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2y.o being very mean to new cats!

(14 Posts)
mishkamoo Tue 04-Jan-11 12:05:30

Any ideas please!
We got 2 new kittens at the end of November after our elderly cat was put to sleep. 2y.o DS was never really very bothered about our previous cat but obviously the novelty value of the new younger kittens has caused some excitment. He is usually very well behaved and gentle, but is being very mean to the cats. I assumed once the novelty had worn off then things would settle down, but they haven't. He shrieks and shouts at them, he chases them, pokes pulls them and tries to stand on their tails. They are very tolerant and just try to stay out of the way of him. It doesn't seem to matter how many times we tell him no, and explain to him that he is hurthing them etc, he just keeps doing it and it is driving me insane!
Any tips?

ChippingIn Tue 04-Jan-11 12:21:56

Stop 'telling/explaining' and tell him off properly. Each and every time he does anything horrible/unacceptable put him in 'time out' or whatever you use at your house. Don't allow him to 'get away' with it.

mishkamoo Tue 04-Jan-11 12:28:56

Thanks ChippingIn. We've never really had to do time out and I was (perhaps naively) hoping to avoid it. Anytime I have tried to 'punish' behaviour (eg we tried taking away favourite toys), I have found that the behaviour just gets worse and then the punishment has to escalate and we end up in a viscious circle without any improvement in behaviour.
Anyone tried anything from the playful parenting type approach? I have read How To Talk, but can't really think how to apply the principles in this case.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 04-Jan-11 13:02:01

Why have you got to do 'playful parenting'? Surely it would be better for your two year old to learn that 'no' means 'no'. He needs to be removed from the cats and told firmly to leave them alone, push his hands away, etc.

Cats can be really placid but they can also scratch when riled and cat scratches really hurt.

My kids would get a tap on the hands, I don't have a problem with that, but it depends what your parenting style is. My SIL uses 'distraction'. I don't agree with it, it doesn't teach the child anything. Good luck, OP.

Elk Tue 04-Jan-11 13:55:35

Have you tried telling him what he can do with the kittens e.g.
kitty likes quiet voices, kitty loves it when you stoke her gently on her back or kitty enjoys having the ball rolled so she can chase it.

Our cat is really placid (dd1 used her for a seat once!) but has scratched dd1 twice in the last 5 years, she didn't get any sympathy as she is fully aware of what the cat likes and dislikes.

BornToFolk Tue 04-Jan-11 14:00:44

If he's mean to the cats, then he should be removed and told very firmly that it's not on.
I agree with what Elk says as well about showing him how to treat the cats properly and praising him for it. That's what worked with DS...that and getting scratched a couple of times when he got too rough!

mishkamoo Tue 04-Jan-11 15:19:55

Thanks for all your thoughts. We have done lots of 'oh look, kitty really likes it when you're gentle with her' and showing how to be gnetle and stroke them nicely but to no avail! We have also tried putting him firmly outside the room, but all that happens is he screams and cries and then promptly does the same thing again 5 mins later! All very frustrating!

ChippingIn Tue 04-Jan-11 18:22:39

Mishkamoo - I think our parenting styles are poles apart. I don't do 'time out' myself either. I have a tone of voice that just doesn't brook any nonsense and I really don't do 'playful parenting'. I have a much more traditional style which works for me - setting boundaries and letting them know quite firmly when they have reached them. I have a tone of voice and he'd be under no illusion that he must not do any of those things to the cats.

Anyway, I'm sure you'll get a lot of others who agree with your 'style' along to give you some help.

I hope for the cats sakes you get it sorted quickly.

drivingmisscrazy Tue 04-Jan-11 22:38:35

we have the same problem - except that the cats are older. We do both things - e.g. encourage her to stroke or gently pat the cat, but tell her what she must not do. Over and over and over again. She IS slowly getting it (she's 2 in a fortnight) and if you are with her you can actually see when she is getting too excited to control herself (she knows she must be gentle and says this when she's near them 'must be gentle' etc). If she hurts the cat, pulls tail etc, she is instantly removed and put somewhere else, but without a reaction. Perhaps try and involve him in their care - we get DD to put their biscuits out, for example.

Chipping - that's fair enough: I wish I could say the same. DD does know what the limit is, I do use a stern tone of voice with her, but I think it is just too too tempting. She is pretty good about virtually everything else and she knows that it's not acceptable

mishkamoo Thu 06-Jan-11 14:56:46

Chipping In-am pleased for you that your traditional style of parenting works and your children quail at your very stern tone of voice. Funnily enough, I have tried a stern tone of voice but mine must be less effective than yours-perhaps you shold try marketing it. I can assure that the cats are not in any danger, and if he fails to listen to me he IS removed, but I was just wondering if anyone had found any more effective ways as I feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall at the moment, constantly repeating myself. I guess that's 2 year olds for you!

drivingmisscrazy Thu 06-Jan-11 16:41:47

or perhaps Chipping-In could hold seminars? it's a skill I'd love to learn

ChippingIn Thu 06-Jan-11 17:09:30

Mishkamoo - there's really no need to be nasty. Children do not 'quail' at my stern tone of voice (stern being your *assumption). You asked for suggestions, I gave you mine - when I could see our 'methods' of parenting were very different I bowed out and wished you well - I didn't start a bun fight over your style of parenting.

If you were actually interested learning about 'tone of voice' I'd be happy to help you, but as you think it's akin to child abuse and simply assume it's all about being stern and agressive I'll leave you to it.

I didn't say the cats were in any danger, simply that I hoped you got it sorted out soon as it can't be much fun for you or the cats.

Next time you want opinions - be sure to tell people the opinions you want first.

ChippingIn Thu 06-Jan-11 17:10:37

DrivingMissCrazy - I could try to teach you - but it's mostly inherited!! grin... and it means what it says - every single time!

drivingmisscrazy Thu 06-Jan-11 19:12:29

well my mother definitely had The Voice, so there may be hope for me yet! DD knows my cross voice/face and mostly it works. Teaching her limits with the cats is gradually working - e.g. giving her clear boundaries 'now you can pat/stroke x very gently, like this' and then telling her that's all she can do. She is starting to police herself to an extent but she's not yet 2, so needs constant help with this.

I don't think there's anything wrong with a stern voice - pretty effective I would have thought and clear for all concerned.

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