View Full Version : At my wits end

07-21-2011, 03:06 PM
Hello, looking for some tips! I'm running out of ideas and steam! I have a group of toddlers, 1-3.5...4 of them total. The 3.5 year old is good, she listens and helps with clean up, no melt downs etc. The one year old is not really included in this either but the other 2 are both 2.5 years and I'm pretty sure conspiring against me to push my buttons :) hahaha but no, really...it's getting hard. Everything is no, tantrums, hitting, won't clean up, goes back to whatever I have redirected them away from, etc etc typical toddler behavior. I feel like a broken record, don't do that, do this, we don't hit, use gentle hands, clean up time, clean up this, that, we dont throw food on the floor...etc etc!! Baah. Please tell me I'm not alone in this toddler circus!?!? Help me cope through this phase please! I love these kids and thier families and I love my job...I'm just feeling discouraged and drained!

07-21-2011, 03:25 PM
Start by removing half of everything in the room from a toys perspective - means less to clean up. If the we won't clean up continues then limit the stuff even more to one bin/shelf of items at a time. I follow clean up requests with things like snack, lunch, a tv show - things they should want but also if they don't get it done they miss out on the tv while I am finishing up lunch and that annoys them a lot.

If one of the reasons you are asking them to clean up is to do a craft, or circle time or some other more academic type of activity you might want to rethink how and what you are asking them to do. Some kids before age 3 are just not interested in circletime things. At the same time if the behaviour is out of control then it may mean that for awhile you need to play with them instead of leaving them to play so that you are right there limiting the fighting etc. As for the food I think we covered that one in a previous post on here somewhere and it just comes down to consistency of saying no and taking the plate away. One thing for sure is if they food goes on the floor it then goes in the garbage and the child does not get down from their chair until everyone is finished. It is not a way to get excused from the table. Too often in frustration the inclination is to take the food away and take the child down under the idea of removing them from the situation - totally gives the wrong message - I toss I can go. NO you toss you sit and be bored while we eat - slowly.

Some 2 year olds breeze through this phase and you almost miss it and others turn into tasmanian devils - guess you got lucky and got a pair of them. You have my empathy.

07-21-2011, 03:25 PM
Ack!! sounds like they are for sure ganging up on you!
I have one 2.5 yo and she is great. chatty, yes, but not defiant at all. She listens and respects all the rules and other kids.
I wish I could be of more use, but I am thinking maybe it is because they are feeling power in numbers.
have you asked the parenst about this at all? Are they like this at home, or just at daycare? I know its a touchy subject to ask parents aqbout their own childs behaviour, but curious as to where this behaviour comes from.
Good Luck!!

07-21-2011, 03:50 PM
It's happening at home for one of them but the other has older well behaved siblings so moms right on top of the behavior. The one that's like this at home has actually been getting worse and worse progressively. The parents are at a loss, potty training has vaulted because of meltdowns and no interest at all. It's very hard when you have no explanations or suggestions for the parents. I feel somewhat like a failure here!

07-21-2011, 03:51 PM
Playfelt great ideas, I'm going to start taking toys away!

07-21-2011, 04:10 PM
Mostly the behaviour comes from turning 2, lol. Some kids are just like that.

07-22-2011, 03:04 PM
It doesn't sound like any kind of unusual behaviour, necessarily..... not that that means that it's not frustrating for you!! It seems like they are just feeding off of each other, energy-wise. And the more wound up you get, the more they are getting the reactions that they are looking for.
I would give them little to no emotional reaction outside of firmly restating the rules ("NO, we do NOT throw food, hit, make messes on purpose, etc").
I completely agree with all of playfelt's suggestions. If they are not respecting your expectations (as long as you believe that those expectations are reasonable) then you limit what they have access to/ can do. A food thrower doesn't get an entire plate full of food at once, and a mess-maker doesn't have unlimited toys to get into. It may mean you stick pretty close to them for a little while, until this "lovely" phase passes.
Good luck, and stay patient!! :)

07-23-2011, 10:05 AM

Maybe start a sticker chart with stars and if they help clean up they get to put a star beside their name. If they get 5 for the week then they get a certificate at the end of the week for being a BIG helper. Ignore if they don't help and if they cry for not getting a sticker tell them why. Trust me they will want to get what the big 3.5-year-old gets. Ignore if they don't help and don't make a big deal. But make a huge deal if they do. Kids at this age are testing their boundaries big time don't fold or they will win. Remember you’re the boss! LOL Good luck!

http://www.aaacertificates. com/membe...ome_And_Fami ly

07-23-2011, 10:09 AM
P.S My 2.5 year old made a huge mess once on the floor with choc frozen yoghurt, he got up from the table and put it all over the floor and chair while I was
changing the baby. I made him clean it up. He cried the whole time but learned fast I meant busniness. Now we only eat treats of this kind outside! LOL

07-23-2011, 11:09 AM
It sure can feel like you are being ganged up on. I have a 3.5 year old and a 20 month old- it is exhausting!

07-26-2011, 03:38 PM
Today was the worst. I must have asked 10 times to clean up the same mess! I find they like time outs cuz then the older kids clean up the mess instead of them. We had lunch as the reward following clean up, I delayed there eating...they watched everyone eat and just continued playing around the mess not cleaning. I am also using the sticker chart and they didn't get reward stickers. They don't seem bothered!
Ugh!!! I now for sure they are feeding off eachother because when the older 2.5 year old doesn't behave this way when the other one isn't here. Oh my!!!