Don’t be fooled by this cute smile- his shirt is almost 100% true. Last week, my son had been on his worst behavior ever! Everyone always said watch out for the “terrible 2’s” I think everyone was mistaken. I think they meant watch out for the “terrible 3’s!!” Now some people might feel differently, but for me, age 2 was not that bad at all. Age 3 has been the worst to date.
I found myself everyday, all day, yelling at him. I would just loose my patience so fast. It was not only frustrating, but exhausting. By the end of the day I would have a massive headache and/or be in such a bad mood.
I knew what I was doing (yelling) wasn’t working, so I needed a new approach. Something other then yelling that would get his attention. I also knew whatever I decided to do needed to be consistent or else it wouldn’t work. So, I decided to stop yelling and try more talking.
What drives me crazy is the meltdowns! These usually happen when he is over tired from not napping that day or going to bed past his bed time. The crying, yelling, screaming, falling to the floor because of something stupid like him wanting to take off his own jacket or pick out his own colour plate for dinner. I would get so frustrated, so usually I would start yelling back, and telling him to smarten up or else he would go to his room. Well, that never seemed to work because he would just do it again a few days later. Now, I pick up him from the floor and in a calm voice I tell him to calm down. I explain to him that this is not how “big boys” act and that next time I will remember that he can take off his jacket himself and pick his own colour plate if he asks me nicely.
Another pet peeve I have is him not listening. I tell him numerous times to do something, and it just goes in one ear and out of the other. He just doesn’t get it. So, instead of yelling over and over again, I count to 3 in a calm voice. I tell him that he isn’t listening to what I am saying and he has to the count of 3. So, now he knows when I get to 3 he needs to do what he is told. This has been working great! Now I have to be honest, it’s not like he does what I say at the start of 1, but by the end of 3 he FINALLY does what I ask.
This talking back phase is horrible. The “no”, “leave me alone”, “don’t tell me” etc. Now, I make it super easy and less stressful. Whenever he talks back and doesn’t use good manners, I remove his toys which he hates and say that isn’t the way we talk and to get his toy back I make him apologies for his actions. It was that simple. I learned myself that I didn’t even need to yell to get his attention. I got his attention in another way, a way that mattered to him.
I know this is just a phase and he will grow out of the meltdowns, not listening and the horrible attitude, but to my surprise, this “talking” approach is actually working. He is listening to me more and understanding what he has done wrong. I think I spent too much time just yelling, other than explaining what he was doing wrong. I think this has been a lesson learned on both our parts.