How do you tame yours?

Jess McGlynnSeptember 3, 2012
I’m the mummy of a tantruming toddler – get me out of here!!

We all have days like this don’t we?

I’ve seen a few posts just today with a similar tagline so I know I’m not alone!

At the moment I feel like I’m living with Jack Jack from the film The Incredibles.  One minute Meg is all doe-eyed and sweetness…the next minute she’s a raging tantruming madam.

We use timeout as our main method of ‘discipline’ (I dislike that word but you know what I’m getting at)  Meg is given a warning and if she carries on with the behaviour then we take her to our bottom step and ask her to sit there until she calms down.  We don’t have a specified time for her to stay there, it’s just until the point where her screams of temper and indignation become ones of ‘I want to say I’m sorry’

The problem we’re facing is that whereas the mere threat of timeout used to stop Meg in her tracks, now it just doesn’t seem to be having any effect.

We also use stickers on a reward chart for good behaviour although of late we tend to end up entangled in a disagreement because Meg wants to stick them on the French doors rather than on her reward chart.

If you’ve read any of my other posts you’ll know that we’ve faced similar periods before when Meg has become frustrated over things.  We have always tried to encourage Meg to explain why she’s frustrated rather than just kicking off and this is probably effective 60% of the time.  We are then able to talk to her about the problem and either reach a compromise or at least reach a point where Meg understands why mummy and daddy have made the decision we have.

Recently though her worst tantrums, perplexingly, seem to come out of the blue.  We could have had a lovely day up until that point and then one ‘no’ morphs into an end of the world scenario.  I thought that once we were out of the terrible two’s things would start to improve (ok, I can hear some of you laughing at that naive statement!)

Another concern is that Eli has started to copy.  If I say no to him he lowers himself carefully onto his back and starts to make the exact noise that Meg makes.  His heart isn’t really in it as often I’ll just stand him back up say “silly Eli” and off he goes to carry on playing but I don’t want him to think that it’s the normal way to behave.  Of the two children he’s the laid back (if mischievous) one and I’d like it to stay that way!

So, what I really want to know is do you have any tips for when your terrible two’s turn into terrifying threes or am I destined to spend the next year of my life counting down the hours every day until wine o’clock?!?

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