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What expectations can I have of a 2 year old

 
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amother




OP
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 9:57 am
I have a (just turned) 2 year old, he’s an only child so far. He started whining a lot when he wants or doesn’t want something. He’ll just screech (not cry). He won’t help clean his toys or do anything that is asked of him (like if I ask him to put something in the garbage) although I know he’s capable of it because on rare occasions he does. Before he banged one of his toys on my head which really hurt and I said “ow, that hurt. Give mommy a kiss or say I’m sorry”. Nothing doing, he just started his whining. I’m worried about spoiling him but then I’m not sure what expectations I can have of him and how to implement them.

Any advice?
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tichellady




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 10:11 am
Sounds normal to me. My daughter will be two soon and I don’t think she’s capable of saying she’s sorry and she’s very bright and verbal. Two year olds are still babies. I think you can have them “ help” clean and put away toys but don’t expect much from them without you doubt most of the work. I don’t think you need to worry about spoiling him at this age. He’s still very young.
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amother




Aqua
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 10:22 am
Two year olds generally don't understand morality, fairness, or other abstract concepts and they don't respond to anything except very immediate consequences.

With a 2 year old, it is a non starter to explain that the person who made a mess should also endure the inconvenience of cleaning it up, because that is fair.

A few ideas for getting him to clean up:

1. Begin doing it and make it look fun or do it in a funny way. He may imitate.

2. If he is verbal enough, communicate to him right before some desirable activity, that the desired activity will commence after the cleanup. Not as a bribe ("I'll let you watch the video if you clean up.") but matter-of-factly, as if it is the natural sequence of events ("Now that lunch is finished, you can clean up, and when clean up is done, we can start the video.") If he keeps demanding the activity, keep repeating "After clean up."
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amother




Aqua
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 10:26 am
Also, 2 year olds are not capable of independently doing a general cleanup, where lots of different toys are out and need to be put in different places. But they are usually capable of cleaning up one type of item that goes in the same container. So if you have 200 scattered magna tiles or blocks that all go into the same bag or box, a 2 year old should be able to handle that.
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STMommy




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 10:30 am
You can direct him to repeat his request/statement in a non-whining voice and demonstrate to him what that sounds like. You can also make a big deal when he does something right. Also any way you can use distraction, songs, make things into a game, etc is helpful. So singing a clean-up song, turn the garbage can into a basketball hoop (shoot! score! two points!) etc.
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amother




Silver
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 10:33 am
Thanks for this thread and the responses! I've been wondering this about my 2 year old too--she used to help clean up and now everything is a struggle.
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lucky14




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 10:41 am
Do not ask him to say sorry it will mean nothing. You should say ow though so he will get the message that it hurts (hopefully. Eventually). If he continues move yourself it of reach. For cleaning up you need to do it with him. Even if it means walking to the garbage with him.and with his toys only expect him to put some away. But again, do it with him. Don't sit on the couch and say "clean up", get on the floor with him - right next to him and place the box or bin in font of you guys and put them away together. At first you may have to literally be holding the you with him as you put it away. And only expect a little to be put away. As he gets older he will clean up more.
Personally I would try not to give in to the screeching and wining (do make sure his basic needs are being met obviously). If you so he will learn that's how he gets what he wants. Others may not agree with me. 2 year olds can understand plenty.
Lots of love and kisses though. Don't give in to wining but don't turn into a cold mommy. Kisses and hugs always! Spoil him with love.
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behappy2




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 10:46 am
Raising children is a long journey. No need to rush it, just love him up!
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amother




Lime
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 10:48 am
My son just turned two. We clean up together, I do most of it but give him some things to put in the bins. I don't think he's up for big cleaning yet.
The one thing we're strict about is hitting. Hitting means 2 mins of cool down time and then we say sorry. We absolutely do not tolerate hitting with just talking, he needs to stop and go to "time out."
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Ora in town




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 10:52 am
That's quite typical of this age.
In general, distraction still works at this age.

Instead of saying "no", just say "I would love to give it to you, but now (first) let's do xyz" in a very upbeat voice and switch to an interesting activity... In general, this cuts the tantrum at that age...

Also, instead of taking things from him (e.g. because they are dangerous), switch it for something else... You might even do it in a playful way...
e.g. he's playing with a knife/fork... You take the spoon, and let the spoon say something, like "Hi knife, do you want to take a walk with me?" knife answers: "Yes, I'd love to" Spoon "come Along" - you take the knife out of the hand...
or you just switch the knife for the spoon... in general, they don't mind, they just want something to play with, to explore, to learn...
It's amasing how curious they are, how their little brains work...

In general, toddlers are so fascinated by stories and spectacles, that you can distract them from anyting just by using a bit of fantasy...

And also they love to destroy things... so if you have coasters or jenga or dominos or something like this, they would love for you to construct towers and for them to tear them down... I think this could be a nice activity, should not be censored at that age... and could be an outlet for bad mood...


Last edited by Ora in town on Fri, May 22 2020, 11:01 am; edited 3 times in total
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thunderstorm




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 10:54 am
Totally normal behavior. My daughter is not two yet and is very verbal. So when I tell her to put something in the garbage or pick up her toys she will say “I can’t” or “One second” or “Wait”..etc.

