17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Naughty Naughty

Ever heard of The Secret?

I have only read a little bit of the book, since I am completely focused on the Harry Potter Challenge...which by the way I will probably never blog about again, b/c it's too hard to blog and re-read ALL the books before the new one comes out.

Anyway, I will probably finish reading The Secret when it's all over. I have watched a lot of Oprah about it though.

So briefly, The Secret is the law of attraction...what you put out in the universe will come back to you tenfold etc. So if you put negativity out....that's what you get back...positivity out...that's what you get back etc.

I feel like I have actually lived by this secret for much of my life, just never called it THE SECRET or the LAW OF ATTRACTION. It is nice to revisit it though and really focus on positivity. I am especially doing this with my career.

Ok, so here's my issue.

I have a two year old.
She is naughty. As my mom put it the other day: SHE IS ALWAYS IN TROUBLE.

This is all true....and I find myself saying in my mind: what a naughty naughty little girl...she is always in trouble.

The laws of attraction would say that I am perpetuating the naughty cycle...but I am having a very difficult time changing my thoughts about her.

Another phrase comes to mind: TERRIBLE TWOS. She is one of them.

She is also hilarious and smart and curious, which is why she is naughty....and I try to flip my thoughts and focus on that, but it is really difficult when she is throwing apples at Panera Bread, Teddy Grahams in Sacrament Meetings, ripping chunks of pages out of my beautiful coffee table book about Composers (which is NOT on a coffee table, but put away on a bookshelf so that little hands don't rip it), tantrumming about anything, but in particular being strapped in the grocery cart, which causes a woman in the produce aisle to pantomime a hugging motion and telling me she needs "JUST A LITTLE HUG" (are you kidding me?), runs AWAY from me on busy city streets, and poops all over the shower, after pooping a lot in the toilet right before...there was more? what?

She disobeys all the time, and I have recently resorted to giving her a little pinch on the arm after counting down from 5, to let her know that not coming when she is told, and after the count down, will result in some discomfort. It STILL does not stop her.

I am starting to believe that no amount of positive THOUGHT/ACTION about her will help. Dr. Phil's book FAMILY FIRST is the only one on discipline I have read...anyone have a suggestion? PLEASE.


  • Three thoughts:

    (1) Interesting article about The Secret:


    (2) I've liked the Positive Discipline books.

    (3) There are some parts of the 2 year old that you can't fix, no matter what, you just have to keep responding firmly, patiently, and consistently until they turn three. A misbehaving 2yo isn't necessarily a problem to be solved.
    posted by Blogger Julie M. Smith at 6/05/2007 01:24:00 PM  

  • Kage, I have one like yours. She is my second daughter and from the first moment she barfed all over me when she was just a few days old until literally January 1, 2007 at 3.5 years old, I thought I would not survive her childhood. There were periods where I just didn't even like her. I thought the same things as you - I think she's difficult, so she's going to keep being difficult. I tried describing her with words like "spunky" and "spicy" instead of "crazy" "evil" "wild" "exhausting" which were closer to how I felt. I know I didn't help. Her personality was difficult, but my responses were not as helpful as they could have been. I felt like I had been worn down by her behavior. I didn't have nearly the kind of patience with her as I had with my other kids. And I felt guilt because her brother was born 10 months after her and I'm sure that didn't help her adjusting to the world AT ALL. And it was so horrible. I felt like the worst Mom (and still feel so awful that we had such a challenging first 3.5 years). We tried so many "new ideas" and responding to her in this way or that way until we found what worked. And things that we did helped a little, but the big change came when she was ready, or old enough or something. David and I joke that she made a New Year's resolution to "catch on" and she's been a rockstar ever since. She is still definitely my most difficult child (intense, stubborn, strong STRONG willed, takes everything to the extreme, pushes my buttons, drama queen extrodinaire etc. when she wants to be) but NOW she's relaxed and happy and playful most of the day. We have always said "It's all about L" meaning if she's having a good day, we all are.

