Discipline for Toddlers

Jodi - posted on 04/27/2011 ( 50 moms have responded )

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In the new CoM Roundup, they have an article called 6 Tips for Dealing with Naughty Behavior.



http://www.circleofmoms.com/article.php?...



Basically it covers the following techniques:

Offer choices and alternatives

Take away a favourite item

Time Outs

Behaviour chart

Indicate your confidence

Model behaviour



I've had a read through it, and while I don't agree with all of it being effective, different things for different kids.



Anyway, one of the comments at the bottom of the page was interesting:



"Not sure who sent me this article but I find it insulting to children as well as full of misinformation. Ironic that modeling good behavior is at the end of a list of manipulative, unkind adult behavior suggestions. For a more compassionate way, visit the A PEACEFUL PARENT group on facebook."



So what are your thoughts in relation to this comment? Are they all manipulative and unkind suggestions? Do you agree with the article, not agree?



THIS IS NOT A DEBATE ABOUT SPANKING. IT IS ONLY A DISCUSSION ABOUT NON-PHYSICAL, NON-AGGRESSIVE TECHNIQUES. So basically if you think it's all crap and we should just use spanking, this is not the debate for you :P

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Minnie - posted on 04/28/2011

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Ooh- is there a time out listed somewhere? I didn't see it, but I didn't go to the link.

I sometimes think time outs are misused- they should be a moment for the child to remove him or herself from the situation so that people or property don't get hurt, calm down, and regroup. Not to sit for such and such a time as a punishment.

Tara - posted on 04/28/2011

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Offer choices and alternatives:
not manipulation at all, teaches children that while they can't control every part of their lives, they can have some control. And it also leads to good decision making skills.
Take away a favourite item: Meh... only if there are no natural consequences or if that is a natural consequence for the infraction. ie: my daughter chooses to continue playing her DSi after being asked to turn it off and do her chores, she knows the natural consequence of that is the removal of the DSi from her possession until the next day. So... she never allows that to happen. But taking a toy or favourite item because of maybe talking back, or lying etc. is for the most part ineffective in my opinion.

Behaviour chart: good for some kids, usually younger ones. Can become boring and ineffective if not altered or changed over time. In my experience this system works well when only positives are examined and not negatives. For example: if the goal it to help your child learn manners and do some chores than a chart with expectations on it is a great idea. But I think it has more weight when the child is the one to decide based on a re-call of their day whether or not they actually hit the goals. Self satisfaction of accomplishing personally set goals is far more empowering then meeting the goals set my another person. External praise is good, but the best reward is a sense of accomplishment from within. So rather than have a place on the chart to indicate undesirable behaviour I would stick to only places in which to comment or reward positive behaviour.
Indicate your confidence, this is a given. Show confidence that you know your child can accomplish his goals and show confidence in his ability to do for himself as well as his ability to alter his behaviour.
Model behaviour DUH. Golden rule in our house. "Treat others as you would like to be treated" which is the same as modeling the desired behaviour. It simply means "Think" before you react. To me this also means that as adults and as role models we must be willing to admit when we have acted in a way that is not respectful to others and we must be able to admit our faults and admit that we also sometimes need to take a break and think before we react.

Dana - posted on 04/29/2011

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I don't think there's anything wrong with any of the options being discussed. I use time outs when necessary and it's been a great tool. I've hardly needed to use it and when I actually have to give the ultimatum of a time out, my son knows I'm serious. Of course you can't just immediately go to a time out or time out warning when it's something new but, for things my son knows he's not allowed to do like, crash his bike into the gate to get it to pop open so he can raid the bathroom, he gets the warning right off the bat. Which usually consists of "Ethan you know you're not allowed to do that, if you do it again, I'm going to have to give you a time out." And of course he promptly stops.

I've also taken his trains away when he drives them back behind the stove. We have a gas stove and I don't want him banging around by the gas lines. When he wouldn't stop driving them behind the stove, I started taking the train that he was using at the moment and it sat where he could see it until later in the day or the next day. I only had to take them away 3, maybe 4 times and doesn't do that anymore.

