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Challenging Behaviour In 23 Month Old.


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Hi, I'm hoping that someone will be able to give me a bit of help and advice. I have recently started childminding. I currently look after my own child, an 8 month old, a 23 month old and his school pick up brother (4 1/2). The behaviour exhibited by the 23 month old is what I consider to be very challenging. I know that his parents use smacking, which I assume works for them, to an extent, however, I obviously can't do this. I ensure I give him a 20 min or so slot of undivided attention when the younger 2 are in bed for their morning nap. He also has a target card and privilages are withdrawn which casues screaming. I try all I can to prasie positive behaviour, not matter how small. He can be very physical with the younger babies, which is always dealt with, through time out and explanation of why it is not appropriate behaviour, however during time out, he quite literally sits, grins and babbles away to himself as if he is perfectly happy to be sat on his own, so the behaviour then continues. He has an awful habit of running away from the pushchair and would seem not to understand the conseuences of his actions, although I know from other matters that his level of understanding is extremely good. He has screaming tantrums over very small issues, most commonly when he does not want to do something, or wants his dummy. Whilst I do not want to cave into these demands, I also do not want this behaviour to rub off on the younger children.

When he older brother comes home from school, the behaviour continues. However, when they are picked up by their parents, the behaviour is 10 times worse, and I have also observed this level of bad behaviour at their own home where I seems to be acceptable to a point. I think they are seen by their parents are 'rowdy' boys and so the behaviour is deemed understandable. I do not, however, want to accept it in my home.

Evidently, I have not tried everything as the behaviour continues. PLEASE does someone have any tips/ideas to begin to improve this behaviour, or has anyone ever experienced this sort of problem thhmselves?

Thanks.

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It will take a while for him to understand that there are two sets of expectations here. It sounds like you are trying all the right things, but he is just confused because his parents are doing all the wrong things!

 

Please be aware that smacking is now at least partially banned in the law. Personally I'd be trying to persuade his parents to change their approaches. Do you have any child protection concerns here, and if you do, do you know how to proceed?

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Hello cbowers270, and welcome to the forum.

 

You have got your work cut out with this little chap. I think that unless he has an underlying issue which you are unaware of he will eventually realise that expectations are different in your house. Keep rewarding the good and withdrawing attention from the unwelcome behaviour. Try hard to keep rewarding lots of tiny things with verbal praise so he gets a very clear idea of what you expect. Always tell him why you like what he did as well.

 

If behaviour really goes downhill when his parents arrive you need to decide who is in charge at that point, clarify it with his parents and then, if it is you, use praise and time out in the usual way. Expect his parents to back you up at this time. When I had the same issue this worked for me.

 

If he insists on running away from the pushchair ask him to choose between being sensible or wearing a wrist strap. You may not ever need to actually use it.

 

I think the key is to be very consistent. If he has not had consistent boundaries at home he could take a long time to realise that pushing yours has no effect. In the end he will feel happier and more secure but it could be a long journey.

 

I have found over the years that once children know that your boundaries are fair and consistent they find it quite easy to adapt their behaviour to your expectations when they are with you.

 

Good luck.

 

I hope you start getting some results soon.

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I think Upsy Daisy has said it all, brilliantly!

 

You've got a long, hard task ahead of you so make sure you are very clear in establishing your aims and ground rules with the parents and the children.

 

From experience, you're not going to get far if the parents aren't very supportive. :o

 

Good Luck!

 

Nona

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I really feel for you - it's so hard when one child's behaviour is having such an impact on everyone.

I have a few questions though -

Do you feel a target card and withdrawing privileges is an appropriate way of managing behaviour for a 23mth old? Is that something you have initiated or the parents? Time out is obviously not working either so why continue?

I would also think that for under 2's running away from the pushchair - although challenging - is quite normal for that age group. He needs to learn that if he does run you will put him in the pushchair until he learns to respond to your voice saying "stop". I often have issues with this, especially the 'only' children whose parents follow them which ever way they go and as a childminder caring for more than one child, all of whom you need to keep safe, they have to learn that they cannot behave in that way with me. We do lots of practice - little walks to the park without the need to get anywhere quickly (school run) so that we can practice good listening and road safety.