    So none of that was helpful in any way probably, except that maybe you can look forward to only another year and a half or so of the really intense stuff? Good luck!
    posted by Blogger rebecca at 6/05/2007 02:07:00 PM  

  • I would try changing your language about her behavior as well. Stop saying she is naughty, in the terrible 2s, trouble. You can describe her challenging behaviors with more positive language. She's being just how lots and lots of 2-year-olds are and will grow out of it. Little kids learn things through repetition. They need to be corrected with physical removal and/or redirection a lot. I've heard it called "get off your butt parenting."

    As far as busy streets and running away, I would be really hardcore about always holding her hand and admonishing her in a serious tone about safety every time you're near a street or parking lot.

    One book I like is Kids, Parents and Power Struggles by Kurcinka.
    posted by Blogger Vicki at 6/05/2007 02:15:00 PM  

  • Kage-
    I don't have much good advice for ya, but I will say my sister has a "runaway" 15 month old and recently got the cutest toddler "leash" that I have ever seen at Walmart of all places! It was I think $10, and it looks like one of those cute little stuffed animal backpacks with a matching furry detachable leash. His is a monkey I think. While being adorable it has totally helped her do things without him running away or into traffic.
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 6/05/2007 04:01:00 PM  

  • This month we've been reading The Secret in the Mormon Momma Book Club. The discussion has been been very interesting. A huge spectrum of thought.

    I have a three-year-old (my sixth) and he is amazing and exhausting. My favorite parenting books are all written by Glenn Latham. Wonderful stuff.
    posted by Anonymous Alison Moore Smith at 6/05/2007 04:10:00 PM  

  • "She just needs a little hug." hahaha!

    Your daughter sounds a lot like my very spirited, very speedy 2 1/2 year old. She is hilarious and fun and so smart and clever, but can be exasperating and micheivous enough to make me feel like I'm losing my mind some days. Maybe that's how all 2 year olds are? hmmm..

    I have no real advice since we're in the thick of things with our busy girl. But I have really been trying to be consistent with focusing on positive things she does, but being consistent by disciplining her with timeouts (timed with an actual timer, she knows when it goes "beep beep beep" that she's done) when her behavior is harmful - like repeatedly squashing her 1 year old brother, running away from me, throwing hard objects, etc. Anyway, the consistency seems to be helping, but she still has a mind of her own and tests the limits constantly. A big challenge is that she is very physical and is super nimble and coordinated and can can climb anything and therefore can either get into ANYTHING, or delights in giving me heart attacks by where she decides to climb. So we try to make sure she gets enough good hard play time to get her energy out.

    It's so hard to stay patient and I just want you to know you aren't alone! I treasure my scrappy little gal, but she sure does wear me out. (And they say boys have more energy, so I'm looking forward to what the 2's bring for our baby boy...sigh)
    posted by Blogger Mary at 6/05/2007 06:37:00 PM  

  • This post is hilarious, only because I also have a 'spirited' little mama of my own. My sister-in-law, (mother of five), recently shared with me the only punishment/discipline tips that have truly been effective with her rowdy bunch.

    Number one: remove what the child values. When I say remove it, I mean--throw it out and don't replace it. This usually means toys. Do it with the child immediately when they misbehave. It really gets their attention, usually makes them hysterically mad, but they remember it the next time around!

    Number two: cut out what the little one loves eating, for my sis's kids, this is sugar. So no sugary cereal, no chocolate milk, no juice, no gummy snacks, etc, etc. It's amazing what a boring diet can do for a kid.

    She says it works like a charm and has been the only punishment effective enough to stop bad behavior.

