Monday, April 20, 2009

Advice Please?

We have a problem on our hands. His name is Bennett and he's two. Other than that what's the problem you ask? Well, for the longest time we were encouraging Bennett to throw - usually just balls. This is a great motor skill for him to have and it took a while to develop.

However, we now have a problem because Bennett is throwing everything! He likes to throw his toys and Murphy's toys down the stairs, he throws his soother, he throws his cup on the floor. We tell him not to do it but it's not getting us anywhere. This morning he threw a toy phone and hit Murphy on the head - when we got to daycare he threw his soother about 3 times sending some poor little boy chasing after it before I managed to snatch it and put it in my pocket - and then tonight he threw his spoon and hit Jim in the face.

He's not throwing stuff in anger - I think he's just doing it for something to do and because he can. We just don't know what to do. We've ignored the behaviour, we've left his toys at the bottom of the stairs, we've shaken our finger in his face while sternly telling him that what he's doing is bad. What makes it more complicated is that we're also throwing stuff for Murphy - you know - that common game of fetch that one often engages in with canine companions?

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? Anyone?


Popcorn House said...

Both our boys have had throwing "issues". I think at first you want them to throw so it seems acceptable.....then not so much.

We give a warning first. Sammy no throwing food/spoons/sippy cups you name it. Then Sammy almost always will throw again, because like you said they are TWO. Then in the naughty stool he goes for two minutes. When you are two, two minutes is forever. We often have to put him back on the stool. He says all kinds of mean things when he is there. Like "Mom is mean too...." When the timer goes off he has to give the offended person a hug.

A few months ago we were hitting our sweet big brother a lot. Then when we got out of the naughty stool we would go to say sorry to our brother and hit him again. Those days we were in the naughty stool for LONG stretches.

The naughty stool has worked for us over the years. We still do the same sort of punishment for our big kids too. So if this works for can stick with it for a long time :o)

Good luck!!! But yeah for Bennett throwing so well!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with PH's time-out program. It is appropriate for him to hear 'wrong' and feel shame.

That is, experiencing negative consequences of undesirable behaviors. I think it is futile to try to explain or rationalize with a two-year-old. This is the way it is, consistently - like other aspects of his life.

Required hugs and apologies, not so much. I just don't think those are effective for engendering consideration for others.

Since you asked...
(other) Barbara

Amanda said...

We are right there with you with the throwing. It's driving me batty! Leah will throw everything!!

I'm glad I read Suzanne's post, I think it's time to implement some sort of "naughty chair".

Good luck!!

Barbara said...

Suzanne: Thank you so much for your advice - I was hoping you would help me out!! I'm definitely going to try the naughty stool - do you use a separate stool just for that or do you think it matters? I guess when he gets up you just keep making him sit until the two minutes is up?

By the way thank you for your comments on my post about Bennett talking. As I said the stories about late talkers do make me feel better and knowing that you were one really helps and gives me hope.

Barbara: I agree about the futility of trying to rationalize with a two year old. Although I'll admit I have tried - remember, I'm a desperate woman here!

Amanda: It is so nice to know that I'm not alone in this! The throwing - which was exciting at first is now causing me to lose my mind! Good luck with Leah!

Popcorn House said...

With Joseph-3 (who really almost never goes to the naughty stool anymore-a testiment that it works, cause the kid lived there for months!) we start the timer over if he gets up or talks at all. But you have to work up to that. Right now for Sammy two minutes seems like a crazy long time.....because he was just at one minute 4 weeks ago (because he turned two he now gets 2 minutes), so he is doubling his time. So yes, if he gets up we put him right back in. You have to make sure that you have a semi stern face and don't talk to them. Just put them right back the first time he gets up you could say "No Bennett you threw XXX so now you have to sit on the naughty stool." I think like six years ago a friend recommended the Super Nanny book to me......and we read the whole book, modified some things but it has been invaluable for these toddler years. If you can get a copy grab it!!! Hopefully it is still out there LOL, it has been awhile. Just like everything you have to modify it to work for you and your family.

The "stool" we use is used for helping in the kitchen or some other purposes, but the kids know it is the naughty stool. I should take a picture and blog about our "naughty stool". Before we had the stool we had them stand in the corner facing the wall.

About the speech comment again, I am glad that my story comforted you. I was asking my mom more about this over the weekend and she said I really didn't talk until I was over three, maybe mama and dada that is it. She said it didn't worry her at all.....which is like my mom. She doesn't worry about anything, I worry enough for both of us I guess LOL! I hope you keep giving us updates on how the communicator is going and how Bennett is doing in speech.

Oh and I think it is important to tell the offended person sorry, because we need to teach our kids to be well behaved. Even as an adult I have to say sorry when maybe I don't actually mean it just to smooth over a situation (with my husband LOL). My big girls now have to stand and hug each other after they have an argument. Many times they end up laughing before the hug is for our family it has worked. And all the while giving the other child an opportunity to forgive is equally important in my oppinion! Because as we all know saying sorry is by far the easier of the two things, actually forgiving and moving on can be more challenging.

Let me know if you need anymore help. I am not a pro, but have lots of experience with naughty kids. It gets so much better the hardest part is being consistent during this time, so you don't have an unruley five year to start them young :o)


Bonnie said...

I know nothing about raising children - but I do know that you having to consistently return Bennett to a "naughty stool" will be harder on you and jim than on him. Bottom line - he knows you love him. Lots of love,
Auntie Bonnie

grandma said...

well, we all knew that the time would come when Bennnett would be joining the ranks of the "terrible twos". However, I didn't think that MY grandson would ever go through that stage. Once, again, I have been proven wrong. But it is sooooo hard to punish that cute little guy. Especially when he is smilling as if he hadn't done anything wrong............Those blue eyes make my heart melt. And I really want to believe him!!!
I suppose that I'll have to put him in time out too when he misbehaves. He is 2 years old so I imagine he will have to sit in the naughty chair for 2 minutes. Anyways, I'll probably have him sitting on my lap on the naughty chair, and I'm hoping that Barbara will give the punishment time using HIS age and not MINE.
Lots of love, hugs and kisses

Ellen said...

Wise advice from Suzanne. I have nothing to add, we were really lax about letting Max throw stuff because we were psyched he was using his hands. Once, in a restaurant he threw a roll that almost hit another table, and while I did feel awful Dave and I were like, "GO MAX!!!" and those people probably thought we were the rudest people ever.

That was absolutely no help at all, I know.