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Defiant 2-year-old

My DS is 2.5 years old. Lately has been SOOO defiant. He tells us 'no,' runs away and we have to chase him (sometimes when it's dangerous), deliberately does things he's not supposed to, throws things, etc. He's got good language skills, so it's not that he can't tell us what he wants. We've tried time-outs which sometimes work, but not always. We've smacked hands for doing things (like deliberately pouring out all the salt). We've spanked for running away. I just don't know what else to do. Is this just a phase where he's testing limits?

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Asked by SherriPie at 12:46 PM on Oct. 18, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (13)
  • Yes, it is a phase. Have you not heard of the terrible 2s?


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:50 PM on Oct. 18, 2010

  • He's 2 and it's normal toddler behavior....and yep, he's seeing how far he can push. If he's about to do something you have to say " Don't pour that salt, if you do I take Teddy away today" or whatever toy or activity he LOVES. ANd if he does it, follow thru and take it away. Too many times we as parents give empty threats, and kids, even at 2, realize they aren't going to happen.

    Answer by Mom2Jack04 at 12:51 PM on Oct. 18, 2010

  • They don't call this stage the terrible 2's for nothing, just don't give in or give up, it will sink in soon enough!

    Answer by older at 12:56 PM on Oct. 18, 2010

  • lol mine it was the treterous 3's. But With mine she does same things but when she gets mouthy with the attitude and defy's me, i do one pinchof on hot sauce, or a few specks of crushed red pepper and put it on her toung, not keeping it on too long of course but ever since i tried that she has not yet been disrespectful, or too defiant. I don't do the soap thing at all. but i thought that was a better alternative. plus i hate paddling her butt i feel bad and i can yell at her untill im blue in the face and it doesn't work. so I have tried that and shes has really not been acting like that anymore. hope that helps.

    P.s. other moms please don't hate i know hjow some people are quik to judge. thanks!


    Answer by mumjames at 1:04 PM on Oct. 18, 2010

  • sorry p.s it is a phase and it will always be there even when there older they will always test you. i know i still do with my parents. lol

    Answer by mumjames at 1:05 PM on Oct. 18, 2010

  • Yes, it's totally normal for them to push your limits. Ours does the same thing, and it makes us crazy, but we have to remind ourselves that this is his job right now. Give it time, it will get better (or shift to something else!). Kids will always test our limits, and that's why we have to be consistent and firm about where they lie.

    Answer by musicpisces at 1:07 PM on Oct. 18, 2010

  • Is there any such thing as a non-defiant 2 year old? I've never met one personally.
    I say this sounds pretty normal in my opinion.

    Answer by ItsMe89 at 1:27 PM on Oct. 18, 2010

  • Agree its a phase :) I would keep up with a consitant consequense for when he acts up though, put him in his room for a amount of time. Also I told my son when he was ready to be a big boy I would talk and play with him, and ignore him until he was ready. It took a few times but he understood it and it works now and he is almost 4.

    Answer by ThaSs at 1:43 PM on Oct. 18, 2010

  • as much as it makes us feel better TO DON'T work for the average toddler. it just gives us some relief as parents but it usually does not make the child change their behavior....offer consequences that fit the crime...if your child won't hold your hand when walking then she is to be carried or put in the about this before u are in the situation so they are aware of their choice. Make EVERYTHING a choice...My DS refused to nap today (jumping & running in his room). I went up & said he has 2 choices..he can go to sleep or he can sit and read quietly. then I asked which he wanted to do..he said read..and he 1st this might not work for which you offer incentives...a sticker, an extra show etc. if he naps. If they make a choice that was not a choice take away something that they were looking forward to that day. If you are out doing something fun and they con.t

    Answer by coolchic320 at 1:52 PM on Oct. 18, 2010

  • cont. don't do what is asked of them let them know you will leave the next time they disobey or make a bad choice. Then DO IT!! Follow through if they make a bad choice. Enough times of this and they will start to get it. Make sure you make it something you are willing to do. If you don't follow through you are going to look like a joke and they will challenge you even more the next time. In every day life offer choices...choices of clothes, shoes, cup color, jacket, where they sit to eat, bedtime story etc. Let them feel in controlled and heard. They often feel they have no control which is why they act out..believe me my DS is always a challenge but if you start here things will get better,,.if you want to chat more message me. GL!!

    Answer by coolchic320 at 1:53 PM on Oct. 18, 2010

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