Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Terrible 2's

I  have a 2 year old son who can be very sweet but also very bold tantrums spiting at myself partner grandparents when he can't get his own way I sometimes end up screaming at him and this just makes him worse and I feel awful afterwards its a nightmare to bring him shopping what can I do to control these tantrums and his temper??
Help!
Tara
Dear Tara:

First of all STOP giving him any attention when he acts out. It hasn't worked for your so far, right?

Giving him even negative attention will only increase his bad behavior.

Next, when children act out they have forgotten their words. We often don't help children identify enough feeling words. Get some books with pictures faces and feeling words and help him build up a feeling vocabulary. You can do this with words or with sign language. Sign language is often great with boys because they are more physical and the signs give them a healthy physical way of expressing their feelings.

Then, make sure you catch him when he is behaving appropriately and give him eye contact, hugs, praise, etc.....remember reinforcement positive or negative increases the behavior. You choose which behaviors you want more of an when.

Lastly, his behavior will get worse at first. Anytime you do something new they act out worse to get you to go back to what you were doing before. When I say ignore the tantrums I mean it, no eye contact, no talking to him, no acknowledging his presence. Don't let him hurt himself or someone else but do minimize the interaction and the responses to his acting out. BE CONSISTENT, you give in ONE TIME and you are SUNK. You will have to start all over again. Children are very SMART. They spend time observing US. Remember he has more time to figure you out than you do to figure him out.

This will work, you just have to work it!

M Kay Keller