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I need all the help I can get

my DD is 2 yrs old & the terrible 2's are upon us. I am going crazy. She does not listen, everything is a battle, she thinks it is necessary to have a complete meltdown if she does not get her way, she is back talking, she is biting, she is hitting. I am very consistant in my discipline methods. For tantrums I try to distract her/redirect her first. If that does not work, she gets a timeout, & finally a spanking if a time out does not work. Same goes for backtalking & such. Biting & hitting is an automatic time out. NOTHING IS WORKING. I am looking for advice. We live w/ another family & my DD's behavior is becoming burdensome. Please do not tell me that it is her age, I am fully aware of it. Please do not tell me that it will pass, because I do not want it just to pass. I want it to STOP. If you have any useful, practical advice, I would LOVE to hear it. Thank you very much

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:42 PM on Nov. 10, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (12)
  • Have you tried taking her for an activity? Even if it was just going to the park for 30-60 minutes everyday. Give her the oppurtunity to run all the extra energy out of her? If there wasn't any parks available you could just take a long walk with her.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:53 PM on Nov. 10, 2009

  • OP here...we do things everyday. We go to the park, go to the library, go to the pool, to the beach, go on walks, have playdates, church activities, etc. That does not seem to help. But thank you for the suggestion.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:56 PM on Nov. 10, 2009

  • Why on earth should she be rewarded with a trip to the park for misbehaving? Sorry but that makes no sense at all.

    The 2 year old is plenty old enough to understand proper behavior.

    I left my answer elsewhere.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:57 PM on Nov. 10, 2009

  • I know that this is not what you want to hear but sometimes the best thing to do is nothing at all, for some kids it doesn't matter what kind of attention they get, negative attention is attention. I also think that you may be expecting to much of a two year old, it is a normal phase that they go through and i really believe that the more you focus on it the worse it will become.
    Have you tried giving her praise for good behavior and ignoring the bad?

    Answer by Cynthje at 2:24 PM on Nov. 10, 2009

  • OP here- expecting too much from her?! Its too much to expect her to listen and behave? I do not think so. She needs to learn NOW before she is older and out of control. People who say stuff like this are probably the same people who would give me dirty looks when my kid throws a tantrum in public. And to answer your question, she most certainly gets praised when she is behaving well.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:41 PM on Nov. 10, 2009

  • I have 8 kids, and what your little one is doing IS normal, sorry if that isn't what you want to hear. You also aren't going to be able to stop it NOW, it is going to take time and all of the patience you have. You need to stick to one consequence and only use spanking when her behavior is so over the top that spanking is the only option left. To many consequences actually leads to confusion and them thinking that a game is being played.

    Helping her to express herself when she is angry/frustrated/mad will also help with the tantrums. Like I said this takes time, all she knows right now is that she is upset so she lashes out the only way she knows.

    Be realistic and know that things will get better.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 3:00 PM on Nov. 10, 2009

  • I'm sorry but it is unreasonable to expect perfect behavior from a two year old, it is normal for them to behave like that, its a developmental phase. By paying so much attention to the behavior you are making it worse.
    Children need to express themselves and i do not look down on anyone when their children throw tantrums, its a normal part of life and most of us have been there.

    Answer by Cynthje at 12:44 PM on Nov. 11, 2009

  • I would not simply distract for tantrums. I would validate what she is feeling and model words she will use when her communication begins to mature. Be matter-of-fact *we're not playing with this toy now - it's time for lunch....I know you are is a very fun toy....time for lunch* and then move her toward lunch (replace the scenario accordingly).

    Think about what your goal is - a perfectly behaved 2yo or a well-rounded, competent, articulate, responsible 22yo? I know there are days when you want the former, but your real goal is the latter. Punishments will get you the short-term goal perhaps....but teaching and guiding towards maturity and establishing boundaries will take you farther.

    One of my mantras is *take the fight out of everything* - if you want her to listen - get on her level, and make things fun....teach her to ask for your help and then help her so long as she is making effort, too.

    Answer by Kid_Coach at 1:24 PM on Nov. 11, 2009

  • Also, be sure to keep your emotions out of it....she is not responsible for making you happy - or angry. Even if her behavior makes your life more challenging or inconvenient, you are responsible for your emotions and response...and your job as mom is to teach her to manage her emotions.

    I liken guiding a toddler toward maturity to leading a blind man out of a have to talk and explain where you are going and what to expect, but you do it with your arms around him, gently moving him forward.

    Answer by Kid_Coach at 1:27 PM on Nov. 11, 2009

  • OP here- I do not expect her to be perfect but it is certainly not unreasonable to expect her to listen. She most definitely gets praised for good behaviour and she is a very sweet loving child. I am a great mom, she does not define my emotions. Her stage of development is just as important now at age 2 as it will be at age 22. She needs to learn now how to listen and behave, this will be with her for her entire life.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:05 PM on Nov. 11, 2009

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