Toddler discipline?

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Kayla1981's picture
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Toddler discipline?

I'm struggling with an effective way to discipline Jordan. I know it's perfectly normal for her to test limits at this age but I am not very consistent with my response. I tried time out but it became a game. She thought it was hilarious to give me this mischievous little grin and take off running from her time out spot. I tried putting her back over and over but the game was way too much fun for her. She loved it. :rolleyes: Redirecting her works sometimes but not always. She can be very persistent. I have tried occasionally swatting her hand but I never feel good about it afterward. I'm not 100% against spanking. My parents used it sparingly with us and it worked. It's just hard for me to explain to her that you don't hurt the dog so I'm going to spank you. Seems like I am sending her mixed messages. Besides, if we do spank then I want it to be an absolute last resort and not a threat every time she is acting up. I heard some parents the other day in Target that kept saying, "I'm going to swat you if you don't stop (fill in the blank)" and they never followed through with any sort of punishment. Of course you could tell the kids didn't take them seriously in the least.

It's a tough age for discipline, right? Any suggestions?

Jenn0113's picture
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When Deacon was that age we did "powpows" on the diaper. They would straighten him ip right away. However, the older he got the less they affected him and we moved to time outs.

What I would do is get the book Dare to Discipline and read through that. Its by James Dobson. It has totally changed the way I handle Deacon.

a's girl's picture
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Alison told me on Tuesday night "yucky mommy" and then pinched me. It took everything in me not to laugh out loud at that one. It is a tough age. I feel like I am always saying "no and stop that". And you should hear the kid cry when she is put into a time out. Oh goodness. The neighbors probably think we are trying to skin her or something.

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I have to add because its funny - Deacon now takes it upon himself to do the disciplining. Like if he knows he did something wrong and I'm upset, he puts himself in time out and won't get up until he has served more than enough time.

Also - I tend to get in trouble a lot too by him. I say "what the heck" a lot and I am told over and over "we don't say what the heck! and we don't say kill!" Even when I didn't say kill - which I never say. Ha

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I found Time Outs are more for redirection than punishment at this age. I had to sit with the kids a lot to get them to stay. It does take a little while, but they do catch on.

It also helps us to be consistint. No matter where we are, if you do certain bad behaviors, you will get a time out. We've done them in the middle of just about every store.

My time outs go like this:
-I ask for the behavior to stop once. (except for hitting, that is an automatic time out)
-If they don't listen, I take them to time out. (I'm not about bargaining or giving several chances to shape up- that just seems to prolong the inevitable)
- I place them in their chair or whatever spot I decide will be time out and say, "We do not throw fits like that. You are now in time out."
- then walk out. (or sit with them when they were first learning what it was) Ava gets a 3 minutes and Andrew gets 2.
-I got back in and say," We do not throw fits like that. You do not have to eat your lunch, but you must sit nicely while everyone else eats. Can you please tell me you're sorry." (I make them say sorry- if they refuse, they get another minute in time out until they're ready to apologise) Then we hug.

Often, with Andrew he will get several time outs in a row before he acts better. It is extremely frusterating, but I try hard to be firm and sterm, but calm.

this is the only form of discipline I've used, and it's working well for us now.

Good luck! I hope you are able to find something that works for you all!

joysiloo's picture
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We don't spank or use any type of corporal punishment as discipline. Here are some of the books that have helped us with toddlerhood:

The Discipline Book

Tears and Tantrums

Playful Parenting

Cali26's picture
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I am anti-corporal punishment as well.
My advice is this:
- Praise positive behavior
- Redirect behavior you want stopped

Jordan's age is close to when I started time outs with J. Like Amber, the time out is just a quick break away and then a redirection to a new activity.

At T's age, we use a lot of signing to redirect behavior, which includes "stop" and "wait". I try to reserve "no" for more severe behavior (biting). I have also started redirecting.

At J's age, we use a 1,2,3 system. When he demonstrates a behavior that he needs to stop, I say "1". He will usually stop. If not, I say "2" and then proceed to "3" which equates to a break (time out). He gets a minute per age time out. When the timer goes off, he is now trained to apologize.

With both of my boys I use positive praise all the time.

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I do the 1, 2, 3 time out as well. (unless he was to hit that would be an immediate time out but I don't believe he has done this yet really) At the end of his two minutes (I do one minute per age) I remind him of why we don't do whatever it was he was in time out for. (He hasn't tried to get out of his spot more than a couple times and I've just started the 2 minutes over.) I think this really only happened twice. He says sorry, hugs and runs back off to his happy world.

Whatever you do consistency is important even if at times you feel like the consistency doesn't matter.

alwayssmile's picture
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"joysiloo" wrote:

We don't spank or use any type of corporal punishment as discipline. Here are some of the books that have helped us with toddlerhood:

The Discipline Book

Tears and Tantrums

Playful Parenting

I have the first and last books that I've been reading. I need to read faster because I'm starting to sound like a broken record with Aiden of "no!" and then removing him from the area if redirection doesn't work.

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"Cali26" wrote:

I am anti-corporal punishment as well.
My advice is this:
- Praise positive behavior
- Redirect behavior you want stopped

Jordan's age is close to when I started time outs with J. Like Amber, the time out is just a quick break away and then a redirection to a new activity.

At T's age, we use a lot of signing to redirect behavior, which includes "stop" and "wait". I try to reserve "no" for more severe behavior (biting). I have also started redirecting.

At J's age, we use a 1,2,3 system. When he demonstrates a behavior that he needs to stop, I say "1". He will usually stop. If not, I say "2" and then proceed to "3" which equates to a break (time out). He gets a minute per age time out. When the timer goes off, he is now trained to apologize.

With both of my boys I use positive praise all the time.

Yes, this, all of it!!! Biggrin

We use 1-2-3 Magic with my DS, and started that a little after he turned two. With the girls, we redirect. They don't understand the concept of counting yet. We rarely do time outs with the girls. They do not understand the concept, so redirecting works best. If they hurt each other, we do make them stop and say, "sorry." They are getting the hang of that one.

Kayla1981's picture
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Thanks so much for the book recommendations! I will definitely look into them.

Maybe I need to revisit time out but do it a little differently. I totally agree that consistency is key so I need to decide on a plan of action when she is acting up. Lately I've been so tired and sick that I just don't have it in my sometimes to follow through. :/

a's girl's picture
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Kayla - I am not even sick and pregnant and sometimes I don't have it in me!!! They certainly do like to test their limits. I have found though that Alison really does hate to be told she is going in time out...and she is learning that if I say "time out" she will stop what she is doing!

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Discipline is hard! I do 1,2,3 with both Alicia and DJ and they both understand time out. DJ is a bit more difficult, because he doesn't really understand it yet, but we are working on it. I agree with pp, consistency is key. The other thing that really works for us, is toy time out. If someone is fighting over a toy, the toy goes on top of the fridge. With Alicia I have had to escalate time outs to time in her room when the tantrum just worsens in the time out spot; I just love the 3 year olds, its great!

Nicole