My 2 1/2 year old - FamilyEducation
My 2 1/2 year old
11/19/2008 at 09:43 AM

Our 2 1/2 year old son is sometimes mean to both mom and dad.  We could ask him a question and one time he would answer you in a nice tone or another time he would yell at you to go away, or get away from him etc...  He might be sitting on the sofa watching tv and if you go to sit next to him he would yell at you to go away and not to sit next to him.  This is our first child so we are hoping that this is normal terrible 2's. 

He sleeps fine, in bed by 7 p.m and most days sleeps till at least 7 a.m.  He is or can also be mean to his grandparents as well.  However, he has never had a problem with his babysitter who he has been going to since he was 6 months old. 

When he is mean to us we try and tell him that it is not nice to talk that way to anybody and if it continues he will have to take a time out.  We generally put him on a naughty step for about 20 seconds.  When we do put him on the step he wil instantly start crying and screaming.  

He is very advanced for his age, can talk like a 6 year old, can say the alphabet, pick out letters, and can spell certain words.  We are just hoping that although he is advanced in certain things, that he is just having normal 2 1/2 year old behavior. 

Anyone have any suggestions. PLEASE HELP!

Your post is, word for word, exactly what we are experiencing with our 2 1/2 year old. I'd love to see what others have to say about this.

Look directly in his eyes and gently rephrase the mean things he says. To say "don't talk that way" doesn't teach him the way to talk, and he won't learn from observing because little kids are self-centered.

It's the age! Keep up what your doing, and in time it will improve. But also keep in mind what he hears being said by Mom & Dad, either to him or to each other. When my daughter was that age, friends noted she was "very bossy", and not too nice about it either. I thought it was just because she was precocious. Then I realized that's all she knew. Mom, Dad and her older stepbrother were always telling her what to do, giving her instructions, etc. She didn't know anythimg else! We had to make some quick adjustments, like giving her suggestions instead of orders, and making her responsbile and in control of what she does by saying "You need to do this....." instead of just "Do this ...." Hope it helps.

yea I'm sure its the age!! just dont give up on him he needs to know u still care

I agree w/ the others. It's probably just an age thing. It's great, though, that your son's doing so well otherwise. Hang in there. Just one thing to add: I used to be a nanny, so I know how important consistency and communication between parents and caregiver is. Make sure you're all on the same pg when it comes to disciplining your son. If not, he will learn to manipulate one guardian over another, and that's not a good thing.

Let me tell you this... my 2nd child (daughter) was this way as a toddler. It was SOOOO difficult! She was demanding and controlling (if anyone went near her chair when she was coloring, she'd freak). I use to worry about her because her older brother was not this way at all. And stubborn!... that girl was so stubborn! When she got older, these traits were still there but developed. She was just as demanding of herself as with others. She was controlling and organized. She held to her beliefs and became such a strong leader in her school. Needless to say, she graduated a year early and got accepted to a very prestigious university and is doing very well. I laugh at it all now. Now, my 1 (almost 2) year old is the SAME exact personality. I am already going "oh boy" because it's such a hard personality to deal with in a child before they get reasoning abilities. Still - I now know how good those traits can be when they get older. Things that work: ignoring poor behavior, letting your child have his space, and the person who commented about being very specific on expected behavior works well. We don't say "be a good boy" because he is always a good boy. We don't say "behave." We don't say "stop crying." If he's on a major temper tantrum, we ignore it or try to divert it. If he's just being "mean" we are very direct in saying what not to do and what to do. For instance, he wants to touch every object in a store. We say, "Do not touch with your hand. If you like it, blow on it." (and he blows all over on things). BTW, both my daughter and now son are also very verbal. I wonder if this relates to things.