View Full Version : I dont know what to do anymore
10-30-2011, 06:21 PM
I have a 2 yr old who hits, throws, kicks, etc all the time and to everyone or anything.
I am a single mom with no help from family or friends so its just me and her.
She thinks its funny to chase and hit or kick the dog who is like 13 lbs, even after i continue
to tell her its not okay. I've tried time outs, spanking, getting on her "level" and speaking
calmly to her, taking away toys...etc. It seems that nothing works. I dont know what to do
anymore. I've been thinking about giving her up for adoption. Maybe someone else can take
care of her better. It makes me want to cry to think about it but I seriously am at a loss.
Any responses would be helpful - even if you think im a dunce.
11-01-2011, 03:33 PM
You might find my response to the following post helpful. http://forums.parenting.com/showthread.php?34845-Drowning-Advice-Welcome&p=114892#post114892
In addition, to address the animal issue specifically (and I had to do this with my 2 yr old) make a conscious effort to be present any time your kid and dog are together. BEFORE your 2 yr old can do anything, remind her how to be nice to the dog - be specific "Remember we pet softly" or "we stay away and play with our toys" or whatever works for your situation. Be sure you are telling her what to do, not what not to do. So you are reminding her of the proper way to behave while she is still being good. Then, praise any good will she shows towards the dog - "You were so soft when you pet him!" "You kept your toys on the floor!" "You walked so slowly towards the dog! He wasn't scared of you at all!" etc. Be very excited about her good behavior. This takes a lot of effort and dilligence, but if you can be on top of it most of the time it will help to change her behavior. Continue to be immidiate in a consequence if she is bad to the dog. For my son putting him in the room, closing the door (with parent still in the room) and letting him know why he's in the room ("You hit the dog") then making him stay for about 2 mintues, then finish with him repeating back "no hit, pet gently). Then if the dog is still around we go back and pet gently with lots of praise. It is better to try to prevent and teach proper behaviors, rather than punish wrong behaviors, but when wrong ones do happen they need to be addressed.
This technique can work for lots of behaviors, tell her the expectation, help her follow through with the correct behavior, if she behaves badly, then have her practice the correct behavior.
Do remember that 2 yr olds are michivious, and are trying to assert their independence. As long as you keep working with her, it will get better - but it will also take time.
Consider taking a parenting class geared towards the toddler and preschool years. You can find them through your doctor, Health and Welfare, various churches, the library, and the school district.
Also, Adoption is probably not the answer - but you probably do need a break from her. See if you have any teen's in the neighborhood, or co-worker kids who can baby-sit once in a while. Just getting out of the house for a couple of hours may help rejuvinate you. If she goes to daycare while you work, consider picking her up an hour later one day a week, and take that hour just for yourself. Giving yourself some me time will help you feel more up to addressing her behaviors.
Do note too, that even those of us who have husbands and other supports, have moments of feeling the same way with our 2 year olds. What helps us, is we do get breaks - so try to find a way to rejuvinate yourself so you can take on the challenge of raising a 2 year old. And know that this is very developmentally appropraite for her to try to assert her independence and discover what she can and cannot do, and can and cannot get away with. Being a parent is hard, and being a single parent has got to be so much harder. I hope these suggestions (and the ones I linked you to) are helpful.
11-02-2011, 05:01 AM
I am going to post again, as I keep thinking about your situation.
Toddlers lack communication skills. They want to express so much more then they are able to say. Helping your daughter increase her language skills might help.
If she is hitting or kicking, and you think you know why. Simply stop her - look her in the eye and tell her "Don't hit, Say Cracker Please" or if she isn't at the 2 word level yet, just ask her to say cracker (or whatever it is that you think is causing the hitting). When she attempts to use her words (again what you expect her to say depends on the level of communication she already has) give her what she wants (if appropriate).
Basically you are trying to replace the "bad" behavior of hitting and kicking, with the "good" behavior of verbally expressing herself. Keep in mind, if a child cannot verbally communicate, they will communicate physically. I suspect some of her hitting and kicking is because she is trying to tell you something. If you know what it is, helping her verbalize it will help.
If it is something she can't have or do - then you can still help her verbalize. Acknowledge what she wants "I know you want more crackers" - acknowledge how she feels "It makes you mad that I said no" - then let her know what she should do with a choice "crackers are all done, we can wash our hands in the kitchen sink or in the bathroom sink. Where do you want to wash your hands?"
This will help her to know that you know what she is trying to communicate and it will often help her calm down. The choices will help her move on from the situation and not keep thinking about it.
Work on her communication during non-stressful times as well. When eating dinner, have her name the food on her plate. If she wants more of something and point - tell her to say "More juice please" - again adjusting the sentance length to her abilites - you can and should encourage longer sentances, but don't expect them to come out longer until she has had a lot of practice. When playing have her ask you for toys (make sure you grab ones you know she wants). For a while you might need to reward any attempt to verbally communicate, then as she gets used to trying to verbalize, increase your expectations to verbalizing with more accurate words. If she is really having trouble with communication, then reward her non-violent physical attempts to communicate (like pointing) while encouraging verbalizing.
Another thought - if you think your daughter is behind in her communication or social interaction skills, you might be able to get therapy help throught the Birth to Three program in your state. It is a free program that will evaluate your child's needs, and if there are significant needs - they will provide needed therapy. Call your doctor or Health and Welfare to find out about this program (it's called something slightly different in every state) Basically it is Special Education for infants and toddlers, but don't let that scare you. If your child needs help, and gets help at an early age, it decreases the likelyhood of her needing it when she is school age. If you are not sure this is something your daughter needs, you can have her evaluated anyway - and if she doesn't need it they can provide you with other resources to help you raise her successfully.
You might find this webpage helpful. http://www.zerotothree.org/
If you have found my thoughts helpful - please feel free to private message me on this forum and I can give you more ideas on specific concerns you might have. Wishing you the best
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