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2 year old DD pushing boundaries

(19 Posts)
Thebluedog Mon 10-Feb-14 18:18:02

DD was placed with us about 3 months ago, she will be 2 shortly.

She is a happy, well adjusted little girl, she was with the same foster carers since birth and she's bonding as we'd expect.

However now the terrible twos are upon us. We have a birth dd also who is 6 so we've done this once already. DD2s behaviour, id say, is completely normal for a child of her age. But she's really pushing the boundaries. If we tell her no to something she'll do it again, and again, and again. For example, she's not allowed in DD1s bedroom during the day. We were upstairs this afternoon, and whilst I was cleaning the bathroom she went In there 6 times! I removed her, calmly got down on her level, explained, did all the stuff you're supposed to, but as soon as my back is turned she's back in there.. In the living room I've had I remove everything she's not supposed to play with. Remote controls, telephone, DVDs etc have been put away, the only thing that's left is the sofa and tv. I go into the kitchen to make a cuppa, come back in, and she's switching the telly on and off - arghhhhhhh

I try time in, I always spend at least an hour or so each day, one on one but she's just so naughty. Not in a nasty way, just so mischievous, I can tell by the look on her face she knows what she's doing, she's just pushing my buttons. By the end of the day I'm exhausted and totally exasperated.

I realise that it's prob not an adoption thing, and more a toddler thing, but things I may have done with DD1, I won't do with DD2, such as naughty step or bedroom, as we've been told this might not be beneficial for DD2.

Any suggestions welcome. smile

LimitedEditionLady Mon 10-Feb-14 18:29:08

Who is it who said that it wouldnt be beneficial for a tine out for example?Did they suggest what you can use as a consequence for her actions?A child needs a consequence to learn what is acceptable.If you can never follow up your request with a time out for example she is going to think what you are saying doesnt matter and she can keep doing it and you will lose respect from her.With an older child you can have conversations or take a priveledge away but this isnt as easy with a toddler,its simply not going to have the same effect because their understanding isnt there.I think time out is fine.

Thebluedog Mon 10-Feb-14 19:06:21

SW said time out or time on their own wouldn't be a great idea as she needs to feel secure. Hence why I use the 'naughty step' as such, which is actually the sofa whilst we are all in the room. But that's just not working. She just gets off. I've got to the stage where I make her sit still on my knee. Trouble is I can now bit get anything done as she's always there.

drwitch Mon 10-Feb-14 19:16:46

she's still very little though, too little to be trusted and to understand why she should not do certain things. Look your other dds door, and get her to help clean the bathroom with you.

roadwalker Mon 10-Feb-14 19:18:20

most child development books would say 2 is too young to remember rules and 3 is usually the time they are able to start remembering
I would agree with this and think perhaps your expectations are too high
I am sure plenty will disagree with me though

roadwalker Mon 10-Feb-14 19:19:13

Toddler taming is a great book

Thebluedog Mon 10-Feb-14 19:19:23

I did try and give her a cloth to help, I turned around and she had her head down the loo and the cloth in the water. grin

Thebluedog Mon 10-Feb-14 19:19:38

The water was clean btw

TheScience Mon 10-Feb-14 19:21:56

If she's not even 2 yet then she's too little for naughty step type discipline even without the added factor of adoption.

Sounds like you have quite high expectations of toddler behaviour? Something like a room she is not supposed to go in - it's up to you to prevent access (a catch on the door or a stairgate) rather than expecting her to remember and follow the rules.

namechangeobv Mon 10-Feb-14 19:24:04

Time out basically works by withdrawing attention (and by extension love) until you gain compliance. Should be really quite obvious why every professional warns against using it with adoptees.

Is one hour a day one on one enough?

KippyVonKipperson Mon 10-Feb-14 19:30:29

While this book isn't specifically aimed at adoption the ethos and approach to parenting does strike me as something that may work with your toddler, and as she grows older too. If you read some of the reviews on the link it will give you an idea of what to expect.

