Thursday, August 4, 2011

How to Discipline a Toddler: What is age appropriate?

We are now getting to the phase with Sam where she is acting like a toddler. A terrible-twos-type-toddler. I know she understands the meaning of "no",yet there are many times when I will tell her to stop doing something and she will just stare at me and continue to do it, blatantly defying me. And other times, I have to take something away from her, and she will throw a full-on tantrum. It usually doesn't last long, and she'll finish with a smile and sweetly say "hi" (which is just adorable!), but still. These tantrums are getting more and more frequent. What is appropriate to do for a toddler at this age? Should I put her in her room? Should I give her a time-out? Should I just wait it out?

It's so amazing to see how human nature just kicks in at such a young age. Today I could hear her pushing buttons on the printer. When I walked in the room she quickly stepped away, put her hands up by her shoulders and said (as best as she can) "I didn't do it!" I didn't teach her that one, I swear!

Sometimes it's hard to be consistent with rules because she can just be so cute and charming, but I also don't want her to grow up to be a bad kid. How do you handle situations like these? How do you enforce the rules with a 15-month old? I don't know how much she understands, and what will really make her understand that Mommy and Daddy are in charge and no means no.

What are your discipline tips for toddlers?


Joyness1025 said...

We've started doing time outs. Only for about 20 or 30 seconds. Otherwise she seems to forget why she's in trouble, but that's all we could think of to do! After she gets up, we make her say sorry (if appropriate) and it seems to work ok. She usually stops screaming by the end of time out and is usually happy to say sorry by that point.

Josh and Rashell said...

We have been doing time outs as well and we make them say sorry for whatever yet did whether it was not listening or hitting their sibling. When I was teaching I got to go listen to Rick Morris about discipline and I really like his ideas and it seems to be working for us. We give them a warning first we say when u _____, then u get a time out. He says not to use the word if use when, then. When they do it again then u say time out put them in the closest corner otherwise they will forget and we help them sit for 30 seconds. Once the time is up they say sorry in sign give hugs and kisses an move on sometimes they go right back and do it again so they have to go back to time out. It's a process bit it seems to have helped the twins listen to us. You have to be consistant if it's not ok today then it can't be ok tomorrow and if it's not ok with mom it can't be ok with dad. Just my thoughts. Oh and the tantrum thing Jules is way into that and I kinda do a mixture of things but I really try to help her to calm down so I will Sit down and explain to her why I took something away or why she can't have it...I try to give her techniques to control herself but sometimes there is no stopping her so At that point I walk away and she realizes that it's not working...if we r in public instead of walking away I hold her as best I can and let her throw her tantrum then like 15 seconds later I try again telling her to calm down and explain again. Sometimes I will use the when then...for example she likes to push the shopping Cart and has a melt down at the checkout counter cause she can't push so she started we melt down and u held her and said look Jules when they r done then u get to push again and she seemed to understand and I think it's because it's the same cause and effect language. Anyway good luck hope some of this helped :-)

BBKiddo said...

We started doing time outs at 1. It works okay for us. Day rarely cries when I put her in time and mostly seems indifferent so I often wonder how much good they actually do but since it usually gets her to stop the bad behavior I would have to guess that it works. I often spend most of the time out time explaining to her why what she did was dangerous/not okay (I avoid the word bad. We always give a hug, kiss and I love you at the end of each time out.
I heard time outs should be the childs age in mintutes so at 1 we did 1 minute (closer to 30 secs sometimes), now at 2 we did 2 minutes. Hope it helps!

Renée said...

Oh man! The terrible toddler stage! Yeah, I know that one well! I find that immediate discipline and consistency is the only way with little ones. They will start associating their behavior with certain punishments and realize that every time they do that particular thing they will always have to face a consequence. Some kids will learn a lot quicker than others. Time outs are good, especially when they are screaming. Elijah gets into crying/screaming fits and I put him in Eva's crib until he calms down. It usually doesn't take him long because he doesn't like to be in there. We have to stay firm. It's so hard sometimes because little ones are just so cute! Hope she learns quickly for you! She sure is a cutie!

Stuff Parents Need said...

I have a strange recommendation. Strange because it's a book I recommend, even though overall, I thought it was terrible.
The Happiest Toddler on the Block is poorly written, but does have an important (and helpful) nugget of advice about how to best talk to gets at this particular stage. Don't buy it, but do check it out from the library. It helped us!

Alisa said...

It gets even more complicated when they reach their teenage years,but disciplining them early on can be helpful as they grow older.

I did timeouts too when my son was at that age.I remember how he shouted and screamed :)But teaching him early on about cause and effect,really helped just like what Josh and Rashell said.

Danielle said...

I love that we both wrote about the same topic on the same day. Great mommy minds think alike! If you need more tips or tricks I shared what I did here: