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2 and a half year old boy
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2 and a half year old boy

I have a very energetic 2 and 1/2 y-o boy.  He is very intelligent and has learned very quickly how to get his way. Unfortunately, his father is not around but my boyfriend and i are trying our best to instill the best manners possible. I actually have 2 questions. The first being : We have finally come up with a way to time him out by setting a little stool in a corner of the living room with a sign that says "i didn't listen, now i have to think about what i did". Although he is young and can't read it we thought it would be a good idea to post that up to show him the importance of his actions. Do you think we should leave the sign up or is it going to confuse him? My other question : how do i time him out in the middle of the night? He tries to come into bed with us and when me or my boyfriend take him back to his bed, he screams bloody murder and i don't know what to do...

Thank you,
Talia
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242606_tn?1243786248
The sign is unnecessary. Relative to the behavior at night, you can time him out just as you would during the day. However, if all he is doing is crying/screaming, just let it subside. You needn't do anything else.
11 Comments
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529075_tn?1213463650
I personally think that sign is a terrible idea. The idea of time out is to give the child a chance to calm down and to think about the situation... Why you would want your child to feel ashamed is beyond me.

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I hope you take that sign down ASAP.
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Avatar_m_tn
I agree with SaaraBear, no sign.  Time out is a calming down time and at your son's age should be for two minutes only.  Also, as long as you are considering taking the sign down, you should send the boy friend packing. Why are you sleeping with a man who is not the father of your child and not married to you in front of the two year old child?  Your son is first and you should never put a man ahead of your son.  Respect yourself and your son will respect you.  During the night little children need their moms to be loving and patient with them.  You do not need to be taking care of a man's needs, you need to be mothering your child. If you continue with this type of behavior, you will have even worse behavior problems with your boy as he gets older and really understands what you are doing. Take care of your child.  He might be scared at night. Laydown on the floor of his bedroom for a few minutes and confort him with soothing words until he goes back to sleep. He will love you for your care.  Do not give him a timeout in the middle of the night. Kids already have enough issues during the night with bad dreams and separation anxiety.  Just be calm and take care of your child.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for the useful comments and opinions. As far as a particular comment made, i believe there was a misunderstanding . My son is a very happy little man.  He lacks of nothing physically or emotionnaly, and i make sure to try and understand and support everything he does and NO ONE comes before my son. But a happy mom makes for a happy child! Why would i keep myself from enjoyig my life as well afraid that my son won't understand that mom also deserves to be happy? Me being in a happy and loving relationship with a wonderful man is nothing to be ashamed of nor to blame for problem behaviors.  A mothers' life doesn't end when her child is born, as long as the child comes first and he has everything he needs, the mother is entitled to fulfill her dreams and goals while parenting the child. Noah has a temper sometimes and i assure you it has nothing to do with me being with someone else than his father. I find your post very disrespectful  to me and to all the mothers out there that have moved on from a bad relationship or a separation. I would not post a comment unless i know the details.

Have a nice evening,
Talia
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Avatar_m_tn
I did not mean to be disrespectful to you.  I was just providing some advice based on my old fashion values.  I have been there with my own child when it comes to getting up in the middle of the night and having her trying to come into my bed.  I am a big user of time out, but I never used time out in the middle of the night. Most kids will sleep through the night unless they are scared or sick or something is wrong. In many countries and even in the US, many kids do sleep with their parents. The reason is that kids need their parents confort at night and not timeouts  Regarding your boyfriend, I am a big fan of Dr. Laura on the radio. I do believe on what she states regarding marriage and bringing a man who is not the father of the child into the child's life. Good luck to you and to your little one.
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529075_tn?1213463650
I can sympathize with the frustration you must be feeling!  It sure can be trying to deal with a screaming child, especially at night when everyone is tired from their day. What my colleagues and I find useful in behavior modification is to describe the problem, give information, offer a choice, and describe what you feel. Children at two years old can not often fully verbalize and communicate to us, in a fashion we like, what is bothering them. Changing the dialogue with your son may help.  ex.

