loving discipline

Helping the Emotional Little Boy Find His Voice, and His Listening Ears

May 5, 2013

If your almost 3 year old is anything like mine, he’s emotional. He’s adamant. He’s sweet. He’s unexpectedly helpful. He’s obsessed with his little 1 year old sister. He’s a terrible listener. He’s a great listener. It’s a whirlwind of ying, yang, up, down. Every day I feel like I’m navigating the rain forrest of his emotions with no compass, no map, and very few provisions. That’s probably why sometimes SweetPea and I take shelter in her room while he’s raging in his. I’ve written about tantrums before {Three Key Steps to Taming Your Tantruming Toddler}, {Two and a Half Year Old Terror, That’s My Kid}, {Big Boy Battles, Loving Discipline for Your Preschooler}, {Parenting 101: Don’t Borrow Trouble or Ask Leading Questions}, and a whole section on Toddler Behavior. BUT I’ve learned a few ways that–at least for now–can assuage his terrorizing heart while still being a firm boundary for him. Without spanking. Without losing my temper and fiercely wanting to make.him.do.it.now.and.listen!!!! I’ve identified three phases of emotional meltdown: a) the whine, b) the defiance, and c) the all-out freakout. 1) The whine. When I ask him to do something, if he doesn’t listen right away, there’s an immediate consequence. “Please stop pushing your sister down” or “Please do not swing the bat near your sister’s head.” Generally, whining for him is related to me asking him to stop a behavior he knows he shouldn’t do. It’s not requesting an affirmative action on his part, more like an omission…

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