2.5 year old and testing behaviour. What strategies are best?

(10 Posts)
catchafox Mon 22-Jul-13 18:07:09

My 2.5 year old DS is terrific but keeps throwing stuff, mainly food, and tearing books, and shouting at us. We did naughty step for a while but decided it wasn't having an effect. Now we take him down from the table if it's food and if he's shouting, we walk away and stop playing with him; if he rips books, we take them away.

Today was a crap day with all of the above happening. Nothing is working, clearly. We are patient and don't want to shout or punish - he's young - but equally, we don't want to condone.

Any suggestions of books or strategies?

in the same boat so marking place sorry...but have started reading 'how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk' which is supposed to be helpful (if you can get your kids to bloody sleep so you can read the damn thing) honestly the past few days have been Hell, DS nearly 2.6 and has been SO testing I've been tearing my hair out sad

so you're not alone, I hope someone more helpful comes along soon. stuff we've tried that helps is visual routines, regular meals/snacks, letting him help with things, silly songs. best of luck smile

Show him what to do and lots of praise when he does. Eg turn pages of a book nicely, put food to one side even done, talk quietly etc. specific praise - not just geeneric "good boy" stuff.

Also make sure he's well fed and rested as could be partly that too.

catchafox Mon 22-Jul-13 21:04:31

We do all of that...and he's a great sleeper and eats well. But I do think reminding ourselves of specific positive praise is important.

loulourw Wed 24-Jul-13 19:46:49

For throwing food, does he do this at the end/towards the end if his meal? Keep a close eye on when he looks to be finishing then remind. "When you are finished, you can tell mummy and ill take your plate away. I don't want you to throw your food on the floor". I know you may be reluctant to plant the seed/remind him about throwing but this did actually work for me. Then follow through with positive praise if he listens "thank you for telling mummy you have finished and not throwing your food." I still have to be on the ball months later though. If she does throw, I get her down & say pick it up. She would just pick it up without me saying a word in the end. If she starts playing with/smearing food. I remind "we don't play with our food. If you are playing with it, mummy thinks you are finished." She is usually reluctant for me to take the plate away at this point & stops.

For shouting, I repeat the same mantra "mummy doesn't listen when you shout. I dont like it. Can you use a quieter voice" etc. then praise when using appropriate voice. Basically, any behaviour you wang to see repeated, recognise and praise it.

Tearing books....take them away. Is it at bedtime? My daughter will not get a bedtime story if she tears a book.

tumbletumble Wed 24-Jul-13 20:56:09

OP, it sounds to me like you are doing everything right, but these techniques do take time to work IME - there is no magic solution!

Continue as you are and eventually you should start to see an improvement if you remain calm and consistent. My DS2 was a v naughty 2yo, but now as a 3yo I would say he is relatively well behaved. I feel like I am finally being rewarded for my endless patience!

gourd Thu 25-Jul-13 10:19:40

Yes carry on with taking away whatever is being thrown, and ignore/not playiing when there is shouting/throwing. We usually say something like "We dont thorw, not even wehn we are cross" Or "Wee can't play whilst you are cross/throwing - we will play when you stop shouting/throwing" Sometimes I say "Mummy cant talk to you when you are cross" and this usually resolves it very quickly and she will calm down and come for a hug and then I hug her and very briefly review what's happened or try to summarise why she was cross and how we can make it better now-depending what the fuss was about of course.

gourd Thu 25-Jul-13 10:22:38

Also, refusal to get ready for bed etc – we basically tell her she will go to bed anyway, without a shower/bedtime story, and she goes to bathroom as the alternative doesn’t sound as nice! Only once have we actually had to follow through and put her in bed just in her clothes, then she cried and came running to bathroom to have her shower and bedtime routine etc..

sesamechoc Thu 25-Jul-13 13:36:51

For book recommendations, this is the best book I've ever read - it very much follows on from montessori thinking. "unconditional parenting - Alfie Kohn" .Reviewers on amazon say things like " it changed my life" and it "changed my relationship with my dc" Me too...
The strangest thing is when mums at DS1's primary school talk about our DS1 and compliment the way he is and the way he deals with things, we say well this is what we do, they say I don't believe that it could possibly work - you're just lucky !!!!
It's an evidence based book so as a doctor it really appeals to me and makes complete sense.(one of my friends who's a psychotherapist gives the books to her patients who don't have children to help them understand things about themselves)

7to25 Thu 25-Jul-13 13:44:56

I don't know if this will help you but I have a specific " dog training" sound I make at times like this.
It is a "uuuuh" sound made in the chest.
It stops dogs and toddlers in their tracks but is nothing like a shout.
Then make real eye contact with them and quietly explain, in easy words, remove the food/ toy / child from the scene and start again.

I have six children and am now onto the grandchildren

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