Ugh. She's always in time-out - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 36 Old 02-01-2010, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a very stubborn 2 year old (almost 2 and a half) She's pretty verbal but persists in hitting or climbing on things she shouldn't, etc so it feels like she's perpetually in time-out. I try to break things down pretty simply but she just doesn't seem to get it. When she is in time-out, she's persistent in trying to get out of the chair which makes me add time which I have told her. The more you try to escape, the longer you have to stay. Its going in one ear and out the other. When her timeout is over, she'll sit there keep throwing a tantrum (which has been going on through the whole time-out) but it'll dwindle to nothing if you ignore it. However, if you look, she winds up all over again like she's a wounded animal. I'm over it. What in the world am I doing wrong or am I in for a few long years of perpetual time-out?
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#2 of 36 Old 02-01-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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I use time-out with my kids, but 2.5 is pretty young for it to be effective imo. Like you said, it is just another power struggle to keep them in time out.

At this age, I usually just correct (get down on their level, make eye contact, touch their arm, "You may not hit/climb on the table" And then redirect--either with the activity ("you can hit the pillow" "You can climb on the couch") or to something completely different, realizing that they need a change of scenery or activity to break the cycle of behavior ("Let's go outside" "Let's find some books to read" "can you help me cook over here?")
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#3 of 36 Old 02-01-2010, 03:02 PM
 
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At this age, I usually just correct (get down on their level, make eye contact, touch their arm, "You may not hit/climb on the table" And then redirect--either with the activity ("you can hit the pillow" "You can climb on the couch") or to something completely different, realizing that they need a change of scenery or activity to break the cycle of behavior ("Let's go outside" "Let's find some books to read" "can you help me cook over here?")[/QUOTE]

Yes, we do this also. When ds1 was younger if he went to hit someone I would intervene, hold his hand before it landed, and neutrally said, "hitting is not okay/acceptable". And do the whole "you are mad/frustrated, etc...you wanted the toy and Joe is playing with it. Let's find another toy." No point creating more struggle with the time out, 2 is super young. Also, is the climbing super high? Will she jump to the ground and it's a hard floor? I let my kids climb on the couch. We don't have side/coffee tables, those seemed like a hazard. But ds2 loves to climb on our dining table and I just keep getting him off and redirecting. It's a pain, but what else am I going to do, you know? The boys love for me to take the pillows off the couch and jump, and then jump on the pillows. Keeps them entertained. What I'm saying is I don't think all climbing is bad. How else will they get their energy out if it's cold outside?

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#4 of 36 Old 02-01-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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Developmentally, most 2 year olds (even bright, verbal 2 1/2 year olds) cannot connect the 'sitting' with the 'crime'. Thus, time out is not recommended for kids under 3. Even for 3 year olds, it's not all that helpful.

What helped my kids best at this age was:
-Telling them what to do. If you don't want her to climb, say "feet on the floor". They don't know what else to do if they aren't doing what they want, so you have to tell them what they should be doing. Almost every 'don't' can (and should) be reframed as a "do this".
-Redirecting - it works best if you can redirect to something similar. They want to climb the bookshelves? Nope, but they can climb on the couch. They want to throw blocks? Nope, but they can throw socks into a laundry basket.
-Gently physically assisting them to comply. If you tell her to put her feet on the floor and she's still climbing on the table, go over, take her down and repeat "feet on the floor. it's not safe to climb there." Repeat about 300 times and she'll learn.
-Removing them from the room/situation. Sometimes a change of scene helps break the cycle.

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#5 of 36 Old 02-01-2010, 03:24 PM
 
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... If you tell her to put her feet on the floor and she's still climbing on the table, go over, take her down and repeat "feet on the floor. it's not safe to climb there." Repeat about 300 times and she'll learn.
And from observing families that use time-outs, it's a million times easier and more fun than giving a time-out 300 times.
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#6 of 36 Old 02-01-2010, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When ds1 was younger if he went to hit someone I would intervene, hold his hand before it landed, and neutrally said, "hitting is not okay/acceptable". And do the whole "you are mad/frustrated, etc...you wanted the toy and Joe is playing with it. Let's find another toy." No point creating more struggle with the time out, 2 is super young. Also, is the climbing super high? Will she jump to the ground and it's a hard floor? I let my kids climb on the couch. We don't have side/coffee tables, those seemed like a hazard. But ds2 loves to climb on our dining table and I just keep getting him off and redirecting. It's a pain, but what else am I going to do, you know? The boys love for me to take the pillows off the couch and jump, and then jump on the pillows. Keeps them entertained. What I'm saying is I don't think all climbing is bad. How else will they get their energy out if it's cold outside?
Its a leather couch and she'll try to straddle the back to "ride horsie!" She's already fallen off a chair I was standing no more than 2 steps from and busted her chin open so I'm extra careful to keep her from climbing on stuff now. (Don't have much control over the decor, its not my house) She also tries to climb onto the TV stand, the coffee table, anything that she's just not allowed to climb on.

