hang in there". I know it is hard. On one of those days when you think you can't take it any more, try to picture him in the future - calm, accomplished, and happy!

All my best ---

As a mother of 4 young kids, it sounds to me like you are doing just what you need to do - staying on him like white on rice! Carefully select where you will bring him and decline invitations where you know it will be too stressful to have him along if you can not get a babysitter. This stage will not last forever and it is extremely difficult to go anywhere with 2 year olds! My twins turned 3 in August and they have been much more reasonable since then. Wearing the infant in a front or back pack may help free you up to stay as close to your 2 year old as is necessary. In addition to gates, I found it helpful to have a child proof knob on a door at home that I did not want my little ones going through alone. Good luck, and try to appreciate his cuteness even when he is driving you nuts!

My son is 16 months old and doing the same things! My parent's house is NOT childproof and this past weekend (holiday visit) was exhausting for me! My husband and I prefer to have friends here, or visit friends with kids so we are at homes that are also pretty childproof. Let me know if you hear anything good!

He's 2 and curious and normal. But YOU have to learn to control him. Not all kids are the same, but you have to figure out a consequence and then do it right away. At first it will seem like he is always in the corner or quiet chair or even in his high chair. For really active toddlers the high chair is a good way to make them be still for a couple of minutes. He MUST learn to listen to you when it is serious. I count, I find that works great, it gives them a little chance to think about what you want. For dangers you count real quick, but if its to come and get dressed you can count slower, but be consistent. Tell him come here ONE, if you dont come here you are going in time out TWO, dont make me get to three, come quick, if I say three you WILL go in time out..THREE!!!! then put him in time out immediately. At first he wont get it, but in a week you will see him come running on 3. No good..he has to learn to move before you say 3. You can count as slow as you like but you must put him in time out if you say THREE.

I feel for you--my son went through phases like this, but they didn't seem to last more than a few months. I don't have much advice, but I will tell you that it helped me to toddler proof as much of my house as I could. I got rid of my high chair, and bought my son a little table and chairs for himself (from Craigslist). He loves them, and eats breakfast and lunch there, as well as snacks. He also sits there to do puzzles, play with playdoh, etc. Mine is in our kitchen, so I can keep him there while I cook or clean (busy with something of course). I also almost always play music for him while he eats or plays, because he really enjoys it, and it keeps him wanting to sit at the table. For dinner, he eats with us at the table, but he kneels on a regular chair (never would sit in a booster). Also, I helped him with the stairs early on, because I wanted him to be safe, and the gate was left open or somehow jiggered open by him on more than one occasion! It didn't take him long to learn how to go up and down the stairs himself. You will have to be the judge of these things though--not every mother wants her child to go up and down stairs--I was afraid at first, but he was pretty cautious, and didn't try to jump or ride down or anything :) As for the public situations, you have probably already done this, but make sure you always have a toy and a snack and drink with you, something you know he'll like and something that won't be eaten too quickly! (My son loves those mini boxes of raisins, and packs of Quaker granola bites) For those times when I ABSOLUTELY need him to behave (like the time I was at the midwife's office and he started getting into the speculums!) I started bringing little lollipops in my purse. And if it will help, get one of those leashes. I never tried it, because I think my son would just flop to the floor and throw a tantrum, but it seems to work for many moms. Last piece of advice, make sure you try to wear your son out when you can--we go to the park when we can, and I have a small slide in my basement. Good luck. P.S. There's a book by Dr. Sears, I think it's called something like, "The Discipline Book." It helped me, gave lots of ideas for avoiding trouble, and may help you--check and see if your local library has it.

