Deliberate naughty behaviour in 2 yo.(8 Posts)
My DS is by and large a lovely boy, really likes "helping" with things like the food shopping, is basically a fantastic, fun, chatty little fellow (with normal level tantrums now and then).
Over the past week or so though we have had a couple of episodes of deliberate proper misbehaviour - when I've told him not to do something and he has done it, again and again, whilst laughing and looking at me (so I know it is on purpose!)
It's really nothing too bad, just things like flinging all his toys from a shelf onto the floor, trying to poke me with a stick and pouring water out of the bath.
Again, nothing huge in their own right, but I have certain standards of behaviour that I expect.
How I have handled this is to calmly take the toys away, put them into a bag and explained that I've taken them away as he was throwing them around and they may break or hit someone. Same with the stick, and with the bath I just took him straight out, explaining that I didn't want to have to clear up water from the floor which was why I had asked him not to pour water on the floor.
Would you do anything differently to this? I am very positive with him normally, always praise good behaviour, generally don't have loads of "rules" and actually give him quite a bit of free reign as he is normally so great.
Sounds good to me, I have an almost 2 year old and try to do the same as what you do. Staying calm is the best (although not always easiest!) thing to do as I think my DD actually enjoys getting a spectacular reaction even if it means she is in trouble, if I calmly explain why it's unacceptable and take the thing away she seems to take it in better.
Staying calm was the hardest bit! He was clearly and obviously looking for my reaction.
I don't think I'd expected "naughty" behaviour this early....
Good to know I'm not expecting too much in terms of behaviour as well.
Try not to label him as naughty and work out why he's doing it. He's testing boundaries, learning about the world, becoming independent.... Yes, he deliberately did something you told him not to and he has to understand that when you say no, you mean it, but from my experience (with 2 very defiant boys!) if you try to understand why they do it and reason with them it will help prevent repeat behaviour.
My 20month old is going through a phase of throwing toys so sing a tidy up song when he's about to move away and make him help me tidy up with lots of eye contact and praise - we do a lot of tidying in our house!
Throwing water out the bath - I explain that they can splash/throw all over the wall tiles but if it goes on the floor they will slip and hurt themselves, and they have slipped over enough to understand that!
Poking with a stick - ow that hurts, can you do something nice and gentle with your hands to make me smile/happy? Let me see if I can make you smile (I tickle his hands, pretend a spider is walking up his legs....)
Sounds to me like you are handling it really well.
I think rather than being naughty it is testing boundaries as naturalbaby says and working out cause and effect. I think they laugh because it is quite exciting anticipating that there will be a reaction.
He is trying to learn something (ie what is acceptable) not to wind you up (as it appears). So gently teach him, just as you have been teaching him so many other things! Sounds like that is what you are already doing.
PS I have deliberately and in a very controlled way scared my DS a little bit over dangerous things like touching the cooker.
Also, remember in primates 'laughing' is an appeasement behaviour. So in our toddlers' unsophisticated little brains laughing is a protective response to anger. Might help it to seem less infuriating!
Thanks everyone. It is definite boundary testing, he has always done this to an extent and is a child who thrives on routine, rules and knowing what he is supposed to do and not supposed to do.
He carefully put himself into a Gina Ford routine at 4 months old......I should have seen the signs.....
I was quite good at doing a lot of explaining why we do and don't do things and I think it's dropped off a bit recently, and he has been seeming so much more "grown up" recently that I think I forget sometimes that he is only just 2 and will continue to test boundaries for a long time yet!
I chatted to DH about it and we have gone back to basics with telling him what we're doing next, praising good behaviour more and trying to do the whole "putting words to feelings" which I feel like a bit of an idiot doing but does seem to really help him.
Thanks again, it's really good to read your messages.
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