20 May 2007

a foot stompin' good time (not).

i know i've been complainy lately, but man toddlers can be tough. forget terrible 2s. i think i'm having terrible 3s. he's on the cusp of 3 and getting. . .willful. more and more by the day.

the latest treat is foot stomping. when he doesn't like something i say, he stomps his foot at me. sometimes it's accompanied by "no!" sometimes he just stomps around.

hubby and i have talked a lot about discipline and consequences. we've landed on "time-outs" as the way to address his behavior. if he stomps at mommy or daddy or is otherwise out of line it's a time-out--which means parking it on the floor or couch or stairs (depending on where we are) with no toys or books or anything and staying there until he calms down and we tell him he can come out. usually he whines and sometimes SCREAMS "NO, mommy!" (interestingly, he only does this to me, he won't yell like that at daddy). then he'll say, "i'm ready to be a nice boy now." but we don't let him out of the time out until he's chilled out and stopped crying/whining. then we go over to him and "talk about what happened." we process it and talk about why he got a time out. and he has to apologize for stomping or whatever he did to get the time out.

i'm not sure how affective we are being with this method, but so far it's what we've come up with. if i can control my own emotions the time out allows me to give him consequences without blowing up. when he acts out i can simply say, "okay, that's a time out." instead of getting angry and letting it get to me. but sometimes it's RILLY RILLY hard to be calm. i find myself yelling, too. so, does that mean i need a time out. cause i'll gladly take one.

what are your methods for coping with a toddler's outbursts or impatience? what's worked for you? if you got the wisdom, pass it on!


Lene said...

Oh how I wish I had advice! Our three year old is a handful. Keeping my emotions in check is so hard. I am interested to see if others have some good advice.

Allie said...

Sorry. No help from me as of late especially, I find myself getting very frustrated at the emotional outbursts from my son and have even caught myself yelling right back at my son. Those are the days that I feel like I am failing as a mom.

People always just tell you that it is a faze but sometimes it doesn't feel that way.

LeeLee Be said...

I'm so with you... turns out three is way more challenging than two! The will develops more strongly and the language goes right along with it. Four is better, so hang in there. One thing I have done with my two (4 and 2) is to give myself a time out in front of them when their whining makes me want to scream. When I feel the frustration level rise and my ability to find the calm voice falls away, I say, "Mommy is taking a time out for two minutes. Please don't talk to me until I'm done." I turn away from them, take a few deep breaths (hopefully find a way to not be angry/frustrated/miserable) and then turn back when I am ready to reengage. If nothing else, I feel better about this than yelling.