D.H. asks from Marysville, OH on July 15, 2011
Toddler Behavior - Marysville,OH
Hi mommies! I am a first time mom, to a two year old. Our son has been with us now for about four months and we have seen such amazing progress! He eats with a spoon, and talks, and uses the stairs, and kinda sorta dresses himself and is potty trained. All these things happened only after he came to us. Now however things are getting tricky. He has started throwing horrible tantrums and telling us to shut up. I do in home Daycare and I have two kids who have poor listening skills and even poorer behavior. Is he just mimicking what he sees from them or am I maybe doing something wrong? These kids are no longer in my care so will his behavior go back to my sweet little boy or is it too late? Please help!
S.L. answers from New York on July 15, 2011
You cant expect a two yr old not to have tantrums!! it sounds normal. Read Happiest Toddler on the Block, teach sign language so he can communicate, teach him to talk about his feelings by saying "You feel mad" or you feel sad, hungry tired.
Maybe it is just normal two yr old behavior and MAYBE he is (like older kids) trying to find out if he will stay with you and your husband even if he is bad or will he move on to a new home? Not sure if he is mature enough to think that way, does he seem precocious in some ways? Just keep loving him and let him know its OK to lose it once in a while, that he shouldn't say "shut up" he should say "I'm mad because....."
It's not easy to suddenly have a terrible two ! God bless you and I know it will be SO worth it!
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K.J. answers from New York on July 15, 2011
Hi D., I am not an expert so I am just speaking from my own experience. With my first one, there was no "terrible twos". Now my second son is 2 (the first is 5) and he does EVERYTHING his older brother does, good and bad. Your son may have been copying what he was seeing. However, you can't rule out that he IS 2 and testing his boundaries ("hmm...will pitching a fit get me what I want?"). I think you just need to be consistent and time will tell. Good luck and congratulations on the new little man in your life!
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A.J. answers from Williamsport on July 15, 2011
He won't turn sweet on his own at 2. It's not about the other kids, it's about his normal age. Is he adopted? Me to! I thank my parents often for enforcing good behavior in my brother and I and not letting us terrorize everyone like lots of 'age appropriate' toddlers today. He'll either get worse if you let him, or you can nip this and have a sweet toddler. For this age, the less drama the better. He's too young for empathy and long verbal explanations, and ignoring will let it get worse. Be firm, calm, concise and consistent now, and enjoy a well behaved child much sooner. You can then use logic and kindness as your main tool when he's old enough 3-ish if you set his firm foundation quickly now. But if you wait until he's older to start-watch out , you'll have much bugger battles. Great toddler book which is not an anti discipline book: Back to Basics Discipline by Janet Campbell Matson. I used tons of tips in it, and I have 3 happy great kids under 5 I can take anywhere who need almost no discipline. You want to be a kind, loving parent all the time, and you should be, so keep the discipline brief, non angry, and firm in order to achieve that status quo. My spirited son had most of his discipline between the ages of 1 and 2. He's now an awesome 3. 2 is getting up there on the easy learning window before battles get bigger-don't delay!
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R.N. answers from Cleveland on July 16, 2011
It sounds like typical two-year-old behavior to me. My son is going through a "testing" phase lately, where he does things in order to find out if we will follow through on the consequences (mostly time-outs). He's almost two and a half now. He does go to daycare two days a week, but I think it's more about figuring out his boundaries and what he can get away with than mimicking others' behavior.
I'm no expert, but my response would just be to stay firm and do what you can to correct him when he needs it—help him find words for what is making him upset, give him an opportunity and time to calm down, etc.
In any case, you have my sympathies!
H.V. answers from Cleveland on July 15, 2011
It probably is mimicking.
Kids are good at that haha
When my son was turning two, I babysat for this other lil girl. Well That lil girl had a horrible attitude. After a week or so of watching her I realized I had to stop. My son started hitting, saying "DON'T TOUCH ME" and a few other "awesome" things. It was all because he saw this little girl acting that way.
I tell ya though, all it took was my son hitting his daddy ONE time. After my husband had a talk with him, he never did it again.
Teach him the difference between good behavior and bad, explain that not everyone has good manners :)