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disciplining a 20 month old. :(

My son has recently started throwing tantrums, which most of the time I ignore, and it works. He also hits the tv. we have a 58' flat screen (that isn't hard like glass, more like plastic of some sort) there's mirrors inside that if shaken, interrupt the projection, and ruin the picture (for good.). I've tried smacking his hand (not hard, just enough to let him know) as soon as he does it and saying "No, we don't hit the T.V." then while he cries, I ignore him. I feel terrible, but I don't think time out will work at this age, and i want him to know that he shouldn't do it. It's been 2 days since we've tried this and he does it a few times a day. Is it just a phase? help!


Asked by bianchi01 at 11:45 AM on Nov. 10, 2008 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (6)
  • Time outs at this age DO help but they are more of a "calm down" time. Tell him no. Tap his hand if you think it helps (kids vary), and take him to his time out spot. LEAVE him there until he calms down. Other than carrying him back (or telling him to go back) to his time out spot, ignore him. Once he is calm, take him in your lap and tell him "We don't hit the TV. The TV might get an owie and break. Let's find some pillows to hit instead." Then go find something he can hit (like pillows) and help him redirect his fitting needs that way.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 12:28 PM on Nov. 10, 2008

  • Def start trying time outs, i have a 27 month old son that does stuff like that and worse. at first i'd give his hand a smack but since then he's starting to hit and he gets really upset at me and i feel really guilty. i have tried time outs in a specific chair for only 1 min and altho it's difficult for him to understand and you'll prob be fighting with him to stay in the chair for that min, eventually he will get it. i haven't been consistant but the days i have been my son will actually walk over to the chair himself when i tell him to.

    Answer by CnJsMom at 11:51 AM on Nov. 10, 2008

  • Oh yes, this is a phase. Terrible two's have arrived. I would keep up with what your doing, this is a testing phase to see how far he can get away with things. So be consistent! I would also try to do the time out. I don't think he is too young. If you have a corner try that first. They say a minute for every year. You would be surprised in how bad the corner will get his attention. I already went through the terrible two's once and will have to again in a little over a year so I know how you feel. Plus you may not like this but terrible two's don't go away easy, it gets worse at age 3 and then tappers off around 4 so your in for a long haul. Just remember patience and consistent. Good Luck.


    Answer by Izzyscrazymom at 11:52 AM on Nov. 10, 2008

  • my son was into turning the tv on and off so we moved his toy box in front of it so he couldn't reach it anymore and he played with his toys instead. This was only for a week or two, now he has no interest in the tv. But you could try time-out, or remove him from the tv and give him one of his toys to play with away from the tv. Hope someone was able to give you helpful tips. G/L

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:06 PM on Nov. 10, 2008

  • Time outs. Time outs. Time outs. My daughter has been standing in the corner for time out since she was 17 months old. If she's old enough to do something she's not supposed to do, she's old enough to be placed into time out. I'm a firm believer that time outs work better at this age, than anything else does. At the very least, it'll give you a minute to collect yourself and for the child to calm down.

    Answer by crdc91506 at 12:34 PM on Nov. 10, 2008

  • My daughter is 18 months, and we use time outs. They work, too! The hard part was figuring out where time out works best. I cant get her to sit in a corner yet, and sticking her in a totally empty crib didn't work either, so time out ends up being her sitting on the floor right in the spot the "crime" took place. She screams and cries, but she stays until I tell her she can get up again... and it works!

    Answer by MammaCat at 2:27 PM on Nov. 10, 2008