*Edited* Setting boundaries with 18 month old. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 04-12-2012, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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*Edit in red

*Concerns in dark purple

 

My son is 18 months old and has always been a head banger, hitter, thrower and screamer. He has always been one of those split second mood swing babies and there is very little warning between happy and mad. Hugging, kissing, nursing and cuddling have all been my tools for calming and "resetting" his mood. For the last few days he has been amazing at listening to our words and so loving, he gives us kisses and hugs with no prompting and he has been sharing everything with us. The other side of that though, is that he has been hitting us randomly, really hard with no warning or reason that i can see. like at home one day when we are playing he will be super happy and laughing then all of the sudden he will take his big wooden train and bash us with it! or at the store he had a noise maker and just hit my mom really hard with it. So i need some ideas of what to do or say when he hurts people or when the hurt person is upset and doesn't know why i'm not yelling and hitting my child.

 

The other thing is he has been throwing things really, really hard and braking things. I try to tell him that if he throws it, it will break. He understands that, but he just does it without that much thought, then is always shocked when it breaks or it hits hard and makes a loud sound. His look is far away when he does it, so i really think he doesn't even realize hes doing it or maybe he is contemplating what will happen when he throws it?

 

He doesn't understand the word don't, so i tell him what i want him to do instead. If he hurts someone i tell him that that hurts and we should be gentle to people. I show him how to be gentle with my hands and he rubs the hurt person.

 

Yelling really hard has also been a new thing. He will yell his head off and get really red when he is done with what ever we are doing or we are not doing what he wants to do. we used to be able to talk to him about what is coming up and he would be happy again and talk to us about it. now he just screams at us.

 

I am not a fan of hitting or time outs and i always try to calm him down then talk to him about things. He is very smart and understands a lot for his age but the emotional things are still way above his head. I don't think he understands that other people get physically hurt. He knows that things hurt him but i don't know if he has put two and two together...

 

He is in underwear during the day and tells me when he needs to go and only has about two misses a day which are usually my fault so he is really doing great there for being 18 months old lol. I just don't have a lot of experience with emotional swings at *this age*...

 

He doesn't have a lot of boundaries right now, but some people tell me i need to start setting boundaries. I'm not sure what is appropriate for this age.


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#2 of 17 Old 04-13-2012, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bump for suggestions? Opinions? Anything?


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#3 of 17 Old 04-13-2012, 07:53 PM
 
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The best thing to do at this age, and to the extent possible, for a year or two to come, is redirection. He is not old enough to get consequences, or to understand something will break. If he starts throwing something, give him a soft ball or something he can throw. Make it a fun game. If he is hitting, show him how to stroke gently and say, "gentle." Model how you want him to touch you. If he persists, show him something else that gets his attention and removes the situation of hitting. The only "boundaries" a child needs at 18 months is to keep out of physical danger. Say "no" firmly to touching the stove, to running into the street, etc. But, after one "no," take action and remove the child from whatever situation is dangerous.

 

We tried consequences at ages 2.5 to 3+, and they really only started working at age 3.5 or so. Before that, they don't really have enough self-control.

 

Please, continue to love your child, be gentle, show him how you want to be loved, and use as much redirection as you possibly can. Do not take any of that behavior personally or as intentionally hurting you or someone else.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "has always been a headbanger, thrower, and screamer." Is he getting enough sleep? Children who are not sleeping enough can have short tempers. Or, maybe he's transitioning down to one nap, common at this age? That's another reason to be tired and have a short temper.


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#4 of 17 Old 04-13-2012, 08:10 PM
 
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Ok, I'll try a few suggestions:

 

hitting - "ouch that hurt/really hurt so-and-so"  Take your best and most positive guess at his reason and motivation and prompt him to say the words, like "if you want your friend's attention, say ___"  or "if you're excited and want to play more, say mom, lets play with train now!"  etc  When he's interacting with other folks, stay down there with him - it's a lot easier to prevent than repair hurt feelings.

 

throwing - to the extent that you can, change the environment.  put away all heavy, hard, or breakable toys.  avoid the conflict.  ping pong balls are nice  :)

 

yelling - if he's just expressing frustration, well that's ok.  just accept that he's frustrated, wait, continue with what you need to do.  Again, help by providing words for him to say  (eventually).

 

In general, I found this to be a difficult age:  they are strong and loud and mobile, but reasoning is limited and they can't use words much.  I also don't buy the whole "limits" and "boundaries" business.  Children have plenty of limits and boundaries in their lives without us going around trying to set up more.  If what people mean is that you should start punishing him, well, I disagree with that too, but that's a different (longer) post.

