Saturday, October 10, 2009

Peter's mom question

So, Peter is 2 yrs and 4 months... a casual, laid back little boy. Pretty good communicator, likes company, likes to be active, likes rules for the most part, a child that prefers a boundary than not... usually. The last week or so that has changed a little. I now am dealing with a "scream" when he either doesn't want to do something I ask, or if I "guide/refocus" when he isn't listening to me, or even if I help him when he didn't ask for it and therefore doesn't want my involvement. Now, sometimes this is a defiant grunt pseudo under his breath, but not. Sometimes it is a quick blast of "aagh", and sometimes it is a "aagh, aagh, aggh" with wriggling, grabbing, kicking. The level of response is not linked to what happened prior, there is no pattern. Usually a time out is all he needs. He doesn't like to be separated and a time out hurts his feelings. With the growing use of time out lately, they are not hurting his feelings as much. In the past I have had maybe 1-2 days that I can think of where I have used time outs more than 3 times in a day... this past Friday, we had 7 time outs, and 3 sets of toys taken away for the day. Still the scream came. When correcting, I always say " you do not scream at Mummy and Daddy, you do not scream at anyone" and then 75% of the time I say "when you don't want something, say I DONT WANT TO MUMMY, if you dont want my help, say PLEASE DONT HELP ME MUMMY" and so on. Today when I dropped him off at his pre-school (Tue and Thu 9-1) I watched through the closed door to see his day start. The teacher guided him to sit, and I could see he was still getting used to the room and he wasnt ready, she didnt notice, she forced the sit a little, he was almost seated and then he popped up and did a grunt at her and had the face. I was horrified and ran out of the building :) prior, when I dropped him off they said how wonderful he is and "so good" (he has been there one week) and usually he is, but I did say to them that we have this recent behaviour so when it happened today at least they were semi-warned! Now that it is happening not just with me - here is my question... if time out isn't "working" and toys taken away doesn't really affect his right/wrong notion, what do I do at this age? Also, after listening to Dr Laura in the car on the way home and hearing her barrage someone for putting a 3 yr old in day care, I am wondering if the T/Th thing is too much. Last year he was in a PDO for 1 day a week. Do you think I should scale back? Could it be an acting out because he isnt ready for so much? Any wise words, wise one? :) I want to get it right, I want to respect his "no" when appropriate as I explain to him above, I want our vibe back :)

I love the sassy bag and frankly if he was older it would have been enforced :)

---This was my response to her:
Easton also does not like time out--SO--if I have to put him in a "normal" time out--which consists of just sitting where ever whenever--more than once or twice--he has to do the time out in his room on his bed...he HATES this and seems to change the behavior--whatever it is--but not usually until after he really lets me know how much he hates the bed time out...I just usually preface it (above his wailing) with --"we do not scream--we use our words"

SO--I don't know how you use time out--but that is one suggestion--take it to a new level...

Another thing would be to give him a sign or even make a sign--like a picture of a stop to him when he is really frustrated about when he gets really mad that he can show you the stop sign in sign language--and that you will help him--you can act it out--you know pretend like you are Peter and you are really mad and you show you the sign and you give him your full attention--does that make sense? Alot of times it is just that they dont' feel like they are getting their point across and they can't get a whole sentence out when they are frustrated (I know when I am really frustrated...I have to keep my mouth shut! or something ugly might come out... :) )

The stop sign is something I told a friend to do with her son a few years ago and they loved it...he would get really mad and go get the stop sign...he would show it to her--it was not a real sign that could be used as a weapon--but was just on paper and laminated at Kinko's...but he would get it and slap it...she would give him her full attention and put the sign on the table--he would calm down immediately...

I prefer the hand sign because it is quiet and you have it with you all the time...

BUT--you are doing everything right with being consistent and giving him words to use instead of the screaming...which is exactly what I do--but you can't let time out stop working for you--it is the best thing in the world...! :)

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