hi C., believe me, i hear you! rest assured that your sons behavior is totally normal, he is learning! there are some things you can do to try to teach him, and 2 is a good time to start, but it will take time, and up until then, its just up to you to keep him safe. in your home, i cannot say enough about baby gates. we have them all over, its a pita, but it keeps them contained so you can sit down for 5 minutes. babyproof the hell out of your home, especially since your little one will soon be on the move. i keep a baby gate in my car for visits, too! the evenflo mesh expanding one takes up very little room when you roll it up. look at your home and see where the toughest areas are. i keep gates at the doors to my kitchen/dining room, or else i find my 17 month old standing on the kitchen table/counters constantly since he has learned to move around the chairs and climb on them. i keep them out of my bedroom too just so i dont have to worry about all my stuff. as for social functions, i really just gave up. the bottom line is that you are on duty, and thats it. wear comfortable shoes, bring a stroller and pray for a nap, bring those snack trappers with peas or cheerios or something in it that takes time and focus to eat, or whatever else can keep him happy in one spot for 2 minutes while you eat or whatever. get him used to being strapped into the stroller or a high chair for longer lengths of time, which for a 2 year old might be 5 minutes, but if you can save those 5 minutes for, say when they are walking around with trays of hot coffee, its all worth it. adult parties are dangerous places for little ones, they really are. you have to assess the place, but there are lots of things to look out for. even in someones home. we were at a new years party, and i walked into a room to find my son drinking a drink someone left on a table. and it wasnt juice! scary. i find that when other people "watch" them at parties, they end up handing them off to someone else, and someone else, and before long, nobody is watching, which just means that i am watching them watch my kid, and everyone thinks im a nut. so i just watch. once in a while get a babysitter and leave them home so you can still socialize! i have a friend who hires her babysitter to come with her and do nothing but watch her son when she goes to something where she really wants to enjoy herself. it works great for her, worth every penny. she has an amazing babysitter. good luck :)

You have three options as I see it, for social functions. The first is a baby leash/harness so that he can only go so far away from you. #2 is a portable playpen with toys in it and #3 is hire a babysitter and have some time to yourself.

With our 2-yo, if a social function is for hubby's friends or family I chase after our child and he does the same for me with my friends and family to allow each of us a small amount of conversation, but we both have accepted and embraced that this age is a phase and the constant chasing of our child is the responsible thing to do in order to keep her safe and prevent damage to the host's house, even if it means sacrificing our own social time.

With a 4-mo and a 2-yo you must be exhausted and unfortunately that is going to make everything your toddler does seem worse--your 2-yo really just sounds typical, so maybe hiring a sitter to give you the night out just for your own enjoyment of the social function is a good option. Or, maybe you could get a sitter at your house the day prior to an event to allow you time to rest up so you can keep up with your toddler.

And just think in 20 months you'll get a good dose of the terrible-two's all over again! good luck.

Hi C.,
That sounds like my two year old it got so bad that my Mom recommended that I have her evaluated!! And I am a family coach !!! Sometimes we get so overwhelmed that it is easier to give in. What your son is doing is testing you and he is naturally curious if he is into everything at home then he will be outside of home. Try being consisent with the rules and behaviors that you want so that your son gets the same result everytime that he does a behavior that you don't want.I warn your that he will test for a long time be strong. He is very stronged willed and willing to hold longer then you. But you need to walk your talk.I recommend that you start on the weekend or sometimes when you have a long period at home. My two year will put herself on the stairs. Irecommend a book called SETTING LIMITS WITH YOUR STRONG WILLED CHILDit is an easy read shows how your childs temperment matches or mismathes with yoursand yor parenting style. Remember its the behavior not the child . Also remember that its your behavior not YOU!!! Hope this helps.

T.

My friend told me this tactic and it has worked for my 14 month old, she gets into a lot but is not as active as your son. When my daughter is doing something I dont want her to do and I already tried to verbally correct the behavior, I give her a time out. I hold her and count slowly until 60 and after I am done counting I tell again what I dont want her to do then let her go. This works well for her because my daughter hates to be held when she is trying to play. It seems to have worked when she does some thing i dont want her to do I say "Do you want a time out?" and she often stops what she is doing. Good luck hope this helps.
E.

When people told me "Having a child will change your life forever" I'd smile politely and say" Oh I hope so!"... If I only knew LOL

There are things you can do. First, eliminate places for him to "get into ".

Toddler-proof your home. Put away the fragile things, and the things you can't loose. Small toys should go on high shelves, things like crayons and craft things should only be used under your supervision, and put away afterward. They make toilet seat "locks" and cabinet locks, .. go buy them today :-)

Place ALL cleaning supplies and medicines ( even vitamins,supplements and OTC medicines) in a high cupboard LOCKED with a cabinet lock. After my daughter learned to open those we used combination locks.

Get rid of the highchair and get your son a booster seat. Hopefully when your second son is ready to transition from eating in the bouncer ( or car-seat, or whatever you are using to feed him in now), your older boy will be less enthusiastic about climbing it. If not.. fold it up and put it behind locked doors until meal time.

