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Old 10-22-2012, 08:07 AM   #11
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Re: Teach me how to be a better parent to my toddler. I'm failing miserably.

Understand this one thing. I swear, it will make your life so much easier:

A child does not have self-control before age three, at the earliest.

It may seem sometimes that they do. If you ask them to do something and they do it, then it seems fairly obvious that they can govern their behavior and responses.

But here's the thing. They are slaves to their impulses. If it seems like a good idea to do it, they will. Even if they know they shouldn't, they literally cannot resist. You are not a bad parent because your kid is "misbehaving" at this age. Your kid is not a little brat because of it. You are a normal parent of a normal toddler who is doing normal toddler things. It's not parenting at this point, it's a developmental stage that every child must pass through. Your son is not being defiant, or manipulative, or anything of the sort. He is just acting according to his impulses, just like every other toddler out there.

All discipline is, at this point, is laying the foundation for future behavior. It is important to guide your child, and it is important to be consistent, but do not think you are going to accomplish much of anything in the short term. Right now, you are making pathways for your child and for yourself to follow in the future.

Step back. Take a few deep breaths. It will get better. Promise.

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Old 10-22-2012, 08:18 AM   #12
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Re: Teach me how to be a better parent to my toddler. I'm failing miserably.



Whatever you choose, the very best advice I can give you is this:

consistency, consistency, consistency!

If you say you will do XYZ, then DO IT.

I do NOT think 2.5 is too young to expect good behavior and *some* impulse control/self control. Over the wknd I taught my 18 mo old to sleep on a twin bed on the floor, with toys everywhere in the room. She is perfectly capable of what I expect of her, and she is doing great.

Consistency is the key, IMO, to parenting success.

That and love and forgiveness and patience. For you, for your family, and for your LO. You will have set backs, you will fail sometimes, they will fail sometimes, they will have setbacks, sometimes you will both cry and feel like miserable failures. But keep trying, and stick with whatever you choose.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:44 AM   #13
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I can't give too much advice without knowing issues, but here's what I do:

1 warning, then Supernanny style timeout. You have to stay calm. You have to be willing to spend 20 minutes to get a 2 minute time out. But if you make yourself do it, they often start cooperating with it.

Be consistent. Jumping on the bed cant be ok today and naughty tomorrow. It's hard.... so you have to....

Pick your battles!! Decide whats most important to you and make that your no compromise issue. I have let my child wear winter hat and mittens to school in summer because it's not worth a fight.

DD1 gave up naps about that time, NOTHING I was willing to do would make her sleep for naps. BUT bedtime became a breeze. We sit with her for 15 minutes and she's out. Don't want to go to bed? Sorry too bad. I will happily carry my hysterically protesting child to her room, then sit and cuddle and comfort her til she falls asleep. Once she realized mommy wasn't giving in the battles all but disappeared.

Some children are more difficult than others. If he's really active then he needs physical activity like outside play at least once a day. And don't beat yourself up.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:47 AM   #14
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Re: Teach me how to be a better parent to my toddler. I'm failing miserably.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashley84 View Post
Naptimes and bedtime are becoming my own private hell. I can't effectively discipline my 2.5 year old. We are not on a good path.

I just bought $100 worth of parenting books and DVDs from Amazon. I bought Love & Logic stuff. I bought Magic 1-2-3 stuff. I bought the No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers book. I might have bought other stuff. I can't remember off the top of my head. I've never bought a parenting book before. I thought they were a joke. I'm desperate now though. I don't like the kind of mom that I'm becoming. I don't want to be the kind of mom that I'm becoming.

I almost cried tonight. I'm so tired of yelling. I'm ashamed to admit that I'm spanking now. I was desperate. I HATE doing it though. It doesn't work anyways. Nothing does. I never wanted to spank. I hate spanking. The more often I do it, the more miserable I become. I really hate it. I don't want to do it anymore. I feel awful.

I decided that nothing that I'm doing is really working. I just need to open my mind and be ready to completely change things up. I'm going to listen to anyone and everyone's advice. I'm going to read parenting books cover to cover. I don't want to be a screaming & spanking psycho. That is what I'm on the path to become if I don't change now. I need to add some new tools to my toolbag. I want to be a better parent. What do you do that really works?
my son is almost 2 1/2 and I'm in the same boat in many ways. I hate this age in many ways (and having a 5 mo old doesn't help). we bed share and when he is at his worse, I make him sit in the hall for a min. it usually works, bu I hate doing it.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:50 AM   #15
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Re: Teach me how to be a better parent to my toddler. I'm failing miserably.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mibarra View Post
I can't give too much advice without knowing issues, but here's what I do:

1 warning, then Supernanny style timeout. You have to stay calm. You have to be willing to spend 20 minutes to get a 2 minute time out. But if you make yourself do it, they often start cooperating with it.

Be consistent. Jumping on the bed cant be ok today and naughty tomorrow. It's hard.... so you have to....

Pick your battles!! Decide whats most important to you and make that your no compromise issue. I have let my child wear winter hat and mittens to school in summer because it's not worth a fight.

DD1 gave up naps about that time, NOTHING I was willing to do would make her sleep for naps. BUT bedtime became a breeze. We sit with her for 15 minutes and she's out. Don't want to go to bed? Sorry too bad. I will happily carry my hysterically protesting child to her room, then sit and cuddle and comfort her til she falls asleep. Once she realized mommy wasn't giving in the battles all but disappeared.

