My 2-year old boy likes to pipe up a stack of wooden toy pieces and ferry it from one place to another.

Once the balance is lost and the wooden pieces fall in the process he becomes very upset and throws himself to the carpet and rolls on and screams.

I don't know how other children behave in the face of this but it didn't look OK to me for my boy to act like that. The thing is, his grandma and grandpa babysit him a lot, I am afraid that he was spoiled as they accommodate to his needs too much w/o restraints nor punitive measures when he didn't behave.

Also he's been co-sleeping with his grandma even though I made an unsuccessful intervene a year ago. I don't like it either.

  • 1
    Something that would really help this situation is finding different child care for your son who will respect your rules as a parent. Continuing to co sleep for an entire year after a parent was forced to "intervene" is completely overstepping of boundaries. You are the parent. You make the rules.
    – user7678
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 13:56

4 Answers 4


I think being two is a frustrating experience - it's not about misbehaving, it is about being two: a two-year-old wants to do so much but is so incapable!

There is a Daniel Tiger's Neighbourhood episode about being frustrated. Your two-year-old might be too young to understand the episode, but it models how parents can help too.

This is the refrain from the episode:

"Take a step back and ask for help".

Watching this episode and then singing the refrain when my 3-year-old is frustrated has helped a lot. The singing seems to help them "snap out of it". I also always talk about how you have to keep trying and practicing to learn to do something new. We take a kind of a "dust yourself off and try again" approach. It probably won't always work, especially at the beginning, but it works most of the time for us.

If you are in the US or Canada (or probably other places too) you can stream Daniel Tiger for free on PBS or CBC. Sometimes I think this show was developed to help me be a better parent, and isn't really for the kids.


Children do learn to modify their behaviour with different people, so its possible you can teach him to behave around you even if he still acts up for his grandparents.

Try getting down to his level, insist that he makes eye contact, and say "I know you are upset about this. Thats fine. But screaming about it is not acceptable. If you carry on screaming you will be in time out."

Then put him in time out for two minutes (one minute per year). Eventually he will learn.


The "terrible 2's" is when children discover their emotions, and this sort of behaviour is very typical.

Helping the child to recognize and identify their own emotions is key in this stage. If you can sit them down, talk to them, ask them how they feel and why they feel that way, it can help a lot.

For example: "How do you feel right now - do you feel angry? Are you angry because the wooden pieces fell down?"

From there you can encourage the child, perhaps assist them with the game, or try a different game, or distract them with a completely different task (like helping mommy or daddy set the dinner table).

If they can identify and understand their own emotions it will help you with teaching proper behaviour.

Of course you need to set limits, so you can take an approach like "You can be angry, that's ok, but you're not allowed to throw things / hit your sister / swear like that".


Frustration in a 2 year old is common. As your child improves its ability to express itself, the outbursts should end. Emotions are difficult for a 2 year old to handle. Focus on modeling patient behavior. When your child starts to overreact, calm your self, by taking a few deep breaths, before you engage with your child.

Be assertive and direct with you parents about your wishes. Say something like "I set my child's rules, and so long as they are reasonable I expect you to follow them. I can't be successful at raising my child without your support." I assume your parents love you and your child, and will respect your wishes if you make it clear it is important to raising your child.

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