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amandae21
Can you Gentle Parent a "strong willed" child??
November 11, 2012 at 12:56 AM

Okay, I'm just going to be blunt.

My 2yo DD is a terror. We are having her evaluated for Sensory/developmental/behavioral disorders as well as Autism (PDD-NOS is our worst case scenario). She isn't always awful, but she is at least difficult most of the time. I walk on eggshells for sure.

I have tried the gentle parenting approach with her. She used to be a wonderful little angel, up until she turned 2. I'm patient with her and use a gentle tone. I don't spank and only use time out for when she does something really bad. But I'm sooo beyond sick of this and I'm at my wits end. She is mean to her big sister... hits and yells at her. So many times I tell my oldest to just give my 2yo whatever just to avoid a 30 minute meltdown.

Being gentle (talking to her gently or sturn-but-not-loud), explaining etc.... it just isn't working. Her behavior is getting worse and worse. Her evaluation isn't until January. I may go insane before then.

Is 2.5 too young for a pop on the butt? She understands what time out is, and knows that if she does certain things she will go, but it doesn't stop her from doing it!! A big one is spilling things on purpose... throwing bowls of food, spilling an entire bottled water into the floor etc. She knows she'll go to time out, but still does it.

Can you gentle parent a terror?

Replies

  • Anonymous
    by Anonymous
    November 11, 2012 at 12:58 AM
    Honestly she sounds like a normal 2 year old
  • amandae21
    November 11, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    She's really not. She has meltdowns that last up to two hours. Even three hours on a few occasions. If something throws her off, a lot of times it makes large portions of her day bad. I wouldn't be driving all 3 of my kids an hour away for her psychiatric evaluation if her pediatrician thought she were normal.

    Quoting Anonymous:

    Honestly she sounds like a normal 2 year old


  • lissetteP
    November 11, 2012 at 1:05 AM
    Tough love!! Stop the gentle...
  • kiernansmom08
    November 11, 2012 at 1:07 AM
    Gotcha,I'm sorry. From the info in the OP it didn't sound that bad. I'm a non spanker, I believe it does more harm than good. My brother has ADHD and Asperger's and it was rough helping to raise him with the meltdowns and defiant behavior. When he was this young though, he was undiagnosed so we had no direction with how to handle him. I hope the time to your eval goes by quickly for you and they are able to help you with discipline tactics.

    Quoting amandae21:

    She's really not. She has meltdowns that last up to two hours. Even three hours on a few occasions. If something throws her off, a lot of times it makes large portions of her day bad. I wouldn't be driving all 3 of my kids an hour away for her psychiatric evaluation if her pediatrician thought she were normal.


    Quoting Anonymous:

    Honestly she sounds like a normal 2 year old


  • Anonymous
    by Anonymous
    November 11, 2012 at 1:07 AM
    I wouldn't do it. You don't know the extent of her special needs yet. You could be teaching her violence this way. I know children with autism have a hard time when it comes to learning. You will have to discipline for the same thing much longer than you would a typical child. She may not comprehend spanking as punishment. She may end up hitting as a way of communicating her feelings toward you.
  • amanda_mom89
    November 11, 2012 at 1:11 AM
    My sd acted like that for the longest.

    Now that she's 3.5 she does a lot better. She still has an attitude and bad days but it's nowhere near what she was like a year ago.

    Honestly, her dad tried popping her on the butt. It only made things worse. We were both spanked as kids and never imagined we'd be a non-spanking family. But it works out much better. We do timeouts.

    You think those meltdowns are bad..try a pop on the butt. See how she reacts.

    Best of luck to you!
  • svolkov
    by svolkov
    November 11, 2012 at 1:14 AM
    Yes you can. And regardless of what some moms personal opinion is you do not want to hit a child especially an already violent one. Im a behavior analyst. Get scraps of paper and write the time..of each incident, what happed just prior before snd after each outburst . Do it for at least a week. See if you can see any trends or info from that. Never give in . Always be consistant even if its exhausting. I have seen first hand what happens when caregivers give up and use physical punishment instead of real discipline.
    Also has she been checked over physically? Adnoids ears metabolics etc? What about her diet( get rid of all perservatives and dyes etc) those can really set off kids with any kind of sensory issues. Be firm, use simple words and use consistant discipline. Look into a visual chart for consistency
  • luvem630
    November 11, 2012 at 1:15 AM
    Stop trying to get a diagnosis and start actual parenting.
  • LuckyIrishMom
    November 11, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    My (now 9-year-old) son was an absolute beast at that age.  It was like a constant battle from the time he woke up until he finally went to sleep at night (and bedtime was the most epic battle of them all!).  I tried everything and truly thought I would lose my mind before he grew out of that stage.  Strong-willed is probably the gentlest way you could word the tornado of crazy that was my son.  

    I would like to tell you that it got better quickly.  That by his third birthday he was a completely different boy.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was about 3 1/2.  He was kicked out of every daycare, even Head Start.  Kindergarten was still rough.  He was sent home from school at least once a week.  He was kicked off the bus so often that it wasn't worth putting him on the bus when he was allowed to ride it.  I had visions of my son being in Juvie before he was out of grade school.  It was a waking nightmare.

    There is a silver lining here.  I don't want you to think that my story is all doom-and-gloom.  Halfway through his Kindergarten year, we found a combination of medicine and therapy that turned his behavior around.  He had to work hard to catch up on what his behavior had caused him to fall behind on, but he did it.  He isn't an A-student, but he works hard and makes me so proud!  Today, he is in the 4th grade.  He takes some special ed classes, but only because of his reading difficulties.  He excels at math and science.  He loves history, especially anything to do with the Titanic, and wants to be either a comic book artist/writer, or a filmmaker.  He was recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, which was a bit of a blow to me as a mother, but I'm learning more and more and he is doing fine.

    The point of this long-winded entry (which probably hasn't answered your questions properly....sorry) is that it DOES get better.  They grow out of this, or they get the help they need.  Understand that a diagnosis is still no solution, but it is a place to start.  She is young and doesn't really comprehend the whole cause-and-effect thing yet.  Maybe try completely childproofing her room, and then put a baby gate in the doorway for time-outs or for Mommy-mental-health breaks, LOL!  The biggest thing is, if you need help, ask.  

    On a side-note (if you've made it this far), I've read another of your posts (same picture anyway) regarding your older daughter's sudden fear of noises and, well, everything.  I think your younger daughter's behavior and constant need for attention due to these behaviors, is either causing your older daughter distress or causing her to also negatively attention-seek.  I think if you can get a handle on the younger, the older's issues will resolve themselves.  Much luck to you!

  • Matriarch87
    November 11, 2012 at 1:52 AM
    Gentleness and being strong willed are not related....to defeat a strong will your will must be stronger not more violent or less gentle.

    Seems to me from what you do to avoid her tantrum is to give into her. So while she very well might have whatever disorder im certain you walking on eggshells has not helped in anyway and most likely made it worse.

    Be firm with her, have a strong constitution, mean what u say...if it brings on a 4 hour tantrum so be it. ignore the tantrum, only respond to her when she is calm.

    Dont hit her...it just doesnt make sense.

    This is why non spankers feel spanking is for the lazy. You dont want to win the battle of wills, u want a fast solution.

    Ill be the first to say, giving her a whooping will surely stop her in her tracks...but it will do much more than just that, its an immediate response not a long term solution and it comes with many harmful risks.

    Good luck momma. I hope endless patience for you and total health for your family.

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