When she hits, which is pretty often anymore, she's told "hands are not for hitting." while we've got her in the time-out chair. She's thrown things at people for the purpose of hitting them. (I got pegged with a book the other night.) I don't understand the violence. We're not a violent family or anything.

I'm just out of ideas for consequences since she's so little.
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#7 of 36 Old 02-01-2010, 04:53 PM
 
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Perhaps more opportunities to climb on acceptable structures?

William also likes to climb, which has resulted in stitches. Fortunately, enough acceptable climbing opportunities virtually eliminates the problem.

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#8 of 36 Old 02-01-2010, 05:01 PM
 
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Kids get cabin fever this time of year and search for ways to get that need for physical activity met. The first thing I'd do is try to find some other way to meet that need. The best thing to do if your kids are wild is to take them someplace where they can get worn out.

I'd just redirect. Also, try to phrase it as what to do rather than what not to do. Contractions (like "don't" for "do not") are understood later that many forms of speach, so "don't climb the couch" can sound like "blah climb the couch." Even if they understand it, it still puts the image of climbing the couch in their head. Put a couch cushion on the floor and tell her that's the horsey, or something like that. Find something else for her to climb. Give her an alternative, and talk about that instead of reminding her of what she wants to do but can't over and over again.
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#9 of 36 Old 02-01-2010, 05:03 PM
 
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I just wanted to say that if time-out is clearly not working, I can't imagine why you would continue to put yourself and your child through it. Really, from your description it sounds as though doing nothing at all would be equally effective, but a lot less painful for everyone. Maybe time-out works for other people, and maybe not, but if it's not working for you then there's really no point.

Not to say that doing nothing is the right answer either, but a number of other people have already suggested good alternatives for dealing with the specific behaviour. Hopefully some of those strategies will work for you.

Good luck!
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#10 of 36 Old 02-01-2010, 05:29 PM
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Something I've been working on myself recently is to seek and validate the underlying desire or feeling. While your child's actions may not be acceptable, your child's upset underneath the violent behaviors and your child's need to burn off steam that causes her to climb on forbidden furniture are valid. A lot of children will be empowered to make better decisions if their underlying needs are met, but it really is a challenge to see what those needs are. Good luck, mamma.
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#11 of 36 Old 02-01-2010, 05:46 PM
 
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Hitting speaks to strong emotion, if you can help her verbalize that and process it, it will be more effective than a time out.

As for the climbing...I let DD climb for the most part and just warn her that she could fall and get hurt. Usually that's enough to stop her. Thus far, I am fortunate in that if I describe something as dangerous and truly mean it, she stops and moves on.

I sometimes let her fall, within reason. She's been hanging upside down off the couch and sliding to the floor head first and lately, been kind of banging her head on the floor in the process. Then she cries and I don't offer much sympathy. You want to be a daredevil, then don't expect me to coddle you especially if you aren't truly hurt (and she's not hurt).

But maybe I'm mean.

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#12 of 36 Old 02-01-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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Remember that even highly verbal small children have a LOT of trouble explaining their feelings in words. They rely on physical ways to get the other person to feel the same way as a means of sharing how they feel. "I'm hurt, I'll hurt you" "I'm mad, I'll make you mad". You can help that somewhat by describing how it looks like they feel and by mirroring their face. "your face is scrunched up and you are stomping your feet, you look mad" -- -- --

A 2 year old hitting has nothing to do with violence.
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#13 of 36 Old 02-01-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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Sounds like time-out is not working. It also sounds like you have a very physical little one with big emotions. How about going outside together and yelling when she's upset. Yeah, the neighbors will think you're crazy, but who cares. I can tell that you're angry, but hitting is not okay. Do you want to yell at mama? Lets go outside and yell.

Just a thought. I'm interested to see what others suggest.

