Terrible Twos// Our Switch To Calmer Parenting

10:30 AM Amanda Greathouse 1 Comments

Like any parents of toddlers, we've dealt with our fair share of stubborn moments and temper tantrums. But Greyson's seemed to be so much worse than other kids we'd seen. 

He would get so angry and just throw himself backwards, many times slamming his head into the ground. He would walk around finding things to throw to retaliate when scolded. He would almost instinctively slap us in the face frequently. 

It finally came to the point where we realized that getting upset & loudly scolding him wasn't working & was in fact probably making things worse for him. He has a bit of both of our tempers & would easily escalated his mood when he wouldn't get what he wanted. 

We decided to try out a quieter, less aggressive approach. We figured we didn't really have much to lose since he seemed to be pretty unruly, despite our great efforts to contain the outbursts.
Instead of getting upset or in some cases mad for being hit, we would simply, yet firmly, say "we don't hit" and put him down if we were holding him and/or walk away from him. No more acknowledgement of it. He quickly realized he wasn't going to get the reaction and attention he was used to and he slowly stopped with the hitting. It's rare these days that he swings at either of us and when he does, it's because he's really, really upset about something we did & just doesn't yet know how to express it. But our reaction now is key & we can recognize his signs when his is going to try to hit us so we can intervene & calm him down before the escalation. 
Greyson also has a tendency to throw things when he is mad. He has his favorites, like his toy laptop or oddly enough his scooter, occasionally a book or 2 will make it into the mix. Before, we'd scold him for throwing his things, which would make him more upset & drive him to throw more things. Now, we simply tell him "we don't throw our toys" and put it up. He has basically stopped throwing things & now he understands that we mean it when we tell him he will lose it of he throws it. 
It's not a perfect method & I'm sure many wouldn't agree with us for not punishing him. But through our own trial & error, we discovered that he responds so much better to us when we are calm. He stays reasonable & willing to listen to us. And in turn, he doesn't have the outbursts that he'd been having causing the high tempers in the first place. He understands the consequences & knows he won't get the reaction & attention from us he used to. 
Our house is so much calmer & less stressful since we changed our parenting approach. Greg & I have our own strong will & tempers, and poor Grey has inherited those qualities as well. Our hope is that we can not only keep our own cool & Grey's now, but help to shape his temperament for the rest of his life & understand to think things through & not immediately freak out at the slightest provocations. 

1 comment :

  1. So glad that you found something that works for you guys. The hitting is no joke! My daughter just slapped me across the face last week and man that hurt! Lucikly she hasn't done it again, but boy did that hurt! Oh and Courtney sent me your way :)