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Does my 2 yr old son act a normal behavior?
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Does my 2 yr old son act a normal behavior?

I have a 2 yr. old son.  He likes to test me.  He does things like talking back to me and I try to disipline him with time out and a spanking if necessary.  Sometimes when I put him in time out he throws a tantrum.  I do give him a spanking when this accures and the tantrum stops but he then begins to cry and scream and I have a very hard time to stop him.  I have taken advice from family that tells me to just let him scream and it is only done because he wants attention.  But the screaming makes me stressed out.  He also does things that he knows not to do.  Why?  He is a good boy all and all but how do I stop him from testing me?  He also ignores me when I tell him to do something...for example to come to me to change his clothes or to get in the chair to eat.  It gets to the point where I am screaming at the top of my lungs until he actualy listens to me.  What can I do to make it less stressful for myself, for my two year old and for his little brother?
  He also has a very short span of attention when I try to teach him his numbers, abc's and colors.  Is this normal in a 2 year old?  I am worried that he gets distracted alot and it may continue when he goes to school.  I would like to prevent this from happening and I would appreciate your response.
   Thank you!
      TM


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242606_tn?1243786248
Dear Ms. Morse,

Two-year-olds are famous for their oppositional behavior. This is not at all unusual. Of course, you need to intervent if he is defying you. Time out after two refusals to follow directions is a sensible plan.

You should avoid the spanking - it is not necessary. Of course he's going to cry and yell if you do that - you don't expect him to do otherwise, do you? It sounds like you need to work on your self control, and not let yourself become so upset and angry when your son is having a normal two-year-old tantrum. Sometimes it's we, the parents, who need to do some changing, instead of expecting the two-year-old to change. You won't help him settle down by being out of control yourself.
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
When my children were two I shared the same frustration as you.  However, I would encourage you not to worry about his attention span at this age.  I'm sure you're eager to teach him abc's and colors, but he has so many years of school ahead that I wouldn't worry about it.  I learned with my four children that it's better to let them learn by their everyday play and exploration when they're this young.  It is through that that they learn.  I can tell you that a short attention span at two years of age is normal.  The way he is now is not a good indicator of how he will be in school.  There's a world of difference between a 2 yr. old and a 5 yr. old and their willingness to learn.  Even then, I've helped out in kindergarten and first grade and I can tell you that not all children are ready to settle down even then.  It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with them, it's just that they're still growing and maturing - and so very young.

As far as him testing you, let me tell you from experience that when you begin to yell, then you've lost the battle already.  At two your son is learning about boundaries, HIS boundaries and successes and failures - such as successfully stacking the blocks, but feeling like a failure if they fall - so you might see an angry child when they fall.  He may be testing you, but that is what all chidren do at one time or another in their life and I think two is the most common age to begin.  What your son is feeling and expressing in his two year old way is his boundaries and independence.  When he sees you frustrated with him I don't think he understands it.  If his screaming gets you to scream then he is getting you to feel the way he does.  As hard as it is, even if you have to take time out, try to talk to him in a calm, but firm manner.  Nothing is MORE frustrating and unrewarding to a child than to not get MOM irate.  The screaming will eventually die down if he sees he's not getting the reaction out of you that he wants.  I would not ignore him, but speak calmly to him and tell him there is a "screaming room" if he feels he must do that.  Then lead him to where it is acceptable for him to scream - the bathroom, his room or wherever.  Tell him, "I know you are angry.  You may not scream at me.  If you want to scream you have to go to the screaming room and you may not come out until you stop screaming."  Simply trying to stop his screaming at this age is a battle in and of itself.  I can tell you from personal experience and from that of others that the "screaming room" has been a blessing when nothing else worked.  Then put him in the designated room.  When he gets quiet for about five minutes go to him and say, "You sound much better to me when you don't scream.  I can't hear you when you scream.  You have a sweet voice and I like to hear that voice - not the screaming one.  Are you through and ready to come out?  I love you."

I just thought I'd give you something to try while you wait to hear from the doctor.

Dee
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Avatar_n_tn
As a mom of 3 boys ages  2, 4, 6. I think I have seen it all so far. My advice is to IGNORE him. Even turn you back to him to let him see you ignore him. Walk outside and sit for a moment. He wont be the worse for it. And you will get some air. I am a widow at 33. I have been in therapy with them to manage behavior. This will work. As far as attention span, relax.  At 2, they are taking in everything and the alphabet will come in good time. My 6 year old is learning Spanish and addition in Kindergarten. It will take a little time, but he will soon realize that he will get more attention from being good. Trust me.  Feel free to email me at ***@**** if you ever want to Vent. I hope I have eased your mind a little.
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Avatar_f_tn
i have a 7 year old son ,when he was 2-4 he was destroing things being sneaky and he stole snacks from the kitchen . we took him to the dr. she said he was normal, but it kept getting worse.he demolished a new set of beds , hid food under his bed and he got up in the night ,was in to everything.he is going to be 8 soon and he was put on ritlin 30 milligrams a day . he is now diagnosed with ADHD,my point is keep taking him to different dr.s find out something
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Avatar_n_tn
Being a parent is one of the most frustrating jobs in the world, but I promise you that one day, it will all be worth it.  I have three children ages 9, 6, 2 (almost 3), and I too, have been where you are now.  A few months ago, I was having a terrible time with my two youngest children, and decided to go to a book store to see if there were any books that could possibly help me save my sanity.  After looking at several books, I happened to glance down and saw a sign written by one of the store employees, regarding a book entitled "How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk".  The sign said that this particular book was a classic and that it really worked.  It seemed like fate that I found this book as it was the last copy available in the store.  Originally I had purchased the book to help me cope with my six year old, but have discovered that it truly works with all my children, even my 2 year old, who acted just as you have described about your child.  This book has been a lifesaver to me and to my children, and the best part is that they don't even know it!!!  I too, would get extrememly frustrated and yell constantly at my children because they would never listen to me.  I have since regained control of my home and we are all much happier.  I hope that you will go out and get yourself a copy of this book and at least give it a try.  I think that you will be amazed at how easy it is.  It's so simple that I still can't believe I never figured it out on my own.  The authors of the book are Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.  Please, please, please get this book!!  It's wonderful and will help you out tremendously!!  But just remember, this book is like a diet....it only works if you stick to it, and again, it's so easy you won't believe it!  Feel free to email me at ***@**** if you would like to talk.  We all need to chat with people who can relate to what we are going through, and believe me...I've been there too!  Sorry this is so long, but I related to you're question very strongly!  Take care.
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