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Terrible Twos behaviour? - help!


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We have a 2.5yr old who is really suffering with the terrible twos! Mum said she has been very badly behaved at home too. She has started having a huge tantrum most mornings when she is brought in (she does 3 full days and has done since early last summer but the problems only started just before xmas). She says no to everything we say, pushes and hits other children, snatches from others and just generally has bad tantrums when she can't have her own way. She has also begun refusing to lie down to have her nappy changed. When we try to pick her up she either goes all floppy or fights against us, making it very difficult to carry/move her.

We use 'timeout' but she refuses to sit in timeout and just screams no at us if we threaten it. We have tried not letting her have pudding but this just causes another mega tantrum.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what we can do to improve her behaviour?

Thanks in advance.

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firstly i suspect this is probably just normal behaviour...i am assuming you have no SEND concerns?

Hows her communication?

anyway bearing all that in mind have you tried a first this then that approach to asking her to do things? so if you want her to have a nappy change you would say something like first nappy then painting (or other motivating factor)

You can change her standing up most of the time (all of ours try on the toilet !) if you need to lie her down then make it a game...make it fun and rewarding.

I dont believe in time out for this age but time in works well (where they are given a cuddle and supported with their thinking about what they have done)

flash points need to be carefully managed to help this child manage her feelings. some children do not like being picked up...there are other ways to get them to move around (lots of my sen children do not like physical contact!!)

Of course this stubbornness is a part of her development and she is demonstrating perfectly some of the pse DM's!

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Visual prompts - now and next , try changing standing up , lots of reassurance , positive praise . Ignore tantrums where possible .

Work with mum so there is consistency at home and setting.

Are there any other concerns? Has anything happened , changed that could have added to change in behaviour or is it just ' normal' development - assist this child in managing feelings , refer to first steps handbook

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Ignore the tantrums..................that's about her having control and attention. Ignore it as best you can.

Hitting and pushing other children is more difficult, but if you focus your attention on the child who has been hurt, rather than the 2.5 year old, she will see that she's not getting attention that way either.

Nappy changing: what has worked for us in the past is to ask the child to collect all the things she needs from her bag, so, nappy, wipes etc..and ask her to take them to the changing area for you ( it puts her in control of something)PRAISE her for doing it

We don't use time out, but you could try 'now' and 'then'...................so, 'we are going to do this now.....and then we will (child's choice)

Under NO circumstances should you with hold food ( no pudding?? Really??), this could develop into terrible problems later in life and personally, I think it's cruel...................that's my own opinion though

Focus on the GOOD things she has done when you talk to her, or report back to mum. It can be awfully wearing to be told' tantrums/refusal/hit/pushed/wouldn't/ etc, but it's awfully nice to hear managed/was kind/smiled/helped

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At 2 1/2, is she ready for potty training. It might make her feel like a big girl.

 

Also 3 full days is a lot, she is probably just voicing her opinion on this. A cuddle and a calm down for a tantrum. We only give time out for bigger children that hurt others.

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Sorry but no timeout here either, nor withholding foods.

Unless you are concerned about any other areas of development, I would say this is pretty normal development.

Making changing times fun, try to ignore the unfavourable behaviours if you can, but focus on those desirable moments. I'm sure there are quite a few in her three days if you wrote them all down.

We have used now and then charts, visual boards, letting them go and choose something special from the cupboard to play with as a well done.

It's very easy to slip into oh it's aaaaaa again, remind them it's the behaviour your displeased with not them.:)

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Hi all.. reading thru this is like I wrote it myself....but a little boy....every afternoon...3 hrs.....of throwing,hitting staff and children,'no !!!!',still in nappies and nearly 4,speaks but just repetition.............what on earth is happening to parents......his sister at school,fine....mum never picks up, only ever stepdad.....sent home last week for one afternoon as hitting TOO much.....Health visitor coming,but feel for him......just cannot figure him out to help him.....school September....eek.

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'Consequences' must be, from child's perspective, related to the event to make sense to the child and have some educational value. (I don't believe in punishment, which it would be otherwise.) So to not be able to be part of block building because of knocking over other children's towers is a natural consequence. To not have pudding or outdoor playtime, or to sit on a 'naughty step or mat' is not.

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We have a 2.5yr old who is really suffering with the terrible twos! Mum said she has been very badly behaved at home too. She has started having a huge tantrum most mornings when she is brought in (she does 3 full days and has done since early last summer but the problems only started just before xmas). She says no to everything we say, pushes and hits other children, snatches from others and just generally has bad tantrums when she can't have her own way. She has also begun refusing to lie down to have her nappy changed. When we try to pick her up she either goes all floppy or fights against us, making it very difficult to carry/move her.

We use 'timeout' but she refuses to sit in timeout and just screams no at us if we threaten it. We have tried not letting her have pudding but this just causes another mega tantrum.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what we can do to improve her behaviour?

Thanks in advance.

Has something changed in her life to cause this behaviour to start? I ask because you say it's only started since just before Christmas and if this is unusual for her, some sort of disruption to her usual life routine and the sort could have thrown her for a loop.

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  • 3 weeks later...

tish501, We have a little girl who presented herself at preschool with very similar behaviour, has been diagnosed with an attachment disorder, the fact mom doesnt collect, unless of course there is a reason for that? have read loads about attachment problems and its quite overwhelming how they can impact on littleones...

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tish501, We have a little girl who presented herself at preschool with very similar behaviour, has been diagnosed with an attachment disorder, the fact mom doesnt collect, unless of course there is a reason for that? have read loads about attachment problems and its quite overwhelming how they can impact on littleones...

Thanks BamBam...report from Health visitor due soon...will see how he is this week as I was away last week for Anniversary break.....have a good week, all fellow practitioners x

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I know how frustrating children's behaviour can be but I'm horrified by the time out and withdrawal of food for a little girl who is showing you through her behaviour that she's not coping. I dislike the phrase "terrible twos" because it's really just a typical phase of development, when children are beginning to find out about the world around them and are doing this by exploration - in all areas, including behaviour. I work a lot with children who have SEN and it's a great moment for me when they start pushing boundaries and saying no, it means they've met a milestone.

 

Please don't think I don't empathise with you, I know how exhausting situations like this are but we're the professionals and need to look beyond what this behaviour means to us and address what this behaviour means. If you've got a good relationship with mum, could you try to find out if anything changed before Christmas or if something happened. Are there any safeguarding concerns or the possibility of domestic abuse? We know that throughout the Christmas period, incidences of domestic abuse increase and some of the most distressed children I've worked with have witnessed domestic abuse.

 

From experience I know how difficult it is to see any positive behaviour but it's really important to look for it. As others have suggested, are there any periods when she's content and doing as you've asked? If there are, what's happening at these times? Is there a particular member of staff she relates better to?

 

I'd definitely check out her development (I've attached an ECAT monitoring tool) and maybe check her hearing, just to rule it out. If mum is saying she's got concerns, with permission I'd also involve the Health Visitor.

 

As the iceberg photo I've attached shows, we only see the behaviour, there's so much more going on underneath.

 

post-3619-0-06595100-1423576749_thumb.jpg

child_monitoring_tool-2.pdf

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