Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Talk to Me Tuesdays...Toddler Disciple Edition

On Tuesdays, I'll ask for advice.
I need so much advice about so many different things.  Sometimes it'll be about the kids (but people without kids, I am interested in your thoughts too- in fact, a couple weeks ago, some of those comments were the most valuable), sometimes I'll ask about marriage, or friendships, or faith, or housekeeping...just things in my life that I could use opinions on.

I figure this will be awesome in a couple ways
1) I can learn from people who are wiser than me in different areas.  The more I move through life, the more I realize it's just about community and really learning from others.  Why invent a wheel that is already spinnin' with precision by someone else?
2)  If you need advice in the particular area being discussed, you can follow, or check the comments and learn you some things too! 

So...here goes...
Turns out, my lil' Aaron is shaping up to be quite the little, um, special 2 year old :)  I got nothin' but love for his joyful spirit, and occasional uncontained energy.  BUT, I have got to draw the line on the yelling, hitting, fit throwing, etc...It's hard to know if he is just your average two year old, or if he has, what one would call, 'discipline problems!' :)  So, Talk to Me!  

If you are a parent/aunt/friend/work with kids, etc...
What are some of the best/ most effective ways to discipline a 2 year old.  SPOILER ALERT- if you think the best discipline is no discipline, I can tell you right now, I ain't into that :)  
How do you discipline in PUBLIC? (this one is HUGE for me)? What has worked for you?  What has not worked for you?  I want to raise good kids, I need help!  


  1. Mary,
    The best thing I've seen in public is when the kid starts acting up, the parent immediately removes them from the situation, disciplined out of the public eye (probably threatening that if the kid keeps up, something will be taken away). When the kid has returned, he/she is almost always better behaved. The one thing I do think, as a non-parent observing all kinds o' drama...you have to be consistent, and you have to mean it. We are leaving if you do it again...leave if he does it again. I'm going to take X from you...take X from him. You will be in time out if you do this...put him in time out. He might hate you for 5 minutes, but you will be better off in the long run, because he will come to know if you say it and mean it, he'd better behave...and he likely will. Just my take as an outsider of the parenting world.

  2. My son will be 3 in Feb, and the last year with him has been . . . eventful. I agree with JenO that consistency is your best friend, but if your 2 year old is as stubborn as mine, it takes a while to see any results. Stick with it.

    I also agree that removing them from the situation is best, especially at places like a store. For church, sometimes that backfires on you, though. My son is a mama's boy, and my husband would always be the one to take him out if he got too difficult or loud. If he wanted Mama to hold him again, he had to settle down. It worked about 80% of the time.

    With throwing fits, especially at home, just ignore him. When he realizes that it won't get him what he wants, he'll stop. Eventually. :-)

    Good luck. It DOES get better!

  3. CONSISTENCY IS KEY. As far as the actual method of discipline (Positive reinforcement, redirection, time out, taking something away, etc) you have to find what works best for you and Lil' A. Also, keep in mind that what works wonders with one child, may not work at all on the next one.
    I am a huge fan of positive reinforcement and redirection at the toddler stage. I find it helpful to have a visual aid (at this age, something as simple as a happy face or sad face to depict good choice vs. not so good choice). Also, talking about making good choices and how people feel really starts to connect to behavior around this age. (For the record, I hate using the word bad when disciplining because it has such a negative connotation.)
    Just remember that you are doing the best you can and it will get better :)

  4. In public, I always take them out of the situation. If it is mass, my son knows that his consequence will be no donuts after church (which they love, a Sunday treat). My two older boys are usually very good and were great as toddlers. My youngest, is still a struggle. He needs strong boundaries and consistency. If I say he should not do something and he does it again, he needs an immediate consquence. I try to keep them to natural consequences as well as time outs. But, the natural consequence has to HURT. IE: if he is disruptive while playing with his brothers, he is no longer allowed upstairs to play with them. Or if he throws his sword, he loses it. No second chances.

    And as Emily said, redirection also works very well.

  5. Mary, just stumbled across this: http://mycrazyblessedlife.com/2011/10/03/relax-bottletime-out-timer/

    It might be a little too soon for it to work for Lil' A, but I really like the idea.

  6. I use most of what everyone has already said. But I'll just second or third the consistency thing. If you're not consistent with the discipline it will never work.

  7. First of all, some kids don't "get it" for years. I hate telling you that, but some kids are just wilder. So, you need to choose a discipline that results in the least frustration for you. Second, if A likes attention, then sometimes it's best to give him the silent treatment, and when you are home, send him to his room. I know for Paul, this has the most impact. I can't say it "works" because he's four and four is what it is. BUT, I can say it impacts him and causes him to later say he's sorry. However, Charlotte is happy to be left alone when she is in trouble, so making her do something, like mop the floor or write an essay on what she did wrong and how she'll try to make it right. When she was little, I gave her Sassy Spray, which is just an ingredient that tastes bad, like vinegar, sprayed on the tongue.

    SOOOOO, all that is to say, be creative, but address the kid in front of you and address what you can handle being consistent on, otherwise you'll end up blowing your top.