First thing is to make sure you are talking to her AT her level - both physically and verbally. Sometimes we tend to over-talk and it can just be too much for them to follow. Make sure when you speak to her that you have eye contact, too. Make sure the consequence fits the behavior - it wouldn't make sense to her to put her in time out for say...breaking something. She needs to see the relationship between the behavior and the discipline, otherwise she won't be able to understand WHY she's in timeout. Also, whenever you can, set the consequences beforehand and have her repeat back to you what you said, helping her with the words as necessary. And always remember to stay as calm as possible - not hearing you when she's in trouble could be her defense mechanism if you raise your voice or become angry.
at 10:07 PM on Jan. 13, 2009