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Discipline for 2 year old

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#1 Lucygoosey1

Posted 09 April 2012 - 06:21 PM

My DD is starting to test the boundaries.  Things that come to mind are kicking/screaming when having to go in high chair or pram, running off or ignoring me. I feel like I'm yelling a lot, and I don't want to.  How do you discipline & what for?

#2 Chezmlka

Posted 12 April 2012 - 11:39 AM

I am in the same situation at the moment. My son is 2 and whenever I try to change his nappy he kicks at me as hard as he can, when I try to put him in the pram he kicks and screams, when I try to put him in his car seat he digs his nails in and scratches my arms. The scratching worries me. More often than not I have big scratches on my arms from him. Usually when he scratches me he draws blood so I end up with scabs all over my arms. Generally he's a good kid but when he doesn't want to do something he certainly lets you know. I find yelling at him doesn't work. If I get frustrated and start yelling he just laughs at me. I'm not sure what to do about it so I can't help you but hopefully someone here has some good ideas.

#3 Fright bat

Posted 12 April 2012 - 11:54 AM

Counting to three and then sitting in the corner works for us. To get out of the corner, have to count to ten and then apologise for what he's done wrong. Started about age 2. Now at 2.5 we almost never get to ''3' - the threat of 'do we need to count to three and sit in the corner?' is usually enough, and we get to 2 at worst. But it did take some ripper tantrums in the corner to get to this point! We just stayed really calm through them and reiterated the rules until he claimed down, and he just got better with time.

#4 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:03 PM

I have NFI (DS is only 6 mo) but I was reading a book which suggested

Giving plenty of warning of what's coming next, and what you expect them to do.  

Role playing the correct behaviour with a teddy.

#5 Mrs_Mystery_Guest

Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:07 PM

DS2 is 2 and I usually say NO! Or that's not nice be gentle. I say gentle in a soft voice lol. I also clap my hands together loudly and that gets his attention and he stops being silly. 1,2,3 works as well. I remove and distract if a situation isn't going well. Once in a while if he is being particularly foul I give him a swat on the bum. Never on the skin just on his pants. I know spanking isn't for everyone but I only do it as a last resort.

#6 Cat Burglar

Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:24 PM

LOL my DD who has just turned one does most of this sad.gif
Sorry im no help wink.gif

ETA counting to 3 was excellent for a friend's DS. He never got to 3!

Edited by Soccer Mum, 12 April 2012 - 12:25 PM.

#7 CherrySunday

Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:30 PM

DD is only 22 months, but 1,2,3 has already stopped working sad.gif
If I say 1 and hold up a finger, she replies with 'two' and a huge grin, then continues whatever she was doing.

#8 hollysmama

Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:30 PM

Oh I'm hearing you. My 2.5 yo DD is driving me bonkers. Not only does she not understand the word 'no', but she refuses to ask for things in a calm manner. She'll just throw a hissy fit straight away and it's almost impossible to calm her down. I've tried yelling, I've smacked her out of sheer frustration, putting her in her room, but the tantrum continues.

So I've tried to change my approach. If she refuses to do something that I've asked her to do, I will threaten to take something she loves away from her, like a toy or a book, or her colouring pens.  or I will tell her we won't go to swimming lessons or something else that she loves to do. This has been working quite well.

If she won't take no for an answer, or refuses to use her manners, and then starts chucking a tantrum, I will ignore her, after explaining to her why I've said no.  She gets so hyped up that she'll start screaming in my face.  So instead of yelling back at her, I calmly lead  her into her room and onto her bed, and shut the door behind me. Then I will go in only when she has settled down and explain to her why her behaviour was unacceptable and how we can avoid it in the future.  It's really hard because sometimes I am just in tears because she really pushes me to the limit, and I have no idea what I 'm doing.  I get so angry that I just have to get her out of my sight.

I hope you find something that works for you. It's a really hard stage to go through, and very very challenging. We just do the best we can.  And remember to pick your battles, because sometimes it feels like you are just yelling at them and being mean to them all day. Sometimes you just have to let them go, don't sweat the small stuff.

#9 TopsyTurvy

Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:58 PM

I find engaging DS with eye contact and getting down to his level seems to work the best here.  Lots of calm talking and less yelling keeps both of us on a more even keel.
Sometimes it takes a few minutes to get his attention, so I just wait until the carry on stops then turn his head (gently) towards me until he makes eye contact and firmly but calmly explain why we do/don't do XYZ that it's not a choice.  Follows by a kiss and hug and then we move right along.

