Two-year-old questions

sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
1. What's the best way to deal with tantrums? When he doesn't get his way and throws a fit, is it appropriate to put him in time-out, or is it better to just ignore it? We've had success with counting to 3 and then giving him a time-out when he misbehaves, like climbing on the coffee table, but he barely seems to hear or notice when he's in the midst of a tantrum.

2. Another issue, sometimes he's super cranky and whiny, but he won't tell us what's wrong. We prompt him by asking him to use his words, or ask him if he's hungry, thirsty, etc., but he just responds by whining and crying more. He doesn't talk in long sentences yet, but he certainly knows and can use words and phrases like hungry, want milk, etc. When he gets in those moods, he won't even try to talk. Heck, if he was asking for candy and cartoons, at least I would know what was wrong (see #1 above).

3. Lately he's been a super picky eater. He used be the best eater ever. I don't want to make him special food because I don't want to start down that road, and he needs to eat what the rest of the family is eating. But when he's hungry but refuses food, it contributes to his cranky moods, and I feel like hubby and I are the ones to suffer.

Normal behaviors for a 2-year-old? Any advice?
ehLB.jpg

Comments

  • cymprenicympreni Posts: 9,609Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Very normal 2 year old behavior
    1. What's the best way to deal with tantrums?

    Ignore them. I find time-outs to not be very effective with 2 year olds, but maybe it's just my kids. But the best weapon is to try to prevent the tantrums.
    2. Another issue, sometimes he's super cranky and whiny, but he won't tell us what's wrong. We prompt him by asking him to use his words, or ask him if he's hungry, thirsty, etc., but he just responds by whining and crying more. He doesn't talk in long sentences yet, but he certainly knows and can use words and phrases like hungry, want milk, etc. When he gets in those moods, he won't even try to talk. Heck, if he was asking for candy and cartoons, at least I would know what was wrong (see #1 above).

    My 3 year old still does this sometimes. Same as above, ignore it, but add something along the lines of this isn't how we express ourselves, if you want something you must ask.
    3. Lately he's been a super picky eater. He used be the best eater ever. I don't want to make him special food because I don't want to start down that road, and he needs to eat what the rest of the family is eating. But when he's hungry but refuses food, it contributes to his cranky moods, and I feel like hubby and I are the ones to suffer.

    Don't go down the road of special meals. It's a pain believe me. Tell him to eat what you make or nothing. Kids won't starve themselves to death (unless there are serious psychological issues.)
  • nynaeve77nynaeve77 Posts: 7,135Registered Users Curl Novice
    Sounds pretty normal to me! My daughter does the same stuff and it's beyond frustrating sometimes.

    1. I ignore her tantrums. I put her in her room and tell her she can cry all she wants, but she has to stay in her room until she's done. This tends to get the tantrum over much more quickly, in my experience. She's very social and doesn't like to be out of the loop.

    2. Ugh, this is my pet peeve with my daughter lately. I do what Cympreni does...I tell her that whining isn't nice. Sometimes I mimic the whine back to her, not to mock her, but so she knows the difference between a "nice" voice and a whine and tell her to ask for what she wants nicely.

    3. DD isn't too picky, but sometimes she doesn't want what we want for dinner. I give her a few minutes to change her mind, then let her go from the table if she doesn't want to eat. Later on (within about 30-60 mins), if she's still hungry, I'll offer her some fruit or peanut butter toast and that usually works. I don't ever cook her a whole separate supper, and she's not allowed at all to have a treat (because sometimes that's all she wants!) until she's eaten some "real" food.

    And speaking of toddlers, mine just got into my makeup and looks like a clown...
    "Maybe Lucy's right. Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest."--Linus, A Charlie Brown Christmas


    My fotki: http://public.fotki.com/nynaeve77/
    Password: orphanannie
  • ruralcurlsruralcurls Posts: 2,574Registered Users
    Sounds like our house.

    1. If she can't tell me what is wrong, or doesn't seem to know herself, I ignore it. But sometimes she will tell me and I try to work through it.

    2. This age they get frustrated so easy, it is so hard to figure out what is wrong. Mine loves bananas, so often, while we have no idea what is wrong a banana will calm her down.

    3. They eat what we all eat. If my kids are hungry, they eat.

    If he is hungry, it seems like he would eat. Does he have molars coming in that might make him not want to eat? Or is he just holding out for something good?

