What's the best way to make your toddler behave?

Toddlers have a mind of their own and are starting to assert their own independence. What's a good way to still have your toddler behave and listen to you?

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17  Answers

80 10

At this age they like being independent and being heard - it's what kids do lol. Every now and then they will re-push the boundaries and it's up to you on how you handle it.
From the moment my child was born I always spoke to her as a human, explaining everything I did or places we went, I know she doesn't understand straight away yet I find now she did understand by her actions today.
~ Their vocabulary is so much more now and remember to use their vocabulary not yours - speak their language.
~ Kids hate it when you ignore them or ain't near you, I sent my daughter to her couch and made her sit there, if she started to move I would tell her to sit. I have sent her to another room or just sit on the floor - I'm too busy to look for a corner!! We tell her after a minute to stop crying and then she can move, we call her over and we ask her what did she do wrong? And 9/10 she would tell use and we explain to her why it was wrong.
~ Best word I taught my daughter from a young age is NAUGHTY, I know it seems a harsh word yet when I see her looking at other kids or people doing naughty stuff I am pleased as punch she recognises when they are naughty.
~ We started to have problems putting our child to bed so we started to use 5mins (which in truth was like 1min lol). She came up with the term 2mins so we now use that for bed time or to leave a park. We probably keep her up longer than what is "suggested" yet I would rather put my child to bed when she is ready than spend the next hour getting frustrated and trying to put her to bed. So she stays up that extra hour it seems to be her natural body clock so I just follow her signals.
~ We gave our child a smack once or twice (with conscious choice not out of angry) when she was quite young and after the second go she laughed and asked for more! Hence we stopped that, it wasn't something we wanted yet it was a handy tool cos if we say naughty she would smack her own hand so she was learning what was wrong and right.
~ Best suggestion is to follow your childs signals - BUGGA the books and specialists they don't live in your house 24/7- some ideas can help. I refuse to bring up a child that is disrespectful to others, at times I felt like a screaming banshee compared to other mums yet I am very proud when she asks strange children if they are Ok if they hurt themselves, she tries to help them up and many push her away! She apologizes if she bumps into people/walls/floors/her toe lol for her to do that without prompting I know I am doing a great job
~ Allow your child to be independent, let them believe they are in control- less arguments. Get them to help cook, clean, play in a room that your not (as long as your house is safe)
Just remember they are human beings not a child you need to control cos us adults hate being controlled lol respect their space and they will respect yours

5 3

agreed!!!!!! im going to start using these techniques; thanks!!!

24 14

Sorry to tell you this but if by now your voice and a stern look doesn't get them to stop and take notice, you're in for a hell of a ride.
You may not like to hear this and no one else will tell you but they have to fear you a little, it's how authority works. Look at the momma bear and her cubs, she growls, they come running. They smell fear. You gotta make them mind from now.

40 21

Lol I have a 2 yr old and totally agree with you. Its not like you want them terrified but yea I tried the whole gentle approach and he wasn't afraid of my punishments at all and would just laugh at me. I realized i needed a new tactic and now he listens better and still calls for me all the time :)

5 6

It is definitely kids' jobs to test their boundaries. I LOVE the Parenting is Heart Work MP3 sessions and book by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller. Their web site is biblicaparenting.com, and I also LOVED taking the Love and Logic course. It just makes you realize that you're not going crazy and gives you strategies to get the results you want and your child still feels like they have some control. Parenting is never going to be an exact science. I am really starting to enjoy being a SAHM (I have 1 5.5 yr old son, almost 4 yr old daughter and 1 yr old son) It's finally starting to click, but it helps me to constantly read, educate myself, etc.

0 9

Place your attention and time on the behaviors that you support and enjoy. Give little to no attention to behaviors you wish your toddler was not displaying. They are learning how to get our attention how to get what they desire, which 99% of the time is our attention. If we could move our mindsets from the punitive rearing approach to the abundance nuturing approach we would being creating and recognizing the greatness in our children.

1 7

Whatever punishment you choose I think the key is definitely consistency! I made the mistake of empty threats and now my oldest two don't take me seriously when I give a warning so now we all have to start over and go through the process. It is tough being consistent when your in public and then forget the time out after getting home or even when I give them a chance to redeem themselves for good behavior and dropping the earlier punishment. One day I'll learn!!

28 5

I recently read the Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood. The approach is a lot different than the usual spanking and time outs and they've shown that in the long run you won't have as many problems when they are teens and get into the most trouble. They tell you how to deal with tantrums and the terrible twos and misbehaving and so on. It was a really helpful approach when warning and yelling is just making you tired by the end of the day.

0 4

I tell my son I don't like that, you're hurting my feelings...then walk away...works everytime!

