This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
My toddler is so naughty(3 Posts)
My two & half year old son is horrendously naughty. Every single day he will behave badly.
He’s violent - towards me, his dad, family pets, grandparents, other family members and other children in the group he goes to. Hitting, scratching, neck squeezing, grabbing, biting etc. He also throws objects at people - with an unfortunately accurate aim. I have to keep him separate from the dog as it’s a small dog and I’ve caught him strangling her.
He isn’t around any violence/aggression and hasn’t been exposed to it on tv etc, so I don’t even know where he gets it from.
He demands food such as chocolate and he demands things like Peppa Pig. He doesn’t listen, is very spoilt and hates hearing the word no. He’s constantly climbing on furniture and touching things he knows he shouldn’t be touching. He’s cheeky. Some days I honestly think I have the devil as a son.
I’ve tried everything to stop this behaviour. Shouting & telling him off doesn’t work - he laughs/doesn’t care. I’ve smacked him back (not hard obviously) and again, he didn’t care. I tried for weeks persisting with time out, but now he’s at a point where he runs off and isn’t phased at all.
I’ve tried punishing/rewarding behaviour with tv programmes/treat foods. But it hasn’t worked and if I’m being honest when he’s on top devil form I’d rather put Peppa Pig on the tv so he stops getting into mischief.
I’ve heard all about terrible twos but I know his behaviour goes beyond that. He’s unbelievable. All the other children at his group are perfectly behaved in comparison. I did think perhaps he had ADHD but my doctor doesn’t seem to think so - he’s no developmental issues, doesn’t fidget, can entertain himself with one toy for hours and loves sitting and reading.
He’s not all bad obviously. He’s very loving and affectionate. But honestly I think I’m raising a criminal. I feel like he’s the spawn of Satan.
I do just want to add (feeling guilty) he isn’t all bad. He’s affectionate and loving, funny, clever, beautiful etc. Just so naughty...
He is my first/only child and I really don’t know what to do? I’m sure this isn’t normal terrible twos behaviour. Would appreciate any advice
Most toddlers behave badly a few times a day. It sounds as if your DS has huge amounts of energy and not enough ways to use them up. He is two and a half - that's about the worst age for a combo of physical agility and unreasonableness. Life will get better in a year or so when he understand the basics of negotiation - then bribes and threats start to work. In the meantime you can manage this in a very concrete practical way.
First, childproof. Yes, keep the dog (and other pets) away from him, he's too young to be safe around animals and he shouldn't be able to get his hands on the dog unsupervised. Keep a baby gate or a closed door between them if you can't be there. Put all the things you have to say "no" to out of reach. Put things on high shelves, locked cupboards, behind barriers. Pad corners that he will bang himself on (our coffee table was swathed in bubble wrap for years) Cover things so he can climb and jump. Put the plastic tubs and wooden spoons and pans he can bang low down and the china bowls high up.
Second, give him ways to use up his energy. If he is constantly asking for chocolate it is because his other senses are being underused. He needs to jump, run, climb, walk, throw, lift heavy weights, splash water, dig earth and sand, swing, sing and shout. Find ways he can do that, whether it's covering the sofa so he can jump on it or and clearing the table so he can climb on it, or putting a small climbing frame and trampoline in the garden. Take him to the play park, get hom to walk and run, keep him moving. And encourage him, don't just leave him alone to play by himself, get him to race you, hide and seek, heave buckets of water and make a mess.
Oh and if you can, do find a copy of Christopher Green's "Toddler Taming". It may be old but it's a life saver!
Agree with the other poster.
I also found reward charts helped my son to focus on the good behaviour he was capable of (and gave me more opportunity to praise rather than nag him).
I also made an activity chart with all fun things on that he could choose to do each day so he felt more in control. Just stuff like go to library/ feed ducks/ read favourite book etc. He could tick them off as we did them.
Good luck and trust that this is a phase that will pass!