Close and lock all doors. We had a hook and eye system on the outside of our room and the bathroom for years.

Place a bolt lock high up on your front door, and install those battery operated alarms on your sliding/screen doors, so you'll know if he "escapes" If you have a pool, be sure it's securely fenced! I was a paramedic,a nd you'd ne horrified to realize how many p\toddlers die in backyard pools.

Travel with a baby gate or two.. they work wonders at other people's houses. Also ask that they "toddler-proof" their homes while you are there. You shouldn't have to watch hom like a hawk at Gramma's house)

As far as spending time with family/friends at functions, they'll have to follow you around as you follow your son if they want to talk to you. Invite them to do that... don't feel odd about it. are there events where hiring a babysitter would be better for you?

Are you a single mom? If not, insist your husband take a "shift" at family functions. You deserve a little adult time just like he does.

I actually put my daughter on a "leash" when she was a toddler. It was a belt with her own fanny pack, which she loved, and it had a D-ring and a tether you could clip on to it. We used it in Disneyland, it worked so well that after that we used it at large social gatherings. It allowed me to know when she was "on the move" if I became distracted. It also gave me another way to hold onto her when she refused to hold my hand.

Your son's behavior sounds normal to me, although more active than I was used to.

Try to foresee and prevent.. and ask for help when you need it! And as other moms have said, ... This too shall pass

Val

I have a 2 and a half year old and can understand. My question is do you have anyone to watch him when you go to parties? Are these parties where he can go? If not try bringing him a bag of goodies. Things you know can keep hi occupied for a while. They do have short attention spans. It can be hard if he eats things. There are books that are geared for toddler's to keep them happy/busy. The busy todder and the wiggle and giggle big busy book. Many ideas to to for rainy days and whatever. Maybe something will work.

Hi C.,
2 year olds are often very active and surprise their parents by the mischief they can get into! My daughter was exceedingly active and into everything, way more so than my son. It got to a point when she was two that for a while, we didn't go to other people's homes, because it was just too much work for me and for my husband, and we spent our day chasing rather than socializing. It wasn't enjoyable for us, so we stopped that and entertained family at our house for about 9 months.
I do agree with the other poster, however, that it's time to set up your disciplinary system - and discipline doesn't just mean punishment. It's time for your son to learn that there are limits set by parents, and consequences for pushing those limits. But be realistic in setting them, and know that active exploration is normal at this age. They don't yet know how to control their impulses and they cannot reason, so trying to explain the dangers of going outside without a grownup will have no effect - being strapped into the timeout chair for 3 minutes after trying it is an effect that he can understand.
Good luck!

God bless you-- my two boys are 17 months old and are the same way. I never have a moment of peace when we're out an about because I never know what they're going to get into! I too am getting some good advice from your question. I'm sorry I can't help you directly, but I can let you know that you're not alone.

My son is 2 and it has been pretty much like you describe your son except the timing of the sibling (mine is due next month, about a month and a half before the older one turns 3). This year has had a lot of ups and downs but he is listening better since he passed the 2.5 mark. Get a leash and don't feel bad using it in situations when you need it--like busy public places. Now that we have had the leash over a year and he doesn't like it he is starting to understand that he walks with mommy and holds my hand or the cart if shopping or he will be on the leash or in the cart. Over the last 2-3 months he has improved a lot on this one. Before this was staying on the sidewalk and holding my hand in the street or parking lot. We have been working on one issue at a time and it takes a while and a lot of consistency on that issue. There were a few times I had to carry him inside for time out or hold him in a time out for starting to go in the street but probably not more than 3-5 times since he turned 2 and got the concept. It is probalby harder with 2 to keep track of but it will get better as he gets old enough to undersand some of your rules better (of course but then the little one will be walking...). Best of luck.

I am so glad to read your question and know that I am not alone! My son is equally as curious and adventurous and ENERGETIC! He will be three in March and if there's anything I can say to help you feel better is that it does get a little better. Once he's more independent and follows directions better (I'm still working on this!) it will be less stressful to go to social gatherings where you won't have to watch him like a hawk as much. He will be able to hold his own more and you can breathe (for a second at least!) My son's tantrums have gotten worse but at least he knows right from wrong for the most part and knows when he shouldn't do something (it doesn't stop him from doing it but it tends to slow him down, at least!) My husband works weird hours so I am always at social events by myself - it's exhausting! I've left many a party in tears wondering where I am going wrong! People always ask me if I ever sit down, if I'm exhausted, etc. I know how you feel! My second son is two months old and I'm preparing to gear up for round number two when he starts walking! Maybe this one will be more of an observer! Ha! Good luck!

