By Heather (A Mama’s Blog)
I thought having a second child would not be as hard as having one. After all, I had already been through it once, how much harder could a second child be?
I found out within hours of Cole’s birth (my second child) that having a second child does not mean he or she will be like your first child. In fact, in some ways it is harder. Instinctively, you seem to do what worked for your first child, with your second child. Sometimes you are lucky and it works- but in my case, it seems more often than not, what methods worked for my first child, Ryan, do not even come close to working for Cole.
So many times I have not felt like an experienced mother with Cole. I feel like I am a first-time mother again, figuring it all out. At times it does feel harder, because I try to use something on Cole that worked with Ryan, and it backfires- and then I am back at square one, and wondering why my techniques that worked so great with Ryan do not have the same outcomes with Cole.
Of course I know Cole is not Ryan and is a totally different person. It makes sense that the same techniques do not and should not work the same on two different children. But, that doesn’t make me wish they would at times.
A big issue we are facing right now with Cole is positive discipline. The methods we used with Ryan worked instantly and effectively. However, Cole laughs at us when we try to correct him and ends up hitting or biting us.
I think some of this is just his general frustrations in not being able to speak fully yet. Like most two-year olds, he has some vocabulary, but can’t fully communicate his feelings or thoughts yet. I know when he is mad, instead of communicating his feelings (because he can’t,) his first impulse is to hit, or bite, or yell.
We have tried almost everything we can think of from talking to him, holding him, diverting his attention elsewhere, to removing him from the situation, in hopes of trying to have him to stop biting and hitting, but he always ends up laughing, and at the very next episode, he does the undesirable behavior again. He really only does this when we tell him he can’t be doing something- like pinching his brother or running dangerously close to the street. Naturally, nothing that worked with Ryan in these situations is working on Cole.
So, I am hoping that some of you may have some suggestions for us to try. Ryan was never a hitter or a bitter, so we really are at square one with this. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas, so we can guide Cole and help him to understand that he can’t bite or hit, while still using gentle and respectful discipline with him.