Over the past few weeks my DS (he turns 3 in July) has had this really bad attitude and has started hitting. He has always been such a good kid and has always minded. Here lately whenever I tell him to do something he will tell me "No!" and when he gets mad he has started kicking and trying to slap me or pull my hair. He did this yesterday during church and it was so embarassing. I had to take him outside and talk to him. But it didn't really work, he still did it again. And it doesn't help when my mom and grandma are telling me to spank him. Time outs have always worked so far. I just want to nip this behavior in the bud before it gets way out of control and before his little brother starts copying him!
I know how hard and frustrating this can be. Just try to be firm and consistent with discipline. Keep explanations short and try to give choices when you can so he feels like he has some control. This is such a hard age!
I'm going thru a very similar issue with my son. Recently he has started back talking all the time and pointing his finger at me saying things that I say when eh is in trouble. It is really embarassing and some times I lose my patience and want to smack his mouth, but that hasnt been a discipline so fas and I would rather not start it. I will be having a LO is a few months and I don't want him to yell at the baby and I would love for the transition to be simple. So getting this issue out of the way before we bring baby home would be best!... Yesterday I felt like he spent more time in time-out than he did playing and thats definitely not how either of us want to spend our weekends and time together. By the end of the day he was saying sorry for not listening mommy which helped but the apology doesn't mean anything when he turns right around to get in trouble for the same thing again.... I try to be consistent and firm... any other suggestions?
Choices and being firm but gentle are great suggestions. I would also recommend reading "Happiest Toddler on the Block" or getting the video. Using the techniques outlined in the book have often helped me diffuse many of my DD's tantrums and difficult moods. And it's also given me insight into how to handle her when I can feel she's starting to escalate.
To summarize, you're supposed to speak to your toddler in short, repeated sentences and reflect what he's feeling. Once you do that, you follow up with your explanation / alternative / distraction. So, it would go something like this. Say your child is getting upset because he wants a toy. You'd say something like this:
"You want that toy. You want it. You want. You want it. You want the toy. But Bobby is playing with the toy now. When he's done, you can take a turn."
When I started doing it, I felt really awkward. But once you get the hang of it, it gets easier and more natural. And it starts to change the way you interpret your child's behavior. For example, last week DD1 kept walking up to DD2's bouncy seat and kicking it. I kept telling her sternly, "Stop! Don't do that! Be nice to your sister. Blah blah blah." And then I thought about it and realized I could handle it a little differently. The next time she kicked the seat I said, "You seem really mad. Are you mad? Are you mad at your sister?" And DD1 said, "No, I'm not," and she stopped. Just like that. It was like having her feelings identified and acknowledged helped her get through them.
Oh, and I can totally identify with having relatives who think spanking is the answer. We've just told people that we aren't a hitting family and it's not right for us. I'm sure they disapprove, but they don't really have a choice other than to accept it.
Thanks that sounds like a great suggestion... I will be researching the book and trying these ideas this weekend since when I get home from work tonight and tomorrow it will be just about bed time. I can def relate to the kicking the bouncer because my mom has puppies right now and sometimes he will just walk up and hit at or kick at one of them and I react the same as you did, " stop that, thats not nice, don't hit the puppies"... its like none of those words mean anything to him so maybe if I try to find out why he is doing it, he will stop!... Thank you very much!
so I tried some of the techniques and they seemed to work at first but then he goes right back to doing the same things as soon as I'm done talking to him or he starts crying when i try to talk to him. & the behaviors are gettign worse... any more suggestions? I'm not sure what I am doing wrong!
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