Thursday, May 03, 2007

Any Ideas?

Emily is two. Enough said, right? Here is my dilemma - when we're out doing errands and something happens where she doesn't get her way, she digs in her heels or sits down or runs off. I'm fairly helpless in these situations, I feel. I'm nearly always carrying Rachel and simply cannot carry them both for any length. How should I handle this?

If I pretend not to mind, she not only learns a bad lesson, her behavior also does not change. If I am firm with her - nothing happens except more of the same behavior. Sometimes, I honestly don't know how I'll make it back to the car with both girls. Just curious how others of you have/are handling this situation and how I can learn!


Leanne said...

Hi Monica, I have a two year old and almost 9 month also. First of all, I try to remember he is 2.. he just doesn't have the attention span or focus I do when I want to get things done. Therefore, I never do more than 2 errands a day with both boys... and usually only one errand. I know this next part is controversial, so if you don't agree, that's okay. I have warned my 2 year old that Mommy can give him a spanking even at the store. I can honestly say that I rarely have done this (maybe 2-3 times). Also, I have left the store for very bad behavior a couple of times. Incovenient for me, but less fustrating than trying to shop with a fustrated 2 year old.
On the flip side, I try to make those errands fun. I always have a small treat for him...for short errands, a cookie or some other food item. On GROCERY SHOPPING DAY, he gets treated to a happy meal. Expensive, but worth it to me to keep him occupied. I don't let him walk around in the store. He sits in the back of the cart and seems to enjoy the freedom from the front seat (where the baby is) for now. I also say NO a lot... a mom's favorite word!
I know its HARD!! I hope that helps. It will get better.
p.s. we rarely spank..but the bible says not to spare the rod, so we don't...Shepherding a Child's Heart by Paul Tripp is a great resource for discussing this. I'm not as strict as he would suggest.

Anonymous said...

The shopping cart was a wonderful disciplinary tool for this behavior with my sons. Once you had behaved that way, you rode in the cart for the rest of the day, like it or not. Somehow, not having the freedom to move around was pretty powerful. Be prepared, though, that sometimes you will end up being 'that mom' because your kid is screaming and everyone is staring at you. On the plus side, when you are filling a prescription at Wal-Mart and your kid is screaming like that, they fill your prescription first to get you out of there! Oh, the humiliations we go through in the first few years!


Jenny said...

As the mother of 5, I have experinced this. What I have learned works best for me is to explain what we are going to be doing when we go out. I try to keep it simple. I also will remind everyone before we get out of the car what we are doing at the store we are about to go into. I also some times let them help me. They become my special helper. It can be as easy as carrying something. Or putting something int he basket. Marking of the list for me. This does take time. The best thing to do and the hardest thing to do when a tantrum happens is to either leave the store, even if you have to come back later to get what you need or stick them in the cart. They may cry and people may stare. It is important to teach our children how to act in public. I left the store a few times with one or two crying children and no grocerys. I Found though that just by letting them know before hand what we were doing saved me alot of problems. Your not alone, don't forget to pray. God will guide as to the best plan of action for your sweet daughter. Your a good mother! Best Wishes Jenny

nancyr said...

As a former child protection social worker, I don't recommend spanking in public. There are some overly zealous caseworkers out there who can make your life miserable.
Don't shop with a tired or hungry child. Let them feel like they are helping. Give her a reward for good behavior. It isn't bribery, it is reinforcing good behavior. After all, we adults reward ourselves, with food and things we want all the time.
A two year old has a very short attention span, so keep shopping, and errands as brief as possible.
Tell her, before you leave, that if she is good and helpful, you will do something she likes to do when you get home. Put out the game or video, or whatever where she can see it before you leave. If she doesn't behave, put it away when you get home. She will tantrum, but she will understand after a couple times. Good luck. T

Milehimama said...

In desperate situations, when all the "good parenting" doesn't work with a willful toddler, I've found James Dobson's intervention works well. He advises a neck pinch - grab the area between the neck and shoulder. It's painful enough that they HAVE to go where you want them, but won't cause any actual damage to the child. I like it because several of my kids would throw themselves to the floor or go limp when I grabbed their hand, and I was always afraid I'd pull their arm out of the socket if I dragged them!

Mama Says

Amy said...

boy do i know what you mean, i,ve got a 2yo and 8mo- currently typing with baby in one hand so no capitals and such, sorry. if the errand involves a shopping cart, i haven't hd much trouble-yet- but without a cart, i'msunk even w/o baby if 2yo has a fit. i want to spank for temper tantrums but in public i'mscared to, plus it gets worse before it gets better, which isn't something i want to do with an audience.
i'm not sure how much he understands the whole 'if you're good, you'll get a ... later' thing. he usually only has a problem if he's been playing w/ a toy ie; thrift store, or when leaving the park.
i'm looking forward to reading more comments on this.

kristen said...

Baby on my back in a Mei Tai or a carrier like the Ergo, two arms to manhandle two year old if needed. Worked for me!

Anonymous said...


First of all, I find it hard to believe that my grandchild is behaving like this!! :) Just kidding, of course!

I was interested to read all the comments so far -- there are some good suggestions! Since Emily likes to go places, one thought which you may have already tried is telling her that if she wants to go with you wherever you are going that she needs to obey you and be good -- and that if she is naughty, she will not get to go with you the next time. You might have to leave her with David or a babysitter next time you are going somewhere -- but it would prove to her that you mean business!

She will grow out of this stage!

Thinking of all of you with lots of love, Mom

Chrissy said...

I always had my kids in a double stoller - strapped in. Sitting in the stroller during forays to the mall and other places was non-negotiable and the children knew it. I even let them color in a coloring book as we tooled along if they were old enough (about 3). Or if they were smaller, I had ratttles and other toys attached by tethers to the stroller so they could play too. If they got restless, that was my cue to get moving again. Hope this helps!

liz said...

Have you read the book Don't Make Me Count To Three? Excellent and easy read. It's like Shepherding A Child's Heart but easier and shorter to read.

thehomespunheart said...

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for all the great suggestions! We gathered some new ideas and I'm ready to give them a try this morning on my errand.