 

As far as tips and ideas I always use "logical consequences" for negative behaviour. This helps children understand the boundaries and develop a sense of fairness eg. If a child hits another child with a toy, the logical consequence is that the toy will be taken away rather than saying "if you do that again you won't get to watch the telly later/have a biscuit etc"

Also try to use short phrases that you repeat and keep more or less the same to ensure consistency - eg. hands are not for hitting, you will hurt so and so or hitting is not allowed and try to encourage the parents to use the same phrases - it's unacceptable for the younger children to be hurt by this child and the parents need to see that regardless of what their boundaries are at home.

I also keep significant incident logs to record unacceptable behaviour which parents sign, and I share my behaviour policy with parents.

 

It sounds like you are doing everything you can to be consistent which will really help

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Whilst I don't have much to add as I think previous comments have covered things, I must agree with dcn that I think what you are describing is not necessarily unacceptable or challenging behaviour. :o

 

Hope you manage to sort something with the parents soon - I think that you do definitely need to sort a consistent approach between you, if there isn't one already.

 

Sue

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I think it sounds like pretty common behaviour for a 2 year old. I think the thing you need to help him to understand is how we can have different behaviour for different places and people. I usually ask the child 'do you do that at home?' and depending on the answer I say 'well you dont do it here either', 'or this isnt home'.

At two he's still very young, they dont call it the terrible two's for nothing, and soon he'll be a troublesome 3!

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Guest woodentop

my little boy is almost 23 months old. he is full of energy, boisterous, loud, sometimes screams at a high pitch louder than any girl could scream, wants his own way, is beginning to fight and hit his big brother when he can't have what he wants but ------- can also be a little angel, loves cuddles and kisses, reading books , having a hug with his big brother , sharing his chocie buttons etc.

it is normal behaviour for a nearly two year old. taking everything in like a big sponge , there are so many emotions to learn and how to respond to things that quite dont go the way they want, getting people to understand how they feel and not realising they can not have their own way every time

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I've had a few more thoughts about this which might be helpful.

 

during time out, he quite literally sits, grins and babbles away to himself as if he is perfectly happy to be sat on his own, so the behaviour then continues.

 

Don't take this to mean that time out isn't working. Time out is a way of removing a child from a situation not a punishment to be endured. If it interrupts the unwanted behaviour and he has a couple of minutes to calm down and then come back for a fresh start it is doing it's job. It's more retraining than deterrent.

 

You can also use distraction when you see that the unwanted behaviour is about to occur. Suddenly spotting a bird in the garden then quickly whisking them on to a new activity can be very effective and works in a similar way.

 

You could also have a think about the language you are using to him. You can make a big difference by telling him what you would like him to do rather than would you would not like. For example

 

"Please hold the pushchair" instead of "Don't run away"

"Be gentle" instead of "Don't hit"

 

Focus on the behaviour you would like to see so that he thinks about that. If you say 'don't run away' he will immediately think about running away because what you have said reminds him of it.

 

You can also help by being very direct. Instead of 'Don't kick' or 'Please keep you feet to yourself and stop wriggling about' try 'Feet down please'. It is not rude it just give a very clear message.

 

I hope you find some of this useful.

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I just wanted to reinforce what dcn said about not saying 'don't run away', I remember on a course once something about using short sentances because children (cannot remember the age range) only hear the last 2 words so 'run away'.

 

I also like the idea of giving children choices so they retain some control of the situation ie 'hold the pushchair or sit in the pushchair, you choose'.

 

Also 'hitting hurts'. There are some good books such as 'hands are not for hitting'.

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Whilst I do not want to cave into these demands, I also do not want this behaviour to rub off on the younger children.

 

Most of what I would have said has been said, I just wanted to mention this though. If the other children see you caving in to his demands as a result of these behaviours then they are far more likely to start copying the behaviour as they will see it gets them their own way. Far better to ignore it and give attention to the other children when he is doing things like that so that they learn that it is not an acceptable way to behave and that it won't get them any of your attention or their own way.

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Thanks everyone for all your great ideas. I've got alot to think about. I really do appreciate all the help! Also, sorry for the late reply - being a new forum member I couldn't actually work out how to see if I'd had any replies. Thanks again!! :o

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