I still do yell from time to time (dont get me wrong) but realise that yelling is more MY problem in that I have failed to remain as calm and patient as possible.

Also I have only DS which makes giving him the time and patience heaps easier.

#10 Mummy_123

Posted 14 April 2012 - 04:09 AM

Hi OP, all good tips from PPs.
If I'm being ignored or he's being in my face and getting a bit too physical with his baby brother, I'll try counting (although I count to 5 lol). As in, 'I'm gonna count to 5, if I get to 5, I'll put you in the other room'.
For it to work, (eventually) you have to actually do what you threaten, so I don't make it too harsh. He gets a bit of a shock when I follow thru.
Distraction sometimes works if they are in a full-blown tantrum ie ask them about their fave toy etc. Lots of cuddles when he is does as I ask (eg puts his dirty (plastic!) dishes in the sink). He loves it.

#11 jcbenny

Posted 14 April 2012 - 05:47 AM


#12 Tecopa

Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:25 AM

I am totally losing the plot with 2.5 year old - just the last month or two it's like the real kid has disappeared and it's a little devil instead. Tantrums, demands, screams, won't ask nicely. I want milk NOW mummy no matter how much I remind him of manners. And the best when I say no...a very huffy "No say NO mummy say YES" - plus hitting me occasionally when I say no. I normally just have to put him in his room and walk away after I smacked him and that's not what I want to do. I'm just so angry at him at times. Everything is a battle. In fact I'm so drained I'm giving up some freelance projects that I managed to do all through the the newborn years and all. I have no reserves left for anything.

#13 podg

Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:43 AM

Nobody seems to have mentioned that amongst managing the unacceptable behaviours, 'noticing the good' can be very helpful. Giving lots of positive attention for good behaviour helps the child to want to repeat the performance, and helps you to notice that not every move he makes is a negative one. Also humour can be useful.

It's hard, isn't it?

#14 a letter to Elise.

Posted 14 April 2012 - 07:09 AM

I find explaining my expectations helpful. For example; We need to go out in the pram soon. Mummy wants you to sit in the pram nicely. If you sit in the pram nicely we can go to the park. If you don't sit nicely, then you will need to stand in the corner/can't go to the park etc. Then a quick distraction - which toy do you want to hold while you're sitting in the pram? Teddy? Ok, lets get teddy and go and get in the pram.

DS is also a lot more cooperative if he is prepared to leave the house. He likes to take a little bag with a couple of special things in it. Not much, a toy train and a couple of crayons or some other random treasure is enough.

123 and then the corner is helpful, but you'll probably have to endure a giant tantrum in the corner at least once, and then it will probably work well from then on. You need to follow through promptly, and every single time for it to work.

If you're trying the corner, give it a go when you don't have a deadline for needing to be somewhere. Organise a couple of trips to the park (or anything else you know your child will really want to do), so it won't matter if you don't get to go.

#15 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 14 April 2012 - 07:27 AM

Have you tried to find currency?
My DD1 has always been extroverted and being a part of everything.  Therefore the worst possible thing is to isolate her by sending her to her room.  She hates it, and always has.
At 2, I did two warnings then sent her to her room.  A further tantrum meant she stayed in there even longer.
As they get older, it does become easier to explain consequences.  
I also set expectations before we did anything for the day.  Eg: going to the shops, if you throw any tantrums or don't listen to mummy, you won't get a ride on the merry go round.  During some bad periods, even if we were just going to be home, I'd have to say: here is what I expect from you today.
Also 2 year olds get bored very easily and many are not able to direct their own play.  My DD was always really bad when I was busy or needed to get something done, whereas just sitting on the floor with her for ten minutes every hour setting up some play worked brilliantly.
DD1 is now 3 and a half and is much much better.  Hang in there!  If you do the hard work now, it really will pay off for you in the long run.  Hope that helps!