Hi C., sounds like you really have your hands full. The good news is this too shall pass and you will survive. It is tiring but you must keep your eye on him for safety. Say no when you must and be consistant. His curiosity says he has a very sharp mind and he also has a strong personality. This could go on until 3 1/5 and you may at times want to limit your social gatherings. He needs to learn to listen and he is young. Best wishes, Grandma Mary

Oh my, I thought my boys are the only ones like that:)
When our first son was 14 months we got prg with our second and I promiss we stayed home for the whole 9 months because I simply could not keep up with him. People kept telling me it was not that bad, oh yeah they did not watch him. So our second son came along and I was hopeful.....no way he was cruising around at 6 months and walking at 9 and 10 times busier than our first.There is light at the end of the tunnel though. Our oldest is almost 4 and is just fine.....listens just fine, follows directions. I never could give him playdough, crayons finger paints till he was almost 3.......I think some kids are just like that.I dread social functions with our youngest (who will be 2 next months). When friends invite us over to a party they always tell me that there will be many people to keep track of him, but come on I can not let him out of my sight and unless you have a child like that you can not understand. Hang in the it WILL get better:)We have no problems with our oldest at social events.

Dear C.,

He sounds like a perfectly normal two year old boy, I had one too 22 years ago. My son never stopped from the minute he woke until the minute he went to bed so I know how exhausted you must be. One thing I always did was make what I called a busy bag. Small puzzles, crayons, coloring books, play scissors, little cars, etc, anything your son likes but does not see often this way when he sees them he will keep busy for a while. Stickers, with sticker books, are also fun, the idea is to keep this busy bag in the car and only take it out in restaurants or any other social functions. Every time it comes out it will be new toys all over again. I always found this worked for us at least for a little while. My husband and I would then take turns chasing him so we could each get a break to talk with our friends or family. As far as him not listening, you can begin some consequences for bad behavior. Short time outs etc. He is not to young to start learning the rules and the consequences of not obeying them. I know how hard it can be, but as he grows his attention span will also grow and someday you will reflect on all of the funny stories. Good luck and happy holiday!!

