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TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2750
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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Please HELP! I am a 74 year old grandparent with the care of

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Please HELP! I am a 74 year old grandparent with the care of 3 grandchildren while my single daughter is deployed with the military. The children are 14, 11 and 2 years old. I am a hands on Grandma and donot leave the care of the 2 year old on my other grandchildren. I love my grandchildren and enjoy being with problem is that I have let the 2 year old get out of control. The other two kids are great! The little one was great until he turned two in June and now he is totally out of control. I don't know what I did wrong but it has happened and I don't know what to do. When I raised my kids (4), 40 and 50 years ago, when they didn't come when I called them or stop when I told them to stop, I swatted their butt and it brought them under control. They are all college grads now and appreciate the discipline they had.

This is a new day ( that wasn't considered child abuse) back then. But what in the world can I do, in this day and time, to get this child in control. He doesn't like to be the restaurant, it is chaos, he is out of his chair, running all over the place , tripping up the wait staff, in the movies he gets us kicked out talking loud wanting "apple juice" or getting out of his seat, running around and it takes all three of us to chase and tackle him. Or he is crying and I try to supply all of the "snack things" to keep him satisfied. I cannot go from one room to the other, without him crying to come with me. The brother and sister would help me with him, but he is exhaustive and I cannot put his care on them. They try to pick him up when he doesn't want to be picked up, and he crumbles to the floor, limp, and will not get up until he is ready to get up...even though we are trying to go somewhere. (Whew)

He is not violent, does not show any developement problems, has been cleared by the pediatrician as a "normal" well nourished, developementally on tract.

I have got to do something before his mother gets back and sees what a mess I have made with the "perfect" child she left with me. PLEASE HELP !!!
Hi and welcome. I'm a Licensed Master Social Worker with 20+ years experience working with individuals and families. I am also a mom of twins.
You haven't done anything wrong here and he is just displaying behavior that 2 year olds display. He is testing the limits and seeing how far he can get with things. He can also sense you feeling out of control and is responding to that. He is so young but he needs some firm limits. If you get out of your chair you will lose your..... and when he does then follow through with what you said would happen.

The swat on the tush won't work and I don't suggest that. Before you go to a restaurant you let him know what you expect of him and what he will lose if he doesn't follow the rules. His favorite toy may work. When he behaves in the manner in which you would like, praise him for it and let him know that you are proud of how he is sitting in the restaurant. It will take some time and he will protest the new rules and ways of being. right now he can see how many people are trying to control him and he will fight harder to assert himself as he tests. Have the kids help if you need it physically, but you set the rules and the consequences and you follow through.
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