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My 2 year old is my third child and is the most difficult of all 3. I found calmly saying 'no' once, or at most twice then distracting with something else. Sometimes I can reason with her and explain why she can't have something, but at times she still insists and doesn't want to take no for an answer so I'll just try and redirect her attention to something else, and eventually it works, though does require a lot of patience and self restraint not to get angry yourself.
Yes my 2 year old will still throw a tantrum and is very strong willed but I find it pointless arguing with an unreasonable 2 year old and their ridiculous demands so I don't repeat myself like a broken record and just distract with something else. It gets easier with practice and eventually they start to realize that they are not going to get what they want every time
In fact I just spent 40 minutes pacing the back yard holding my screaming 2 year old because she couldn't accept that it was nap time and she couldn't watch TV
I have seen some shockingly behaved toddlers, but a few years later they are reasonably well behaved. It does seem to be very much that age, and they are very quick to develop behaviours that get them what they want.
Thats the age of strong will, no self control, and pushing boundaries. And society generally has more aggressive behaviours than were common for previous generations. And if they watch tv they are likely to see some of that, and then use it.
I had one who was quietly stubborn - strong willed to the max. Like she would seriously butt heads with me, and it hurt, and she would not give in. I didnt let her get her way, but it was a constant battle. Once I could have a deeper conversation with her, as she grew a little older, things settled down.
But while she was in that toddler stage I was seriously worried about her eventual sociability.
I do in home childcare. I've had all manner of well and poorly behaved toddlers in my care. If these behaviors are mostly occurring at home and generally directed at the primary caregiver parent, they are likely not abnormal. Toddlers are moody and unstable like teenagers. The major growth, hormonal changes, and learning going on is tiring and sometimes confusing. They crave independence, but desperately need adults for everything they want to do. They have opinions about how they want things, what they like, and what they want, but cannot express themselves effectively. I've found a proactive approach where they are treated like a "big kid" helps them feel more in control. This leads to less outbursts.
Choices! Anytime you can offer a choice of 2 things, do it. Opening a drawer and saying choose a shirt is overwhelming. Things like "this blue shirt or this lion shirt," or "ham or turkey on your sandwich," give the illusion of control.
Hangry toddlers misbehave. Toddlers generally like to graze. I feed a 3 year old 6-8 times a day. This keeps their energy up and prevents blood sugar dips that lead to crankiness.
Chores. Toddlers are not too young to learn responsibility. They like feeling important and helpful. Enlist their help when you clean by giving them a small job. They boy I watch is 3. He loves to use the dusting wand to wipe along the baseboards and window ledges.
No baby talk. No one appreciates how frustrating and hard to follow a conversation with a toddler can be more than I do. However, the more you do it, the easier it gets. Ask leading questions. Act interested; don't be doing other things. Talk to them like you would your older children. They want to feel like a big kid.
Have you spoken to a paediatrician?
Bring back smacking
My son is almost 4. I need you to read this. I am an awesome parent. I have an older one that proves it. I felt lost with Mr 4. Out of curiosity I took him to get vision and hearing assessed. Turns out he has middle ear problems and hearing loss.
I also have a paediatrician referral. We are looking at both ASD an ADHD.
I am a special education teacher. I think the diagnosis is a blessing in others.
I have cried a lot since finding out. It's not what I expected.
I suggest starting with vision and hearing and then look at the signs of ADHD and maybe ASD. Once you have done that you will know if you need to see a paediatrician.
All the best.
I try modelling nice voice / positive. I've tried firmly stating 'we use our hands nicely / softly, no hurting hands'. I've tried giving clear warning, count to 3, firmer voice, if not I will have to take you to your room for calm down, I've even tried the smack, take away a toy etc. praising anytime I see positive / nice speaking/nice voice, using words etc. My child is quite a good talker and articulate so I don't believe the 'angry' stuff is non-verbal/ coming from a frustration/inability/lack of communication skills. I've tried ignoring etc. and then just redirecting my attention when some positive stuff kicks in. E.g. I can see you've calmed down now, lets talk, now I can help you fix the problem etc etc.
Mines 3.5 & it's the worst he's ever been. During his 2s he was good now I'm tearing my hair out wishing i was at work. Today I've settled on exhausting him by taking him on a big walk & banning sugar. I hopping today is better yhan yesterday.
OP here, thanks gang your advice has been super! Nice to have chats that don't turn into squabble hahah Cheers
Have you tried time in?
I remember my daughter being pretty horrible around the 3.5 mark. Everyone says terrible 2s, but she was lovely at 2 and got horrible at 3 lol. I did pretty much the same as you- if we were out and about and she tried it on, I would take her out to the car. Ignore the judgement, you can only do your best! I definitely feel like she got better over time. Still highly strung though. I’d look at things like diet and screen time. Anymore than an hour a day of tv turns my kids into horrible little turds and they are very sensitive to sugar too.
Do they go to daycare or preschool? You could ask what they think- see if the behaviour happens there too, wether it’s age appropriate and ask about effective strategies they can suggest. You can always ask chn or gp if they think it needs looking into- when we try all the usual routes and they fail, we look for professional help. Good luck- don’t worry, heaps of kids act like little turds 😂, sounds like you have “perfect parent” friends lol
I’ve only skimmed the replies so sorry if this has already been said.
Been there, done that and survived. Find calming techniques. My son was the worst toddler you could imagine, the tantrums and the fights we had. His was due to frustration from having a speech delay.
Really quick and easy calmer I found was a zip lock bag, cheap hair gel and some food colouring (and glitter). Put together and stick it to a window. Then your child can squish it or draw on it. I used ours a few times when I was getting angry to calm myself and it does work 😂😂😂.
Picking them up (like when a tantrum starts in the shop and you need to get out quickly)if it gets difficult, cross their arms across their chest and pick them up like a board with one arm across their chest and the other across their hips. Given your problems with your back it makes it easier than having to carry a squirming and screaming kid.
Pick a punishment and stick to it. It can take time but once you find the punishment that’s right for both of you keep at it. Over time they will learn but it does take time.
Don’t be scared to visit a doctor and talk. If your gut is telling you there may be an underlying cause go get help for your child and yourself.
Lastly, and most importantly, don’t let other peoples shitty attitudes get to you. They are not living your life and don’t know what you are going through. Their “perfect” child probably picks their booger’s and throws tantrums like every other child.
Those real life people you know are assholes and are going to make you feel a shit parent every time you are around them. Sounds pretty normal for a 3.5 year old, all kids are different and have different personalities. Just be firm and consistent.
My oldest went through this for a year about the same age. Its tough. Be consistent with your punishments. Keep calm when speaking with him. Help him to identify what it is he id feeling.. the name it andtame it approach. I can see your feeling upset/angry/sad but we dont use those words/behave like that. Make sure you reward and reinforce positive behaviour. I used rewards charts because my son loved them. My youngest while more challenging in other ways, but has yet to display this behavior. Each kid is different
It's a stage and it's a hard one!! Hugs try to treat toddler with kindness even when they have acted up don't holdback grudges or do consequences that go on and on for hours or days they won't remember what it's all about. Cut all tv except abc kids cut alllllll iPad videos out if you don't say I hate you that's where they are getting it