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Need disciple suggestions for a 2 – almost 3 year old

My son Chris (almost 3) is driving me nuts these last few weeks. It’s as if he is trying to be naughty on purpose. He dumps his toys and doesn’t play with them or pick them up (a friend suggested making his throw them away and the later sneaking out to pick them out of the trash but that didn’t work because now he thinks it’s fun to throw away toys) he runs around jumping on me while I’m feeding my other son (6 months old), ignores me, general rule breaking and throws tantrums when placed in time out.
So far I’ve tried time outs for rule breaking, taking toys away if he doesn’t pick them up, and putting him in his room for tantrums, but I spend most of my time punishing him and getting angry.
I’m looking for suggestions, or support from all the mamas out there.

Answer Question

Asked by chrissmom734 at 1:49 PM on Jul. 19, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 10 (390 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Other ideas I've kicked around are creating a poster of house rules ( with pictures if possible) and next to each rule making a pocket with 3 cards (green = good, yellow = warning, red = time out) using a marble in the jar reward idea I read about in a magazine to reward good behavior. what does everyone think


    Comment by chrissmom734 (original poster) at 1:52 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • Give him a small cup and a piece of construction paper. Have him stand at a low table and tear the paper into strips and put them in the cup. The more times he gets in trouble, the more he has to tear those bits of paper. So, he is "punished" so to speak, and building his fine motor skills while keeping occupied and out of trouble. He will like it the first couple times....but soon, just the threat of tearing paper will cause him to act right. No violence or anything bad...he learns to act right while developing needed skills.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 1:53 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • you need to remain consistant on how you give out the punishements and for what. he is testing you and his limits right now. very normal at this age but being consistant will win in the end. it wont work overnight. but it will in the end

    Answer by sati769leigh at 1:58 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • Try Love & Logic. You can get books, CDs, or DVDs at the library or online at It's a parenting program that helps you keep your cool while helping your child learn from his mistakes and misbahaviors. Some of the basics are - no anger, threats, warnings, or lectures, and let the consequences do the teaching. It can be difficult to stick with it for the first few days, but it gets easier the more you use it. The program works for toddlers all the way through teens.

    I also like Bradenismy son's idea - very creative!

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 2:08 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • I think he is bored and looking for attention. You could start sending him pre-school. They have programs for 2 & 3 year olds. He is seeking attention & needs to be occupied. I don't think punishments are necessary or will help. He's being a typical 3 year old. He's bored and needs to be re-directed. He's really still a baby. This is a very hard time 2/3/4, believe me I know, my DS is 3 1/2. They have radar and know when you are stressed & seem to mirror your anxiety. Try to relax & be calm. If you get overly upset about an issue and react to him, he'll learn that's how he can get your attention. He is also experiencing a lot of new thoughts going through his head & he is becoming more aware about what is going on. My DS gets very cranky every few weeks and I attribute it to growing pains & just bear with it & ignor. Good Luck. I don't spank because I really think it does nothing.


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 2:10 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • Paulie - I also think part of it is bordom and attention seeking and I would love to send him to pre-school but at the moment it is not a possibility (money is very tight and haven't found a free pre-school). I'm trying to find things that are positive interactions with him so we are not always butting heads and he is getting positive attention. What are your thoughts on my other two ideas the card chart (idea came from when my baby sister was in 1st grade) and the reward jar. . .

    Comment by chrissmom734 (original poster) at 2:22 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • I've seen the card thing used a lot in preschool or early elementary school. I think one component of the system is peer pressure in that setting - the kids want to keep a green card because their friends have a green card. Whether it would work well for just one child probably depends on what motivates your child. If he is highly motivated by having a green card or by avoiding time out it might work well for you. If you think that would motivate him, then it definitely wouldn't hurt to try it.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 2:43 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • I think you can plan fun things to do with him to help with the boredom and attention seeking. Plan something fun to do with him while the baby is napping and give him your full attention at that time. My twins are about the same age and I find that short one-on-one activities help a lot. My daughter likes me to draw, color, or read with her, and my son likes playing cars or trains. They both love to be included in cooking. If I make chocolate chip cookies I put them in a chair at the counter and give them a few cookies and some M&M's to decorate, and over the week-end I made personal pizzas and let them put their own toppings on them - they LOVED it. I also find that they NEED some time outside every day; even 20 minutes helps. If you don't have a yard try taking a walk around the block once or twice a day.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 2:53 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

  • Hi Chrissmom, I think that the card chart and reward jar are worth a try. I haven't done anything like that yet but it sounds good. My DS is bored too and I'm sending him to preschool in Sept.. The cost is ridiculous but unfortunately he has no other kids to play with where we live. I feel bad because when I was growing up, there were kids all over the neighborhood. I take my son to the library though. They have programs for toddlers and infants. You could try that. I had to sign up in advance so it may be worth looking into. Also the advantage you have is that you have another child so when the younger one gets a little older they will have each other to play with. I would love another but I am already 43 :( and it doesn't look like it's in my future. Keep your head up, soon they will be going to High School and we have another whole problem to look forward to! LOL! Have a great week :)


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 3:04 PM on Jul. 19, 2010

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