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JADOMB SparkPoints: (134,622)
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5/5/12 1:09 P

I have seen way too many of those families that have spoiled their kids rotten while they are young and never taught the kids how to control bad behavior. Then when their kids are finally at the "terrible teens" the parent NOW decides it's time to put the hammer down. LOL Next thing you know, that child is looking down or straight across from the parent saying, "yeh, and what are you going to do about it". The child didn't learn to respect their parent as their mentor. Instead, they just remember all those years that they were allowed to act out with no consequences and have little respect for the person that was suppose to be their parent, not their buddy.

I know some of this has taken this OP years into the future. But that is what one has to remember when working with any child. They are going to grow up and it's up to the parent(and really no one else) to do their best to get them there. It's not a perfect science and sadly, some parents are going to be working with children with special needs. But most of us have regular children that are just acting out and not having some chemical or physical impairment to learning.

Kids will be kids, but parents NEED to be parents. Be patient, loving, caring and just as important, consistently in charge. They need a parent and they need limits. The schools and teachers try to do their best, but I can speak from experience, there is NO way a teacher with 20-40 kids can train up a child with much success. They can only reinforce the training a parent puts forth. If the parent just puts their child behind a TV or in a room full of toys, that child is going to be behind the curve when in school with other kids that have had proactive parents. And that child is going to be the one constantly being sent to the timeout chair away from the other students.

Now I don't want anyone to think that being in charge means a total control freak. As one sees that their child can handle some responsibilities, give them some rope. Even let them fail from time to time and help them learn how to turn failure to success. Just like how this site encourages folks to slowly and steadily increase the things you can do to get healthier, the same goes for the children. Some kids will come along quicker and with more ease than others, but they all can eventually make it through. Side note: be careful not to compare your child to other children. They are all different and learn at different rates and ways. It's up to the parent to take the time to figure this one out. God Bless and Keep the Faith(and instill faith into your children too, they need something to hold onto)

5/5/12 7:45 A


Your statement: "So in order to be PC, they allow their kids to rule the roost and end up really paying for it once those kids get physically bigger and more hard headed. " really hit the nail on the head, and has been THE guiding force in my parenting style.

I'm small-statured. My eldest two children, now adults, and even my 10-yr old are bigger than I am, and my 2 1/2 yr old twins seem likely to outdistance me too. If I had to rely on physical stature and strength to get my children to mind me I wouldn't stand a chance. I figure that the time to get them under control is when they're little enough that I can physically pick them up and move them out of harm's way. Otherwise it would be much more difficult.

JADOMB SparkPoints: (134,622)
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5/4/12 11:33 P

OK, that's what I was hoping you meant. LOL They also have a play area at Fry's electronics. I think that is a great idea for large stores. As far as "spanking", I don't even consider my swats, spanking. To me a swat on the bum is just the exclamation point when the kids are being difficult in accepting a couple verbal commands.

The closest I ever came to what one may call a spanking is with my daughter. I totally understand the different strokes for different folks theory. My son was much easier to train up than my hard headed little princess. I probably needed to give him a swat about 5 times in his life and none after the age of 5. And I never had to give him two at one time, one was enough to get him focused. If he was clear across a playground with a bunch of other little kids and they were doing something he knew wasn't good, he would look towards me and all I had to do was shake my head NO and he made the right choice.

My daughter was my 3 swat child as I called her. I probably had to use swats on her a dozen times in her life and up to maybe 7. A couple of those times she would just fight me not to go into time out and it would take 2-3 swats to get her to understand I meant it. Between 5-7 years old I probably had to swat her once or twice and it really hurt me to do it to someone that old. But whatever it was she did, it warranted it. As far as if she was about to do something wrong when at a playground away from me, IF she thought to look my way and I nodded NO, she would still do it a face the consequence. LOL

You are totally correct about the consistency factor. I will add one more important thing here too. Our rule was, if Dad or Mom said NO and they went to the other parent, the first thing asked was, "what did Dad/Mom say?". Even if the other parent thought it should have been YES, the NO won out. After that though, if we wanted to talk about it for future requests, then we could change it. But this rule totally stopped any of that running to the other parent when one says NO issue. I also encourage my kids to not only ask properly, but if it was something that was out of the ordinary, they had to state their case for why I should say YES. This got them to articulate better and also to think things through. Sometimes it would be good enough logic to convince me to say YES.

