We've been having some super-nanny-requiring discipline situations with B lately (or so I've heard, I never actually watched Super Nanny). The problem isn't just B's behavior, which I am pretty sure is age appropriate, its the fact that G & I are not exactly on the same page about how to deal with him. Basically he thinks I'm too soft and "coddling" and I think he's too harsh and "mean". For the first time in my parenting journey I'm considering searching for a book or manual about effective yet not-scarring discipline techniques for toddlers. I'm not looking for "the best" way, just a "pretty good" way, something we can agree on, and refer to--like a third party mediator--when we are at odds.
B has problems with 3 different situations:
1. Transitions: I know this one is definitely age-appropriate, but he gets really upset and tantrums whenever we end one activity to move on to another. This includes mundane things like watering plants (he wants them to drown) or helping to spoon-feed his little brother (he wants to recreate foix gras). I try to alleviate this by talking through the steps ahead of time, and repeating while we do the activity (we are going to water this plant, that plant, the other plant, then we will go inside and play!)...he usually catches on and will repeat the words with me, but this doesn't always stop the tantrums. Routine helps with this one, too, he knows his bedtime routine and though he might kvetch a bit when I tell him to stop playing, he immediately runs up the stairs for his bath.
2. Sibling Rivalry: Oh brother (pun intended). Since L started crawling (and his main, nay ONLY, impetus for mobility is to get into B's stuff), B has gotten really physically violent towards his little bro. Hitting, knocking over, kicking. Even when I tell him not to do it and am right up in their faces, he will willfully push him in the face until he falls. He is not apologetic and responds to "why did you do that?" with "I don't like my brother". I am usually flabbergasted and have no idea what to do. I've tried taking away the toys in contention, putting B in "time out", or just separating the two. It happens several times a day.
3. General stubborn-ness (or selective hearing): This is the one that gets G steaming mad & yell-y. He argues that B should listen and obey us as a general rule; i.e. when he tells him to come here or do something (even something as mundane as saying "good morning") he should come, so that when his safety is at stake, we can expect the same. I consider this the "dog training" method, and am more into picking battles. These are the situations that really escalate, as B exerts his independence and G tries to exert his authority, and I sit there cringing yet not wanting to show that mom & dad aren't on the same page. He tries time-outs, taking away toys, etc... and nothing really works to be honest. This is where I think a book or some "authority" may help us decide which battles are worth fighting and how we should best fight them.
Any tips, recommendations or general advice? I have a feeling this is one we'll be dealing with for, oh, the next couple of decades!!!