Parenting--Toddlers/Infants/Pre-Schoolers/Animal-istic toddler

Advertisement


Question
We recently moved 2 hours away and every since then my 2 year old has been, well, demonic.. We had him on a good schedule, breakfast at this time, play time, learning time, nap, etc. And we tried keeping it going once we moved but it seems like the second we got to the new house he was a different child.

He has always been very active ( hyper in a sense) and very strong and large. He is 2 years old, just under 38" tall and weighs 54lbs. And he is pretty much a block of muscle, he will try and carry whatever he can and his favorite thing to do is to carry my 25lb medicine ball around, even though he knows it is a no no.

But he is just acting out so badly, I will call him and I get ignored, I have to go over and turn him to look at me so he will listen and when I do he will flop to the floor and have a fit.

We do time outs with him, worked amazing before, now he could careless about sitting. He will get right back up and get into trouble. He hits, throws stuff, tries to bite.. it is out of hand and we NEVER let up on his behavior and give in. If he hits, the item is taken away from him and he gets put in time out and in a simple sentence he is told why he is there.

He is an only child and stays home with me and we do things together ALL day long.. it is exhausting and people tell me maybe he wants attention, but that is all he gets.

He goes and goes all day long, never gets tired. But the acting out and hyper activity is causing issues for us. He is hurting himself all the time because he will do a cannon ball straight on a tile floor or throw himself around and get a black eye or a knot on his head.

I need to finish my last few semesters of school but I cant put him in a daycare like this and we just dont know what to do with him. Every Dr has said to just make it easier for us and put him on medication but I dont want him to be one of those children that turns into a walking zombie because of it.

Can you maybe give us some advice on how to keep him from being so hyper and how to stop the aggressive behavior?

Answer
Hi Amber,

I don't know why you think his behaviour is a reason not to send him to daycare?  Daycare would give you some timeout from him and give him some other children that he could learn from.  If it is financially possible to send him to daycare, I think it is a good place to start.  
Does he get to mix with children at playdates or are you part of a mothers group?  
He is only 2 years old and way too young to be diagnosed with hyperactivity disorders or for medication to be considered.  He is slowly coming out of his shell, so to speak, and this sounds like normal 2-3 year old behaviour. Expect this behaviour to continue for about a year or so as he continues to test the boundaries and so long as you keep the discipline consistent he will learn.  

I think the house move could have had a small part in this and this will just take some time to adjust to his new surroundings. Also the timeout place he had before doesn't look like what he has now.  Sometimes timeouts stop working especially as children get older so you could also try timeout in his room (this may work as he gets to 4 years old) or I just used to tell my child to sit on his hands if he wanted to hurt himself or throw things.
I know you are concerned about him hurting himself during a tantrum, however many children do this sort of tantrum, you could try to ignore the tantrum (tell him you will speak to him when he is calm and walk away) it is hard to do but it does work over time, if you don't want to walk away then sit on the floor next to him and turn your back to him and see how/if he responds. Just keep repeating, "when you are calm, I will talk to you". when he does calm down then offer him a cuddle and acknowledge how he must have felt or what happened that led to the tantrum.  Then move onto the next thing.
If you want to tell him something that you think will set him off on a tantrum hold his wrists or make him sit next to you when you tell him to prevent him from throwing himself backwards.
The aggression could also be linked to testosterone, boys have bursts every few years. Also, at this age children can experience a lot of frustration and many don't have the verbal skills to explain their emotions so tantrums will lessen as he develops more language.

There is also distraction, maybe if he is doing something you disapprove of then try to turn his attention to something else, make it a game if you have to "ah, look what I have" cup your hands and peek inside them and see if he will come over.  You might want to have a favourite activity that you keep just for these moments where you can entice his interest.

I hope this helps, please follow up if you need further clarification. Kind regards, Eleanor.  

Parenting--Toddlers/Infants/Pre-Schoolers

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Eleanor Formaggio

Expertise

I can answer questions where practical advice is sought in relation to behaviour issues of 2-10 year olds. I specifically look at the influence of personality in a child's behaviour and tailor advice to suit the individual child and parent. This is useful since not all children are the same. I can suggest techniques for tantrums, child aggression and sibling rivalry and adapting to change.

Experience

I am a counsellor and child behaviour consultant based in Sydney, Australia and mum to three boys ages 12,10 and 6. I have been involved in setting up and facilitating community support groups for new mothers and run parenting workshops so parents can better understand their children's behaviour. I have spent alot of time observing personality differences in children and understanding how these differences can be used to make parenting easier. I developed the Early Childhood Personality Rating Scale for identifying child personality types in children as young as two. I am the founder of Parent with Potential and developed the Prechooler Personality Kit and READ personality system for primary aged children. More info can be found at www.thechildrenscounsellor.com.au

Publications
Book: In this Present Moment: Quality Time Ideas for busy parents.

Education/Credentials
I have a Bachelors Degree in Applied Social Science (Counselling).

Past/Present Clients
Parents of 2-8 year olds. Mothers with Postnatal Depression or anxiety attending a support group or seeking individual counselling or advice in relation to their child's behaviour.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.