I am seriously beginning to think there is something wrong with my child. If she gets frustrated or mad about something she will, scream, throw herself on the floor (normal I know) and then viciously bang her head against the floor/wall/chair/appliance whatever she's close to, and then she will bite at whatever too. It's disturbing.
I also don't know how to discipline my kid at all. Nothing works. Rewarding good behavior doesn't work, ignoring bad behavior doesn't work. I've tried everything. I remove her from whatever and tell her no, but it never does any good. As soon as my back is turned or she thinks I'm not watching she goes right back to it. And you aren't going to convince me that she doesn't understand, because she absolutely knows that she is not supposed to eat rocks in the yard, play in the dogs' water bowl, climb on the kitchen table etc. She doesn't do it when she knows we are watching. We catch her sneaking over when she thinks we aren't paying attention.
I'll admit that I've yelled at her, and it works in the moment, but I think it sends a bad message and I don't want to be that kind of parent. I have to say though, when I have told her a hundred times and she refuses to listen it gets a bit hard to control my own temper sometimes. Then there's the massive guilt that immediately follows.
this is us too. although we don't really have the temper thing too much. He has thrown himself to the ground, fake cried and screamed but nothing i would say was too crazy. However we have no idea how to discipline him. DH's approach is yelling which makes me uncomfortable and i will sit and watch him say "NO, NO, NO" literally 10 times in a loud voice and Lucas ignores him. My approach is to keep moving him away saying "don't touch" or "we don't ----" in a quieter but firm voice. This doesn't really work either. I feel like DH is too hard, and that I am being too soft and that he isn't listening to either of us. He definitely knows what he is doing is wrong. His huge thing right now is pressing the pvr buttons or dvd buttons. He will crawl over, turn around and look at us and smile while pressing the buttons. i think all you can do is be consistant, but it is hard when you do it like 20 times and he seems to be paying absolutely no attention to what you are doing.
While Aiden isn't into biting he is into throwing himself on the floor and breaking out the real tears and screaming. I usually give him his space (if he lets me) and then hug him afterwards. If he's slapping me or pinching me, I remind him nice touches only or we give hugs and kisses. Won't claim this always works by any stretch of the imagination. Sometimes I tell him that mommy needs a break and I walk away for 30 seconds to cool off.
I finally opened The Discipline Book. I'm hoping it'll help us. I loved Unconditional Parenting but it doesn't tell you what to do at all. Playful Parenting helped me come up with ways to prevent those tantrums (so we avoid the ones that used to happen a lot, but the parts I've read so far haven't helped me in what to do when you haven't avoided the tantrum. *sigh*
Chloe was so so stubborn today! She kept stealing toys and even ran Trevor over with her doll stroller, then put her hands in the air said "haha"! Usually we put her in her bed for a small min "time out".. that usually does the trick but I have also been making her say sorry and give hugs.. that girl can be mean!! She tests her limits daily. We have been going out for a family walk for 30 minutes a day and it really seems to help her out. Gets her some fresh air and new scenery. good luck! Toddlers are so fun
I've heard the timeout/put them in the crib thing too. My BFF told me the other day that even at age one if her kids started throwing a fit or just crying for no real reason she'd put them in their room until they chilled out. And maybe I'm totally nuts in my thinking, but I don't want my kid thinking of her room/sleeping area in a negative way. I feel like we have enough trouble with bedtime/sleep that I don't want her to associate that space with punishment.
I really feel like one big issue we have is that she doesn't talk at all, so we have communication problems and that increases frustration on both ends. I get so jealous of you ladies when you talk about your kids using actual sentences!! I would be so happy with just a handful of WORDS!
I try all sorts of things, saying no, trying to distract or redirect, ignoring, scolding or yelling when I lose my patience and then I feel horrible. Sometimes it works, but often not. I have had good luck with stopping temper tantrums by putting her in her crib a couple of times. Like earlier this evening I told her I needed to check her diaper and she started throwing a fit and kicking when I tried to put her on the changing table. So I put her in her crib which of course she kept throwing her tantrum. I reached out to her and she put her arms out to be picked up and I said "are you ready to get your diaper changed?" She said NO! and turned and walked to the end of her crib. So I said "Ok, bye bye then" and walked to the door of the room. More yelling. I came back and said "Ok, then if I pick you up we have to change your diaper. She still whined but she stopped the thrashing around and actually let me change her diaper.
I also gave her a short time out in her high chair after she would not stop jumping on the couch (I tried spanking on that one, not a big fan but I will spank if I consider the activity potentially harmful to her-she seemed to take it as a joke though so that isn't really effective either) She did stop for a while after the time out. So time-outs seem to be somewhat effective but nothing really seems to work all the time.
Parenting is flipping hard. Just keep setting the limits and boundries of what is a NO even if it takes a million times. You may not see results now, but there will be a day when you do and you'll be so glad that you were consistant those other million times. Its hard not to get totally frustrated and loose it at times, BTDT, but find something like counting back from 10 or sticking your tongue between your teeth and breathing deeply until you can calm down and respond without all the frustration. I've had to leave the room of the tantrum and return a few minutes later when I'm composed, even with toddler trying to follow me. You'll get your point across more if you are firm than you will if you loose it.
DS1 was harder with this type of stuff at this age cause like Lyla he wasn't verbal and easily had crazy meltdowns. Odin is more verbal, though he has his share of meltdowns when he communicates what he wants and still doesn't get his way. A lot of what is she doing is totally the age though. There is this huge need to try out independence while still being very depended on the parent. Its like a pull in both directions. Basically its the sense of 'I' forming before its ready to be totally understood and before all the ability (physical and mental) is there. You are right though, she totally understands what you are saying but her drive to form her independence takes over that not developed rational sense. Luckily this stage does end. Unfortunatly, these types of phases are revisted in various forms throughout the years. Ugh, we are just getting out of the terrible 6's, and then there were the 3's, oh and the naughty end of the 4's just before turing 5
~Joy~ DS1-8/5/05, DS2-10/18/10 (VBAC#1), DS3- 4/11/12 (VBAC#2!)