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Originally Posted by porcelina View Post

The best thing to do at this age, and to the extent possible, for a year or two to come, is redirection. He is not old enough to get consequences, or to understand something will break. If he starts throwing something, give him a soft ball or something he can throw. Make it a fun game. If he is hitting, show him how to stroke gently and say, "gentle." Model how you want him to touch you. If he persists, show him something else that gets his attention and removes the situation of hitting. The only "boundaries" a child needs at 18 months is to keep out of physical danger. Say "no" firmly to touching the stove, to running into the street, etc. But, after one "no," take action and remove the child from whatever situation is dangerous. This is what I have been doing. It's good to know this is 'normal' and he's not 'acting out' because I'm doing something wrong.

 

We tried consequences at ages 2.5 to 3+, and they really only started working at age 3.5 or so. Before that, they don't really have enough self-control.

 

Please, continue to love your child, be gentle, show him how you want to be loved, and use as much redirection as you possibly can. Do not take any of that behavior personally or as intentionally hurting you or someone else. I will :) I am usually pretty good at explaining to people why he hits etc. but it was the change from very obvious reasons to no reason that i could see that threw me. My family gives me the hardest time about not hitting him and yelling at him. I try to lead by example and show them what works for us but they say 'what he needs is a good spanking!' Or 'That's fine for YOU, but I'M not used to being hit, so I get angry!'

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "has always been a headbanger, thrower, and screamer." Is he getting enough sleep? Children who are not sleeping enough can have short tempers. Or, maybe he's transitioning down to one nap, common at this age? That's another reason to be tired and have a short temper He gets very angry in a split second and would bang his head from a very young age. Then it went to throwing at about 13 months to screaming (and throwing, and hitting) now at almost 19 months. I meant he has always had a quick temper that flares up with almost no warning. He is an AMAZING sleeper, most of the time. I do feel like we are in a transition right now. He is going in the potty, and has started to get into playing with other kids, and has an opinion about things. It may just be another milestone thing. It's hard to judge so fast what he wants though, and after he has knocked you out it's even harder to try, lol.
 

I feel the worst about other people, they don't understand the 'injustice' of not getting a child in trouble for hurting them.


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#6 of 17 Old 04-13-2012, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I'll try a few suggestions:

 

hitting - "ouch that hurt/really hurt so-and-so"  Take your best and most positive guess at his reason and motivation and prompt him to say the words, like "if you want your friend's attention, say ___"  or "if you're excited and want to play more, say mom, lets play with train now!"  etc  When he's interacting with other folks, stay down there with him - it's a lot easier to prevent than repair hurt feelings. This is part of where i am going wrong lol. I am a stay at home mom and when my sister and mom are here i take a mommy time chill pill. I catch up on some reading or what ever there is to do.

 

throwing - to the extent that you can, change the environment.  put away all heavy, hard, or breakable toys.  avoid the conflict.  ping pong balls are nice  :) I have done this with a lot of things but most of his toys are wooden(like his train and bus, and blocks), or boxes from food, or plastic lids from containers, paper towel rolls, etc.. His toys are very simple.

 

yelling - if he's just expressing frustration, well that's ok.  just accept that he's frustrated, wait, continue with what you need to do.  Again, help by providing words for him to say  (eventually). I agree with the yelling, its pretty embarrassing in public and in church when its all quiet though... My parents(and most people i know) think its very disrespectful for him to yell like that.

 

In general, I found this to be a difficult age:  they are strong and loud and mobile, but reasoning is limited and they can't use words much.  I also don't buy the whole "limits" and "boundaries" business.  Children have plenty of limits and boundaries in their lives without us going around trying to set up more.  If what people mean is that you should start punishing him, well, I disagree with that too, but that's a different (longer) post. Thank you for reassuring me :) That's what i have been thinking, he's just a baby! I disagree with punishing  too! Thanks again :)


 

 


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#7 of 17 Old 04-14-2012, 05:21 AM
 
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Only have a minute - get him some soft balls. His toy supply can remain simple - but you must adapt with him, re yelling -he is a baby- you have also said this. it is NOT disrespectful that he is yelling, disrespectful is a 10 yr old yelling who understands appropriate situations ans has self control. What gets most people is the PARENTS of the yelling babe, not removing them,,,,but really even in Church I expect babies-2.5 yrs to be loud and lack self control. That's why I appreciate the nursery being available ....then the baby being a baby doesn't interfere with my Church experience smile.gif kwim. I would also look for some toddler books or blogs. Read up on he ages and stages...the blogs will help provide some new stimulating activites. Just google "toddler activity blogs"


Soft balls are a great idea.

