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Unmanageable 2 year old

(5 Posts)
minimouse88 Thu 25-Oct-12 19:03:38

Please can anyone help with tips on how to manage my wilful, stubborn 2 and a bit year old. She is constantly on the go, won't take a nap anymore, won't eat, won't do as I ask. If she doesn't want to do it then I've got no chance. Constantly whinging and whining.

I take her out to lots of groups/swimming/activities and she has play friends but doesn't go to nursery.

I know that it's a difficult age for them re coping with their emotions, terrible two's etc but what am I supposed to do to try to ensure this behaviour doesn't continue and then just become how she is all the time? I've tried naughty step/mat neither of which worked, i guess she's too young for that??? Generally we have to resort to bribery to get her to cooperate. Have just tried to have tea at a friends house which ended disastrously, she refused to sit at the table for dinner and then disrupted my friends two little ones when my friend eventually managed to get her to sit at the table and only ate a few mouthfuls.

Can anyone offer any advice? I've read the relevant bits of supernanny, but nothing seems to worksad

Any tips appreciated or do I just have to hang in there???


BeaWheesht Thu 25-Oct-12 19:09:22

Dd has just turned 2, she usually eats but otherwise is As you describe.

Be consistent - eg whilst shopping today I told dd shed go in the buggy if she kept being naughty, she did so I plonked her in. She screamed blue murder but I just ignored the tantrum and spoke to her about anything and everything. Distraction is the best thing ever for a 2 yr old IMO. Unfortunately dd also makes herself sick which makes things somewhat more difficult!!!

Also don't worry about what other people are thinking.

Re the food, ds was a terrible eater, I worried and worried and eventually gave up - I gave him plenty of opportunities to eat but didn't make a fuss if he didn't and I didn't give him rubbishy snacks or let him fill up on juice.

You aren't alone.

QTPie Thu 25-Oct-12 19:32:20


2 year 9 month old here.

We do naughty mat - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Have been known to hold him there a few times blush

Always very important to get down to their level and try to get some eye contact, whenever you are saying something important.

Personally I wouldn't use bribes - unless you want to set yourself up for a hiding in the longer run... They may be just toddlers, but they are clever little mites! ("hhhmmmm, if I am bad, then mummy will get desperate and give me x"... you will be very surprised how quickly they cotton on!).

Basically, no bribes, but consequences. But once you threaten something, you have to follow through. "if you don't sit at the table and eat, then no fruit" (either they sit and eat, or they are not hungry - so I really don't worry).

Does she like going to the friend's house? If not, then maybe it is something you want to stop (to avoid conflict). If she does, then - when she begins misbehaving - you say "if you don't stop x, then we are going home.", then "remember, mummy said, if you don't stop x then we are going home", then "last chance, if you don't stop x, we are going home". Then follow through and take her home, explaining why you are doing it. This works if we are at the park (which DS loves): normally I only need one warning!

What are her motivators? What does she like? You need to show her that when she does something wrong, she will loose out.

Ignore bad behaviour that doesn't cause a problem: tantrum on the floor, then turn around, talk about something unrelated and get on with something (pretend to be completely unaware of the situation). So you are ignoring the behaviour, but not the child. When they pick themselves up and act normal again, just carry on "oh there you are, are we ready to go to the park now?").

When (even if it is rare) they do someting right, then lots of priase. I saw, on another thread here recently, about "breaking the negative cycle". Toddlers basically crave attention. Your DD is getting lots of attention and doesn't care that it is the wrong type of attention. Use every opportunity to remind her that good attention is much better.

Also, getting her to do simple chores (and rewarding with praise accordingly) is a great way to get into a more positive circle. Chores like bringing their coat in, washing their own hands, carrying their bowl (carefully) to the table. Responsibility, praise, pride, self-worth, control etc...

It is just a "phase", but whether the phase quickly stops or continues (even into their teens) depends on how you handle it. Toddlers need a mixture of firm, consistent boundaries (discipline - imposed by people who care for them) AND to feel that they are gaining some control in their lives (choices - and consequences are a type of choice). But you cannot let them control everything.

minimouse88 Fri 26-Oct-12 14:20:47

Thanks so much QTPie and BeaWheesht, i will start putting your ideas into practice. It sounds so easy! grin think i need a wine later xx

AngelaMerkel Fri 26-Oct-12 18:30:24

Some kids react very badly to Confront & Control methods. I recommend Playful Parenting by Cohen as a much better bet.

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