Friday, January 15, 2010 a 2 Year-Old

The past few weeks Zak has been acting up non-stop. He seems to have forgotten how to listen and all of our normal discipline seems to have no effect on him anymore. The most concerning and frustrating is how physical he has become towards Ryder and myself.

In the last week we have found 2 bite marks on Ryder's back and when we ask Zak if he did that he answers "I bite Ry Ry. It hurt"! Yesterday was by far the worst day though. I caught Zak biting Ryder a total of about 8 times (1 time while Ryder was sitting in my lap!) with 2 times resulting in full mouth marks on his back. Each time I caught him in the act I explained it was not nice and he would go to time out for 2 minutes. This seemed to have no effect on Zak at all.

Zak has also been acting up horribly while Ryder's therapists are here with us. They are all very good about bringing activities for Zak to do as well and involve him in all of their sessions. On Wednesday Zak slapped me across the face when I tried to get him to give a toy back to the special educator since she was packing up and leaving. And this morning he got upset because he wanted to drink out of Ryder's cup which led to him throwing his cup at me (still filled with milk).

Ben and I have talked a lot about this and are trying to figure out what is going on with Zak. At first we thought maybe he was jealous of Ryder for spending time alone with me even though it was going to doctors (Zak doesn't know that though). So we have Ryder spend the weekend with Rich & Laura so Zak could have his alone time with Ben and I. That didn't seem to make a difference in his behavior. Now Ben and I are wondering if his behavior is from the loss of the TV in their playroom. They did watch movies in the playroom during the day while I did some chores, but they didn't have it on all the time. I am starting to limit how much TV they watch in the living room now because I fear he is turning into a TV kid. I was a TV kid, grew up with it in my bedroom and still to this day I need the TV on to fall asleep. I personally don't have too much of an issue with kids watching TV (appropriate shows and movies for kids of course), but if this is playing a part in his behavior I will limit it!

Since the time outs don't seem to work we have resorted to spanking him which also has no effectiveness. He just looks at you and laughs or he hits back (he is very much an eye-for-an-eye kid). We have also tried sending him to his bedroom alone for a little bit, but that just makes him mad which results in some type of misbehavior (tearing up books, throwing things, etc). I have thought about trying to take away toys or other things when he misbehaves, but to be honest there is nothing that I could take away that he would really care about or even notice!

Yesterday Zak had me in tears because I am just at such a loss with how to deal with his behavior! At one point I left him in the playroom and brought Ryder to the living room to play with me. After a while he calmed down, opened the playroom door and came downstairs with us. I thought maybe he had figured out his bad behavior would result in being left alone, but no such luck. As soon as he came downstairs he walked over to Ryder (who was sitting in my lap) and tried to bite him again! I was so glad when Ben walked in the door and could take over for the evening because I was really DEFEATED by my 2 year-old. Ben ended up putting him to bed early because he continued to misbehave, not listen, and seem pretty much immune to all of our discipline methods.

This morning he was very sweet when I went into their bedroom. I was truly hoping for a much better day. Unfortunately, while Ryder's therapist was here Zak decided to throw his cup (filled with milk) at me because he wanted to drink from Ryder's cup. After we explained to Zak he could use Ryder's cup once Ryder was done he became very mad and proceeded to grab Ryder's place mat and spill all of the milk and food everywhere. Needless to say, Zak has spent quite a bit of time on the stairs in time out today and it is only 10:30am!

This feeling of being defeated by a 2 year-old is horrible. I feel like I am missing something that is setting Zak off into these fits of misbehavior...

If anybody out there has any discipline ideas feel free to share, please. I am just about ready to send Zak off to toddler boot camp...if I could find one!