giggizsof asks:

Why is my 2 yr old boy mean and naughty.

I have 3 children, an 8 yr old boy, 2 & 1/2 yr old and a one year old little girl.  My 2 yr boy is so over the top and hits both his siblings in a violent way.  He is disobedient, growls at me when i tell him to do something, ignores me, always bashes his older brother etc.  At other times he is very adorable and can actually sit down and watch a full animated movie for an hr and a half.  I've tried the naughtly corner and smacking nothings seems to work. Please help as I feel very frustrated at me having to be a referee between my kids.
In Topics: Special needs, Children and stress
> 60 days ago



Sep 27, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to and the JustAsk forum.

I want to first start by asking a few questions which may also help to guide you?

Does your son have difficulty with language skills?  Does he have a hard time putting together simple sentences or speaking intelligibly?  

Does your son behave with violence and anger outside of the home or only with his siblings?
Are the older children teasing him?  Demonstrating negative behaviors  towards him such as shouting, pushing, or taking his toys?

Have you consulted with your local school district for help?

Now that I have asked a list of questions let me give you some of my thoughts.  If your child has speech or language delays this may play a part in his behavioral outbursts as he is having difficulties conveying what he needs and wants.  He also may be experiencing hearing problems that have gone undetected by the rudimentary tests conducted in a pediatrician's office.  Also, if he has a hard time hearing or speaking this could lead to his inability to follow directions, including during time out, etc.

It also could be that your son is modeling behaviors from others and has learned that if he yells more or is more demonstrative with aggression he will get attention and not be ignored.  The youngest in the family often is outgoing as a way to get attention when there are older siblings who are bigger, stronger, etc.

If I were you my first steps would be to ask in writing for the local school district to observe and evaluate your son's current developmental levels for age appropriateness (including speech/language and hearing) as well address his behavioral concerns. You also could ask for a consultation with their school behavioral specialist to help you with home management techniques regardless of the results of the assessments. All services within the public schools are free if you are in a school in the United States.

You also may find a lot of resources here on the website.  

In addition, consider the following to help you at home with behavior management of all your son (and the other children, too)  so that you can have strategies that do not result in shouting matches or physical punishments.  

Available at libraries, bookstores, etc. is this program often recommended by behavior counselors to help with parent-child relationships and ease negative situations.  This program is called "1-2-3 Magic - Easy-To-Learn Parenting Solutions That Work From Dr. Thomas Phelan"

Good luck!

Louise Masin Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Owner of Signing Families

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