 

In church he will not stay in nursery for more then twenty minutes. I have just not gone to church a lot when i know he is in a particularly crazy mood or we were having a rough day, i just stay in the nursery with him most of the time.... Sometimes i just want to have ONE service. I refuse to have him screaming in the nursery though. So its my need against his need for mommy. He always wins, lol.

 

I will definitely take a look at some toddler blogs and books! I read a lot of parenting books but most are over all parenting, and not age specific. So far the books for non-punitive parenting are about what not to do, so i have no examples of things to aim for.


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#9 of 17 Old 04-14-2012, 11:05 AM
 
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As far as church goes, maybe look for a more accepting church? I don't know how rooted you are there or how many friends you have but if they can't accept a baby being a baby and a mom, being loving... maybe look around somewhere else? 

 

My son is the same age and has some of the same issues, biting is a BIG issue right now. And so far I have found very little I can do to stop the bad behaviors, I try many of the same things and all I've found that works is time. Most of his worst behaviors come and go with time. We re-direct, and explain as best we can but it just takes growing older to gain self control and empathy. 

 

I do agree that punishment is not going to help anything, at this young age it will just make him more upset and confused probably making the problems worse. Or even worse damaging your relationship with him. Good luck mama. 


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#10 of 17 Old 04-14-2012, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all. I really needed some words of encouragement. I love you guys!


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#12 of 17 Old 04-15-2012, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey Momma,

I can hear the conflict in your voice.  You want to go to church, but YOU are not willing to let him cry in the nursery.  What would happen if you left him the whole time? or kept bringing him week after week, just for 10 mins to begin with, increasing by 5 mins each visit.  What about helping in the nursery, until you see him start to attach to the other caregivers- BUT this means you may have to re-direct him to the other adults.   Are you & your SO his only care givers?  This might be a cause of classic separation anxiety.  These toddlers are creatures of habit, routine & sense the vibes from their parents.   You can't expect him to be comfortable in a stranger's care immediatly, you must help build his confidence...Especially if he only pops into nursery once a month etc.  i know some mommas are very against their kids crying. i do get that...BUT sometimes there are things that are really important to me (like attending church or my weekly mom's bible study- these things MAKE me a better & calmer mom) ( or even like removing the paci- it was painful but needed to be done for the benefit of the child.  )

I strongly believe Moms NEED their time.  Whatever form that is for each mom.  Maybe that's grabbing coffee with a friend or going to church. 

I'm not sure if you are against his screaming for his own comfort or for the nursery workers...Trust me as someone who worked in early childhood, I expect kids to cry.  it's okay, I don't judge the parents or the child for the child crying. 

i'm not trying to nit pick your response to death, but share a different perspective.  your post to me sounds a little martyish- kwim?  we as moms can not fall into the martyr trap. It is a very unhappy & long parenting road.  if you want to go to Church, figure out a way to make it work.  (what about wearing him through the service)

oh & drop those general parenting books most are great for general philsophies but won't help guide you through specific examples & quite honestly i got very confused when my DD was a toddler by reading those books..Those books revolve around children who have developed self control & impluse control- things toddlers are lacking....Have you checked out the toddler forum here?  I bet those mommas have lots to share & relate to....

 

Here are some of my favorite little kid blogs-

http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.net/

 

http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/?cat=1307

 

http://teaching2and3yearolds.blogspot.com/

 

HIGHLY Recommend trying some sensory bins/activiites:  http://countingcoconuts.blogspot.com/search/label/Sensory%20Tubs

 


I was in charge of the nursery until about two weeks ago so i was in there all the time. I am a single mom so i don't have the option of a so, i am his only caregiver(and my mom sometimes). He is definitely going through separation anxiety. When i am in the room he is super happy to be in there and will let people play with him or hold him. He will stay for about 20 min after i leave, then start crying very hard with the gut wrenching cry. Thats what i have a problem with. I know kids cry, but i don't do the cry it out thing. I do wear him on occasion but hes at the age where he wants out and to play and talk, loudly.

 

I have checked out the toddler blog, just recently! It sounds great! Thank you for the links, i will check them out.

 

We do sensory bins/activitys almost every day :) I love playful parenting!