    Wouldn't you just love to know what goes on their little brains?? On second thought, maybe not.... icon7.gif

    I don't have much advice, other than it will get better as his communication skills improve. My first daughter didn't have many tantrums, but #2 has enough for all of them. I didn't think she would ever stop, but she is much better.
  • mad scientistmad scientist Posts: 3,530Registered Users
    1. We didn't have a ton of 2 year old tantrums but I redirect and distract. Not in a way that rewards the behaviour, but more in the "snap out of it" way. Sometimes they just get in meltdown mode and can't get out of it on their own.

    2. The things that made DS cranky were (1) being hungry (2) being tired/overstimulated. So I would just assume it was one or the other based on the time of day. I'd say "Snack time!" and swoop him up into the booster and put some crackers in front of him. Usually that made him happy even if it wasn't what he was originally crabby about.

    3. I always have yogurt and bread/roti available and dinner time if he didn't want to eat the meal. He's gotten better with time, but I don't make a big deal about it. As long as he eats something and I don't make him a special meal.
  • inheritedcurlsinheritedcurls Posts: 2,954Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    1) We usually deal with tantrums in different ways depending on what the situation is (no nap that day, not feeling good, or just being a 2 year old).

    2) I'm so sick of whining. I usually ask Chas to ask his question again without whining. If he keeps going I either try to re-direct or tell him he can't have it until he asks the correct way. If he still won't tell me, I just quit asking and let it go. I figure he'll tell me when he's ready.

    3) We go in and out of being picky on our food. If it's something he has had before I don't give in. If it's new, I tell him to eat a few bites and then he can have a pb&j or something else. Usually after he tastes it...he likes it. When every night was a battle (around 1/2 to 2), I learned to alternate bites of banana with dinner. This way he has to eat what's on his plate but he also gets a banana. Not probably the best tactic but it got him to try different foods plus there are times when I want him to eat so he will sleep better. We haven't had a bad food night in awhile. He eats all sorts of things...sometimes he surprises me.
  • ruralcurlsruralcurls Posts: 2,574Registered Users
    I have also found trying to reward positive behavior and trying not to say too much about negative behavior has worked.

    Also, for "hot" issues I found practicing has been helpful. For example, my daughter would wake up screaming at night and take forever to calm down. During the day, I go into her bedroom with her and tell her, "When you wake up at night, no screaming. Just come over to Mommy and Daddy's room." She says, "Okay, but I might cry a little bit." (anything is better than the bloodcurling screams) And we go over it through out the day. That has been very helpful.

    Anytime she does anything without a tantrum, I try to praise that behavior. If I need her to wait a minute before I get her something, and she is okay with that, I say, "Thank you for waiting. I like when you wait nicely for me."

    Sometimes I forget, but I would have to say the tantrums have gotten better....(as she is upstairs screaming as we speak)
  • deedlesdeedles Posts: 2,467Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Sarah,

    We honestly could be talking about Liam in your post cause we are dealing with all of the above..


    Tantrums - for the first time last month I had to take him kicking and screaming out of Walmart (cause he wanted a train).

    I felt so horrible as people were looking at me with mess of a toddler!

    I try so hard not to give in I have to be more firm I don't think he understands time outs just yet..

    Whining - that's my biggest issue so far!! UGH.. yesterday we were in Target and in the cart he wanted a train I told him no not tonight that Mommy was here for something else.. "okay" he said

    30 seconds late - mommy want train.. this went on for almost the entire time!! No tantrum.. but the constant nagging (GOD! I wonder how my Mom put up with me) :)

    Picky Eating - foods he loves one week, he doesn't like the next.. he is not starving but he is on the small side in weight!! I was thinking of getting those milkshakes Pediasure so If he doesn't eat I can give him one of those so he gets his nutrients!
    Liam: 6 years old
    Colin: 3 years old
    Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
    Member Since: August 2000
  • curly_keltiecurly_keltie Posts: 791Registered Users
    sarah42 wrote: »
    1. What's the best way to deal with tantrums? When he doesn't get his way and throws a fit, is it appropriate to put him in time-out, or is it better to just ignore it? We've had success with counting to 3 and then giving him a time-out when he misbehaves, like climbing on the coffee table, but he barely seems to hear or notice when he's in the midst of a tantrum.