'Noah, it hurts my ears when you scream. I know you are frustrated because you want another cookie/want to stay up later/want to sleep in this bed. It is okay to feel frustrated, but it isn't okay to scream at mommy. When you are done screaming then we can talk. You can sit on this chair until you are ready to talk or you can sit on the floor (point by the chair). It sure makes me feel sad to see you so upset! I'll give you two minutes to calm down, and then i'll be back.'

There are so many useful books out there that i'm sure would help wonders by providing you with great problem solving dialogue. One of my favorites is How To Talk So Kids Can Learn At Home And In School by  Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish. Another is Guiding Young Children A Problem Solving Approach by Eleanor Reynolds. I sure do hope this is helpful to you, your boyfriend and your son.

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Avatar_n_tn
I have a 2.5 yr old boy as well. He wakes up regularly between 3-5 am. He is capable of screaming for hours when he does not get his way. We have been dealing with this for almost a year now. We did follow the 'let him cry himself out' school of thought-this would be after we checked him to make sure his diaper hadn't leaked, he wasn't running a fever, etc. But after a while it started affecting the whole family since everyone had to get up in the morning and it was like trying to sleep through a poltergeist attack-banshee wailing, throwing things against the walls, light flicking on and off etc. for hours or until our alarms went off. For a while we could bring him a sippy cup of milk and that would soothe him. Then we realized that we were reinforcing him-he would wake up to get his milk and to talk to mommy and daddy. So we tapered off on water and then stopped bringing him cups. I would also give in and take him to bed or sleep with him on the couch-particularly if he was sick-so that the rest of the family could sleep. Of course this encouraged him to continue as well. Over the last 4 or 5 months things have slowly improved. We have learned to make sure he gets enough nap time in the day-we were trying to keep him up in the hopes that he would sleep through the night and this just seemed to make things worse, we make sure that he gets some 'quiet time' before bed so that he's not going up over stimulated, and we follow a routine of going up at the same time every eve, reading a particular story, singing a song etc. We also make sure that whatever he is wearing is the right temp for the evening since he kicks off his covers and being cold wakes him up. If he does wake up I follow a routine there as well-change the diaper, read the story, tuck him in, see if he wants his light on or off, and tell him firmly "Night, night. Go to sleep now." to let him know it's over.  Just FYI-This didn't work the first few times-it takes consistency and a whole lot of patience.

Hope this helps.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank goodness you posted, thank you so much! (Thank you also Saara) Everything you described LAR was exactly what i've been living through for the last 2 months!! lol.  It's so hard cause, everytime he wakes up im always trying to be understanding and talk him through why it is important for him to get his sleep, and that mommy need rest too and all that fun stuff. It's just that after a while (especially at 2 am) ya kind of run out of "let me explain it to you sweety" juice!  All my friends said "oh, it's hard and painful to have a child at times" yeah well, i though they ment the labor........once that was over with i guess i thought it would be a breeze, lol.  I'm kidding of course, but i do thank you for giving me a glipse of hope, i appreciate all the useful comments i get.

Thanks,
Talia
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Avatar_n_tn
Raising children can be overwhelming even at the best of times and it doesn't mean you are a bad mom if you are fed up or frustrated. It can seem impossible to manage sometimes if you are in a time of transition in your life or when you are sleep-deprived. Try not to let yourself get too depressed or flipped out-you did the right thing by reaching out for support and I hope there are other moms in your environment that you can talk to for support as well.

One difference in our situation is that we have a gate on our son's room. This can create some problems-he shakes the gate to wake everyone up if crying doesn't work-but I have always had one on his room to keep him from the stairs and to keep him from high places, sharp objects, poisons, etc. while we were sleeping. He is a very busy and inquisitive child and this kind of thing is bad enough when we are awake. This keeps him from walking to the bed and demanding to get in...it also gives us a firm signal-shutting the gate-that it is still night time. I'm guessing that it is too late to do that in your case-but maybe there is something else that you can use as a signal...like  turning on a radio with lullabyes in his room or something.

