toddler discipline

16 posts / 0 new
Last post
jperry5683's picture
Joined: 02/13/10
Posts: 525
toddler discipline

I know we have talked discipline before but now that toddler tantrums are in full force how is everyone handling it?

Daycare mommas- how do they deal at daycare with tantrums and defiance?

When u leave kiddo in others care have u had to have a conversation on how they should discipline or handle tantrums?

How do u handle public tantrums and or discipline?

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

Hm, good question. A little hard to answer since it depends so much on the situation, but I guess the general points I try to keep in mind are:

-Reward positive behavior!!! It's hard to remember, but I really try to notice when she's playing nicely, being polite, etc. and comment on it, so she's getting attention for good behavior, not just bad behavior.

-Discipline is more about teaching and guidance than punishment. So, we'll do "time out" if she's doing something where being removed from the situation is the only real choice (like hitting the dogs), but it's not punitive--I stay with her and help her calm down until we can re-approach the issue or redirect.

-Any "punishments" I try to keep directly related to the crime--like if she gets stubborn and refuses to pick up her crayons after I've attempted to get her to do it in a few different ways, I'll say "Are you going to pick them up, or do they need to go bye bye?" and if she still won't then they get put in the top of the closet for a while.

-We do not respond to "toddler terrorism" (like giving in to screaming, rudeness, demanding, snatching, etc.) She can calm down and ask nicely or she can be ignored and go without. End of story. (Although I do calmly try to help her get there!)

-Don't phrase it as a question if "no" is not an option!

-Related: I never, EVER threaten something I can't follow through on, and whenever possible I try to limit her choices to "do it yourself or I do it" (not two things she has control over) so it's enforceable. Like "Are you going to walk with me, or am I going to carry you?" so if she doesn't come with me then there's something I can do about it!

Ummmm...I'm sure there's more but that's what comes to mind off the top of my head. They're two--it's their nature to test limits and throw tantrums. They will get past it with a little guidance...and a lot of time.

Our daycare pretty much has the same philosophy of discipline as I do (one big reason i picked that daycare!) so I don't worry too much about it. Addy has never had a discipline issue at school anyway--nothing big enough they felt like they needed to tell me about, anyway. A little not wanting to share her beloved pink marker or something is about it.

I haven't really had to talk to anyone else about how to handle this because she doesn't throw tantrums for other people. Only lucky us!

Public, I try hard to head off tantrums with distraction but if it's really bad and there's nothing I can do, I'll just leave with her. If it's not something I can REALLY leave I'll go outside or to the bathroom or something with her--where she can't bother others. Ultimately that's really all you can do. Fortunately, that doesn't happen too much.

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

Our philosophy is very similar to Leigh's.

I handle defiance by redirection (ex: Teagan- "NO CLOTHES, AAAAH" Me- "Hey, let's go pick out clothes that match mommy's. Can you find a purple shirt?") or by giving her the choice of doing it herself or having me do it. I use counting to three to give her time to make that choice. For instance, Teagan - "NO INSIDE NOOOOO" Me - "Teagan, I'm going to count to three. You can walk inside but when I get to three I'm going to carry you. 1, 2 ... compliance ... or carrying)

I agree to NEVER EVER use threats you can't or really wouldn't want to follow through on. I often have to pause and really think of something that I can enforce right there and that won't completely ruin my day. For instance Teagan-"NO SITTING IN SHOPPING CART!!" Me- "Teagan, sit down or I'm going to make you walk." or if walking doesn't seem like a better alternative to me "Teagan, sit down or we're going to have time out in the cheese aisle". I would NOT say "Sit down or we're leaving" because I need to do my grocery shopping.

I handle violence by first telling her that she's hurt whomever it was she hit and then I tell her that she'll have a time out if she does it again. If she does it again, I remove her from the situation and we sit in a quiet corner for a minute.

I handle tantrums by waiting nearby until the anger turns into vulnerability and then I go in for a hug. I don't try to explain anything to her, ask her questions, or reprimand her until I sense that shift. If she's being violent towards me in her tantrum I just back further away. Patience really works with tantrums. Since I started using this scheme it has shortened tantrums by at least 90%. They still happen but we get through them faster and we're both better off afterwards.

