My daughter has reached this age. An age of realizing that she has an opinion, and that sometimes feelings are overwhelming. I love and hate this age. I love it because I get to she more and more of who my daughter is. I hate it because it is frustrating. Before I go further I should say that I hate dealing out punishment, in any form. I think it is harder on me than it is on the kids.
That being said Elisabeth has reached an age where bountries need to be set. At first we took the approach where when she displayed behavior that we did not approve off we would take her aside and explain why it was bad. We removed her from whatever situation she was in. This worked for a short period of time, and she went from minor offences to hitting and throwing stuff and full out tantrums. We can’t have her hitting, so we decided to start time-outs. Again this worked, for a little while.
However my two year old was slowing becoming to hard to handle. We are told that at daycare she is very bossy. At home she is bossy, and she will even tell me no on many occasions. When told she was not allowed to do something she would throw a fit. Yes, we have that child. You know the one, the one who has the ultimate tantrum, screaming, hitting. The one you see at the mall of the shopping part and think wow I am so glad that my kid isn’t like that, and the parents really should do something about that. That spoiled child (come on now, I know we have all thought this one time or another).
The biggest thing that bothers me is the 1)hitting and 2) the non-ending screaming (and when I say non-ending I mean ear piercing for a minimum of 30 minutes)over little thing (like pouring her milk on the table on purpose). I get that a lot of her actions are due to a feeling she needs more attention. We try to work on. We even make sure both children get one on one time. But Elisabeth has such a strong personality that if we let her continue she is just going to run us over. We needed to get some control over it. We had to set some serious boundries. Especially before she actually hurt another child with her hitting.
So we have added a new punishment. The corner. This is for serious offences (hitting) and not for the screaming from frustration. I believe that my child should be able to feel however she is feeling, including being frustrated because she can not have her way. So when she gets frustrated, she is allowed to cry. She is however not allowed to carry on about it and throw a fit. Once it comes to this, I ask her if she needs a time-out in her room to calm down. This is usually enough, sometimes she needs the time to calm down. This has worked well for us.
She hates the corner. And I can understand that. I did too. However I have seen a big change in her since starting this. She has for the most part become a kinder person. She does not hit her brother as often. She has also started to show some concern for others. Instead of telling us what she thinks we should be doing, she will bring us a blanket, a toy or something else. We have started to get random hugs and back rubs. She also in general seems happier. It seems setting boundaries was something she needed. She seems to be a better little person because of it.
What have a learnt from this. Well for starters, boundaries are important, but also follow through. It is important that when I tell her something and make a promise (either a good one or if she will have to go in the corner if she continues) that I do what I say. Even a two years old children are smart.
And now my pregnancy brain has kicked in and I don’t remember how I wanted to nicely wrap up this post. So I will end it here.
What have you found works for you? What do you do when your toddler (around 2 years age and up) displays behavior you don’t approve of?