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behavioral support/"undoing" in young toddlers

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

    behavioral support/"undoing" in young toddlers

    We recently had to buy a new car- which was last minute and therefore 19 month old DS came with us. While in the lots DS asked to sit in the front seat- which DH allowed- and he loved it. My inlaws (mostly just gma) babysit once a week for about 90 minutes and we know that they both allowed it the week after (a month ago). We then had some trouble getting him in and out of the car without a 20 minute struggle about driving, and had a discussion with both of them, asking them to stop.  We think- last week DH came home and gma/DS were in the driveway- that gma is still allowing it, although she denies it.  DS cried for an hour solid that evening when DH took him in, and gma had to leave because he was so bad - crying stopped the second she drove off.

    The past week has been awful. Up to one hour long screaming tantrums on the way out of the car to walk to daycare, back in the car at the end of day care, out of the car at home, and the same with DH's car. He will stare at them from the window- it just breaks my heart. But we feel like this is happening because gma allowed it again, and DH is determined to stop the behavior by not allowing DS to do it.  I am torn- I don't think that DS understands what is going on, and why it is sometimes allowed and not (and don't have an issue with allowing this behavior specifically) but I am the one dealing with most of the crying because I do daycare drop off and pick up and that is getting frustrating (especially given his kicking/fighting and my increasing large pregnancy belly!) 

    So- my questions.... (1) we turned DS's car seat when we got the new car. Have people seen this behavior in children who can finally see you driving (e.g., is this a combination of stuff?) (2) how do you determine when it is a behavior or interest that will wane with exposure (e.g., less exciting the more we do it) vs. it will become more enjoyed. (3) how do you handle in-laws who aren't truthful about what they are doing with your kids?

    and, we selected gma to provide care because she doesn't have a routine chance to see him that frequently (and will never ask, so we have to plan these things on the weekend and invite her, etc. seemed like a perfect match), and it is time limited (overlap ends in june). However, she also got very upset when we did hire an outside babysitter for two evenings out saying very negative things about us to other family members, so we feel a little trapped. If we hire a sitter for the next few weeks, there will be significant ripples in her relationship with DH (and definitely me, who is typically blamed for things).

    thanks for any advice
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: behavioral support/"undoing" in young toddlers

    I'm not sure about the whole Grandma issue, but in regards to DS's tantrums, I've recently begun reading the Happiest Toddler on the Block and I'd highly recommend it if you haven't read it already.  In the first part Dr Karp deals specifically with how to handle a raging toddler.  Briefly, the most important point he makes is to first and foremost acknowledge what your child wants to do, in as plain of language as possible.  "Sit in front! Sit in front!  You want to sit in front!"  Your DS wants to be heard and understood.  If/when he feels you "get him" he will start to calm down and then you can get into, "No, you can't sit in front, but look at the great view you have from back here in your cool seat!  Do you want to read Cat in the Hat?/Hold Teddy?/Some distraction"  

    I've tried this with my 23 month old, and she has responded very well to it.  For instance she loves the playground and HATES to leave.  So usually when we have to go there is a tantrum.  So I get down to her level and keep telling her, "Stay and play!  Stay and play!  You say 'stay and play!!'"  Eventually she starts to calm and I tell her we need to go home and have lunch, etc. and give her a stuffed toy to hold to distract her.  

    It's pretty easy and worth a shot!  Good luck!
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from KT75. Show KT75's posts

    Re: behavioral support/"undoing" in young toddlers

    DH used to let DD do this, I never liked it.  She would throw a fit when I told her no, and it was probably more difficult because we had a mixed message going.  I think that you need to try and be patient with his frustration and just do your best to distract.  My pedi told me once, it take only a moment to learn a bad behavior and a very long time to teach a good one.  I think about that a lot, especially when I am frustrated at how the same thing (like the wanting to "drive") can trigger time after time. 

