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Question
Posted by: ME | 2010-01-11

2 YEARS AND 8 MONTHS

Few of the things my child does: He does not listen to anyone, when you discipline him he is spiteful and or he hit us. He terrorise the dog to the point where she shakes (literally shakes) when she hears him. He breaks all his toys. Nothing keeps him occupied for more than 15 minutes. My mother stays with us –  she is on the verge of a nervous breakdown and I am not far behind (I currently uses anti depressants). We can’ t even plan to go to the store  he just gets totally out of hand. Ten percent of the time he is very sweet and loving. He does not have any trouble sleeping. Is this normal for a two year old or does he need help. No discipline techniques seem to work (time out, ignoring his behaviors, spanking –  nothing helps). The one thing that bothers me the most is the fact that he doesn’ t stop to abuse the dog. Is this an under lying problem. I don’ t think he intentionally hurt her. He picks up the dog constantly, pulling her legs, poking her in the eyes. We are constantly on his case about the dog, isn’ t he suppose to know by now he is hurting her??? Please help.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

This is somewhat beyond the usual kid's behaviour, and a visit to a good local child psychologist for an assessment and planning a clear and firm disciplinary regime, is a good idea.
What can happen is that as one grows increasingly panicked by a child's awful behaviours, one may try all sorts of potentially effective interventions, but as none work instantly, we may give up on each one and move on to another, before they have had the chance to be fully effective
As maria suggests, try also to catch him doing something good, even if it's by accident, and praise and reward that, so he can discover that being good may also be rewarding.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-01-12

This is somewhat beyond the usual kid's behaviour, and a visit to a good local child psychologist for an assessment and planning a clear and firm disciplinary regime, is a good idea.
What can happen is that as one grows increasingly panicked by a child's awful behaviours, one may try all sorts of potentially effective interventions, but as none work instantly, we may give up on each one and move on to another, before they have had the chance to be fully effective
As maria suggests, try also to catch him doing something good, even if it's by accident, and praise and reward that, so he can discover that being good may also be rewarding.

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Maria | 2010-01-11

They are impossible at that age, you will have to hang in there and be very consistent with the way in which you handle bad behaviour. Also make him feel good about himself when you catch him doing something good! I suggest you also post on the Parenting peer forum, lots of experienced parents there to give advice.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: ME | 2010-01-11

Thanx, at least now I know mine is not the only one being a terror.... hopefully he will come out of it sooner than later.

Reply to ME
Posted by: Paris | 2010-01-11

Hi there -

I also have an almost 2 year old little girl, and she loves her dog so much that she lies on the poor little thing. The behaviour towards the dog, is it aggresive or lovable. My daughter tries to drag her dog around with her every where, tries to put it in her doll pram, but she never knowingly hurts her dog. She really loves him that much. We have 4 dogs - 2 staffies, 1 sausage dog and 1 fox terrior. She loves them all. But in gentler with the staffie.

On the other hand my daughter is also pushing her bounderies. What you describe sounds like norman 2 year old behaviour. You need to be consistant with discipline. Toddlers are manipulative so try and take some thing away that she loves when she misbehaves. Dont give in to his demands. You must be firm. Your child seems to be taking his frustrations out on the pet, this must NOT be allowed and you must teach your child that animals are to be respected and loved. So when your child does some thing harmful to your pet you need to give his hand a smack and send him to his bedroom. Believe me they will understand you.

At the end of the day you are the mother, and you will know what is normal and what isn' t - at the moment i think my daughter at times has the same personality traits as that little girl in the exorcist.

On the up side - they do come out of it with a little help &  love.

Regards,
Paris.

Reply to Paris

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