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What's some good discipline methods for a 2 1/2 year old?

We do timeouts but they don't seem to be much of a deterrent. I could say I'll take such and such toy away but I don't think she gets the concept that she can't play with it anymore and nothing is that important to her anyway. If we want her to do something, we say she can't do anything else until she completes the task we ask, but it becomes a big game for her and is way too mentally draining for us as parents to stand there and make sure she isn't doing anything else the whole time. I am not totally opposed to spanking but I want to save them for instances where she puts herself in danger. Any ideas for discipline that is effective for this age?

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Asked by Isaidit at 10:39 PM on Nov. 29, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 6 (110 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • Love and supervision.

    You're older and wiser and can see the kinds of things a 2.5yo is about to do --in enough time to stop them, if you're right there where they need you to be. They lack the mental capacity (still half their brains to grow between now and 20) to remember all the rules for life, and whatever you said the last time they were attracted to doing whatever it is you don't want them to do, and frankly pretty much of anything for any length of time.

    If you want something done you should do it or hire help --doing things for them is why 2.5yos have parents instead of, say, jobs and condos. As you have experienced, 2.5yos are too mentally agile to be coerced into much, and if you've been gentle and loving all along you aren't dangerous enough to comply with out of abject fear.

    I'm curious, though -- how will spanking her when she's in danger help her learn how to stay ...out of pain?

    Answer by LindaClement at 10:51 PM on Nov. 29, 2009

  • I try to make most things a game, if I want my daughter to put her plate in the sink I'll ask and if she says no I say something like, "I bet I can put my plate in the sink, I wonder if you can put your plate in the sink too?" Or I'll ask for help by saying, "You would really be helping Mommy if you threw the carrot peels in the trash can. Can you be a big hep and throw the carrot peels in the trash can?" Toddlers love to help and feel independent so play into that because they will not do anything if they feel like they are being made to do it. I would fail at trying to make my daughter eat an icecream cone just because she wouldn't want to do something i was trying to make her do. The trick is to know this about toddlers and make your expectations about them and what they need and want which is is to feel capable and independent while also loved and cared for.

    Answer by psugal at 11:00 PM on Nov. 29, 2009

  • at 2.5, I would say that spanking were direct disobediance works the best in my experiance and time outs for temper tantrums. AT this point in time, there just isn't much deterants. I do agree with saying ahead of her as much as possible, but that just simply is not allways going to work. Even at 2, she can understand obdediance. Now as far as the example you gave.. yes it is mentally exausting.. and unfortunetly you just have to keep with it. Lets say I ask my daughter to pick up the legos... on a normal day I help her and there isusually no issue... but lets say she says "no" ... that there is direct disobediance and I would give her a spanking. Lets say she decides to whine and throw a temper, then she is sent to "the chair" (a chair sitting in the laundry room... all they do is sit, but they dread it more then a spanking), till she calms down and does as she is asked.

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 11:00 PM on Nov. 29, 2009

  • I find "currency". First, I let her know what I expect from her (DD will be 3 soon). If she beings to act up, I tell her that if she doesn't stop the behavior, the toy/whatever will go away. I warn her a few times to see if she understands the concept. if she does and her unwanted behavior continues, I follow through with my actions. I use time-outs also but I use them sparingly. I do not spank. I think the most important thing is letting them know what you expect. If they are doing something you don't want them to do but don't make it clear it isn't something that they should be doing, you're setting yourself up for a problem. Also, pick and chose your battles. With my daughter, if she won't hurt herself or destroy property, I really don't care what she is doing (besides teaching her basic manners, etc). And of course, try to find out if her behavior is stemming from a physical need (hungry, tired, etc).

    Answer by MotherofIreland at 12:33 AM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • we have been doing timeouts for about 6 months. and they are just now starting to kick in, but it was well worth it. he now listens to us when we tell him no, and if he doesn't he gets a warning and then he gets time out if he does it again. he does have his moods and just likes to destroy thing, and we give him a time out and its like a 180. i love how its working for us and i dont have to be physical or loud. we also try to get him to "use your words" and ask for things instead of whining and throwing a tantrum when he wants something, we have been doing that with his drinks for two weeks now and yesterday he got it, everytime he ran out of juice, he would sign and say "moooooore". and he has been doing it since. consistency is key. find something that works for you and stick with it as long as it takes. best of luck. oh just an fyi, he is 28 months old.

    Answer by chance010507 at 7:16 AM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • it sounds like your doing it right just stay consistant I know its frustrating but you just have to keep doing what your doing its hard work and its draining but eventually the kid gets it good luck

    Answer by roy-onyxsmom at 7:35 AM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • I use 123 Magic with my 3 year son and it works wonders! You can get the book from any local library. Good luck

    Answer by A.Day at 8:12 AM on Nov. 30, 2009

  • I'm a re-director, I don't spank either (my father says that's apparent! lol) We also did the 123 Magic with my eldest, very good program! He was a little older though. At 2 (the age of my LO) I just take him from what he's doing and move him to a more appropriate activity. If he continues to do the same thing then we do a time-out. I used to use a playpen for the time outs, but now he just climbs out. lol You just have to be consistent. Good luck.


    Answer by Austinsmom35 at 9:42 AM on Nov. 30, 2009

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