I feel like it's great to talk to your child and explain, but, your explanation better be done within a few sentences because otherwise after those first sentences, all they hear is "Blah, blah, blah, blah".

JuLeah - posted on 04/28/2011

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They lost me with the title. If you use labels like that, naughty, bad, brat .... you come to see your child in that light and see them as the behavior, not the child.
All six are okay tools to have in your tool box, but your tool box needs to be filled with more then that. The right for the job. So depending on the day, the situation, the child's health, the child's personality, age, development .... ya use a different tool.
The biggest problem I have seen is that folks don't seem to understand what they can and can't expect of their children at different ages. I have heard of parent complaining their child is rude, disrespectful, defiant .... I ask, "How old?" and hear back, "9 Months" and think WTF

I think, in school, kids ought to learn about child development, so they know not to feed the 4 month old pizza for dinner and that 12 is too young to take the bus to the mall and hang out with friends for 5 hours.

Rosie - posted on 04/28/2011

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i don't see anything wrong with the techniques offered either. people who think there is, may have a stick up their ass.

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Ez - posted on 04/29/2011

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You will blow a gasket Dana, but I'll send you the link too lol. I don't want to post it on the board because she will get notification of that and likely pop up and start debating us.

Dana - posted on 04/29/2011

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I think that's what everyone needs to take into account, Noreen. Each child is so different and then of course boys are also very different from girls as it is too. That's not to say that there aren't girls that follow what is considered more "normal" for boy behavior and vice versa.

Noreen - posted on 04/29/2011

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I am a momma of 3. And all 3 are VERY different. Kaleb, 6.5, writes line and/or gets grounded. Noah, 5, sits in timeouts or gets sent to his room. Abby, 19mo, gets redirected after a stern no no.

April - posted on 04/29/2011

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I would like to think did it out of curiousity, but it wasn't his first offense. He frequently goes into the refridgerator and empties the contents. I think she was at her wit's end when she sentenced his toys to a month of being locked in the toy box. That's the other thing that concerns me: a month is a long time. How realistic is it going to be to keep her son's toys away for that long? Like you said...toys keep kids busy when parents need to do things! I think that's her biggeset "crime" right there...a punishment (for lack of a better word) needs to be realistic.

Esther - posted on 04/29/2011

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Well, clearly I'm a horrible parent because I use every last one of these techniques, including taking away toys when it's not a "natural consequence". I guess I'll open up a savings account for Lucas' therapy sessions later in life to help heal his bruised ego.

April - posted on 04/29/2011

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I can agree with removing a toy if the situation is similar to what Sara Hopkins described. However, a friend's son went in the Fridge and dumped out an entire gallon of fresh milk onto the kitchen floor. He lost ALL of his toys for a whole MONTH. He is only 3 years old. I disagree with this strategy because the consequence seems irrelevant to the crime. Making him clean it up seems more relevant. Even offering him a drink other than milk for the day if he asks for milk seems a bit more relevant. If he were a little older than 3, like 5 or 6, I'd make him pay for the milk out of his own money.

Stifler's - posted on 04/29/2011

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i really couldn't care less if i'm apparently *manipulating* my child with time out or a behaviour chart. LOL. some people just take it too far.

Jenni - posted on 04/29/2011

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Ummm... modelling good behaviour is manipulative. Then should we model bad behaviour?



I'm confused and a tiny bit angry. >:|



Wish she would have elaborated. I went to her FB page and it seems she's just passing off a bunch of common sense and citations from parenting books as pseudo intellect. I still wasn't able to find any of her views on the listed methods or her alternatives to those.



I do agree with understanding your child's behaviour and not identifying your child as their behaviour and a lot of other things she addresses. The time-in thing; I'm not really sure how that's all that different from a time-out? The suffix?

The taking the toy away- Ok. I can see that as being parent manipulation.

Indicate confidence- sounds in so many words what she advocates on her site.

Behaviour Chart- I guess it would depend on the type of chart. If it was a chore chart then how is that any different from us earning rewards at work?



Ok.... so I'm lost. I may be a lefty but I guess I'm not *that* much of a lefty.



