September 29, 2010

Toddler Discipline

A few weeks ago we were struggling with Emily's attitude.  The result was taking things away from her, namely her DVD's.  Preschooler discipline is getting a little easier because they are starting to understand the cause-effect thing.  So taking away her DVD's worked well.  Although most are still gone, she has been so much better recently.

For toddlers though, discipline is a bit harder.  Will is getting to the point where I have to start some sort of discipline routine.  He is pretty well minding, stops when I tell him no usually.  His worst habit is pulling on Emily's hair.  He is constantly pulling her hair.  So I am constantly having to tell him no.  I think to the point where "no" may become meaningless before he hits 2. 

So instead of constanly telling our kids "NO" what alternatives can we use?

I reserve "STOP" for emergency type situations.  Kids running to far away or near the street, reaching for the stove, etc.  My kids know if I yell "STOP" the better stop in their tracks and look at me. 

I like using no statements, saying no without actually using the word.  Statements like "we dont pull hair because it hurts sister" will teach them more about why not to do it instead of a "No".  I like this option because it gives them room to learn the consequences of their actions. 

Distracting kids often works also.  Instead of constantly telling them no, give them a distraction, something else to keep them occupied.  I use this one aften when I can see Will about to go for something I don't want him to grab.  Instead of waiting for him to grab it, I stop him before he get there, giving him something else to do.  In the process of distracting though I also take the time to say, don't do that, do this instead!  That way he does start to learn that I don't want him doing whatever he was going to do. 

The always debatable spanking can work, if it is what you believe in.  Here in our house we swat.  Just a little pat.  I don't want them to be scared of me, but also to know I'm serious.  The swat never hurts, especially when there is a diaper, but they do understand the firm stance it means I am taking.  That is the final straw.  I rarely need this, mostly with Emily when she wont go into time out, I swat her little tush and she goes running there. 

Around 2, I think, time outs are great.  Emily had time outs in her room for about a year until she started having fun instead of getting a lesson out of it.  Now she is in the corner by the front door.  No stool, mat, chair or any other cute little gimmic.  She just stands, face to the wall (her decision, not mine).  The rule is supposed to be a minute for the age in years.  So for Will I would use 1 minute and Em 3 minutes.  In reality, she stays until she is quiet.  I think at 14 months, Will is too young for time outs, but we quickly approach that stage. 


  1. Thank you for linking up with us and sharing your discipline ideas.
    I am now following :)

  2. Very good tips! I like the idea of using a word other than No. I think I was using no so much Hayden was tuning it out.

  3. I am now Following you! Beautiful Blog!
    <3 Sarah

  4. Great tips! Thank you so much for sharing and linking up with us:)

  5. JDaniel has a corner. He doesn't always stay in it. I am still working on it.

  6. daughter has recently figured out how to have a grand time in her room during time now, it's off to a corner to have time out. Thank you for sharing a first time Mom, i love reading stuff that has worked for other Moms!



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