    Good luck!!
    posted by Blogger Tally Girl at 6/05/2007 07:09:00 PM  

  • 1,2,3 Magic by Thomas W. Phelan. This is a really quick read and it is very common sense. It almost seems dumb to try it because it's so easy, but it worked really well to curb my three year olds tantrums, and it really helps with my patience level.
    posted by Blogger Lahni at 6/05/2007 07:23:00 PM  

  • There is an azaming parenting/discipline book called "the power of positive parenting" by an LDS author... Latham or something?
    When I follow it, life around here is transformed. this guy has it so right!
    posted by Blogger cchrissyy at 6/05/2007 09:45:00 PM  

  • Tally Girl. Dude, you SIL sounds hard core. I admire it, yet not sure I could do the same. . . of course I'm not there yet so we'll see. Good luck Kage. Sorry, no advice here. :)
    posted by Blogger miggy at 6/06/2007 06:40:00 AM  

  • Tally Girl, I am totally tucking those tips from your SIL in my back pocket for when I will surely need them...awesome. Hard core, but awesome.

    Sorry Kage, nothing here. I hate to tell you that "it will pass" because sometimes it's just their little personalities and try as we might, we can't change them.

    Sign her up for a tumbling class...5 days a week :)
    posted by Blogger chloe at 6/06/2007 08:47:00 AM  

  • how about Raising the spirited child-- helped me understand my DD :) http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Your-Spirited-Child-Perceptive/dp/0060923288
    posted by Anonymous katrina at 6/06/2007 08:54:00 AM  

  • kage, I'm really sorry. I feel your pain. I've delayed commenting on this one because I feel that what I learned (just try to survive and keep them alive) isn't all that helpful. :-)

    I though "Raising your Spirited Child" was a great book, btw. It's definitely one to check out. And lots and lots of exhausting playground time. That's about all I've got for you!
    posted by Blogger marian at 6/06/2007 11:02:00 AM  

  • I'm pretty interested in these comments since this time is probably right around the corner for me. Kage, your little girl is so cute and I know you'll figure this one out. The only thing that comes to my head is just to make sure there are times in your week that are for her. Meaning going to the park where she can run free and get messy for an hour, getting out art supplies and making an area where you don't care if she makes a mess and gets into stuff. Giving her an outlet. The thing that stresses me out as a parent is when I constantly have to say "no, please don't do that, no... not in there". Of course she has to go on your errands with you and learn to behave at the grocery store, etc., but at least have times during the week when she doesn't have to "stay within the lines" so to speak. What a hard age. You have to let us know what works!

    And yes, we've heard about The Secret (have the DVD actually). I just think there are days when thinking positively is easier than others! Especially as a parent.
    posted by Anonymous Beth at 6/06/2007 01:00:00 PM  

  • I'm not even going to touch Oprah or The Secret.

    But, I have seen a few people suggest "Raising Your Spirited Child" as a possible book for you to read. I have that book (a family member gave it to me when Princess was 2--I guess it was a hint?) Anyway, I never read it. It's on it's way to you. Just realize that I may have to ask for it back at the end of the summer when Pumpkin turns 2. She seems to be on the more "spirited" track.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 6/06/2007 01:30:00 PM  

  • Since no one else had recommended it (and we had a HUGE discussion at playgroup about how well it works AND I learned about it when I was in college -in Education- and it was pushed as GREAT there, as it is): Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster W. Cline and Jim Fay.

    It's a short-ish read. I love the principles (I just have to remember to USE them. Wish me luck!)

    But the taking away fun things and the bland diet are tips I'll store for now.

    Good luck!
    posted by Blogger Allanna at 6/06/2007 03:09:00 PM  

  • Now we REALLY know why they call it the terrible twos... It's frustrating at times- I sure feel for you, Kage. I have a little monster who just turned 3 and he has been my hardest child so far. He is impulsive, smart, and curious- but those traits get him into trouble all the time. He is also extremely hard-headed and stubborn. Sometimes he gets so wild, I call my husband in tears at work- ready to pull my hair out. Like when he colored with a big black sharpie on the kitchen cabinets, dumped toys and food in the fish tank, hung on the oven door like a monkey and snapped it in half, and poured an entire bottle of syrup on the wood floor! Those are the days I go nuts and it's hard to be positive. It's a good thing he's so dang cute- the adorable moments are worth the terrible ones.

