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Old 12-14-2012, 09:37 AM   #1
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I need help...

I try to follow gentle parenting philosophy. My 20 month old has really been pushing my buttons. I yell at her (which does nothing but make her laugh), and I've even hit her bottom a few times. It seems like its gone passed the point of exploring boundaries to where she is doing it to get a rise out of me. I'm sick right now and just can't deal with her. It hurts to pick her up (I'm achy and sore), so following her around and plucking her from high places isn't working out. Table, entertainment center, back of the couch, doesn't matter. I try to explain, "please don't climb on that - if you fall, you can get hurt very badly." "Please don't throw that, you could break it and then we wouldn't have it to play with anymore." "Please don't stick your hand in the toilet, or the trash, that's icky and germy."

Yesterday while wrapping presents, she'd take the tape. I'd take the tape from her, and she'd grab the scissors (!!!). I take the scissors away, and she grabs the permanent marker AND takes the lid off! Within the span of seconds! I just want her to safely play with the abundant toys and activities she has around the house.

She's strong willed and independent. I love that she explores. But I can't take it any more. What am I supposed to do?

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Old 12-14-2012, 09:39 AM   #2
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Re: I need help...

(((HUGS))) Sounds like a normal 20 month old!
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:45 AM   #3
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Re: I need help...

I know it's really, really hard, but you have to be calm and ignore. When you yell or show that you're agitated you're raising the bar. Try wordlessly fixing the issue (taking scissors, putting her on the floor, etc.) then walking away. Keep her safe, but don't tie attention to the activity. Make it a point to mention her good behavior and reward it as often as you can, which is hard when you're sick, I know. Every child is different, so this might not work, but it's certainly worth a try.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:52 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by MommaLEB
I know it's really, really hard, but you have to be calm and ignore. When you yell or show that you're agitated you're raising the bar. Try wordlessly fixing the issue (taking scissors, putting her on the floor, etc.) then walking away. Keep her safe, but don't tie attention to the activity. Make it a point to mention her good behavior and reward it as often as you can, which is hard when you're sick, I know. Every child is different, so this might not work, but it's certainly worth a try.
This, I have a 19mo in addition to his older brother and sisters, anyway it's tough sometimes achieving anything here. I find that when he's doing those things (exactly what u are mentioning to a T) he really needs some one/one attention.

It's not easy (hugs) hope you feel better soon
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:46 AM   #5
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Re: I need help...

It's a phase to some degree. Both my girls were like this. It's fun to get a rise out of you. Sometimes when my girls will NOT let me get something done, I give up and play for a little while. Once they get some mama time they usually will let me get a few things done. I know you're trying to respect your daughter, which I think is great, but all your examples are more like requests. If you are asking her to stop, you're giving her a choice. If it's not a choice, I would tell her in a polite but firm voice: "Do not climb on the couch. You need to get down. You will fall and get hurt." I like to explain briefly and simply WHY they can't do something, so it's not just a command: "No scissors, scissors are sharp and can hurt us". With children that age you also have to keep in mind while it's good to talk to them a lot to help develop language skills, when you're giving directives for safety or discipline purposes, the more you talk the less they hear/understand, so to speak.

This is usually the age (so far, my oldest is almost 4) where I feel like the biggest failure and have the most days I want to pull my hair out. Both my girls like to push and push and push, and then push some more. Hang in there mama, be consistent, and it'll pass!
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:06 PM   #6
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Re: I need help...

My 20 month old is the same way. I love my SuperYard for when I really have to get things done. Sometimes, we all have not so shiny mommy moments, but I put her in there with a Sesame Street DVD or Barney for a few minutes when I need her occupied to do something.

What our psychologist has told us for DS is that the more you talk, the more they tune you out. Make statements that are commands, and make them short to get the best results. And, if you allow something once, they don't understand when you don't allow it the next time and will test you something like 50 times before they learn that it really isn't allowed, since you allowed it once. So you HAVE to be consistent.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:21 PM   #7
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Re: I need help...

I feel like I could have written this post. The only way to get some respite from the naughtiness is to give her a chance to do something good, then pull her onto my lap for a reward and sing songs or read books. Which is why I'm *this close* to being kicked off my grad school programme
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:43 PM   #8
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Re: I need help...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jam's mum View Post
Which is why I'm *this close* to being kicked off my grad school programme
LOL!!!!! I had to go to the public library a couple nights so that I could get papers done, since being at home was way too distracting!
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:46 PM   #9
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Re: I need help...

{HUGS} I'm struggling with my 2.5 yo with this same thing. Yes, patience can go a long ways & I completely agree with short commands or short options (when she has an option to chose from) then quickly follow through. I try not to repeat myself AT ALL when there is a command (try...not always successful, by far!).

Part of a solution for you might just be to have space to yourself where you can work but she can't reach or isn't allowed to reach. This is important both for her safety & your sanity.

For example, if I'm wrapping gifts at the table & DD is interested,
"Sure, you can come up & see, but there are sharp things around so you can't touch. You may get buckled into your seat."
after 15 seconds of boredom & not being able to reach what she wants:
"Would you like to get down, play with playdoh there or play with stickers & paper?"

Rinse, lather, repeat...

(Again, I feel for you because I can do this for somethings but new situations happen & I'm at a loss until I figure out a new plan!)
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