When she called me a derogatory name she learned from her older brother I told her that we don’t say that word and she should say “I’m sorry”...at first she looked down at the floor , like she was embarrassed but refused to apologize. Then I asked her to say it and she said “I sorry” and immediately after repeated in a whisper the bad word she said sorry for.
She also does the shrieking thing when she wants something .
She is not my first , so I know that this is pretty much in the range of the stubborn and tantruming two year old phase. It passes , I promise .
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Ora in town




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 10:58 am
amother [ Silver ] wrote:
Thanks for this thread and the responses! I've been wondering this about my 2 year old too--she used to help clean up and now everything is a struggle.

Try making it a counting game.
At this age, I would always do it together, not let them alone with the task... but I would be a bit slow, so that they do most...
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dancingqueen




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 2:07 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I have a (just turned) 2 year old, he’s an only child so far. He started whining a lot when he wants or doesn’t want something. He’ll just screech (not cry). He won’t help clean his toys or do anything that is asked of him (like if I ask him to put something in the garbage) although I know he’s capable of it because on rare occasions he does. Before he banged one of his toys on my head which really hurt and I said “ow, that hurt. Give mommy a kiss or say I’m sorry”. Nothing doing, he just started his whining. I’m worried about spoiling him but then I’m not sure what expectations I can have of him and how to implement them.

Any advice?


Be happy when they don’t totally destroy your house? 😂 (kidding....sort of)
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notshanarishona




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, May 22 2020, 5:56 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I have a (just turned) 2 year old, he’s an only child so far. He started whining a lot when he wants or doesn’t want something. He’ll just screech (not cry). He won’t help clean his toys or do anything that is asked of him (like if I ask him to put something in the garbage) although I know he’s capable of it because on rare occasions he does. Before he banged one of his toys on my head which really hurt and I said “ow, that hurt. Give mommy a kiss or say I’m sorry”. Nothing doing, he just started his whining. I’m worried about spoiling him but then I’m not sure what expectations I can have of him and how to implement them.

Any advice?


They are called the terrible twos for a reason. A 2 year old is just starting to understand communication and the world around him. You can’t expect any type of rational listening unless you physically help him listen. Come x, lets go put the cup in the garbage and walk together holding it.
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FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post  Sat, May 23 2020, 6:12 pm
Two year olds have their own type of rationality and logic. They are learning about cause and effect first hand. They have so many things that they have never tried before, so many boundaries to discover - and to push! They get more verbal and more mobile every day, and every day offers them new discoveries.

Right now, your job is to keep them safe, keep them feeling loved, and let them experiment as much as possible within rules.

Teach your child colors. "This is red. Can you show me another red toy? Can you put the red toy in the bucket? Show me how many red toys you can find too put in the bucket. Mommy is going to be looking for all the green toys. Who do you think will find the most toys? Who will finish first? OK, you can choose, do you want to look for yellow toys, or blue toys? Mommy wlll look for the other one." Keep going until all the toys are picked up. They may not be in the right bins, but that's OK for now.

Next time, one of you picks up the cars, and the other picks up the blocks. One picks up the dolls, and the other gets trains and fire engines. Get creative about how you divide up the tasks, and have a small treat like some chocolate chips or Bamba when everything is done. When DH come home, excitedly tell him about all the adventures you had, and what a great helper DC was. Make sure that your child is in the room while you do this. "Reporting" makes the positive attention extra powerful.

Two year olds generally understand a LOT more that they hear, than what they are actually able to speak. Just because they may be slow talkers, don't for one second think that they don't understand the basic idea of what you are trying to get across.

Ignore tantrums and walk away. If they get in your face, simply say "I can't understand what you are trying to say right now. Can you tell me when you calm down?" Do not say this with any disapproval whatsoever. When the child calms down and asks nicely, praise them for speaking so politely to you. If you can at all say "yes" to the request, do it and reinforce that this was because you were spoken to in a respectful voice.

If you absolutely have to say "no", be clear that (for example) dinner will start soon, and after dinner there will be cookies. Since DC is being so good, and speaking so nicely, they can have two cookies this time.

I don't care what psychiatrists have to say. Very simple, basic logic DOES work on 2yo children, even if their expressive language is slow to develop. Not only that, but with consistency you can cut down tantrums enormously.

Toddlers don't need to be "babied", but they do need to feel safe and loved. That will give them the confidence to grow and explore their world, knowing that you are the "rock" they can always count on to be there. Every ship needs a solid place to drop their anchor between voyages.
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amother




Bisque
 

Post  Sat, May 23 2020, 11:52 pm
A 2yo is a baby. Dont have expectations of him. Clean up can be made into a game, no more. Its really about distraction, positive reinforcement and training, and lots of love.
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Ora in town




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Jun 01 2020, 4:59 pm
amother [ Aqua ] wrote:
Two year olds generally don't understand morality, fairness, or other abstract concepts and they don't respond to anything except very immediate consequences.

With a 2 year old, it is a non starter to explain that the person who made a mess should also endure the inconvenience of cleaning it up, because that is fair.

A few ideas for getting him to clean up:

1. Begin doing it and make it look fun or do it in a funny way. He may imitate.

2. If he is verbal enough, communicate to him right before some desirable activity, that the desired activity will commence after the cleanup. Not as a bribe ("I'll let you watch the video if you clean up.") but matter-of-factly, as if it is the natural sequence of events ("Now that lunch is finished, you can clean up, and when clean up is done, we can start the video.") If he keeps demanding the activity, keep repeating "After clean up."


Well said...
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