I am genuinely intrigued on what she would have to say on these methods. But I hope she doesn't take offense to me calling her a psuedo intellect. Even though I take offense to being called manipulative. :P

Ez - posted on 04/29/2011

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Speaking of 'she who shall not be named', Loureen did you see her recent blog post? She got some MAJOR heat for it :-s

Charlie - posted on 04/29/2011

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I love peaceful parenting page on facebook , Dr momma has some great articles linked with up to date medical information and research .

I think there is also a group called A peaceful parent as well though , but yeah the extremists especially one in particular annoy the living shit out of me , I am sure some of you know who this previous COM member was ... .

Mel - posted on 04/29/2011

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I think it all sounds pretty great in theory, but I personally have a child from hell atm, but at the same time she is not pre school aged. I was just discussing discipline with her daycare provder (again) today. I guess i cant really comment what would be effective at that age.

Ez - posted on 04/28/2011

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I actually really like the Peaceful Parenting FB page. But there are definitely some extremists.

Stifler's - posted on 04/28/2011

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ROFL ! @ the comment. I read their FB group too, it was all just a load of bullshit to me.

Shannon - posted on 04/28/2011

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Ok I am waaaaayyyyy to tired to pull up a link, midget fun day always wears me out, add to that the 4 hr sleep last night because i ended up with 4 kids the dog and the cat trying to join my husband and i in bed to "hide" from the massive storms moving thru my area and i'm pretty much slap happy right now... sorry, on to the task at hand.... I have never really agreed with spanking unless the deed requires a "corporal" punishment. I talk to my kids about what is expected of them as far as behavior and i give them a list of what will happen if they do not follow those expectations, i.e i EXPECT you to listen in the store no tantrums, fits, whining, etc. IF you do not follow these rules we leave, we do not pass go we do not collect $200, its straight home on the sofa no tv for an hour. However if you do listen we will go someplace fun for lunch or we will go to the park, yadda yadda. With my older two if their attitude is crappy for whatever teenage angst is going on in the moment it is the removal of their cell phones, Ipod's, freedom for the weekend, etc. I never speak to them when i am angry about something, i will walk away rather than say anything harsh or detrimental to their little ego's, i refuse to call my kids a "bad" name out of anger. They know that if i put my ipod on and pull out the bleach and start cleaning that someone is in trouble as soon as i am calm enough to talk lol. My youngest is 4 now and i have not had a temper tantrum from her since she was maybe 18 months old. They know that "If Momma ain't happy, no one is happy"

[deleted account]

I don't have a huge issue with the list. Not sure how it's manipulative. I don't use everything on there as it all doesn't work for my kid. But that's to be expected.



Right now our two big issues are not listening and temper tantrums. We use natural consequences to handle the not listening. Ex. she doesn't pick up her toy when asked...she loses the toy for the day. I fully believe the tantrums are related to the baby. It's an attention getter. So when she throws a tantrum, I take her to her room and let her cry in there...a time out of sorts. When she's done crying she can come join the family. That technique is working wonderfully for us right now.

Jodi - posted on 04/28/2011

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"Ooh- is there a time out listed somewhere? I didn't see it, but I didn't go to the link."



Yes, there was, I just amended my OP - I left it off the list :)

Ez - posted on 04/28/2011

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JuLeah, I think you're spot on as far as unrealistic expectations. It drives me insane hearing of people punishing young toddlers, and even babies, for what is completely normal for their developmental stage (eg, playing with food, being noisy).

Minnie - posted on 04/28/2011

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Oh- absolutely, Krista. It was the wording specifically using 'favorite' that made me think of those parents who take away a beloved toy or activity just because they don't like what the child is doing- when it is completely unrelated. Totally understandable if the toy is what is causing the damage.

Carol - posted on 04/28/2011

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These all appear to be reasonable techniques. To the point that taking away a favorite item may be cruel, I would say that children need to learn that there are consequences for their actions and this is one way to teach them that.

To avoid cruelty, you it would be wise to think about the child's needs and personality before using this technique. If the child is extremely sensitive, than I wouldn't use it, but for many children it would work.