 


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#13 of 17 Old 04-15-2012, 02:43 PM
 
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I would say that it could be partly just his personality, which as parents we have to respect and find what works for them individually; and partly maybe he is getting into the terrible two's already. My daughter is 14 months and when she is crabby from getting molars I can see some terrible two type behavior coming through. Today we were playing catch and I think a wave of teething pain shot through her and she squeezed the ball and screamed at the top her lungs and got mad at me when I motioned for her to roll the ball to me. I sat her down on a small child's size chair and she screamed-it-out sort of and after maybe 1 - 2 minutes everything was back to calm. Also, I think a lot of people expect too much from such young kids at this age. I mean they really are just larger sized babies. I would agree that you can't really discipline or set too many boundaries until around 3 since their are so many different things going on with them until 3. (As far as sleep schedules changing and growth spurts and teething.)


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#14 of 17 Old 04-15-2012, 02:47 PM
 
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As far as church...taking them to church at 1-2-3 years old, even if they are not perfectly behaved, prepares them and teaches them how TO BE respectful when they are older. It's too bad more people don't realize that.


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#15 of 17 Old 04-15-2012, 04:41 PM
 
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For hitting people, we immediately removed the child from the situation. So, when our kids hit, they were levitated to their room for a few minutes. Once we both calmed down, I'd say "Ouch, that hurt. Be gentle. I won't play with you if you hurt me." You're right that he doesn't understand that he's really hurting someone, but that doesn't mean you can start to teach them. In the store, I would have picked him up and swiftly taken him out of the store. Then I would have gone back and had him give grandma a hug or something to help her feel better.

 

As for throwing, redirection is the best. He doesn't really understand that if he throws something it will break. What he understands is "I threw that and it broke." He's experimenting to see what else might or might not break. When our kids threw toys, they went in "toy timeout" for a bit, and we gave them something they could throw (throwing washcloths into a laundry basket, soft balls, etc.)

 

As for yelling, there's not much you can do until he becomes more verbal. In church, take him out. I spent much of the time our kids were between 12 and about 30 months walking around in the narthex just outside the church Is there someone else who could take him out and walk with him while you attend church? Ds wouldn't go to the nursery at all until he was 4 1/2! In a public space, take him outside. Babies are pretty easy to take out in public. Toddlers not so much. They've got strong independent wills, little impulse control, no patience and no regard for social norms. It's OK. He won't be doing this when he's 7.

 

A couple more suggestions:

Tell him what he should do instead of what he shouldn't. When  he's too loud, try saying "use an indoor voice" and talk very softly while you're doing it. If he's standing up on a chair, ask him to sit. (If you tell him "don't stand", he doesn't know what else to do. If you say "sit" he might.) When he's  too rough, model "gentle". Actually take his hand and rub it along your arm gently to help him learn.

 

Remember that kids this age are very physical learners, and often they need you to physically demonstrate what you mean. Most toddlers need us to get off the couch rather than telling them what you mean.

 

How much physical exercise and outside time does he get? I found my kids needed a lot more large motor time at about this age. They were proficient walkers, had been walking and running for months and had lots and lots of energy. A really nice long walk at a toddler pace can help. We'd go up and down the block or over to the park. While it wasn't exercise for me, their little legs are a lot smaller, and just going up and down the curbside to explore stuff was giving them a workout. They got to explore, run and let off some steam.

 


 

 


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#16 of 17 Old 04-15-2012, 05:12 PM
 
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I hear you on the books telling you what not to do vs. what you should do.

 

Here's something I did up awhile back that you might find helpful


Below I've given a list of my general tips for disciplining a toddler that I've collected over the years.  None of these are original with me – all are things that I’ve gotten from books. My favorite books are:
Parenting with Purpose by Lynda Madison (I like this one because it has info on 1s, 2s, 3s and 4s) -- it's out of print but it's easily available used.
Becoming the Parent You Want to Be by Laura Davis & Janis Keyser
Kids, Parents & Power Struggles by Mary Sheedy Kucinka
Playful Parenting by Larry Cohen (works best for kids 3+, in my experience)

 

I also really like these books, but they're not "how to" books so much

Parenting from the Inside Out by Dan Siegel

The Emotional Life of the Toddler by Liberman

First, remember that discipline = teaching. For me, good discipline means teaching the child what to do and what to expect. Also remember that learning new things takes time. Your 20 month old can’t tie their own shoes, so don’t expect them to learn to not throw their spaghetti on the floor in one day.