#16 FeralAlpacaWarrior

Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:36 AM

We've had some of these issues. If its a laying in the floor type of tantrum, I tell her my expectations, give her a time limit, then walk away. The lack of attention usually gets her moving. Lately she has been throwing toys when it is time to put them away. At first I'd just take them away, but that has stopped working as she has so many toys she has stopped caring. Now we do the naughty spot. I use a big foam puzzle piece (part of a set- each piece is big enough for a little bottom to sit on) and following Supernanny's guidelines- a minute for each year of age, so 2 min for DD. At first she'd laugh and try to run away, now I hold her arm to keep her on it and explain that she has to be there for 2 min. She cries and whinges, but after sitting there she says sorry, gets a cuddle then I ask her again to follow my directions. If she starts to muck up again I ask her if she wants to sit on the naughty spot again, she says no and behaves. Using the foam puzzle piece means its portable, I can take it from room to room (wherever I am) and I will be taking it when we go interstate next week.

We have seen improvement in DD's behaviour, slowly but surely. The important things to remember are give toddlers plenty of warning about what's happening next, and be consistent and follow through. Never give warning of a consequence you can't/don't want to actually follow through with original.gif

#17 overthehill

Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:07 AM

If I say 1 and hold up a finger, she replies with 'two' and a huge grin, then continues whatever she was doing.

biggrin.gif That's cute!

#18 oNeLoVe

Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:19 AM

QUOTE (*Browncoat* @ 12/04/2012, 12:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
DD is only 22 months, but 1,2,3 has already stopped working sad.gif
If I say 1 and hold up a finger, she replies with 'two' and a huge grin, then continues whatever she was doing.

I don't get it.  If you say one, she says two - what happens then. Do you just give up?

My DS did this a few times, saying "two" so I'd just say "three" and put him in time out.  I don't get the problem with that.  He doesnt do it anymore, I guess he's learnt that gives him less time to stop his behaviour before going to time out!

#19 Tesseract

Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:26 AM

I wouldn't be isolating a child under 3 (or even older). It might be effective but evidence suggests it is emotionally problematic in the longer term. Here is the Australian Institute of Infant Mental Health position paper on Time Out http://www.aaimhi.org/inewsfiles/Position%20Paper%203.pdf

#20 Tea~for~two

Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:41 AM

I'm not here yet, but one idea I've head of is a sticker reward system?

So having a big colourful chart of the wall and they get a sticker for behaviours you want to encourage, like saying 'please' 'thankyou' picking up my toys, doing what I'm asked. And then get everyone involved to make a big deal out of it - 'WOW look how many stickers you got today! Let's ring up Nan and tell her!!'

Good luck everyone!! I daresay I will be just a clueless and overwhelmed when mine gets here!!


#21 Rach42

Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:20 PM

QUOTE (-nic- @ 09/04/2012, 06:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My DD is starting to test the boundaries.  Things that come to mind are kicking/screaming when having to go in high chair or pram, running off or ignoring me. I feel like I'm yelling a lot, and I don't want to.  How do you discipline & what for?

With my DSs for things like screaming/kicking when going in the pram I would put them in anyway while saying things like "You need to be in the pram because <insert reason> and if you struggle then it's going to be more uncomfortable for you."  They seemed to get the idea that it was actually better to stop resisting as they were going in anyway.

Something I would do if DS scratched or hit me when I was interacting with him I would say "No that hurts, be gentle" and put him down (if I was holding him) and/or walk away.  When they were around 3 I started putting them in their room for a time out.

For running off it depends on the situation.  If we were in public - walking in a shopping center or something like that - and they ran off I would go get them, let them know that they would have to hold my hand if they did it again and then if they did it again make sure I did then hold their hand for a period of time before giving them another chance.  If it was at home and I told them to do something and they just ran off I'd go get them and tell them again and make them do it.  

Using the 1, 2, 3 thing has always worked for me (although now it's up to 5 but I rarely have to use it any more).  I tell them what I want them to do, let them know I'm going to count to 3 and what is going to happen if they haven't done it by the time I get to 3.  They know that I will follow through.

IMO testing the boundaries is perfectly natural and what kids are meant to do - it's our job to show them what the boundaries are and make sure they are firm.  So everytime that boundary is pushed the consequence is the same.  

That all sounds like I was really tough on discipline and I think some people probably thought I was at the time.  However now (DSs are 8 and 6) I rarely have to discipline them so I think it was worth putting in that effort.  I am sure they will find new ways to push the boundaries in the future and I will have to figure out new ways - one thing I have learned with kids is that things are constantly changing!

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