    Anyway, I love the tips that everyone has given so far. This is such a great blog to share ideas. Though I am certainly no expert, here are some ideas that I have used that have helped me with my four kids (especially the little monster):

    - Consistency- even if it means he throws a huge tantrum at the store- no means no.

    - Positive reinforcement- a rewards system works wonders on my kids from an early age. Good behavior equals fun activities with Mommy.

    - Positive attention- I have found that if I'm busy and "ignoring" the kids, they decide that negative attention is better than no attention at all.

    - An energy burning activity- the park, the pool, playplaces- anything to get them tired out when it's OUTSIDE the house.

    - Naps! My kids HAVE to have naps - especially on our busy days. I'd rather have them all refresh for an hour to give me some me time than put them to bed super early. Then I start getting cranky and exhausted. I don't work outside the home though, so may be different for moms that work.

    - Time-outs. This goes for the kids and the toys they fight over. One minute per year of age. It has to be a boring place where they can't play. This helps calm tantrums and is something I believe in after watching Super Nanny. She called it the "Naughty Room".

    - Counting slowly and firmly to 3. This calms me down and gives my kids a proper warning.

    - Keeping my eye out. I HAVE to have my eye on my little monster at all times so as to prevent the accidents that are bound to happen.

    - Giving myself breaks. Asking my husband to watch the kids when he's home from work so I can get out for just an hour by myself. Also, getting Grandma or friends to watch the kids for date night. That is so refreshing!

    - Appreciating the joyful moments when he's adorable and sweet. Asking myself what I what do without him if something happened and he wasn't with us anymore?

    I don't know if this helps. My dad is a clinical psychologist and highly recommends the book "SOS- Parenting Strategies that Work" I also like that book. I think books are full of great ideas, but ultimately it's experience and time that work the best to figure out to handle those strong little spirits!

    Good luck! :)

    Lynn from Naperville
    posted by Anonymous LJ at 6/06/2007 04:09:00 PM  

  • THANKS girls....I am exhausted just reading about all the reading I have to do..........................
    posted by Blogger Kage at 6/06/2007 06:31:00 PM  

  • I really liked "Raising Your Spirited Child".
    posted by Blogger Mrs. M at 6/06/2007 09:47:00 PM  

  • Lynn from Naperville,

    Amen to the thought on naps, I don't know why I didn't mention it! And may I add an early bedtime? I have to discipline so much less when my little mama is well-rested. It's something that is so easy to forget, but keeping a child well-rested, (especially a spirited chidl), just might be the number one most important thing we can do as parents besides feeding them!!

    Good luck ladies, I'm sure you'll survive your children and they will definitely survive you and thank you one day.
    posted by Blogger Tally Girl at 6/07/2007 09:53:00 AM  

  • Dr. James Dobson has a book called "The Strong Willed Child." Check it out. I've heard good things about it. Also, I don't have a child your age yet but it seems like SuperNanny has some good ideas. Good luck with your little one!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 6/07/2007 12:56:00 PM  

  • Carrie,
    It sounds like you and I may be on the same page when it comes to The Secret and Oprah...
    As for the rest of it, my kids are a disaster right now so I shan't ruin yours by dishing out advice ;)
    But we do have the same backpack(leash) only ours is a puppy, DS won't go anywhere without it!
    posted by Blogger Mo Mommy at 6/07/2007 08:15:00 PM  

  • I had one like that and she has turned out to be the most amazing, beautiful, talented, self motivated, energetic, focused, obedient, wonderful,smart, loyal 28 year old that I know. Hang in there!
    Love, Kage's mom
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 6/09/2007 01:29:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home