We reward positive behavior. She says please a lot and she's just started saying thank you and I always tell her that I appreciate her saying it.

Same daycare as Leigh and same teacher so no differences there. I'm very glad she has the teacher she does. Some teachers are constantly harping on the kids whereas T & A's teacher uses redirection appropriately. I've never seen a kid throw a tantrum there. Kids are just happy there!

I've spoken with my Dad about how we handle discipline just in conversation but its never been an issue because she's always so dang well-behaved for other people .. little stinker. I think that anyone I'd leave Teagan with knows that we most absolutely do not under any circumstances hit our child.

ETA: Oh yeah, public. I do the same thing as I do at home. Its embarrassing sometimes but I'm past the point of really caring if my child is laying on the sidewalk screaming and I'd much rather be consistent. If we're somewhere that demands quiet, I'll just leave. I try to avoid places like that ...

Joined: 06/22/10
Posts: 5602

"TiggersMommy" wrote:

I handle violence by first telling her that she's hurt whomever it was she hit and then I tell her that she'll have a time out if she does it again. If she does it again, I remove her from the situation and we sit in a quiet corner for a minute.

have you had an instance where she will not sit and she screams or tries to run away? we tried the time out sitting with him once and he just screamed and kept trying to leave

we try to use distraction a lot. For the most part he is pretty good and we havn't had a lot of tantrums or issues. he is pretty defiant though and our biggest issue i would say is him not listening. I would like to follow the same guide that Erin and Leigh is using, i just tend to not think of the right things to say most of the time. I like the choices idea we don't do that enough i think. If i need him to come somewhere with me and he doesn't when i tell him to i usually just go pick him up but giving him a choice sounds like a better plan.

He never gives tantrums at daycare and i don't think he has been too defiant there. She told me she only gave him a time out once for hitting and she sat with him on the stairs talking to him. of course he sits quietly with her :rolleyes:

we hardly use babysitters, but we havn't had a talk with anyone about it although my mom has asked what we do when he doesn't listen.

Public tantrums we havn't really dealt with yet.

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

I pretty much follow what Leigh and Erin mentioned as much as I can. I struggle some days, but most of the time I'm good about offering choices I can live with. My biggest struggle is balancing two crazy toddlers at once. When they both want to do the opposite thing (inside/outside) it's a huge struggle. Somehow I have to convince one or the other to change their mind.

Daycare will do time outs for hitting, kicking, throwing and biting once they reach the toddler room (18 months). Once the kid calms down they are good about talking it over with the child in a way they can understand. My kids are much less defiant at daycare, in fact I'm often told they are so well behaved. *rolling eyes*.

Haven't really left the kids with anyone other than my sister and my closest friend. Both of them have seen us in action during tantrums and such so know exactly how we like to handle things so no real "explaining", just modeling I guess.

been able to avoid an actual tantrum in public so far. Not listening or crying because we wouldn't buy something we have dealt with. The not listening gets a warning that if they fail to listen then they will go into the cart and then following through. crying gets dealt with by calming them down first then explaining why we aren't getting the toy. I figure they are sad/upset and I'm not going to remove them from the store. It seems like a punishment for something that has made them sad. They have a right to be sad even if it disturbs others IMHO. Course I only go into stores with the kids that are semi-kid friendly too. If I was in a high end store or such I might feel differently, but the toy aisles at Target I don't worry about being in public. Ethan is at the stage that he says "I'm sad mommy. I want that toy" It's totally adorable!

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

"janijanis" wrote:

have you had an instance where she will not sit and she screams or tries to run away? we tried the time out sitting with him once and he just screamed and kept trying to leave

Oh yes. It's not the sort of time out I remember having but then again I was old enough to remember it. We just did one, actually. Teagan smacked DH in the face after he told her not to hit the kitty. We whisked her off to her room to sit on her bed for a few moments of quiet time. She tried to escape off her bed but I just grabbed her and snuggled her. Its not really punitive. Its more just trying to change the mood. I figure she isn't hitting because she wants to hurt us. She's hitting because she can't communicate whatever it is that's going on in her head and she chooses to smack, which is an effective way to get someone's attention. By taking her to her room we get away from whatever it is that was causing her to lash out and we let her know that we're listening through calm hugs and talking. Buuut we make sure to talk about how its not nice to hit and that it hurts and that she should use her words. She quickly reverted to playing happily with DH.

