Is this normal behaviour from a 27 month old!

by Rachel
(Newcastle upon Tyne)

I have a beautiful little girl who was 2 in july, she was born 7 weeks prem and had no major problems except a under developed bowel....however this has not stopped her in anyway.

She is so independednt and very strong willed. She toilet trained herself by 18 months, refused to use a potty, went straight to the toilet, she was dry nights before she was 2.

Phoebe was walking, well running, by 10 half months. When she was a baby we took her to lots of classes, swimming (still do) signing, dancing etc, to which she still attends.

Phoebe has always been a fighter, and if you say no to her she will do it anyway, she is a super sensitive little girl, if there is an advert on the telly in relation to famine etc she becomes very distressed. She is able to hold a proper conversation, although we don't talk about any adult things in front of her. Phoebe has been looked after by a childminder 2 days a week as well as my than Phoebe and i'm sure this is why she is so advanced.

However, she has started at the age of 27 months to hit (only me)no one else and do all the other behaviours - kicking, shouting. This is really distressing as i am unsure how to handle this as she has not done this before and is new! If she is misbehaving, she gets three no's and then i put her on a time out mat for 2 mins, although this rarely lasts 2 mins as she becomes so upset she apologises straight away.

Any advice would be grateful, is she a super intelligent 2 year old?

Dr Maud Answers

It sounds as if Phoebe is very smart - she is testing her boundaries. You might find the information on the hitting and biting page helpful, particularly the link to the "Play Nicely" programme.

As for the time out, I would call the chair the "thinking chair" - use it the same way but insist that Phoebe sits on the chair for the full 2 minutes to think about her behaviour even if she apologizes. At the moment, she is controlling the time out because she is apologizing and so she is not having the "time out from interaction or positive reinforcement". She has to know that the action is not acceptable and an apology after the fact is not good enough. hopefully, this will mean it works more effectively.

Also, try distraction techniques. You may find the Talking to Toddlers audio course useful.

Good luck

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