As I have noted in other posts, I was very into reading every book or article on raising kids since no one gave me the operators manual and we had no family in the area. We tried many things and found many things did NOT work with our kids. As you noted, your kids reacted differently and that has to be respected of a parent. THEY know their kids best.(that is if they are attentive and active in their lives).

We even tried that 1-2-3 counting thing for a couple weeks. First off, I watched as many of our friends did that with their kids and I already saw it as a joke. The kids used that just to get more time to do bad behavior. They would never stop or pay attention until 3 and even then, since many of our friends did NOT believe in even swatting, many times it just totally went on and on.

So I watched as my wife would constantly count to 3 and our kids started doing the same thing and waiting to get to 3 before they stopped. So one time as I heard my wife counting down to the kids while they were down the hallway and I could tell they were NOT planning to stop until 3, I ended that technique. I got up from my chair and went around the corner and grabbed each one by one arm and gave them a swat. Then I said, "that is the LAST time you will ever hear us count to 3, from now on, if you don't straighten on the first request, you WILL get a swat, that will be your 2 and 3". I never had a problem with them not responding on the first request from that point on. (except a few times by my little angel, LOL) But she takes after her mother in that respect. ;-)

Like I said before, I know many people are confused with swatting and child abuse. So in order to be PC, they allow their kids to rule the roost and end up really paying for it once those kids get physically bigger and more hard headed. Since our kids knew we meant it, even during the "terrible teens", our kids had enough respect for us to still come to us when they were confused or troubled about things. Neither were perfect angels either, but they are now awesome young adults.

5/4/12 8:48 P


In my example, I was thinking of places like the mall near my house where they have a Lego store with a play area. If I'm going into the drug store, I don't mind stopping at the Lego store but I make it clear before we go in that we're not going to buy anything.

I agree with your sentiments. Although I didn't spank my children it wasn't that I had anything against it. It just doesn't work well with any of my kids, whereas other methods do.

The key, whatever approach you take, is consistency. Children need to know that you're serious, that your instruction isn't open to negotiation, and that there will be consequences for poor behaviour (such as leaving immediately, or whatever else is meaningful for them).

JADOMB SparkPoints: (134,622)
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5/4/12 8:12 P

I have just finished up a week of subbing pre-schoolers. I have found all kinds with different behaviors. Whether or not they act this way at home or not, I don't know. Whether or not they were this bad when they were 2 or 3, I don't know. One thing I do know, my kids were NOT allowed to act out like I have seen too many do. My rule was, "I say what I mean and I mean what I say". So when I say "NO", it didn't take but a few times of defying my words for them to find out they don't want to do it again.

I'm sure there are many on this site that are going to pee their pants when they hear that I swatted my misbehaving children on the bums when they would NOT respond to my verbal commands. Yes, I said "swatted", and I don't want to hear any bleeding hearts crying about ABUSE. They are not the same thing. I'll guarantee you though, if my child lost focus and started to head out into the street and I yelled, STOP, they froze. Unlike so many that take off running faster because they know there are no consequences for defying their parent's commands.

The things to remember though is one NEVER swats their child in anger or save it for their spouse to do or as a regular way of getting the point across. It is a last option that is meant to let them know you are not pleased with their actions. It is also, done at the point of the repeated bad behavior and is followed up by a hug and explanation of why they got the swat.

One time when I took my kids into ToysRUS I told them we were going in and out and NOT to touch any of the toys. By the way, Trinity, I'm not sure what store you go to, but most stores do NOT have toys out for kids to play with. I know there are some, but most don't. So when I was in that store for just a little bit, my daughter started to go after the toys and when I told her to stop, she continued. So then when I took her arm to lead her away from the toys, she started throwing fits. So I picked my two kids up and marched them out of the store. I told them, and I did it. The next time I went in that store, they were perfect angels.