Another technique not mentioned above is the Timeout which also can be seen as cruel. I think Timeouts should be used sporadically to be effective and other techniques should be tried first. For example, children should be made to understand what is going on and why their behavior is not acceptable, and be included in family activity as much as possible, rather than be isolated in a timeout.

[deleted account]

I see nothing wrong with the techniques offered and I think the person who made that comment comes off as one of those people who would find fault in just about anything. As my Aunt Dottie says, "They'd complain if you buried them with a new shovel."

Krista - posted on 04/28/2011

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I agree with you, Lisa, if taking away the toy is in no way related to the behaviour. That does just seem spiteful and mean.

But, as Erin mentioned, if the child is seriously mistreating that toy, or is damaging something with it, then I don't see it as illogical to temporarily confiscate that toy. If my son throws one of his books, then he is told that we do not throw books -- we are gentle with books. If he throws it again, then the book goes bye-bye for awhile. I think that's a fairly natural consequence. If any of us mistreat our possessions, then they break, or become worn down faster than expected, and we basically lose them.

Minnie - posted on 04/28/2011

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I'm only against two on that list: taking away a favorite item and a behavior chart.



For the first I'm against- I prefer a consequence to be either natural (if it is safe) or logical (when a natural consequence isn't). An example like "you're not listening to me so I'm going to take away Bunny" just seems totally spiteful and mean to me. How about "You're not listening to me so let's sit here on the couch together and I'll give you the directions in a more easy to understand manner and then I'll HELP you do them."



About the behavior chart- I prefer children to do or not do something because they understand the WHY- a desire to do right- not to do it because they get a sticker or toy. I want my girls to clean their messes because messes breed bugs and germs or cause people to trip and get hurt. They can feel good because things look tidy and they're helping out as a part of the family.

Krista - posted on 04/28/2011

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Yeah, I have no idea why she thinks that offering choices and alternatives is manipulative and unkind. Modeling good behaviour is all well and good, but if it's the only tool in your toolbox, then you're basically screwed.

Amanda - posted on 04/28/2011

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I like that your sons action had a equal reaction (action + punishment). Many mothers would of cleaned the mess up themselves, thinking the scolding was enough. I personally think the cleaning up the mess teachs the child a lot more then the actually scolding. As we all tend to tune out someone scolding us, children also do this.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/28/2011

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Follow through is the most important factor in discipline. But like Erin said, I also believe in positive reinforcement. Last night, my son was jumping on one of those blow up punch bags he got for easter from his Uncle. It has water in the bottom to give it weight and make it pop back up. I saw him jump on it, and told him to stop...that it would pop. I turn my back....and what did he do????? He jump on it, popped it spilling a gallon of water on the floor. Yup, he got scolded, given a towel and told to clean it all up. He sure did it...and he got praised for cleaning it up...but along with an explanation of what he did wrong.

Amanda - posted on 04/28/2011

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I dont agree with some of those parenting techiques, but I'm old school, no means no, and it works in my house. As for these techniques being manipulative and unkind, that is just silly, I'm not even understanding where this opinion comes from lol.



Now that I have teenagers the parenting skill that now bites me in the ass is "Offer choices and alternatives", as my teens think they have the right to offer up choices and alternatives to ANYTHING I say now, but slowly they are learning not everything is up for debate.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/28/2011

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I definitely do 1,4, and 6. Occasionally 2-taking away toy, but that is when he is in bed playing for to long instead of sleeping. I do make a warning of taking it....then if that doesn't work, I follow through so it is not an idle threat. I don't think it is manipulative to put my son in timeout when his behavior is bad, after originally trying to correct it...along with a warning. I don't think it is manipulative to demonstrate proper behavior through action either.

Ez - posted on 04/27/2011

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How is offering choices and alternatives and indicating confidence (which I assume is another way of saying 'postive reinforcement') manipulative and unkind? Geez, sounds like that poster needs to relax.

I use positive parenting with my toddler. I believe in positive reinforcement and rarely have a need for punishment. But if my 2yo throws her new favourite toy at the wall in a fit, you better believe she will lose it. I don't see that as unkind or manipulative. It's a natural consequence to her not respecting her things.

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