So I'm not on here much but I do try to read some of the posts when I can but there are so many websites and blogs I enjoy reading that I find it hard to keep up with them all!lol But I find myself in need and hope that the moms here can give me some wisdom.
My son is just over 20 months old and is now showing me what the 'terrible twos' are all about! Over the last couple of weeks he has started to become defiant and really just trying to assert more control over his routines and what I ask or tell him to do. I know its normal and that it was only a matter of time before he started this but still very difficult to deal with. I am not a very patient person by nature and tent to get frustrated easily, which probably means he is getting his temperment from me and thats just soo cruel!lol Anyway what I need from you all is some advice on how to handle it all and maybe even a book or 2 to read on the subject. I find myself lashing out at him and using physical force when I know theres a better way. While I am not against swatting his behind or hand when the situation seems to call for it; like if the action was dangerous and he had already been told several times 'no'. But I am now finding myself using that as punnishment for things that don't really call for it. For example, his most current behavior that just eats away at me is screaming at the top of his lungs either because he didn't get his way or just for what seems to be the fun of it and he won't stop. If you yell back he ignores you, whispering doesn't seem to do anything, so the only way to get him to stop is a smack and then that just makes him cry which isn't what my goal was. I actually had to take him out of a restaurant for the first time b/c of this. But I'm just at my wits end and as I said I don't like to hit to get my point across and Im afraid that by doing so I am just teaching him to hit as away to solve problems. So my hope is that I can find an effective form of discipline that can be used in almost any situation. And I do know about time-outs and use them when I can but there are just some places where that doesn't work.
Your son is at the same stage as my youngest son who will be 2 in October. He too is in the screaming/tantrum phase lately and it grates on my nerves. I handle it by sending/putting him to/in his bed when we are at home. In the beginning I would tell him that he needed to stay in his bed until he calmed down. Now I just tell him to go to his bed, point towards his room, or often he sends himself. He comes out when he's finished. I usually give him a hug and sit down with him and tell him something like "I know you wanted X. You got mad when you didn't get X. Mommy wants to help you but I can't do that if you are screaming. Next time please just ask for help." This of course depends on what the issue was. If it's over something he wanted and couldn't have I try to explain why he couldn't have it. It has not cut out the screaming, but they are shorter and occurring less often.
I have not found one thing that works in every situation. Each behavior/situation usually is different and my call for a different response. I have found for me that having a clear plan on how to handle each behavior instead how to handle everything. (hitting, screaming, defiance all have their own consequence). I use the If-then chart from Doorposts for this and it really helps my children know what to expect and helps me to stay consistent.
As far as reading I have found Shepherding a Child's Heart to be extremely helpful in understanding the motive (if you will) behind misbehavior and how to address them effectively.
Thanks so much for the support! Its always comforting to know that someone else is going through the same struggles and hearing what helps them cope. That is one of the books on Courtney's list on the website and I have checked with my local library and have reserved it. I think its mostly patients on my part that is needed and to stay calm but sometimes it just seems like I'm gunna explode! But since my post I have taken a step back and thought about how I handle those difficult times and started working on ways that I could have reacted better. I am proud to say that while I'm still a work-in-progress, I have managed to stay my hand and use other means to disipline but I do still tend to yell. It has also helped that my Sunday school also just started a book called 'Lord, give me patience!...and give it to me right now!' by James W Moore and Bob J Moore. So it looks like God knows exactly what instruction I need right now!lol