Before you discipline remember that children need to be well fed and well rested before they can learn anything. Feed your toddler every 2-3 hours. Make sure they get enough sleep. If you're both tired and cranky (dinner time), you're going to have more battles. Try to plan a quiet activity or a way to cool off then. If your child has been sick, expect their behavior to be "off" for the 10 days to 2 weeks it takes them to fully recover (even if they "look" OK). Remember too that mom/dad also has a tendency to over-react if they are hungry, tired or stressed. If you know this, you may need to tend to your own needs before you can help your child.

Finally, the middle of a meltdown is not a time for teaching. It's a time for getting through as best you can. All in all, it's my reaction that makes the difference to discipline. If I know what I'm doing and can remain calm, I can handle a lot of situations. When I lose it (which I do all too frequently), things don't go as well. On the whole, however, we muddle through pretty well. Note too that these are my ideals. I often fall far short of my ideals. My goal is not to be perfect, but to keep moving in the right direction.

Here's the short version of the list:
1. Create a positive environment
2. Fill your child's need for attention in positive ways
3. Tell them what to do, not what not to do.
4. Remember where they are in development.
5. Decide if the behavior needs correction/stopping
6. Find a safe way for them to do what they're trying to do ('honor the impulse')
7. Gently help them comply/physically show them what you mean
8. Explain/warn of the consequences (keep them logically related)
9. Calmly enforce the consequences

 


1. Create a positive environment.
For me, this means child-proofing so my child is free to explore. The easiest way for a child to have a good experience is to simply be able to explore without limits because there’s nothing dangerous around. So, toys should be age-appropriate (that means no toys that they can take apart), books should be board books only, knick knacks should be put away, stereo equipment etc. should be behind doors/guards.

For others, this means helping their child explore the dangerous things until the urge is out. (That's easy to do with one, harder to do with more than one because your attention is divided.) Sometimes if you hold a fragile object or help them hold fragile object, that's all it takes. I also taught my kids a 'one finger' touch. It's easier to keep it controlled and gentle. We spent a lot of time exploring the neighbors' Christmas decorations with one finger.

IMO, every child should have at least one room where they are free to explore. Our kitchen was one of these rooms. All drawers except 2 had strong latches on them. The 2 free drawers had pans in them. One cupboard was all theirs, full of tupperware and plastic baby bowls and cups (and a few pans). The other room was the living room.

2. Make sure you fill up your child's cup of attention daily.
If they get positive attention from you, they're less likely to act out just to get attention. I'm a firm believer in 30 minutes or so of focused attention where the child takes the lead in the play. When things are getting rough, this helps restore our connection. (This is why I love Playful Parenting -- it's got a great explanation of why this is so important, plus good tips for restoring the connection at difficult times.)

3. Tell your child what they can do.
Don't phrase things in the negative ;) . Phrasing things positively teaches your child what is acceptable and gets their mind off what they shouldn't be doing. If someone tells you, "don't look over your shoulder" what do you do? Your kids are similar. So, instead of saying "don’t jump on the couch" say "come jump on the pillows". Instead of 'don't stand up on the chair' say 'sit down'

4. Remember where you child is in development.
A young toddler has a short attention span. A toddler has little impulse control. Toddlers have a hard time stopping a behavior once they've started it. A toddler isn't great a using words when they're upset.

Thus, actions speak louder than words for many reasons with a toddler. Toddlers are physical and tactile learners. They need to explore things physically and with their hands. Toddlers learn by repetition. They aren't doing this 85 times in a row just to frustrate you. That means they may need you to gently assist them or physically demonstrate what you mean.

Even for older kids, this is a good thing to remember. My 6 year old didn't see the world in black and white merely because she wants to rule the universe (though she'd really like to be Queen of Everything). My 9 year old didn’t refuse to have a snack on the city bus even though he was extremely hungry and cranky because he was being contrary. He was in a stage where you do not break the rules. Period.

5. Decide whether a behavior is really worth stopping.
Do I really care if my child takes ALL the puzzles off the shelf? Is it OK for my kids to slide down the stairs on an old air mattress? (They were pretending to race the luge.) Why shouldn't my kids ride their scooters in the house? (OK, they can't do it while I'm cooking dinner, but other times, why not?)

6. Find a way to honor the impulse if what they're doing isn't safe/acceptable to you.
Find something that the child CAN do that’s not the forbidden activity. So, if she wants to jump on the couch, put pillows on the floor and have her jump on those. If he wants to play in the toilet, set him up at the sink with a step stool, some bubbles and a few utensils.

