Or is it? The truth is, I don’t really know what is going on with our boys these days. Biting, smacking, hitting, fighting... where did this come from? It almost feels as if they turned two and 💥 BAM 💥 Our sweet little guys disappeared.
One minute our kiddos are happy and loving, the next screaming, crying, and miserable. It’s all a byproduct of the frustration that comes from wanting to do things themselves without the skills necessary to understand or negotiate them.
So, how do we handle this? We truly try not to act or respond out of anger. Sometimes we literally have to step away for a moment.
Everett bit me so hard he drew blood.
My response? “Ow!! No sir. We do NOT bite.” And walked away ignoring him. Which made more of an impact than any spanking I could’ve gave. Of course, Foster probably would've laughed at me if I did that. Every kid is so different so it's important to find an approach based on the child individually.
We have discussed creating a time-out corner and will ultimately end up going that route eventually. When using this discipline method we will always try to do so without anger.
We try to keep in mind that they are delayed in speech and unable to fully communicate what they need or are feeling. We always try to speak their feelings out loud. Almost as if we validating those feeling for them and they seem to be responding well. Seems silly, but it works!
Like this for Example:
Everett yanks a toy out of Foster’s hands.
Foster immediately goes into melt down mode.
- The Moms step in-
Speaking to Foster
“That is so frustrating when brother takes your toy. You really didn’t like when he did that”.
At this point he usually gets a hug and seems to calm down.
Now speaking to Everett squatting down at his level
“Everett, we have to practice our patience buddy. Foster was playing with that toy so we have to give it back, okay?”
Now I wish I could lie and say he just nods and oh so willingly hands the toy back over quietly and it’s all rainbows and daisies from there, but that would be a total lie and I don’t intend on setting you up for failure. He usually cries, yells, falls down on the floor, but 99/100 times he hands over the toy to me before throwing a fit.
It’s important to me to not forcefully yank it from his hand and to really allow him the chance to do the right thing and hand it over. Then we allow him to do what he needs to do to process his emotions. Even if that’s completely falling out on the floor rolling around screaming. I just ignore him until he is finished and ready to return to happy co-playing. A few tips we’ve learned:
Always offer limited choices to a toddler. Rather than asking what he or she wants for a snack, for example, ask if the child would like an apple or an orange. This gives the child a sense of control—the ability to choose—without overwhelming the child with too many choices.
Provide your toddler with a safe, child proofed environment. It really isn't fair to punish a two-year-old for grabbing something within reach if you haven't taken the time to properly secure it.
By accepting the changes your child is going through and showing love and respect, you can help your child through this often-difficult stage and help build their confidence.
So hang in there! This will pass and remember, our DMs are ALWAYS open if you need us.