I should probably also mention that my husband and I have different approaches to the night time issue-he is better able to ignore the behavior and sleep through it so his response is to simply go in and tell him 'night-night, it's still sleep time. I'm going back to bed.' and leave it at that. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I have slowly had to get out of the habit of over-coddling though and have had to come to terms with the fact that sometimes I'm not doing either of us any good by staying in the room. I also have to be careful to take a few minutes and make sure I remind myself that he is only 2 and is just as frustrated as I am before I go in there. At the same time I walk myself mentally through what my game plan is going to be when I go in there. It helps to calm me down from the 'flight or fight' response left over from jumping out of bed because my son screamed in the middle of the night. At 3 in the morning it's easy to make bad choices...but I find this extra time to take a breath and review helps me to go in and get out and be calm and soothing without getting angry or getting over-involved and bringing him to bed.

That said-you mentioned that this has been going on for 2 months-have you figured out if there might be an underlying cause to the behavior if this is new-for instance have you moved his room around, gotten rid of his crib, or changed schools? Physically, is there a bug problem (like mosquitos, we went through that for a month after a birthday party where the doors had basically been left open all day and the mosquitos wound up in his room whining in his ear at night) teething, ear infection, food allergy, strep, or other physical issue that he's too busy to complain about during the day but is bothered by at night? Another thought-has your boyfriend only been around for 2 months and maybe this is a jealousy thing?

Just some thoughts-good luck and hang in there. You are not alone.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well, my boyfriend has been around for 10 months now and i don't think that'S what it is.  BUT, at his daycare there's a new brat, i mean boy :\ that is constantly hitting and bitting the other kids.  The daycare lady works on putting him in time-out when he acts that way but the parents find it funny when he bites or slaps so every monday it has to be redone!! What kind of parents find THAT funny? Anyway, things have been much better over the last few weeks.  My boyfriend started helping me out with the disciplining part and Noah responds very well to him, maybe it whole father figure thing that is reassuring to him.

He has been sleeping throughout the nights now for a few weeks and he's become a very plesant child.  We bond alot, we laugh together, i feel that a connection has been made. Being a single parent (even though my boyfriend helps a bit, he doesn't live with us) is not easy, especially going to school, working and raising Noah, i find myself easily agitated when things aren't right.  I guess beause i have so many things to manage that if i feel that im lacking control in any way, shape or form i panic! lol. But in doing so, i realised that i wasn't giving Noah room to grow as a person. A trick that i have to assure that Noah has everything he needs from my part is i ask myself this question everynight before i go to sleep "How was Noah's day today?" Not from my point of view but from his. It ables me to realise certain things like for example : When i lost my cool cause he was playing with my toothbrush, was my reaction justified or did i push it a bit too far and therefore made him feel bad? Then when i think about it all he was trying to do was to brush his teeth like mommy and not make a mess like i first assumed he was doing.

You get in a rut of " he's doing this on purpose to annoy me" when a lot of the times he's just trying to mimic mommy or daddy, trying to be a big boy.......of course some times it is to bug for attention...lol! As i am writting this, i have others instances popping into my head of when i didn't REALLY get what he was trying to do, which was do like mommy...It's taking every ounce of control that i have inside me not to turn off the computer and go to him and tell him how much i love him....
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Avatar_n_tn
I read what you had to say to talianoah and I must say that some of it was a  bit disturbing. I think that you need to let God judge this woman as far as her having a man in her house that she isn't married to. You say that you agree with Dr. Laura that if her boyfriend isn't the father of her child then he shouldn't be in her house. I have news for you. Her boyfriend shouldn't be living there only because they aren't married. If they decide to wed then is he still not allowed to live there because he isn't as you say the child's father.? Say what you mean and mean what you say.  
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