7 35

Time out and a swat when needed. Sticking with it! Now just a threat of one or other sometimes work.

6 21

My 2yr old does not listen to me at all! I am a stay at home mom and my husband works 2 jobs. He does not deal with the misbehaving as much as I do so he is much more passive. My son as of recent is playing me like a fiddle. I have tried all kinds of tactics to control his misbehaving from stern and controlled, to explaining why what he is doing is wrong, to yelling and also started time outs as well which has turned out to be a joke so far. I should also mention though my son is two years old he was born at 25wks so he has been spoiled beyond by just just about everyone including myself. I believe I've created a monster...HELP!

0 6

Time out will work it just takes a lot he will get to a point IF and I say IF your consistent that he won't fight it any more but it won't happen if your not consistent

0 17

I find that our voices and facial expressions are brilliant tools for using with toddlers. (I have a 2yr old and a 4.5yr old.) Firstly, choose a strategy that you feel comfortable with, eg, time out for 1 min (per year of child). Be patient with time out it DOES work and is very effective in building empathy as they get older. If he leaves the area (no distractions there or toys etc), then pick him up (no eye contact, no talking to him) and put him back. Stop everything else and focus on this (but pretend to be busy). Anyway, when you put your son there, tell him why he's there, and that it's thinking time. This is where i use my voice with my 2yr old (it changes to a serious tone but not bossy). I also try and use my face to express and reflect how i feel. I'll tell her I feel sad, or angry about what happened and that i'm disappointed. Then I tell her she has thinking time about what happened. Then I tell her I'll be back to talk about it soon. (My 2yr old now stays there and even though she doesn't totally verbalise things, she knows what she did is wrong and it's not ok. When i go back, I ask her if she's ready to say sorry (to her sister if she's pulled her hair or whatever) then i give her a kiss and tell her i love her, so she knows it's the behaviour NOT the child that's not ok. Once the situation is resolved, reward him by telling him how proud you are that her followed your instructions, or said sorry, or stayed in time out... positive reinfocements works miracles. Try and spot the brilliant things he does and tell say " I love the way you put your toys back" or "I love your manners" that way he feels good about himself and doesn't go looking for (negative) attention-seeking behaviour because he's getting that attention as positives from you or others. Be consistent, always. Hope this helps.

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6 39

My son is 2.5 yrs old and is starting to misbehave; has tantrums, hits, says "NO", grabs toys from other children and will have a tantrum when discipliined, lastly becomes uncooperative when we have to transition between places. Is this normal? I am 6 months pregnant and think he is acting out due to the change. I am trying not to react with yelling, threatening time outs, and on occassion a spank on the butt. But rather, respond with corrective discipline because I find I am snapping at him and need to keep myself in check. So, as of late, I decided taking time to explain to him why he is not allowed to hit, grab, and scream as it may help him understand appropriate behavior. And offering him a hug when he is having a tantrum appears to help because he calms down enough that we can talk about how he may be feeling and why. Any other ideas?

9 40

My son turned 2 last month and I've noticed an increase of aggressive behaviour, including screaming and hitting. I've tried time outs and putting him in his room, but nothing seems to be having an impact on him! I've tried talking, explaining, and usually end up getting slapped for my troubles. Man, the twos are Terrible!!

2,093 0

We have four kids. For me, the key to having a well-behaved toddler was to set positive examples and to manage the situation / environment such that my toddler was set up to produce good behaviour. If your toddler absolutely can't stop throwing sand go to a playground with a rubberised surface for a few weeks instead. If your toddler can't share special toys, put those toys away before friends come over to play. A lot of the problem behaviours from toddlers is stuff they just outgrow. Toddlers copy what is modelled around them. Setting positive examples and scripting appropriate behaviour also helps a lot. As well, a huge amount of "bad" toddler behaviour comes from being tired, hungry, frustrated, overwhelmed, or feeling powerless. You can have a very well behaved toddler by learning to recognize your child's cues and knowing when they just need to eat, sleep, go home, take a break and so on. We don't do praise and punishment. My concern is that it fosters the misconception that approval or disapproval is directly correlated with right and wrong. People use praise and punishment to manipulate their kids' behaviour, and then they don't understand what's going on when their twelve year old starts responding to the praise and punishment approach from her peers.

0 0

a combination of :
recognition for frustrated feelings -
speaking directly and postively-
then ignoring or time out

5 13

i recently read the topic about discipline and it has helped me a lot.ladies,when you say No to a toddler let it b a NO! if they dont listen at the first No,do something.dnt go on and on with empty threats.my two year old son is a terrorist and now if he does not listen straight away i put him in the bedroom tell hin to sleep alone.then he starts crying n calling the nanny to his rescue.so now if he does something wrong i tell him ur going to the sparebedroom to sleep,then he stops.if he doesnt stop,off we go! i dn wna spank him i want him to listen to me as his mother.try it it works.

