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Old 09-03-2013, 10:08 AM   #1
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Need ideas to correct toddler's behaviour

Ds is almost 2 and in the last week or so has started showing some behaviour I don't like. When he gets angry he hits, bites, scratches, pulls hair... Nothing I try is working so I'd love some ideas! I'm at my wits end!

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Old 09-03-2013, 10:26 AM   #2
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Is he hurting you or others?

Stop the behavior immediately so he knows it's not okay. Say, "Ouch, that hurts! We are gentle with our hands." You can either restrain him (try sitting him backwards on your lap in a big hug), or move him to a safe place like pack n play or couch.

Now your goal is for him to calm down. You can talk about feelings or give him a calming toy or sing a song give a drink or give him a little alone time, whatever works.

Also remember that it is totally normal to go through nasty behavior phases at this age.

Last edited by mamaspice; 09-03-2013 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:33 AM   #3
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Re: Need ideas to correct toddler's behaviour

I agree with the above. I'd also add DO NOT ask/tell your DS "Ok" at the end of a directive you've given him. i.e. "Biting/hitting/etc are not acceptable. Ok?". Instead, give your directive and ask "Do you understand?". When you ask/say to your child "Ok" at the end of a directive, you are asking them instead of telling them. I know we do this with adults, but with children it needs to be black and white, not a choice to obey a specific set of guidelines.

My DD's behavior has improved so much when I complete a directive with "Do you understand?" vs. the "Ok?". DH is still working on trying to not say "Ok?" after she has been reprimanded for negative behavior. She tends to behave better for me because she knows I'm not asking her permission to tell her what's acceptable/unacceptable. It took some serious re-training for my brain to not ask "Ok?" after giving a directive, but it's paying off in a very real way.
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:04 PM   #4
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Re: Need ideas to correct toddler's behaviour

Thanks! I've been doing most of this so I'm glad I'm on the right track.
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:24 PM   #5
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Re: Need ideas to correct toddler's behaviour

Physically stop him and say "I will not let you hit me!" (him, her, them etc) <---calmly, not angry.

Then walk away from him like you would any other offense from someone else. Just because he is your child, you do not OWE him your attention if he's getting it like this.

Never end anything is "Okaaay?" unless it's entirely optional, because "Okaaaay" is always going to get the opposite response.

Never say "please stop hitting mommy, that hurts mommy...do you want mommy to be sad?" Because you give him a power he is not old enough for. You are in charge because he's a child and he needs a leader. If you give him all the power, he's in charge and that is very scary to a child. It's like the captain of the ship saying "Here, you take over for a while".

No behavior changes overnight. It takes a while for them to try it, try it again, then decide it didn't really work, then decide to give it up. It's not a conscious decision, but, it's a behavior that they just forget about after a while because it didn't work. It's not like he's lying awake at night thinking "Well, maybe I could try biting and see how that goes"
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:36 PM   #6
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My son started daycare two weeks ago, and the teachers at school redirect the children and say "that's not a choice!". I have started doing it at home, and it works pretty well. I say "aht ahh ah, not a choice, Adrian!" And redirect his attention.
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:29 PM   #7
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Re: Need ideas to correct toddler's behaviour

Quote:
Originally Posted by escapethevillage View Post
Physically stop him and say "I will not let you hit me!" (him, her, them etc) <---calmly, not angry.

Then walk away from him like you would any other offense from someone else. Just because he is your child, you do not OWE him your attention if he's getting it like this.

Never end anything is "Okaaay?" unless it's entirely optional, because "Okaaaay" is always going to get the opposite response.

Never say "please stop hitting mommy, that hurts mommy...do you want mommy to be sad?" Because you give him a power he is not old enough for. You are in charge because he's a child and he needs a leader. If you give him all the power, he's in charge and that is very scary to a child. It's like the captain of the ship saying "Here, you take over for a while".

No behavior changes overnight. It takes a while for them to try it, try it again, then decide it didn't really work, then decide to give it up. It's not a conscious decision, but, it's a behavior that they just forget about after a while because it didn't work. It's not like he's lying awake at night thinking "Well, maybe I could try biting and see how that goes"
agree with this! Short simple firm sentence, then walk away. I would not recommend restraining a child, giving timeouts, or separating. Generally a firm statement and a natural consequence (when you hit someone, they naturally scoot back from you) is more than enough for most kids. Do not try and use guilt or any concepts that a 2 year old will not understand. Once you are both calm, model gentle touch and practice that.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:00 PM   #8
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We do mini time outs. I put my 22 month old into his room and shut the door, for literally less than a minuet. Maybe a minute at most. Something like "we do NOT hang from the oven, it's hot!" And a mini time out usually solves the problem.

We also use "UH OH!" And it gets his attention quickly and he usually stops whatever he is doing.

Last edited by theonenonlymrssmith; 09-03-2013 at 10:02 PM.
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