Hendrix. My goose. (I have lots of nick names for my boys!) I love that kid. I love him more than words can express, every second of his life. But I'm not going to lie. I haven't liked him that much lately.
His behavior, for the last couple months, has been deplorable. He is defiant, he talks and yells back at Matt and I when we try to talk to him about why certain behaviors are unnacceptable. He deliberately does what he knows he isn't supposed to do, looking at us out of the corner of his eye, and with a grin on his face. He knows exactly what our buttons are, and he pushes them repeatedly. He has been very aggressive with Jameson (pushing him over, punching him, pinching him, etc). He has been using "bad" words (butt, poop, etc). He won't stay in bed at bedtime. He whines if things don't go his way. He melts down and spends up to several hours a week in full-fledged tantrums. It's horrible.
I know the response I'm going to get to this: He's 2 and 1/2. He's just being a toddler.
Thanks, but I really don't want to hear that right now. I've tried convincing myself of that several times already. I see other kids - even the ones who act out. It's still nothing compared to what Hendrix has been doing lately. I realize kids are often the worst for their own parents, but I feel like I'm about at a breaking point with him.
I also feel like these behavior problems are making me look like a pathetic excuse for a parent. Believe me, friends, we have exhausted our disciplinary options. We use time-out. We have spanked (though I'm not spanking's biggest fan). We have told him that if he is going to cry or misbehave, that he needs to go up in his room and do it by himself. We've tried being emotionless robots. We've tried firmly talking to him. We've tried gently talking to him. We've tried ignoring him. We've tried excessively rewarding good behavior. We've stopped letting him watch Spiderman, IronMan, Hulk, etc. Things aren't changing.
A friend of mine, and Hendrix's babysitter when he isn't at "school" read an article that red food dye can cause behavioral issues. I looked into this a bit this morning, and I found sources here and here that support this claim. Now, I know that these articles are designed to scare you. I'm not sitting here saying I want to remove every dye and artificial food component from our diet, but cutting back on artificial components is something to consider, at least as a start.
I don't know if it will work, but it's worth a try. I love my son, and there are days where he is an angel. I know he's capable of being a civilized human being, and if I can help him achieve more of the good days, then I absolutely want to do that.
Does anyone have any thoughts or opinions on what I've written today?
Any advise or suggestions at disciplining behavior?
Any encouragement that might dissuade me from "accidentally" leaving him at WalMart? (Relax, I kid.)
I hope everyone has an enjoyable holiday weekend. Thanks, everyone!