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18 82

Are toddlers supposed to "behave?" lol A few things that seem to work with my 3yo son (in the midst of single parenthood, speech/developmental delays for my son,

- I know my son. My son is highly social. He craves attention, specifically mine. He doesn't really care what kind of attention he gets so long as he gets it. So, I do whatever I can to give him appropriate attention. What I mean by that is, I recognize and praise him for the things that deserve positive attention. As much as is safe, I ignore or disregard negative behaviors to a point. (If the negative behavior is something that is putting him in danger or is getting out of hand, I will address it.) For me, the things I ignore are things like saying "mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy" over and over again, throwing things on the floor for the purpose of getting my attention, etc. (When he stops, I praise him.)

- Have a routine. My toddler begs for routine. When he misses a nap, he gets cranky. When he stays up too late at night, the next day he’s a bear. It’s my job as a parent to make sure that his needs are met and one of those needs (at least for my child) is proper rest and routine. If he knows what to expect on a normal day, he begins to look forward to it. On the same side of the coin, if he’s eating well, drinking fluids and getting plenty of fresh air throughout the day, he’s usually much better behaved. (Note: this isn’t to say that breaks from routine shouldn’t happen. Special outings, fieldtrips or lake picnics are great! But that regular schedule is really important to maintaining a happy, well-behaved toddler. Boredom can be a fierce enemy!

- Spend quality time. Because my son craves my attention, I want to be sure to give it to him. I am intentional about those times that we spend together. They don't have to be "teaching" moments like making him answer a ton of questions: "what color is that?" "how many do you see?" "what are they doing in the picture?" " what letter is that?" Rather, we take time to just enjoy each other's company: coloring, putting together a puzzle, playing with his trains, digging in the dirt, playing with playdough - all the while praising his good behavior with lots of "YAY!" and hand-clapping. :O)

(I have noticed a drastic difference in the number of tantrums during the day if I will just spend 5-10 minutes a day with him in this way!)

- My son responds well to rewards: if he wants dessert, he has to eat some meat; if he wants to go outside and play, he has to pick up his toys; etc. Again, this is where knowing what makes your child tick and what motivates them is very helpful. Meeting them where they’re at is key (in other words, if they are social then, more than likely, a solitary time out would work better than a swat on the butt or taking away a privilege). Life does have consequences and I am a firm believer that kids should learn this while they are young.

- Respond to bad behavior without emotion. This is probably the hardest part for me. When my toddler pushes my buttons, he knows what he's doing. That kid is like a trained professional! When my response is one of heated frustration, my toddler responds in kind. But when I respond with a firm but calm answer, he usually remains calm. Many, many times, his behavior reflects my own. Therefore...

- Behave by example. By far, the very best thing that I can do is be an example to my son in all things, even when I think he isn't looking. He's watching me, copying me (especially as a toddler), learning from my and modeling my reactions and behaviors. I can teach him more by showing him than by trying to "reason" with him.

Toddler-hood is really a remarkable stage, if we can get beyond the temper tantrums, fits, disobedience and boundary-pushing. They are learning new things every single day! They are developing their little personalities (or, as with my son, giant personalities), gaining independence, growing up. All of these things above translate to a toddler as love…and that’s really all they want!

1 11

I've utilized gentle parenting with my six with wonderful results. My children aren't any more perfect than I am, lol, but my house is happy and peaceful. Check out http://littleheartsgpr.wordpress.com/ and click on 'Gentle Discipline Resources Guide' for a ton of gentle parenting tips!

5 3

i try explaining to my almost 2 year old. she has the tendancy to hide and cover her face as if she has left the conversation but in the end if she continues i have a time out bench and she goes straight to it. i keep her in it for 2 minutes and if she gets out, i put her right back with out giving her the chance to beg and cry, by not saying a word to her after the initial sit down. sujre enough after about 5+ times of her getting up, she understoond i was going to be constant and gave in. works best for me. we have those days when im too tired or she is too much to handle out in public. but even in the eyes of strangers, i dont give in.

24 0

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2 17

Warn the child not to do whatever it is they are doing, or they will be put in time out. You NEED to establish a time out place where they can not see tv, or anybody else. It will work, you just need to explain what the infraction was and only assign them time out at an appropriate level (30 seconds to a minute). Tell them why they are in time out and then let them get up. BE PATIENT, and NEVER give in! No empty threats, if you say you are going to put them in time out next time, DO IT! Eventually (after A LOT of pushing you) they will start to understand. Just try and communicate with them all the time and SHOW them how to interact with other people and kids.

0 10

get them to think whatever you wanted them to do was their own idea.


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