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How can I diffuse this situation with my 2 year old?

Lately my 2-1/2 yr old has been baby-gated into her room at night because she began getting up before Mom and Dad and tearing the house apart. Now that she's unable to do so, she instead takes everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) in her room that's not bolted down and throws it into the hallway. This happens in the span of about five, the mass destruction was complete with tearing her humidifier apart, filter and all, and tosses the pieces into the hallway.

I am ashamed to admit that lately, dealing with her has turned me into Jekyll and Hyde Mom. I ask patiently the first few times for her to pick everything up and put it back in her room, but after time 4 or 5, I lose it and start screaming. Yesterday it turned into a 4-hour standoff because she REFUSED to put her toys away and I refused to let her out of the hallway until she did so.

*Sigh* I need suggestions. I'm clearly not doing this right.

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:32 PM on Aug. 10, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (22)
  • You want a 2 1/2 yr old to clean up her room? If so, you need to make it like a game bc otherwise that's not going to happen. She's a toddler not a teen. Lighten up. Put the humidifier up on top of the dresser or on a shelf with the cord hidden. Put a monitor in her room so you can hear when she wakes up so you can get up with her. That baby gate isn't going to work long as soon as she learns to climb over it. She's curious. That's a good thing but you need to get up, sorry but I think you know her schedule so set the alarm so you are up first. Don't fight with a 2 yr old. Just enjoy her. It sounds like you are fighting her for control. That's silly. She's a little girl! Chill and enjoy her. It will all work out.

    Answer by admckenzie at 2:41 PM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • i have no currently having issues with my toddler as well.... she'll be 2 in october and she has these TANTRUMS in stores in public. wherever i go. And she doesnt listen to me at ALL. i'm at a loss......Good luck with yours, hope it all works out

    Answer by collegemom1007 at 2:42 PM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • what if you took absolutely EVERYTHING out of her room for a while and each morning she's good, she can have something back? my son is only 21 months so I don't know exactly what a 2-1/2 year old is capable of understanding, so its only a thought. or maybe a sticker chart for good mornings? Or even a Prize at the end of each good week of all stars? ( dollar store toy? ) but if she's refusing, like you say, it sounds like you did the right thing by making sure she didn't leave, I am sure most parents go through 4 hour fits in order to teach their children. and don't be too hard on yourself - we ALL lose it.. I lost it a couple weeks ago. Of course feel guilty but we are all learning together.

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 2:44 PM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • I don't need to lighten up - my toddler understands perfectly well that when she makes a mess, she is responsible for cleaning it up. It's one of the few rules we have in our house.

    I think you misunderstand - this is not happening on a schedule, or I could control it. It is happening at completely random times. And I DO have a baby monitor in her room, but by the time she makes enough noise to wake me up (as I said, about 5 minutes), everything is already in the hall.

    I am not being unreasonable here. I realize she's a little girl. But I am not going to clean up her messes for her when she makes them deliberately to get attention. She's a happy, fun-loving girl, and we have a blast together - but she knows that if she makes a mess on purpose, Mommy's not going to clean it up for her. Personally, I think that's a fabulous lesson to be teaching my child.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:47 PM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • By the way admckenzie: I DO expect my 21 month old to pick up after himself also - we have taught this from day one. I don't expect him to know everytime he has to but we do it together. Its not a power issue, its an important issue and will prevent fights later. As much as I'd love to Just "enjoy" my son all day, I still have to TEACH him things at the same time. It will not always be play time -

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 2:47 PM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • Btw, that response was directed at admckenzie. Sorry for the confusion.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:48 PM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • Thanks everyone else for the responses! <3

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:54 PM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • Try just putting a baby gate in the door way of your kid's room. Maybe she won't be so apt.. to get into everything in the house when she gets up before you do. Leave her toys scattered in her room shes only a kid and she wants a messy room. Just let her be aware of picking it up once a week i do it with my 2 year old all the time and i make it a game. she wants FUN! make it a game.

    Answer by tonya0723 at 2:55 PM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • Thanks, I guess I need to make it a game. I'm going to work on finding a whole other solution altogether, because I can't deal with this mess and multiple-hour standoff every morning.

    There is currently a baby gate in the doorway of her room; that's the problem. Because she's unable to get out and run through the rest of the house, she is throwing everything from her room OVER the baby gate into the hallway to get attention.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:59 PM on Aug. 10, 2009

  • I dread that age when my 1 year old gets there, I fear she will be far worse then my 5 year old was. Kids at that age are so curious and they get bored easily. And in the most inconvenient times, like when everyone is sleeping. They also have a way of being so quiet not even the most lightest sleeper can hear them. the only thing I can suggest is going through her room and making sure there is nothing in it that can hurt her on those sneaky times. the reality is is that not every mom is perfect and it only takes seconds for a child to make a huge mess, best make sure she makes SAFE! I do agree with a picking up toys game, it is still teaching while making it a fun lesson. I had to set my alarm to try to wake up before my 5 year (when she was that age) did because she would get up and not make a peep. You might want to try that, to avoid extra cleaning. Other then that good luck!

    Answer by LilCaprica at 2:59 PM on Aug. 10, 2009

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