I had a cute post all planned for today. After being gone for 2 and a half weeks, I was all ready to tell you about how amazing our trip was, and show you pictures of all of the cool things we saw and did...and then I tried to go grocery shopping this morning.
I'm afraid that Evie has officially entered the "terribles twos." The tantrums have been manageable, and mostly in the privacy of our own home until recently. Also, until recently, they haven't been violent towards anyone. She has hit me a few times in the past couple of months, and we took it very seriously. We created a timeout space, and put her there whenever she was violent (mostly hitting, biting a little bit). It was relatively few and far between, I think we put her on timeout a total of 3 - 4 times between April and June 10th.
However, while we were gone on our trip, the episodes of violence grew exponentially. She had a violent outburst like this about every other day. I chalked it up to being in a strange place, away from her father, etc. I disciplined her as much as I could, but these incidents often occurred in public, which means no timeout space, and the whole world is watching (read: judging) how you react. Being in a different culture, where I'm unsure of the social norms for disciplining your child in public made it even more difficult.
I was hoping that it would be better when we got home, but this morning at the grocery store, she bit my hand so hard that she left a bruise. She was upset that I strapped her into the shopping cart. Fortunately, I hadn't really started my shopping yet. I immediately carried her out of the store. We went to the car in the parking lot, where I attempted to explain to her that she hurt me and that biting is wrong. I say "attempted" because I felt like she got her way in the end: she didn't have to ride in the shopping cart. I feel completely defeated. In her mind, biting equaled getting her way.
So, that's where my plea for advice comes in. Does your toddler have outbursts in public? How have you handled it? We need to act immediately. She needs to learn that sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do, and biting/hitting are not the appropriate reactions.
Please tell me about your system for dealing with tantrums in public. I'd love to hear any suggestions that anyone can give me. I promise a cute post from our trip over the weekend.... :)