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: behavioral support/"undoing" in young toddlers

    Another thing that can help with tantrums is to teach your LO to take a deep breath.... I usually do a super exaggerated one where I make my cheeks really big while I hold in the breath. That gets DD distracted from crying for a split second, then I try to have her breathe with me. I use it in combination with the "Happiest Toddler" techniques, because I have found that DD needs the extra help of trying a couple of deep breaths to stop crying. She just can't figure out how to stop on her own when she is in full tantrum mode. 

    As far as the being in the front of the car, it is really hard to say what is the motivation. It could be the tantrums are only partially related to being in the front, and are because the combination of new car plus car seat forward is freaking him out a bit. Or because he sees how strongly everyone reacts when he has a meltdown by the car. (it is so hard not to react strongly when you need to be in the car to go somewhere on a tight schedule, and your LO is just NOT cooperating). 
    I wonder if you made a big deal about him getting into his special seat when he goes to the car (start talking it up while still in the house if you have to) if that would help reduce the struggles? Also now that his seat is forward, can he try climbing into it himself? It might add more time to getting into the car, so it doesn't always help if you are in a hurry, but when DD was starting to be able to climb, she would pitch a fit if we didn't let her try to get in by herself. 
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from rama8677. Show rama8677's posts

    Re: behavioral support/"undoing" in young toddlers

    Winter, this behavior sounds very typical for a two year old who has very definite ideas about what he/she wants to do but rarely is allowed to make his/her own decisions.  My DD (26 months) is the exact same way in certain situations.  I wholeheartedly agree with the poster who mentioned getting down to his level and articulating what his thoughts are.  I really think my DD responds better and behaves better when she knows that we 100% understand what she wants.  Otherwise, she feels frustrated and that prolongs the tantrum.

    Regarding the car issue - because this is a huge problem that seems to be happening each time you get into the car, maybe it would be worth buying him some cool toy like a pretend steering wheel or a new toy car/truck that he only gets to hold when he is sitting in the car and buckled into his carseat.  He does not get the toy at any other time, maybe this would provide enough of a distraction/incentive for him to want to get into his seat?  My DD responds very well to distractions, its the most effective way of us getting her to do what she wants. 

    Regarding the MIL issue - it's tough with IL's because they can make a little thing into a big issue that plagues you for awhile.  My advice, honestly, would be to talk to her specifically about the car issue and explain to her (when DS isn't around) the problems that letting him play in the front is leading to, and maybe have her list some "suggestions" or "ideas" of her own as to how to help him.  If she feels that she is part of the solution then she may be more willing to implement it, as opposed to prolonging the problem by sneaking around behind your back.  Beause your need for her to provide childcare is limited in nature and only for another month or two, I'd probably just try to deal with each issue as you need to and not make it a big thing that will impact your relationship for long term.  If she was your primary caregiver for an undefined period of time, then of course I'd think you should talk to her, but because it's a short period of time only, I think it may be better for you to just minimize the conflict and address each issue separately (hopefully there won't be many of them!)

    Good luck!! Toddlers are tough!
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from KMMZ1012. Show KMMZ1012's posts

    Re: behavioral support/"undoing" in young toddlers

    DS used to love to pretend to drive the car.  Not going to lie, it was a phase that took a long time to grow out of (pretty much an entire summer).  Trying to move him from the driver's seat to the back seat resulted in huge temper tantrums.  I would give him a time limit - "you can drive until the end of 'Row Row Row Your Boat'" and I would sing the song and at the end attempt to move him into his seat.  Sometimes, straight out bribery worked - "You can have fruit snacks (or a sticker or your truck) if you sit in your car seat." 

    He occasionally still likes to sit in the front seat, but I keep a little drawing pad and books in the back so it's easier to distract him nowadays.  I see a lot of that going on daycare as well; I think it's just the whole modelling behaviors at that age.  Mom and Dad drive; I want to be like Mom and Dad; I can drive.  At least, that's how we took it.  I started sitting in the back with him on short trips - to the grocery store, to get gas, etc. - if DH was with me, so that he could see Mom sit in the backseat, too.

