Emma is going through another new and delightful stage of the Terrible Twos.

Nobody told me that there would be stages!

We went to a church campout this weekend – we didn’t camp, just visited during the day.  At times it was fun, and at times it was the opposite of fun!  I know that any outing with a two-year-old is going to be a little bit tough, at least part of the time.  Especially an all-day outing.  Missed naps, overstimulation, being tired or hungry, and the weather (in this case it was in the 90’s) can make an otherwise fun trip into a stressful time.

Especially if mommy is pregnant and tired and hungry, too!  ;-)

But Emma is going through this new stage in which the word “NO”, no matter how it is said, is the enemy.  Even if I just try to detour her and she wants to go a different way, there is a meltdown.

I had to walk away from conversations because she wanted to go somewhere else this weekend, and if I tried to stop her, ask her to wait for a moment, or pick her up – she cried or fell down on the ground with a strangled cry of traumatized disappointment. Frustrating!

She even started biting today, and she NEVER does that.  Not hard, not even hard enough to make a mark – but it’s a behavior that needs to be nipped in the bud.

Oh my goodness, my cute little girl… the one who cuddles in my lap and hugs me and wipes my tears away with her blanket when I cry – she bit me! That is so sad.

And there is NOTHING you can do when it happens out in public.  I mean, I tell her no and blah blah blah, but words are not really an effective disciplining tool for a two-year-old.

Emma still isn’t talking in complete sentences although she understands pretty much everything now, is VERY smart, and has a very good vocabulary.  She just doesn’t want or need to talk because mommy can read her mind (meaning I know exactly what she wants when she wants it and usually will comply without thinking).  But up until now I’ve mainly been distracting her from her bad behavior.  I put her in time out when she’s especially naughty or throws a tantrum, but beyond that we haven’t been as consistent as we plan to be from now on.

So feel free to pray for me while I’m dealing with this over the next few weeks… I would really like to be able to take my child out in public and have her sit on my lap for a short time while I’m talking with someone without having to bribe her with candy!

I would love to hear your experiences and what worked for you in dealing with this type of toddler behavior!

All pictures in this post are the property of http://kindredspiritmommy.com.

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6 Responses to Who’s the Mommy Here??? (or “The Terribles Twos Will Do Me In Yet”)

  • My daughter is 12 now but i remember these days. She would bang her head on the floor she would get so mad!! It’s a normal part of development but I’m sure you know that!! She’ll grow out of it .. I just remember coming down to her level and talking calmly and looking her in the eyes .. unless she was fanatical and then I would put her in her room until she was calm. It’s rough .. can’t say I’d want to go back to those years!

    • So true – learning that life doesn’t always go your way is a hard lesson to learn at any age!

      And good advice, that’s exactly what we’re planning on doing with Emma. I put her in her room today when she was having a meltdown over not being able to eat chips for every meal (seriously! lol) and I noticed that when I told her no the second time she asked for it (when she came out of her room) that she didn’t cry or melt down again. She just wanted to hug me. Yay, progress so soon! :) Though I’m sure we’ll be starting all over every day until she gets it.

  • As you know, I don’t have one of my own… but when I worked at the summed camp, I was assigned to the 2 and 3 year olds’ camp group. I found that the manner of handling the tantrums really depended on the kid… We had one kid who would only get louder if we acknowledged him, we found that if we totally ignored him, he’d give up. I also had one who was an absolute nightmare, but I discovered he was incredibly competitive so if I turned something into a competition, he was determined he could “beat me” (He used to run off a lot- especially during changing time- and all I’d have to do is say, “I’ll beat you back to the room” and he’d run as fast as he could to “win the race”).

    Bribes aren’t the best plan though… she might start to associate tantrums with being handed candy, which would reinforce the wrong behavior. If she’s sitting on your lap calmly, give her candy then and tell her how awesome she’s being. If she associates the bribes with the calm behavior, she might try for that more often.

    Best of luck though! I’m glad I’m not there yet! Fortunately, I was able to give my campers back at the end of the day lol
    .-= VaBookworm87´s last blog ..Making An Introduction =-.

  • I feel for you…I am going through the exact same thing with my 2 year old! He has been biting too…just me though so at least it’s not others, but still it’s not good (his bites actually hurt and almost break the skin). Things that I’ve noticed that have worked for him is first of all to really try to praise and reward his good behavior. Instead of saying, “You’ll get a treat if your good” I will just randomly give him a treat or reward when he’s been good and tell him so such as “Thank you for cleaning up without being asked, because of that you get to watch one Kipper”. I also praise him a lot when he is being good. We also have talks before we go places about how he should behave. That really works because he is also really smart and does understand.
    When he does have meltdowns I found that ignoring him works great for us. His big think is attention, so having me walk away from him and ignore him is not fun for him and he usually calms down pretty quick. In public, I have found that others really do understand what you are going through so don’t be embarrassed (or try not to be). I have found just pulling him away from the situation and calmly tell him that he is not being nice and if he can’t be nice we will leave. Sometimes it works and sometimes we have to leave. There are some situations where you can’t leave and you just have to do what you have to do.
    Good luck and I hope you’ll let us know what works for you because I could use some help too!
    .-= Rachel D.´s last blog ..Rubbermaid Spray Mop Giveaway ENDS TONIGHT! =-.

  • I’ve been there (and am STILL there…ugh!). It’s frustrating, especially when it’s in public and you can’t revert back to the routines you use at home.

    I’ve found that on-the-go time outs work pretty well. Let me explain: I view Time Out not as punishment, but as a way for my son to refocus. If we’re at the library and he starts throwing things or being difficult, I remove him from the room, even just for a minute so he can calm down. Then we rejoin the group (after I talk to him about what happened and why he’s in time out). If it happens again, we leave the venue, which can be extremely inconvenient (like when you’re in the store, and I’ve definitely cut a trip very short) and can really suck when you’re doing something that if fun for the family. I think in the long run, it works, even if you’ve had to compromise your enjoyment at a location. We don’t have many behavior problems when we go out now, though at home it’s still more of an issue.

    And if all else fails, keep telling yourself that this too will pass!
    .-= Kathleen´s last blog ..BlogHer10 =-.

  • These phases seem to come in every other number combinations but now you know that 4? is your next “fun” time. For me it’s the 1,3, 5, 7,9,and now apparently 11. How 2 goes is a direct relation to how, the rest of their years work. LOL
    .-= kyooty´s last blog ..What Not To Put in the Dishwaser =-.

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