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2 Bumps

Trying to discipline a toddler that doesn't care

I'm kind of at my wits end since telling him not to do things does nothing, he's so bad at paying attention we had his hearing tested. Time out doesn't work since he climbs right out of his crib(chairs don't work at all).

Any ideas? I just don't want him to destroy any more things(no putting them up doesn't help he just climbs to them and I'm pregnant and can't keep up with him).

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 5:55 PM on May. 15, 2012 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (24)
  • So, since you've been doing this since he was one it's clearly not the right direction to go in.

    What about a time out room like a suggested? Either remove all of his toys/stuff from his room for time out, or find another room to put him in for a couple of minutes of time out

    Answer by BrawnwynII at 6:53 PM on May. 15, 2012

  • Till we move in 4 months he doesn't have a room. We have no room to put him in

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 6:58 PM on May. 15, 2012

  • Is there anything you can take away from him for misbehaving?

    Is he getting plenty of outside play time?

    Answer by BrawnwynII at 7:01 PM on May. 15, 2012

  • Do you have a pack n play? That will work for timeout. His crib will work too. If you are consistent, he will get it.

    Answer by missanc at 8:05 PM on May. 15, 2012

  • "Do you have a pack n play? That will work for timeout. His crib will work too. If you are consistent, he will get it."

    That's a really good idea

    Answer by BrawnwynII at 8:21 PM on May. 15, 2012

  • We have a pack n play and he has learned to climb out. But that did used to work. You can kind of see why this is so frustrating,right? There just really isn't a solution.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 1:07 AM on May. 16, 2012

  • Of course it makes sense that this is frustrating. It's pretty common to have more problems with a toddler or preschooler when pregnant, too. Maybe some shifts in responding & focus could help.
    When "No" is your go-to response (same with Don't & Stop), you are focusing on what you don't want. With toddlers (this really applies to any age, but particularly toddlers), it's important to focus on what you want. When the issue is a problem behavior, this may require giving a little thought to what you DO want to happen (because we default to "I want him to stop hitting/climbing/taking things...)
    When you see behaviors as meeting needs or expressing feelings, you can be more open to seeing alternatives that are more acceptable to you.
    Seeing behaviors in this way also can help you to connect to the child, to see the validity of his problematic behavior. This also helps you not to respond by negating him, & triggering his resistance.

    Answer by girlwithC at 2:06 PM on May. 17, 2012

  • I'm going to give an example from when my sons (I have twins) were not yet 2 years old. This is just to illustrate principles, not that it's the same situation you're in.
    When my sons were a year old, one of them got the idea to try to open the refrigerator. They had asked for something & I was finishing a task and didn't respond right away. He got the idea to see about getting it himself, tugged on the handle of the fridge door, and succeeded in opening it. I saw this happen and felt a mix of cascading feelings in response: harsh judgment of myself (maybe if I'd responded quickly to their request, this wouldn't have happened; maybe if they hadn't been so hungry, this wouldn't have happened), dread of the future (when my older child was this age, friends had complained about their young toddler getting into the fridge & dumping full pitchers of iced tea & breaking eggs; this had blown my mind because it seemed so unlikely with

    Answer by girlwithC at 2:19 PM on May. 17, 2012

  • my daughter, but suddenly it seemed like a possible horrible reality for us because I knew he wasn't just going to "forget" this new ability!!), fear & a sense of powerlessness (expressed by the urge to control my son & stop this behavior.) My conscious default in parenting already was to respond with empathy & validation--in other words, connecting before correcting--so I tried to acknowledge my valid feelings but accept the moment as it was (rather than staying stuck in resisting it "this shouldn't be happening," "I can't let this happen," "if only I had...." or "If only he hadn't quite gotten it..."), shift to a more accurate understanding of the situation (understanding my son's behavior more accurately from his point of view), and also focus on what I DID want to happen in the situation.
    The reality was, this was thrilling for him! He tugged mightily, & suddenly the door opened! A light came on. All this STUFF & cold air

    Answer by girlwithC at 2:35 PM on May. 17, 2012

  • was there, and he could do it again if he wanted. It was a great achievement--exciting on its own, and also holding the promise of so much to enjoy (get into)! His twin was right there appreciating the achievement for what it was, as well.
    Connecting to them meant seeing & interpreting their behavior in the context of their own purposes. I could see the "good" in what they were doing, and this could shape my attitude toward them & my response. I knew that what I DID want in this situation. There was no going back, and "I want him not to open the fridge" is completely focused on what I DON'T want, not what I DO want, lol, so what I DID want was for them to include me in their explorations. I did not want them sneaking, or thinking they had to get into the fridge only when Mom was NOT there (because I would stop them or punish them if I saw them) & I didn't want it to become this compulsive thing.
    I was able to accept & validate

    Answer by girlwithC at 2:42 PM on May. 17, 2012

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