Teagan doesn't go into rages much but we're definitely in the "what the heck am I supposed to do!?" realm. DH and I have set out to follow Attachment Parenting but its awfully frustrating at times. Basically, AP says : Don't spank, Don't do time out, Don't CIO, don't do this don't do that but none of the books I've read have said what to DO. One book I really liked was Nurture Shock. It really helped me to solidify why using corporal punishment or negative reinforcement makes me uncomfortable. It gave a few suggestions but mostly for older kids. It more helped me to form a parenting "philosophy" than a game plan. I'm currently reading (have been for a month or so ..) Unconditional Parenting. Again, like Jackie said, it says nothing about what to DO but does a great job making you feel really guilty about everything you do in the time it takes to figure it out!
DH and I had a chat last night about discipline. We chat about it a lot because we feel its very important for us both to be on the same page, whatever that page is, so as not to confuse her and so that we're not fighting about how to discipline her as she runs rampant around the house. We've decided on several approaches and general "rules". The rules are really more for us than her.
1) We pick our battles carefully. There are a lot of things that toddlers do that are developmentally appropriate and not something you necessarily need to admonish to make it stop eventually. For example, Teagan throws food on the floor ALL. THE. TIME. It drives DH batty but I keep trying to tell him that just yelling "No" is pretty useless and that he's just making dinner miserable for us. Instead, he's trying to teach her to put the food she doesn't want into the little cup holders. She'll eventually grow out of food throwing whether or not we do anything about it and really its not MY problem if she has apple sauce in her hair. By giving her something else to do with the food she's satisfied that the offending morsel is removed and we're happy that its not on the floor. I try really hard to figure out an alternative to whatever she's doing that annoys me so that she can still satisfy whatever little toddler thing it is she wants. That way, I'm not just saying no and leaving her to wonder why it is I don't want her to do something.
2) I reserve the big guns for big things. Pretty much the only behavior that I have zero tolerance for is violence. If she hits me/the dog/another kid I remove her from the situation, tell her "no" very sternly, and tell her that if she does it again she's getting a time out. That's usually enough to make her stop. If she does it again, I put her in the corner for a few moments. Then we have hugs and kisses and I explain why we aren't violent. Its been working so far but I've only had to do it a few times. I don't consider stealing to be a time out worthy offense. They're not developmentally capable of understanding the concept of sharing so I don't force it on her. Heck, she's not going to grow up to be a bank robber if she steals the truck from the little boy on the playground. I also feel like she's not going to learn how it feels to be the victim and eventually develop empathy unless there's a fair amount of stealing. If she and her friends are stealing toys I just let it happen. I just keep an eye out for violent reactions and its those that result in a reprimand.
3) I do everything I can to minimize potential sources of trouble. Teagan pretty much has free range of the entire house that's been toddler proofed. That way she has less opportunity to drive me nuts. She most certainly still finds ways to drive me nuts but at least I don't have to chase her around the house.
That's all the advice I have. Its by no means a perfect system but its one that doesn't leave me feeling guilty at the end of the day.
I finally opened The Discipline Book last night (yeah, left chat and instead of sleeping I read). I skipped right to the first chapter that addresses toddlers. Don't have any words of advice just yet on particular situations, but he keeps alluding to addressing specific situations later in the book ( side notes as to where to go to find those). So far lots of keeping a toddler friendly environment so you can lessen the chances of your frustrations due to the kids getting into things you rather they not. I have to admit being back in a place where I can create a "yes" environment has helped tremendously. I'm not constantly feeling the need to say "no, not that how about this." I'm going to keep reading. So far I feel like he's just offering suggestions and not passing judgement, which I like. Maybe it could be a book you read while Lyla is sleeping?
I completely agree that most of Aiden's and my current struggles are due entirely to lack of communication. I don't understand screams and yells of non-sense. When I don't understand his first yell, he breaks down and rolls on the floor frustrated with me. When I still don't understand he gets louder. *sigh*
Before I knew anything about AP and how I would like to parent, I already knew I didn't want to do time outs. It was often not effective during my years of childcare. Mommy time outs maybe, but not kid time outs.
Lyla has the run of the house. We keep the bathroom doors and our bedroom door closed. Everything else is pretty much childproofed. I say pretty much because she's climbing more and more. So I guess we need to remove the coffee table, all chairs and the dining table from the house. However, I would prefer for her to learn proper behavior instead of always just removing the offending obstacle. Removing all of our furniture is not a practical option by any means, and I feel it's vital for her to learn to LISTEN to me and respond appropriately. If I say to her, "Lyla, come here" she generally runs away. Then I'm stuck because I don't feel that running after her is going to send a good message and I'm not cool with ignoring it either. I feel there has to be some sort of negative consequence for deliberately disobeying me like that. This one is especially important to me because it could result in a potentially dangerous situation in public.
With all the things you are NOT supposed to do as parents in the way of discipline, I feel like there's nothing left to actually DO and that makes me feel like I'll end up raising one of those completely out of control, completely undisciplined children. My sister has one of those. She's 5 and the word no means nothing to her at all. If you tell her no, she says, but I want to and no matter if you explain why the answer is no she disregards it and does whatever anyway. It's insanely frustrating to even be around her. She wants to carry my 17 month old around like a doll and if you tell her not to pick her up she does it anyway because she wants to. If you persist she will push her down and then claim she didn't do anything and Lyla fell. That's the type of child I don't want.