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Real time toddler taming advice desperately needed - help

(25 Posts)
luckysocks Sat 20-Oct-12 15:21:06

My beautiful baby boy has turned into a three going on thirteen nightmare. He was hitting at nursery the other day, we dealt with that and had a cpl of days when he was really good.

Today so far he has drawn on the walls and the front door, smeared poo in the car, and literally everything else he can think of which is naughty. He keeps saying he is really really naughty.

I have progressed through talking firmly, helping repair the damage, naughty corner, time out in room and treats withdrawn. His answer to all is an indifferent 'ok'.

I am currently in a car park in my poo covered car, no longer sure whether I'm up for a park trip (was planning to burn off some energy) and desperately hoping someone might have some advice by the time I've cleaned up the poo :S DD is with us and asleep (4 months).

Please help
From a very frazzled luckysocks

EBDTeacher Sat 20-Oct-12 17:28:29

I'm not into all that 'love-bombing' crud but it sounds like he might be begging for you to tell him what a lovely, good little boy he is.

Can you plan some activities that can't go wrong haha and praise the hell out of every positive thing he does?

nilbyname Sat 20-Oct-12 17:39:08

Well I am into all that "love bombing crud" grin and I can tell you that it is worth doing it!

You are in a negative downward spiral and it is not working. All the discipline you have tried is based on reacting to bad stuff. You need to act on the good stuff ALL THE TIME.

For example, DS walks down stairs. You say "Wow DS you are walking so smartly, that is lovely." DS puts on his socks "That is great DS, I can see you are concentrating on putting on your socks, and doing it well. Keep going"

You want to start almost constantly giving him a running commentary of all the good (small and big) things he is doing. Praise praise praise.

It has probably just dawned on him that DD is here to stay and possibly having a bit of a hard time with that. Give him lots and lots of love.

Also, little boys IME are like puppies and do need lots of running about, lots of horse play.

Play some time for just you and him. Do something he loves, really enjoy it with him.

Try some play activities where you can model desired behaviours....for example with little happy land people you can act out desired behaviours.

I have an almost 4 year old and I can tell you that it does get better, they do go bat shit 2-3 and it is HELLISH. But my DS is now the sweetest thing, and he used to do some crazy stuff that would drive me bonkers.

nilbyname Sat 20-Oct-12 17:58:52

didn't read the thread title DOH sorry!

Go to the park, clean up the mess, ask DS how good he thinks he can be. Aks him you are watching for really good behaviour.

luckysocks Sat 20-Oct-12 18:43:06

grin no worries nilbyname.. I really appreciate your post.

I can almost see the sparks going off in his brain today. I'll tell him how nicely he's eating his dinner and there'll be a second where he looks happy, then he chucks a piece across the room. Them something flicks again and he runs over and kisses me. Then shouts. It's mental, and exhausting. He did get a little sticker for playing nicely for 10 minutes...

GupX Sat 20-Oct-12 18:47:18

What nilby said.

I have 3 yr old twin boys.

We've started calling the 'naughty' chair the 'time out' chair - as it reinforces the 'you are naughty' rather than 'that was naughty'.

Otherwise, we do exactly what nilby said. Emphasise (descriptively) all the good stuff he does. Praise him up bigtime and be a bit 'meh, that was disappointing' with the bad stuff.

Good luck. It will pass
smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 20-Oct-12 19:55:31

Why does he say he's naughty? Is it something you say or is it a phrase they use at nursery?

luckysocks Sat 20-Oct-12 20:35:10

I'm not sure. I say 'that's naughty' sometimes. Did I say no treats because you've been naughty... I think so. I definitely don't say 'you're naughty' or similar.

(The word naughty looks all wrong, now smile )

luckysocks Sat 20-Oct-12 20:36:50

'meh, that was disappointing
Love it smile will be trying that tactic tomorrow.

noteventhebestdrummer Sat 20-Oct-12 20:40:08

I have 5 sons smile

Aim to tire yours out as often as possible - run in the park, go swimming, make obstacle courses, do indoor climbing. It will help!

And yes, lots of praise for him and gin for you grin

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 20-Oct-12 20:49:24

grin at noteven. So far today my DS has been doing timed laps around the outside of the house, swimming lesson and 2 hours of soft play while DD was at a party and he was still not worn out unlike me who is now in need of wine and chocolate.