    As for the MIL issue, that's hard and I have a lot of sympathy for you on that.  I had a battle of wills with my inlaws over their dog and the way it interacted with DS when he was smaller (it's too long a story to get into it and will also just send my blood pressure through the roof).  I know that occasionally they look at DH and I and think: we raised a family and the two of you are telling us what we can do and not do?  It stinks to have your wishes disregarded and it's also hard because DH gets put into the middle.  My MIL tells me all the time it's her perogerative to spoil him as gma, but it's different to "spoil" your grandkid and disregard our wishes, which we've tried really hard to respectfully discuss our wishes versus their actions with them.  It's tough, though, and it's always an evolving thing.  Good luck!
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml26202. Show ml26202's posts

    Re: behavioral support/"undoing" in young toddlers

    I feel like this is not car-specific and it reminds me of something we are currently dealing with at home. It also reminds me of the post a while back about a DD wanting to be naked all the time at home, Lemon suggested "naked time" and that seemed to work for the OP. I'm applying the same technique at home.

    We REALLY minimize TV at our house, but DD (also 19 months) came home from gma's, handed DH the remote for the TV and demanded "Elmo" and it has been unceasing all weekend! I feel you on the gma's rules thing!

    I think they key is making time for it. For us, she's allowed to watch Elmo on YouTube for 5-10 minutes after she's had her eye drops (which she currently needs, and really hates) every morning and night.

    For you it might be, it's not time for the front seat NOW. Front seat time might be when you pull into the driveway at home before going in the house for dinner. Make time for Front Seat time, and use it as a bargaining chip "if you get in your car seat nicely after daycare, when we get home it's front seat time!"

    As for MIL, ugh. Like someone mentioned, tell her it has to be a special thing, that he's throwing fits in the car causing you to be late for work or whatever, and he's kicking and that is not safe at this point in your pregnancy (or ever really!).  Connect the dots and show her this "harmless" thing has some pretty serious consequences.
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: behavioral support/"undoing" in young toddlers

    You've already got great advice about how to handle the real problem, but what about this, too?  Over the headrest DVD player $20 free shipping
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from wrkingmom. Show wrkingmom's posts

    Re: behavioral support/"undoing" in young toddlers

    DS throws fits leaving DC as well.  He will run to give me a hug and then just wants to play and explore.  Getting him into the carseat is especially challenging.  So I let him walk around the car for a while then he starts asking for milk/toy/banana whatever and I say we can have it at home but we can not go home till ds is in his seat.  Letting him have that time to explore helps and he is starting to get in his seat quicker and quicker, especially with the prospects of his sandbox at home.

  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: behavioral support/"undoing" in young toddlers

    I originally read this as your MIL *driving* with the LO in the front seat!  Glad that is not the case.  :)

    We are also "undoing" horrible meal habits after a sick week and then the holiday weekend (with lots of grandma).  Off schedule, grown ups noshing all day, real meal not until 3 PM, et cetera... now she wants to get in and out of her chair, sit on laps during meals, et cetera.  Ugh.
    So we are in the same boat.

    For the car, I particularly like ML's suggestion of specified play time, but getting some clear signal for when it is happening and when it is not.  Our LO loves to do buckles and she wants to do the chest buckle in the car seat.  I have had to crack down that she can do the backpack or chair buckles over and over at home, but when we get in the car she only can do it one time.  Because I let her do the car seat one a few times when we were not in a rush but then it was a fiasco the next time I actually needed to go to work.  It took about a week for her to stop crying for buckles all the time in the car and now she will say "one time" when I put her in.
    GL!  It's so trying.
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

    Re: behavioral support/"undoing" in young toddlers

    thanks so much everyone- I have worked really hard with the distractions in the car.  We have a bag with lots of distractions (books with sound, small toys, trucks, etc, because we have a long commute- he also gets his lovey and a bink- so maybe I need something new), and even though he is still upset, it is do-able to get him calmed down and re-engaged. I think I have a lot more patience with this type of behavior than DH, so when it is just the two of us, he seems to calm faster (I do try and give him words like was rec'd, but he has a speech delay, which I think just amps up the frustration). Twice last week I had to stop driving to give him a hug, which also seemed to work (With lots of talk about what was at home to get to).

    this weekend just killed me, because he got all these new toys for easter and we went to the playground, and he still just wanted to sit in the front seat.

