That never happens.
Ha. I wish that was a true story.
Henry whizzed through the terrible twos with just a lot of energy, not really being terrible.
The threes have been another story.
It has been very common to see a full-blown tantrum over the tiniest thing.
What I have come to learn is that my behavior affects his behavior.
I know this is basic knowledge to a parent, but it keeps getting reminded to me with every tantrum. I look at how my mood has been, and sure enough, I haven’t been in the best mood either, and probably taking it out on Henry.
But that’s not always the case…
I’m so glad to receive questions from you regarding these behavior changes of your children, and luckily for you [and me!], the experts have given their professional and personal advice to help dissolve fighting and bad behaviors from your preschoolers.
|My 2 yr old, otherwise well behaved, has started to change. She is getting stubborn and demands things to be in a certain way in public or else she raises her voice and if she gets angry she raises her hand on me too. And when I complain about it to my hubby… she remains quiet when he asks her to apologize and not to repeat..she says sorry, but she repeats it the very next day.– asked by rafcy|
- Parenting Expert: Erin of The Intentional Parent
- Mom Expert: Jill of A Mom with a Lesson Plan
- Lifestyle Expert: Sarah of Füdoo Boards
At two years old, unfortunately what you are describing is pretty common behavior, she is testing you. Your best strategy is to deal with her behavior in the moment. Two year olds have short memories, and often poor self control, so asking her to apologize later in the day is of very limited usefulness. By having your husband do the disciplining [unless he is also present when your daughter is acting out] you may be unintentionally sending the message to your daughter that you are not able to handle her behavior, and she may act even worse in public. Here are some strategies that may work for you to deal with her behavior in the moment:
– Erin, The Intentional Parent
Mom Expert [Jill from A Mom with a Lesson Plan] :
Oh boy do I have an answer for this one! At age 2 kids are really starting to understand that they are their own person. They begin to see that they have choices and that they are able to control situations. Some kids test this more than others; Little M [now 4 ½] is a prime example. She likes what she likes, wants what she wants, and isn’t happy when she’s feeling controlled! I have found a couple of techniques that work beautifully with her [I hope these tips help you bring on the peace, and enjoy the independence of this age!]
P.S. It’s wonderful to have your husband stand up for you, and an important way to show unity. Standing up for yourself can be an important lesson too. Try this statement next time she speaks to you in a way that you don’t like. “I don’t talk to you that way, and I will not allow you to talk to me that way either. When you are ready to use a kind tone, I would love to hear what you have to say.” You will be defending yourself, as well as teaching your daughter how to defend herself in the future.
Yup – Two year olds will do that. Even though it is really disruptive to your world right now, there is no ignoring it. Your child is testing her independence and forming her place in the family. The trick is helping her find the balance between being the Big Boss [demanding] and feeling like she has no say in anything [beat down or rebelling].
I don’t think asking for an apology at the end of the day is going to work. The behavior she is apologizing for is so long gone in her mind, any apology for it is meaningless. It might be time to turn the table around – FROM her not minding you TO focusing on being part of the team that makes up your family.
Mom and Dad need to present a united front. You both need to agree on a plan for every time you see the unwanted behavior and stick to it. Timing and consistency is key. Deal with the behavior right when it happens. Be consistent with your words and actions and feelings when dealing with the behavior.
Here is an example plan to practice in public and at home [This came from a book I read called, Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood, by Jim Fay]:
I know it seems like a simple plan, but that is what you need in order to stick to it 10 times a day! Hang in there and check out the book. It got me through the tough stage you are in now.
preschooler to track their eating habits and instills healthy eating as well as a healthy lifestyle.
With George turning one this week, he has also become mobile. The two boys are already pushing and shoving, fighting over toys. I know the coming year will bring one a whole different set of struggles between the two of them.
I have found that keeping them occupied with activities, crafts or art, does help. But I can’t possibly keep them that busy all the time, nor would I want to. Free play is important. I can already see during that free play is when the fighting happens. I’m glad I’m in good company and Amy is struggling with this same type of acting out with her two boys.
|My two young boys want to fight, wrestle, kick, hit, and bite each other all the time. If we don’t keep them busy with activities they revert to this behavior. I know that boys’ brains are wired to need physical activity and competition but it can get quite exhausting coming up with other activities for them to do all day. Also, I don’t want to be a referee for the rest of their lives. Do you have any suggestions for channeling this energy into a more positive direction?– asked by Amy K.|
I think I could have written this question, it must be a boy thing! I have two boys, and I know how frustrating and exhausting it can be. Here is what worked for me [although in fairness, we do still have a healthy level of competition around here!] Of course how you handle it depends slightly on their ages [and the age gap between them] but assuming that they are both relatively close in age, I would let them handle their own squabbles as possible. Allowing them to work out their own problems teaches problem solving, negotiation, compromise, and all kinds of valuable life skills. But this doesn’t mean a free for all. I would set some ground rules ahead of time [not during the fight] such as no biting, hitting or kicking. They may need a few reminders, but once they get the rules, then when they fight take a step back and let them handle it.
Another option which worked great for me as a means to channel all of that little boy energy, was that I bought them large inflatable bats [foam noodles would also work] and Socker Boppers and give them lots of opportunity to play fight safely [not when they are actually fighting]. This provides a great outlet for all of that energy, and takes most of the steam out of their actual fights.
– Erin, The Intentional Parent
You are right. Boys are wired for more physical behavior, and they show it in their play.
There are two questions I have:
As far as suggestions for you, we need to think BIG – large motor skills and outside if possible.
- Adult Differences : What do you do when other people try and manage your child’s behaviors… even though their expectations for your child (and other children) are not developmentally appropriate? Or you have a different opinion regarding what the behavior should be in the particular situation?
- Gender Awareness : What do you do when a child in your class seems to be a little too aware of private parts & boy/girl relationships?
- Acting Out [see above for experts' advice] :
- My 2 yr old, otherwise well behaved, has started to change. She is getting stubborn and demands things to be in a certain way in public or else she raises her voice and if she gets angry she raises her hand on me too.
- My two young boys want to fight, wrestle, kick, hit, and bite each other all the time. Do you have any suggestions for channeling this energy into a more positive direction?
- Nagging Questions [next week's topic!]: How do I limit my children from asking the same question over and over?
Thank you to all the readers who have submitted questions!