Exercise, praise, some individual attention while Dd sleeps and get Little Angels by Dr Tanya Byron smile.

noteventhebestdrummer Sat 20-Oct-12 20:50:48

I didn't dare suggest Soft Play but yes, if you're brave enough!

parsnipcake Sat 20-Oct-12 20:56:57

Try the 'pace' approach, Playful, accepting,curious and empathic. Instead of time out, try time in, give him the message that he needs to be close because he is struggling with his behaviour and the world, so you will keep him safe with you until he is able to self manage. I keep a water pistol in my pocket and squirt at times of high stress - it shocks them and gives you something to laugh at together - really works for us, and is especially useful in the supermarket, to squirt at disapproving tantrum watchers!

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 20-Oct-12 20:57:41

Was fucking awful but we had to go there for the party anyway. Would have preferred to be outside but when you are trying to tire boys out, I'll do anything smile

naturalbaby Sat 20-Oct-12 21:00:28

parsnipcake that is brilliant, that is exactly how I want to respond to my boys but the 3 of them + the housework sometimes get a bit toooo much to think clearly!

EBDTeacher Sat 20-Oct-12 21:03:48

'I have 5 sons'

Hats off! bit jealous too grin

luckysocks Sat 20-Oct-12 21:06:06

5 sons - wow grin

He had a crazy spell just after DD was born and creating a very clear structure to the day really helped with that. I've relaxed it as his behaviour had improved, but I think we might reintroduce that structure for a while. Although DD doesn't sleep a great deal in the day, I was making a point of that time being me and him and I need to get back to doing that.

He's behaving strangely with DH at the moment, telling him to go back to bed if he goes to him in the morning (!) then shouting for me, ignoring him when he goes to/returns from work and generally being a bit of a mummy's boy. His behaviour is markedly worse at the weekend and I wonder if this is linked. Sorry to drip feed, this just occurred to me.

luckysocks Sat 20-Oct-12 21:09:29

Parsnip that's a really interesting approach, I'm going to think about how I can use that. Love the idea of squirting judgy onlookers!!

cashmere Sun 21-Oct-12 08:32:50

Was just going to say 'praise praise praise'. DS is only 2 1/2 and DH sometimes calls him a 'silly boy' and ILs who do a lot of care call him a 'naughty boy'. I've asked them not to as I really believe you need to label the behaviour not the child, I'm not too worried as l'll be with him most of the time on mat leave.
Anyway when he is testing boundaries he'll sometimes say 'I'm a very naughty, silly boy' in a 'that's just how it is' way. I find that if I say 'no you're lovely but that wasn't nice' then heap on the praise it works really well.

Yesterday he emptied loads of books and CDs out bit the praise was heaped on when he put one back. He kept tidying things for the rest of the day looking for praise. Eg he shouted me from the kitchen as he'd tidied my chair for me!

Try and get out of the negative spiral.

cashmere Sun 21-Oct-12 08:38:11

Just re read the above posts. If DS is hitting out either saying 'I can tell you're cross bish, bash, bosh that cushion, we don't hit people' usually works and gets him giggling. Or I actually tell him 'you need to calm down and pick him up for a cuddle' then once he's calm I tell him what he did wrong and he'll usually say sorry.
If I get angry/threaten etc it tends just to escalate thR behaviour. I do sometimes do this though!!!
I think it helps to remember that they're 'managing big feelings' and need help to cope.

I so often do 2 posts in a row!!

sleeplessinderbyshire Mon 22-Oct-12 12:03:01

Big hugs. My 3yr old dd is like this (so it is not just a boy thing!) I have a 3 month old dd as well and I am sure there is some sibling rivalry involved too. I imagine they grow out of it eventually

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 22-Oct-12 20:23:10

How are you getting on now lucky? Have things improved at all?

luckysocks Tue 23-Oct-12 07:45:46

Thanks for the advice everyone.

jiltedjohnsjulie thanks for asking. We're doing OK - I'm praising everything I can possibly find to praise and making sure we have lots of fun time together.

It's helping with our relationship, if not with the behaviour - it means we avoid the downward spiral of him being a naughty boy and mummy being cross.

When he does misbehave, I'm ignoring as much as possible, at which point he'll keep upping the level of misbehaviour until I have no choice confused . At which point I'm trying to just remove him from the situation with as little fuss as possible. So yesterday at one point he had some time to play in his room (as he was pinging off the walls while I made his lunch - there's not much trouble he can get into in his room) and we left a friends house early. I didn't make a big fuss (beyond x has happened because y), completely ignored anything he said about being naughty/sanctions and when he woke up from a nap I acted as if nothing had happened.

It's still incredibly frustrating when he kicks off but this seems to work as damage limitation!!

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 23-Oct-12 12:27:59

Sounds like you are handling it really well luckysmile.

luckysocks Wed 24-Oct-12 18:33:52

Thanks JJJ smile it's really good to 'hear' that sometimes!

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