Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Okay I need parenting advice and I need it quick folks. The Hulk is rapidly approaching two and I don't believe in the terrible twos. I think all that really depends on the child and the parenting. Ugh so I thought. I'm hoping I'm still right and we can do some behavior modification quick. Maybe some of you that have survived this stage can help me out and give me some tips. Here is what I'm running into.

Lots of temper tantrums. And by lots I mean multiple temper tantrums a day. If the word no is mentioned there is a melt down. If he can't get to something or figure something out there is a tantrum.

Picky eating and horrible eating manners. If you don't put what he wants on the tray it is thrown very quickly. He also has started throwing silverware. It's almost like a high chair temper tantrum. He is very picky about his eating right now but I can deal with that. I think that is pretty typical of a kid his age and I'm working around that. I just need the fit throwing to stop.

Not wanting his diaper changed. You mention changing his pants or show him a diaper and it is a screaming fit, he runs and hides, kicks the whole time, etc.

Bedtime and nap time troubles. He is not taking very long naps, maybe an hour if I'm lucky. Which leaves him exhausted by 5:30 or 6 so he goes to sleep but is then waking up in the middle of the night. I have some ideas about this one so I think I can figure it out but any ideas would be great.

So what do you all suggest. What works for you. How do I get these behaviors under control. I've tried being consistent. I've tried focusing on the positive and lots of praise. We do the naughty spot. Spanking is useless for The Hulk because his pain tolerance is so high. Please someone help me!!!

Also as a side note The Hulk is talking more, loves to dance, and still gives the best hugs and kisses in the world. This post makes it sound like he is rotten which he most surely is NOT. I think we are just in a rough patch. I'm sure we can get things back on track soon if I can just come up with some different ideas to try....


Clickin Mama


JalenasMommy said...

No Idea! I am going through all of this with my 2 year old! And more...

Sorry, but I am looking forward to other peoples responses!

Amy - AKA - TigerMommie said...

Sorry to hear it........In some ways, the 2s are just the beginning.....
I didn't have it that bad, so I don't have much help for you.....Mostly, I just have tried to stay as consistent as possible, and ignore tantrum type crying....(as long as he's safe, I just ignore him)
I would recommend the book 1 2 3 Magic....it might be helpful!
Good luck....

Anna said...

This too shall pass...
Both of my boys have gone through the tantrum throwing stage. We are currently still experiencing tantrums with our youngest and it's no fun. Our oldest's were generally caused by frustration. He would get frustrated when we didn't understand his wants, etc. Using a photo chart and signs seemed to help. With our youngest, he seems to throw them for no reason, but to hear himself scream. He is only 18 mos. so he isn't able to communicate all his wants and needs. When he starts in we say "No Scream, No Scream" and walk away or ignore his fit. So far it has helped shorten the tantrums but they still show up from time to time. I've also used the divert their attention method with both which helps sometimes.
Good luck, I think it is just a stage of development.

Janis said...

I can relate - we went/are going through that with Bekah. I think all kids go through that stage - usually in their twos although some friends said it was more in the threes for them.

A few things we did with Bekah -

With the food/silverware off the tray we would tell them no, if they did it again we would make them get down and pick it up - a third time they were done eating - seemed to work pretty well (and now we are starting again with Lizzie).

With the diaper changing Bekah was horrible too - major fits and kicking and screaming so I made up a chart for her on www.goalforit.com that we put up by the changing table. Each time she did a diaper change she got a star to put on her chart and a penny for her bank. In two weeks we were fine. (You could also use an m&m instead of a penny - bekah just really liked coins).

As far as other tantrums depending upon where it was and at what time we pretty much ignored her. If we were trying to eat dinner we would make her go sit on the stairs - farthest point away from us but still in view.

Good luck and keep it up! Hang in there. He will grow out of it. He just wants to be independent and do what he wants to do! :) He's growing up! :) You're a great mommy!!!

Janis said...

PS - As far as the chart goes she only got rewarded if she had a diaper change without screaming. She was allowed one fuss or no but was then given a warning and told that if she continued she would NOT get her star.

Toby said...

My son is going to be two in February and is going through the EXACT same thing. It's small consolation to know you're not alone, and everything The Hulk is doing is normal. Only other suggestion is during tantrums to get down to his level, and with the same passion as he has toward his tantrum, tell him you KNOW how much he wants his toy, dinner, whatever" - doesn't mean you have to give it to him, but it seems to help to acknowledge their desire.

Michelle said...

try to just read this for what it is, and answer the question. i'm not making any promises/commitments, but i've got an idea. i'm from just outside of D.C. but i'm trying to figure out a way to do something.

is there anyone nearby where you live that you could trust to watch your son overnight one night?

Melba said...

I'm sure you already know or have heard some/all of this, but from the child development standpoint:

The more his communication increases, the less likely it will be for him to become frustrated and throw fits.

Though it is frustrating for you, keep in mind that his fits are a very healthy and positive result of him wanting to become autonomous and self-sufficient, which is a trying process for both mom and toddler.

As for discipline, we learned about a three-step technique in my most recent child development class that actually seemed to work with some of the children at the institute where I completer my practicum classes:

1. Acknowledge and validate what you see the child doing. So you might say, "S. I can see that you are very upset/angry/whatever because you don't like the food I put on your tray."

2. Explain the behavior you observed and why it's not OK so you might say, "Even though you are upset, you can't throw food onto the floor because it makes a big mess and there is nothing left to eat." Always provide a "why" as to why the behavior is unacceptable.

3. Provide an alternative to the child that is acceptable to you, so you might say, "Next time you don't like the food mommy gives you, give it back to mommy instead of throwing it on the floor." Of course the concept of next time can be confusing to children since their concept of time is still undeveloped, but hopefully you get the gist of this approach. It can be complicated, but with practice I have seen it work.

The other things that do seem to work when the going gets really tough (like when he refuses to have his diaper changed) is to give him lead time, followed by a very simple choice. "S. we are going to change your diaper in two minutes." Then if he still freaks out you can say, "You can come with me to have your diaper changed now or I can come and get you." This gives the illusion of the choice he wants, but you are still being firm and getting what you need in the situation too.

Patience, patience, patience! These are trying times, but it's all a healthy and normal part of the growing up process. GOOD LUCK!!


Holleyberry said...

Hi! Long time no "see" - although I do check in on your blog from time to time! You are doing great! The terrible two's will someday be a distant memory as he progresses into the terrible 3's, 4's, etc - and then watch out for those teenage years! LOL

I know that when mine were that age, I tried to give them choices. Would you like this or that (banana or apple?) - gives him the chance to decide - always have the option ready though. And the diaper change was easy since we'd grab a toy on the way (or book) to distract him while we did it. Also had a really cool mobile to look at (or poster on the wall) and sang songs. Make it fun - why not?

Kids love to have fun and there's no reason eating, diaper changing, etc. can't "be fun". They don't need to know you have an ulterior motive!

I think that's why people my age (empty nesters) go crazy after the kids move out - we're looking for the "fun" in life again!

Hang in there - and remember to have fun (with adults /friends/ - sans Silas - too!) You must take care and nurture yourself to help you be a happy parent.

Holley in San Antonio