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  5. Help please ... toddler turned nasty overnight

Help please ... toddler turned nasty overnight Lock Rss

Hi all. I would love some advice. A couple of weeks ago and literally overnight, my darling boy went from an angel to the toddler from hell. Everything is now a battle and today ... I feel like its hit an all time high. Everything from getting changed to being mean to the cat and especially eating are now major nasties. Is this normal??? He's 21 months old and I just know its the terrible 2's, but are they really meant to be this horrible? If we ask him not to do something he just looks at us like we're mad and does it with even more vengence - even being put on the naughty spot after being warned several times has little to no effect - even though he has apologised, off he goes to get into more trouble and sometimes we've even watched him smile while he's being told off. My husband and I are starting to feel like we're just about at wits end if not already there. Can anyone help with some tips or advice or a way to deal with this period in his life.

Ethan's mama

Hi, my son is 20 1/2 mths and can have nasty days! Some days are lovely but some days we seem to be arguing all day - his favourite word at the moment is no! The naughty spot & telling him off seem to have no effect, he just wants to do the opposite of whatever I want him to do.
I still use distraction a lot to get him off whatever he's set his mind to, but sometimes no means no!
I find asking him to help & giving him a job rather than telling him to do something works & he loves a mission!
ie. if I say it's shower time (which he loves) & he decides that it's not (yet) he'll cry, scream, etc if made to. But If I get him excited about choosing toys to take in he doesn't argue at all, or
ie. arriving home after shopping - if he's in the mood to explore the garden or take off down the driveway he'd chuck a spack or run away faster if I just told him to go inside. But if I give him something to take in or a bag to carry to "help Mum' he's onto it!
I try to keep him busy when at home, go on outings -although sometimes I'd like to disown him in public ... tantrums sad , visit friends with kids & anything to tire him out (he's more argumentative when bored) all work to keep him occupied & entertained. Sometimes I just take a ball to the park & make him run around if we've had a day at home & are both crusty! And I'm sure he's worse when I have PMT!!! What a coincidence!! LOL
Also having fun with trying to get him to eat properly, etc, etc..
Anyway good luck & may the force be with you! Hopefully their next phase will be nicer to us!

Emma, WA, Riley-July''''04, Keira-Feb''''08

Your boy sounds a little like my son. James is 2.5 and can be such a handful and just so damn frustrating sometimes. We too will ask/tell him to stop something (ie harrassing the dog, pulling his train set to pieces, throwing toys etc) and he just looks at us smiling or laughing usually and that just irritates the cr@p out of me - particularly in the afternoons when we are all tired and I am at a loss for patience. I have recently started a parenting program to help us deal with the excesses of his behaviour and have been told that James is what they describe as a classic 'attention-seeker'. Meaning that he will do things to get our attention, whether it good attention (us playing with him, or praising him etc) or bad attention (yelling, smacking etc). I am so still in need of lots more practice but the general idea seems to be - tell them what you want them to do (not what not to do), and if they don't do it, you repeat the order/request once, and then ignore them until they do it (we often have to leave the room so he realises we are not paying attention to him). Of course, when they do it, we're supposed to go silly on the praise technique (so he gets the idea that we are going to give him attention when he does the right thing and he gets no attention when he does the wrong thing). The only exceptions to this are of course when safety is an issue - as in if they are running down the road and ignoring your orders to STOP - obviously not a good time to ignore them, nor is when they are or about to physically hurt themselves or someone else. If they are doing something you don't want them to do, the program 'teacher' has told me to use the redirection technique. The parenting program is called P5 and I know it is run throughout south east queensland, and more than likely is nationwide.
Anyway, hope this all makes sense and doesn't sound too text-book-ish. (I admit we have only just started in the last two weeks and I still need time in perfecting it, but we seem to be doing a little better in our household).

James' Mum

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