Terrible Two S Or Just A Brat

11 Replies
erinsoul - October 3

My son is 20 months old . At 15 months he started biting at daycare and then started to tapper off at 18 /12 months. Now I'm on maternity leave and his biting has resumed at home. (Not sure if it's because of new teeth or not) He is also pushing every limit and every button I have! Throwing temper tantrums, the occassion head butting and hitting. He is already laughing at us when we discipline him. He seems hyper all the time. Is this what terrible twos' s are like? Or do you think he's kicking it up a couple knotching to compete with new baby? He used to be so sweet and fun and I feel robbed of my little boy. What do you all think? Any advice?


in the woods - October 4

Not sure. Only time will tell. My son is in the middle of his terrible twos (2.5) but he does respond to discipline. If it goes on with your son for longer than a year or past 3 or 4 years old then ther may be something else. Kids have different length and behavior of "terrible twos", it's hard to say.


erinsoul - October 4

There's no way I am allowing this behavior to last until 3 or 4!! There would have to be a major intervention before that. I teach pre-k and I don't tolerate that kind of behavoir in my cla__s, so it won't be tolerated at home either. I just don't have the experience with toddlers to know the right way to go about tackling this behavior at this age. My methods are more geared for the 4-5 age group.


cattac - October 5

I would be consistent and firm when he bites. You need to put him in Time out. You said he laughs...well then take away something he LOVES. You've got to find something that will affect him and do it. If you live in a house with a garage and he wont sit still you could always go out to the garage and either bring his carseat in so he will stay in it or stay out there with him and buckle him in and make him stay for a minute. I know bringing the carseat in probably sounds dumb for a minute of waiting. If he does it in public like in a toy store or whatever don't even give him a warning just LEAVE no questions asked. Dont let him know his laughing when punishing makes you mad. If he throws tantrums put him in his crib if he's in one so he can't hurt himself or stick him in his room if it's safe and leave. He'll have nobody to tantrum for if you're not around and he'll stop. As soon as you start being consistent with your punishment (a punishment that will somehow affect him and make him think twice) and he realizes he needs to take you seriously he should slow down. Just some thoughts. My youngest was almost 2 when my younger son was born. Hew as fine and has always been pretty laid back. We went through some rough patches when the youngest turned about 6 months but you just have to NIP it in the you-know-what and no I wouldn't wait until he's 3 or 4. Start now. He needs to know who's boss and that there are rules and limits. It worked for me hopefully it will for you.


cattac - October 5

A good book is also Making Children Mind without Losing Yours by Dr Kevin Leman. I have not read the entire thing but what I have read it seems like he's made really good points. Also I know just picking up and leaving when your child acts up int he middle of a store is a pain in the a** but it works. My older son has started acting up in restaurants and he's been with other kids and I take him out to the car until everyone's done eating and we leave. He got so mad but you know what it worked. It was a pain for me but he got the point. Good luck. A lot of people go through rough times with their kids. They are good kids they just need limits and some test them more than others!


in the woods - October 5

It didn't come out the way I intended. I meant, the "terrible" period may happen at different times with different kids (since erinsoul asked if her son's behavior was the terrible twos) - some are angels between 2 and 3yo, and after 3 hell breaks loose. And, I remember reading some moms with 4yo complaining of the worst behavior. I meant, maybe your "terrible twos" started earlier. Cattac's suggestions are good - however you react to your son's antiks, the main point to get across is that it will not be tolerated. Showing that you are leaving despite him laying on the floor in a public place, taking him into the car if he misbehaving in a public place, calmly going about a routine whether he likes it or not - yes, that's what I do.


cattac - October 5

I agree with in the woods about the terrible time happening at different times for different kids. HOPEFULLY my son has been through most of his. I had another lady actually tell me today that her son was fine and when he hit 3 all hell broke loose! Maybe your son's going through his rough time now. To get him ready for the baby you may want to start making him share toys, etc with YOU or his dad, though. That is one of the major problems my son has had....so if you can go ahead and start getting him used to taking turns whether it be with you or other kids it would be good...oh and I know you said he goes to daycare but I'm talking about sharing HIS toys and things at home. It's much different with my son when he has friends over and he's the one that has to share his stuff.


erinsoul - October 6

I am a pretty calm person, I don't give him big reactions. When he bites I sit him in time out and firmly say " no biting, that hurts" and I put finger on his mouth when I say it. Then I walk away and go about my business. Sometimes he sits with no protest and sometimes he gets up. If he gets up I put him back and say the same thing again. For other behaviors... they are stopped right away and told "No No". Things are taken away if they are used inappropriately. We are pretty consistant...as a pre-k teacher I see what happens when there is no consistancy. Tantrum I ignor or put him in his room if they are particularly bad. Most of this behavior is just at home (except biting at school)...we rarely have any problems in public. But like I said...it's really kicked up since I brought the baby home 3 1/2 weeks ago. I appreciate the ideas


sahmof3 - October 7

All kids are different. I don't know for sure if it's the new baby or just the age. My oldest son was a tough case. We tried all the strategies I had heard of... time outs, trying to find his "currency" (as Dr. Phil calls it lol)... something they love, stripping his room... absolutely nothing worked!!! We tried leaving restaurants and that was a reward for my son and not a punishment. He didn't care to be arounda lot of people to start with :-P He could entertain himself by just standing in a corner jumping, doing finger plays, etc. and he just did NOT seem to be "getting it"... I could tell he was not learning ANY lessons from the discipline. It was so frustrating!!! When he was late 3's or 4 he finally started to understand and he had some things he valued like swimming (in the summer), bike riding, a favorite toy, etc that we could use. He does have Asperger's Syndrome (a high-functioning form of autism)... he wasn't diagnosed at that age, but I think that may have had something to do with how freakin' hard it was trying to discpline him and why it took to such an older age! (I'm not suggesting that your ds has AS, I'm just explaining mine). Anyway, my next two kids are so much easier!!!! My dd's 3 1/2. She's actually a little sa__sier now than at 2, because she can come up with arguments to start, rather than just react with tantrums like a 2yo LOL. Like, a few months ago I asked her to take her ceral bowl to the sink because she was stalling and she said, "You take it!" I said, "You ate the cereal, you need to take it to the sink." She said, "You POURED the cereal, you need to take it to the sink." HA! It's not the same "reactive" type tantrum as when she was 2, but, man... there's always something LOL. But, she has a lot of things that she values and awhile back she did something... I can't even remember what... I just remember that it was bad and she was pulling a major att_tude, so we pulled out the big guns and took away her security blankie for a night and she was angel for like a month afterward haha! So, at least we have a way to reign her back in when she starts getting an att_tude! My youngest son is 2 now (turned 2 in July) and he's been pretty easy-going so far (knock on wood!). I pretty much say, "boo" and he gets upset and shapes up. His temperament is like 1,000 times easier than my oldest son!!! Just keep at it, your son will get it eventually... they are all different, even among siblings. I think he sounds like an average 2yo boy ;-)


MNMOM - October 8

erinsoul: I don't know how to help you with the biting situation, but please find some way to resolve this, as biting is a very serious issue. My son was bitten TWICE in the same day by the same kid (both boys were 18-24 months old at the time) on the face - broke through the skin on his cheek the one time and nearly bit into his eye the second time - both times drew blood. The child was expelled from this daycare center as a result. Luckily my sons face healed without a scar. I know biting can be a common phase but it is still a serious issue. Good luck!


jujubee0228 - October 16

Just WAIT til they turn THREE!!! hahaa


in the woods - October 18

when my daughter turned 3 the terrible period miraculously disappeared. Maybe the earlier the horrors the earlier they stop.



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