KittyRN's picture
Joined: 02/03/09
Posts: 1260

Time outs do not work here. And I am not wiling to put him in his crib or playpen or somewhere where he'd be trapped because i'm sure it will end up giving him a negatie association. So if I try a time out, he'll climb down (say from a chair or where ever) so I put him back, and suddenly this becomes a game. LOL!!!

We do distraction alot. Sometimes I do raise my voice (not yell per say, but get serious about it if that makes sense) or he just thinks everything is a joke and laughs. He knows when I use my serious voice and usualy stops whatever he was doing.

Simon is actually pretty good for listening to us. The only thing he does that drives me nuts is sort of yell/scream if he wants attention from me or DH when we're talking, its really hard to ignore because he'll keep doing it. Not sure what to do there....any suggestions?

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

"KittyRN" wrote:

We do distraction alot. Sometimes I do raise my voice (not yell per say, but get serious about it if that makes sense) or he just thinks everything is a joke and laughs. He knows when I use my serious voice and usualy stops whatever he was doing.

Simon is actually pretty good for listening to us. The only thing he does that drives me nuts is sort of yell/scream if he wants attention from me or DH when we're talking, its really hard to ignore because he'll keep doing it. Not sure what to do there....any suggestions?

I'm quite familiar with the mommy tone. I only whip it out in extreme circumstances so that it doesn't get old.

Teagan's been screeching a lot. I can usually tell what it is that she's screeching about and so we ask her to say it instead of scream it. That usually works. For instance, she'll have a snack at her little table and the dogs will give her the "I want your food" eye. She'll let our a bloody curdling scream. I'll say, "Don't scream. Tell them to go away." She'll say, "Go away, Doggies!" and I'll kick the dogs out of the room. For awhile we were just ignoring it hoping it would go away if we didn't acknowledge that it was driving us insane but it just kept getting worse. Its a form of communication from a child that is just figuring out communication. Correction and suggestion give them something to work with and make them feel 'heard'.

KittyRN's picture
Joined: 02/03/09
Posts: 1260

I see how that would work Erin if he wanted something specifically but he only seems to do this when DH and I are talking with eachother and ignoring him. Its like he has to have our attention 24/7. If he's busy with a toy or otherwise preoccupied he doesnt do it, but say we are standing in the kitchen and he comes racing him and we dont stop automatcially to talk to him, he does it. He also has a knack for doing it while we're on the phone. Though I think the whole phone/need your attention thing is just a part of havingt kids. Lol

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

"KittyRN" wrote:

I see how that would work Erin if he wanted something specifically but he only seems to do this when DH and I are talking with eachother and ignoring him. Its like he has to have our attention 24/7. If he's busy with a toy or otherwise preoccupied he doesnt do it, but say we are standing in the kitchen and he comes racing him and we dont stop automatcially to talk to him, he does it. He also has a knack for doing it while we're on the phone. Though I think the whole phone/need your attention thing is just a part of havingt kids. Lol

It hasn't worked with Olivia yet, but for over a year we've been telling Ethan to say "excuse me Mommy" when he wants attention, to tell me something etc. He's finally getting there with actually saying "excuse me" when I'm distracted and not paying attention to him. Granted half the time he yells excuse me, but it's getting better! LOL

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

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!!!!!" Lol 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. Lol

Joined: 06/22/10
Posts: 5602

if you put her in her room or a different room does she play with whatever is in there? i think Lucas would just go and start getting into things that were in that room

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

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.

BuckeyeK's picture
Joined: 10/23/06
Posts: 3087

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. Sad Mostly at DD1. Sad

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

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. :roll: 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. Lol

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. Blum 3 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

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

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 Smile

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 ROFL 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. Lol