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#14 of 36 Old 02-01-2010, 07:48 PM
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I was thinking (just from my own 2 year 8 month olds behaviour) that repeated 'offences' for something you've made quite clear is unacceptable, is usually a cry for some one on one attention.

Any attention, good or bad, is attention so they take what they can get.

Maybe it's a cry for a little less busy Mommy at that moment and a bit more 'pay attention to me'? I know I can get caught up in home stuff and run around, change direction while walking every 10 seconds, become involved (boring chores) and have a toddler following behind who, come a point, misbehaves and it's pretty much certain I've been 'neglectful' of interacting with him.

Just a thought

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#15 of 36 Old 02-02-2010, 08:18 PM
 
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Here is a wonderful article about time outs. In fact, this whole site is full of wonderful discipline advice.
http://www.ahaparenting.com/parentin...pline/timeouts

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#16 of 36 Old 02-02-2010, 08:29 PM
 
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I always step back and try to be sure I am not setting up power struggles. She climbs on something, you put her in time out and a freak out follows, over and over and over. There's no reason to create that endless cycle!

If she's bored and always climbing and getting into things, then find something else for her to do that's fun. Make sure you're giving her enough (positive) attention and be sure she has a physical outlet for her energy.

If you turn around and she's climbing on something she shouldn't simply take her off of it, set her down, and say, "No ma'am the couch is not for climbing on. Couches are for sitting." Even better if you have something else available she *can* climb on.

If she's hitting, step back and think through what might be wrong. Try to verbalize her feelings. The book "Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves" has been so helpful for us! If she just has the urge to hit turn it into a game of high fives instead.

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#17 of 36 Old 02-04-2010, 01:18 AM
 
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Is there anything she can climb? can you build a pillow structure or let her climb on chairs but not the table?
She needs to climb for whatever reason so I think it would be helpful to let her.
For toddlers I always liked, "Honor the impulse"

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#18 of 36 Old 02-04-2010, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by dachshundqueen View Post
Perhaps more opportunities to climb on acceptable structures?

William also likes to climb, which has resulted in stitches. Fortunately, enough acceptable climbing opportunities virtually eliminates the problem.

Liz
We really don't have anything in the way of acceptable structures for her to climb. The only chairs we have are breakfast bar chairs which are kinda high. She already fell off one of them once so she's not allowed on them anymore.

I'd love to let her climb but as to what, I have no real options. We have to wait until its warm to take her to the park and let her play outside. (Oh how I hate living in the Midwest. Its always freakin' cold in the winter) Yargh.
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#19 of 36 Old 02-04-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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Can you stand there while she climbs up and down the stools? Hold the chair still or hold her on to the top. Even just for now and then. She obviously needs to practice this skill and putting her in time out is not going to make the urge go away.
Is it even too cold to bundle up and go outside? Are there indoor kid climbing places where you can bring her?

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#20 of 36 Old 02-04-2010, 01:50 PM
 
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We have to wait until its warm to take her to the park and let her play outside. (Oh how I hate living in the Midwest. Its always freakin' cold in the winter) Yargh.
Says who? We are constantly outside and we live in OH. The other day it was 12 degrees and a windchill of -3. I grew up in Northern Vermont and if we waited until it was warm to play outside, well, I would probably still be waiting. We have a Kelty Carrier and when our son gets tired we plop him in that. Fresh air and exercise are mandatory for kids to burn off energy.

They make snowsuits for kids. They make hats and gloves and mittens and boats. Put your girl in them and get her outside. Let her run some of that energy off.
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#21 of 36 Old 02-04-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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These ideas are GREAT advice. I have stopped giving time-outs to my 2 yr old b/c she just sits there and plays.

I have been trying the "tell them what they can do" instead of what they can't method and it seems to be working. I am going to try the "you may not..." method as well.

I am excited to hear more options for controling bad behavior other than time-outs.

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#22 of 36 Old 02-04-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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We really don't have anything in the way of acceptable structures for her to climb.
A ladder? I set ours up in the living room and put a ball at the top and stand there as my toddler goes up, tosses the ball down, climbs down, gets the ball, waits for me to put it back at the top, then goes up, tosses the ball down...
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#23 of 36 Old 02-05-2010, 02:57 AM
 
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thanks for all the great ideas! i am struggling over time-outs with my 19 month old. i read "happiest toddler on the block" and they say to start at 1, but it doesn't feel right. my husband wants to do it when he does something that could be dangerous, he thinks he "gets it", but i don't know.

