Two. Year. Olds. Must I say more? Gabriel has been testing his boundaries like never before and with most things I'm patient, calm, and nicely reiterate that "no, you aren't allowed to climb on the counters, if you would like a cracker just ask me". "No you can't go out and play right now, it's too hot, just wait until the yard is dark (shaded) then we can all go out in the pool". With most things he wants and can't have I can give him an explanation and he usually readily accepts it. But there are a few things where his attitude and tantrum comes through full force. The main problem I'm having is his lack of consideration when it comes to sharing his favourite toys. He is so possessive over his balls and cars that any child (including his sister) who attempts to play with them, promptly gets a shove or slap in the face. He always ends up in a time out but it seems to do nothing to phase him or divert him from doing it again. Then I started to take away his toys, which only seemed to turn his aggression towards me. I was getting to the end of my rope when I realized that he was always punished but never praised.
Yesterday I decided to try a completely different approach and instead of giving warnings and time out threats I started to layer on the praise whenever he did something nice, or even semi considerate when it came to Edie and his toys. Additionally, I have been trying to turn his aggressive energy into doing something courteous by making him believe that being nice was his intention all along. For example, If he wants a toy Edie has and I know hes going to try and snatch it from her I say something like "oh what a good boy you are for letting Edie play with your toy" then he looks up at me smiles, and says "yesh" like it was his plan all along. Even though it has only been a day there has already been a lot less time outs and crying kids in my house.
Twos. I imagine it can only be rivaled by Teens and I'm still young enough to remember and recoil at the thought that my kids will be that rebellious one day...But I'm getting ahead of myself, he is only two after all!