Kids need to be taught at a very young age that we are there to teach them and to protect them. It is not protecting them when they can run amok or out of control. So when a person finds their "terrible two" child is now a "terrible three" child, maybe they didn't convince them early enough that bad behavior is not allowed. As a substitute teacher for K-12, I am still running into teenagers and adults that have not learned that bad behavior is not allowed. It needs to be impressed upon them at a young age and demonstrated by example of good behavior by their parents. Keep the faith.

5/4/12 3:14 P

Yup. Three-year-olds can be way more of a handful than two-year-olds. (And some get even more difficult at four.)

Children's are taking in so much new information at those ages. They're just learning about the world and don't yet understand what does and doesn't work for them. It's up to us as parents to observe them and offer guidance, so that they can learn to handle the world around them better.

The toy section might be too stimulating for your 3-yr-old. Or it might be that he doesn't know what the boundaries are. Have you tried explaining the situation before you go in?

For example:
"Rex, we're going into the store to buy toothpaste and shampoo. We're not here to buy toys today. We can go to the toy section to play for 10 minutes, but after that we have to put everything away and go home."

Then, counting down until it's time to leave, you give a 5-minute warning "Rex, we've got 5 more minutes, and then we have to put everything away and go home."

Give a two-minute warning, and then a one-minute warning.

When "Rex" puts away the toys, offer lavish praise. If he struggles, just remind him of your agreement, and stay calm. Once he has put everything away, lavish praise on him. If he has a meltdown, tell him, "I know it's hard to put away all the fun things, but we can come back to play another time."

This works at other children's houses, the library, anywhere that there are toys for the little ones. I've used it with all 5 of my children. The key is to not get embarrassed about your child having a raging tantrum in public. If you can master that, you're well on your way.

PAMELAKAY13 SparkPoints: (4,394)
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5/1/12 11:24 P

I have a two year old that will be three in August and a three year old that will be four in august. They are one year and thirteen days apart. My soon-to-be four-year old used to be the one screaming his head off in the store while the two year old looked at him like he was crazy and now the tables are turned and my two-year old daughter is the one screaming and my son looking at her like she has lost her mind. I get some of the worst looks from people in stores like i have no control over my children, but they are different at home. at home, they dont scream like they do in public. regardless i still love them. emoticon

MKATE88 Posts: 1,174
5/1/12 7:01 A

I've had the same experience. My daughter is 3, and she is such a handful! When she was 2, I had no problems. At least I can hold on to the knowledge that she'll probably outgrow it :)

JENMC14 Posts: 2,786
4/30/12 2:29 P

Someone once said (either to me or I read it somewhere) that they call it the terrible twos, not because of the age, but because it lasts two years. Yeah, that canbe so true. My first hit the terrible twos around 20 months, and they didn't stop until she was about 3.5. My second isn't quite so bad in the willfull department as my first, but she is certifiably insane. And it's just gotten crazier!

MADOPTIMIST SparkPoints: (0)
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4/29/12 10:23 A

My experience mirrors Ebonysol's exactly! Even to the point that my son is also now 23. :)

3 was tough but it does pass. Have patience and remember that you're the adult. Children at that age cannot reason so it's pointless trying to make them understand or "teaching them a lesson" or anything. Your job is to make the choices that keep him in a good frame of mind, very much like Ebonysol's suggestions. Your babies are only small for a short while in the bigger scheme of things and shopping will always be there.

Hang in there and good luck :)

EBONYSOL Posts: 2,384
4/28/12 10:31 P

I use to say that 2 wasn't so terrible, it was 3. My son challenged my limits and today he is a great 23 year old man. What I learnt was that I was expecting my 3 year old to function in my adult world when he was still learning about that world. His preference was a park or play area NOT a store. Toy sections were an instant overstimulation. To make a long story short, we found that playing with Bruce and burning energy was a PRIORITY. After he would go for a nap or relax at a friend's and I would do my shopping. My daughter was different; nice, cute, quiet AND A CLIMBER. Same rules applied with her.

SARAHBOBBY1 SparkPoints: (0)
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4/28/12 9:41 P

My 3 year old is acting just crazy!! Screaming in stores wont let me leave the toy section pshh this is gonna be hard!!

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