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Help! My 2 1/2 year old is usually very well behaved (for a 2 yr old) but lately any time we go out to a public place (e.g. the zoo today) he behaves like a holy terror and we have to leave. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to stop this behavior before I go completely INSANE!!!

My husband and I do discipline him with time outs and if it is a serious offense we spank him. I don't know what we are doing wrong and I am starting to feel like a failure as a mom.

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Asked by DylansMom1105 at 1:07 PM on Jun. 21, 2008 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (5)
  • What do you consider a "serious offense" that would warrant a spanking?
    My first suggestion would be to cease the spanking. Sometimes when spanking becomes part of a discipline routine kids get the idea that if they aren't spanked for "it" (whatever "it" may be), it isn't serious enough to try to control. Or sometimes parents are reluctant to spank in public, so the child gets the idea that acting out in public isn't as "bad" as acting out at home, and they aren't motivated to stop. Either way, it is the spanking that is causing (or exacerbating) the problem.

    Answer by DivaMomCC at 1:16 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • Take a look at why he is acting up. Is he tired? Hungry? Uncomfortable around crowds or in loud environments? Do your best to try to minimize those factoer that contribute to his loss of control. Talk to him before you go out about where you are going and what he can expect, and also about what kind of behavior willbe expected from him. He is only two and a half, but he is old enough to begin to understand whatyour expectations are and WHY. Remember, too, to be patient with him. Sometimes when a child has been "easy" from the start, it is hard for us to remember that 'acting out' and testing boundaries are a normal part of the development process.

    Answer by DivaMomCC at 1:16 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • You can't let him know your feel like your a failure. One thing you could try is to take him into the bathroom and let him have his tantrum there and when he's ready to be a big boy you go out. You could also make a deal with him (something like if he's a good boy the whole time at the grocery store he gets to pick out a snack). You could also just ignore it (or more correctly make him think your ignoring him). He decides to throw himself on the ground fine leave him there but make sure that you're looking at something that makes him think your not paying any attention but in actuality your eyes never leave him. Hope these help. Let me know how it works out for you.

    Answer by 2murphyboys at 1:17 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • Maybe at home you let him run free but at the zoo, you want to control him and can't and it turns into "don't do that" "don't touch this" and "come here".


    Answer by TXdanielly at 8:07 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • Try spanking him

    Answer by oldstylemom at 11:57 PM on Jun. 24, 2008

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