    Ignore him. You cannot reason with a 2 year old in the midst of a tantrum
    sarah42 wrote: »
    2. Another issue, sometimes he's super cranky and whiny, but he won't tell us what's wrong. We prompt him by asking him to use his words, or ask him if he's hungry, thirsty, etc., but he just responds by whining and crying more. He doesn't talk in long sentences yet, but he certainly knows and can use words and phrases like hungry, want milk, etc. When he gets in those moods, he won't even try to talk. Heck, if he was asking for candy and cartoons, at least I would know what was wrong (see #1 above).

    He's only 2 and doing what's easy and comes instinctually. Whenever DS acts like this, I get down to his level and tell him to use his words, and I use phrases that might relate to how he's feeling at that moment. For example, if he pushes because he doesn't get his way, I kneel down and say "You can say 'I'm mad' or 'I'm sad'. He doesn't get it yet, but one day he will.
    sarah42 wrote: »
    3. Lately he's been a super picky eater. He used be the best eater ever. I don't want to make him special food because I don't want to start down that road, and he needs to eat what the rest of the family is eating. But when he's hungry but refuses food, it contributes to his cranky moods, and I feel like hubby and I are the ones to suffer.

    Like PPs said, don't make him special food. He won't starve himself. I also don't make a really big deal about what or how much he eats. I will be more verbal in my reactions to what we're eating. i.e. I will put a mouthful in and say 'Yummy' or 'So good' DS likes to copy what I do, and I imagine your DS may like to as well.
    Long, blonde, 3a/mostly b hair.

    78Da.jpg78Dam6.png
  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    Totally normal two year old stuff
    1. Ignore the tantrum. Or say "You are upset and angry because you _____. I'm sorry you can't have that. When you calm down and feel better we can read some books (or whatever)" and then ignore until it passes. At two, they don't pitch a fit on purpose to annoy you, they really do feel that strongly at that moment. So you can't reason with them and punishing for a tantrum just teaches them that their feelings are not OK. I would even offer hugs if I thought it would work. Giving affection is OK, as long as you don't give in and give them what caused the tantrum in the first place.

    2. Think about when you are really really upset. Sometimes you can't verbalize or even understand what is wrong, especially when you are being put on the spot, and you are an adult. Same goes triple for a two-year old who is just learning to communicate verbally. If he is too upset he does not know why, or cannot get it together to verbalize. I did what madscientist did - just make an educated guess based on what was going on and then correct it. Usually hungry or tired were the culprit.

    3. All kids go through pickier phases. Just make sure you serve at least one thing he likes at every meal, along with the other food. Offer the other stuff, but don't make a big deal of it if he chooses not to eat.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    Thank you all for the advice. Mostly it's just helpful to hear that these are normal issues and there isn't something wrong.
    ehLB.jpg
  • deezee02deezee02 Posts: 1,509Registered Users
    very very normal

    1. I do not like time outs for tantrums, b/c many times they are throwing the tantrum because they are having an issue communicating. I walk away/ignore the tantrum and then when he has calmed down he has either forgotton or is able to tell me then.

    2. When we have this issue, I first has him to use his words, if that does not work, I ask him to show me how I can help, if it is a really bad day and even that does not work I say "Mommy cannot help you until you talk" and walk away.

    3. Many times, at this age they want a say in what is going on. I let Steven pick out the side or veggie each night (and let me tell you, we eat noddles and corn a lot) or I will let him choose his plate or spoon.
    58eCm4.png
    SCxkm4.png

