Thursday, June 26, 2008

Beware of the monsters

Hi all you moms of toddlers out there,
My sweet, almost 2 year old girls have turned into MONSTERS lately. They hit (not only each other, but me and my husband as well - that really pushes my buttons), they bite, they push and shove, and Isabelle has been throwing some royal tantrums lately. Sadly, the nursery leader informed us on Sunday that Eliza bit a classmate. I really don't know how to handle it all. And I don't even know where it is coming from. They can't communicate very well yet (I think their language skills are lagging because of their twinness) and I attribute a lot of their behavior to frustration, but still, where do they learn this from? They don't see mommy and daddy hitting and they don't watch it on TV, so is this instinctual? How have you handled this type of behavior? Ignore it? Time outs? What? I am at a total loss. I put them in time outs, explain to them why I put them in time out, but not five minutes later, they strike again. Seems like the time out is completely ineffective. So, my big question is how do you teach not to hit?


Krystal said...

I'd say keep on with the time-outs, make sure they're completely ostracized from the other, that'll make them feel lonely and realize that time-out is NOT fun. I don't have 2year olds, but my sister has a 7yo, 5yo, 3yo, 1yo and this is what she does (which might not work until they're older, her 3yo doesn't seem to care about the system) she had a cup for each of them, with their names on it, and everytime they do something they're not supposed to (talk back, hit, disobey, lie, etc) they get a rock in their cup. To get the rocks out, they have to do a chore that mom or dad approves. so they can't just say "mom, I did this, can a rock come out?" if at Saturday morning at 10am, they have no rocks, they get 5 minutes of Nintendo time with dad (or something else equally fun, that they don't ever get to do)

hope that helps! good luck!! sounds like you'll need it!

Rob and Marseille said...

I find that when my 3 yr old is acting up, it's because he can tell I'm about to snap. He knows I can't take any more. The times I can remain calm, he listens better. Try saying things in sing-songy voices. When I end up saying something I didn't mean to (if it just slips out-like a punishment I don't mean to follow through with) I kind of laugh and say, "Silly mommy, I meant to say ..." I've never done twins though...good luck!

Diana said...
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Diana said...

I definitely don't have a toddler yet, but I have babysat quite a few. (Of course that isn't as difficult as having one of your own.)

I agree that sticking with time-out is a good thing. It's a punishment that has become routine with your kids, and they'll associate hitting with that punishment.

Alternatively, if you find yourself in a situation where timeout isn't the best option, offer them something that they can hit with the explanation, "You shouldn't hit people, but if you want to hit something, you can hit this drum" This also works with biting, kicking (give them a ball to kick...)
We talked about this in my childcare class, and there's also a cute children's book called"No Biting" that follows this same idea. It's real cute if you want to look into it.