Hi C. S
Congrats on your family. Some of what you say is normal, check with the MD, make sure you are dealing with behavior within normal range. 2 year old take constant attention and supervision, but all mine knew how to navigate stairs at 2, or maybe 18 months because we had stairs in our house. Solve that problem.
Next know that others have dealt with similar situations.
Let me tell you my story:
Our oldest was an angel, and I thought I was a great mom. Along comes our second son, and he was so sick as a new born that the MD told us he was going to pass away and to be prepared. Praise God that didn't happen!!! By 6 months old we were wrongly accusing our 5 year old of getting his baby brother out of the crib in the night and that he was not to do that. After about 3 weeks of listening to our otherwise truthful child tell us; we decided to watch. OOooops He was right our baby was shimmying up one side of the crib and down the other, crawling across the floor to his brother's bed. That began our long struggle of active behavior. By 18 months we were offered meds. to curb his activity. I always refused. I did not want to dull his bright mind.
It was hard to take him places, he was a monkey and could climb anything, anywhere, and he had no fear of consequense. As a two year old he took off at the mall, and people had told me so many times just let him go he will get scared and start crying and you will be the rescuer in the store. OK so that didn't work, and each time I would see him begin to look around, someone would say "well aren't you cute" and he would be off again. Of course I stayed near but out of site. This was a 3 story mall and finally over a half hour later, and 3 floors up at the opposite end, I just picked him up. He never was scared and never reacted, but I needed to get what I went to the mall for.
The library had a story time for this age, they asked me not to bring him back. OK so you get the idea.
My advice comes with some knowledge.
Talk ahead of time to him about what is expected. I expected mine to stay where he could always touch me when we were places. Did he stay that close "no" but he was always within my reach, and I knew he was not in danger. If I thought there was danger he had to hold my hand. If he wouldn't I held his and trust me I didn't let go. My sister used a harness on hers and is thankful as she pulled him out of the lower tram track as he dangled on the end of the harness.
At home child proofing had a whole new meaning. He could climb on top of the refrigerator and jump off. I soon learned he didn't get hurt, and cleared the path for him to do those things. I chose to have his home a place where I didn't have to always be yelling at him. I had rules and there was punishment for not obeying them, but at 2 he again I will say did not recognize consequense. That was by far the hardest to deal with and the hardest to recognize, without stopping him from doing those things he could do.
I remember one day being in the MD's office. They called us back to the examining room. He ran up and down the hallway while I watched, for him he was being good. Lets see he was not climbing on the files, etc, he was just running. At one point the MD, walking by said, how long will he keep this up. I said what. I was so used to him being on the run, I didn't stop him, and didn't know what the MD was talking about. It had become the norm, that we didn't discipline for. After a half hour of running, the MD picked him up brought him in and shut the door, saying he is a lively one.
It was then we were offered meds. again.
It is my assessment that because of his bright mind he was not satisfied mentally which showed physically with the typical 2 year old stimulation.
OK so what do you do.
First know that others have been there.
Second if your situation is not that bad, have a good laugh about how terrible it would be to have one worse than yours.
Third talk to the MD making sure he is healthy
Fourth check for allergy foods. A food a child seems almost addicted to, it is a good chance it is an allergen.
Fifth keep a food log with behaviors, and if you don't see a correllation, show the MD perhaps he will. Corn was an offender, but we knew he had a problem with sugar enzyme.
Sixth talk to your health food store people about it. You might be surprised by the advice-- I was. Probiotics helped greatly.
Seventh don't loose heart, pray-- write me --- stay calm
Eight as he got a little older I learned if I stimulated his brain, he was calmer. Maybe that would work now for you. It was not sit down and learn though. It was jump to the alphabet. Count the steps you run. Bounce the ball to a song, rhyme, or verse.
OK maybe top priority would be to child proof the house to alleviate the constant need to protect. See what he is able to do and let him do it. Today I am glad we did.
I always say talk to your mom, because most of the people on here are young enough to be my children. Mom may have some good stories to tell. Yes, you are younger than my oldest
God bless you and give you peace
K. SAHM married 38 years === adult children 37 coach, and entrepreneur; 32 lawyer, dad to our first grandbaby, and the child in the story, Started reading books before preschool, and could read the newspaper in preschool. The preschool teacher told me that, and slept 2 hours in 24 as a daily routine; twins 18 homeschooled and now in college one majoring in fine arts and the other in journalism.

I tend to think you need to do "firm NO's" and remove him from situations to do "time out's" with him. Stay with him in time out until he calms down and is standing still listening to what you are saying to him. You need to let him know it's wrong to behave like this. Let him know what you expect from him and be firm and consistent with him..

Before taking him somewhere socially remind him he's to behave. Once there and he misbehaves...remove him from the situation and remind him again...leave and take him home if he doesn't listen. In time, he will begin to understand.
Since he is bright and has a lot of energy....I would also try to direct that energy into positive things....I would get him involved in controled physical activities such as swimming lessons, an exercise class, gymnastic class etc. Find out what activities they have like this locally for children his age. Check out the "Y".
Also cut out foods and treats that have a lot of suger in them.
Know children with bad behaviors do not out grow them...if not corrected and controlled, it only gets worse with age. Disciplining a child is a big part of loving them.

Have patience, teach him and work with him until he understands... If he storms through a door....Say NO...then take him by the hand and walk him slowly through that door and back again...tell him, "no running, walk slowly"...pull him back gently until he gets it without pulling from you.
When he grabs something off of a table, tell him firmly "NO" and make him put it back...if he goes for the item again or even something else that is on the table...Tell him NO again and remove him from the situation and do a "Time Out". Let him know he's not to touch or take things that don't belong to him. Do the same thing when he takes a toy away from another child...let him know he's got to ask for what he wants...