    Come swag with me!
  • webjockeywebjockey Posts: 2,786Registered Users
    I'm not hard core about not making alternate meals. I like to cook spicy, and sometimes with complex sauces, but Alexander can't handle it. I'll either make a plain version of dinner for him or something entirely different. For example, we had gumbo yesterday. He had just the white rice and I washed off the shrimps and sausages. Also, sometimes we prefer to eat dinner late (like 9:00) and I know he can't wait until then. So I'll make him a mini dinner earlier and he'll join us at the table when we eat. He seems to enjoy watching us talk, which is fine by me.
    hello.world.
  • irishprincessirishprincess Posts: 40Registered Users
    1. I know it's the popular thing to just ignore tantrums, but I disagree. I think it should be nipped in the bud immediately, that they need to be told that it is unacceptable, we do not behave this way in our family and that they need to learn to control themselves (by that I mean we teach them how to control themselves by giving them alternative behaviors such as taking deep breaths, sitting on the couch for a bit to take a break, etc., not just saying "you need to learn to control yourself, good luck, let me know what you come up with you wise wise 2 year old"). Ignoring or distracting them isn't teaching them anything about how to behave.
    2. For whining, sometimes they may not know what they're doing, so telling them no whining falls on deaf ears. We found with our 2 year-old, we'd have to mimic a whine for her and tell her that's what you're doing, that's what a whine is, take your time and use your words. She didn't get upset when we'd do that, like she was being mocked or something, she just really didn't know what "no whining" meant. She still whines, but it's better and at least we're calmer and can stop her quicker.
    3. Webjockey has a great thought on preparing food. Maybe he just needs plain and you can doctor yours up after his portion's taken out. Another thing we've done, too, is to give them the food that you want them to eat first and set the more desirable food before them, or maybe not before them, but tell them they need to eat food #1 first, and when they're done they can have food #2. And keep the portion of #1 small, so they aren't overwhelmed. Or, depending on what the foods are, mix a small amount of #1 into #2 to kind of get them used to it. I wouldn't let them veer from the family's meal, that's a slippery slope. They need to learn contentment, too. This is what we're having tonight, and yes, you're welcome for making it for you. We make a big deal out of the nutritional aspect of food. Like black beans are power pellets and they're going to make them healthy and stong and after they eat we make a big scene about how much bigger their muscles just got. They're girls, and it works for them, boys probably wouldn't be too hard a sell on that.
    Good luck! It's a trying time.
  • sarah42sarah42 Posts: 4,034Registered Users
    I agree that I want the tantrums to be nipped in the bud, but toddlers' impulse control is so low (my toddler, at least) that I feel it's unfair to punish him if he truly can't control himself. I like the suggestions for teaching coping mechanisms when he gets mad, although it's hard to use that as a "teachable moment" when he's shrieking and can't listen. Time out in our house is, he gets led to his bedroom and stays in there by himself for 2 minutes. He usually has his special blankie with him, which is very comforting to him, and by the end of the 2 minutes he's usually regained his composure.

    Food....it's just frustrating because he's grown up eating and liking whatever we had, even fairly spicy Thai and Indian that we would offer a tiny bite and he'd want more and more. Now lately he's entered this picky phase where he'll barely touch what used to be his favorites. After the main meal, we usually offer applesauce (no sugar added) and/or yogurt, because I feel those are healthy and usually well-received. I guess I'll just have to accept that he'll eat when he gets hungry and we can't force him.

    Thanks again for the suggestions and commiseration. It does make me feel better (in a sad way) that other people's kids do these same things and it's not just us.
    ehLB.jpg
  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    sarah42 wrote: »
    Food....it's just frustrating because he's grown up eating and liking whatever we had, even fairly spicy Thai and Indian that we would offer a tiny bite and he'd want more and more. Now lately he's entered this picky phase where he'll barely touch what used to be his favorites. After the main meal, we usually offer applesauce (no sugar added) and/or yogurt, because I feel those are healthy and usually well-received. I guess I'll just have to accept that he'll eat when he gets hungry and we can't force him.

    I really think all this happens to all kids at a certain age. The trick is not to say "Oh he is a picky eater, he will only eat A, B and C" and then cater to him and only serve him A, B and C from now on, or give him multiple special foods at one meal and really cater to the pickiness. Like some kids say "I don't like dinner" and then mom says "well can I fix you a hot dog" and the kid says sure, then when that is done he doens't want the hot dog, he wants a grilled cheese sandwich, but then he doesn't eat that either, and so on and so on. Because that way you will end up with a picky eater, and one who holds food over you. As long as you keep serving different things and not make a big deal out of it, it will be aphase he will outgrow eventually.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • curly_keltiecurly_keltie Posts: 791Registered Users
    sarah42 wrote: »
    After the main meal, we usually offer applesauce (no sugar added) and/or yogurt, because I feel those are healthy and usually well-received.

    Excuse me - but do you live in my house too? :laughing6: I offer DS those EXACT options after dinner regardless of how much he as eaten.
    Long, blonde, 3a/mostly b hair.

