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How to not kill your child

Updated on November 11, 2010

 I am a mother to a 2 1/2 year old boy. Being the new parent that I am, and the difficulties I hit with the "terrible two's", I read every book under the son, from parent psychology to Dr. Phil (which made me want to stab my brain out of my head). Regardless of all those books, NONE and I mean NONE worked with my demonic child. Love him to death, but demonic none the less. Let me give you a little background on my son:

1. He left the house early in the morning to ride his bike in nothing but a pull-up. The neighbors came knocking to say "her husband has my son and he's watching him on the corner". Imagine my panic!

2. He got into everything under the sun, so we "baby-proofed" the house, to include the refrigerator, he's figured them all out. GO BABY PROOFING!!!

3. He likes to cook himself breakfast (with the babyproofing). He scales the counter, and attempts to cook himself eggs and pancakes one morning, amazingly didn't burn or seriously injure himself.

4. Can't take him anywhere because of the acting out, and boy oh boy, are his tantrums a force to be reckoned with.

5. He talks back, and REFUSES to listen. Reading baby book after baby book after psychology book, still doesn't listen. Taking toys away, doesn't work, schedule doesn't work, talking calmly doesn't work, yelling doesn't work. NOTHING.

So for any parents who have a difficult child, and by difficult I mean incredibly intelligent and difficult, this is for you.

So after hitting my wits end, I came up with a epiphany on how to possibly deal with my son, I started letting him do the things that older children (6 and older) would do, and to my amazement it worked miraculously.

Most parents don't want to start teaching there toddlers how to tie their shoes until they have the motor skills and comprehension skills to be able to understand and do it. Well let me tell you, its crap! Not their parenting, because all parents are great parents, but the reasoning as to why. So one day I took my son to foot locker and let him pick out two pairs of shoes, both had laces. Later that night, I sat down with him and kept his attention (fight as it was) and showed him how to tie his shoe laces. To my surprise, he sat there for hours trying to tie his laces. Granted there was plenty of frustrating moments, where he got extremely frustrated and threw a fit, but I stayed calm and did one shoe, while he did the other. It worked!!! His tantrums are now minimizing with the more difficult tasks I give him. So I recommend challenging your child beyond reason, and you will be surprised the results that come of it.

About not being able to take him anywhere because of his actions, persona, and just liking to run off, that stopped quickly to my amazement. One day in the mall with my son, he decided to pull his hand out of mine and run off amuck. After taking my shoe off and throwing it at him, after chasing him all throughout the mall, another epiphany came to mind. If the shoe laces worked with tantrums, lets try something different. So I walked over there to him, and I squatted down and got face to face with him. He knew he was in trouble because he refused to look at me. Finally, I grabbed his face and made him look at me. I said to him, "Let's make a deal". He understood and said "okay mommy". I said, "If you're good at the mall and stay by mommy's side, and I don't have to hold your hand; We will go get some pizza". He jumped up and down with excitement and I had no issues the rest of the mall shopping experience, and before we left, we ate pizza at the mall pizzeria. SO now to get him to act good in public, I offer a deal to him. If he agrees, then he will get a surprise, or candy (if at the grocery store), and it works like a charm every time!!!

When at home, I do the same thing. Yes it's like bribing, actually it pretty much is bribing, but its different every time and I offer everything in the form of a deal. If he doesn't follow through with his end of the deal he gets nothing, and I make sure that he understands that. The surprises vary from games played to treats, and this has worked better than any child psychology book I have ever bought.

2 months later, he is a different child. Believe me, he's not without his tantrums; which are by far more manageable, but listens more and I enjoy being around him more and taking him places. Who says they can't take their toddler to a movie, well I can after sticking with this method. He will sit there and enjoy the movie, without a single outburst, and without fail; IF he was good, he makes sure to remind me about our deal, and every time I follow through with it.

As a parent with a difficult child, to parents going through something similar. Don't give up quite yet, just try some of these methods and believe me you will see a noticeable difference. I did, and I am not a doctor or psychologist.


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    • mypleasurefantasy profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Virginia Beach

      I try to avoid spanking---since it has never really worked too well. Instead I make him hold cans up or sit in an invisible chair. That seems to get the point across better than spanking. Especially since muscle failure tends to last longer than a pop on the bottom.

    • profile image

      HubPages Admin (to be continued) 

      6 years ago

      You said "5. He talks back, and REFUSES to listen. Reading baby book after baby book after psychology book, still doesn't listen. Taking toys away, doesn't work, schedule doesn't work, talking calmly doesn't work, yelling doesn't work. NOTHING".

      You should spank him. If that does not work, mock arrest or lock him in a room. Make sure the room does not have toys. Simply a book is enough.

