The wonderful, wonderful part of children desiring more independence around the age of 2 is that they want to do things on their own. This is super because while Brekkon gets dressed I can be making his breakfast or while he buckles himself in his car seat then I can be starting the car or checking to make sure we have other things we need for our outing. You can get ready faster and be more efficient. Plus there is such a wonderful sense of accomplishment when he does it ALL BY HIMSELF! I often let him wear his flip-flops on the wrong feet or his underwear backwards because it is something he did on his own and it just doesn't matter that much. There might be a little clean up for me when he washes his hands, but he is doing it on his own...YAY!!
drew and glued all by himself...he's so proud backwards undies and completely ok with it wrong order buddy
The not so wonderful part about independence(in fact I would call it absolutely teeth grinding) are the fits. Oh they are horrible! The last couple of weeks Brekkon has decided to exercise this part of his independence, usually caused by frustration, not getting what he wants or disobeying. Our house was peaceful last week and we were all excited to go get a Slurpee (they were free at 7-11). Brekkon couldn't get his shoes on, and before I could bend down to help he was throwing his shoes at me, kicked the dog, and then slammed the door on Tukker. I wanted to stop this in its tracks, I'm not willing to take it as a phase he will get through on his own and I am not willing to give him what he wants to stop the fits. I knew if I wanted them to stop quickly the consequences had to be big and immediate to show him this is a big problem.
These are somethings that I have done that have helped... in this order.
Emphasize what I want: Instead of telling him what not to do(because that is what he hears, the behavior will usually continue) I tell him what to do, "use words Brekkon, tell me I'm having trouble with my shoes will you help me please Mommy" If he doesn't know what words to use then saying "use words" does not give him the tools to deal with his frustration
Isolation: I start with sitting on the stairs, but if it continues(much more that 10 seconds) he goes up stairs to sit in a recliner in the room, if it continues I close the door. No toys, just sitting. He can come down when he is ready to be obedient, or use words.
A Consistent Consequence: If I tell him he doesn't get a Slurpee, he doesn't get one...I have to follow through. He didn't get one. He had to come and watch Tukker get one. It was a big deal though because the last time we got one was one year ago when they were giving free Slurpees. This is hard and often very inconvenient. He didn't have a fit again until today(almost a week later) when we were at the pool and had to leave after just getting there. I REALLY did not want to leave.
Sympathy: I always let my kiddos know that I'm so sorry/sad they are not getting a Slurpee(or to swim or samples at Sams) because of their behavior at home or at the pool, but I know they will make a better choice next time so that they get to do those fun things. Then its on them, their choice results in their consequence. You can be sorry even though a consequence must be delivered.
These are somethings that haven't work...OOPSY!
Consequences I can't follow through on: I told Brekkon I would get a babysitter for him and Tukker and I would go run errands one day. It made him very upset, but he still did not obey and I didn't get a babysitter because I couldn't last minute. So the only person who learned was me.
Getting mad: It just raises the emotions, and if I'm trying to teach him how to control his emotions then I'm not emphasizing what I want. Sticking with the "I'm so sorry your choosing to behave like this" keeps me sympathetic. You can be sympathetic and loving and still expect appropriate behavior.
A couple weeks ago we had several days that were absolutely horrible! However, since using this as a teaching opportunity that must be done with intention and purpose the days between fits increasingly grows very quickly.
If your a mom of a 2 year old hang in there, stick with it, and ask for prayer!!
-From a Mom who wishes she were swimming xoxo
- When I scroll through news feeds on FB it is mostly filled with ads, you-tube shares, quotes and generic pictures...fat, fat and more fat. This is my attempt to reach more family (friends too) and to cut out the "fat" and share a little more meat. I will share it all, as failures are what I learn the most from and you will likely laugh the most at! My hope is that it makes you smile and you truly enjoy reading about my adventures with "These Two Boys"!