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What should I do with my selfish and mean 2 yo?

He's been an only child for these short 2 years and I'm 5 weeks from having my 2nd. Yesterday, we were visiting friends and he refused to play with them. If they came near him, he'd either put his hand up to keep them away, push them or take the toy he had and throw it over a baby gate so no one could play with it, then dance and laugh about it. He's become very mean. I've tried time out and even spankings but he just isn't responding to those. The only thing I can think of is to put him into a daycare/preschool environment for a couple hours a couple times a week and see if that helps him any. My husband isn't 100% onboard with that so does anyone else have any ideas or suggestions to try with my son?

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:46 AM on Jul. 15, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (7)
  • oh im handsdown with putting him in mamas dayout.. he needs to see and interact with others better.. evertime my 19m old des anything like this i make him throw away one toy, (well he thinks he does).. and he straightn up fast.. he doesnt like seeing his toy be taken to the trash, nor putting it in there himself.. daycare has really helpd alot, even though he is the baby... i spat his hand when he trys that babygate thing.. im a buster, but you do what you have to do.. mama

    Answer by ArlieBeeMee at 8:57 AM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • he is two. you think he is mean? he is two.... his behavior is so typical. wait until he is three!!! I say put him in day care just because you will need the break.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:52 AM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • First, stop labeling him so negatively - you respond to him based on your labels - mean,selfish - and so you seek to break him of this "bad" behavior. However, the truth is, he's TWO years old - he doesn't know social skills yet - those are things you need to strive to teach him. Preschool can help teach social skills, and if you choose well, in a positive environment that understands two year old children need to learn these skills - they are NOT born with them. If your husband doesn't want to send him to preschool, then you and he need to work on how to teach those social skills in a POSITIVE manner, without labels like mean and selfish. Positive reinforcement goes a long way towards raising healthy children.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 10:07 AM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • OP here - Alright, here's the WHOLE situation, my husband is in Iraq. I'm 8 months pregnant BY MY SELF. I'm looking to fix a behavior that I see as an issue because obviously I haven't been able to teach him correctly. I'm to big and in quite a bit of pain to chase after him when he acts like this. Which he does do, he'll run away when I tell him to stop and come here. I don't scream. I tell him. He's just a runner. If he thinks he's gonna get disciplined or even told not to do something, he'll run off, why? Because he knows it takes me a minute or two to get up to get to him. I'm not fat, I'm pregnant and I've been having issues with joint pain but that's besides the point. He knows I can't just chase him and run after him. So when a child acts this way, you aren't supposed to call it as it is? When a child refuses to play and share with others, is not not selfish and mean? It's not like I'm sitting here belittling him.. CONT

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:18 AM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • OP again - I'm asking because I do feel like this could be a major issue later if not dealt with properly now. I'm not sitting here refusing to let him socialize or taking anything away from him for it. I'm asking a question on how to deal with it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:19 AM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • You're absolutely right - it could be a major issue down the road if you don't deal with it. But as you clearly state, you are not able to deal with it. So find those who agree with your parenting philosophies (your village) and have them HELP you - regardless of what your husband thinks, the more help you have, the better off you ALL are. So get some help, whether it's preschool, daycare, family or a neighbor...whatever works for you - there's no shame in it. But if you are not able to discipline effectively, then you need to find ways of getting the help you need, even if that means sending him away for a few hours a day. It won't get easier after your baby's get some assistance lined up now. But regardless, you need to consider your labeling - he's TWO, he is not INTENTIONALLY mean or selfish. And whether you believe it or not, the more you hold to these negative labels, the more you will react negatively.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 10:34 AM on Jul. 15, 2009

  • I would definitely enroll him in a mother's morning out, preschool, whatever you want to call it. It'll give you at least a few hours/week with the new baby and give him a break away from the new baby with the added plus of teaching him socialization. I wouldn't do the spanking. You can try giving him rewards - "if you play nicely then you can (whatever reward you want - jellybeans or m&ms, a short video, etc)". Also, when he does share a toy or help out, praise him profusely. Kids really like getting attention and if they aren't getting it positively, they will find a way to get it negatively. I feel for you going through this by yourself - thank you AND your husband for making the sacrifices you do for our country!!

    Answer by missanc at 1:14 PM on Jul. 15, 2009

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