Monday, July 11, 2011

The Terrible…14 months?

Okay, you experienced Mommies out there, you can start shaking your head and chuckling now. But I really thought that the terrible twos wouldn’t hit until, well, two! Okay, I’m not really that naïve. I knew that tantrums and general “toddler-ness” (read: willfulness, “I do it myself”-ness, etc.) could start before age 2, but I did NOT expect my 14 month old to start throwing tantrums, toys, and punches just yet!

Yes, that’s right. My angel-baby has a Temper with a capital T (yes, he gets it from me, thankyouverymuch). He squeals, screams, stomps or kicks his feet, has been known to throw food and/or his plate, and he’s started hitting. Since the beginning of July, Sam has been in Time Out 5 times: once for throwing a book at Daddy and nearly getting him in the face (silver lining: he’s got a good arm, I think), twice for hitting me (once at a Rangers game), and once for kicking Daddy during a fit. One morning he was in Time Out twice before we even left for school.

Normally, Sam really is a well-behaved, happy child. I promise! He charms people everywhere we go. He listens very well (I think, anyway) for a child his age. His teachers say he behaves really well, and we have yet to get a discipline report from school (knock wood). I should be glad that his acting out has so far been limited to Daddy and myself, right?

Typically, Sam gets one warning before Time Out (for the record, that’s what his big brothers get, too, before punishment), with the exception of the hitting. That’s an immediate Time Out sentence. He spends about a minute there right now (our rule--which I’m sure I read somewhere because I’m not smart enough to come up with it on my own--is one minute per year of age), with his face to a corner and someone standing behind him. Surprisingly, he actually stays there right now. The first time, I couldn’t decide whether to giggle or to cry – he was so cute and little and sad standing there in the corner. But, it seems to work pretty well so far, even if it still breaks my heart a little to see him there.

What do you do for discipline? What age did you start it?

Julie Daneman is wife to Bryan, Stepmom to Jacob and Caleb, and Mommy to Sam. They are a boisterous, loving, happy interfaith family.

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