my son – a brat?

My son is changing. He’s a few days shy of two.  To be honest, I don’t like this change.

Not a single bit.

There has been a constant sound of whining in our house. The phantom whiny cry floats through my head when I am at my desk at work.  That’s when I know it’s bad.

He has been pushing his boundaries and watching how we react. He throws his trucks and looks at me.  He pushes a kid at daycare and looks up to see what we will do.   If the TV is on he won’t look at us when we talk to him and getting him to sit at the table and eat has become painful, at times not worth the hassle. 

The tricky thing is that he’s getting stronger and it’s hard for me to hold him in a time-out spot.  Last night I took toys away as he acted up. It just backfired.  He would reach for the next toy and throw it.  I think I just made him more riled up.

I don’t want a bratty kid. I miss the sweet boy who loved playing with us, not the one giving us demands such as “matman” (his way of saying we need to turn on Batman) or “Choo Choo” (telling us he wants to play train games on the iPad).

I need to find a way to discipline bad behavior even though physically I am not going to be able to compete.  He throws himself on the floor and flops around and I don’t stand a chance.

Any suggestions?

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9 thoughts on “my son – a brat?

  1. Boy do I know how you feel right now. I think it really takes a large mix of strategys. What works is really dependant on the mood and day. I agree with Kristin's booster seat idea for a time-out chair. I'm starting to implenment the 1-2-3 countdown, and I break all the parenting rules by using his crib as his time out place because it contains him and most of the time that he gets a time out its because he is over tired and he falls asleep anyhow. And he knows the difference between a time out and a nap but to reassure him I always say, "You are getting a time out because…" when I put him in there for a time out, and when I put him in there for nap time I say "I love you, sweet dreams, its nap time" and he doesn't seem to get confused at all. Re-direction works great when I am trying to get him to stop doing something that he is not allowed to do or for tantrums. I find it also helps to get down on their level and talk to them eye to eye and simply say, " I understand that you are frustrated but this is not acceptable behavior, or fill in the whatever terms are applicable to the situation. When he makes snotty demands I simply say over and over, "I will listen to you when you ask nicely. Say Please" I hate to tell you, but it seems, in my experiences any way, that with strong-willed, smart kids, it will continue to be challenging, in different capacitys until a few months after they turn 5. In my opinion, 4's are by far the worst. Every kid reacts differently and needs different parenting styles. You will find what works for Oliver and you and it will most likely be different than what works for Shane and Oliver. Trial and Error and Tears. Grayson gets alot of time outs and he is just having to learn the hard way that Mom is the boss no matter how much he looks and me with his defying pout and glare, screams, hits or pulls my hair when he is frustrated. They are learning that they have their own opinions and personality and they LOVE to assert it.

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  2. sigh. On the bright side, I can tell you it will get easier as long as they're dealt with now;) I remember tantrums with Nathan where he'd yell "Mommy, don't hurt me!" as I'm carrying him out the doors kicking and screaming. I cringed as everyone nearby looks at me and wanted to tell them "seriously, I don't even spank my child, but I really want to at the moment;P" Instead we hauled it out the door. With him I had to pull all kinds of things in time-out. There was even a time that we literally took every single toy out of his bedroom because of tantrums and throwing. We told him since he wouldn't listen to us and he couldn't respect his toys they had to be put away. Yes, it was torture just moving it, let alone dealing with him "toyless." It may work in the future though;P With Nyssa I'm finding myself CONSTANTLY redirecting. You want to see throwing? Spend time with her. Even her IEPs always mention her aim. That is my best suggestion as he may "know" Mommy can't pick him up for a time-out. If he's trying to throw something, see if you can get him distracted with the kitty, looking out the window for a truck, "Oliver, want to help me make chocolate milk?," or hopefully your creative mind can find something:) I hope it is a short stage! And I hope you find something that works.

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  3. ugh boy do I just love this change :/….. I would say that maybe what might be good for you is one of those booster chairs you can get for sitting at the table that has a buckle but my guess is that he probably can unbuckle himself.. though most of them have trays though i'm not sure if that will work for you…but make that the time out chair..only thing i got :(.. good luck it's never easy

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  4. Thank you for all the feedback. I loved it. I am going to find a central spot for time-outs and become more consistent on what we enforce. On Facebook someone suggested Love & Logic. I downloaded a bunch of podcasts and so far it's awesome. I think for now the redirect approach is going to be my best method unless it's something super naughty. 🙂

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  5. It is frustrating to say the least. My kids have seen me at my worst and that makes me the most upset. Discipline yourself to handle the situation like a sane mother and you've won half the battle. I often find myself yelling or spanking when I am trying to get the kids to stop yelling and hitting. Hmmm? So I strongly suggest redirect. Then consistency. We do timeouts with the kitchen timer. One minute per year old. They don't really understand them until about two. My go to seems to be calling in Daddy for help. He talks more civilized and can reason with them. Why are kids so bratty for their mothers!!??

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  6. @Rebecca Thanks for the advice! Good question too. Oliver seems to act up in waves for awhile he was worse for dad and lately he has been extra bad for me. He likes to slap me and then look at dad to see what he'll do or when I tell him it's time to get dressed he screams 'no, no, no and runs away." Grrrrrr

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  7. Rach, we have not gotten to this period yet but I do ignore the mini-tantrums and always redirect if she's getting into trouble. I will get back to you in a few months when(/if…I hope) it starts. In the meantime, breathe and this will pass 🙂

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  8. Mine will be two in Nov. and we are right there with you. We do timeouts in his crib because it keeps him contained. But I have to wrestle him in there. Could you just get up and leave the room? We've started doing something similar at bedtime. I announce "brush teeth time" and if he doesn't follow shortly or throws a fit, I just turn the lights off in the family room and kitchen, and wait for him in the fully lit bathroom. If he starts a throwing fit, could you move anything dangerous, tell him "no throw toys" and then walk away leaving him to whine by himself? If he follows you whining, you could just walk around him and completely ignore him until he realizes that naughty behavior does not get your attention. Then, when he's calmed down, you repeat "no throw toys. Say sorry" Ours has quickly learned that sorry must be followed by a hug if he hit someone, and I'm working on getting him to pick up whatever he threw. Good luck! Fun times.

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  9. Brian and Karen -Thanks for the advice! I am learning that mom and dad might have different approaches in our house and it's okay. My husband does the timeouts and hauls him to a special spot. I have been trying the walk away – bad behavior gets zero attention. It's an adventure trying to find what works but I'm hoping my posts can help others, especially other moms with special needs. If you come up with any other good tricks, let me know. I haven't mastered the teeth brushing war yet. He doesn't like me to help and his idea of brushing is chewing on the brush. :)Thanks again!

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