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#24 of 36 Old 02-05-2010, 10:49 AM
 
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I agree with betsyj...so what if it's winter, so what if it's cold? my guy (6 y.o.) went outside to play SIX times a week or two ago. We live in New England...frigid weather! But he's bundled up, and he hasn't attached a value-judgement-rule to the cold yet, so he's suited up and out the door whenever he has ya-yas that he needs to get out.
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#25 of 36 Old 02-05-2010, 03:01 PM
 
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Yep, and if we had a yard and Lina was 6 she'd go out every day, I'm sure. Since we're in an apartment surrounded by a parking lot (literally have to walk on a road to get to the closest yard-like area I could see from inside), she's 17 months, and I have to bundle my chilly self up to go outside--she gets out maybe three times a week. She's fine in a single pair of pants and regular shoes and no gloves. I'm in boots and two pairs of pants and toasty gloves and past ready to go in when she finally decides she's annoyed by the wind.

Ah a yard and a kid who can open the door herself would be so
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#26 of 36 Old 02-05-2010, 05:03 PM
 
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I'd love to let her climb but as to what, I have no real options. We have to wait until its warm to take her to the park and let her play outside. (Oh how I hate living in the Midwest. Its always freakin' cold in the winter) Yargh.
We had a toddler slide in our kitchen when my kids were this age, kind of like this one. And a small mini trampoline. It rains almost daily here in the winter so that even when it's nice out, the playground equipment is often too wet to use. I picked each up for about $10 at a consignment store. I know people who have small climbers in their living rooms.

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#27 of 36 Old 02-06-2010, 02:54 AM
 
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I think she probably needs more safe places to climb and more places to use her body, and fewer unsafe places made available if she's into climbing. Can't you bundle her up and take her out? If not, can you build an indoor safe climbing thing, such as a pile of pillows? At her age, if you are going to do time outs at all, it's only supposed to be two minutes even by most standards.

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#28 of 36 Old 02-06-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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She reminds me of Gracie. I let Grace climb on the back of the chair. When/if she falls, I tell her "See, mommy told you not to climb, you can get an owchie". (It isn't far from the floor, nothing to hurt her except the floor) If she does it again, I will tell her, remember, you can get an owchie if you fall. I repeat over and over. I will move her down and stress OWCHIES if she insists on doing it.

She is extremely tough and daring. I never was a dare devil. My sister.. was. I *so* see my sister in Gracie's personality. My sister lives in Montana and hasn't seen her in a year.

I am lucky on the time outs. Grace knows to go sit on the couch when I say it is a time out or time to calm down for a bit. She will sit there until I tell her she can play. I tell her (while sitting there) why she is sitting there (I am not sure how much she comprehends) over and over (for a minute or so). Not to say she won't do whatever she did wrong again, but it seems to be working.
If she doesn't go to the couch, I will put her on the couch and sit next to her.
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#29 of 36 Old 02-06-2010, 05:15 PM
 
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We really don't have anything in the way of acceptable structures for her to climb. The only chairs we have are breakfast bar chairs which are kinda high. She already fell off one of them once so she's not allowed on them anymore.

I'd love to let her climb but as to what, I have no real options. We have to wait until its warm to take her to the park and let her play outside. (Oh how I hate living in the Midwest. Its always freakin' cold in the winter) Yargh.
We live in the frigid midwest, and my kids play outside everyday, always have. That's what snowpants/gloves/hats/boots are for. I hate the cold, but I just bundle myself up, too. Kids need to play outside every day. The only exception might be a freezing rain. But just cold, they're out there. My 6 year old was riding his bike the other day, and it was only 14 degrees out.
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#30 of 36 Old 02-07-2010, 05:11 PM
 
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I don't think cold should be a deterrent to a kid playing outside unless she doesn't like it. Most kids don't mind it as long as they're bundled up, but some do, and I don't think those kids should be forced to stay out in the cold if they find it too uncomfortable. But if your DD doesn't mind it, then you can still take her out. Cold never hurt anybody (who was dressed warmly and wasn't forced to stay out for too long, obviously).

My husband is from the south, so he's not used to cold and he strongly disagrees with the idea that kids should still get out in it. I'm from the midwest, so I'm used to cold and I think they should if they want to.
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