Some children are more difficult than others. If he's really active then he needs physical activity like outside play at least once a day. And don't beat yourself up.
I heart this post . and I notice with my ds, days we go out to play are much better. we hiked yesterday and he was so cooperative at home later
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:51 AM   #16
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Hugs. I'm having a hard time with my almost 3 yo too. I find he's gotten worse since DD began interacting more and getting into things. Unfortunately because DD gets into something he does too, just to get attention. I also find myself yelling way too much. I haven't spanked, but one day I said to DH that DS was lucky I don't spank because he wouldn't be able to sit for a week.

One thing I've learned about this age is that it's all about control. So I try to let DS have control over as much as possible, and let him learn from the consequences. For example, we used to battle over whether or not he would go potty before naps, etc. then I just gave up and told him that if he had an accident he'd have to clean it up. Just the threat of having to clean up pee was enough to get him to go I also don't force the nap thing too much. I just tell him he needs to have quiet time in his room, and he can read in bed if he wants. Sometimes he sleeps, sometimes he doesn't. I'm lucky that he actually loves hanging out in his room, and he generally goes to bed easily.

Finally, since I know he's really desperate for attention that I have a hard time giving him (I work full time and also have to care for DD who is a total monkey and into everything), I try and have special time with him on the weekends. I also make a point of saying to DD sometimes, "It's B's turn with mommy, you can wait your turn". It makes him feel special.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:58 AM   #17
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Re: Teach me how to be a better parent to my toddler. I'm failing miserably.

mama! Not much advice, b/c we are dealing with many of the same issues, so hoping for some more advice from experienced mamas!
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:24 PM   #18
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Re: Teach me how to be a better parent to my toddler. I'm failing miserably.

Some more pointers now that I am on my computer, not my phone

Set them up for success: They have almost no self control, so don't leave out too many temptations. I jokingly say two your olds act like crack addicts, and the world is their crack. Opened bag of flour within reach on the counter? Of course it's going to end up all over the house.

Never ASK them unless you are ok with getting a NO! Tell them instead, because a question implies a choice. Or give a choice you can live with: instead of "Do you want peas?", you can say "Do you want peas or carrots?", instead of "Would you please pick up the crayons?" say "It's time to pick up the crayons."

Expect to say it a hundred times, and say it again. Repetition is a must.

Praise the positive: Thank you for cleaning up like I asked, that made me very happy. I'm very proud of how quiet and helpful you were in the store. You did a good job listening to mommy. It does make a difference.

Tell them what you want, not what you don't want. It's developmental, they have a hard time with don't. Instead of don't do that, say stop. Instead of don't run, say walk, etc.

I love to joke and play with my kids, so they need a cue to know 'Mommy's serious, and you better listen'. That is when I use 1-2-3. Like, I need you to get in the carseat now cuz it's time to go. 1 - get in the carseat, 2-get in the carseat, 3-get in the carseat. Then put them in if they don't do it. They figure out pretty quick I mean business when I pull out the 1-2-3s, and what I'm telling them to do WILL happen, so let's just make it easier on everyone and do what mommy says.

If you truly feel literally nothing is working, your child is wild and crazy and over the top, not responding like other kids, then there is always a possibility he may have a sensory processing difference. This can really affect his ability to cope with the world around him, and you could seek out an occupational therapy evaluation. Sometimes children have trouble processing information, and are overloaded by things we ignore, like the feel of our clothes, background noise from fans and electronics, smells, etc, that they have trouble dealing with things.

Good luck!
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:38 PM   #19
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Re: Teach me how to be a better parent to my toddler. I'm failing miserably.

Bump for more ideas.

Also, how do you keep your cool and have patience? Because that's what I'm struggling with now. Yelling comes naturally to me, I've found, and of course my 22 month old is picking up on that. I smacked him upside his head with a defective sippy cup today because he wouldn't stop whining while I tried to fix it. The whining makes me want to shoot myself in the head.

Please don't just tell me "It's a hard age". I know my son's behavior is normal at this point. He really is a sweet boy most of the time and I love him to pieces. But when he acts up, what I need are tools to keep me calm when I all I want to do is toss him in the street and hope that a truck happens to pass by at the same time. It's at the point where I have decided not to have any more children because I simply don't have the right personality to cope with toddlers. What can I do?
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:51 PM   #20
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Re: Teach me how to be a better parent to my toddler. I'm failing miserably.

I close my eyes and leave the room if I'm about to totally lose it. I walk to a different room, close the door behind me, and do one of a few things - cry, yell into a pillow, wash my face, say a prayer, look out my window at the beautiful day outside, or lay down and take a 5 min breather - and I take DEEP breaths. Usually I'm much calmer in about two minutes. Then I mentally prepare myself to go back and tackle it again. And I do. I go back, determined not to yell, and I usually do fine.

If it's already escalated (and I have a VERY stubborn daughter, so things escalate here very quickly if I am not on my game 100%) and I can't leave the room, I close my eyes and take some quick deep breaths, and force myself to speak quieter than I normally would. B/c then it's harder for me to get to yelling b/c I'm starting out very quietly. I also try a different method from whatever it is I've been trying up to this point. So if we're battling over time outs, I will switch it up "ok, you don't have to sit in time out, get up, you're going to bring me ____ toy."

I used to get srsly bent out of shape dealing w/my kids b/c I was alone 99% of the time with them, with no help, and I was just worn out and I never had a break. My Dad once saw one of my poorer parenting moments. (and I really respect my dad, he has always been what I consider the closest thing to a perfect parent that there could be) He came to me later and said, "If you find that YOU are more upset than your child is when you are disciplining them, then you are doing something wrong. Your child should be the one suffering for their bad behavior. YOU have to stay calm. You can't be a good parent when you get so worked up." ... and so I try my best to apply that. But I'm not as great as he is. So I still fail. But I do try.
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