Any parent of a toddler can attest that those little buggers can get crazy. Like makes no sense kind of loco. Happy and playing one minute, then crying the next second over nothing. Going from sharing toys with no problem, then yanking them out of other kids' hands the next. Some bite, others kick. And when one mom questioned a professional about why her 2-year-old screams "no" and hits her when she asks him to do something, the answer went much further than it's just a phase called the terrible 2s.
This psychologist said that all toddlers are psychotic. And the disciplinary action we should take isn't what you think.
Family psychologist John Rosemond said that illogical, irrational, and violent behavior a toddler often shows is what gives the terrible 2s such a bad reputation. He also says that only about 1 in 100 don't exhibit that psychotic behavior. Let's just call them lucky parents.
I don't know about you, but I don't want anyone calling my kid psycho. I can. But no one else. But then the doctor went on to say something that really makes me think. He said violence is in our DNA. Human nature isn't all fundamentally pretty flowers and skipping hand in hand. We are basically barbaric. So hitting makes total sense for a kid. Okay then. Still, it's just not an acceptable behavior. Kids sometimes hit and parents shouldn't go all psycho about it, instead we should teach by example and show them that hitting isn't the right way to go about things. This doc has another suggestion on how to do that.
To the mom who wants to know what to do when her kid hits her, Rosemond says not to bother with the timeout -- they don't work on psycho kids (unless that kid is the 1 in 100 of course). Ignoring a tantrum won't work either. Nope. When dealing with a psycho toddler, he suggests to take out a chainsaw. I am not making this up. Rosemond says to cut the child's bedroom door in half and turn the lock around, and when the child starts to hit, scream uncontrollably, or exhibit any other type of psychosis, put the child in his room, close the half-door, lock it, and walk away. Let the child "vent". His words and advice, not mine.
Scream it out. Tantrum it out. Be all psycho it out. Crying it out, toddler style, I suppose?
When the child is done tantruming, open the door and let him out, but act like nothing has happened. Don't even say things like "are you ready to be good?" just act as if nothing has happened. Confusing. Even for the youngest or oldest of minds.
Rosemond says to do this as soon as a crazy episode begins, and after two weeks of the half door lock punishment, the child should start to get it.
I'll be honest ... I don't know how I feel about this. I do like his next bits of advice though. He shares that when it comes to giving instructions, we should tell, not ask. So instead of, "Will you pick up your toys for me?" it should be, "It's time to pick up your toys." And we shouldn't give our kids more than two toys to play with at once. I definitely agree with that. Too many Elmos and Peoples and doll house parts and toy cars around makes it harder for them to focus and actually play. It ends up being a mess of all the toys all over the place and no playing going on.
But the half door bit ... I want to hear from you.
What do you think of the theory that toddlers are psychotic? Do you think the lock in room with the half-door is a good idea -- one that will work? What has worked for you?
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