Ugh! Ander yells "NO!" or talks about anytime we say something lately. Little Gym was better this week, because we worked on the rules, but it still wasn't good. He doesn't pay any attention and wanders off. At age 2, this kid had the attention span of the average adult. What happened? And he used to be sweet! Argh!!!
I've been trying three things, which are new things but seem to be helping so far. I am open to other suggestions, too.
First, I am copying the Disney channels Special Agent Oso and making three step instructions for things. So I'll say, "Special Agent Ander, your mission is to put on your shoes. Step one, set up your shoes. Step two, put your feet in. Step three, buckle them up." He seems to find this fun. My favorite is when he says he cannot do something, like zip up his backpack. "Step one, take a deep breath. Step two, try again. Step three, ask an adult to help." He was tickled at step two when it zipped and shouted that he didn't need an adult to help.
Second, we are sending him away to calm down and come out nice. It's not a timeout (like he would get for refusal to listen to instructions or hitting). It's just, "you are shouting at mommy. Go into your room and calm down. Once you are calm, come back and tell mommy nicely." It's working somewhat. Yesterday, he even did it himself when he realized he was getting worked up. But he is spending, well, lots of time in his room. :(
Third, he now has three rules everywhere we go. Ears, eyes, and mouth. They vary slightly, depending on where we are going, but we review them before each situation. We make listening ears, watching eyes, and a nice mouth with our hands as we review them, to help him remember the three rules. For example, before a presentation at the library, we reviewed, "Listen to the grownups, use watching eyes to see mommy so you can stay nearby, and a nice mouth at a library means inside voice." We especially practiced watching eyes, since staying in sight of me at the library was important with so many other kids there. (Not that I would lose him if he ran away. The library has a train. That IS where he would be. :)) At Little Gym, we still used ears, eyes, and mouth, but the rules were slightly different. "Use listening ears to listen to the teacher, watching eyes to see where the other kids are and stay with them, and nice mouth to ask to potty if you need to." I find the physical act of putting his hand cupped around each body part helps him remember, plus he can remember three things (just barely...sigh).
Bonus points for anyone who can suggest a way to get Loki to quite setting off the carbon monoxide detection, which cannot be moved out of reach because of the layout of my house. ;)