    • profile image

      HubPages Admin 

      6 years ago

      You said "5. He talks back, and REFUSES to listen. Reading baby book after baby book after psychology book, still doesn't listen. Taking toys away, doesn't work, schedule doesn't work, talking calmly doesn't work, yelling doesn't work. NOTHING".

      You should spank him. If that does not work, mock arrest or lock him in a room.

    • daisyflowrs profile image


      6 years ago from Richmond, VA

      I have a 4 year old and I just Googled "how to not kill your child" because he is driving me crazy!!! (Spoiled from Christmas). I found your hub. It reminded me that even the crazy times are funny memories. I guess I will let him get off his bed now so we can build more memories together:)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      on the edge tonight and looking for any answer to stop me from slitting my own wrists ... i found your story and I thank you for it. Recently unemployed and now a full time at home mum I am on the edge of permanant melt down. I am going to try your method and see if it works... my Mr 4 is unstoppable. Thankyou for your openness.

    • profile image

      Nancy Vance 

      7 years ago

      Having been thru this with 2 of my 3 children, I so empathize with you. My oldest is 15 and it still works, although the "deals" have changed over the years. When some well-meaning person suggests that bribing is not teaching them anything, I politely tell them that the workforce operates under the same premise.

    • raising6kids profile image


      7 years ago

      Great Hub I remember those days my youngest is 8, my oldest is 17...I can totally relate. Now I have different issues to deal with, thank you for sharing your techniques.

    • bettybarnesb profile image


      7 years ago from Bartlett, TN

      He will grown out of it. My son who is now 36 years old drove three different automobiles at age 2 1/2. The last time I thought I was going to have a heart attack. But we both survived his terrible two's. Reinforce more of your love for him more than disappointment. He is acting out for a reason. Try not to scream at him but try sitting him down and talking to him. The more you do it and more he will listen.

    • mypleasurefantasy profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Virginia Beach

      Beach Bum...oh no, please don't misunderstand my intent in this hub. Nothing I have done (especially throwing the shoe) hurt him. I chose the title as I did because every parent has gotten to the point that I mentioned in the title with their child or children. Sometimes even a spouse, everything is meant as humourous; nothing violent. Thank you for your kind words and I apologize if certain phrases disturbed you, but they were meant to be humourous; not violent.

    • Beach Bum Bhudda profile image

      Beach Bum Bhudda 

      7 years ago from Maui, Hawaii

      I like the way you keep tuning into your child, trying different strategies to match the uniqueness of your child. However, two things concern me...The title of you hub is disturbing. Also, when you said you took off your shoe and threw it at your child when he ran away, I grew concerned. You are probably using these hints of violence to elicit humor, but I was disturbed by them. Overall, your love for your child comes through loud and clear. Good job.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Great work, mpf (mypleasurefantasy)! You have a very self-motivated boy. I'm sure he's a genius in the making. Did you measure his IQ already? Anyways, congratulations on your HubNugget nomination!

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 

      7 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination.

      All kids are different, but you provide some great tips on dealing with a strong willed child.


    • Enelle Lamb profile image

      Enelle Lamb 

      7 years ago from Canada's 'California'

      I can totally relate...I wish those things would have worked for my son, and that I had thought of them!!! None the less, I can relate! Loved the title and great content!

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 

      7 years ago from Canada

      This is excellent! Your technique makes sense: you are letting this child become "who they are," even it's not "age-appropriate," according to the so-called experts. Great hub!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I've learned in being surrounded by preschool kids daily is that there is really no formula that works for all children. One technique will work for one child and will not work on another. The best way is to observe and try what does work! Great thing you found yours! Consistency is indeed one of the keys as well. Thank you for sharing!

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! To view the Hubnuggets, follow this link:

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      I found this an interesting read :-)

    • QudsiaP1 profile image


      7 years ago

      What an enticing read! Kudos to you to finding a way to raise a child with out resorting to spanking.

      Thank you for sharing your experiences and hopefully making it easier for other mums out there. :)

      As for the Title, I loved it, it attracted me to your hub. Had the word discipline be written, since I am not a parent, I would have skipped by it.

      Great hub. :)

    • nasus loops profile image

      nasus loops 

      7 years ago from Fenland

      I have just read this hub and as a mother with a difficult child I fully understand where you are coming from. You kept me glued to your hub which is great. The only thing that you might like to look at is renaming your hub as the title doesn't really explain what your hub is about. Maybe mention the words discipline rather than kill! Kill is a harsh word, but other than that it is a good hub.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You write so well - you make one feel like they are right there with you through these things. Keep writing - you have what it takes to be a great success. Loved this hub - even though a serious subject - was also written in a humurous tone which is what kept me intrigued as well. Great job! A++!!


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