We do our "time out" together in her room with the door closed. No running away is possible because she can't open the door (and if she could I'd just sit in front of it.) I wait, like Erin said, pretty much just quietly and patiently, until I see that "shift" from anger to sadness (great way to explain it!) and then we talk through the issue (like "I know you're sad. We don't hit dogs, though. It hurts them. We use gentle hands. Are you ready to play and be gentle?") If the issue happened in her room I'd just take her to a different room. The point is to remove her from the situation and give her a chance to calm down from the tantrum that always ensues.
Choices are AWESOME. Especially as they're getting to this independent age--it gives them a feeling of power that averts A LOT of bad behavior. Ha, my mom used choices a lot with me and now we have a family story from when I was like four or something, one time when she gave me a choice (some total mom non-choice like "Clean it up or go straight to bed!" I just stood there and yelled "I HATE CHOICES!!!!!" But really, they're the best way to get what you want AND make the kiddos feel like they're involved and WANT to do stuff. Most of the time.
Well no, because I'm with her. Here's the usual scenario:
-Adair hits dog in face
-Me: "ADAIR. We do NOT HIT DOGS. BE GENTLE."
-Adair hits dog in face again
-Me: "Do you need to go have some quiet time in your room?"
-Adair: "NO." smacks dog
-I scoop her up and march her to her room, she starts melting down and screaming
-I sit quietly in her room with her while she throws a tantrum, periodically saying "I know you're mad. We don't hit dogs."
-When I can tell she's calming down/more sad than angry, I give her a hug and say "I love you. Are you ready to be gentle with the dogs?"
-Adair (sniffling) "Yeah..."
-Back to playtime.
Once or twice she did not throw a tantrum and just played. I let her, but every time she tried to interact with me or leave, I would say sternly "We don't hit dogs. Are you ready to be gentle?" She ignored me/said no for a while, but eventually said yes. Then I opened the door. By then she was at least distracted from her hitting mission, and the dogs got a break.
DD1 is 5, she gets sent to her room alone. This actually works very well for her, as she does actually calm down, whereas if I were still there she would continue to rant and rage. She plays quietly or reads books, which is fine with me because I don't actually view it as being punished so much as being removed from the situation. She is hard to discipline though, as she is a very spirited child (and that's putting it mildly).
DD2 is my easier child (so far). She doesn't require much discipline. When we do, she often reacts well just to "mom voice." Often, she just has to be redirected (or separated from her sister, who is the cause of most discipline issues). If we do time out, I sit with her quietly. When timeout is over (one minute for each year of age) we talk about why she was in time out, and I tell her I love her and give her a hug.
I yell more than I would like to. Mostly at DD1.
I haven't replied yet because while some discipline techniques I've been doing have worked well (lots of hugs and reminders to be gentle with toys, new activities to keep him busy, trying to find ways to let him do what he wants but safer - e.g., help me cook, etc), other things just haven't worked consistently. I know what I don't want to do as far as discipline goes, but a lot of AP resources just aren't so helpful for this age IMO. Talking to my child does nothing. I try and I'll keep doing it, but right now he just doesn't understand beyond "not for Aiden." Telling him he's hurt mommy has zero connection for him, which of course hurting me is a main issue right now (he'll head bang me, kick me, etc randomly). Redirection isn't working as well as of late either. Kid forgets nothing! I can take him to another room for 10 minutes and he'll still go back to doing exactly what he was before as soon as he's released to leave the room we're in. Honestly the issues we have may very well be due to him needing more active time. He wants complete interaction when playing outside and I just can't climb through the tunnels we have and such. The last two times I've taken him to playgrounds there have been zero other kids there. He's very energetic and busy. Saturday was a fantastic day for us because we went to a VERY busy park an hour away and he did so well other than not wanting to stay in our sight. lol. And those times he's calm? He can concentrate on stuff SO WELL (we're talking keeping focused on one activity for 15 minutes!), happily play by himself respecting his toys, reads books and never tear a page, etc. I feel like I'm getting revenge for him being such a great baby though with his busyness.
My child isn't in daycare. It's sooooo rare that he's in someone else's care that there's usually some sort of activity planned that keeps him mostly well behaved.
Public tantrums? He did have a tantrum at the park last Saturday. That's when I threw him in a carrier on my back. He moaned for a couple of minutes and then settled and tucked himself into me. It gave him a break from the situation. Thankfully when I let him down we were hopping on the miniature train and was far from the toys that he was having a fit about so he couldn't run back to them (cause he hadn't forgotten lol). He's great at restaurants. Only once have I gotten to the point of grabbing him and telling him mommy needs to pee. When we got back food had arrived and he's great once there's food. My child really is better in public which is why when we're having a bad day, we pack up and head out of the house. lol
~Jackie, mommy to Aiden (11/2/10) and Zoe (VBAC 11/27/12)
I totally agree with that Jackie--Adair is usually SO much better behaved out of the house. At home she just gets bored and squirrely so fast, but out and about there's enough going on to keep her happy and busy most of the time. Even as a baby she was like that.
The whole "You hurt me" not meaning anything to them is a tough one, and why biting/hitting is so hard to discipline. They get that it makes you mad but not the WHY. That's why I tried explaining the consequence to HER last night (You bit Charlotte so now she doesn't want to play with you! You bit me so now I am mad!) which actually seemed to get through better...but Adair is older, and unusually social. I don't know that that would work either with a lot of 2 year olds. It is a really tough age to parent!!!!! Reasoning kicks in around 3, so I think 2 is mostly just trying to know your kid well enough to head off most problems and just make the boundaries really clear and consistent when they do run up against them. It won't have an immediate, satisfying effect, but if you can just get through this age with minimal damage and keeping a pretty clear line on the rules, I think you've done excellent parenting
Kristi, I agree that older kids do much better with solo time outs. I think these guys are just still a little too young to "get it"
And re: "mom voice". I use mom voice a lot, and it was MY mom's main tool against me, too. When we were in public and I was being naughty or whatever, she'd look me in the eye and say in this terrifyingly ominous voice "DO WE NEED TO GO TO THE BATHROOM?" and I would immediately stop whatever I was doing and behave. I never did find out what was at the other end of that threat.
Last edited by cactuswren; 09-17-2012 at 12:25 PM.