When my neighbors child was 2 1/2 he went up and down their flight of steps which frighten me. I said, no-no wait for me...he said "I'm allowed".... His Mom said it's ok, he knows to hold on to the banaster, when I questioned her about it......so I taught the child to sit down and slowly work his way down one step at a time and back up again...we even worked on slowing down thoughout the process. I did it with him until he understood...."Oh, He said, that's better." I then thanked him for teaching me how to go up and down the steps carefully....I got a huge hug from him. He's now 4 and still goes up and down those steps that way....one at a time on his butt. His Mom now jokes and teases me by saying "I do hope by the time he's 40 he walks up and down those steps up right." I respond, "not to worry...I'll teach him that right before he goes to Medical school.

Anyway, good luck with your little one....keep us posted on how you decided to handle the situation and how it goes...

hey C.--sounds like your typical, normal, healthy two year old--especially a boy. i have three sons.here's the hard part-- he's doing what 2 year olds need to do--explore, test limits,oh--and say "no" alot. sorry mom you won't have much time for chatting with others at a social function unless his dad is around or someone is watching the children at the affair. here are a couple of suggestions: bring a babysitter with you, someone who will be with your son while you try to have a little grown-up conversation. or if you know other parents at the affair organize some internal babysitting-like someone watches your son and her child while you mingle. after a time you switch. nothing is perfect but you and other parents can support each other through this challenging time. the better you do now the better off you'll be when the next one turns 2!! you will survive and i know you're doing everything to be a great mom.

C.,
You can teach him how to go downstairs very easily. I showed my 14 month old how to do it - since we have an area at church we cannot cordon off with a baby gate (far too wide, and too many people anyway). He was all proud of himself the first time he made it down. A few tears and whimpers, but I just kept encouraging him, and holding my hand on his back while he went, and he was good to go! He'll climb up, and I wanted him to know how to get back down safely, rather than throwing a fit, and possibly throwing himself down them. We have gated stairs at home, and he doesn't access them (world's worst basement!) but were he to accidentally get a hold of the open gate, I don't want him unsafe there either.

He turns himself around and pushes himself backwards down them. This may not help on uncarpeted stairs btw.

Good Luck,
M.

Hi C.,
You have a lot of responses, and I didn't read them all so hopefully I'm not repeating. When you are at a social function, never assume someone else, even a parent you trust is watching your child, even if it is your husband. When you need a break, ask your husband or another parent to specifically watch your child, for a set time period. With hubby you can be blunt and tell him, ok it's your turn for the next hour/half-hour whatever time period you need, if it's a friend or relative, you could say, "I really need to talk to so-and-so could you watch my son for me for the next 10-15 minutes?", then make sure you let them know when you've resumed duty and thank them for giving you a little break.

If my daughter was at a social event that went past her normal bedtime, she didn't get tired and cranky, she got wired! She would just get more and more wild (and clumsier), she would be bouncing off the walls like some cartoon character.

If you plan on enjoying yourself, it is time to refuse social invites or get a sitter. This is how it was for me. Instead of being resentful, I embraced the time at home with my child. I always kept them (I have 3) busy, which was exhausting, to say the least. But in the end, I spent quality time with my children, and am grateful for that. I have 3 kids, ages 11, 10 and 5. They were very active, but I set strict ground rules. If they didn't follow my directions (and especially if they were in harm's way), they would get a Step 1 (time out), where they would sit and think about their actions. The more serious the offense, the higher the step, although I always started at 1, and I always de-escalated by asking them what got them to the step, and then the were on one step lower (i.e. if they got all the way to a step 3 by not doing what they were supposed to on steps 1 and 2...sitting quietly...then the went up one more step. If they did what they were supposed to, they went down to a 2, then a 1, then Freedom.) Each step lasted less than 5 minutes. It's their choice. There were automatic step 5's for safety, like when my little one hit his brother in the head with a hard object. That was directly to bed for the rest of the day. Stick to it and they get the seriousness of it. I didn't have to use it for long. The youngest tested me the most, but my tone of voice, and his escalation from step to step stopped it pretty quickly. Starting with a step 1 stops more difficult behavior before it begins. Step 1 is the disobeying groundrules...if they break that, they're on a step one. If they don't do well on a step one, not sitting quietly, getting off the "step", etc., then they move up to a step 2. Tney don't get to step 3 behaviors, like tantrums, because you've already stopped them at step 1. This is a positive behavioral support program used in many schools. It works very well, but you must be consistent. It is not a punishment because the consequence directly relates to the offense. They get to think about their actions and not do them again.
Good luck.

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