If there just isn't a way to do this, then redirect to something they can do. For toddlers, sometimes just going to another room helps. For older kids, it's more effort to find something that they can be happy doing.

7. Gently help them comply.
Under 3s are physical learners and sometimes need to be physically shown what you expect. Handing them the toy you want them to pick up. Gently helping them put their feet on the floor might be more effective than telling them 5 times "feet on the floor". Parenting a toddler will keep you moving. You can't just say "sit down" from the couch. If they don't sit down, you have to get up, go over and HELP them sit down.

Also, remember that kids listen better if you go over, get down on their level and gently touch them. That act of connection makes your words stand out.

In other words, it's impossible to discipline a toddler sitting on the couch. You really do have to get up and do it.

8. Warn of consequences
Tell your child what to expect. "Please drive that truck on the floor.” “Throwing is not safe. If you don't drive it, I’ll have to put it up to keep us safe."

When you're thinking of a consequences, keep them related to what the child is doing. Timeout for throwing spaghetti on the floor doesn't make much sense to me. Better would be to have the child help pick up the spaghetti. (And yes, sometimes that meant me putting a single strand of spaghetti in my child's hand, and walking with them over to the trash. When they were young toddlers, that single strand is 'helping'. At 5, my dd could clean up after her own spills.)

9. Enforce consequences
This must be done consistently and calmly. Enforcing it after telling them three times "if you throw that (again), I’ll take it." only teaches them that you don’t mean what you say, or that they've got 5-10 chances before they have to listen.

You also need to remain calm. This is the absolute hardest part for me. If I'm reacting from a place of anger, I'm not disciplining (i.e. teaching). I'm more likely to punish than teach.
What are appropriate consequences for a child this age? First, try to 'help them' gently comply. If that doesn't work, then I apply:

1. Removing the toy if they’re not using it correctly.
2. Removing the child from the situation.


For kids under 3, time-outs don’t do any good (for older kids, it's also highly debatable). Young children don't understand why they're in 'timeout', and they don't link the punishment (which happens after they've done something) to whatever it was they did.

Just removing them to another location is generally enough. So, sit them on the couch or a chair and say calmly, "keep your hands out of the toilet. it’s dirty." Then walk away (and close the bathroom door!). They’ll get up right away, but that’s OK. If you're really on your game you can add "Let's go play in the sink."

3. Remove yourself from the child. For example, if they're hurting you, get up a move away. If they hit, gently take their hand and say calmly "don’t hit. that hurts. You must be gentle (and demonstrate gentle)." If they do it again, then get up and say "Don’t hit, that hurts. I won’t play with you if you hit." and walk away for a bit.

Dd liked to bite when nursing. The first time she did it, I said "no" and stopped nursing for a bit. The second time in the same session, we were done. It took her about 3 days to learn not to. (And then she went through a period where she'd be tempted to bite, but would shake her head 'no' while nursing. While funny, that was actually much more painful.)

4. If you’re losing it, then it’s probably best to separate yourself from your child until you’re calm enough to deal with them reasonably. I had to do this on some long days with our both our kids. I'd plop them in their cribs/rooms, and after 3-5 minutes, I could deal with him again.

After our kids turned 3, we did timeouts in our house on occasion. Almost always it's when things have gotten out of hand we need to separate to keep ourselves sane/safe. If my kids hit, they were levitated to their rooms until they calmed down. When I'm tempted to spank my kids, I immediately leave the room. (I took a walk down to the corner and back during chore time last week because dd had really set me off. My kids now stomp to their rooms and slam their doors when they're mad. Huge progress.)

Now that our kids are older, sometimes we send a child to their room for interminable whining. If you've been offered a hug, a cuddle and an alternative to whatever is making you whine, and you're STILL whining or screaming, it's time for you to go be by yourself.

My kids often feed off of my negative energy, so a separation (either me putting myself in my room or putting them in their room) was effective in breaking the cycle.
 


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#17 of 17 Old 04-16-2012, 12:35 PM
 
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You have received many wonderful suggestions, OP 

 

I wanted to bring up this text, too - Dr. Sears' Christian version of the AP/gentle discipline approach, just in case you are dealing with a culture of "Christian parents discipline their children and that means hitting them for their own good."   and would benefit from a way of explaining AP practices in a Christian context.  

 

 

http://www.christianbook.com/complete-christian-parenting-raising-healthy-children/martha-sears/9780805461985/pd/5461981

 

 

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