    78Da.jpg78Dam6.png
  • fuzzbucketfuzzbucket Posts: 996Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    sarah42 wrote: »
    After the main meal, we usually offer applesauce (no sugar added) and/or yogurt, because I feel those are healthy and usually well-received.

    Excuse me - but do you live in my house too? :laughing6: I offer DS those EXACT options after dinner regardless of how much he as eaten.

    :occasion5: We do those options as a pre-bedtime snack. Sometimes dinner is just a fussy time of day and he'll pick at his food. After a bath, jammies and playtime, he's ready for a little something more before settling down.
    Hair type: 3A/B
    I lurk, therefore, I am.
    My Blog
  • curlygirlymecurlygirlyme Posts: 1,340Registered Users
    Ok I have a question. My daughter is doing all of these things, but when she throws her fit she shrieks. I don't mean crying. I mean painful, lose your hearing, people are freaked out by it shrieks. Her nickname is Banshee. We've talked about recording her and selling it to the government so they can torture people with it. How can we make this stop? We've tried ignoring her, sending her to time out, spraying her in the face with a little water (I know it sounds odd but it did work for a little while), and spanking her when she will not stop, but to no avail. I have no idea what to do. She does this anywhere, anytime when she throws a fit.
  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    Ok I have a question. My daughter is doing all of these things, but when she throws her fit she shrieks. I don't mean crying. I mean painful, lose your hearing, people are freaked out by it shrieks. Her nickname is Banshee. We've talked about recording her and selling it to the government so they can torture people with it. How can we make this stop? We've tried ignoring her, sending her to time out, spraying her in the face with a little water (I know it sounds odd but it did work for a little while), and spanking her when she will not stop, but to no avail. I have no idea what to do. She does this anywhere, anytime when she throws a fit.

    I think whatever you do will take some time to actually work, just like anything to do with toddler tantrums. So you will have to be consistent and patient. I would probably look her in the eye and say "I know you are upset, but your screaming is hurting my ears. I will talk to you when you stop and calm down" and then proceed to ignore her and leave the room. If you are out and about, then take her to the car, put her in her seat, say the same thing and then wait outside the then take her to her car seat or somewhere else out of the way, say the same thing and then ignore as best you can till she calms down. You may have to do this consistently MANY times before it works.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • curlygirlymecurlygirlyme Posts: 1,340Registered Users
    geeky wrote: »
    Ok I have a question. My daughter is doing all of these things, but when she throws her fit she shrieks. I don't mean crying. I mean painful, lose your hearing, people are freaked out by it shrieks. Her nickname is Banshee. We've talked about recording her and selling it to the government so they can torture people with it. How can we make this stop? We've tried ignoring her, sending her to time out, spraying her in the face with a little water (I know it sounds odd but it did work for a little while), and spanking her when she will not stop, but to no avail. I have no idea what to do. She does this anywhere, anytime when she throws a fit.

    I think whatever you do will take some time to actually work, just like anything to do with toddler tantrums. So you will have to be consistent and patient. I would probably look her in the eye and say "I know you are upset, but your screaming is hurting my ears. I will talk to you when you stop and calm down" and then proceed to ignore her and leave the room. If you are out and about, then take her to the car, put her in her seat, say the same thing and then wait outside the then take her to her car seat or somewhere else out of the way, say the same thing and then ignore as best you can till she calms down. You may have to do this consistently MANY times before it works.

    Thanks geeky... I'm going to try that. I like the sound of it, because she doesn't like being ignored.
  • geekygeeky Posts: 4,995Registered Users
    Oops, that was a badly edited mishmash sentence.
    I meant to say: If you are out and about, then take her to her car seat or somewhere else out of the way, say the same thing and then ignore as best you can till she calms down.
    To Trenell, MizKerri and geeky:
    I pray none of you ever has to live in a communist state.

    Geeky is my hero. She's the true badass. The badass who doesn't even need to be a badass. There aren't enough O's in cool to describe her.
  • curlygirlymecurlygirlyme Posts: 1,340Registered Users
    geeky wrote: »
    Oops, that was a badly edited mishmash sentence.
    I meant to say: If you are out and about, then take her to her car seat or somewhere else out of the way, say the same thing and then ignore as best you can till she calms down.

    I understood what you meant and I like that idea as well. Her older brother doesn't like her screaming either. He gets as far away from her as possible and puts his hands over his ears. I think he'd like it if we could lessen the noise.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file