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Angry 2 year old(2 Posts)
I know, terrible twos and all that, but seriously my 2 year old proper loses his shit when things aren’t going his way and I don’t think I’m handling it well.
Dc1 didn’t have this problem, well he did but his was always hunger related so we just gave him food but dc2 is completely different.
If he doesn’t get his own way he throws things - will walk over to toys, food, remote controls, phones, anything liftable, and launch it across the room.
If that’s not an option he will come over to me and grab my arm and pinch whilst looking as if he hates me or worse, bite me.
Time outs don’t work. He either laughs or says sorry then carries on as before.
He doesn’t do it at nursery, and is usually worse when he’s a bit tired or we are having a less structured day but it can happen at other times too.
95%of the time he is so well behaved and loving, it’s as if he doesn’t know how to deal with things when they’re not going his way.
His speech is excellent so it’s not an understanding issue. Nursery just say he will grow out of it but other than saying no and waiting for it to pass is there anything else I can be doing?
If you think he doesn’t know how to deal with it (which might well be correct), then you need to teach/coach him through dealing with it. How this will work best depends on your kid, and I don’t know him, but here are some ideas I’ve tried from parenting books.
- relate to how he is feeling. When toddlers experience strong emotions, they often lose the ability to communicate, which makeS them more frustrated. Get close to him and say “X, you’re really cross! Cross, cross, cross! You feel angry!” While reflecting a bit of his emotion e.g. frown to show you understand how he is feeling, but not so much that he thinks you are cross. Then tell him/show him What to do “when I’m cross I stamp stamp stamp my feet! And I shake my head! Can you stamp stamp stamp your feet? What about big angry jumps?” Basically you’re showing him how to express his feelings in a physical way, but one that does no harm to anyone. Then once he is a little calmer you can try to talk to him about what he is actually upset about, or try to distract him.
- boundaries of acceptable behaviour need to be reinforced. If he throws a toy or does something else unacceptable say “no throwing toys! Throwing toys means toy goes away” and take it away. If he gets more cross say “you are really cross that I took your toy away! Throwing toys means toys go away, toy will come back when you have been calm for 2 minutes” (one minute per year of age as a guideline). If necessary, you could put a timeout here, but only if it actually works on him (which maybe won’t be the case). It’s really important that you not lose your temper at this stage, and are prepared to ignore a tantrum about the toy. It’s important that he gets a completely fresh start at this stage in terms of your attitude towards him, but if he throws something else, then you say “no throwing toys! Toy is going away till tomorrow now”
I’ve found these strategies really helpful, but you do need to stick to them for some time. Good luck!
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