Harvs in the examples you gave given I would have reacted in the same way.
Things that I am a bit more relaxed about- if they go over their time limit on electronic devices, if they decide they don't want to play outside that day, if they don't clean their room that often, if they make a choice about food that I don't necessarily endorse (but I don't want food to be an issue), how they choose to play with their toys so long as it isn't dangerous, etc.
Basically if it doesn't annoy me, I let it slide. But, if it annoys, upsets or embarrasses me (eg hitting me in public) then it is dealt with.
Effective behaviour management means that you let nothing go though- consequences have to be consistent. I'm sure you know that already. So, having said what I've said above, the choice is let nothing go and hope that eventually he will learn the lessons you are trying to teach him, or be like me and just ask yourself if it annoys you?
The best piece of advice I was given during my parenting was and still is distraction and prevention. For example... If DS is running away at nappy time, rather than having a battle with him I would make it into a song, or make it a race. In a super exciting voice say I bet we can't put your nappy on before this song finishes. So play his favourite song and see if 'together' you can beat the song. If you do high five each other etc. you can use that distraction tool for so many things. I learnt to be very creative with my strongly willed toddler. Before shopping we used to cut pictures of what we need out of catalogues and stick them on paper as a list for DS. When they really misbehave and require some form of consequence it's more effective and warranted. Positive praise is really beneficial too rather then no all the time. I also found it helpful to give an brief explanation as to why that behaviour is wrong. So please don't pull things off the Christmas tree, or the workers will be upset etc. And sometimes we just have to scoop them up kicking and screaming and escape the shop.
In saying all of this I still think it's extremely important to be consistent. Have firm family rules and consequences and if the rules are broken follow through consistently. (Using whatever consequence is right for you and your family).
And if it helps, my strongly willed toddler is now 9 and is such a beautiful helpful lovely boy! Big hugs, your not alone. This parenting gig is super tough sometimes 😊
Well I wish I could work out my child's "currency" or find out some underlying issue as to why she gets so angry. I understand OP, just how draining it is to deal day in & day out with a disagreeable toddler. My 2.5 year old will have screaming tantrums that last for an hour, and that is no exaggeration. Screaming for 60 minutes. If I try to comfort her, she will push and kick and hit and scream at me to go away. Unfortunately I have resorted to a smack and, somewhat sadly, it works. She calms down and we move on. No, it isn't logical smacking a child to teach them things, but sometimes nothing else works.
I have never, literally never smacked my older child who is now 4. She has never had these kinds of tantrums or aggressive behaviour.
As for picking your battles, yes I let a lot of things slide when I think they don't really matter. However I do wonder. Does that set a precedent that sometimes mum means what she says, and sometimes she doesn't? Is it confusing to let things slide sometimes and not others? Sorry my post is not terribly helpful. But full of empathy, trust me.
Oh it's so bloody hard isn't it? I feel for you so much and just have to say that you are an amazing mother to your son
For me, it was always about trying to pre-empt the behaviour (and still is) so if we're going to the supermarket or out in general, it's a constant reminder (before the outing, in the car on the way to the outing) that they will be able to have x (ie the decoration for the tree) but no other toys/lollies/magazine/random shiny crap but only if they remember how we behave in our family (ie in our family we don't hit, we listen or whatever).
Recognising the good - even the tiniest bit of positive behaviour really helps - we went to a party last night and my middle one is prone to having a total meltdown when it's time to go but I did the usual, before we go somewhere spiel and emphasised how much it would help me if when I said it was time to go, we could leave the party with smiles on our faces and knock me down with a feather, we did! So on the drive how I thanked them profusely and let them know what joy it had been taking them out and how proud I felt.
For me as well, I have a really volatile nature that I always have to try extremely hard to keep a lid on - when I lose my sh!t, things escalate so quickly and we all end up a teary mess. I often just have to walk away - unless child is in immediate danger - have a breath and then go back and deal with it or let it go.
I don't know if any of that makes sense but I feel for you xxx
Last edited by misskittyfantastico; 22-11-2015 at 13:24.
Two things that work with my three year old ...'when/then' 'when you get dressed then we will have time for a story before bed' or in your case 'when you get your nappy changed then we will have time for x'
Hitting, I block her and say 'I won't let you hit' and hold her hand if I need to stop her. I deal with it quickly and don't 'punish' her for doing it as I can see its when she's overwhelmed for whatever reason. I'll then say if you need to hit go and hit a pillow or kick a ball.
Same with the Xmas tree 'I won't let you pull the ornaments off' blocking his hand if needed. If he can't stop 'I see this year you can't stop pulling the ornaments off so I'll take it down/put it up high and try again when you think you won't need to pull them off'.
I agree somewhat with picking battles but find decisive and quick intervention before things get out of control best.
I've mentioned it on here before but look up Janet Lansbury her blog is wonderful. She follows a RIE philosophy which makes so much sense.
It is so hard to keep calm, isn't it?
I found this website through the Maggie Dent Facebook page (also really good)
I since bought the "Toddler Discipline Without Shame" book and have found it great. I like that it helps me to have realistic expectations about what behaviour is appropriate for DS age, and also how to set firm but fair boundaries. It also gives strategies for dealing with misbehaviour that help me stay calm and consistent. It's made a real difference for DS and I - mostly me because I stay calmer
One big thing that I took away from this, and that works consistently for us, is to calmly stop DS from doing the "bad" thing and say "I won't let you do that. It's not safe/kind." Then I give him 2 choices of things he can do. Then praise him when choses one of the choices. Sometimes it is have to repeat the "I won't let you" and the choice a couple of times, but we are both getting better
I've linked this book before, so excuse me if u sound like I'm preaching...
But I also found this book great
Especially for dealing with tantrums. The thing I like about this one is now I rarely take DS behaviour personally - which helps me stay calm. It also sets out age-appropriate ways for helping kids to better deal with emotions.
Neither books suggest permissive parenting (they don't tell you to allow children behave in ways that are dangerous or antisocial), but do suggest ways to deal with it that don't involve hitting or yelling.
ETA: born to be said exactly what I wanted to say. And much better!! I should have refreshed before typing.
Last edited by clbj; 22-11-2015 at 14:07.
Oh and Raising You Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka is pretty much my bible!
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