Thebluedog Mon 10-Feb-14 19:37:35

Thanks for the books suggestions I will have a look at those

Angelwings11 Mon 10-Feb-14 19:45:02

Is she bored? My AD is 2 1/2 and if she gets bored this can result in deterioration in behaviour. I try to keep my AD busy as this seems reduce mischievous behaviour. We go to the park (if it's dry.......(wink)), a music class once per week, swimming and I also look at websites like the 'nuturestore' and 'the imagination tree' for ideas to do at home.

Thebluedog Mon 10-Feb-14 20:09:52

I have thought this so, try and do something with her every day, feeding the ducks, walk around the park, toddler groups, plus some eye contact, one on one time, the sorts of things we were taught in the courses.

I spend most of the day interacting with her in some shape. But occasionally I need to leave her for a minute or two (think toilet break) and when I come back into the room I can guarantee, that her toys will be un touched and she's up to something she shouldn't be, climbing on something, pressing something, flicking something smile our house is double locked and nothing is out, or at grab level that isn't essential. If I tell her no, or remove her, she'll simply go back to it as soon as she can.

Meita Mon 10-Feb-14 20:30:47

Hmm one purely practical idea, based on the point that many kids seem to prefer to play with non-toys than with toys, and it seems everything is locked away at your house: You could try providing her with one drawer in the kitchen (maybe with pots and pans and lids in it) which she CAN play with, e.g. while you are cooking she can empty it all out, bang around, make lots of noise, … (your post sort of gives the impression that there are lots of things/spaces 'out of bounds' and nothing much left for her to do/play with. I'm sure that is not the case; but maybe she is just not so interested in 'toys' you provide her with, but much keener on every day items she sees you working with, or the stuff your older child has/does. Hence the suggestion of providing her with allowed non-toys.)

Also, a 'positive' instruction is much more effective than a 'negative' one. So instead of saying don't do this, don't do that… say 'do this, do that'. E.g. with DS instead of saying 'we mustn't go on the road, it is dangerous' I would say 'People walk on the pavement, and cars drive on the road'. It's a processing thing… when you say 'don't touch that' then, particularly at that age, the 'don't' part of the instruction is only captured as an afterthought if at all.

Thebluedog Mon 10-Feb-14 20:50:17

Meita, that's a great idea about having a draw with 'grown up' things she can play with. I'll do that tomorrow smile pots, pans, plastic bowls, wooden spoons and the like.

allthingswillpass Mon 10-Feb-14 21:01:14

I agree with the others. We are 7 months in and DS he's 2.7 and was into everything. It's improved.
Prevention - we had a playpen and if he decided to "play" in the toilet literally, I would lock the door.
Time out had little affect, he would go and play in the dogs water bowl (water again...... Are you noticing a pattern)? So we concluded that prevention using playpen and locking bathrooms was key.
We still have supervised water play in the kitchen sink (or in the sand/water pit .... yes even in February) - he even goes to get the towels out and puts them on the floor now. Rooting in the plastic drawer is a good game too. Distraction works most of the time. Time in? - every case is different and our DS enjoyed the cuddle and attention so removal of a toy to the top of the book shelf works better ....... Where he can see it is our consequence.

Thebluedog Mon 10-Feb-14 21:07:50

Yes water does seem to be a pattern, she loves dragging a chair to the sink and playing there. I have done, as you have, and put towels on the floor and let her play. She does try to do it on her own from time to time too smile

I think maybe I just need to be a little smarter, purposely leave things out I don't mind her playing with. I guess it's all part if being a toddler. I'm just very aware of how I implement boundaries without her feeling abandoned or unloved, as I'm sure she's still also finding her feet and feeling very unsettled (to say the least)

drspouse Mon 10-Feb-14 21:58:23

Our DS is a similar age and "his" Tupperware cupboard plus wooden spoons to bang on biscuit tins can be noisy and messy but works well.

If he does something we really need to discourage, like grabbing someone's glasses, or hitting, we sit him on our lap for a minute and say "no, we don't do that, it hurts, we'll sit here while you calm down".

He's a lot better than he was, say, 6 months ago with being left alone in a room but if necessary we shut him in his room for a few minutes while doing something messy next door, or out of the kitchen but in sight (other side of the stair gate) if he's hell bent on grabbing the oven door.

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