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What is an acceptable way to discipline a two year old?

I have tried everything. We have tried spanking her, just a light tap on her bottom to catch her attention, time out, taking toys away, sending her to bed, sending her to her room, "grounding" her (not taking her to the pool for a day), but none of this seems to help. I am looking more for ways of getting her attention and talking to her to get her to listen, rather than punishing first. I have used all of my mom's suggestions, and she suggested I find a website such as this one. :)

Thanks for any and all help!

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Asked by iMandi at 11:54 AM on May. 14, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 3 (13 Credits)
Answers (17)
  • It's probably a phase, the terrible two's, three's etc. Have you just tried ignoring her? Sounds like she may have found a way of always getting your attention. It's like negative reinforcement. Don't be so attentive to her when she acts out (unless it's a dangerous situation of course) & she won't relate bad behavior to getting attention. Worked for us!


    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 12:00 PM on May. 14, 2011

  • Besides punishing her, are you also rewarding her appropriately for good behavior? If a child is only given punishment but not also having good behaviors reinforced, it can be confusing. Also, some generic forms of punishment may not really be punishment unless it means so to her. Shower her with praise when she behaves in the desired way and take away attention if she doesn't. Also, gradual reinforcement is good for steering her toward the right behavior. You cannot slip up in this method either or your efforts will be wasted. You *must* maintain this method for a long time for it to work. No bending of the rules. Best of luck to you and your little one. You can do it!

    Answer by hellokittykat at 12:03 PM on May. 14, 2011

  • Do I just completely ignore her? I have tried ignoring her when she is being repetitive, and she comes and gets in my face and gives me kisses and hugs. I have tried ignoring that, as well, and she throws a fit.

    Comment by iMandi (original poster) at 12:05 PM on May. 14, 2011

  • I do give her rewards for being good. We have a special snack cabinet that she gets to choose from when she does something really good, like using the potty, and she gets praise when she does something small, like putting a toy back when she is done with it.

    Comment by iMandi (original poster) at 12:06 PM on May. 14, 2011

  • First, take the "punishment" word out of your dictionary. you don't need to punish a toddler, you need to discipline her. Have you tried a "cry chair" as we call it? A chair isolated away from everything. She acts up at all (don't wait till the behavior has escalated, but the second it starts) you send her to the cry chair. She can not come out till she is calm and quite, then she can come out. As the pp said, praise for good behavior!! And at first, she will keep getting out of the chair, and you just have to very calmly (without saying a word) sit her back down. And she will try to turn it into a game, but she needs to see that you will not give in. To change or modify behavior, it can take up to a month to see consistent results, so just stick with it.

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 12:16 PM on May. 14, 2011

  • It is terrible twos'!!!! It will get better!!! It is a phase!

    Answer by dancer at 12:17 PM on May. 14, 2011

  • Thank you everyone! Keep the suggestions coming! I am writing all of them down as they come in, and I will give all of them a try to see what works best for both her and I!!!

    Thank you again!! :)

    Comment by iMandi (original poster) at 12:39 PM on May. 14, 2011

  • Keep in mind, that no matter how perfect your techniques, they will still act up and test boundaries, that is their job!

    Answer by Candi1024 at 1:03 PM on May. 14, 2011

  • Ick the terrible two's. I kept a running countdown to their third birthdays lol. I would have my girls on time out on a stair, a time out chair or wherever they were removed from the fun. BUT only for a limited time according to their ages. For my three year old it's three minutes and for my eight year old it's eight minutes. I saw that on the show Nanny 911 and if you keep with it it works. It annoys the girls but they know what happens if they get in trouble and how boring it is to sit in the timeout chair. A neighbor of mine who was a grandmother gave me the advice of having the kids spend time outside playing everyday or at least for a stroller ride somewhere because it helps the children sleep better at night.

    Answer by istealcookies at 1:03 PM on May. 14, 2011

  • terrible 2's and if mine is really bad i will pull his diaper off and spank him and send him to his room till he acts right and in 5 or 10 minutes he is coming out a different boy

    Answer by alliep2011 at 1:37 PM on May. 14, 2011

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