    I am also wondering how much of this developmental- a bit of what KMMZ mentioned.  I was peeling apples to make dessert yesterday afternoon, and DS just walked up and insisted on trying it. I had him take off the stickers "to help" but am a little worried about what this will look like in 5 years, when he is more capable of actually doing some of these things.

    Thanks for all of the ideas- definitely a lot for DH and I to talk about. and, sorry for being a bit MIA on the boards lately.
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: behavioral support/"undoing" in young toddlers

    Ha.  The apple stickers thing makes me thing of how obsessed DD is with "helping" me in the kitchen.  I have the cleanest bag of potatoes in the commonwealth.  I basically put her stool at the sink, give her 10 potatoes, a bowl of water, and the potato brush and ask her to please clean the potatoes.  Sometimes she gets angry when I don't cook the potatoes.  Then I have her dry them and put them back in the bag.  Sometimes I give her dishes to "wash." 
    She's actually getting really good at setting the table and emptying the dishwasher (which is nice, because it cuts down on me bending over to empty the dishwasher). 
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: behavioral support/"undoing" in young toddlers

    You've gotten so many great ideas here. Let me just add that my DS loves to "drive" too. We use the "When we get home, you can drive". I also have the luxury of letting him sit in front while I buckle in his twin sister.
    One thing - make sure your keys are IN YOUR POCKET. I have a friend who got locked out of her car when her DS hit the door lock button while playing in the front seat.
    As far as grandma's go - you have to play these things by ear. I usually figure free babysitting, espeically with someone I know loves my children, trumps most behavioral issues. Sometimes we say - "only at nana's" or something as a way to allow a behavior over there, but not at home.
    Harvey Karp is great - I highly recommend for anyone dealing with tantrums, whining etc. (and who isn't?)
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: behavioral support/"undoing" in young toddlers

    In Response to Re: behavioral support/"undoing" in young toddlers:
    Ha.  The apple stickers thing makes me thing of how obsessed DD is with "helping" me in the kitchen.
    Posted by lissafro

    sweet.  last night I asked DD to get her pink shirt off the floor in her room and put it in the washing machine.  she did, but then went back to her room and pulled a (clean) pair of pants out of the drawer and put them in the washing machine!  and then repeated.  It was so sweet that I ended up washing four pairs of clean pants.

    I guess these are the things that balance the others... :)  Other than that, yesterday was full of toddler demands!  I am definitely going to look at that book.
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: behavioral support/"undoing" in young toddlers

    Just downloaded the Karp "Happiest Toddler" book last night after reading this post.  I'm only 2 chapters in and I just love the way he explains things.  I really liked the "Happiest Baby" book so I think I'm already partial to his thoughts.  One thing so interesting already is his separation of kids into "Easy," "Shy," and "Spirited."  I believe he will talk about ways to deal with each, and I'm sure some kids are some of both... but "Shy" pinpointed my son to a T.  I've got my kindle in my bag and hope I can sneak a few more pages at lunch :-)

    We've also had our share of MIL (Nana) issues and I tend to take Lilly's approach.  While we pay her for her M and F services, we don't on weekends for true "babysitting."  She says that is when she is just Nana and not caregiver.  And I have always known he is 100% fine when with her... so I balance the few things she does on her own (and I have had to mention, like when she randomly started his afternoon bottle again at 15 mths!!!) with all that she has done for us and DS.